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this car i picked up starts really hard. like the timing is really off, i managed to get it to start and checked the timing and set it to 10* thats all right it runs good. shut it of and it still starts hard, i did notice that the battery cables were looking like they were smoking while trying to crank, possibly the coil also. would a short in the starter or coil do that?
 

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does the car turn over fast or slow if the cables were smoking then you probably have bad connections especially the ground in the older cars i went out and made up a ground kit for 89 when i had it and it solved a lot of the wacky problem with the electrical system it was not hard just a trip to an electrical supply house and i got all the stuff
 

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Assuming you have cleaned all the cable connections, and checked the cables for bare spots and possible corroded spots, the next step I would take is having the starter checked.
 
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