1997 Chevy 1500 Won't Start

Grand Illusion

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Hey guys. I have a 1997 Chevy 1500 with the 5.0 V8, 133,000 miles. My wife usually drives it, and this morning it wouldn't start.
Backstory, yesterday she called in the morning that it was "lurching" in gear as she went to work tomorrow, and then it was fine in the evening. This morning, I went out to try and start it. It cranked a few times, then there was a small muffled pop. It almost tried to start, but I stopped after that figuring maybe the starter had gone. I have my UltraGauge plugged in, and it isn't throwing any codes. I have some help coming on Saturday to try and fix it, but I would appreciate any input from you guys to figure this out.
(As a side note, this truck has been in my family since new, my Grandpa bought it in 1997.)
 

Grand Illusion

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Some more info. The fuel pump is fine, and I have got spark. I checked the voltage of the battery, and it's at 11.65. So, I'm going to get the battery tested to see if it is still good. It doesn't have a date stamp, and my father has told me that he changed the battery when he had the truck, he just doesn't remember what year.
 

Spectre

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It sounds like it's below critical voltage. If charging the battery doesn't help, move on to other systems. Check compression and use a noid light tester to determine if the fuel injectors are firing while cranking.

If charging the battery does help (and it tests out okay), immediately check the alternator. Often when one dies, it takes the other out with it.
 
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GRtak

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What is the voltage when it is running at idle?
 

Grand Illusion

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...check the alternator. Often when one dies, it takes the other out with it.
We have a winner. Took off the alternator and battery (just because it's really easy to take off on my truck), and had them tested. Both were no good, and both were replaced. It runs as good as new now.
 

Grand Illusion

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It runs as good as new now.
Ok, that is not the case anymore. I let the truck sit for a day. I had it running on Saturday, didn't drive it Sunday. The wife goes to start it this morning, and same as before. Will not start. Battery tested at 12.15v. This is starting to get annoying now.
 

Spectre

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1997 Chevy 1500 Won't Start

Something in your truck is draining the battery. Are there any aftermarket electronics in it? Stereo, amp, entertainment systems, alarm?
 

Grand Illusion

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Nothing like that. I have an UltraGauge plugged into the OBD2 port, but it has never caused any problem before.
 

Spectre

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So there's nothing at all that's not bone stock about this truck?
 

ScarFace88

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Is the voltage regulator a separate part or part of the alternator on this truck?
 

Grand Illusion

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So there's nothing at all that's not bone stock about this truck?
Absolutely bone stock. Nothing aftermarket.
And I'll have to look up whether the voltage regulator is separate or not. I'm thinking not.
 

Spectre

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Absolutely bone stock. Nothing aftermarket.
And I'll have to look up whether the voltage regulator is separate or not. I'm thinking not.

The voltage regulator is integrated into the alternator on all post 1990 GMs. (Actually earlier, but 1990 is a convenient break point.)

The question now is, what's draining your battery? A drained battery can cause the alternator to go full-field and it can't do that for long. Repeat this over and over and what you end up with is a dead battery and a dead alternator.

Here is a reasonably well written guide to figuring out what system is draining your battery: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/how-to-stop-car-battery-drains
 

GRtak

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Ok, that is not the case anymore. I let the truck sit for a day. I had it running on Saturday, didn't drive it Sunday. The wife goes to start it this morning, and same as before. Will not start. Battery tested at 12.15v. This is starting to get annoying now.


If your battery voltage is above 12, then you have another problem. I bet it is a fuseable link either at the starter or the alternator is bad. You can often find it by feeling along that wire and you will feel a weak spot in it.

Edit

It could also be the ignition switch itself, but I would go after a fuseable link first.
 
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Tomaserater

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Hey, I had the same problem with my pickup as well. To fix it, remove the muffler and attach it to the blow off valve. Then weld your limited slip differential together. Pour water in your gas tank and leave it running overnight to wash out all the oil, then, Create a 2:1 Liquid nitrous oxide to oil mixture, and fill er up. Then buy a fireball sticker for your car, and a big wing, to reduce downforce. Hope this helped, cheers.
 

Grand Illusion

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I have an update on the truck. It's still not running. I have had very few opportunities to do any work on it, as it's been outside in this lovely Ohio winter weather. I've rechecked the spark, and I'm getting a weak orange spark. I'm planning on checking the fusible links next. I've replaced the ICM, as it tested bad. Ignition coil tested good. Checked the fuel filter for blockages, and it was OK. I'm planning on borrowing a fuel pressure tester to test it at the engine to make sure that it's getting enough fuel pressure. Also plan on following the steps in the link Spectre posted to check all of the electricals. Is there anything else I can try to diagnose before I call in a professional?
 

Grand Illusion

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Um, my dad changed the plugs and wires in 2007. Does that count? :lol: And It has an coil like this
getimage.php

Which I've checked with an ohmmeter, and it checked out ok. I was hoping it would be, because it is riveted in place on it's bracket. It's a PIA to change.
 

Grand Illusion

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There is only the one ignition coil. It ohm'd ok.
 
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