95 Astro starting problems

95 Astro starting problems

Postby RichinMD [OP] » May 20th 2009, 5:37am

Wow, this seems to be a hot topic. I spent quite a few hours trolling the boards to see if I could find someone who has already had my problems and symptoms. Some are close, but not quite the same, so here goes....

1995 Astro, VIN W 6 cyl. 145,000 miles
Traveling about 45 mph, started to go up a fairly steep hill and then the motor bogged, caught itself, bogged again and died. Threw it into neutral and managed to get it to restart for about 2 seconds and that was the last time.

I had to change the fuel pump about 2 months ago and verified that it was working by hearing it kick on and off. So, I assumed it to be the ignition module (my folks have had plenty of problems with those in the past) but that did not solve the problem. Since I had the cowling off I went ahead and changed the cap and rotor. Then I went to the next obvious item being the fuel filter, still no joy. I finally decided to do some real troubleshooting and checked for spark. I got an orange spark, not great, but at least spark is being produced, and spraying ether down the intake would get the van to start momentarily. (I plan on changing the plugs and wires when I can finally get it to start.) Next I checked the fuel pressure and wound up getting 22 psi on the initial surge with the key on/eng off. After cycling the key on and off several times, pressure was between 34-38 psi. While cranking the engine it would stay at 36-38 psi, and when I would release the key, the pump would continue to run for about 2 seconds topping the pressure out at 40 psi. Also note that at the end of each of these pressure checks, pressure would immediately return to zero. I immediately thought that my fuel pressure regulator must be bad, but some folks at work mentioned that the check valve in my new fuel pump could be bad. After reading through many of the old posts here, I am going to get a "tee" and check fuel pressure at the fuel filter. A quick question before I do though, do I need to cap off the supply line prior to the schrader valve or just go ahead and tee in closer to the pump? I would like to get readings as accurate as possible without damaging the pump.

If anyone has any further insight into this problem or if I am going about my troubleshooting wrong, any input is more than welcome.

Thanks in advance,
Rich


Note: I was one of "those guys" and bought an Airtex fuel pump as it was the only kind my local auto store carried. Next time I will get a better one.
1995 Astro, 175k miles, VIN W, 2WD, Tow Pkg
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby 'cudapaul » May 20th 2009, 5:57am

You don't have enough fuel pressure to run the engine. You need over 60 lbs to start and 52-55 to run.
It is either the pump or the fuel pressure regulator. Check/replace the regulator first.
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Matrixx » May 20th 2009, 7:07am

Hi RichinMD

Welcome to the Forum

Yes, it will have to be blocked off at the T. You won't damage the pump when you cycle the key to get pressure. You will damage the Fuel Pressure Regulator if high pressure gets access to it (75 PSI or higher). Separating the front from the back with a pressure check will definitely point you in the direction you need to go for the pressure drop.

Having said that. cudapaul is absolutely correct with a faulty fuel pump. That is nowhere near the specs. you need to be at. Maybe a plugged fuel filter, but most likely not (sounds like a faulty fuel pump). So at this point from what you have mentioned you "may" have 2 problems to deal with (fuel pump-pressure regulator). The T fitting will tell you for sure (as long as the front is separated from the back when checking the pressure.

Please keep us updated, thanks.:)
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby RichinMD [OP] » May 23rd 2009, 5:54pm

Ok, I finally got some time to look at this. Pressure gauge hooked into the line from the tank through the fuel filter and I get a whopping 30 psi and it still immediately bleeds back down which tells me it is probably the check valve in the pump. Oh joy for working in the grass with 4 ramps to try to lower the fuel tank.

Since I originally bought and installed the full pump/hangar assembly for almost $300, would it just be easier (and cheaper, $75) to just purchase the pump itself and do a little splicing or should I just shell out $250 for another pump/hangar assembly?

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/image ... 47-227.jpg

or

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/image ... P10013.jpg

Thanks again folks,
Rich
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Leeann_93 » May 23rd 2009, 7:01pm

You bought a Delphi assembly to begin with? It's 2 months old now?

It's under warranty. Fight with the suckers - get a replacement.
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby 'cudapaul » May 23rd 2009, 7:34pm

I am going to guess that you have a bad fuel pressure regulator on the side of the injection "spider."

What was the original reason that you repalced the fuel pump?
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby RichinMD [OP] » May 24th 2009, 2:27am

The original pump I purchased was an Airtex and the reason I replaced it was because it quit working completely. I was backing out of a parking spot when the vehicle died. Knew it was a bad pump when I hit the key and didn't hear anything from the tank. I also had been noting that the pump was starting to get really loud. After replacing the pump, the vehicle ran like a champ up until a week ago.

Soooo, this time around I initially suspected that something else was wrong instead of the pump, but when I put the pressure gauge intersecting the tank and the filter, that is when I got my 30 psi. So this definitely has to be a bad pump or check valve in the pump. Either way, the pump needs replaced. When I put the new pump in is when I will have to do a pressure check on the schrader valve again to ensure that the pressure regulator is functioning normally.

After reading the Airtex warranty information on their website, it sounds like I won't be able to get the money back because I didn't keep the box that it was shipped in. Apparently there is a bar code on the box that lets them know when it was made. I plan on making some phone calls to see what I can do about this, but if anything, I will have a spare pump that I can play with.

Edit: Here is Airetex's unacceptable warranty list....buyer beware!!!!

http://www.airtexproducts.com/AIRTEXpdf ... onCode.pdf
1995 Astro, 175k miles, VIN W, 2WD, Tow Pkg
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Matrixx » May 24th 2009, 9:57am

yeh, some of us already knew that. Sorry to hear about your problems RichinMD. I hope you blocked of the front portion of the fuel line when did the fuel pressure test. Either way the pump is done from the looks of it. Delphi/Delco for a replacement is my suggestion here. Please keep us updated, thanks.:)
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby RichinMD [OP] » May 31st 2009, 2:35am

Finally got parts in earlier this week and had time to get back into the tank. New pump in and now have 60 psi at the schrader valve with all the lines hooked up. Fired right up on the first try. Bleed down was pretty quick (about 52 psi after a few minutes) so I figure that the fuel pressure regulator may be on its way out as well. I will have to attack that when I can afford some down time on the vehicle.

Thank you for all the suggestions and well wishes! Take care.
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Leeann_93 » May 31st 2009, 2:53am

Good job! I just did the pump on my Bravada yesterday, so I feel your pain...
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Matrixx » May 31st 2009, 7:04am

Thanks for the update RichinMD.:)
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby RichinMD [OP] » May 31st 2009, 10:12pm

Well, the hits just keep on coming. On an up notte, the van still runs, but as I was getting ready to pull out of my driveway today, my dash brake light came on and the pedal went right to the floor. I thought I had felt something weird when I went out for a test run last night, but now I have confirmed it. I have a broken brake line right at the T at the rear end. Unfortunately it is on the forward side of the T. I figure I must have kinked when trying to get the tank back in place. I will put a second post about this in the brakes section, just need to know if anyone has a diagram of the brake lines and if I am going to have to drop the tank again to run a new line.
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Re: 95 Astro starting problems

Postby Mr_Bowtie » June 1st 2009, 3:54am

Sorry to hear that.....hope that goes easy for you. :doh:
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