1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 2:26am

My neighbor down the road(a complete stranger by the way) stopped by this afternoon,introduces self and asks if I know much about Astro engines as he's seen me working on mine.I tell him mostly what I've read on here has taught me about these vans.Well,he's got a '98 Astro RWD 4.3 W with 215,000 mi.He says it was running rough when warmed up.He proceeded to replace s.plugs,wires, dist.cap/rotor,PCV valve,fuel filter.It still misfired afterward.I went down to his house and it looks like he used all AC/Delco parts to replace,w/platinum s.plugs.The doghouse was still off so I took the coil wire off the dist. cap and grounded 1/8" off the block.It has a definite orange spark,should be blue? Cleaned the coil/ignition terminals with contact cleaner,no help.I pulled One spark plug wire off at a time while it was running.All made the engine run poorly when removed except #6 and #4,the back 2 on the passenger side.They BOTH made no difference when removed,even when pulled at the same time.We then tested 4 and 6(One at a time) with the plug removed connected to plug wire and grounded.They both had orangish/yellow spark but didn't look fouled or anything,just a brown/orange color around the tip.Shouldn't these also have a blue spark? We didn't pull any other plugs,the rest seemed to be firing correctly.I told him that what Ive read on here,the ignition coil or module is probably bad? Sorry for so long a post and thanks much for advice.
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 9th 2012, 2:30am

Coil is weak. Spark should be blue.
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 2:54am

Thanks Chevymaher.I wasn't sure,but it'll sure make the guy happy if this works for him.I'll post back tomorrow with results.Have a great Monday,
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 9:13pm

Well,it still has the same problem.Orange spark from coil wire.It wasn't too bad to replace the coil though.Drilled out 2 rivets off the coil/ignition module bracket from inside the van on the passenger side(with doghouse removed).The new coil had replacement bolts/nuts to re-mount the coil.I removed the dist.cap/rotor,everything looks clean and new.
I had some extra ignition wires laying around the garage from my wife's Burb and tried the coil wire.Still bright orange spark,no matter how close or far away I move the gap from ground when turning engine over.
Not sure how to proceed from here.Doe's the 3-wire plug going into the coil call for specific voltages? Would that be worth testing? I have a common digital multimeter I can test it with.
Also,this the coil he bought:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Ignition-Coil-ACDelco_18050918-P_190_R|GRPTUNEAMS_____
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 9:51pm

We're thinking that the #6 and #4 cylinders may not be firing because of no fuel or not enough fuel to those 2 ? But it still doesn't explain the crappy orange spark.The spark plugs on these 2 cylinders both have a light tan color.Between brown and orange.No fouling,they're practically new.He changed them 2 weeks ago.
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 9th 2012, 10:00pm

The only thing else controlling the spark color is the dwell. It is controlled by the ignition module. This part right by the coil. Luckily it easy to remove. Take it to be tested at your LAPS.
ignition module.jpg
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 11:11pm

Thanks Chevymaher.We'll try that first.Have it tested.
There's a new pick-n-pull salvage yard nearby.They want $20.00 for a used one.If it don't work they said I can bring it back the same day Only,cash refund or pull another one.They hard stamp everything too.We're gonna go that route before buying a new one.They aren't cheap new,the ACDelco ones..over a $Hunderd$,even with a 20% discount.
Anyway I've spent enough time trying to fix this van.But Jimmy is a good neighbor who likes his Astro van.His hottie wife just wants it fixed too. :lol:
Will post again tomorrow on this thread for results.
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 9th 2012, 11:38pm

I just noticed before putting the rotor and dist.cap back on that one of the 'tips' on the rotor,underneath by the screw hole was broken off/missing.There should be 2 of them,1 by each each screw to align the rotor properly.I'm positive I didn't break one when removing the rotor.Just another part or potential problem .Sometimes I hate working on other peoples stuff,especially when someone else may have screwed it up b4 I got there..But sometimes a jack of all trades has to do what he has to do.Just fix it.
Will post again tomorrow on this thread for results.
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 11th 2012, 7:17pm

Well,we tried to get the ignition module tested at Autozone,instead of fooling with a used one that may or may not have been any good.They did'nt have the right plug to test it with.Went to NAPA,they wouldn't try to test it because they said the tester will fry 90% of these modules and ruin a good one.WHAT I asked?Whats the point of even having the tester then? GRRRRRRRRRRRR :screaming: .I never got a straight answer from them.They proceeded to tell us a new on was $120.
Decided to go with a BWD brand from Advance Auto for $60.00,that was with a 20% discount coupon.
Also,when we went to take the old one off today,the head of both bolts snapped right off!They were threaded in the bracket and were rusted.Now I have to drill out 2 more holes for new bolts/nuts for the ignition module mounting.

It never fails when I try to fix something for somebody,there's always more to it than meets the eye..Like the old saying goes...a good deed never goes unpunished. :roll:

Will post back later with results...
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
astro1957
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L1)
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Years of Membership: astro1957 has been a member for 2 full yearsastro1957 has been a member for 2 full years
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Year: 1996
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Extra Info: 4.3L V6 RWD

Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 11th 2012, 9:05pm

astro1957 wrote:
It never fails when I try to fix something for somebody,there's always more to it than meets the eye..Like the old saying goes...a good deed never goes unpunished. :roll:


I am with you there. I am messing with a oldsmobile right now. Supposed to be a water pump. Ended up taking the T-stat out to. It is overheating. Got flow in the radiator. Got flow in the block. As soon as it gets to temp where the fans kick on. It is boiling and getting air in the radiator. Top half gets cold to touch. Bottom is red hot. From there temp rises and it gets red hot. Bad to worse. Why is it on every re-design of a engine it involves completely taking the engine apart to fix the smallest thing.It isn't getting flow through the heads for whatever reason. And they getting hot and causing bubbles. Hence the poorly designed cooling system is catching the air and it severely overheating. Special filling instructions my rear end. Make it so when you fill it, it is full. Put the cap in the highest part of the system, wow was that so tough.

Anyway I really enjoying to today.
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby paintdrying » July 11th 2012, 9:35pm

I would not worry about the orange spark. It has been my experience that these coils spark orange. I was watching a video where they were bench testing a coil. It was going blue with the spark and the guy turned it up farther and it turned to yellow.
You need to look for weak spark on these vans. That has just been my experience.
Make sure to re grease the module before reinstalling it. They all just snap off, I just drill through and rebolt, you maybe able to just use self taping screws.
Those misfires can be a real bear to find.
1999 chevy astro van awd ls 108,000 miles
parts van 2000 astro rwd 279,000 miles
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Re: 1998 Astro misfiring,ignition coil?

Postby astro1957 [OP] » July 13th 2012, 4:40am

Hi everybody.We had success mostly with the ICM replace.Still orange spark but It idles better now,still a slight occasional 'shake' but it takes off like crazy from a stop.Very peppy around town.On the freeway at a steady 70-80mph,theres a intermittent misfire,it'll 'chug' for a second or two not steady,and no SES light anymore.He always runs regular gas in it,I told him him to run some premium and maybe a bottle of sea foam.And a fresh oil change.All in all,everybody's happy and I made a friend.
Thanks for your help A/S.I wouldn't even attempted this for somebody without the knowledge here.
1996 Astro - SMc by Archer Conversion-
A friend is not a fellar,who is taken in by sham.A friend is one who knows our faults,and doesn't give a dam.-J.P. McEvey
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
astro1957
Firing on 1 Cylinder (L1)
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Years of Membership: astro1957 has been a member for 2 full yearsastro1957 has been a member for 2 full years
Posts: 133
Topics: 8
Joined: May 2012
Location: West Michigan
Gender: Male
Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: 4.3L V6 RWD


 
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