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1986 Truck stalling

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by bonechip67, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. bonechip67

    bonechip67 New Member

    Hey there, newbie here! Im looking at buying a used truck. The guy who is selling told me that the truck likes to stall on him. Its a 1986 Chevy 1/2 ton with a 305 motor and around 93k for miles. He told me he has owned this truck for quite some time (since 38k) but didnt say when this problem started. Only that he has changed the fuel pump twice over this time frame and fixed some broken vacum lines. He also mentioned it seemed to happen after the truck warmed up. He bought a new truck and doesnt want to invest anymore time or money on this on. Suggested that I trailor the truck if I buy it because he didnt think it would make the 15 mile trip home. Anyone got an idea of what it could be? Thanks, Bone
  2. MightyMax

    MightyMax Rockstar 100 Posts

    Fuel Filter?

    Ignition system?
  3. bonechip67

    bonechip67 New Member

    Im sure it could be a number of things, but was just wondering if anyone on here has had this problem and what the did to fix it. I read on the web were a few other people have had the same thing and some have changed dist, wires, fuel pumps and even whole carbs and still have the bug. Never have heard of what anyone has done to fix.
  4. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the Club!! Your problem has a pretty vague description, but hopefully someone will be familiar with the mystery and respond soon. In the meantime... out of curiosity, how good of shape is the truck in and what is the seller asking for it? The reason I ask is that I am wondering if you are getting a decent price break on the mysterious problem that the seller can't fix? On the flip side, for the truck being ~25 years old, it really has low miles on it.
  5. By stalling do you mean that it will just quit running as you are driving? If so does it cough and spit and then die or does it just die like someone shut off the key? What do you need to do to get it to restart? A couple of general possibilities, as memory serves me your 86 has the first generation HEI ignition, Big distributor cap and coil mounted in the cap. Those could do some pretty wierd things when the ignition module and/or the magnetic pick up in the distributor started going bad. Can you find another distributor to borrow long enough to put it in and drive it around? It might tell a lot. If it just shuts off it could be a wiring problem. If you can, wire a test light into the 12 volt feed to the distribtor in such a manner that the light is visible when you drive. See if the light goes out when the engine dies. If it does start tracing wiring.
  6. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the GM truck club Bonechip. In addition to what Grumpy told you I'd do the same with a fuel pressure guage hooked up so you can watch it while you're driving it. You need to know what you're losing when it stalls (ignition supply or fuel)
    If you don't figure it out this way, then you're just going to be banging your head against the wall like the current owner is/was & just be throwing parts at it (he changed the fuel pump TWICE & that didn't fix it?) ha ha ha, gee I think I understand why the 2nd one didn't fix it since the first one didn't fix it either......
  7. bonechip67

    bonechip67 New Member

    The truck is pretty clean with only some rust over the pass rear and both cab corners need replaced. Interior is real nice as well. I know it has to have spark and fuel to run, just dont know without driving it still it stalls to know which one it is not getting. Im sure the owner wouldn't be too thrilled if he had to tow it home. lol. I just didnt know if it could be the computer or something like that. I think a guy could almost bypass the power to the dist. to eliminate a wiring problem and check fuel pressure and go from there, but just didnt want to buy something and not be able to make it reliable. Its going to be a father son kinda project and I dont want him to get discouraged and lose interest ya know. He was asking 900 but I got him down to 750.
  8. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    $750. sounds great for 93,000 miles. A fuel press guage & a voltmeter hooked up while you're running it is the best & easiest way to figure this one out. Most of the time, stalling is tune up/fuel related & shouldn't be too difficult to find so your son shouldn't get discouraged.
    A pressure guage & voltmeter will also keep you from throwing unnecessary parts & $$$ at it, which would tend to discourage anyone, beginner or not..
  9. bonechip67

    bonechip67 New Member

    Ok, so I emailed the guy yesterday with a few more questions and this is what i got back...

    According to my maint. records, the stalling issue started back in '06 when it had 84,650 miles. A new fuel pump was installed, along with new rotor & cap. This seemed to eliminate the problem at that time. Then in '08 when it had 88,xxx miles, it was starting to act up again, with similar issues. From then on its been off and on, tinkering with it, trying to figure out the problem and sometimes being able to drive several hundred miles with no problems, then just when you think you might have fixed something it starts acting up again. When it does stall, it kind of lets you know because it seems to want to miss & sputter like its running out of gas, then quits. Sometimes it starts right back up, and runs, or sometimes have to wait a while. I put about 1000 miles on it in '09 with a lot of tinkering mixed in. So far this year I have put about 75 miles on it with no problems. So all I can say at the moment is it's running well...

    Any ideas??
  10. silverhobey

    silverhobey Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    hope you get it figured out --- I would buy er' for the 750$ , it just might cause a few headaches getting er' goin'. Sounds like ignition coil if it happens once it warms up. Shouldn't be wiring unless a spark plug wire is bad ( worn through )or rubbing on something when the truck hits a bump----I have seen this before.anyway, good luck and I am sure you will find good help and info here on this site ( brian from Canada )

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