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1994 K3500 no start

jrsavoie

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We went for a 2 hour cruise, came home parked and had a no start. 5,000 miles on the last oil change with Mobile1 5W40 Diesel oil. 310,000 miles on the engine

At the hit of the key the engine spun at normal speed, but only for a second. Usually about all it takes to start.

Then it would act like the battery was low. I tried it about 3 times and 2 times after it cooled down.

The oil seemed a little over full and the coolant was low enough, I could not tell how it looked. The truck is parked on a grade with the front end pointing downhill. Would that make a difference on engine oil level?

I've never had anything spin fast at the hit of the key and then go to nothing like that. Not to be repeated several times, anyway.

Usually when they won't crank, they don't spin good the next time you hit the key either.

The batteries load tested very good.

I was just going to change the starter and try it, until I checked the oil.

I plan to pull an oil sample and change the oil - maybe the starter also.

Anything else I might want to do or check?

What's the easiest way to get a sample of the coolant to see how it looks? I've never sampled coolant before. Just changed it. Kind of miss having a radiator cap.

Do they make a radiator for these that has a cap as well as a line to the reservoir?

Kind of hard to do a compression test when it won't spin.
 
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jrsavoie

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Going to finish putting together one of the mowers and then drag it t the shed and look at it.

I can't smell much of anything. Other than dirty, the oil looked normal.

I plan to catch the first 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of oil in a jar. Leave it sit and see what it looks like. Wish I had a big enough jar to drain into. I see a mess coming.

This truck had the head stitch fix done before I bought it. Still seems weird to me that it turns normal for a second before it stops and acts like a dead battery or starter.

I haven't tried it yet today.

Maybe it will start, to drive it to the shed, so I don't have to mess around dragging it

Any ideas on getting a coolant sample? Seems to me the petcock was froze up the last time I tried it.

Might be able to get something to the bottom of the coolant reservoir.
 

Stoney

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Go through the overflow line off the top of the radiator... Sounds to me like the voltage regulator is fried.. which unfortunately is built right onto the starter.
 

Will L.

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Just drain the oil as normal imo. If you are loosing coolant into the oil, it will turn the oil milky. You said you were going to swap the starter until you looked at the oil-???
Confused about this. Are you seeing something in the oil that alarms you? Or do you want to examine the oil incase there is a clue there?

If you get the truck up on jackstands front and rear - you can buy new 5 gallon buckets from home improvement store cheap 1 to drain oil and coolant into. Then let them settle and pour off slowly if you think anything will settle out of it. Also no contamination that way if you want to send sample to lab.

It sounds like you think coolant is going into oil?
Or maybe coolant going into cylinder?

When you are saying it cranks ok, then stops... are you hydro locking 1 cylinder? If you suspect this- remove all 8 glowplugs. As if getting ready for compression test, then unplug fuel solenoid and spin it over- best is you watch while using remote starter switch or have someone else crank key while you watch. See if anything sprays out a cylinder.

If nothing sprays out but engine seems to stop at one point with all glow plugs removed: take off flywheel cover and mark flywheel with something like dab of white paint. Then crank engine while underneath glowplugs still out and solenoid still disconnected. You are trying to see if the engine is stopping turning at 1 spot on flywheel- possible bad flywheel teeth. Or 2 opposite positions like 6:00 & 12:00 - something internal like a bent valve as example.

Check the heat on the starter and solenoid also each time it stops cranking. Could be simple starter failure.

No set order of what to do first here. Its kinda all over the map what your looking at. Diagnostic rule #1 is assume nothing. Rule #2 is do easiest thing first...

If you can do a phone video and cant post it to YouTube, text the video to one of us that can post the video for everyone to see.
 

Will L.

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BTW, last couple days I been running on maybe 1 hour sleep each night. Just woke up after 6 hours finally (wife at hospital- everything is good and fine now) so my already not good brain still maybe not firing on all 8- haha.

Anyone else see something I am missing here? Or does anyone else feel like only 20 puzzle pieces from a set of 100 here?
 

Stoney

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Just re read my response. Was barely awake when I wrote that.. voltage regulator is part of alternator..which if it's not governing the flow properly can cause your issue or the starter could be bad also.. sorry for the confusion.
 

jrsavoie

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Just drain the oil as normal imo. If you are loosing coolant into the oil, it will turn the oil milky. You said you were going to swap the starter until you looked at the oil-???
Confused about this. Are you seeing something in the oil that alarms you? Or do you want to examine the oil incase there is a clue there?

If you get the truck up on jackstands front and rear - you can buy new 5 gallon buckets from home improvement store cheap 1 to drain oil and coolant into. Then let them settle and pour off slowly if you think anything will settle out of it. Also no contamination that way if you want to send sample to lab.

It sounds like you think coolant is going into oil?
Or maybe coolant going into cylinder?

When you are saying it cranks ok, then stops... are you hydro locking 1 cylinder? If you suspect this- remove all 8 glowplugs. As if getting ready for compression test, then unplug fuel solenoid and spin it over- best is you watch while using remote starter switch or have someone else crank key while you watch. See if anything sprays out a cylinder.

If nothing sprays out but engine seems to stop at one point with all glow plugs removed: take off flywheel cover and mark flywheel with something like dab of white paint. Then crank engine while underneath glowplugs still out and solenoid still disconnected. You are trying to see if the engine is stopping turning at 1 spot on flywheel- possible bad flywheel teeth. Or 2 opposite positions like 6:00 & 12:00 - something internal like a bent valve as example.

Check the heat on the starter and solenoid also each time it stops cranking. Could be simple starter failure.

No set order of what to do first here. Its kinda all over the ma
Since the truck is sitting on a pretty good grade, front enat the bottom, would that make the oil level read high?p what your looking at. Diagnostic rule #1 is assume nothing. Rule #2 is do easiest thing first...

If you can do a phone video and cant post it to YouTube, text the video to one of us that can post the video for everyone to see.
Never got to the truck today. I am a little low on coolant. I want to check the coolant to see how it looks. I also want to do an oil sample. Could just be the starter. The oil reading over full gave me pause.
 

jrsavoie

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BTW, last couple days I been running on maybe 1 hour sleep each night. Just woke up after 6 hours finally (wife at hospital- everything is good and fine now) so my already not good brain still maybe not firing on all 8- haha.

Anyone else see something I am missing here? Or does anyone else feel like only 20 puzzle pieces from a set of 100 here?
I can't run without rest anymore.

Hope your wife gets better fast.

I'll be looking for more puzzle pieces after I pick up the tools I have scattered about.

Thanks for the advice.

I should have said after checking fluids. Low coolant. High oil.

I do not know how much the fact that the truck is parked nose down on a fairly steep incline, might have to do with the oil being high on the stick.

The coolant has not been checked in a while. Seems there's about an inch in the reservoir.
 
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jrsavoie

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Somehow I think a couple of us are in that position right now... LOL... Maybe we need to put down the wrenches and go to bed.... Nope that ain't happening.
I just have too much that needs done. Anymore, if I push too much, I can do a fine job of making life worse.

Need to check the truck out, need to mow if it gets dry enough. Still have 5 other mowers or decks to get back in shape.

And have to mess with the well and leaking fitting on the filter bank.

And find another vehicle. LOL

That's just the start. Seems I have a heck of a time with productively anymore
 

jrsavoie

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Finally looked at the truck. Got an oil sample. Came back good.

I am guessing it's the starter. Maybe in a couple weeks I Will have time to change the starter and down pipe and check the glow plugs on that side. Have a fuel leak also.
 

Will L.

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If you can drop the starter ahead of time and get a flywheel turner on there- prybaring the teeth can do it but takes a lot longer- and makes sure she isn’t stuck. The low coolant high oil thing has me concerned.

And you know the powermaster 9052 is gonna be my recommendation. Is Chris, Leroy, or rock auto selling thise yet?
Have to wait for shipping, but well worth it. You simply won’t believe the difference until you try it.

This has been a long sit, you ave a trickle charger on those batteries?
 

jrsavoie

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If you can drop the starter ahead of time and get a flywheel turner on there- prybaring the teeth can do it but takes a lot longer- and makes sure she isn’t stuck. The low coolant high oil thing has me concerned.

And you know the powermaster 9052 is gonna be my recommendation. Is Chris, Leroy, or rock auto selling thise yet?
Have to wait for shipping, but well worth it. You simply won’t believe the difference until you try it.

This has been a long sit, you ave a trickle charger on those batteries?
I have a starter sitting on the bench that has good wrote onit in Yellow paint marker. I am going to try that first.

First I have to get the Tahoe out of the way and a few other projects.

I'm not sure who sells the Powermaster other than off Amazon. I have had one in my cart for years. I haven't run out of starters here yet. I have one left to try.

John at Quadstarr sells a starter that he says is comparable to the Powermaster. Haven't heard anything good or bad about them.

I will check the cables when I get there I have some good cables here and some 3/0 stuff if I need to make one or 2. Might have recabled this vehicle already

tHE OIL SAMPLE CAME BACK GOOD - NO COOLANT IN THE OIL!! tHAT WAS GOOD TO HEAR!!
 
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