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Thread: Auto Machanic Question

  1. #1
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    Auto Machanic Question

    Why won't a 98 Chevy pickup (5.7 motor) start after it rains? Has to be a hard rain and quick change in humidity. Gets no spark until it drys out. Ideas?

    And no I'm not buying a new one or a Ford, Dodge, Toyota.

  2. #2
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    Steve have you still got a rotor and rotor cup on that vehicle. If so check the rubber seals on the wires leading in and out of the rotor. I know if moisture gets in there on any motor it prevents the spark from getting to the spark plugs. I would do the same across the wires to the plugs too. Moisture is shorting the spark to ground somewhere thats my guess.

    Warning i aint no mechanic. Just a backyard guy that has worked on some cars in my time.
    cheers

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Steve have you still got a rotor and rotor cup on that vehicle. If so check the rubber seals on the wires leading in and out of the rotor. I know if moisture gets in there on any motor it prevents the spark from getting to the spark plugs. I would do the same across the wires to the plugs too. Moisture is shorting the spark to ground somewhere thats my guess.

    Warning i aint no mechanic. Just a backyard guy that has worked on some cars in my time.
    BINGO!!! If no distributor, even older engines with an electronic module may have still have a distributor, it could be the electronic module is not sealed and getting moisture in it. My bet is still the distributor. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  4. #4
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    I had the same problem with my 98 Tahoe. I changed the rotor and cap and haven't had a problem since (the rotor was worn pretty bad).

  5. #5
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    Yep still has cap and rotor. I have went as far as changing out the distributor. Helped for awhile, but now it is back. I pulled the distributor cap, before I posted this, dry as could be. Tomorrow I will put a used cap and rotor on and see what happens. What ever it is, has to be simple. Thanks for the ideas so far. Keep them coming.

  6. #6
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    Cap can look dry but still be wet enough to short out. Can have a crack not visible to the naked eye. Check rubber gasket under cap for deterioration.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  7. #7
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    WD-40, WD stands for Water Displacement and it will not interfear with the ignition. It was developed for use in aircraft to displace the water in the older airplanes when they had a problem with condensation.
    The 40 is for the 40th formulation which is what it took to get one that worked.
    Spray it into the distributor and you should be good to go.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Back in the '70's to get a car started to drive to the station versus laying on your back hooking to the wrecker using the J hooks, dad would pop the cap and turn it upside down, light a book of matches on fire inside of it. Many times this was enough heat to dry the inside of the cap so we could get it to the station and work on it in the warm.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  9. #9
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    Even with a good cap and rotor you can get arcing from any of the plug wires when they get old. I had the same problem on my old Dodge truck. Replaced the wires and cured the problem. Wait until night and see if you can see arcing when the engine is turning over.

  10. #10
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    WD40 on the plug wires always fixed it for me
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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