Van died and wont start

Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 17th 2013, 7:08pm

I have a 2002 astro cargo van and have posted here before and not really sure if this topic has been covered or not, im just frustrated with everything that's been happening because i own my own carpentry/handyman business and need this van running so I can get working.....

Ok, so let me run you through my issues im having and what I have done so far. It started back before xmas and I left water in the coolent lines on accident. I wernt away and came back a few days later and it was froze solid. I disconnected all lines and had a salamander heater blowing heat at it for 6 hrs so it all would thaw out. Ran perfectly fine after. The other day I was driving down the road and it had just died. I have had problems with the fuel pump hose staying on and last time I used hose clamps to hold it on and thought that might be the problem, so the other night I dropped the tank and checked it and it was all good. I brought my battery to advance auto today for a test and it only had 40 cranking amps, so bought a new battery. I was looking through topics and found out my battery could've been weak and not enough to feed my alternator, which I thought was the case. It def turns over now and wants to run but it don't have that ummmf to get it turned over, cranks fine, can smell gas and has good spark. Checked fuses and have it all torn apart as we speak and still nothing, I hope it might only be flooded and I have to let it set but you would of thought I would've started after I changed the battery, Just not sure what to do or what to check next. I do most of the work on my own and have def saved me a lot of money. The problems seem not to stop, it runs perfect for having 294,000 miles on it and everyone that knows it has that many miles is impressed it runs so smooth while its running. It was running fine the other day until it seemed to have run out of gas and just out of no where died. Someone please help me figure out what is next that I should do and maybe even what it could be I guess if you have experience with this same issue. I do live in the north and it does get cold here, but hasn't been below 20 the past few days, it is supposed to be in the single digits tonite so I would like to figure it out today if possible, I need to get to work soon or else im screwed.. Thanks to anyone with any suggestions, if you need to know more please ask and I will leave myself online so I can get to your suggestions asap or even questions if I left anything out. Thanks
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 17th 2013, 7:15pm

Always start with the basics. Do you have fuel pressure and spark?
If it is dying it running out of one of them.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby RECox286 » January 17th 2013, 8:19pm

Before you go tearing things apart, did you try a shot of starting fluid while cranking ? Like CM says ^^^ start with basics.

Having air is a given, you need to know if you have good fuel pressure and good spark. If it goes on starting fluid, then

start looking at fuel related issues. Good luck.

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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 12:09am

ok, I was driving down the road and it died, I do have fuel pressure and spark, but tore the whole center cover out and did check for spark and spark is good. While I was walking outside I saw under the van that there was a puddle of some sort, not even sure if this is good, but def frustrated even more now because I think it could be my block cracked. But now, why would I have already been able to drive over 100 miles in the past week and everything be ok? It all started while driving down the road, but it does appear to be NO antifreeze in the resivior so I am assuming that the block has cracked, is it possible and how would I know for sure??? Fluid that looks like water is dripping out from behind one of the pullys. Kind os pi$$e$ me off considering I have just started picking up numerous jobs finally to start tomorrow and now cant even make it until I find a new rig to use. Just totally confused.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 12:25am

Okay from what you just said I going to take a stab at a final solution for you. It froze, you knocked a feeeze out plug loose. Driving cycles of heating and cooling worked it loose more. Combined with the internal pressure in the engine from heated coolant, it pushed it out untill it finally leaked. Now the leaking coolant is running down and getting the crank sensor connection wet. There is your stalling.

May not be it but it is a plausible scenario :character-oldtimer: .
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 12:31am

OK thanks chevymaher, I saw u were online and was hoping you would reply. So, I should check the freeze plug? And if that is it I should replace it? or can it be pushed back in? Ive never dealt with this before so no clue what the next step would be. Where are the freeze plugs located? I found them online before but will have to look again. Thanks
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 12:47am

do u know exactly where they are located??? Just went and looked and cant seem to find any. Saw a video on youtube and the guy has the motor pulled and its a ford, I don't know where I saw the pic of it before.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 12:49am

Just get a new freeze plug if that is it. They only a few bucks. The hard part is taking the accessory bracket off to get to it. It is just a dish/bowl shaped stamped piece of metel. Drive it in with a big socket. Getting the old one out is fun sometimes. Some combination of vice grips and a big screwdriver.

I read your reply before I posted let me see if I can find the picture of where they are.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 1:05am

This the best I could find quick. The engine is upside down. The red area/square is where the head would be. There 2 on the each side. And 2 in the front next to where the water pump bolts on. You can only see one in the picture. Far left arrow. The small circle it is in there. Under the accessory brackets on either side.
Second pic is the wrong engine but the color contrast shows the plug in gold against the dark block. Same kind of plug.

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plug.jpg
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 1:26am

cool, just went to parts store and they don't have em listed but want to know the size, geeez what good are they?? lol. So now I need to figure out what size I need. Damn, if its not one thing its the next. Mind you its only 8 degrees outside. Its leaking from the front it looks like. I could see the drip earlier and its coming from behind the pully. Is the front ones easy to get at?
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 1:34am

Which pulley? There a weep hole in the water pump under the pulley there.
I wish I could say it is easy. They all a pain but the front ones the worst.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 2:15am

Not quite sure which pulley, just noticed it was coming from behind a pulley when I looked earlier. Now would a popped out frost plug make the van not start? Why? is it because the coolant is all gone? Or anything to do with combustion? I did notice earlier ( with the whole dash apart and still is ) that it would build pressure a bit and then whoosh it all out. Is that maybe coming from the frost plug being out? Now, how come you cant just pound the plug back in if it is still there? Will it still be there? Just asking so I know if I am looking for a hole or a plug. It is now 5 degrees outside and 8pm here and guess what im going to try to do for the next few hours w/o a garage!!! lol. I dropped the gas tank the other night in my driveway at 9pm and had it all apart and back together by 11pm when I was checking the fuel pump. I do appreciate your guidance with this as I am a jack of all trades and do actually like learning these things for future reference so anything to make things easier would be better. I don't have a garage and only have mostly basic tools. Online it shows them using a back of a screwdriver or even a socket to bang it back in but how do you know it is in there good? Why couldn't you just tap the edges? Im just curious so I don't mess anything up anymore then it already is. Thanks chevymaher you have been a GREAT help.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 2:31am

Once you get the old one out and new one in you will know if it is in. They are wedged in there. Just in the center of the area you have and straight. That is why a socket is best. So you drive it in straight. If it is going in crooked it could pop on by and end up in the block somewhere.

Now maybe I befuddled from reading and mixing up to many threads. But I was under the impression it did run but was stalling at idle. If it is not starting at all. That isn't good. I still would look at the crank sensor first and make sure it is clean and dry at the connection. Freezing should not affect starting. It may run terrible and knock. Cracked head. Loose coolant and run fine. Hydrolock and not crank over. Bad head gasket or cracked head allowing coolant into the cylinder. But it should still be starting if it is turning over. Fouling the crank trigger connection the only electrical issue from coolant leaking I can think of. Nothing else would change. Most cylinders in a worst case scenario still run fine and are getting correct fuel and spark. Just no added coolant in the mix as a compromised combustion chamber would.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby godmachine81 » January 18th 2013, 2:32am

if the leak is coming down from the valve covers and down to the alternator or the a/c unit pulleys it is possible the lower intake manifold gasket blowed, depending on how bad it was or the point of failure you could get a major external leak, major internal leak, or you could be getting water into the heads if the gasket is completely gone. With that many miles on it, the OEM gasket is about due for a change anyway, however it may not be the problem. I'd check to see if there is any water in between the valve covers and the intake manifold. Most of the time it won''t cause the engine to not start, but if the gasket blew out between the fuel injectors and water ports, its possible that water is getting into the heads. I'd like to think that at least 1 of 6 cylinders would still fire up if this was the case though.

Flush the old coolant from the system and get one of those pressurized coolant funnels, start running some water into the engine and look for where the first sign of a leak is coming from. I wouldn't want to advise you to change lower intake manifold gaskets when its not the main problem, but at the same time a major leak from a freeze plug shouldn't keep you from getting the engine to turn over.

The only other thing left that comes to mind when you say you smell gas considering you have done tested the fuel sending unit, would be the spider injector unit failing.

Hope these ideas may help you narrow the problem a bit. Sorry if it comes across confusing.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 2:38am

ok, update for both of you. I just went and got a better look and I can see the leak was coming from a small hole in the water pump? weep hole? is this good or bad??? is that why it wont start??? now im starting to confuse myself, lol
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby godmachine81 » January 18th 2013, 2:40am

sounds like you have bad water pump, the common failure for a water pump is leaking from the weep hole. however, the bad news is this isn't why the engine won't fire.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 2:41am

acgcarpentry wrote:ok, update for both of you. I just went and got a better look and I can see the leak was coming from a small hole in the water pump? weep hole? is this good or bad??? is that why it wont start??? now im starting to confuse myself, lol


I have flushed the entire system within the past 2 weeks in order to thaw out everything from it freezing and also added new coolant
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby chevymaher » January 18th 2013, 2:44am

That means a new water pump. Starting another ball game.
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 2:47am

ok just to make it clear, seems you might be confused from other threads, it does turn over just doesn't kick over and start. You can smell gas, it does chug a bit once in a while but didn't until I replaced the battery. But upon trying to get it to turn over I did notice it was leaking underneath, this is where the whole leak thing started, I just went and looked and followed the water trail up to a little hole about an 8th inch big which is on the back side of one of the pulleys, im taking it that is the water pump. I haven't tried to start it since I posted my first post but will go try and see what else happens. I didn't notice any leaking until earlier when I was trying to get it to fire. I got frustrated and came inside, upon going outside I noticed it was dripping underneath, nothing to bad but the dripping mustve been happening upon the engine turning because the dirt under was wet about 1'x1' area.

Now you say new water pump, would that cause it not to start????
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Re: Van died and wont start

Postby acgcarpentry [OP] » January 18th 2013, 2:49am

but I still cant seem to see any of the freeze plugs either
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