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Old 03-18-2022, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default 1997 won't start

This truck is driving me crazy! It had been a little low on power, but I was running a/c. So I figured that was the cause of the low power. Driving down the road and it just died. I have replaced the timing chain, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and fuel pump prior to it dying on me. We have checked timing twice, compression was low so I had head redone with all new gaskets, put new distributor on because old was cracked, checked fuel pressure and spark, and made sure all the injectors are popping. Still turns over really fast like it has no compression or the timing is off. I'm lost!! Help me please before I part it out.
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Old 03-19-2022, 02:37 PM   #2
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Is this a 4-cylinder or V6 engine?


1. Check compression.

2. Since engine cranks fine/good speed, spray some aerosol starting fluid into the air cleaner or throttle body, try to start, do this a few times. If it runs for a few seconds then quits out, you have a fuel delivery issue, start there. If it won't run at all when you do this, then it's a spark issue, work on that. This is a common first test to help isolate the problem. This is practically an ALWAYS: isolate whether spark or fuel. And remember: just because the engine can crank fine, doesn't mean that the electrical part of the ignition switch (the "run" circuit) is OK.
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Old 03-19-2022, 04:14 PM   #3
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@Cusser... I suspect a 4. He said "I have replaced the timing chain".

Some autoparts stores loan tools. Get a compression tester and confirm this...
If you did the timing chain, I would wonder if you're of by a tooth.
Also, check that you have spark.

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What he is saying is the aerodynamics of a D21 is a brick in the wind.
Probably at least as bad as a Jeep so worse than a cow.
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Old 03-19-2022, 04:18 PM   #4
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97 only had a 4cyl available in the US.



Any codes showing? 97 is OBD2.
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Old 03-20-2022, 12:29 AM   #5
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It is a 4 cylinder. It doesn't show any codes. 1st compression test showed below spec compression in 1 cylinder and 2 cylinders right at minimum. I had head completely gone through and replaced all gaskets during replacement. Has spark and fuel coming out of filter as well as injectors are popping. I wouldn't suspect all 4 injectors would go bad at once and don't really know how to check more than that. It broke down 2 weeks before this and I was able to crank it with starting fluid which is why I replaced fuel pump and both filters. Cranked fine after new pump installed. BTW thanks for y'all's help
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Old 03-20-2022, 11:33 PM   #6
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So instead of guessing...

Did you use a scanner to pull codes? It doesn't have to have the CEL to have codes stored.

I would get a copy of the FSM from www.nicoclub.com/fsm/hardbody

There should be a diagnostic tree to follow for a no start condition in the EC section. Plus if you really suspect the compression the issue, i.e. timing chain off by one tooth.
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Old 05-28-2022, 02:50 AM   #7
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So I figured out what was wrong. The oil pump spindle had worn pretty bad which allowed it to jump time. I put a new one in, hit the starter and it fired right up. Set the timing right on the second mark on the crank and was running decent. It will run good and then sputter until it dies. You can bump the gas and it will run fine until it idles back down then sputters again. Drives good down the road under a load. Could it be the year old gas or what do y'all think.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:34 AM   #8
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Clogged Fuel Filter?
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Old 05-28-2022, 11:33 AM   #9
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It has a brand new fuel filter.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:10 PM   #10
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make sure you are not off by a tooth
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