2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs.

PLACE ANY ISSUES RELATED TO YOUR VAN NOT STARTING OR STARTING HARD IN HERE.

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matsvey
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2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs.

Post by matsvey »

Hello All! New here but have been a creeper for a long time and gleaned tons of help over the years. Thought I would post a question to a dilemma I've been facing. I am just stuck on this one.

A little back round. The van has been running real rough and was time for some plugs and wires. Figured I would just do the cap and rotor since I had it open. Since the van would be up on jack stands anyways I also needed motor mounts, they were disintegrated, and I threw in a tranny mount for good measure.

Also did the PCV Valve.

For the wires I used Duralast from Autozone. Plugs AC/Delco Platinums. Cap and Rotor was Duralast.

Most of us Astro owners know what a pain these spark plug and wire set jobs are. that being said I was super careful to hand thread all the plugs with a piece of hose first. Then tighten with socket. All gapped according to spec .060 which is what my manual and autozone and Rock Auto say.

I replaced one plug and wire at a time so as not to mix anything up. So I am good there. Got it all done and moved on to the motor mounts which were a total pain in the neck. Especially the passenger. Brutal.

Put it all back together and it won't roll over. It will try to start but never kicks over. Can smell gas strong at times almost as if flooded so don't pump pedal.

Tried to pull fuel pump relay so I don't flood and instead burn off what is there. Gas smell goes away but nothing.

I then put back original cap and rotor in case the Duralast is a dud. Same Symptoms.

Before this tune up it started fine every time without a problem.

The only oddity I can thing of is when I had on jacks my driveway is sloped upwards and I was pulled in and when up on jacks it was up for a long time. I did tune up one day and left on jacks. I then did motor mounts next day. So the van is not level when jacked because of driveway. Not sure if that matters any.

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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by Astrophysics »

Make sure the coil wire is snapped on firmly.
You could put a bit of dielectric grease in spark plug boots to make them slide on easier.
Also make sure the low voltage (primary side) coil wiring is connected.

Good luck.

AP
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by mdmead »

My first guess would have been wrong spark plug routing but since you swapped them one for one, this probably isn't it. (But since you did replace the cap, double check the firing order...)

My guess though it is still a lack of spark. An inline spark tester would be handy to ensure there is no spark to any of the plugs. My guess is something... wiring or a plug... was stretched or pinched when you swapped the motor mounts. You mentioned a gas smell... does this happen quickly, or after a lot of cranking? If quickly, check for a fuel leak as I recall hearing the ECM won't provide spark without proper fuel pressure.

These kind of problems can be miserable... hope you figure it out quickly.
Matt
Selah, WA
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Topic author
matsvey
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 7
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

Astrophysics wrote:Make sure the coil wire is snapped on firmly.
You could put a bit of dielectric grease in spark plug boots to make them slide on easier.
Also make sure the low voltage (primary side) coil wiring is connected.

Good luck.

AP
I double checked and everything is snapped in tight. I did use dielectric grease in boots to spark plugs but not to cap. I also used anti seize on spark plugs but was careful not to get to close to electrode. As for low voltage primary side coil wiring are you referring to the common wire or just the wire harness to the cap? Thanks.

Topic author
matsvey
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

mdmead wrote:My first guess would have been wrong spark plug routing but since you swapped them one for one, this probably isn't it. (But since you did replace the cap, double check the firing order...)

My guess though it is still a lack of spark. An inline spark tester would be handy to ensure there is no spark to any of the plugs. My guess is something... wiring or a plug... was stretched or pinched when you swapped the motor mounts. You mentioned a gas smell... does this happen quickly, or after a lot of cranking? If quickly, check for a fuel leak as I recall hearing the ECM won't provide spark without proper fuel pressure.

These kind of problems can be miserable... hope you figure it out quickly.
I double checked there are no pinched wires. As for the gas smell it's not right away it is after a few cranks and certainly totally gone if I pull fuel pump relay. I do recall moving the ground of the starter out of the way when doing a motor mount but it is effectively still trying to start so that should not be of concern if I accidentally bumped it wrong I guess. In any event I just freed it up and same symptoms. All continued pointers welcomed. Thanks so much.

Topic author
matsvey
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

Also I just pulled the common off the cap and I got good spark when trying to turn over. I guess what gets me is that everything was fine before and I was really methodical about this tune up and do all my own tune ups for years and never stumbled on such a problem before. Frustrating. It's a daily driver. Gotta figure this out.

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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by ihatemybike »

Did you somehow get the rotor on backwards?
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
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Topic author
matsvey
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

ihatemybike wrote:Did you somehow get the rotor on backwards?
No I doubt that because even when I put the original one back in I put it in as a whole unit. Never separated the cap from rotor.

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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by ihatemybike »

Whole unit? Cap and rotors aren't whole units. Sounds like you replaced the distributor.

In that case, I'm really feeling that you haven't got it aligned correctly.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86

Topic author
matsvey
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:06 pm

Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

ihatemybike wrote:Whole unit? Cap and rotors aren't whole units. Sounds like you replaced the distributor.

In that case, I'm really feeling that you haven't got it aligned correctly.
Yes, my bad, your correct. I'm on zero sleep. Sorry. Changed whole distributor. It slipped in easily and seated flush before screwing down. So I feel it's in right. I could be missing the mark I guess but it felt right. Do they ever align wrong?

ihatemybike
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by ihatemybike »

Yeah, they can be installed 180 degrees off.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86

Topic author
matsvey
I am merely driving my van
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:06 pm

Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by matsvey »

ihatemybike wrote:Yeah, they can be installed 180 degrees off.
I checked and it is inserted in proper orientation but now I am wondering if the problem is that when I removed old distributor I did not pull the cap and mark where the rotor was exactly and try to orient new distributor in same way. Now after installing new distributor and repeated crank attempts and replacing old distributor me thinks it is all out of alignment. What to do now? Ugh. Maybe I'll stop working on cars in my sleep after this, or at least distributors.

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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by Astrophysics »

This is interesting.
Get the shop manual. You may need to remove distributer. Unfortunately,
You may need to remove the spark plugs to release compression. Then find timing marks on engine and use big socket and breaker bar to set engine to TDC, top dead center of cylinder #1.
AP

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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by Astrophysics »

Also, go on line and type in You Tube, set timing on GM 4.3 V6
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Re: 2003 Astro Van 4.3 L V6 Won't Start after changing Plugs

Post by doyoulikeithere »

If you can be sure its #1 at TDC then its pretty easy to get your distributer in the correct place.
I had mine out 180 degrees once because I had it TDC #4 by mistake.
My kids make pretty good helpers though. :) I smelled gas and got some backifires ! Yikes.
Wu unpluged all the wires and repluged them 180 degrees on the dist cap and she fired right up.
Then we knew what it was...
Also been stumped by having a near empty fuel tank that couldnt pick up fuel because the front end was up on jackstands... Lol...
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