Question about 1998 Chevrolet C1500

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98 5.7L chevrolet

1998 Chevrolet drove home running fine, cut it off and tried to crank 2 days later and it wouldn't. New dist cap, Rotor button, pick up module, ignition module and new plugs> Still will not crank and run! Listening to everyone say it had jumped time started trying to find TDC on num 1 and beyond what most people say online finally talked to local mechanic and he said there was a mark on timing cover for TDC so finally found itby taking fan shroud off. Question is if the two marks are lined up rotor button should be pointing toward num 1 on dist cap? And is this normal ? 217000 miles 5.7L

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  • Shanedmoore Feb 01, 2009

    That is what i was wandering but it is NOT pointing to number 1 no where close even after turning engine over and checking to make sure wasn't 180 out. Only thing I can figure out is that it must have jumped when i started to crank it because it ran fine day before and it didn't try to run backward or anything when i cut it off. I have fuel and I have good spark just won't run.

  • Shanedmoore Feb 02, 2009

    Rotor is turning I actually got it running today! I got it on TDC and pulled Dist and put it close to num 1 and tried it and it fired right off and running great. I know it is probably luck! I actually drove down the road and back(about2 miles) cut it off 3-3 times and it is still cranking and running great. Only thing is that the service engine light hasn't came on during any of this! Still not ,is this normal to jump time and no light? I have parked it now till better weather to work on it. Thanks for info it really helped.

  • Shanedmoore Feb 02, 2009

    Pulled it only enough to turn it, but I had already tried your"try to grasp rotor" and I couldn't hold it. My brother bought the truck new and now it is just "A farm truck" but as far as I know the engine light has never been on. I am still going to take it to autozone they will scan it for me, and see what it might say. Truck is running great but I know something happened to start all of this so what do you think, drive it till happens again then timing gears and chain? Although I didn't pull valve cover I definitely think it was out of time. I really thank you for your help and will let you know

  • Shanedmoore Feb 03, 2009

    Rotor was probably more like off 2 plugs?? Only thing is I still have no engine light carried to a mechanic here in town and he said wouldnt waste money putting it on machine that if it was off light would be on and wouldn't be running as good as it is? Everybody is puzzled that it would jump time say that it is very unusual, they tried to say someone turned dist. I said no way that happened. And no the didn't look like the body of the dist had turned, it does have A boltand clamp holding it in place. Truck pretty much is a farm truck and not driven a whole lot so what we may do is use as little as possible until warmer weather and then look at timing chain. Only thing is I wish i would have pulled valve cover and looked. It is very puzzling. Thanks



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Engines don't jump time when they are not running.

Rotor will point to number 1 plug wire with every other rotation of the crank.

Get an auto repair manual to confirm you have plug wires in right order on distributor cap.

Also suggest finding Factory Service Manuals at library to get troubleshooting charts and diagnostics.

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mark Egan Feb 01, 2009


    a 217,000 miles, it could have jumped. But itf it jumped far, you would hear valves hitting pistons. Remember, the distributor is driven by the cam, which is driven by the cam chain, which is driven by the crank.

    If it jumped time, it normally happens between the crank and cam at the timing chain, and if this happens, valves don't open and close in time with the pistons.

    You might want to check that the drive gear pin has not sheared on the bottom of the distributor. I've had that happen before.

    Bring the crank around to TDC, pull the valve cover for #1 and see that the valves are both closed. If not, turn 1 revolution and check again. If still not, then it's probably jumped at the timing chain, and it's time to tear it down. If both valves are closed (all the way up) then it's the distributor gear.

    I am assuming you've checked that the rotor is turning in the distributor, and that it is not just catching on the sheared pin at times (Test by trying to grasp rotor while trying to start engine.).

    Let me know.

  • Mark Egan Feb 02, 2009

    Good news! But I think there's something still wrong.

    Did you actually pull the distributor all the way out, and if you did, did you check the drive gear pin?

    I would take it to a auto store that let's you use their scanner and check codes. Even with no CEL now, the computer usually stores all past codes. It would be good to know and write down what those are.

    Let me know what you come up with, and if you don't mind, honor me with a FixYa if you don't mind. And please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

  • Mark Egan Feb 02, 2009


    I think to drive it till it happens again is dangerous if you don't want to trash an engine.

    I would pull it down and put a new timing chain on it. It'll be good to go another 217000 after that, whereas if the cam get's out of time with the crank, who knows.

    By the way, just happened to think, did it look like the body of the distributor had rotated, maybe the clamp bolt was lose or something? Am not sure on newer engines, but I don't think they are pinned in place. But then maybe they are.

    And how much was the rotor off? 1 plug maybe. If so, that lends it to being the body had turned as I mentioned above.

    If that is what happened, then you may be good to go forever.

    Thanks for the FixYa!



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