Advice Needed – Can’t Start Rebuilt 273

This is the first engine rebuild I have done in 35 years and I cannot get it to run. It's a 1966 vintage 273, bored .040 with flat top pistons, solid lifters and adjustable rockers. Cam specs are not known. The engine was not running when I bought it years ago but I was told it had been newly rebuilt.

Now that I want to use it, I have torn it completely down, verified and checked everything, and carefully re-assembled it. I installed it in my car (replacing a running 340) and hooked everything up. I used the complete ignition system, including distributor and plug wires from the nice running 340 that was in the car.

The gasoline is fresh and the 4 bbl carb is from a running 318. The 273 turns over nicely and occasionally tries to start. A couple times it started and ran for a second or two but did backfire through the carb or spit out raw gasoline.

I have double checked everything I can think of. Compression is good in all cylinders. Distributor is installed correctly. Firing order is correct. I have checked, and rechecked the initial valve/rocker adjustment. I even changed the spark plugs to the ones that were in the running 340. I have tried setting the initial timing anywhere from 5 BTDC to about 35 BTDC.

I'm getting pretty frustrated. Any thoughts or tips from you experienced engine builders?

Author: admin