After getting fuel while driving engine started chugging and shut off, will not start

Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 GMC SAFARI
  • 4.3L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180,000 MILES
I stopped and got fuel. The van cranked up and I drove about one mile and it started chugging like it was running out of fuel and then stalled. I pulled over and tried to start it for about 3 minutes. I thought it was the fuel filter, changed it, still wouldn’t start. Had it towed home and checked fuel pressure and barely got a reading. I figure since I had the cover off I’d go ahead and change the distributor cap and rotor. Still nothing when I turn it over. Today I replaced the fuel pump, got in, turned the key and still it won’t start. It just turns over. I checked the fuel pressure again and it’s reading around 62. I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions?
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 1:37 PM

39 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good afternoon,

Okay, you got the correct fuel pressure readings.

If you spray starter fluid in the air filter, does it start and stall?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-cranks-but-wont-start

Can you check for spark at a spark plug?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

Roy
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 1:50 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
No, it just turns over, will not start.
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 2:47 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Okay, did you check for spark as I suggested?

Roy
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 2:48 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
Yes it has spark.
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
If you have spark, you need fuel and compression.

Can you check compression in one cylinder on each side?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-engine-compression

Roy
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
Definitely has compression! I am leaning towards fuel issue, but the filter and pump are new.
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Saturday, June 13th, 2020 AT 6:17 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Okay, what is the exact compression?

If it is a fuel delivery issue, it should start and stall by spraying starter fluid in the air filter.

Can you hear the pump run with the key on?

Roy
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 4:06 AM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
Yes, it runs for around 7 seconds, when I spray starting fluid into the intake it doesn t do anything but turn over. Like I said before I was driving at around 50 mph and it started chugging like I was out of gas. Then nothing. It has spark because I stuck a screw driver on the distributor contact and turned the key and it shocked the heck out of me.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 12:09 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Okay, did you check the compression as I asked?

It should have started and stalled with fuel in the air filter.

Either you do not have spark at the pugs or you may have a bad timing chain.

Roy
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 12:59 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
My brother checked the compression and said it was good, he knows a lot about that stuff. So the timing chain would make it act like it was running out of fuel?
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 3:04 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
If the chain failed, yes.

Can you double check the fuel pressure again?

Roy
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
Yes, 61 this time.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 3:42 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
None of this makes sense.

You have spark, you have fuel pressure, I still do not know the compression. Good is not a number. Good to the tester may not be good at all.

You have no codes. This engine should run.

Roy
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 3:50 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
My brother said that all 6 cylinders were at 180-190. I know it doesn t make sense and I m afraid that I ll keep replacing parts that are not bad.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 5:29 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
You said timing because the starting fluid doesn t work. Could it possibly be the spider injector? I was told that the poppers are known for sticking, but that wouldn t explain why the starting fluid has no effect.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 5:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Roy, I hope you don't mind if I jump in to help.

David, everything he said makes sense. However, I am confused. Above, you indicated it started for about 7 seconds when you use starting fluid and in your last post, you indicate that starting fluid doesn't work. Can you confirm?

As far as timing, if it is the chain, compression wouldn't be high. If it doesn't start with starting fluid, then there is no ignition spark (where on the distributor did you check?), If it does start with starting fluid and then stall, it's fuel related and even though you have the correct pump pressure, the injection system may not be getting a signal to inject fuel, and so on.

Also, have you checked for diagnostic trouble codes? If there is a problem with the injector system, it could be a few different issues. Keep in mind that even the oil pressure switch on this vehicle can shut the engine down (injection) if oil pressure is too low.

Let us know.

Joe
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
I meant the fuel pump runs for 7 seconds or so when I turn the key on. The compression test was done by my brother so I m not positive on that. When I sprayed starting fluid into the intake there was no difference, it just turns over. I did that 2 times. I put a screw driver to the contact on the distributor cap and it shocked me when I turn the engine over. The van was fine one second and then puttered out and I m lost. Thank you guys for your patience.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Which contact was it? If you remove a spark plug and ground it, does it get spark when the engine is cranked? I'm asking because we simply need three things, spark, compression, and fuel. If all three are present, the engine doesn't have a choice but to run.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 8:08 PM
Tiny
DAVIDKAZEE
  • MEMBER
There are 3 contact on the left side of the distributor and I put the screw driver in the closest contact to the driver seat. #5.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 8:16 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Okay, that is where one of the plug wires goes, so you got spark. By any chance could the plug wires been reinstalled incorrectly for firing order purposes?

I attached a pic of where the spark plug wire order per cylinder. Please confirm.
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Sunday, June 14th, 2020 AT 8:22 PM

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