Brand new and already stumped

Introduce Yourself…

Hi and thanks for letting me join this lifeline. My handle is wetfoot and long story short I desided to get me a van and take off in it to find me. That and give my home to my daughter based on the things happening in the world these days her and the boys are going to need it I fear. I have a 98 chevy express 2500 5.0. She’s not the prettiest but she will take good care of me i’m sure. I just have one problem…she won’t start!!! Hopefully I can pick up some good pointers and friends here in the comunnity that will be able to get me pointed in the right direction.

When you say it doesn’t start it could be number of things. Need more information:
When is the last time it ran?
How did it run the last time it ran?
What is your battery voltage? (Check with a voltmeter.)
Does it crank over, or not?
Do the lights come on nice and bright, but the starter doesn’t crank and/or clicks? (This could be something as simple as cleaning the battery terminals.)
Is there a whirring sound when turning the key? (starter motor spinning, but not engaging the flywheel.)

More information would be helpful.

Was running but backfire and random miss code. Hav replaced all the sensors so I decided to put a new spider injection sys, timing chain and gears, wires, plugs, cap, rotor. Now she won’t start. New Battery charged drained fuel tank and put new fuel. Refurbished pcm and even did the instructions to set it up for my van 3 times. was suggested that I have to get dealer to reprogram it but the one close to me won’t do it because I worked on the van…go figure. any ideas will be VERY appreciated

Greetings & Welcome!

Welcome to the age of stupid electronics in vehicles…

Never admit to a shop that you have worked on it yourself. The price goes up, or they’ll refuse to work on it.

Take it to a shop, tell them it won’t start, and leave the rest up to them. Since you worked on it, it will likely cost a lot because they will need to troubleshoot all your work, and if some of those parts are faulty you’ll likely be out the replacement cost. I don’t recommend DIY anymore because the newer stuff is just too complicated and requires too much expensive baloney to correctly diagnose and fix things.

My time is better spent making money to pay professionals to do things right the first time, or fix it free if the first try doesn’t work out as planned. It isn’t about whether you ~CAN~ do it, it’s about making the best choices. The older I get, the more I appreciate guarantee’s. especially nationwide ones.


"#VanLife needs more supporters, and less promoters." ~ TruthMatters

I would say take it to an independent shop - not the dealer. Good luck!


In many cases I would agree with independent shops, but in this case the added expertise of a dealer shop, and their additional dedicated equipment could make it a quicker and cheaper repair. These days, dealer shops are often cheaper than independents.

While it’s there, they can check for recalls etc. too. I just took my Dodge to a dealer for a checkup, cost $100, but they confirmed everything was ship shape, plus gave me a free oil change, lube job, bearings repacked, topped off all fluids, and even a free wash & wax. I feel like I made out like a bandit. The time before, at a different dealer, my $100 bought a 6 month bumper to bumper warrantee.


"Keep it cheap, and use the extra money for your adventures." ~ Van_Dweller

Sounds like the timing is incorrect. Did you happen to remove the distributor? Are you certain your camshaft / crankshaft timing was aligned properly when you installed the new chain? Replacing the spider injection was a good idea BUT if you bought part store brand parts or the cheapest parts online, you likely bought inferior units.

Keep It Simple Stupid - KISS is the acronym we use in the automotive world. So, back to basics. Does it have fuel and fire? Pulling a spark plug after cranking should tell you. If it’s clean and smells like gas it likely has fuel. Check fuel pressure. Those year GM products were notorious for fuel pump failures. Especially at fill up. A hot fuel pump from running in a low fuel level suddenly gets chilled by in-ground fuel filling a fuel tank and restriction causes the pump to seize. Enough times of that and the pump fails. If you have fuel pressure and fuel to the cylinders, next you check spark. Use a spark tester to see if it’s strong. Use a timing light to confirm #1 timing is correct. If you have fuel and fire you should be running. Doing those tests will likely lead you on the correct direction. If all else fails, do a compression test.

I agree. Very few independent shops have the certifications and experience to help with complex issues. I am among the rare few who are fully certified masters also having in-depth dealership experience and being certified for gasoline, diesel, hybrid, and electric propulsion systems. Not tooting my own horn, not even close. Just backing up what Van_Dweller says. Paying for quality is always a better option than suffering for the sake of a discount.

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