1997 k1500 starting issues

Tiny
JOSHM
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 ALL OTHER MAKES ALL OTHER MODELS
I have a 1997 k1500 350 that just this afternoon decided it would not start. Ran fine all day yesterday but this afternoon would buck and stumble while attempting to start. I had this problem last year and the culprit was a cracked distributor cap. So my first course of action was to replace both the distributor cap and rotor. Still stumbled and bucked while attempting to start. Next, I checked all the fuses in both engine and passenger compartments all of which are fine. I then checked spark with an old plug and it produced a nice strong blue spark. After a new set of plugs I noticed there were two on the drivers side that were fouled pretty badly with somewhat grainy deposits on the ends. Tried starting again and the vehicle still stumbled but did not buck much at all (seems like a slight improvement). Consulted a local auto shop, where they loaned me a fuel pressure testing guage. I was told a reading of anything below 60psi and the vehicle will not start, anything above would be sufficient. Upon testing pressure yeileded consistant 62-63 psi readings. I then bled off a quart mason jar of gas for inspection, I noticed some sediment in the bottom and a bit of water along with amber colored fuel. My next step was to bleed around 1 gallon of gas from the tank hoping if there were sediment or water it would be removed. After doing so I replaced the fuel filter, bled another 2 quarts through the valve on the fuel line before the intake and checked the third quart for sediment and water. The gas came out clean and water free. Again I tried starting the vehicle only to find my efforts were still in vein, the vehicle still stumbles while trying to start. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Monday, December 11th, 2006 AT 9:04 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
BACKYARDMECHANIC
  • MEMBER
Sounds like some of the debris has gotten pass the fuel filter and may have clogged a injector or two. Try using some injector cleaner see if it helps. Also just for good measure, put some dry gas in the tankalong with some fresh gas. Hope this helps let me know how you make out.
Backyard mechanic :)
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Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 AT 9:05 AM
Tiny
JOSHM
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I dumped in 2 containers of Heet after bleeding off the gas, clearing the fuel lines, and replacing the fuel filter last night. I'm beginning to wonder if the debris in my first bleeding last night was actually inside the test meter since the gallon I bled off afterwards was clean and clear. It sounds almost like a timing issue of some sort, where it will crank repeatedly, stumble, and resume cranking. Almost as if it is firing 2 cylinders at once and fighting itself. I have an apointment at a local shop to have them put it on a diagnostic computer to see if it is a sensor or computer related problem. Any other quick checks before it goes in will be greatly appreciated
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Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
BACKYARDMECHANIC
  • MEMBER
If you suspect the timing it would mean that the chain is loose or has slipped. You can check it by doing the following: First remove the number one spark plug, Next have an assistant tap the key to slowly turn the motor while you place a finger over the spark plug hole. As the piston comes up on the compression stroke you will feel pressure building up inside the number one cylinder at this time stop cranking the car with the starter and start turning the motor by hand until the timing mark on the harmonic balancer is lined up witht he timing mark on the block. At this time remove the distributor cap to see if the rotor is pointing at the number one tower (or in that area) If it's not pointing twards the number one tower and is way off the timing chain probabl has to be replaced. However if it is pointing then you have an engine mamagment system problem which will need to be diagnosed with a code scanner. I hope this helps please let me know how you make out.
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Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 AT 4:52 PM
Tiny
JOSHM
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Well the shop finally got it running, turns out the brand new distributor cap was defective. The #3 cylinder trace inside the cap shorted directly to the pin for the coil, number 3 had all kinds of spark while the rest of the cylinders barely had any. The mechanics also mentioned that the fuel pump relay had intermittent failure while they were working on it. The final problem was that supposedly some of the lifetime warranty wires I had put in a few years ago had also died, so I'm off to Napa today to get reimbursement for wires cap and attempt to argue over some of the labor charges. They also mentioned that the screw holes for the distributor cap in the distributor were broken (which I dont recall when I replaced the cap last time). I'm not quite sure how thrilled I am about this new problem, I guess it will depend on whether or not the distributor base can be repaired or replaced without too much hastle. Also mentioned that the ignition will need replacing. I had figured it would since the key has not turned into the acc position for several months. It's becoming progressively harder to get the key to turn at all from the off position. All and all I was only billed for 3 hours of labor even though it was at the shop for 2 days. Thanks for the help, hope this can be of use in the future.
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Thursday, December 14th, 2006 AT 6:42 AM
Tiny
BACKYARDMECHANIC
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Glad to see your back on the road. Good luck and Happy Holidays BYM :D
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Thursday, December 14th, 2006 AT 9:05 AM

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