i don't know where to go from here my teacher brought in a old 80 vet that has been sitting for over 10 day changed the starter and cant get it to turn over what do i do

Asked by Oct 20, 2015 at 01:34 PM about the 1980 Chevrolet Corvette

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

60 Answers

37,965

Check the battery and connections which you should have done first.

56,825

Also check the neutral safety switch. Do you have any power? Lights, wipers, horn, etc.? HTH. -Jim

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20

It has power to the started I checked the wipers, head lights ,turn singnals ,and the fule pump works i took out all the fuses and realys gouig to replace them tomorrow and I meant to say 10 years not 10 days

Best Answer

Im the original poster by the way

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56,825

Ok, that's what I thought. Ten years. Remove the spark plugs and see if you can turn the engine by hand using the crankshaft pulley. If the engine won't turn by hand you'll need to pull the heads. Or fill the cylinders with Marvel's Mystery Oil and leave it sit for about 2 weeks. HTH. -Jim

I already removed the spark plugs and I will research the crankshaft pully because honestly I'm new to this I'm a body man and when my teacher bring it in I was the only one willing to do the job

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56,825

The crankshaft pulley is the big one at the bottom front of the engine. With the spark plugs out you should be able to turn it by hand. HTH. -Jim

I'll try Turing it tomorrow while I'm in the shop

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56,825

Sounds good. Keep us posted. -Jim

I definitely will this is th only site I actually had feedback from but if I can turn it by hand I still need to figure out why the starters not turning

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37,965

Also, when you changed the starter, was there 1 small wire? You have to get that wire on the correct post on the solenoid, if it is not it would be just like its dead. Small purple wire energizes the solenoid to engage the starter drive.

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Yeah I tried it on both the start post and ignition post neither turned it I know the two main wires that run to the solenoid have power when I tested it

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56,825

Once you determine if you can turn the engine, try a remote starter button. Your teacher can help you hook it up. That'll tell you if the starter is good. Then, especially if the car was stored outside, start checking the wiring for critter damage. This is going to be a step by step process to bring it back to life. Ten years is a long time for a car to sit. You'll have to clean the entire fuel system, check for compression, etc. Just take it one step at a time. The sound of it coming back to life will be very rewarding! HTH. -Jim

Thanks for this by the way but I know the starter is good I tested the old one with a battery charger the piston worked but it fails to turn so we got a new one tested and installed it so I know that it works

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And I dream about the sound of it coming back to life I might have a opportunity of owning it after its all said and done so step by step it is

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37,965

Good for you!

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56,825

Ok, that's good. So the starter is good. On to the next step. That's awesome about you possibly owning it!! Looking forward to hearing of your progress! -Jim

Unfortunately my teacher was not here today so didn't make any progress but i will keep yinz posted .

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56,825

Thanks for the update. Yes, please do. -Jim

Its not turning by hand

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37,965

Do not force it, need to work it back and forth with some Marvels Mystery Oil as Js08016 says, that should work good, try and use something to get the oil as far back into the cylinder as you can since the cylinders are on an angle, so as to let the oil get the back of the rings. The oil will run down to the low side of the piston. Don't worry about putting too much in as once it is free we'll be turning the engine over to get what ever excess out. Leave her sit...

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How would I get it in the cylinder .. Through the spark plugs?

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I used a breaker bar on it and got it to turn over the more I work it the smother it turns.

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56,825

As Rowefast said, don't force it! Yes, use a funnel and fill up the cylinders with Marvel's Mystery Oil. Leave it sit for about 2 weeks. In the mean time start checking out other things. Wiring, brake and fuel lines, you may even want to drop the gas tank now and start cleaning it. Clean out the fuel lines as well. Use the time (next 2 weeks) to start bringing the other systems (fuel, ignition, brakes, etc.) Up to par. Sounds like you're making good progress! HTH. -Jim

Honestly thank you for all the help I really appreciate it and I cleaned the file lines already and put new rotors and breaks on the front.

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56,825

You can also remove the valve covers and pour a quart of motor oil on each side of the valve train. This will help loosen up the upper engine (valve train). Since it's been sitting for 10 years you may be looking at a valve job anyhow. But let's try this first. HTH. -Jim

56,825

Awesome on the brake work! You're moving right along. You're welcome. Glad to be helping! -Jim

Yeah that was a fun job since their was rivits holding the rotors and hub together. Well thanks again I'll try everything out tomorrow and keeps yinz posted.

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56,825

Ok, sounds good. In addition to dropping and cleaning the gas tank, removing and cleaning the carburetor will be necessary as well. This car, assuming it's original, will have a Rochester Quadrajet. It's the most complex carburetor that was made with over 100 pieces. The good news is that it's not computer controlled. You'll want your teacher's help with this. You'll almost certainly have to replace the automatic choke coil. It has an electronic heater inside to make it open when it should. Those heaters always burned out! The choke wire only gets power from the oil pressure switch when the engine is running. Oil pressure turns on the heater. HTH. -Jim

37,965

Say David, how many miles are on this Vet? and how about taking a picture and put it on one of your next post?

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I'm honestly not sure how many miles I never looked I will tomorrow and how do you post a picture I actually tried eairler and couldn't figure it out.

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37,965

Well as far as the picture, I'll try, computers really not my thing, there is a Add photo button that is on the left bottom of your answer box, tap that, I think "browse" comes up, hit that, then I'm not sure. I will post a pic. of my motor & let you know.

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I'm using my phone I don't think the mobile version has it.

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37,965

I see, there should be a way, I only know my computer. Maybe Js08016 will know.

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I'll try to download a picture to the shop computer I don't have internet at home or I would do it now.

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56,825

Hi David. On your phone click on the menu for the site. Then click on view full site. You'll get the same screen on your phone as you do on the computer. Now take some pictures with your phone (I'm anxious to see your Vette too!). Come back to the thread here and click add photo. It'll ask which file you want. Choose camera. All the pictures in your phone will come up. Tap the picture of the car. Then click post your answer. You won't see the picture until it posts. Repeat for additional pictures. If you mess up (like me sometimes, lol) just click the icon at the upper right of your post and hit delete. Then try again. HTH. -Jim

56,825

David, I'm assuming that you're working in a high school auto shop class. Is that correct? If so, what year auto shop are you in? 1, 2, 3, or 4? How much shop time per week do you have to be able to work on the car hands on? Is this something you can devote most of your shop time on? Or is this more of a "fill in" job for when there's not much else to do? The reason I'm asking is I want to advise you the best I can for your situation. For example I'd never advise a first year student to rebuild an engine. But a fourth year student, with the teacher's guidance, and enough time, I would. See where I'm coming from? Do we have time to, say, drop the gas tank and clean it thoroughly? Or should we be moving things along a little faster? These are also things that you need to discuss with your teacher then let us know. Thanks in advance for the info. HTH. -Jim

My school is only a 3 year class I'm a senior I have 4 periods which is about 3 hours a day and all of my time is being devoted to the vet except around January is skills USA so I have too practice painting but o will be doing that along side the vet.

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37,965

Good morning David, Js08016 & I will direct you in the best utilization of time. We would like to here this thing run also! Now, did you put any type of oil in the cylinders before turning it over with the breaker bar? The oil gets put in threw the spark plug holes. Just need to be careful of not applying too much force. (worried about rings snapping & scoring of cylinder walls). Each day that you can, work that motor back & forth some, eventually it will all be free. If need be you can add trany fluid into the cylinders as this is a very high detergent oil, if Marvels gets too expensive. What is your game plan for today?

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56,825

Ok sounds good. If you don't have access to Marvel's Mystery Oil use automatic transmission fluid in the cylinders. Leave it sit for a day then start working the engine. Move the crankshaft by hand until you feel resistance. Then stop and turn it the other way. Keep doing this until you can get a full revolution. But remember, don't force it! Once you can get the engine to spin freely we can move on to check for compression. While your doing this, disconnect the fuel line going back to the gas tank and try to blow compressed air back through the line. You don't need a lot of pressure. About 10 PSI should be good. You'll want to replace the fuel pump while your there as well. The rubber diaphragm inside the pump is most definitely shot from sitting. Take photos before you start taking stuff apart. This will be a great help when you go to put things back together. HTH. -Jim

Here she is

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We moved her of off the lift to do some body work since we don't have the mavels mystery oil yet

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37,965

Oh, my, that car will keep you busy for years..ha! Now can you take the air filter off and get a good pic. of the carburetor? And remember, you can use trany fluid in the cylinders...

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37,965

Also is that a cross-fire injection? I had a Vet like that...Again, let us know how many miles are on it.

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48000 miles

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Carborated v8 small block

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56,825

WOW!! David, GREAT project car!! Love it!! Assume that it's 148,000 miles on it for now. It has a five digit odometer so when it hits 100,000 miles it, obviously, starts at 00000 again. Do you know if it's the V8 305 (5.0L) or the V8 350 (5.7L)? Check for the emissions decal under the hood. They're usually on the fan shroud. In the upper left corner of the decal you'll see "engine family" and the engine size. I believe that one of the characters in the vehicle identification number will tell us which engine you have. I'll have to dig out my '79 thru '85 book to see. Since it's a 1980 the vehicle identification number isn't standardised. That happened in '81. I'll see what I can come up with. Was the hood on it when it arrived at your shop? I can't wait to hear it roar to life as well! HTH. -Jim

The owner said it was original miles ,I will have to check on Monday and yes the hood was on it.

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56,825

Oh, ok. My mistake on the miles. That's good about the hood being on it too. More protection from the weather. Have you had a chance to inspect the wiring? Once you get the motor spinning we'll need to be able to crank it to do a compression test. If not by the ignition then with a remote starter button. Look at the pedals to confirm the mileage. If they're not worn much or at all it's safe to assume the mileage is original. Look for other tell tale signs such as original GM belts and hoses. It should have been tuned up at 30,000 miles so the plugs, wires, etc. may not be original. I believe I have the original Delco part number for the plugs. I'll look so we can compare it to what plugs were in it. Have you popped the distributor cap? What's it look like under there? Was there any coolant in the cooling system? Antifreeze? I'm assuming that the car was running when it was parked so we don't want to remove or move the distributor. Over the weekend you may want to visit your local public library and check out at least 1 repair manual that covers your car. This will be helpful. Either Chilton's or Motor's Manuals are good. Rowefast and I will do our best to help you get your Bette back to life again. This will be fun for all of us! HTH. - Jim

56,825

*Vette. My computer can't spell, lol! -Jim

I know the spark plugs were not original just for the fact they were ford plugs lol.

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56,825

Ok, that's good. We know it's been tuned up at least once. Once I dig out my old books I'll let you know what to check for to determine engine size. We'll need to know for ordering parts. I'll get on that this weekend. I'm off on Sunday so it'll be then. HTH. -Jim

Okay I'm going to try the library also.

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56,825

Ok, good deal. -Jim

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I work for NAPA and there's a local Chevy Dealer that we sometimes deal with. We were slow yesterday afternoon so I had a chance to call their parts counter. You need to look at the fifth character of the vehicle identification number for the engine size. The letter H is the V8 305 (5.0L). If you have the letter L, the number 6, or the number 8 in that position you have the V8 350 (5.7L). Since this dealer has been there since 1972 I asked if they'd look for a shop manual for this car. The parts guy who I talked with is going to let me know if they still have one laying around. A shop manual will tell us everything about this specific car. Including wiring diagrams, etc. If you can, please post a picture of the spark plugs. By looking at the tips of the plugs we can get some idea of how it was running when it was parked. Greyish brown is normal. Black is too rich. White is too lean. Do you know if the last owner is the one who had the car when it was parked? The reason I ask is if the car was parked, then sold to someone else, the someone else most likely did "things" to it to try to get it running. Therefore our assessment of the spark plugs and other stuff might not be 100% accurate. We'll be able to get an idea of what's been done though. So, tomorrow put some transmission fluid in the cylinders. Inspect the wiring in the engine compartment and under the dash near the steering column. See if you have power to the ignition coil. Use a 12 volt DC test light or 12 volt DC test meter and turn on the ignition. Don't try to crank it yet! Now use your test light or meter and see if you have power at the ignition coil. When inspecting the wiring be gentle. This stuff is old and may be delicate. Critter damage will be pretty evident. If there is critter damage I'm hopeful we can get that shop manual with the wiring diagrams to make the repairs. Keep us posted. HTH. -Jim

Update .... I replaced all fuses and relays and checking the wiring and I got the car to start today but I had to by pass the ignition by conecting the solenoid and other other post with a screw driver

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56,825

Awesome David, thanks for the update!! How'd she run? I have that shop manual so if you need wiring diagrams I can post them. Is it a stick or automatic? With a stick the clutch must be pushed in to start it using the ignition. If it's an automatic, try moving the shifter through all the gears a few times. The neutral safety switch may be corroded a little. I found out that, unless this car was originally delivered to California, it has the V8 350 (5.7L) in it. I'm very happy for you!! You should be very proud of yourself!! HTH. -Jim

37,965

Right on! David.!!!

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So i have been trying to take out and replace the ignition switch took the column down to the switch and took the c clamp holding it and it still wont come out am i missing something

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56,825

I think you're looking at the neutral safety switch. The ignition switch, shown below, courtesy of rockauto.com, is on the lower right side of the steering column. It's held in place by 2 bolts along with the headlight dimmer switch (on the left). To get to it you must first lower the steering column assembly. From there it's just a matter of unplugging the electrical connector, then unbolt the switch, unhook the small rod that goes up to the lock cylinder, and it should come right out. I'll post pictures from the shop manual later if you'd like. HTH. -Jim

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