Intermittent crank/no-start solved

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Hoesgottaeat2

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Good morning folks. Posting a PROBLEM SOLVED here.
Had an intermittent crank/no-start on my '96 Suburban for the last year or so. I noticed this when I let the truck sit for (2) days or more.
Confirmed initially that it had fuel, but no spark when the symptom occurred. So I checked the distributor cap which had been replaced within a year or so of the onset of the issue. Wires were replaced at the same time.
Over time I began to see a correlation between moisture (when it was parked outside overnight) and a crank/no-start in the morning. It would often start later in the day after the moisture from the morning burned off.
I burned up one starter already from the long cranks.
I next swapped the ignition coil, thinking the epoxy coating on it was compromised, leaving the coil susceptible to malfunction when exposed to moisture. I swapped it with a known good one from another Vortec 5.7 from my spare parts box. The issue still persisted.
So I found myself doing what I could to start the truck daily (on my days off) to get the engine hot enough to burn off any moisture from sitting. This worked 100% of the time when I did this.
Then the recent holidays came and I failed to get out to start it every day and I got bit by the crank/no-start issue again.
So I rolled the Burb down into my shop and parked it next to my '99 Hoe that is stored for the winter.
I began to methodically swap ignition items with the Hoe until the Burb finally started.
The culprit? Distributor cap. The rotor had enough moisture on it when removed that it made it obvious this was the culprit.
The Burb started immediately when the D-cap and rotor were swapped from the Hoe.

A few other issues that were resolved immediately upon replacement of the D-cap and rotor were:
- No more engine stumble when downshifting from OD when going uphill (was consistently happening with old D-cap and rotor)
- No more misfires when sitting at a light
- Starts instantly every time and it has been raining here for a solid two days.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit the fix was that simple. It was my initial suspect as you can see, but then it continued to get overlooked until I circled back around to it again almost a year later. This is a first for me having a D-cap fail in this manner. It looked near new when I replaced it here recently. Definitely a case of "looks can be deceiving".

I hope this helps someone in the future.
 

Joseph Garcia

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Thank you for posting the solution to your issue. Our collective knowledge base has been increased.

I had the same issue years ago on one of my vehicles. Turned out that there was a small crack in the D cap, almost unnoticeable, but enough to suck moisture in, while the engine cooled down and the hot air within the D cap cooled and contracted.
 
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Hoesgottaeat2

Hoesgottaeat2

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Thank you for posting the solution to your issue. Our collective knowledge base has been increased.

I had the same issue years ago on one of my vehicles. Turned out that there was a small crack in the D cap, almost unnoticeable, but enough to suck moisture in, while the engine cooled down and the hot air within the D cap cooled and contracted.
Good to know. I'm going to see if I can locate the same on the old one I removed. A visual will definitely be reassuring. Noticed nothing at first glance.
 

no cigar

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Just stumbling on this thread because I'm having the same problem with a very intermittent Crank/No Start. Only thing is just about every component in the ignition/timing apparatus has been replaced. It does exhibit sputtering and even some smoke as though it's trying to run but almost as though the timing is off. Timing has been confirmed by mechanic and that's not a culprit.

New:
Spider
Fuel Press. Regulator
Crankshaft Pos. Sensor
Complete Distributor Module
Coil
Ignition Control Module
Wires/Plugs
Battery

Mechanic has confirmed there is spark getting to the distributor and all the fuel tests pan out when the truck is running, there are no issues. Park it for a while, and will absolutely not start. I'm suspecting maybe PCM? It also sounds like an intermittent Passlock or security issue?

Also I'd note that the truck first exhibited this issue one day when it got cold/moist out. That morning I remember it being a little slow to start and coming out to go home from work it would not start. It has been doing this ever since. Will run completely fine one random day, and the next, it refuses to start.
 

Eman85

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@no cigar
Most common problem is fuel pressure when trying to start cold. Cycle the key a few times listening for the pump running. If after a few cycles it starts it is usually the fuel pump. If it was security with the key on the light would stay on. Has happened to me twice with my PU and it will start after it resets itself or you do the procedure of leaving the key on.
 

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