1993 Chevy 350 5.7 V8 New Engine Won't Start


Asked by Feb 17, 2014 at 07:18 PM about the Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just bought a new engine from JEGS because the old one would not start and had over
300k miles on it :). The new engine is the exact same engine as the original.

Installed engine and everything is hooked up correctly

Performed the following to try to get it started:
1. Set timing manually multiple times, removed spark plug from cylinder 1 put finger over
hole and had someone slowly crank the engine until air blew out the hole. I then inserted
a straw and manually turned the engine clockwise until the piston was fully up and the
timing Mark was at TDC.
2. Installed the new distributor (including new ignition module) pointing at approximately 5
o'clock and in the general direction of cylinder 1.
3. Installed cap and ensured the distributor was pointer at the terminal for cylinder 1.
4. Replaced coil, thought this might be the issue.
5. Verified the two injectors (TBI) are squirting fuel.
6. Reinstalled the plug for cylinder 1.
7. I verified there is spark at each spark plug by removing them and grounding them to
the engine.
8. Tried to retard and advance the rotor slightly while someone cranked the engine, no

After all this the truck still won't start. When I try to start it the engine randomly shoots air
out the TB but it never starts. If I push the gas while cranking fire shoots out the TB,
assumes that's not good :).   I am positive the timing chain is good and that all the spark
plug wires are installed in the correct order on both ends.

At this point I need all the help I can get and am open to try anything.

7 Answers


Make sure your distributor is in the right way. Also make sure that your cap and rotor are for the correct engine. ( Made that mistake once). It has to be a problem with your distributor. If everything is right, it has to be that. Sounds like something is definitely out of whack with the spark/timing.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

I agree with Reelin68 that it is a timing issue. You have to be 180 out. Or the cam timing is out (but lets hope that that wouldn't happen on a crate engine!!) I take the valve cover and watch the #1 intake valve close then bring the pistion up as per your straw to TDC.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Thanks all, I found the issue. I tried turning the distributor by 180 deg and it still would not start. Reset to TDC and cleaned all of the plugs, still not start. While turning the distributor by 180 deg again my son noticed that the little ridge inside the rotor was broken and the rotor was not spinning when the engine was cranking. Replaced the rotor with the old one and put the cap back on. The engine fired right up!!! Now I just need to break it in and adjust the rockers and it should be ready to roll. Thanks again for the advice.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Good to hear

Wow, having the same problems. Set mine also at TDC so I must also be out 180 deg. Thanks!!


I too just installed a crate 350 from JEGS in a 93 chevy truck.. the truck ran perfectly before the swap except with a light #2 rod knock (hence the swap) my problem is i forgot to hook up the battery ground to the intake after the swap.. it turned over fine and fired up and ran but the ground straps at the rear of the head and frame on the passenger side almost fried. I immediately turned it off and hooked up the ground and recranked it..it ran ok for a first crank but didnt sound quite right. Now I've gone through the full range from distributor .. coil to plugs to all sensors replaced except the idle air motor....rebuilt the throttle body even. It still has a slight shudder and misfire especially when cold. All grounds are replaced and clean...no check engine light or codes..I'd pull my hair out if i had some

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

i have had nothing but trouble out of my 93 350.i has had a miss in it for a year now.ive replaced firing package and played with timing till im blue in the face.have hair and am pulling out now,any helpful hints

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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