won't crank, sometimes.

Asked by Feb 24, 2016 at 11:40 AM about the 1998 Chevrolet S-10 2 Dr LS 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Replaced the engine in my 98 s-10, w code 4.3 v-6. won't crank,
sometimes. in checking all the fuses, relays in the power panel under hood,
when i touched the mini-fuse for the starter relay, the engine cranked. After
several times I touched the start fuse with a test light, the engine no longer
cranked doing that. I turned the key to start position, and the engine
cranked normally for a second. then, nothing in the start position. I touched
the start relay fuse again with the key in the run position, and the engine
again cranked for a few times that i touched the fuse. After a few times,
again the engine wouldn't crank. Again, when I turned the key to crank
position, the engine cranked with the key, but just fora  few seconds. Then,
back to the test light to the fuse to crank the engine. I do have correct fuel
pressure and spark. when I pour fuel down the throttle body and crank the
engine with the test light way, the engine runs for a few seconds until the
fuel is used up. I have checked all the ground connections to the body,
frame, and engine. all seem to be good. HELP!!!

9 Answers

72,305

I am a little confused here in what you are talking about. The starter not turning over the engine? Or the fuel pump not getting power? Or is the fuel pump running and the starter is working but the engine will not start up?

The starter only will CRANK the engine when I touch the little test terminal on the top of the mini-fuse for the start relay in the power panel under the hood. The engine does not start unless I pour fuel down the throttle body. It seems to me that I have a ground problem, but I am at a loss as to where to look for the problem. Again, this is only a sometimes situation. Most of the time, this is the only way to CRANK the engine. I have not gotten the engine to RUN, except for the times I prime the engine with gas.

I have ignition spark always. The fuel pump is operating properly and I have proper fuel pressure. It seems that the computer, ECM, is not firing the injectors properly either. The few times that the engine will CRANK with using the key in the CRANK position, the engine does not crank long enough to actually start. Does that clarify things some?

FYI, I am an ASE certified master tech with 45 years experience and have run across all sorts of weird problems, but nothing like this! I am hoping that someone else has run across this type of glitch, most probably unique to Chevrolets. Leave it to Chevrolet to put their injectors in a spider configuration INSIDE of the intake manifold. How stupid for being able to check individual injectors or isolating one injector at a time.

72,305

Yes, sounds like 2 problems. 1 being to get the starter to turn over the engine, and your other problem is a fuel issue that I can help you with also. The 4.3L engine is notoriously known for leaky fuel injectors, spider lines, and regulator unit. I can tell you how to test if you would like..

72,305

So we aut to be able to get this thing going.

Thanks, I feel that these problems are from the same fault. I'm thinking that the ECM ground is floating and the ECM controls the crank function as well as the injector pulse.

I will forward the results of my findings when I do find the problem, and I WILL find the problem, just hoping for some direction to simplify my search. Thank you for being there for us!

72,305

I do suppose, but I never ran across that, but does make sense. The way I would go about this would to get the starter working properly first. But you could check fuel pressure also, don't need the starter for that. Wouldn't matter if the injectors are pulsing or not. How do you know you have proper fuel pressure? Should be 56 to 63 lbs.

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