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Van died while driving.

2215 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  RECox286
I backed out of my drive way and put it in drive... went 10 feet and she died :(

Had no spark to the plugs... checked coil... no spark coming from the Coil.
Have 11.14 volts on the +terminal when probed the coil
Voltage on the -terminal fluctuates while cranking.

I would guess that all means that everything up to that point is working correctly?

What I've replaced so far:

1. Coil
2. Spark plug wires
3. Spark plugs
4. Distributor cap
5. Rotor

I just installed the new coil (after drilling out the rivets of the old one while it was in place... that bracket is hell to try and take off)
I cranked the engine and heard a loud pop (guessing that was from gas in the cylinders from testing, meaning I'm getting spark to the plugs)
At least now it sounds like it's trying to catch... but very faint.

These are my questions:
1. Is there an easy way to put my finger in the #1 spark plug hole? or get my 15 month son to do it :) cause it's a pain in the a** to get to them in the first place.
2. How would I test the pick-up coil on the distributor... that's the only thing on the high tension side I haven't checked yet.
3. I had the old coil disconnected completely and removed the rotor cap.. the rotor spins slow while cranking... don't know how fast it is suppose to be.

My battery is now almost dead (from death at street till now I've only cranked it around 20 times)

If anybody has had this issue or knows what might be wrong... I'd appreciate the help (it's my only vehicle and Christmas is coming)
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adb_0614 said:
UPDATE: somehow 1 and 3 plug wires got switched... van now tries to start... but distributor timing is off.

I marked the rotor and the distributor before I pulled it to check if the gears were in good shape.

I noticed there is a 7/16" slop in rotor movement if I twist it... I guess that's why the timing is off. It was late last night when I did this and didn't notice it.
Yup, sounds like the distributor is bad. I just had to swap the one in my Bravada with the one in my Astro's donor engine and there's nothing like that much slop in either distributor. It's just the bearings on the Bravada's were almost seized they were so tight.

And your voltage sounds low to me.
Out of curiosity, what brand of parts did you use?

I'd go ahead and replace the cap and rotor, just for the heck of it - and to match the other new ignition parts. Have you tested the ignition control module and the crankshaft position sensor?
It's generally the cap, though the coil is a close second.

Pop off the cap; if you happen to have screens over the vent holes in the cap base, pop 'em out (per a GM TSB). The screens are too fine a mesh to allow moisture to escape. Also, aftermarket caps tend to be more susceptible to wet problems due to the design of the horizontal (flat) cap. Get an AC Delco or high-quality aftermarket cap with brass terminals.

On the coil (if it is indeed the arcy-sparky problem), only AC Delco. RockAuto has them. I had a bad experience with an aftermarket coil recently and will never go back there again.
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