Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 14th 2019, 5:46am

Hi.

There are 26 or more pages of posts relating to "not starting", and I've checked out many of them. None of them seem to deal with my issue exactly, although I did get some good ideas to pursue. You might have more specific-to-my-issue related suggestions, I am hoping anyway.

I have a fuel injected 1997 Safari RWD and just reached 199,000 kms/~124000 miles. Recently it has been difficult to get it started, although I figured out that if I just cranked the engine 4 or 5 times within a minute or two and then let it sit for 10 minutes or so, it would then usually start right away, and it would then start every time first time all day long. (( It does however stutter when cruising at fast speeds like 105 kmph/65 mph or more, and climbing grades at that speed. When driving at 90 kmph/55 mph or less, I do not notice the stuttering, although it might still be happening )). The next day it would be the same scenario, try starting a half dozen times, wait 10 minutes or so, then it would start. Recently though that method was no longer reliable and often I was not able to start it, and I just gave up for the day not wanting to fry the starter. Also, my engine trouble light has NOT gone on, and the van has a spanking new battery.

I thought of the obvious possibilities, did some research, and decided to replace the fuel pump, believing it was the likely culprit (even though I have read that they typically last for 300000 miles and more), which I did just today, but the issues remain after having driven it for an hour. It also sputtered and farted and chugged for about a minute while it choked out the air from the new pump. I will test it again tomorrow to see if it starts first crank.

Any ideas I could pursue? Am I left with only ignition issues now? And where do I start for that?

Thanks all around.
________________________

Next day update: It didn't start first crank but it did start on 3rd try. I noticed also that once it starts it is rough running for about a second or two before it runs smooth. I will leave it alone for the day and try again tonight or tomorrow.

I am just now remembering that a month or so ago I drove through a strong heavy rain on the highway and the engine sputtered a lot until it (something) dried, presumably because of wet plug wires? Is there another way the rain water could affect the engine running?
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
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LazyLynx
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Posts: 28
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Extra Info: 152000km in 2015

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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 16th 2019, 3:17am

2nd day update: It wouldn't start at all, trying numerous times throughout the day.

3rd day update: It didn't start for 6 or more tries. Went underneath, banged on the evap canister and fuel filter and unplugged and reinserted a bunch of connectors, then, voila!, it started with a tiny crank like it never had a problem. It wasn't even rough running for the first second or 2 like before. Drove it around for a bit but not on the highway yet. Installed Bosch iridium plugs, and now I'm waiting for tomorrow to see if all of that corrects the problems and starts first crank.
Last edited by LazyLynx on September 16th 2019, 11:20pm, edited 3 times in total.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
LazyLynx
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Years of Membership: LazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 28
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Images: 28
Joined: July 2015
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Extra Info: 152000km in 2015

Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby AstroWill » September 16th 2019, 4:21am

Sounds like you need a tuneup, badly. Check your fuel pressure, post your KOEO pressure and leakdown results. While you are in there check for PDD https://sites.google.com/site/astrosafa ... or-disease

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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby Big_kid » September 16th 2019, 12:29pm

How's the fuel filter?
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 16th 2019, 11:19pm

Big_kid wrote:How's the fuel filter?


Can a fuel filter work intermittently? Because once I get the van started, it works fine all day. It's only the next day that it has difficulty starting.

I will replace it soon regardless. When I saw it it was quite rusted.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
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Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 16th 2019, 11:20pm

AstroWill wrote:Sounds like you need a tuneup, badly. Check your fuel pressure, post your KOEO pressure and leakdown results. While you are in there check for PDD https://sites.google.com/site/astrosafa ... or-disease


Astrowill, thanks for that. I will do those soon.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
LazyLynx
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Years of Membership: LazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full years
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Joined: July 2015
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 17th 2019, 10:37pm

I decided to check the distributor, per Astrowill's advice to check for PDD disease. See the pics. Rotor tip corroded. Cap lobe? non existent. But I still don't understand why the van starts no problem all day long after having great difficulty getting it started in the morning. But WOOHOO! the problem is solved now.

20190917_151521.jpg

20190917_151605.jpg
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
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Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Posts: 28
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby Leeann_93 » September 17th 2019, 10:46pm

Yeah, the cap nubby thingie (yep, technical term) is missing and your rotor looks pretty corroded.

Cold, it needed a lot of help. Warm, apparently, it could fire easily. Which is kinda amazing, considering the condition of cap and rotor. Cap doesn't look like an AC Delco - it's tan-ish? Unfortunately, most aftermarket flat caps aren't good out of the box. Good-quality aftermarket caps with brass terminals and AC Delco caps are the only way to go.

Glad you got her fixed! And it was cheap - bonus!
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby AstroWill » September 17th 2019, 11:26pm

:shock:
I'm surprised it ran at all.

Glad to hear that you got it fixed. I wouldn't skimp on the tuneup though, would at least check your plugs and wires(ohms and fireworks test) as well.

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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 18th 2019, 1:50am

Thanks Leeann_93 and AstroWill.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
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Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Extra Info: 152000km in 2015

Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby Mmusicman » September 18th 2019, 4:00pm

Kind of shows sometimes we attempt to over-complicate things when we need to be sure the basics are good. Glad to see it was a simple resolve!
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Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 18th 2019, 5:43pm

Yep
Last edited by LazyLynx on September 18th 2019, 5:45pm, edited 1 time in total.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
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LazyLynx
Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Years of Membership: LazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 28
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Joined: July 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): LazyLynx
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 152000km in 2015

Re: Engine difficulty starting, stutters at high speeds

Postby LazyLynx [OP] » September 18th 2019, 5:44pm

Mmusicman wrote:Kind of shows sometimes we attempt to over-complicate things when we need to be sure the basics are good. Glad to see it was a simple resolve!


Yep. Over thinking a situation when all the basics should have been looked at first. I think deep down I wanted to make that access to the pump. Ha.
1997 Popsicle Purple Safari STILL RUST FREE!
See my pics changing fuel pump from the floor, which was quite easier than I thought it would be.
https://www.astrosafari.com/gallery/mcp ... m_id=11822
(Change order of pics to ascending)
Original Poster [OP]
User avatar
LazyLynx
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Years of Membership: LazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full yearsLazyLynx has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 28
Topics: 5
Images: 28
Joined: July 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): LazyLynx
Van Model Year: 1997
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 152000km in 2015


 
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