1994 GMV Vandura/Chevy C20 Van Is sorta dead

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  #1  
Old 03-06-13, 05:54 PM
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1994 GMV Vandura/Chevy C20 Van Is sorta dead

My gfs father has a GMC Vandura 2500/Chevy C20 3/4 ton van with a 5.7L V8. I was driving it today, and went to take off from a stop sign and it just fell flat on its face and died. It sounded like it was popping up through the intake, and you could smell gas. It's a fuel injected vehicle. Prior no check engine light; yes it does work; wouldn't start back up for a good 20 minutes. Just smelled flooded. Finally got it started, and was able to move it a whole 50ft before I tried to give it a little gas and it died again. It has about 182,000 miles on it. I don't know if it's had a tune up at all. But before tonight it was running great. I don't know where to begin. Some one mentioned to me fuel regulator, but I don't know if that would do it. I was thinking along the lines of maybe the coil. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If this is the wrong forum I apologize and ask that it be moved to the correct forum.
 
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Old 03-07-13, 04:27 AM
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He basically has the same engine that's in my wrecker; throttle-body (TBI) 5.7L. FWIW the fuel regulator is in the throttle-body and not a separate part. My TBI is original with 630,000 miles on it. I've had some no-start issues on mine over the years that had me pulling my hair out.

First step - read the codes; very easy to do on that vintage with a paperclip:

BAT Auto Technical-Professional mechanics giving advice-An Educational Site w/ OBD2 Trouble Codes and Technical info & Tool Store.

One of the times I was at wits end, it was a faulty coolant temp sensor (the one for the computer). This threw a code that ultimately led to the fix. I've also had dead coils and dead ignition modules. Once had a worn out distributor shaft (detailed that nightmare here in the forums many years ago). Also some bad plug wires occasionally, but generally those would just cause bad running, not a complete no-start. I think the times I've had dead fuel pumps it was all-or-nothing rather than intermittent. Wouldn't hurt to try a fuel filter. If your van has the same fuel line setup as mine, it may be difficult to check fuel pressure; mine has no schroeder valve to tap into and I have to install an in-line adapter to hook up a gauge. Could have a faulty oil pressure sender, too, if I remember right; I think the circuit goes through the sender to kill the engine in the event of oil pressure loss. Check wiring diagram on autozone.com.
 
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Old 03-07-13, 01:04 PM
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When it dies, it smells heavily of fuel. That's kinda why I'm pointed towards the fuel pressure regulator. I believe that it is set up like your wrecker where there is no shroeder valve. I know it only requires 14psi to run. But like I said when it dies, it smells heavily of fuel. I'll look for wiring diagrams. I'll also pull codes on it. But there was no CEL light lit when it died, but I'll pull codes anyway just to see. I'll keep you posted on what I find.
 
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Old 03-07-13, 01:56 PM
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Update. Pulled dog house off...Chore in and of itself. The injector assembly seems to be wet with gas. When snapping the throttle it appears to try and just dump gas into the intake. Would that be a sign of a failing or failed regulator?
 
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Old 03-07-13, 03:08 PM
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Only way to be sure will be to get a gauge on it. When you say snapping the throttle, you mean just flicking it open/closed with engine off? Shouldn't be any fuel discharged from injectors when you do that; there is no accelerator pump like on a carbureted engine. Moving the throttle plate does nothing except move the plate and the throttle position sensor on the other end of the shaft. Does the fuel pump make any odd noises when running or does it seem to have the normal hum/whine? Side note, you should be able to power up the fuel pump for continuous operation by jumpering pins on the OBD plug. Can't remember which ones, but you should be able to google that pretty easily. That would ensure the pump actually runs and the relay stays energized.

By now I assume you've pulled a couple of plug wires and checked for good, strong spark?

Mine's a lot easier to work on - cab-over.
 
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Old 03-07-13, 08:10 PM
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Update. I pulled the cap off, cleaned the rotor and rotor button. Put it back on, and now the van has a bit more power, but still falls on its face at WOT. So I'm looking at least at doing a tune up, including plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. Other places I've looked around also said that the fuel filter could very well be to blame. I imagine that the filter may not have been changed in the vans 182,000 mile life time it may not have ever been changed. I'll start with the fuel filter and let y'all know. We can't afford to put a lot of money in this red beast.
 

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Old 03-08-13, 04:20 AM
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Crazycory22,

You've made several references to a heavy smell of gas and flooding. Well that could be a spark delivery issue (and or) a fuel pressure regulator issue.


Are the plug electrodes worn?

Are the plugs long overdue to be replaced?

Are the plugs black, wet, and gas fouled?

What condition are the ignition cables in?


Thank You
Amy
 
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Old 03-08-13, 04:21 AM
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When you do the basic stuff you may find something as simple as fuel filter or maybe coil wire. Couple of bad plug wires could do it, too.
 
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Old 03-08-13, 08:22 AM
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Again I go with Amy if you try to start a vehicle with bad or no spark long enough you are going to get it flooded. You can even drown the plugs bad enough that it wont start even after the initial problem is fixed.
 
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Old 03-23-13, 08:41 PM
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Ok this is for the_tow_guy. I know you said that this van is pretty much the same setup as your wrecker. With that being the case, it's TBI injected which means that the fuel pressure is way below 40psi. I know when I looked for the pump it was an 18psi pump if memory serves. What size fuel line does your wrecker use if you know? The reason I ask, is the fuel lines are so rusty that as soon as we tried to get the old filter off, the fuel line cracked, and is now pouring gas as soon as you turn the key on. We were going to replace it with rubber/nylon fuel line, from the tank on up. Would this be safe? And if so, what size would I need?
 
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Old 03-24-13, 04:40 AM
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I wouldn't use a rubber hose under the vehicle although I have use a hose to reconnect a break in the hard line. I've used brake line to replace rusted out gas lines. There should be a spot or two along the line where you can determine the size.
 
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Old 03-24-13, 08:03 AM
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Agree with Mark. I don't know for sure the line size. Fuel pressure I think is 13 psi, it is a fairly low-pressure system.
 
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