1992 Chevy Truck 1500 running BAD!

arkansas_girlSeptember 10, 2007

About 2 1/2 years ago my truck was running bad, had new plugs, wires and distributor replaced. Haven't put many miles in that time...maybe 3000...now it's running bad again. BTW, it has 140,000 miles. Symptoms are similar to the way it ran before the new plugs etc. but much worse. The engine power seems to surge(almost die then kicks back in hard) to the point of wanting to jerk when I'm sitting at a light with my foot on the brake. Another thing it's doing is the speedometer flies up and back down often? Weird! Also, some times when I start it it squeals for a few seconds. The Fan Belt is new. If the A/C is on forget it, it will barely run and wants to die. I'm going to be taking it to the mechanic next week and I don't want to be taken to the cleaners so to speak...I'd like a little feedback as to what it seems like could be going on. If you need more info please ask!!!!!!! TIA!

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I can tell you there's 101 different possible causes, none of which can be diagnosed over the internet.
Going in to a shop with that accusatory attitude gaurantees that you will never be satisfied, btw. An experienced shop owner or tech can see your type coming a mile away, and will gladly send you away if the shop is sufficiently busy. But I digress...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 2:56AM
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Thanks for the personal blasting...very helpful...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Hello arkansas_girl

Don't pay any attention to that Idiot. He's full of hot air and has no idea what He's talking about. If you take the truck back to the Mechanic that worked on it and explain to him that you havn't put alot of miles on it since HE LAST worked on it, I'd think he would try to fix it for you.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 3:41PM
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My truck (1990 Chevrolet 1500) now sits for extended periods of time. When I would go to use it, it was running rough at idle and low speed, I put in two cans of Sea Foam and topped it off with gasoline (34 gallon tank). It now starts and runs much better. You might give that a try before taking it to a mechanic.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Thanks...that's the first thing I tried was putting a fuel treatment(although not sea foam) and it didn't change the performance of the truck any. But thanks!

I've made an appointment for Wednesday so I'll let everyone know what happens...$54 an hour later...HAHAHA! This shop came highly recommended and stays booked up.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 12:37PM
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Fuel pump

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:37AM
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I have a 92 GMC Sierra with a 5.7LT. When I got it, it had been sitting for a few months. It wanted to die at a stop in drive and run better in park. I changed the fuel filter, a couple of vaccuum lines, Idle air control valve, Temp sensor, air cleaner, and many bottles of various fuel treatments/cleaners. I think that's about it. It still does it, but not as bad. I turned up the idle to about 900 RPM's. A little high, but it's not excessive. I suspect a catalytic converter, spark wires, distributor gear...Something mechanical. It does NOT show "Service Engine Soon". I know it's kind of late for this response. But I'm curious to see if you had the problem diagnosed or fixed.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 8:21AM
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As I stated above, it was the Fuel Pump. Sometimes it pays to take it to a shop that has diagnostic equipment because even though it can cost more, it seems like you did an awful not of trouble shooting without success. My neighbor was just telling me of all the stuff he replaced on his car only to find out it was a $30 part.

My Service Engine Soon light never was shining either. A lot of the things you mentioned had already been changed not very long ago and very few miles ago. Fuel pumps go out on these trucks often so it's not uncommon, in fact my 96 Tahoe is trying to go out too but so far all it's doing is causing hard starts. But the pressure is failing as I had this tested earlier this year. So I know what the issue is, I just don't want to part with the money until I have to.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 8:35AM
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Ok, here's my problem. Truck runs fine and I'm driving down the road the engine light comes on, the engine stops, I coast to the side of the road, put it in nutral it starts right up and I continue down the road. I've had it to the shop and they hook it up the the diagnostic thingy and it shows nothing. I mean really, it's blank. So they drive it around and it finally does the above explained behavior, they hook it up and still nothing. Any ideas? BTW ever since we've had it when you shut it off it ticks for several seconds. Just an aside, weird huh.........

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 12:59AM
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Gosh...kinda sounds like the Fuel Pump to me on yours too. I'd start a new thread if I were you Shermun...a lot of people don't read anything but the first post in a thread. Both of my Chevy trucks(92 and 96) had the fuel pump go out at about the same mileage...just over 100,000 miles. This is a common issue, I was told.

Those darn intermittent problems are the worst! So frustrating! Mechanics just act like if the diagnostic doesn't find anything they have no idea what to do anymore...whatever happened to mechanics actually knowing what a symptom means? OH how I long for the old days...HAHAHA!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 7:13AM
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"Those darn intermittent problems are the worst! So frustrating! Mechanics just act like if the diagnostic doesn't find anything they have no idea what to do anymore...whatever happened to mechanics actually knowing what a symptom means?"

Like all good fairy tales, eventually we learn the truth whether we like it or not.

There is no Santa Claus, tooth fairy, Easter bunny,,, Mechanics don't just konw what is wrong! We have to get to experience the reported problem, and test while it is happening. Anything else is a guess, accurate or usually otherwise!

Sherman, your check engine light coming on should indicate that the PCM is also recogniizing the problem is occuring and should be setting a trouble code. If there is no code, then that reduces the potential causes of your trucks problem to a workable level for a good diagnostic technician. Here are a few questions that the shop will need the answers too.

How long do you drive the truck before it acts up, give an average nuumber in both miles and minutes. This helps the tech set the stage to make it act up for testing.

How quick will the truck re-start? Right away? Five minutes? Ten? An hour? That also tells the tech how much time he has to complete the diagnostics.

Is there anytrhing else that does not work when the truck acts up? Power windows, AC blower, power mirrors, turn signals, anything like that. This helps the tech see if there is a commonality in an electrical circuit.

Does the weather appear to play a role, as in only happens when it's raining, hot out, cold out?

More later, got to get busy!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 8:56AM
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i just find your websit i have work on alot of chevy truck i run a shop a shop in il i own one myself and half my family owns one uif u still own one and have any prombles feel free to ask any questions u have

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:48AM
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    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:40AM
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I have 1992 1500 chevy truck 4x4, Its always been a good running truck, has the 4.3 liter v6, the problem is, it starts good idles great, goes good a low speed but when i go to get on it it bogs out, if i hold it to the floor it sputters and starts to come out of it but it dosent, ive changed the tcs and the thing that controls my vaccum system, it still acts like a vaccum issue, i cant figure it out. any in put would be awsome, thanks, andy

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 9:22PM
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I've got a 92 GMC 5.7. I put an 87 5.7 in it and it idles rough. I don't know if I didn't hook all up right or not? I do know temp sensor doesn't work now but other than that. I'm at a loss as to why it won't idle. Idled fine before swap

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:50AM
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having somewhat of the same issue,running bad has no power in DRIVE.Truck runs and sounds great in park even at 3500rpm, after Replaceing the following and set timming; plugs , wires, cap rotor, dist, fuel filter, TBI screens, gaskets and orings. Compression has been checked and is well with in specs. Still no power in drive, any suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Hi Keith.

This is a classic scenario for a technician in a shop to come across. We have a list of things that have been done physically, but we do not have any of the data that we need from appropriate kinds of testing. To diagnose this I would not only need to drive it and "feel" the vehicle's power or lack there of. I would also need to observe scan data such as fuel trims, to see if the PCM has to compensate for a fuel supply issue. I would also if appropriate be measuring exhaust back pressure to confirm if the engine is breathing correctly. (an essential requirement to producing power)

I know you did say the compression was checked, today we teach technicians that is an important step to take when diagnosing a misfire, but it is an inapropriate one for a total lack of power at least in the traditional pressure gage style testing. Case in point, if the exhaust is restricted, your compression even on a cylinder that has an exhaust valve leaking could actually measure higher than expected simply because its hard for the exhaust to get out of the cylinder.

The best routine would be to have this tested by a driveability technician. Or you could go ahead, guess, and throw a catalytic convertor on this, or do maybe six or seven other things that "could" be the cause.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 10:33AM
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atten. all chev mechanics, start/stopissues, aprox. 2yr. ago i purchased a 92 chev, 2500 4x4. that someone had doctored up to run good. as soon as a heating problem arose i tool action, witch resulted in a blown motor and trans in that order.after rebuild and instaltion i still had recurring problem with start and stop.after very carful inspection i gave it my self the only thing i could find out of order was three wires coming from lockup switch were melted together two of the wires were shorting together. symtoms;starts up runs fine at any time it dies. let sit sometimes 5min. sometimes two days, it starts and runs repetes the process. could not see wires fussed together till i seperated them. im sure channeling , location, and some slight overheating movement also caused this. my opinion; the same problem could be imitated because of oil grease and water combined with directional assit may cause this. i know theres thousands of the exact same problem out there, i. n the 90's this is the number 1 problem with chev. trucks. good day

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Back in that era, GM had an intermittent ignition problem that was baffling. It took me awhile to pin it down. Wthe engine was cold or cool, it started and ran ok. I might ever commute to work for 3 days before it appeared. Often it started whail waiting at a stop light. (The problem appeared whilr the vehicle was going slow or not moving. This wa a clue I initially missed.) When the problem hit, the engine might kick, buck, or misfire before stopping. after a minute, it would start and I could continue.

The problem was a timing sensor in the distributor. It was a hall effect sensor that sensed the passing of the lobes on the distributor cam. It was temperature sensitive. It fouled up when it got above a certain temperature and retured to normal below that temperaure. The bowl on the distributor was elevated a few inches above the engine block. If there were enough air flow under the hood to keep its temperature, it would behave. Go above that temperaure and it would foul. Shut the engine off for a few minutes would cool the distributor bowl enough to permit operation. It could get hot enough in cool weather to fail. for example, on one morning commute, it was snowing and I had a longer than normal wait at the stop light and the engine had gotten quite warm from pulling through snow; It quit. Replacing the sensor from a good parts maker fixed the problem.

I am not suggesting this is your problem, but to show how difficult it can be to identify an intermittent problem. Your problem may prove to be fuel delivery and the fuel itself since the vehicle sits for extended periods. The fuel injectors may be dirty. The fuel pressure may be inadequate. The ignition advance may be misbehaving. Take it to a good mechanic and describe your problem. Listen carefully to his questions and answer to your best ability. If you do not know the answer, its ok to say so. Its far worse to give bad data thinking to avoid embarrasment.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:15AM
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jemdandy, I really hope you still monitor this post. I've searched more blogs and wasted more time than I'd care to admit chasing an intermittent idle problem on my 1994 K1500 Blazer. Truck has a 5.7L 350 stroked to 383, 197,000mi on chassis, 47,000mi on motor, throttle body injection. The issue sounds very similar to what you described. Typically when the truck is cold it starts fine, idles normal and no apparent issues when running down the highway.

However, if I stop off somewhere (like a gas station) and start the vehicle while warm; or get stuck in traffic in low RPM conditions (low airflow situations) I experience a surging idle. Occasionally the engine will throw a 44 code (lean exhaust) as well; I'm thinking because of the surging idle.

I replaced the fuel pump & fuel filter thinking it was a fuel delivery problem. Also replaced the distributor cap, rotor button, spark plugs, wires, thinking it was a spark issue. After that didn't work I thought maybe a vacuum/airflow issue and replaced the EGR solenoid and valve, as well as the TPS, IAC solenoid, MAP sensor, PCV valves, and gasket at the base of the throttle body.

I've taken it to three mechanics and they can't replicate the issue well enough to diagnose it.

Just wondering what this timing sensor looked like on your vehicle, where you bought the replacement (or if you replaced the entire distributor) and what year, make, model, engine your vehicle had. You help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2015 at 8:39AM
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My truck just got fixed and we had all of the throttle body replaced and that wasnt it and it ended up being the brain box that is under the glove box

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 3:02PM
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jkriegbaum02: Did you find out what was wrong with your Blazer? I am in a very similar situation with a 1990 Chevy P30- 350v8

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 12:21PM
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