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1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

This is a discussion on 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I have a '98 K1500 that doesn't always want to start. Of course, I'm literally 1000 miles from home and ...

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    1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start


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    I have a '98 K1500 that doesn't always want to start. Of course, I'm literally 1000 miles from home and have several of my tools with me (because I usually need them to work on the Harley I drug with me) but I don't have much of a place to work on it.

    I thought it had something to do with the rain, because I have been having issues starting it after it rains, but I'm not sure now. It turns over and over and just won't catch. After I let off the key it sputters a few times and that's it. If I do get it running, it runs fine the rest of the day.

    I pulled the plugs and they were soaked with fuel and a little fouled. So, I replaced the plugs. I bought the Iridium ones hoping to not have to replace them for a while. Not sure if this will help or not, but it still won't start and smells like its flooded.

    The battery is getting low and I'm going to have to take it out and drag it up to my room to charge it (with the charger I bought for the HD which I expected problems from). My thought process is that it is still not getting spark, but seems to be getting plenty of fuel and air. So, maybe the coil? It still has the original.

    I did see other posts on this site about the coolant temp sensor causing starting issues and I'm considering changing it too.

    On top of all of this, I did have the fuel pump changed a year or so ago. When it rains hard, I think some water does get into the tank. I'm not sure if there is a seal or something that they left out, but the engine sputters for a while after the first start then it clears up. I am going to lift the bed and check it out when I get home.

    I'm nearing the point of frustration, or a tow truck. I plan on charging the battery, then changing the fuel filter, coil, and coolant temp sensor and seeing what happens.

    Does anyone have any other advice they can give me on this?

    Thanks,

    Geno

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Coil is more than lilkey fine sounds more like the ignition control modual. Sounds exactly like what happend to me when mine went south, few days or weeks of hit or miss starts followed by a total failure. Moisture always seemed to make it worse when it was hit or miss.
    Last edited by sunburnedaz; 10-14-2011 at 11:39 AM.

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    pull the center coil wire to the dist see if you have spark there. put a screwdriver in the wire and put the shaft near the tab make sure it will jump. do not do with metal handle screwdriver. if not it likely either the coil or ign. module.
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHauler View Post
    do not do with metal handle screwdriver.
    Personal experiance talking there?
    Last edited by sunburnedaz; 10-14-2011 at 11:43 AM.

    1998 Chevy K1500 - 5.7L - True dual exhaust, AIRRAID intake

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    lol probably so...i can't even count the times i've absorbed some voltage because i touched the wrong part of the screwdriver without realizing it.

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    distributor cap could have moisture in it.
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Ok, already did the screwdriver thing and no spark, and thereby no electrocution. :) Also, I replaced the distributor cap a few months ago, so I am assuming it is still good. I went out and bought a bunch of parts because; 1, I figure most all of the parts are at least 13 years old and may fail soon anyway, and 2, I'm tired of screwing with it and just want the dumb thing to be reliable transportation again.

    So, I replaced the coil, the module, the coolant temp sensor, and the fuel filter to be on the safe side. All good ideas I received above, but guess what? It was running this morning and then I couldn't get it started after I replaced all of those parts. Same problem, no spark! I was mentally exhausted.

    A couple of guys working on a vehicle near me came over and started throwing some suggestions at me. One of them mentioned the crankshaft position sensor. So, I crawled under the truck and took a look at it. It did get wet from when I changed the coolant temp sensor. I unplugged it, took it out, cleaned it up and put it back. I thought, screw it I'm calling a tow truck because I'm tired of messing with it with the limited tools I have here. I put it all back together and just out of one last act of a desperate man I put the key in and turned it over. It fired right up! Stupid truck! It has started up every time all day since then.

    I don't know if there is an issue with the crank position sensor or if it was just coincidence. I bought another sensor to swap it out with tomorrow just in case. I guess the only way I'm going to know for sure is if the problem doesn't come back after I change out the sensor.

    Does anyone know of any other sensors that are tied into the ignition system that would cause the truck to get no spark and not throw any codes? The only code that I have had recently was the EGR valve and I changed that out months ago.

    Thanks,

    Geno

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    I've had crankshaft sensors take me down in 2 different vehicles over the last few years. It's worth handling ASAP, because you may think it's OK for a few days and then it'll bite you right in your ass again.
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburnedaz View Post
    Personal experiance talking there?
    not particularly but i have been wacked enough that im always thinking about it and you dont know who your talking to or who might be read this down the line. along those lines you cant trust that the voltage is going to go the right way through the plugs and not through your hand to ground. sometimes it will go through the boot
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    I changed out the crankshaft postion sensor and it still runs, thank God. It's supposed to rain tomorrow so I guess that will be the test as to if I changed out the part that was keeping it from starting in the rain.

    There is one thing that I've noticed that it wasn't doing before. Before, it was acting like it was getting too much fuel. Now, it has died a couple of times right after it starts like it is not getting enough fuel. It did something similar a couple of years ago before the fuel pump went out. If I bump the starter a couple of times it primes the system enough for a good start. I read somewhere about the system having to relearn after some of these components are changed. Could that be the case, or am I chasing more gremlins?

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    it may very well have to learn. but you shouldn't have to bump the starter to provide enough fuel. that was the case on the old rigs with mechanical fuel pumps. at most you should have to turn the ignition switch on and let the fuel pump finish running, then start it. shouldn't REALLY have to do that but on some trucks you have to...like mine...

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    i wonder if your fpr isnt starting to go, i think if you go to auto zone you can rent a tester free. make sure when you turn the key on the pressure comes up and stays up for a while.
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    i might need to test that on mine. if you don't let my FP prime and it's been sitting for a while, the engine will spin forever before it catches and starts. runs fine after that...

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Get a fuel pressure gauge on it. Key on, engine off should get 60+ psi on a healthy pump.

    If your plugs are getting soaked with gas, time to replace the poppets/injectors with the upgraded assembly that uses actual Multec 2 injectors. The new injector assembly comes with a new FPR as well.
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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    this applies to the '98 4.3 too, right? about how much does that new assembly run? don't mean to hijack or anything, this just helps me get to the base of my issue too...

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    thanks ToyHauler!!

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Don't worry about hijacking, it's all for the common good. I seen two guys hijack someone elses thread just too call each other douche bags. Pretty sad.

    It's weird how issues move around. It rained last night and now it seems to get good spark, but only run for a few seconds. Now I think I have a fuel pressure issue. I don't have a guage with me, I'll see if I can borrow one from Autozone. I just replaced the fuel pump a year or two ago. I suppose it could be the fuel pressure regulator now or a leaking injector.

    As long as I can get it started and it gets me home, I will have all of my tools and can tear it down. We'll see......

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    well good luck bud! it's a GM, i'm pretty certain it'll get ya home...

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    Re: 1998 Chevy K1500 Won't Start

    Quote Originally Posted by FordeatinZ71 View Post
    well good luck bud! it's a GM, i'm pretty certain it'll get ya home...

    Well, you were right FordeatinZ71! It got me home!

    It didn't give me too much trouble on the way home. I did have to crank it a couple of times every once in a while to get it to start.

    When I got home I put my fuel pressure guage on it. When I turned the key on, the guage jumped to 60 psi. As soon as the pump stopped it dropped to 0 again. I found that if I waited until the guage was at 60, and just before the pump shut off, it would start right up every time. If I waited until the pump stopped, it would take longer to start and sometimes die.

    So, what I'm wondering now is which part is bad. Is it the regulator or is there a check valve in the pump that should be holding the pressure? Or might it be the whole injector assembly?

    I think I'm getting close to having this thing beat.

    Any ideas? I'd hate to have to pull the pump again.

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