Question about 1998 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup

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Trouble shooting distributer? how do i remove it? i think my modulater is bad inside the distriuter, so i figure its cheaper just to buy a whole new one. it starts and dies. when cold it will start and die. wont stay running. when it was warm it used to stay running.

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  • stratos225 May 11, 2010

    what size engine? and is check eng light on?



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Are u sure its electrical not a fuel delivery problem,or vacuum or tps or map sencer,,because if it starter and dies its getting power,if its the modulator,it ether works or not

Posted on Dec 13, 2009


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This sounds like the ignition modulator going out. Don't let these places tell you that themodulator is either bad or good. They are wrong. I just went through this with a Dodge van and it would run me to the stroe and then not staret up for an hour and finally and luckily it gave completely out. You want to buy the whole distributer from a wrecking yard from 30 to 50 bucks. These modulators are little half moon shaped plastic coated boxes under the distributar cap. That is if your truck has a distributer cap.
If so then just buy the whole thing at the wrecking yard and when you gethome just remove themodulator and replace your old one. The dealership tried to get me fo0r 500.00 for one of these things.I told them where they could put there 500. The auto parts stores want 200.00 So believe me if you can get the used distributer then do so. They will not sell just the modulater. Also take note to check the distributer at the wrecking yard to see if it is there. These sell good on ebay too and a lot of steeling going on Good Luck, The Raz

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If neither of these were the problem then we need to delve further and check the distributer modulator. They can go out just like the snap o fa fingure. You will need to take the distribute rcap off and then inside you will see a half moon shaped plastic usually black tiny box. What we will want to do is get an extention cord and ahair blow dryer. Youwill then set thedryer on highand point it directly at this little black box. Get it good and hot butnot to themelting point. Hurry and re-attach the distributer cap and then try to turn it over. If it trys to start andmay even start for a few minutes then that is the culprit. Here comes the bad news. If it is the part weneed it will cost you nearly 400.00 to 600.00 dollars new. The higher amount will be from the dealership. What I did with mine wascall around to the wrecking yards and though I had to buy the complete distributer, it only cost me 50 bucks. I then took the half moon piece out and put it in mine and problem solved. The bad thing is the theives know what they can get for these modulators and steel them out of the distributers at the wrecking yards and the workers don't even know they're missing sobe sure to check the distributer before buying it and besure the part is still in it. You can also find them on ebay and that is why they get stolen and the prices are high there too. So do the other trouble shooting first and then try this. Good Luck, Raz

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It is no doubt a sensor has that has become weak but I can't tell you where to find it. The sensor shuts off the electric or fuel supply. It may also be the ignition modulator under the distributer cap. it is a little plastic half moon type box that sets right on top of the distributer top. It kind of encircles the shaft in the center. But try changing therotor cap fisrt. They gey weak and are alot cheaper. The modulater can weaken and act up before it goes completely out. Some will try to tell you it is either good or bad. Not so. I had one that would start one day and run all day and the next give me the dickens getting it started. Luckily it gave up the ghost right in my yard. Here;s the bummer about these. They are very expensive. If you just want a good laugh then price one at the dealership. Be laying down when you call them. I got mine from a wrecking yard and had to buy the whole distributer. They will not sell just the little plastic peice. The distributer is worthless with out it. I paid 50 bucks for mine and brought it home and just took the modulater out and put it in mine. The van started right up and has ran good every since. Be sure to remove the cap and check if it is there before you take it out of thewrecking yard vehicle. It is a high theft item and most of them on ebay were probably taken from one at the salvage yard. They are small and easily hidden in the pocket and they just replace the cap so you don't see it missing. You can find them on ebay but they are more expensive there most of the time then the wrecking yard. Most salvage yards will have a return for exchanging parts for the same cost but not a refund. For you to get a bad one though is highly unlikly. I could suggest on the earlier matter that you get one of those car engine heaters that you put under the hood to keep the engine warm and dry. They use these mostly in freezing temperature states but it may be a quick fix until you can fix the initial problem. After trying most of the stuff above and you are ready to try the modulater then test it this way first. The next time it won't start, Get a hair dryer< (hand held type) and remove the distributer cap. Point the dryer right at the little black box and get it good and hot but not to melting point. Quickly replace the cap and then try to start it. If it starts then you know your on the right track. I hope I helped and Good Luck, The Raz

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