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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North of Boston, MA
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3.2 SS Full Rebuilt But Won't Start... I Am At Wits End

Hi, I have been working on my fully rebuilt 3.2ss in my 82 SC for almost 3 years. I cannot get the thing to start. I crank and crank and crank and get nothing (following Wayne's guidlines).

- I have spark (new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, etc)
- Fuel pump runs (turn to "on" lift the CIS gizmo and it starts right up)
- New battery
- 1/4 tank of fresh gas
- I even tried a liberal amount of starter fluid

I have been troubleshooting this and trying to get it started for about 2 months now (one to two nights per week). I am at a loss here. Can anyone let me know something that they think that I forgot? If not does anyone want a 3.2 SS with no miles for parts?

Thanks,
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Tim Looney
'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-11-2006, 08:12 PM
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Are you getting fuel? Pull one injector and reach under your airbox and push up on the plunger and see if any fuel comes out of the injector.

Cheers
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997 S 4.0, Cayman S 3.8, Boxster 2.7, Boxster S race car, 996, 955 Cayenne TT, 958 Cayenne TT
Old 02-11-2006, 08:17 PM
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Yup, got plenty of fuel. Pulled one injector and thar she blows.
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-11-2006, 08:21 PM
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HMmmmmmmmmm, you have spark and fuel? And no start? Double check (witch you probably have done) spark plug wire routing (SC dizzy turns backwards) and plug gap. After that check the cam timming agian I guess. After that , I don't know.

Cheers
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:34 PM
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Tim,
Three years work huh. Don't let no stinking failure to start discourage you.
You've shown there is fuel. So what could be missing?
One of only two things, well maybe three.
1. Spark. Pull a plug, connect it up and check for spark while someone else cranks the motor.
2. Compression. Not likely with a fresh rebuild.
3. Timing of the spark. So you got spark, right. This is whats left. Real common to have the distributor off 180 degrees.
Check for the compression stroke at number one.
Just because it is at TDC on the crank, doesn't mean it is the compression stroke.
Once you are SURE number one is at compression TDC, check the rotor position. Should be pointing at about 1 o clock. There is a small notch in the edge of the distributor.
Now double check the cap. Sit the cap on the distributor. At 1 o'clock on the cap should be the wire going to number one.
One last check, not mentioned above. With the distibutor cap off, rotate the motor CLOCKWISE just a little, to verify the direction the rotor turns.
If the rotor turns clockwise, the next wire should be going to number 6.
If the rotor turns counterclockwise the next wire should be number 6.
I don't remember which direction your rotor turns, so find out and double check the wiring order. 1-6-2-4-3-5.
With a plug out get the feel how the connector clicks onto the plug. You may have to press them on harder.
It will go when you get the spark at compression with fuel.
Yeah I know sounds so simple.
Have fun.
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DOUG
'76 911S 2.7, webers, solex cams, JE pistons, '74 exhaust, 23 & 28 torsion bars, 930 calipers & rotors, Hoosiers on 8's & 9's.
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:36 PM
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Pull your top valve cover and follow the intake valve around to #1 and make sure your cams are not 180 off, it happened to me, a quick compression check will also tell you..
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:07 AM
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Can't remember if it's a removable part on your model, but the large starter ring gear is installed on the flywheel...right? In other words the starter would spin and spin without actually turning the engine. I've heard of this being forgotten more than a few times. Especially hard to diagnose if you're working alone and not actually looking at the engine while it's trying to turn over.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:51 AM
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Ok, I ran a compression check at #3 (because it was the easiest to reach). It reads 130 psi. So that means the cams are right. I am going to double check the position of the dizzy now.
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-12-2006, 10:38 AM
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What P&C's? 9.5 to 1 if so with the intake open you should be around 170/180?
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:53 AM
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They are 98mm J&Es that were measured around 9.5:1. I did not remove the other plugs, it was just a quick way of seeing if it had anything in there. I was going to check another cylinder but the adapter got stuck down the spark plug hole. I have not figured out how to get it out without pulling a valve cover.
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'82 911 SC - sold....

Last edited by timlooney; 02-12-2006 at 11:28 AM..
Old 02-12-2006, 10:59 AM
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130 on a brand new, never run motor is in the range, especially if he has a little more cam than the stock SC profile. Not sure if he opened the throttle either while doing it.

Keep us posted!
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:23 AM
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Nope I didn't open the throttle. The cams are a 964 grind also new.
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-12-2006, 11:29 AM
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Ok guys, I found it (thank you). The dizzy is off 180 degrees. Now when I line it up I cant seem to get the rotor to line up with the notch at the middle of the adjustment. Which side is it best to have the adjustment on?
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-13-2006, 06:41 PM
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turning the distributor body will line up the notch to the rotor. it's just a starting point, by eyeball, then you run it and set the timing properly.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:54 PM
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Hi JW,

I can line it up in one of two ways:

1. with the adjustment almost all the way clockwise
2. with the adjustment almost all the way counter-clockwise.

Which way is best?
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-13-2006, 06:58 PM
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Are you sure you are on the right marks on the pulley. Snap us a photo and post so we can see excactly what you are facing!

Glad it is almost sorted!!

Cheers
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997 S 4.0, Cayman S 3.8, Boxster 2.7, Boxster S race car, 996, 955 Cayenne TT, 958 Cayenne TT
Old 02-13-2006, 08:12 PM
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Well I tried it and it didn't work. I guessed and either I was wrong or there is still something else (I am seeing a pattern here). I double checked the spark and you can clearly smell fuel. I am sure that I had the right marks on the pulley I saw them clearly with my light/mirror (it was marked with a paint pencil while it was apart). Putting the thing at TDC was a pain, it does not like to be moved with the fan belt (even with the plugs out). Maybe there is an underlying mechanical problem with the lower end? It turns over fine but who knows at this stage I am opened for any suggestions.

I am done for tonight I have to do that whole work thing tomorrow. I don't have a camera handy but maybe sometime this week. I don't even want to look at it anymore.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:30 PM
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Tim,
Where North of Boston are you ? I live in Arlington and would be happy to put some fresh eyes on it,
Dave
Old 02-13-2006, 11:31 PM
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Hi Dave, I live in Tyngsboro which is about 30 miles from Arlington. I am going try the dizzy again sometime this week, I will let you know how it goes.
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'82 911 SC - sold....
Old 02-14-2006, 06:01 AM
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it may be flooded by now, so check/dry the plugs.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:14 AM
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