351m spark and fuel, no start


Asked by Disgruntled78 Dec 18, 2019 at 10:18 AM about the 1978 Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So I bought a 78 F150 from a guy who had put
some aftermarket carb, distributor on the 351M in
it. I have checked and it does have spark and gets
plenty of fuel, but all it does is turn over, no
"popping" or even tring to start, I'm BAFFLED!

4 Answers


Does a shot of starting fluid give you anything? How is the timing? I would check timing and the advance.

2 people found this helpful.

I would if I even had a clue how, I build houses, I know just enough about mechanics to get myself in trouble! I have messed with "timing" some by moving distributor back and fourth by very little, nothing ever changed....

1 people found this helpful.

If it is the timing, turning it "a little" might not be enough. Mark where the dist cap is now. Then point the #1 cylinder lead at the #1 cylinder. Then try starting the engine, while rotating the cap in both directions about the distance between two posts on the cap. If that does not get it ti kick, take it to a shop and let them validate the timing for you.


I assume you bought the vehicle in a non running condition,correct?? If yes,did the po say it ran before he replaced the intake and carb?? If yes,its highly likely he dropped the distributor in the block in the wrong position.I would at least pull the #1 plug & manually rotate the crank til you get the #1 piston at tdc on the compression stroke and check the rotor & balancer position to make sure they're correct,so that it verifies the distributor is indexed correctly.If the distributor and timing are correct,move to the next possibility. I have heard of no start issues being caused by an alternator wire on your specific year/make/model/engine/ so I would at minimum check this wire out to at least rule it out.The wire runs from your solenoid to the alternator & it has a fusible link on it that has been known to blow.Maybe try locating this wire/link & test it to make sure its not blown.If you disconnect the harness from the alternator,which has this wire,and remove the other end of the wire from the solenoid,you can set a multimeter dial to the ohms scale then touch your meter leads to the wire ends & take a reading.It should read 1.0 ohm or less.If it shows OL or a high reading,the fusible link is blown or the wire is open.Repair/ replace as necessary. 4 things are required for the engine to run.Air,fuel,spark & compression so make sure you've got all 4.

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