96 Astro wont start

96 Astro wont start

Postby ReclusivePro [OP] » March 23rd 2009, 1:02am

Hello, Im posting this for my dad, he has a 96 astro van, on his way home from work the other day his van just died as if it was shut off.
We found out that the little metal pickup in the rotter button broke off inside the distributor, so we replaced the distributor cap and the rotter.
disconnected battery, reconnected it and tried to start it, cranked and cranked, very random and not consistent sparking. we did put the distributor back in the way it came out.

cranked it a little more and the muffler literally exploded. that big *** stock muffler blew off the bands that wrap around it and blew a 2 foot whole where the seem was.
so we checked coil, getting spark from that, but getting random, what seems weak sparks off the distributor.
our guess is maybe the coil is going out, if the coil is going out will it still give spark but maybe not enough?

Also where the roter attaches to the distributer seems loose, kind of shakes around.

thanks for any help.
we will be going back out Tuesday to try and get it running again.
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Re: 96 Astro wont start

Postby Matrixx » March 23rd 2009, 1:56am

Hi ReclusivePro

Could you clarify a couple of things here first please:

-Did you take the Whole distributor out or not? Or did you just replace the cap and rotor?
-Did you install the wires correctly back onto the cap? It doesn't sound like it.
-What do you mean by the rotor wiggling? Up and Down? or Side to Side? If it's up and down, then it's either the wrong rotor, or you haven't tightened it down enough and that could very well cause the problems your having. Hopefully you put the rotor on correctly, their is a slot that needs to match the rotor to avoid incorrect installation of it. The rotor needs to fit into that slot to sit flush and not wiggle around which it will do if it's not on correctly.

-You need a strong Blue Spark from the coil, are you getting that?
-What name brand parts did you use for the cap and rotor?

Please keep us updated, Thanks.:)
96-GMC Safari - Rwd - Original Transmission - Exhaust - Air Cared - 3.73 Limited Slip Rear End - Motor Replaced - 91 octane (Chevron) for the last 14 years - MFI Upgrade - 640,000 Kilometers.
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Re: 96 Astro wont start

Postby ReclusivePro [OP] » March 23rd 2009, 7:27am

we just replaced the cap at rotter, but did later pull out the entire distributor to make sure it there was no teeth missing or anything, but it did go back in the exact way it came out.

and yes all the wired are plugged back in correctly.

and with the rotter wiggling, it turns a little and moves upwards as it turn, doesn't move much but enough to make me wonder. and the rotter fits on correctly, the part that the rotter screws onto is whats moving, even with the old rotter on there it still moved.
and the parts we purchased was the standard oem ac delco parts.
we got the parts from advance auto parts, wont buy them from auto zone anymore. my dads old 89 astro had electrical issues alot like his new one, we purchased new cap and distributor from autozone, didint work, thought it was something else, kept the parts after he got rid of the van and tried putting it in my current van (89 astro), which runs fine, just thought mite aswell use the parts sence we had them, put them in and the van wouldn't fire, found out both the rotter and distributor they sold us were faulty so we dont purchase anyparts like that from autozone anymore

and the spark is not blue and its wont really jump that far, its more like an orangish red color. so is the coil out?, or is there anything else in the van that controls the coil that im not familiar with, newest vehicle i have owned is the 89 astro i have now and its probably the newest im ever going to get, I'm really hating how much computer controls are on vehicles now a days, making it really hard to find or fix a problem without expensive equipment.

and just one more quick Q. when we replace the muffler, do we have to buy one of those big ones that came with the van, or can we purchase any muffler and slap it on there.
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