Question about Chevrolet 1500

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How difficult is it to replace the timing belt on a 1998 chevy 1500 4.3 liter engine? my pickup just quit on me one morning, thought it might be out of fuel, put plenty in, sounds like the pump is working, seems to have good spark,cranks over strong just won't fire..... I am the 2nd owner,has only 130,000 miles could it be a sensor or as i might be led to believe timing belt maybe jumped a tooth

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It would be the most difficult thing in the world to replace a timing belt on a 4.3L Vortec engine...It is a CHAIN driven engine. It is not real likely that there is a problem with the timing chain...unless the engine does not know what an oil change is...Not real common on that engine. What is common is failed fuel pumps at around 110,000 miles. If the fuel pump has not been changed already, that is your most likely culprit. "Hearing" the fuel pump is not good enough. You must check FUEL PRESSURE at the connector on the fuel rail. - OR you could use a small amount of starting fluid to see if the engine comes to life for a second - a good indication that it is not getting any fuel. A good place to spray some starting fluid is through the hole in the intake snorkel where the PCV breather tube goes in. (The plastic tube that runs down to the valve cover) Just pull the breather tube out of the snorkel, spray some starting fluid in and crank it up. If the engine goes VR-R-O-O-O-O-O-M! replace the fuel pump. Don't use too much, or your snorkel and air cleaner box can explode...If you can get someone to help you it would be even better...Have someone start cranking the engine just before you spray some fluid in the hole - that way, all the fluid will move directly into the combustion chambers without getting a chance to go the wrong way and flood the air cleaner box. Trust me...The elements in the Mass Airflow Sensor can get hot enough to ignite the starting fluid, so this can be a not-so-safe method of diagnosis. I know mechanics that do this all the time without any problems. I also have seen an air cleaner housing explode in a man's face...not pretty.

A timing chain that has "jumped time" can easily be diagnosed with a scanner that can read engine data. All you have to do is look at the CAM/CRANK SYNC data...it will say either "YES" or "NO" if it says YES when you crank the engine, the problem is not related to the timing chain.
The only sensors that are likely to make it just up and die on you would be the Crankshaft Position Sensor or the Mass Airflow Sensor. If it has spark, it is definitely NOT the Crankshaft Position Sensor. If it is the Mass Airflow Sensor causing the problem, it should start and run if you unplug the sensor. It will idle rough and won't have any power, but it WILL run without it.

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

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This is a timing chain motor , not a belt.I have a 94 van with the same engine and the original timing chain 400,000 miles plus.I bet the problem is the spider injector if this is a vortec engine.

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

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