I know I left that sledgehammer around here somewhere. It's been nearly a year since our '67 Buick GS 400 ran. We had just added an Air Ride Street Challenge system and were driving it home when we heard a strange noise that got worse when we revved the engine. That noise turned out to be several bad rod bearings that had eaten their way through the journals of the crankshaft. We shipped the engine off to JMS Racing Engines, where the mill was rebuilt and a set of Edelbrock heads were added. Now that we have it back, it's time to make this sucker run again. Stabbing the engine is the easy part, but what about the initial start-up? It seems simple enough, but if you blow it, you'll likely start a fire, kill your battery, or both. Watch and learn. Trouble ShootingThese are some common new-engine problems and their likely causes. We've made these mistakes so you don't have to. Enjoy! PROBLEM LIKELY CAUSE Engine backfires and will not start Distributor 180 degrees off Distributor one tooth off Crossed spark plug wires Engine will not idle Retarded timing Vacuum leak(s) Lean A/F ratio Out of gas Engine idles high Choke fast idle is on Idle screw screwed in all the way Linkage is bound No return spring Noob’s foot is on the gas pedal Engine cranks slowly Overadvanced timing Dead battery Loose battery cables Bass-heavy hip-hop playing on stereo The Buick 400 was dyno'd after it was built, so we know the cam and ignition timing are right. If your engine was not run on a dyno, you will want to line up the mark on the balancer with the timing tab on the engine block. We usually line up the mark with the initial timing setting-in this case, 15 degrees BTDC. To make sure the engine is on the compression stroke, pull off a valve cover and make sure both No. 1 rocker arms are loose or peek into the spark plug hole and look for the top of the piston. On most domestic non-Cadillac V-8 engines, the cylinder that is the farthest forward on the block is No. 1.The Buick 400 was dyno'd after it was built, so we know the cam and ignition timing are ri The next step is to prelube the engine by spinning the oil pump. The best method is to use an old distributor housing that centers the shaft on the pump drive. Since we didn't have the original, we removed a shaft from a Chevy points-style distributor and cut off the rotor end.The next step is to prelube the engine by spinning the oil pump. The best method is to use The new tool can be chucked into a drill and used to spin the oil pump and pressure-lube the engine. Just make sure there is oil in the crankcase first. Watch the oil pressure gauge or the rocker arms for oil to know when to stop.The new tool can be chucked into a drill and used to spin the oil pump and pressure-lube t With the oil pump primed, you can drop in the distributor. We made a mark where the No. 1 spark plug wire is when the cap is on and used it to line up the rotor. The cam gear and distributor gear are helical cut, so you'll need to line up the rotor about 1/2 inch counterclockwise (finger points) of the final mark so the rotor rotates into the correct position.With the oil pump primed, you can drop in the distributor. We made a mark where the No. 1 Now that you have spark, you will need fuel in the bowls. The preferred way is to fill the front bowl with a small funnel until you can see fuel in the bowl sight. The other way is to crank the engine with the coil power wire disconnected (not the secondary wire, the power wire) and the throttle closed until fuel squirts into the primary venturis when you push the accelerator pump lever.Now that you have spark, you will need fuel in the bowls. The preferred way is to fill the Once the fuel bowl has fuel in it, reconnect the coil and use a small screwdriver to lightly seat the idle mixture screws and open them one turn each.Once the fuel bowl has fuel in it, reconnect the coil and use a small screwdriver to light I am wearing my sister's socks.Since this engine has a roller cam, we didn't need to break it in. If you have a flat-tappet cam, you'll need to run the engine between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm for 30 minutes. It is important to start the engine and get the rpm up quickly because the only source of oil for the cam lobes is oil slung off of the rotating crankshaft. Some cams require that you remove the inner valvespring or use break-in springs. Check with the cam manufacturer to see if this is necessary. Have someone sit in the car and watch the oil pressure and water temperature during this procedure.I am wearing my sister's socks.Since this engine has a roller cam, we didn't need to break Check the initial timing below 1,000 rpm, rev the engine until the timing stops advancing, and check the total with a dial-back timing light. For a naturally aspirated engine, we like 12 to 15 degrees at idle and 36 to 38 total, usually in before 3,000 rpm.Check the initial timing below 1,000 rpm, rev the engine until the timing stops advancing, With the timing set, let the engine idle and turn each idle mixture screw about an eighth counterclockwise until the engine reaches its maximum rpm. If you don't have a tach, you can use a vacuum gauge connected to a manifold source. This procedure will ballpark the idle mixture. The best way to get the A/F ratio perfect is to use a meter from a company such as Comp Cams or Innovate.With the timing set, let the engine idle and turn each idle mixture screw about an eighth The last thing to do is set the idle. Make sure the choke is completely open so the throttle is not sitting on the fast-idle cam and turn the idle screw until the engine idles between 800 and 1,000 rpm. Cars with radical cams might like 1,000 to 1,200.The last thing to do is set the idle. Make sure the choke is completely open so the thrott For proper ring break-in, you should drive the car at varying engine speeds for about 500 miles. Then you can wail on it.For proper ring break-in, you should drive the car at varying engine speeds for about 500 SOURCES Autotronic Controls Corp. (MSD) El Paso TX 9-15/-857-5200 msdignition.com JMS Racing Engines 6-26/-357-2718 Edelbrock Dept. 5.0 2700 California St. Torrance CA 90503 310-781-2222 www.edelbrock.com TA Performance 16167 N. 81st St. Scottsdale AZ 85260 Holley Performance Products 1801 Russellville Rd. Bowling Green, KY 42101 KY 42101 270-782-2900 www.holley.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!