1994 Chevy Silverado She just quits!

Tiny
BEFUSED
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 213,000 MILES
My truck stops running in 2 different ways. Either when I first start it, or anytime afterwards. At start up you hear the engine fire for 1 quick second and then she quits. NOT fuel related, you can see it is putting fuel to the carb. There just is no spark. You can turn 'er over all you want and you will just flood it. OR I may be driving down the road, slow to an intersection and, poof, she quits, instantly, no chuging, backfiring or anything. Only one time in the 10 times it has done this has it not shut off imediately. I actually "saved" it, I sensed that it was starting to run rough for 2 seconds and I pumped several times to rev the engine and it re-fired. Don't know why. You could smell the gas and see the black smoke from the tailpipe. We did change the "black box" inside the distribuator cap and that seemed to have worked for the last few monts. But the demon has returned to wreek havoc again. The black box may be a bandaid to a different problem, and I would rather get to the root of the evil rather than throw money at open hands. The garage(S) that I have taken it to can't tell me anything because no service engine light ever recorded and by the time I get it to the garage, it will start like normal. (Which by the way in the past has always been super). One mechanic told me I had a busted timing belt, but of course then it started. Needless to say he was surprised.
If you have an idea, that would be cool. I really like the old beast and really don't want to have to go buy something different or new. A paid for vehicle is much easier on the monthly expenses.

Thanks, Mike
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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 AT 9:00 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
First off there is no timing belt, it has a chain. But we know its good cause it restarted. It seemed ok for a couple of months when you replaced the ignition module then its happening again. I always, always replace the mainshaft inside the distributor and also the pick up coil inside the distributor whenever I have a spark issue and 99 percent of the time it takes care of it. What happens is the shafts reluctor wheel gets cracked with age and will wither spin on the shaft or lose its magnetism, thats why I replace as a set. Hope this helps
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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
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Well. I got a whole distributor shaft from a running 350 and placed it in mine. And same story. It did the common (for this issue) turn over and fire for 1 second and shut off. ALL DONE. So. Don't know! Any other suggestions? Maybe computer related? Back into the garage for mor experiments!
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 11:30 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Ow about a weak ignition coil? To test these I use a spark tester that will only spark if output is atleast 25000 volts, any lower can cause backfiring and no spark
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 11:46 AM
Tiny
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Back at the initial start of the problem we had changed that as well. It had no effect. When we changed the ignition module, it "fixed" it for a few months. But of course we will check it out, therefore eliminating what we can. I don't know if one faulty item somewhere hasn't ruined a previously working part. So thanks, we'll give it a whirl! Before we changed the shaft this morning we tried to start it, and of course it fired up, ran like crap. Now afterward the change we're back to square one. Thanks again for making suggestions. It at the very least gives us other things to think about.
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 11:57 AM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
When you changed the shaft did you install a whole distributor or just the shaft. If you just changed the shaft you should change the pick up coil(the thing that connects to the ignition module) let me know
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 2:19 PM
Tiny
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I hoped to deliver a note that said hooray, but sadly I cannot. Went to another garage for tests and "fixing". Replaced the pick up coil and she fired and ran great. That was Tue. All day wed. No issues, this morning, (thur), same ol' story. 1 second run, shut off. Got it to light up, drove 2 miles, quit in exactly the same place in the road. I even followed the exact same tire tracks in the weed bed on the side of the road. Again got it to fire turned around and put it in the driveway. Can't trust her anymore. Any more possibliities you can think of? Other than dynamite? Also, this is back to the original distributer shaft. I think everything on it has been replaced! Thanks heavens my Dad works at an auto parts supplier! If you and I get no where, I still reply when (if), it is ever figured out so you'll know if this kind of problem ever comes up again. Thanks for your efforts so far!
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Thursday, October 30th, 2008 AT 12:18 PM
Tiny
MASTERTECHTIM
  • MEMBER
Check wiring at coil, pull lightly on wires to make sure they are not broken inside insulation, if ok then replace ignition module again.
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Friday, October 31st, 2008 AT 12:01 PM

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