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Old 06-02-2018, 03:46 PM   #1
JWhite
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Question '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Hello Guys,
Hoping I can get some help with my scout that I picked up a few weeks ago. Its a 345 V8 w/ 4spd, when I bought the truck is ran well and was able to drive it home. Last Monday and Tuesday I actually drove the truck to work and everything seemed fine. Then I went to start it Thursday afternoon and it fired right up. As I was backing out of my driveway the truck just died. No sputtering or weird noises, just stopped. I tried to get it to start a few times and then gave up. Today I found that the fuel tank canister had leaked all over the place and I am not 100% sure what that would mean (any help?). I also replaced the 12V battery because it was cranking really low, but other than that and replacing the front dampers, I have not done anything since I bought it. I have been having some issues with the fuel gauge being inaccurate, but I have confirmed that fuel is getting shot from the carb and the tank has roughly 10gal sitting in it. Currently, the starter works and the engine turns over, but after that I just get nothing. I am very new with working on my own cars, but any advice or troubleshooting would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Josh

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Old 06-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #2
Scoutboy74
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Sorry no one got to you before this. I usually try to cruise through here at least once a day, but I didn't notice this post until just now. Someone went to some trouble to repaint that engine recently. It appears to have an OEM design Holley model 2300 carb, which wouldn't be original to that engine. If in decent condition, it would be an improvement over the original carb though. Whats with all the moisture/drips near the bottom of the engine as seen in one of the last pics? Is it coolant? Is it fuel? Is it urine? What the heck is it and why is it there?
Three things form the internal combustion pyramid. Air, fuel and spark. If any one of those is missing from the equation, the engine won't run. Air is pretty much a given. You've seen fuel squirting in the carb when you blip the throttle. Process of elimination is casting suspicion towards a spark problem. What tools do you have at your disposal?
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Coal Trickle - '99 Dodge Ram 2500 Q-Cab SWB 4x4 - 5.9L 24V CTD/NV4500
Hooty - '74 SII - 392/TF727/D20/3.73 D44's/Spartan FA/Krac-lok RA/RC 4" SUA/34x10.5 TSLs/33g Fuel/HFT 8k winch
Mongo - '71 1210 Std Cab 2WD - 345/TF727/RA17 D60 4.10 Trac-lok - "Mongo love candy! Duh, huh, huh!"
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:00 AM   #3
JWhite
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Scoutboy,
No worries, thanks for the reply!

So the PO had the truck for 2 years and he had originally bought it from the shop, Super Scout Specialists in Ohio. He said that they went through and rebuilt the top-end of the engine along with a rust prevention coating on the underbody. So I imagine they are the ones that replaced the carb. The carb seems to be in great condition and I have had no issues in the past few weeks up till now.

The liquid in the photos, especially on the fuel pump is just water. I believe I had over filled the gas tank and some of the fuel purged to the vapor canister. When it did that, it leaked all over the place, so I had to hose that off and the inner fender/driveway. Before this, there have been no major drips, just the occasional oil drip (but I have new oil and an oil pan gas gasket to hopefully replace once it is running again).

So you say air, spark, and fuel...air is simple with the carb, so we are good and I have confirmed the fuel lines and that the carb is squirting. So that leaves spark. I had checked the ignition coil and found the + to - resistance to be 1.5 ohms and the + to main to be 9.42k ohms. Based on what I have read, these seem to be good values. Just in case I picked up a BWD coil and tried that and no dice. Next I made sure that all of the plug wires were good and they are. Lastly, I replaced all the spark plugs and found that the gaps were all over the place from 0.020 to 0.045. So I gapped all the new plugs to 0.040. I have not yet checked to make sure the plugs spark when the engine is turned over, but I will this afternoon (this will confirm the distributer is good, right?)

Tool wise, I have the typical drivers and sockets, a multimeter, impact gun, torque wrench, and a few others here and there. I believe these are all I would need to repair 95% of the vehicle, haha.
Thanks,
Josh

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Old 06-06-2018, 09:05 AM   #4
Hondo
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Those plugs are pretty wet, so Scoutboy is dead on with checking to make sure you are getting spark. Might want to check the point gap while you are at it, the block that rubs on the distributor cam lobes looks pretty worn down. The Pertronix Ignitor modules to replace the points are a godsend you might want to try. Jeff has them in the store, Just have to determine which distributor you have.
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1975 Scout II healthy 258, Wide T19 , 4:1 D300 3:54s,
1972 Real clean stock Scout II P/S, P/B, 345, T18, 3:73s
1969 Mach I. Balanced ported 351W, 650 double pumper, Super T10, Detroit locker with 4.11s. Lowered with racing springs, bars, Konis etc.
(Don't worry about getting arrested when I drive the Scouts).
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:54 AM   #5
Scoutboy74
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Alrighty then. You're well along on the diagnostic process. You can take the big lead from the coil off the distributor end and position it so the electrode has an air gap to ground. Starter cranking should show a nice blue spark able to jump a quarter inch or better gap. If that checks, you can do the same for a random plug wire.
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Favorite hobby...Driving Salma Hayek in my Scout

Coal Trickle - '99 Dodge Ram 2500 Q-Cab SWB 4x4 - 5.9L 24V CTD/NV4500
Hooty - '74 SII - 392/TF727/D20/3.73 D44's/Spartan FA/Krac-lok RA/RC 4" SUA/34x10.5 TSLs/33g Fuel/HFT 8k winch
Mongo - '71 1210 Std Cab 2WD - 345/TF727/RA17 D60 4.10 Trac-lok - "Mongo love candy! Duh, huh, huh!"
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:23 PM   #6
JWhite
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Thanks for the comments. I did grab a buddy to crank over the ignition and I got a spark from the inlet coil plug and also the spark plug. Neither of them were blue like you said, but both sparked! At this point is it worth changing over to the Pertronix unit as a fail safe? If so, (this might be a stupid question) but how do I determine which distributer I have?

As for the plugs being wet, what could cause this? I imagine too much oil in the engine or possibly oil and fuel mixing. I am going out of town for the next 4 days, but would it be worth changing the oil and making sure there is no fuel or other gunk in it? I already have the supplies and a new oil pan gasket, but I was going to wait until the end of the summer.

Lastly, I realize this would not have been the root cause of the issue, but could the engine be flooded with fuel at this point, causing it not to start? If so, would an oil change help this? I would think I would only be able to tell if I took the heads off and actually looked into the cylinders...thoughts?
Thanks,
Josh
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:47 PM   #7
Hondo
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

If that is gas on the plugs, I would say it is probably flooded, should be able to tell by smelling them. Changing the oil won't help. Pulling all the plugs and letting the cylinders dry out might help. Don't know if you can actually pull gas through the vapor canister from the gas tank into the intake manifold, but it is connected to both. That would be one way to flood it, another is not enough spark to light off the air fuel mixture.
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1975 Scout II healthy 258, Wide T19 , 4:1 D300 3:54s,
1972 Real clean stock Scout II P/S, P/B, 345, T18, 3:73s
1969 Mach I. Balanced ported 351W, 650 double pumper, Super T10, Detroit locker with 4.11s. Lowered with racing springs, bars, Konis etc.
(Don't worry about getting arrested when I drive the Scouts).
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:39 PM   #8
Scoutboy74
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

That's a Holley curved points distributor. The most common variation. Keep a close eye on your oil dipstick level. If it looks like you suddenly have a higher level in the crankcase and it smells of fuel, then you first need to determine how the fuel is getting in there (carb related issue), then you need to stop it from happening any further. Then you need to drain the oil and refill with fresh. And all of that happens before you drive it any more. Fuel diluted oil does not lubricate critical wear surfaces adequately.
I suggest that you buy, install and properly gap a new set of points and condenser to see if that pumps up your spark making ability. Get good quality though. Not chinee crap.
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Favorite hobby...Driving Salma Hayek in my Scout

Coal Trickle - '99 Dodge Ram 2500 Q-Cab SWB 4x4 - 5.9L 24V CTD/NV4500
Hooty - '74 SII - 392/TF727/D20/3.73 D44's/Spartan FA/Krac-lok RA/RC 4" SUA/34x10.5 TSLs/33g Fuel/HFT 8k winch
Mongo - '71 1210 Std Cab 2WD - 345/TF727/RA17 D60 4.10 Trac-lok - "Mongo love candy! Duh, huh, huh!"
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:20 AM   #9
Hondo
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

You might also want to check out what is going on over near the firewall bulkhead connectors by the heater box. Looks like someone got creative over there and added a ballast resistor. I'd follow the wire back from the coil and make sure everything they added in is good and tight. There is normally a special resistor wire from the ignition switch so you don't need a ballast resistor. Just an FYI, those bulkhead connectors are also notorious for causing electrical issues.
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1975 Scout II healthy 258, Wide T19 , 4:1 D300 3:54s,
1972 Real clean stock Scout II P/S, P/B, 345, T18, 3:73s
1969 Mach I. Balanced ported 351W, 650 double pumper, Super T10, Detroit locker with 4.11s. Lowered with racing springs, bars, Konis etc.
(Don't worry about getting arrested when I drive the Scouts).
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:23 AM   #10
JWhite
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Ok, so the plugs did smell like they had fuel on them and when I checked the oil earlier in the week, the paper towel smelled of fuel after.

How should I go about finding the carb issue? Start by removing it and replacing the gasket?

As for the points and condenser, is it worth just upgrading to the Pertronix unit now or should I replace the points/condenser and get it running before doing the swap? I have read the the electronic ignition is A LOT easier to setup and takes much of the guess work out of gapping and such.

I will check the bulkhead connectors once I get back, but it does seem like somebody went to town with the wire harness.
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Old 06-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #11
JWhite
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

Hey Guys,
I wanted to give everyone an update. So I am still not 100% sure what the issue is, but from the last post I had to wait an extra 2 weeks before I could continue.

So the scout runs! Actually a little better than before. I ordered new points + condenser, distributor cap + rotor, new belts, oil pan gasket, and a new coil pack. I only ended up doing an oil change and replacing the distributor cap + rotor and then the truck started right up! I am continuing to monitor the vehicle, but I do not know how the oil change and cap replacement could just fix this.
Thanks for the advice!
-Josh
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:57 AM   #12
Mochamike
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Default Re: '73 Scout 2 - 345 will not start

It's your cap & distributor.

Lack of spark resulted in too much fuel.

Monitor carb, oil & plugs for too much fuel in the future.
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