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Plz Hlp: '93 Chevy died/won't start

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by GOS123, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. GOS123

    GOS123 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey guys I'd first like to thank anyone who tries to help me in advance. Also, it's important to note that despite me being born and raised in southern Arkansas, I know very little about cars, trucks, etc. (so please feel free to speak to me like I'm a dumb a**), lol. On to the problem:

    I've got a '93 Chevy Cheyenne 1500 V6 that I've had since high school. Last night it sputtered a little bit and died while I was going down the road so suddenly that I almost didn't realize it had happended (no loud back-fires, etc.) and now I can't get it to start. When I turn the key it seems the ignition process is going good and the belt is even turning but the damn thing won't turn over (I think that's the right phrase). I still have power so I don't think that's the issue, besides I have a brand new battery and alternator in it. It didn't overheat and my coolant level is ok for it to at least start. My step-dad thinks it might be the fuel pump so he had me take the "breather" off and pour about a thimble full of gas in the space in the middle of the air filter and try to start it, but it still wouldn't start so according to him it's probably not the fuel pump. Also, my truck has had a difficult time accelerating smoothly for awhile now.

    I don't know if this helps but for awhile now when my engine gets hot my oil pressure will go down considerably only to rise up to about halfway when I accelerate. I had a new sending unit put on but it still happens, so I might have a oil pump problem that may or may not be related to this (even with a bad oil pump it should still start though, right?). After talking to people about my fluctuating pressure gauge, I've been told it's pretty common on Chevy's.

    Anyways, I probably told you too much but I'm desperate here and I don't really have the money to tow it to a mechanic, especially after having it towed all the way home, so if there is anything I can do myself please let me know. Thanks.
     
  2. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,491

    When you pump the accelerator do you smell gas? If not don't take this the wrong way did you check your gas gauge? I would check all wires to the distributor, spark plug wires, check the solenoid wires too. But so you know I am no mechanic but these are things I would be checking.
     
  3. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    when you turn the key listen to the gas tank area if you hear a noise its the fuel pump working if you dont hear no noise then the fuel pump is not working... Now do you ahve anything goin into the fuse box? my truck was running yesterday and died the fuse for the ECM-IGN went check that.. also when you turn the truck on have someone check the injectors to see if they are sprayign fuel.. if they are not then it goes back to the bad fuekl pump. just a few things keep me posted
     
  4. Midwest BuildIt Inc

    Midwest BuildIt Inc PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,280

    Have you checked for spark . That is the first thing i check if an engine will crank over and will not start. This will narrow your search considerably. there are way to many reasons why it wont start, so rather than guessing, start with the basics. it only needs fuel and a spark to start. post back for more help..
     
  5. PackRat

    PackRat Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 47

    Considering the acceleration issues, I'd vote on the pickup coil, in the distributor. I had a 90 K1500, that idled great, accelerated poorly, and acted like a plugged fuel filter.

    After testing the fuel system, and replacing everything else on the ignition system, I yanked the distributor, and replaced the pickup coil. POOF!! no more problem.
     
  6. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Let me start from your last question. The oil pressure actions you've described are normal for an engine (any make, not just Chevy) with some miles on it. As the engine warms up the oil thins out and thus the pressure drops. As you accelerate the oil pump (which is geared to the engine camshaft) turns faster and thus the oil pressure goes up.

    The non-start problem could be a lot of things - lack of spark, lack of fuel, or broken timing chain. Let's start with the easy ones. I'm assuming from your description that when you turn the key the engine does turn over (as in the belt turns), so we can rule out starter problems. The very first thing to check is the fuse panel. Be sure nothing has burned out. If a fuse has blown, you'll need to figure out why but at least you will have narrowed the problem down to one particular circuit.

    As someone suggested, the next easiest thing to check is spark. Pull off one of the plug wires and stick a Phillips screwdriver into the boot on the end of the wire. Grip the screwdriver handle (so you won't get zapped) and hold it so the metal screwdriver shaft is about 1/4" away from the end of the sparkplug. Have someone else try to start the truck while you do this. You should see an arc from the screwdriver to the plug (it helps to try this in the dark). If you see a spark, the ignition is fine. If not, you might need a distributor cap, rotor, or ignition module - the module is a common failure point on GM distributors. These are all relatively inexpensive replacement parts.

    If you do have a spark, next thing to try is fuel. Contrary to what "Young pup" stated, your truck has fuel injection so pumping the gas pedal won't do anything one way or the other if the truck isn't running. There is an electric fuel pump in the gas tank that will come on for a couple of seconds as soon as you turn the key to the "RUN" position (not all the way to "START"). Have someone do this while you listen outside the truck near the gas tank. You should hear a whining motor noise for a couple of seconds. It may help to remove the gas cap and listen there. If there is no sound you either need a new fuel pump (pain in the but) or a relay (easy) or a hearing aid! If you do hear the pump, check for fuel pressure at the throttle body. This is the part on top of the engine underneath the air cleaner. If you remove the air cleaner housing and look where the fuel line goes into the throttle body. You should see something that looks like a tire valve stem. Unscrew the cap and with a rag nearby depress the valve pin that is under the cap using a small screwdriver or something similar. If you have correct fuel pressure gas should come shooting out (hence the rag). If it does, fuel supply should be OK, but you really need to have it checked with a pressure gauge. If fuel does not come out, you may still have a bad pump, plugged filter, or bad pressure regulator.

    If you have good spark and fuel pressure, the problems start to get much harder to diagnose (and fix). There are a number of electronic sensors in the fuel injection system - a problem with any one of them could cause the engine not to start. Something as simple as a loose or corroded terminal in a connector could cause the problem. If the engine has a lot of miles on it (say, over 150,000) there's a chance that the timing chain has slipped a tooth or come off completely due to wear. This is a big deal to repair.

    Well, good luck. Let us know how things turn out.
     
  7. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,491

    Sorry about that I was not even thinking about fuel injection for this truck. But correct me if I am wrong again here ,but if you are trying to start your vehicle turning the key and pumping the gas pedal should you still not smell gas?

    Just asking a ? here.

    P.S. That is why I don't do the major work on my trucks.
     
  8. bnc services 2

    bnc services 2 Member
    Messages: 66

    first thing i would do is ck. for spark. how many miles are on this truck?
    i would also ck. fuel pressure but on that TBI unit i dont think there is a fuel valve :rolleyes: you will probely have to disconnect the line at the top back side of the TBI. check the fuse and rely there should be both, one under the hood(rely) second in the fuse panel in the truck :blush2: good luck
     
  9. golfmanres

    golfmanres Senior Member
    Messages: 150

    I have a 1998 k2500 with the same problem. Ended up being a combination of fuel pump, sensor, distributer/ cap. Got all fixed by chevy for 800$. I was going down a back road and it just crapped out on me. I was like what do i do now. I was i nthe middle of no where and cell coverage was crappy. So i was able to get a call to AAA and get awrecket to me. I knew it was athe fule pump becuase as stated before i was able to hear the fuel pump before pump just before the truck turned over and when i got out and listened for it i didnt hear it. I also had the distributer chenged while it was in the shop because i was having to get under the hood with a heat gun to get the moisture out from under the cap when it rained or was foggy. Let me know if you need more information on my previous problem.
     
  10. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    I'm willing to bet its something to do with the distributor.

    Also, don't rule out the fact that the entire distributor needs replacing. I had mine go bad 2 years ago in my old truck. Took cap off to replace it and the rotor, and the rotor could be moved side to side about 1/4" and all the cap contacts were visibly worn and one was totally gone.

    It went from running slightly bad for a day or so, to almost totally NOT running in a days time.

    I've heard of others with this same problem. Apparently, the upper bushing wears, and then totally goes pretty quick.
     
  11. GOS123

    GOS123 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the replies. I checked both sets of fuses (cab/hood) and they seem to be fine. I checked for a spark (using that nifty screwdriver trick) and I had one, though I'm not ashamed to admit I hesitated thinking I might get a big shock, lol. Plus I checked all the spark plugs themselves. I also was able to hear my fuel pump engage, and I checked around as best as I could without amp testing any wires to see if there were any obviously disconnected/damaged and I couldn't tell anything right off. I tell you at this point I'm kind of leaning to the distributor/coil area since that seems to be a repeated so often in everybody's post. I wouldn't know the first thing on how to check for any timing belt problems so I'll cross that bridge if I have to. To tell you the truth I'm kind of relieved it wasn't the fuel pump because I bet it's a pain to get to it. I'll keep ya'll posted and sorry for the lag in the reply, it's kind of hard to get a second with kids and two jobs around the holidays. Oh by the way, to answer a previous question, my truck has got around 155k miles on it. I know that's a lot but all I need is something to get me from A to B if you know what I mean.
     
  12. GOS123

    GOS123 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Oh yeah, I'll also check the fuel pressure. Thanks
     
  13. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    This (above) is a good basic test for a fuel system failure.
    When you pour the gas into the throttle body it eliminates the need for the fuel pump, filter, and injectors.
    You can actually keep an engine running without the fuel pump if you add fuel slowly as the engine starts up.


    Here are some problems that I saw when I read it.
    1 You will probably need to pour about 3 tablespoons of fuel in there before trying to start it.
    I don't think 1 thimble full will do it you need more like 1 and 1/2 small shot glasses.

    2 When you do this test you may need to get in and press the gas pedal down one time and release it before turning the key.

    3 You should always hook the air cleaner back up in case your engine backfires (so you do not catch anything on fire)

    If you do indeed have spark I would try this test again.
     
  14. PackRat

    PackRat Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 47

    If it backfires, and burns the truck up, you no longer have to worry about why it won't start. :D

    Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'll shut up now.

    No offense intended toward anyone present.
     
  15. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    Good point!! PackRat
     
  16. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    If a vehicle backfires through the carb/intake....NEVER stop cranking the engine. It'll suck the flame back down into the engine and you'll likely not have any damage.
     
  17. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Re: Young pup question

     
  18. bnc services 2

    bnc services 2 Member
    Messages: 66

    Hey dont feel bad, my truck has a 135k on it. I would see if you can have the ign. module tested, it is located in the dist. under the rotor and sould have like 4-5 wires that go to it . there are 2 connectors. I know out here they can test them at like a murrays auto parts or pep boys. :rolleyes:
    make sure you ck. fuel pressure. also how old is the fuel filter. sometimes that do it to. good luck