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Idle/runs 5 minutes, stalls, no restart

03-06-2007, 06:24 PM
Hi Folks, been her reading all day, time to post.

93 safari, engine code W 350K

I've had it for just over a month. Living on the east coast of Canada.

I've has no trouble starting or running it since I got it until the weather changed to mild ~32F

I let the tank get to almost E, put irving gas in it, then it started stalling. at first I could get it restarted before battery ran out but no longer.

Towed it home, Put gasline antifreeze in it, waited an hour, Bang.. started up, ran a half hour no troubles for 2 days.

Got low again, wife put in same gas, started stalling again. This time It would not restart until at least 2 hours later. Turns over no problem, just no go. Me an a pal boosted it up later that night, tried to get home, made it 3 blocks, engine stalls coming to stop again. Killed batteriy, wait an hour, starts up agin, idles for 5 minutes, then stalls. Tow truck home.

Last 2 days I start it 1st turn, runs for 5 mins, then stalls, won't restart. I must have done that for 20 times or so last couple of days to charge battery.

Start, run 5 minutes , it stalls, I wait an hour or so, start it again, runs for 5 minutes, stalls, rinse and repeat.

Today Its now cold, -15C (or about 10F) I get home from work, I start it, runs 5 minutes, stalls, but this time I restarted it...and right away it comes to life and it its been running for the last 2 hours:confused: I've turned it off and restarted it a bunch of times.

What i do Know:

Since I got the doghouse off, I sprayed it(cap and wired)- no sparks
I sprayed the filty coils, no sparks
I took apart the distributer, looks clean, wires look almost new.
Fuel Pump wirs before starting
I check fp relay, proper voltage is there
When it dies it just Cuts out, no sputtering
I changed fuel filter (old one looked old anyway)
I check fuel lines while underneath, no leaks.
No smell of gass in cabin.
After engine cuts out, I press the gas pedal, a touch of smoke comes out of throttle body (I pulled filters and pan off) no overwhelming gas smell

What i don't know yet:

FP Pressure (don't have a guage yet), but I'm thinking thats not the problem now only becasue it runs as long as a: gas pedal pressed (when its stalling), 2 it hasn't move in 2 days and now runs like a top with cold weather and mostly likely dry. 3. When driving it stalls when I come to a stop. 4 it wirs up for 2 seconds everytime i turn the key to "on"

I'm thinking something electrical has dried now.

Any Ideas?


03-06-2007, 07:58 PM
dirty gas. i wish gas tanks had a drain plug or better yet a bleeder valve so you could drain off the water and other crude on the bottom before it became a problem. try some additatives like Techlorine and a gas drier, but i think you'll have to drain it and clean it out good.

03-07-2007, 07:45 AM
dirty gas. i wish gas tanks had a drain plug or better yet a bleeder valve so you could drain off the water and other crude on the bottom before it became a problem. try some additatives like Techlorine and a gas drier, but i think you'll have to drain it and clean it out good.

Thanks for the reply. Interesting, my pal and I were considering this at 1st when I experienced the 1st non restart and droppin' a 1/2 litre of meth into it. He has an 89 firebird and says he had this problem if 1. hovering around freezing, 2 lets tank run almost dry, 3 puts irving Gas into it (urban legend that they have water in it)

I got up this morning, -25C (-13F), went out for my moring coffee and smoke and fired it up 1st crack, it did not stall (i shut it off after 10 minutes).

Now I've never had a GM, always older Vw's and mazda's and always standards, as i just found out we are having our 3rd baby I needed a van and I wanted a real one not a mini (car based)one. Because I didn't have a few grand at once, I picked up this one for $250 and put a grand into it (complete brakes rotors, drums and lines) and yet have another 6-800 for idler arms and body. SO I need to be able to trust its going to get from point a to B with my wife and kids driving it before continuing or just cut my losses and save up for one that is "safetied". Aside from this new issue it runs smooth as a babies ass and tranny seems very solid. I'm much rather put another grand into it(knowing what I have) than go grab another one fro a G or 2 not knowing, If I know its gonna start and keep started.

Sorry for the long winded posts but as you can see, I'm at a decision point and do not have money to burn nor a second vehicle for backup.

Thank for you help Gents.

03-07-2007, 06:18 PM
how many miles on it, my 86 safari went over 250,000 miles relatively reliably

and what is irving gas anyway?

03-07-2007, 09:15 PM
how many miles on it, my 86 safari went over 250,000 miles relatively reliably

and what is irving gas anyway?
217,479 miles. Irving gas is a brand here in atlantic Canada.

Update. After getting home from work, it started up and did not stall fro a hour, I worked on iit, putting it back together and put the doghouse on.

I drove it not more than 2 miles. Went to a meeting for an hour. When I cam back and started it, it stalled and would not restart :banghead:

I put on my second battery, and it started after an hour.

This time i kept it goin by keeping it reved up at at least 2000rpm for about 5 minutes, I started to smell rubber.hmmmmm I took my foot off gas, the engine stayed running. I was able to drive it home.

I noticed on the drive home, my oil pressure while ideling was between 1/4 and 1/2 on the gauge fluctuating, and betwwen 5/8 and 3/4 driving

Since I bought the Van Until now it has been 5/8 steady) idling and 3/4 driving.

Now from reading i know the oil pressure is tied in with the fuel pump, could a loose belt be causing the now low oil pressure and thus stopping the fuel pump from pumping gas when rpms get low(after initial 5 minute warm up) and coming to stops?

03-08-2007, 04:34 PM
Update, Non adjustable Belt, But it was "stuck a bit" so i played with it wiggling the tensioner. Oil pressure returned to normal after I sarted the Van from sitting all day.

As it idled (better i might add) I threw some gasline antifreeze and injector cleaner in it for good measure.

I was about to drive it around the block and put it under load, so I shut if off and put on the front cold air duct off the air pan.

It had been running again for about 5 minues before I shut it off.

I went to restart it, turns over but no start.

Now this is not an internittant issue anymore.

Starts first crack, runs 5 minutes, stalls (or if I shut it off), no restart unless I let it sit for a couple hours then starts again first crack.

Any other ideas aside from bad gas? (wich I have not ruled out yet)

03-10-2007, 09:26 AM

I took off the air pan and the body surrounding the 2 injectors so i could get a clear view of gas.

Start it up, No problem, gas coming out both injectors, the rigth one has a nice flow, the left one has a fast dribble (may be dirty).

When the engine cut after 5 minutes (after revs came down), I turned it off, waited ten seconds, turned the key to the ON positio, heard the feul pump wirr as well as the simultaneos noise at the "injector area"

Turned it over..NO GAS AT ALL, not a drop.

SO either the fuel pump consistanly fails after 5 minutes, then consistansty works after you let it sit, or

I have a consitant electrical problem that shuts off the gas flow after the rpms come down to stall then does not allow any gas flow after that, until it sits.

I don't have a FP guage to test FP pressure. If I were to assume FP is ok , where can I go now?

03-10-2007, 02:23 PM
Put a spark plug on igition coil wire, I have bright orange/yellow spark., not blue, si I tested the coil. ~1 term Infinty, 2nd term 1 ohm, 3rd term 8.1K. This seems to check.

Went to ICM, C and + check out at 11.5 V, I ran a test light Betwwen P and + wich C montoring voltage, no voltage drop and light did not come on when I put it on for 5 seconds. I also noticed corrosion where u screw it onto the Distributer and the Thermal paste was all dried up and there was no adhesion when I undid the screws.

Could the ICM be failing after warm up? They are 100 bucks here

03-13-2007, 09:45 PM
ICM was the issue for those interested:redface:

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