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1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting


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taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 8:55 AM

Post #1 of 16 (915 views)
1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

I have a high-mileage, but dependable (up until lately) 1998 Chevy Z71 pickup with the off-road package that several months ago began to become hard starting. It was worse in cold weather than hot weather — and was and is sporadic. Some days, it will crank right up as normal, but most days, it takes three to five attempts to start and occasionally will not start at all. On a few occasions, I have had it towed to my mechanic of many years, a highly competent and trustworthy individual and once it is unloaded will start with few issues.
This is Sunday morning and it has not started since Friday morning. On the times I have had it in my mechanics shop, when there are starting issues, he has checked the fuel pressure and other essential codes and finds that all conditions are normal.
Typically when I try to start it when it is being difficult, it will hit on a few cylinders and then stop hitting. When it finally does start, it coughs and sputters and sounds like a radial aircraft engine starting.
Other than the starting issue, the truck is completely satisfactory.
The battery is good and whirls the engine well.
Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 9:31 AM

Post #2 of 16 (895 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Are you sure about the fuel pressure? It's common for these truck to act that way with just a few pounds too low on the pressure. It needs to be over 55PSI at all times.



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taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 9:44 AM

Post #3 of 16 (889 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Hammertime, thanks for your reply. I'm not privy to the readings, but rely on my mechanic who tells me that it is OK. I will pass this along to him and thanks again,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)

(This post was edited by taterbug on Sep 10, 2017, 9:45 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 10, 2017, 11:53 AM

Post #4 of 16 (880 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

It may have been OK when checked if you drove it there. IDK if you can rent a pressure tester where you are or not but it's easy enough if a Vortec you didn't say anything about what engine.


Battery may be powerful enough or not? If engine has tons of miles (you didn't say that either - how many) some you can turn with your hands so check it out a bit like watch voltage drop while cranking away as that's all the fuel pump can get if much below 10v while cranking a good pump loses pressure,


T



taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 12:01 PM

Post #5 of 16 (872 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Thanks Tom,
I'll see if I can find out the engine type.
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 12:16 PM

Post #6 of 16 (870 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

I'm not looking it up they say right on a sticker under the hood or 8th digit should be an "R" if a Vortec 5.7 probably the most common. Could be a V6 or think they made the Vortec for the big block too. I plain can't be sure what engine is in it - it says under the hood unless that's missing,


T



taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 12:41 PM

Post #7 of 16 (864 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Tom, it is a V8 and if the top of the intake box is to be believed, it is a Vortec. Or at least that's what it says, bigger'n Dallas.
Thanks,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 12:45 PM

Post #8 of 16 (860 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

 Tom, the battery is pretty good. I put a trickle charger on it overnight before I made my attempts this morning. It sounds good, not like a dragging starter, for what it's worth
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 12:54 PM

Post #9 of 16 (860 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Vortec - yes written on engine doesn't really matter which version it "MUST" have high pressure as Hammer Time said wont run below 55 actually doesn't run well until a more like 60 PSI and must hold that not fade on you.


I did look for available engines were all over the place to really zoom in on which one need the VIN # you see thru the windshield is all is known original. Cough - some from your "LA" may think you can fool all around with engines - they need to be kept original - no hack tricks, no boring out converters and all that.
Yes, there was a day you could and we were both a whole lot younger then in fact the first ones came with a drain plug and full of coated BBs so you could replace them but who knew if you put them back in? Had to first many years while leaded fuel was still sold (lots cheaper) everyone cheated which clogged them even the suppliers to gas stations!


T



taterbug
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Sep 10, 2017, 1:02 PM

Post #10 of 16 (856 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Tom,
This is actually the second engine. The first one had 80,000 on it when I got in in 1999. At about 325,000, the original had some issues, and my guy replaced it with a junkyard engine that matched the original. That was a little over two years ago and it has performed flawlessly up until this problem. It has no gimmicks, just the stuff it came with it. About a year ago or so, the fuel pump swarmed so he did the lift-the-bed-and-replace-the-pump with an OEM Chevrolet unit. I can remember when you set the points with a Price Albert can and the plugs with a thin dime.
Thanks,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 1:11 PM

Post #11 of 16 (852 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Tom,
I checked the VIN and it has the R. My guy has been our family mechanic for 25 years or so and I consider him reliable, conscientious and honest as the day is long. The only thing on the truck that's not OEM is an alarm I had installed several years ago.
TNX,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 10, 2017, 2:06 PM

Post #12 of 16 (848 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

OK - On the driver's side fuel rail there's a cap to screw on a fuel pressure tester. I own one of these and my late mom as well - identical "R" code Vortecs different trucks doesn't matter.
Spent months figure it out as it behaved then wouldn't in front of me! So, a new battery I never consider a waste if over 3 years old (just me and cold already here in MA as in with that city - Boston) and the (hers) Suburban ran fine for weeks. Was watching and volts and fuel pressure readings back and forth so the jury can still be out on blaming the pump till you catch it too low. I say below 58 it will give you a hard time and much below that if never higher plain will not start - you don't get to pass "GO" and no $200 - smile.


Went thru a fuel pump relay and another few months it worked fabulously. Now I'm running out of hair when I finally catch it and sucker for love nor money would put out 58PSI when starting but would when running - see a running engine is then 13.5V up to 14.5V plus or minus was making a difference. End story new total pump solved it - done.


So that means at least don't keep buying them till sure if at all possible. OMG - take the bed off! This is MA it would be so rusted you'd pull the frame off with it the bolts don't hold a hex shape even but in "LA" they don't do that so much.


Long read - sorry. You need to test it and voltage at the same time. Also find the plug for it near the tank. Those don't seal water out forever so take a look they get a fine corrosion and just don't let thru the current that comes in nor always ground same plug. Tank is and has to be grounded as well as fuel neck just don't rely on that alone.
Test for same power at that plug you see at battery just when key turned on for the couple seconds then prime up so with a helper.


Bet "LA" that Autozone rents out the fuel pressure tester. Then you should buy a multimeter preferably a DVOM digital one that's fast and a test light meaning the scratch awl type with ground clip the handle lights up - always handy things both can be under $10 each for super cheap ones but test them with something that works perfectly with cheaping out on tools if so.


Watch the pressure. If it kicks up to about 62 or so watching alone a real tester hold the pressure so go out and look don't run engine just key on run, engine off. KOEO is the term we use.


If fine when you check and still starts like crap just get a helper so you can watch pressure live and battery voltage live while cranking. If they drop you'll hate me but should do both if engine spins a freely as you say not pulling it down.


Other "LA" trick is leave lights on and things and see how long it takes for volts to drop or how dim they get. "LA" or not GM sidepost terminals suk if you already haven't been caring for them for some time since known good they aren't by now. Pull now hard plastic once rubbery covers off and really look at the eyelet ends. Yup - now they do sell good splice ends - ask. You want real stuff not hacked for that.


Do the testing. If I haven't confused you yet I'll try harder later :-)


Tom


(edit) Here's a good joke ad about a tool store and rental place that's just funny. "LA" folks? Just a shotgun will do!
Here> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk2a-MJyM1g



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Sep 10, 2017, 2:14 PM)


taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 2:23 PM

Post #13 of 16 (836 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Thanks for the advice and laughed my tush off at the video.
Thanks,
Joe
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


taterbug
User

Sep 10, 2017, 2:28 PM

Post #14 of 16 (834 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Also noticed your cat. We three cats to go along with out three dogs. We have round heels when it comes to critters, but enough is now enough. Smile
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 11, 2017, 11:24 AM

Post #15 of 16 (796 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Well - Are you done checking yet? Like maybe before the storm blows thru?
BTW - Cat had to move on but was great help. Your dogs wouldn't stand a chance. Used to hold vehicles up for me when I couldn't find the jack stands.........

No reason to take keys out of cars or have an alarm either!
>
LOL, Tom



taterbug
User

Sep 14, 2017, 8:23 AM

Post #16 of 16 (740 views)
Re: 1998 Chevy pickup hard or not starting Sign In

Cute Kitty
Good ol' boy in LA (lower Arkansas)






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