Spark plug wires not long enough - 68 Newport 383

Carmine

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For future consideration:it’s never a bad idea to install electronic ignition , it will save you a lot time in tune ups . Here is a pic from another thread with the cost. View attachment 228022

Yes, because we all know swapping in a repop system is never a bad idea, and couldn't possibly cause a problem, especially for someone without familiarity.



Someone please explain to me exactly why an otherwise stock low-revving BB cruise car needs a new ignition system? Especially when so many new units are suspect? At least it made some sense when my PO removed the Leanburn.
 
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MarPar

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Dont forget the ballast resistor once you convert over to electronic
 

stubs300

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He said he wanted to do a tune up, that involves spending some money. He may want to upgrade to elec. ignig, the dist and points could be part of the problem, but that's not the point. Baby steps here! I've had good luck with NAPA's wires in the past. Get it runnin good then report back. Good Luck
 

The Goose

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“Some days when I haven't started it often it takes more cranks than I would prefer to start it. So long story short I just want the...”

Hey bud that’s normal for a car with a carb. You drive it all the time and starts first crank. If it sits for a while it needs to pump some juice to the dryed up carb. The crummy new gas evaporates pretty fast.

If you’d like to test this let it sit a few days or a week and then pull the air cleaner and pump the carb with the arm while looking down into it. KEY OFF and nobody near it !!!! See if it’s squirting fuel it’ll be pretty obvious if it is or not. This extra pumping or cranking to start is just part of living with a 50 year old car. Good luck man.

PS 99% of the problem at a parts store is the dude behind the counter. If you can look it up yourself online first do it and save yourself big hassles.
 

Davea Lux

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As with most performance related issues, do the easy stuff first: points, cap, condenser, rotor, plugs and wires, be sure the timing, plugs and points are properly set. Check the condition of the air filter, if it is dirty change it. Farting or hesitation when mashing the throttle suggests that the accelerator pump may need to be replaced, moonshine blend gasoline is very hard on accelerator pumps and carb floats, so it will be no great surprise if you need to rebuild the carb. Check the linkage position for the accelerator pump, it should be in the middle hole. Check the heat riser to be sure that it is not stuck shut. If this engine was rebuilt at some point, it should have a metal timing gear installed, but to be on the safe side, it would be a good idea to check it. Line up the timing mark at TDC, have a helper with a breaker bar and socket on the bolt for the harmonic balancer rotate the crank shaft back and forth until the distributor rotor starts to move. Up to 12 degrees of free play is ok, at 15 degrees the timing chain is out of spec and should be replaced. At 20-25 degrees, the chain is at the point of failure. Unexplained changes in engine timing is an early indicator of a bad timing chain.

Dave
 

70bigblockdodge

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As with most performance related issues, do the easy stuff first: points, cap, condenser, rotor, plugs and wires, be sure the timing, plugs and points are properly set. Check the condition of the air filter, if it is dirty change it. Farting or hesitation when mashing the throttle suggests that the accelerator pump may need to be replaced, moonshine blend gasoline is very hard on accelerator pumps and carb floats, so it will be no great surprise if you need to rebuild the carb. Check the linkage position for the accelerator pump, it should be in the middle hole. Check the heat riser to be sure that it is not stuck shut. If this engine was rebuilt at some point, it should have a metal timing gear installed, but to be on the safe side, it would be a good idea to check it. Line up the timing mark at TDC, have a helper with a breaker bar and socket on the bolt for the harmonic balancer rotate the crank shaft back and forth until the distributor rotor starts to move. Up to 12 degrees of free play is ok, at 15 degrees the timing chain is out of spec and should be replaced. At 20-25 degrees, the chain is at the point of failure. Unexplained changes in engine timing is an early indicator of a bad timing chain.

Dave
Pffffft.
The hell with that crap. Let's get started on those airbags.
 

Biggredd2069

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I know that's normal for a 50 yr old carb'd vehicle to take a lot of cranks after not starting a while. I don't have unreasonable expectations on that. Just wanna do what I can in general to minimize it to start better , but also run better in general.

The air cleaner is good, the spark plugs are new. Will get the new wires soon. Will get checking on the accelerator pump this weekend. I'll have my buddy help check that timing position. Think those are good places to start.

Or I could just keep it crappy and get started on my 4 link conversion and air bag suspension.:thumbsup::popcorn:
 

The Goose

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Hey Dave,

Not to get off topic but what do you think is better in a pump for this new crappy fuel the old leather kind or rubber. Figured you could school us on this.
 

Davea Lux

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Hey Dave,

Not to get off topic but what do you think is better in a pump for this new crappy fuel the old leather kind or rubber. Figured you could school us on this.

Most of the modern kits have a rubber compound that is supposed to be blended fuel resistant, so that is what I have been using. I would also suggest if the vehicle is going to be stored over winter that the fuel line be unhooked to the fuel pump and a small container of "real gas" be ran thru the fuel pump and carb. Real gas evaporates more or less cleanly and does not leave all that white gunk all over everything, that saves a lot of problems down the road. I got so disgusted with the blended fuels that I quit using them all together for anything that needs to be stored. A fuel additive such as "Stabil" also helps.

Dave
 
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Davea Lux

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Have a 68 Chrysler Newport with 383. I bought a new set of spark plug wires recently from the local auto store. I went to install them starting with the longest wire to the furthest spark plug and one by one started making my way in. I got to the 4th wire and realized following the path of the previous wires they weren't long enough. Tried messing around with just running them straight to the distributor and not worrying about how they routed and still seemed uncomfortably short. The auto store called in like 3 or 4 different styles and we measured what I originally bought to the other packs with non being any longer. So I ended up returning them altogether. Would really like to get those going but not sure where to start to make sure their long enough.

Also, I have a new set of points and a distributor cap. In the meantime of getting the new points in is it worthwhile or advisable to put in a fresh cap or just wait and do it all at once?

Electronic Ignition is a good addition for a regular use daily driver. Keep in mind though that the quality of the installation is everything on these systems. Trash bins are littered with dead ECM units because the wiring hookups were poorly done. The other issue is that many of the after market systems are Chi-Com knockoffs and the quality the their systems is universally crap. Also keep in mind that mechanical voltage regulators can not be used with electronic ignition, so the charging system must also be upgraded. Also keep in mind that clean grounds are also essential to a properly functioning ECM and electronic charging system. Poor grounding also kills a lot of ECM units and voltage regulators. If you are going to use electronic ignition I would suggest going to one of the Mopar OEM conversions as they are generally more reliable than any of the others. Most of the time, I find it more practical to throw a spare condenser and point set in the glove box (inside a zip lock!) and just drive. That is an easy fix out on the road, a failed electronic component, no so much so.

Dave
 

theadmiral

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To double down on the 'gas' argument -- carburetors are not designed to deal with today's gas. I try and minimize the effect of gas on my tune by always going to the same station and always buying premium. It probably doesn't make a huge difference, but it's one less variable.

You should also look at pertronix -- which is electronic ignition for your existing distributor. The nice part is that you keep the stock appearance.

Jeff
 

Carmine

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, do the easy stuff first: points, cap, condenser, rotor, plugs and wires,

Why? Not that I care anymore, but purely for academic curiosity... Nothing he mentions as a symptom would have anything to do with these parts.

Far more likely (and at zero cost) the very first thing to look at is how well the pump nozzles are atomizing fuel.

How do you condemn a bunch of parts that could very well be premium stuff with 1000 miles on it? They could will get replaced with a bunch of the same Autozone shitte everybody complains about, and if it IS the accel pump (hell, it could just be the pump travel) all you did was shitcan a bunch of good parts and introduced a whole bunch of new potential problems.

Everybody wants to be the hero I guess? I had an absolute no-start weird problem and solved it for $0.00 because I actually diagnosed it.

Have fun. I'm going to buy some AZO stock.
 

HWYCRZR

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Thanks for that video. I'll do it tomorrow. As for the wires I was only asking for advice on getting proper length, no assumption that it is wires causing me issues. Its just one thing I want to update regardless of the acceleration issue. Just an overall tune up.

LS Swap. Not sure why I didn't think of that sooner. lol
As to your original post the wire lengths changed mid 68.
On January 1 1968 the emissions standards changed as did some of the routings of the plug wires. I found that if built before January 1968, the 67 wires fit better. (August ‘67 build).
I ordered some later 67 date coded wires, that wouldn’t quite route correctly Q2 67 routed perfectly.
This is my experience with ‘68 wires.
 

Turboomni

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There is no reason to think that points can not work well. I was ready to "upgrade" to Pertronix etc. But then I thought if points suck so bad how come many used them [had to] with with good results for many years? I did reasearch and refreshed my knowlege of the points /vac ,mechanical advance,base timing and found the car was not set up correctly. Long story short with a healthy engine ,carb ,and the correct points and advance setup the car ran so well I felt I didn't need or want an electronic ignition. I will say I don't mind installing a new set of points once a year and resetting them after some miles. If you dont want to deal with that then electronic ignition would be the cure. My 440 runs like a top.
 

pomonamissel

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i always use cut to fit
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CBODY67

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I understand the orientation of "ignition system" stuff, just for general principles, if nothing else. That rules out some things as to the ultimate fix, in the process.

I always have bought pre-terminated plug wires. They might take a little finageling to get them into the looms, but generally not much. Many companies will combine applications, over time, to reduce their inventory, by observation.

On the spark plugs, did you check/adjust the plug gap prior to installation? Many claim the plugs are pre-gapped, but I've always used my own gap gauge to ensure they are correct when I install them. The coil might be weak, too, but I've changed coils and nothing changes, if things are working fine as is. I've also observed that even an OEM-spec ACDelco coil is a more universal off-shore item, rather than having the correct markings and such as the original coils did. It it runs, the coil is probably good enough.

Rather than chunking parts, it's always better to do some looking around to get an idea of where the problem might be! IF the issue is "off-idle" from a stop sign, that's most probably an accel pump issue. As mentioned, check for a strong and full pump shot into the primary throttle bores of the carb. It should start almost immediately from when the accel linkage is moved.

Many of the "old timers" (in another forum) like the leather pump cups better as the new fuel doesn't degrade them quite so much as it does the neoprene ones.

If the car hasn't been run in a while, you might well discover that the fuel pump diaphragm will start to seep out of the "weep hole" in the pump body. Even with an ethanol-resistant pump diaphragm, if the car sits long enough for the fuel lines to dry out, and the pump diaphragm to do similar, then the pump diaphragm can become brittle and fail when the car is started/used again. SO, put that on your shopping list. An OEM spec/application pump is all you need. Make sure it matches what's on there, as to location of the fuel inlet and outlet line positions.

As to "crank time", that's a variable situation. Back when these cars were just "used cars", some started "easier" than others did. Usually, though, IF you follow the recommended starting procedure (as stated in the owner's manual, depressing the accel pedal about 1/3 down before you start to crank the engine, holding it there until the engine starts), it will generally start quicker and more reliably. As you get more acquainted with the car and what it "likes", you might make some minor alterations to this procedure.

The 1/3 throttle does several things. It "sets" the automatic choke for the initial start. When the engine starts, the choke pull-off will open the choke plate so the engine can stay running. AND it puts an accel pump shot into the manifold runners to help get the engine started. Do NOT pump the throttle, until you are acquainted enough to know that it needs it! You want just enough additional fuel in the manifold to get the engine started, as more can be too much and flood the engine, or be too rich of a composite mixture for the plugs to fire-off as they should.

IF you read the diagnostic "trees" in many repair manuals, a lot of what's in those lists can be "worst case scenarios", by observation. Points, condenser, cap, rotor, wires, plugs, etc., are all in there, plus the timing chain and such. BUT if the car was starting and running decently well, a LOT of those things are generally working well enough for it to start and run. In many cases, the newer parts can be WORSE then the ones you're replacing! Caps and rotors don't wear out, but they do get accumulations of stuff on their inside terminals, which can be removed with a flat-blade screw driver. Same on the rotor top. I've done that many times, and it didn't really make any difference in how the cars performed! Points are "wear items" and have a definite life use, especially provided that the rubbing block on the points has some "point lube" grease put on it when the points are installed. Otherwise, the rubbing block wears and the point adjustment changes! But with the grease, the points can last about 20K miles or more, from my own observations.

ONCE you get the engine running reliably and strong, then do an oil change and start to watch the oil level vs. mileage to check the oil consumption. A quart every 3000 miles would be great. A quart every 1000 miles, not so good, fur within specs for back then. This would be using 10W-30, 10W-40, or straight 30 viscosity oils. With the modern base-stock oils, no real need to go heavier unless there's a specific reason for doing so.

Use a Dexron III-type ATF in the trans. Chrysler or GM-specific power steering fluid in the steering, NOT any ATF, as it'll cause seeps from the hoses and seals, from my own experiences. Change the rear axle fluid for general principles, too.

You can "chunk parts" at a car, spend a lot of money, and NOT fix any problems it might have! Then you can complain that you spent all of this, put all of "that" on, and it still runs poorly. UNLESS you happen to get lucky in the process. But you'll have the "comfort" of knowing what's been changed.

Simple, cheap, easier things first. Spend sparingly, if possible. Remember that a fuel system problem can have the same performance issues as an ignition system problem. Gotta have "fuel and fire" to make things happen. Then steering and brakes to modulate "things which have happened".

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

CBODY67

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Sometimes, you have to use "cut to fit" customized plug wire sets. Especially with headers and such that interfere with the OEM routing of the wires. Level of execution in doing the crimps can be KEY, though. I know that Accel used to have a crimping tool to do this with, but it all seemed to be too much work for me on a stock engine that I could buy a good set of ready-made wires for. Be that as it may!

CBODY67
 

Davea Lux

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Why? Not that I care anymore, but purely for academic curiosity... Nothing he mentions as a symptom would have anything to do with these parts.

Far more likely (and at zero cost) the very first thing to look at is how well the pump nozzles are atomizing fuel.

How do you condemn a bunch of parts that could very well be premium stuff with 1000 miles on it? They could will get replaced with a bunch of the same Autozone shitte everybody complains about, and if it IS the accel pump (hell, it could just be the pump travel) all you did was shitcan a bunch of good parts and introduced a whole bunch of new potential problems.

Everybody wants to be the hero I guess? I had an absolute no-start weird problem and solved it for $0.00 because I actually diagnosed it.

Have fun. I'm going to buy some AZO stock.

Note: OP had already decided to do a tune up. Weak spark from corroded or improperly set ignition components would cause issues under full load such as when the throttle is mashed. Agree that tossing parts at a vehicle is a poor diagnostic tool. If it were mine, I would have run a resistance test on the points as well as a dwell check first but as these components have likely already been replaced we are past that now.

Dave
 
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