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Old 09-09-2009, 07:33 PM
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Default 2000 S10 Blazer - No Start or Runs Rough. Timing?


Hello. I’m helping a friend out with a 2000 Blazer (4.3L Vortec, 6-cly with an Automatic Trans.) and I believe there is a timing issue. Any advice would be appreciated!

Caveat: The Blazer is in the Caribbean! I have limited tools and next to no parts unless I have someone back home in the U.S. ship them down. There is no access to a code scanner or a manual. I do not know the VIN or Trim codes, etc. but I can drive over and get that info if it is useful for this problem.

History: The blazer was running well, but water was found mixed with the oil. It was taken to a local mechanic and the water pump, the intake gasket and head gaskets were replaced. The Blazer was returned to service for a short time (maybe a week or two with intermittent use). The Blazer then began experiencing problems starting. He was told it was a starter (replaced that twice), then told it was the battery, and then told the starter needed shimmed.

My Diagnosis: Battery is fine. I tested it with a meter and have been running it in my car with no issues. The (new) starter sounded “loaded” (hard crank), but no sounds of needing shimmed. I pulled the coil wire and tried to crank the engine and it cranked normally. I figured the timing was too far advanced so I looked at the distributor. Here I found the distributor cap had been wire-tied to the distributor. I got a new cap, rotor and wires on a trip to the U.S. and installed them. The Blazer started , but ran very rough.

Current Problem: I moved it about a mile down the road to a better location to work on it and it will not start again. It wants to crank and feels like it’s about to back fire, but will not turn over.

Current Work: I pulled the plugs and they were wet with gas and gapped .015 over GM spec. While they were out I checked the timing by hand-turning the engine (clockwise as viewing from the front) to put the No. 1 piston to TDC (felt for pressure out the No. 1 spark plug hole). I turned the engine a little more to line the marks up as shown in this thread (second mark at the “V” notch and the first mark on line cast into the engine):


The rotor position was half way between the No. 1 and the No. 6 contacts on the cap. Just for fun, I set the first timing mark to the “V” notch on the No. 1 compression stroke (second mark to the passenger side, not lined up with anything) – The rotor points to the No. 1 contact on the cap. I think the mechanic set the timing up incorrectly using the marks on the balancer.

… I also cleaned the EGR just for good measure….

- Am I using the correct thread for information on timing this engine? (If so, I assume the mechanic set-up the timing wrong and I need to pull the distributor and follow the instructions to set the proper timing.)
-- It would seem so. I followed the instructions and she started right up. The mechanic used the first timing mark and was two cam teeth too advanced.

- If the distributor needs to come out, do I need to remove anything to do it? Hood or upper intake? General info is fine, I don't need detailed instructions.
-- No. Removed wires and cap and used a 10mm offset wrench to loosen the hold down bolt. I needed an 8 inch long screw driver to turn the oil pump to get the distributor to seat back in at the correct position. **Make sure you check to see if your handle is big enough to prevent the tool from falling into the engine. If not, take steps to prevent this so you don't end up with extra work removing a tool from the block.**

- Is there a bypass wire to set the base timing? Another forum indicated if the ECM was in the engine compartment, there was no wire to unplug. (After 1995?)
-- Never found a bypass wire.

Extra Questions:
- Does vacuum play any role with the symptoms? I found that someone hooked the line from the windshield washer reservoir to a vacuum tee and not to the nozzles on the hood (cannot imagine why there was “water” in the oil!) I haven’t found where the vacuum line (by the brake booster) belongs.
-- The short, 6 inch line went to the vacuum canister inside the driver's side fender. Kudos to GM Engineers for a well played game of hide and seek.

- There is a single, dark, green wire with a red stripe and two red dots (pattern) that comes out of the harness near the distributor. This is not hooked up… any ideas what it is for?
* Turns out the green/red wire is someone's extention - the original color of the wire exiting the harness (behind the distributor) is blue.
-- Still a mystery.

Thanks in advance for advcie before I rip this apart and perhaps make things worse!

Last edited by sword2269; 11-29-2009 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Solved
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