Question about 1993 GMC Safari

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Doesn't start The injectors are spitting gas into the throttle body, but it doesn't start. It will occasionally backfire in the throttle body

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  • jronjr Nov 19, 2008

    Thanks, I found that a couple of the plug wires were in the wrong order on the distributor. Now it half way starts as long as I keep the key on start, but if I let it go it dies down and stops with a burp up through the throttle body. This could be timing? The bolt on the distributor clamp is so tight I don't think it was adjusted when the cap and rotor were put on. (I didn't do the tune up) Or can these sensors really keep the car from starting? I looked at the plugs, they are brand new but were carbon fouled and when they sparked they had more of a yellow spark that went across to the side of the side electrode, not straight out from the tip. From reading other blogs it seems starting is a MAJOR problem for these 4.3 V6's, and no one has a ready solution. Not to mention that just getting in there to work on it is a royal pain. I do appreciate the help, I need this thing to run, it's my only transportation.

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All an engine needs to run is air, fuel, spark, and timing. You appear to be getting fuel. Pull a plug and reconnect it to the plug wire. Ground it to the engine away from gas and fumes and see if you get a good hot blue spark. If so cover the intake with your hand and turn the engine over. If you feel vacuum then you are probably getting air. If all of these things are okay then you are most likey looking for a timing issue. This could be mechanical like the timing belt or chain, valve train and cam(s), etc... It could also be the engine management systems including camshaft positoin sensor, mass airflow sensor, etc... I am assuming the van has the 4.3 Liter V-6 common for that model.
If it backfires it is probably getting spark maybe not at the right time. If these simple checks pan out you probably need to refer this problem to a mechanic.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008

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