68 XR7 390

Guys, I am stumped. I am an old guy who through the years has had 5 cougars, 4 68’s and 1 69, all with small blocks. I recently purchased sight unseen (I know) a great 68 XR7 6.5 Liter. The cat ran rough and after changing a valve cover gasket that was leaking, I looked at the distributor cap and noticed the wiring out of sorts with the supposed 15426378 firing order for the motor. The distributor is an old dual point setup with the condenser on the OUTSIDE mounted. I redid the distributor timing, have rolled the motor over by hand to assure that #1 is pointing correctly to about 1 o-clock and replaced the coil which now has a nice spark. I gapped the two sets of points to 0.17 and checked to make sure the fuel pump was getting fuel through the gas filter. Yep. Can’t seem to get a growl out of the motor, not seeming to spark at all, no backfires, nothing. I have one more thing to try and that would be changing the firing order to 13726548 but I believe that the cat has the original motor which wouldn’t make sense unless someone changed the cam and crank to change the firing order. Appreciate any thing you can throw over the fence. Thank you. Tom thomasjgerber@yahoo.com

Welcome aboard! Check to see that the fuel pump is working. Old ones die with new gas. Change the condenser and carry a spare. They’re all junk these days. Good luck! Keep us posted.

Is the distributor 180 degrees out?. See if you get a spark at the plug on number one when you turn the crank manually. When I have mystery ignition problems I will sometimes start by verifying each spark plug sparks in the right sequence. I pull all of the plugs, lay them on the intake with big alligator clips on each plug that go to ground. I have found bad plug wires, defective plugs, bad cap contacts and many other issues this very visual way.

The distributor has not been removed since the car was running. Do folks change the firing order in FE 390’s just for kicks? Haven’t had big blocks before and have yet to adjust the firing order on the distributor to 13726548 and try that. I am getting fuel like crazy from the fuel pump both to and through the fuel filter. Will be changing the condenser out and re-examining the dual points. Have a great spark from the coil to the distributor. Thanks again. Tom

Verify that the rotor is turning. You may have a bad timing gear. Originals had nylon teeth.

Be sure that you understand the cylinders on the passenger side are 1234, the driver side is 5678. A lot of Chebby guys screw this up.