I don't know a thing about the condition of your van. So here is how I would approach this. From the year model, I am going to assume that it has throttle body fuel injection which means that it has 2 fuel injectors in the throttle body air intake.
First I would give it a shot of starting fluid, and see if it even tries to cough or any other indication that it gets spark. You can have someone turn over the engine while you watch the injectors and see if there is a spray of fuel.
Next, I would take another spark plug or remove one and with it plugged in and either having the body of the spark plug resting on the engine frame anywhere or with an alligator wire clip jumper from the spark plug to any ground or part of the engine, have someone turn over the engine and see if the spark plug sparks.
If you don't have spark, that's your problem. If you don't have fuel, that's your problem.
If you have both spark and fuel, I would suspect that the timing chain has jumped time because it has stretched. You can check for that by cranking the engine to cylinder #1 to TDC or top dead center and pull the cap off of the distributor and see if the rotor is pointing at the plug wire for cylinder number 1. Cylinder number 1 comes to the top twice each engine cycle. Once for the compression stroke and once for the exhaust stroke. You want it on the top of the compression stroke. You can pull the spark plug and have someone crank the engine with a socket and on the compression stroke, if you put your finger over the spark plug hole, it should develop air pressure to try to push your finger away. Then you can poke something down into the spark plug hole and move the crankshaft back and forth to determine the highest spot.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009 AT 8:48 PM