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  1. #1

    Default Symptoms of a fautly distributor pickup coil?

    I have a Suburban with a 5.7L Vortec and is hard to start after sitting for a while. It takes maybe 12-15 long cranks to finally get started, and once it is started, it restarts just fine (like on errands and driving around town, to work and back during the day). Overnight, however, it will present the problem. I verified that my ignition coil is providing plenty of spark to the distributor (I verified), but I am getting no spark at all to any of the plug wires. What are the symptoms of a faulty pickup coil (inside the distributor) or is this more likely just an ignition maintenance thing where I just need to replace cap and rotor.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Alchemist; 09-02-2009 at 07:09 AM. Reason: update
    '95 DGM Impala SS, 383, LT4 cnc heads, LT4 matched intake, Holley 58 mm t/body, GM 846 cam, GMPP 1.6 rr's, F-body MAF, BH OBD I PCM, LT4 knock module, K&N cold air, Edelbrock headers, Flowmaster exhaust, BBHP #73 6-speed, 4:56 gear, sloted and drilled rotors, Z28 cluster.

    '96 Buick Roadmaster Limited Wagon, mostly stock.

    77 Ford F150 2WD, 400 auto, longbed

    98 Suburban C1500 LS, stock

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
    I have a Suburban with a 5.7L Vortec and is hard to start after sitting for a while. It takes maybe 12-15 long cranks to finally get started, and once it is started, it restarts just fine (like on errands and driving around town, to work and back during the day). Overnight, however, it will present the problem. I verified that my ignition coil is providing plenty of spark to the distributor (I verified), but I am getting no spark at all to any of the plug wires. What are the symptoms of a faulty pickup coil (inside the distributor) or is this more likely just an ignition maintenance thing where I just need to replace cap and rotor.

    Thanks.
    Pop off the cap and look ar the rotor. Sometimes the coil will burn the pick up on top of the rotor. If there is a problem in the cap or rotor you will for sure see it.

    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
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    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  3. #3

    Default

    If it's been a while since you replaced the cap and rotor, put some new AC Delcos on there. I would also recommend a new set of NAPA Blue Max by Belden wires. They are not cheap for the Vortecs, but worth the money. Should be the last set you buy. I just put a set on my truck, really smoothed out the idle.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  4. #4

    Default

    Oh, to answer your question LOL

    My pickup coil is going on the Tahoe. It runs OK, but when you drive along you can feel it hitching. I am going to replace the entire distributor.

  5. #5

    Default

    Well, I pulled the rotor and cap. The end of the rotor was pretty blackened. I took some 150 grit sand paper and sanded the contact back to shiny copper. The flexible metal tang center contact for the rotor had a little carbon on it, but wiped off. It was indented though. The cap underneath on each of the eight plug terminals had some oxidation/corrosion on the contacts. I cleaned those as best I could. But putting it all back together, I figured the truck would start, but it did not! Beginning to think that damn pick up inside distributor is fubard. What does it do when going bad? While running, the truck does not seem to run bad, it's just hard to start when cold.

    Thanks-

  6. #6

    Default

    Update:

    I was completely wrong on the spark. There IS spark at each plug. I just didn't see it in the daytime. I retested my fuel pressure at the Shrader valve underhood and got no more than 49psi. The service manual claims it is supposed to be 60-66 psi. Can this be the source of the non-start?

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