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1994 gmc 4.3 vorteck will not start. only starts with gas or starting fluid

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Have you checked the fuel pump, fuse,relay, fuel filter,etc.

Posted on Dec 03, 2012


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1994 GMC Jimmy will turn over but does not start

These trucks are plagued with weak fuel pumps and need a high amount of pressure to start...especially in coder weather.

Remove the air intake on front of engine, it is the rubber tube that is around 5 inches in diameter, be careful as there is a sensor attached on the underside. Squirt some starting fluid into the intake and try starting it right away. If it starts or even acts like it is going to start, you are having a fuel problem.

If you did see a difference by doing the above, then you need to test the fuel pressure with a gauge. The fuel pressure test gauge can be bought for very cheap (around $20) from your local auto parts store. It hooks up to the fuel rail test port on the drivers side of the engine. The test port looks like an overgrown air inlet that you would use to put air in a tire. It should have a plastic cover that you unscrew.

Once the gauge is hooked up, turn the key to prime your fuel not crank the engine. Look at the gauge to see if you are at least to 56psi, closer to 60 is more desirable. Also take notice if the fuel pressure is dropping, it should stay steady. If it is slowly dropping, then you need to take a look at your hoses from the fuel pump to this point.

If it is steady and within the required psi, then you are looking at a problem within the plenum. The plenum is the aluminum colored cover that is on top of the engine, under your black plastic Vortec label. inside the plenum you will find what is referred to as the "spider assembly". The spider assembly houses the fuel pressure regulator, injector and propet nozzle hoses (6 hoses). A common failure of this unit is the hoses leading to it that supply fuel, they are known to leak. You can easily see if it is leaking by looking for "wash marks". Wash marks are where fuel has leaked and cleaned the inside of the plenum in spots. If this is your case, buy a rebuild kit for the hoses. There is also the possibility of your fuel pressure regulator acting up. This part can be bought separatly from the whole spider assembly, even though you will be told otherwise. I have had to buy it online.

If your psi was not within par, you more than likely have a weak or bad fuel pump. But before going through the fun of replacing it, I would first check to see if the ground for the pump is making a good connection. The ground comes right out of the top of the fuel tank and connects to the rear bumper, it is a tight fit and may not be the easiest to access it. Unbolt it fromt he bumper and take soem sand paper to remove any rust on both the bumper and the wire connection. Put it back together and test your fuel pressure again.

If no change, then you are looking at replacing the fuel pump. You will need a basic socket set, screw drivers, jack, tire iron, hammer and basic wrench set. If you have access to air tools, it really helps with removing the gas tank. Use the jack to not let the tank fall and to lower it down so you can disconnect the hoses going into the fuel tank. Once tank is removed, use the screw driver and hammer to spin the retaining plate around. CAREFULLY remove the fuel pump, DO NOT bend the float arm, if you do, your gas gauge will not display correctly. Pull the fuel pimp out of the assembly and put your new one into it. Do not forget to install the filter that goes on the bottom of it. Once you have that done, put it all back together. Make sure that the hoses to pump are snug, you do not want an air leak. Also make sure that the ground is clean and snug.

Once it is all back together, your psi should be within an acceptable range.

Almost forgot, change your fuel filter while under the truck. Also, when you buy a replacement fuel pump, make sure it is the high output (there are 2 different fuel pumps for this truck) and do not skimp on price. I have seen cheap pumps burn out in under a year. If you can, buy an OEM pump. Copy down your VIN number and take it with you when buying the pump, you will be asked if you have a W or Z vin.

Buying a repair manual for this truck is worth it. Nice truck overall, the egine has the same horse power as the 305 did for that year. You can beat it, abuse it, neglect it and it still runs fine for a long time.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009

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SOURCE: 1994 GMC Jimmy hard to start and runs rough when first started

did you do a fuel pressure test? if you havent do it its cheep an at least you can elimanate that. if thats not an issue, then there is only two other things crank sensor, and if there is one cam sensor.

Posted on Feb 02, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 94 GMC truck diesel starts,runs and then dies and will not start

I have the same problem and have trouble codes 35 and 36. I found out that there is a computer module that needs replaced as it sits low in a valley and gets hot and seperates. I am reseaching about the a/m fix that installs the new module away from heat.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • 7 Answers

SOURCE: my 1999 gmc jimmy will not start unless i use starting fluid

u may want 2 check with a dealer gmc dealer but u may have 2 fuel filters on your jimmy poss. an in-line filter runs down the pass. side or driver side not all cars are the same

Posted on Apr 25, 2009

  • 90 Answers

SOURCE: 1994 GMC Jimmy hard to start and runs rough when first started

i think if you checked the sparking plugs and map sensors then check your distributer its maybe not delivering the current nedded to perform the spark to some of the cylinders

Posted on May 30, 2009

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Do you smell gasoline fuel ?? When there's too much fuel, it saturates the spark plugs, preventing ignition. Let it sit for an hour to let spark plugs dry, then it starts OK later. Next time, turn starter without giving any throttle or very small throttle as engine turns. Myself, when my 2006 Dodge Plymouth minivan (sitting in storage) needs to start, I squirt (half second) starting fluid into air filter, close the air filter housing to trap flammable gas from starting fluid, then turn the engine without pressing on throttle. When the engine starts is when I give it a little throttle to bring up the RPM to 2,000 until it idles on its own without stalling from cold engine.

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Truck won't start but sounds like it wants to

1. Take the air cleaner off and spray starting fluid in the intake for about two seconds.
2. Attempt to start the vehicle. If it runs on the starting fluid, you have a gas problem, if it doesn't, its spark.
3. Once you have determined which it is, you can repost for more specific information.
4. If its a gas problem, make sure it has good gas (fuel gage may have quit). When you go on the key, you should be able to hear the whining of the fuel pump cycle on, then stop. Have a helper go on the key, while you listen for the whine of the pump underneath. You should be able to locate the fuel pump and hear it if it is working. If the fuel pump is working, try changing the fuel filter.
5. If you have a spark problem, a likely culprit is the distributer, and rotor. These are fairly easy to replace. Its time for new spark plugs, wires, distributer rotor and cap if this wasn't done recently.

Nov 02, 2010 | 1994 GMC Sonoma

1 Answer

My jimmy will not start. I replace the fuel pump and filter. I have presure in the gas line and there is no gas in the return line. I sprayed starting fluid and its starts and shuts down.

Check or replace your ICM (ignition control module) The ICM or the Ignition Control Module, is the brains behind the spark plugs. The ICM tells the spark plugs when to fire and lets the engine know when gas needs to be injected for proper engine ignition. Sometimes if your ICM is out or going bad, you may be able to start your motor up nicely once and then when you turn it off it may not start back up. It can also make you feel like your engine shake and "sputter" bad.
Start with the ICM and thank you for using Fixya, good luck

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1994 GMC Jimmy hard to start and runs rough when first started

i think if you checked the sparking plugs and map sensors then check your distributer its maybe not delivering the current nedded to perform the spark to some of the cylinders

May 30, 2009 | 1994 GMC Jimmy

1 Answer


make sure you clean the plugs before you keep going, you might have fouled them out while trying to start...

Dec 17, 2008 | 1987 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup

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Hard start when cold/first start in morning

The pressure relief valve is in the spider fuel injector not the fuel pump. We have had our 94 gmc jimmy for 4 years & have had to replace the fuel injector 4 times which cost right at $500 each time for the part. Yes the spider fuel injector cost averages around $500.

Nov 16, 2008 | 1994 GMC Jimmy

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