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Old 10-05-2017, 10:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Open the hood and watch the fan or the belt while someone trys to start it, that will tell if the starter is turning the engine over. If the fan spins, the starters fine. If it doesn't spin, but there is a loud grinding noise when the key is turned, it's probably the starter bendix. It's possible a couple raps with a hammer will free things up. Let us know what happens for more trouble shooting ideas.

No particular grinding noises.

As for rapping anything... that would imply I know what to hit. I really don't know doodly squat about engines. Nuclear physics... a bit. But engines... zippo.

Sadly will have to wait till Saturday when I have daylight to wrestle this pig. Was hoping someone might have a simple quick fix that a dunce like me wouldn't know to try. I am having visions of an expensive tow extraction followed by a painful bent-over-barrel experience with a local shyster mechanic of dubious abilities.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:25 PM   #12
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No particular grinding noises.

As for rapping anything... that would imply I know what to hit. I really don't know doodly squat about engines. Nuclear physics... a bit. But engines... zippo..
Let us know what you see when you look under the hood with the key turned to "start". The fan (it looks just like a big fan) on the very front of the motor, behind the big black rectangular radiator should turn. That will tell you if the starter is working.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:47 PM   #13
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Do you have a smartphone that you can put on video record? Can you stand in front of the engine with the hood up and record (Audio on also) while someone else turns the key? Then upload the video to YouTube and post the link here?
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:48 PM   #14
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Give the starter a few love taps with a hammer. May have gummed up from sitting with moisture.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:11 AM   #15
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Steve: It should be simple enough to determine if the engine is turning over when someone turns the ignition key.....pop the hood and take a look.....otherwise we are all guessing...belt moving..accessories turning....

Basic troubleshooting usually involves eliminating things that the problem isn't. If the engine is turning over it's not the start bendix. If it's not turning over then it might be........if the starter motor is spinning than it likely is.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:33 PM   #16
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Steve: It should be simple enough to determine if the engine is turning over when someone turns the ignition key.....pop the hood and take a look.....otherwise we are all guessing...belt moving..accessories turning....

Basic troubleshooting usually involves eliminating things that the problem isn't. If the engine is turning over it's not the start bendix. If it's not turning over then it might be........if the starter motor is spinning than it likely is.
Well... I had a physical limitation being only a single body. A little bit of a stretch to reach the ignition and see into the engine at the same time with my flabby little 5' 8" frame.

However, despite me being a loser with no available friends... I managed to corral my neighbor who knows a bit more than me (which means, he knows where the starter is) and was able to determine that the engine is turning over fine - belts and fans spinning happily, but not catching.

We moved it a little bit and tapped the starter hoping to loosen some recalcitrant widget / gizmo / brexit / bendix / spandex thingy, but no joy.

I am still not convinced that the thing is getting fuel. There is no apparent noise from anywhere close to where the fuel pump is. Just the starter whirring away.

Apparently there is only one shop in town that anyone I know from work will consider going to, so at least I have those options narrowed down. I doubt there is anything my sorry arse can do at this point.

Hell... I even tried a blood sacrifice skinning my knuckles putting the air intake back on (checked since I had the hood open anyway). Even that didn't appease the engine gods. Dammit.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:48 PM   #17
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Well, if the engine is spinning then the starter is fine....no need to whack it....

...so you know where some things are like the fuel pump? they don't make much noise.....

If you are suspecting fuel pump, there is a fuel pump inertia switch under the plastic panel on the right side of the passenger footwell. It kills power to the fuel pump in the event of an accident that has enough force to trip the switch, so that fuel doesn't pour all over the ground causing the van to burst into flames.

This switch has a red reset button on the side of it.....it takes a flashlight and 5 minutes to confirm it's not tripped....just yank off the passenger footwell cover (below the dash where most cars have a glove box) and take a peek on van sheetmetal .....you'll see some wires and a black plastic thingy with a red button...push the button.....if it doesn't need resetting pushing the button won't do anything.

...of course you could have another issue like fuel pump, lack of spark, etc.

If your neighbor has an OBDII scanner (readily available on Amazon and lots of other places for around $14)....plug that into the OBBII connector under the steering wheel, turn the key to the on position and see if you've got any error codes.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:17 PM   #18
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Well, if the engine is spinning then the starter is fine....no need to whack it....

...so you know where some things are like the fuel pump? they don't make much noise.....

If you are suspecting fuel pump, there is a fuel pump inertia switch under the plastic panel on the right side of the passenger footwell. It kills power to the fuel pump in the event of an accident that has enough force to trip the switch, so that fuel doesn't pour all over the ground causing the van to burst into flames.

This switch has a red reset button on the side of it.....it takes a flashlight and 5 minutes to confirm it's not tripped....just yank off the passenger footwell cover (below the dash where most cars have a glove box) and take a peek on van sheetmetal .....you'll see some wires and a black plastic thingy with a red button...push the button.....if it doesn't need resetting pushing the button won't do anything.

...of course you could have another issue like fuel pump, lack of spark, etc.

If your neighbor has an OBDII scanner (readily available on Amazon and lots of other places for around $14)....plug that into the OBBII connector under the steering wheel, turn the key to the on position and see if you've got any error codes.
Is the fuel switch something SMB would have moved or removed? I cannot find it where you suggested. Videos online show where and what it looks like and there is nothing like that by the passenger side footwell.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:44 PM   #19
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Is the fuel switch something SMB would have moved or removed? I cannot find it where you suggested. Videos online show where and what it looks like and there is nothing like that by the passenger side footwell.
It not directly below the glove box, it's off to the right --- behind the small plastic panel that's *just ahead of the front door.* (But still right down there against the floor.)

In the automotive world it's referred to as the "kick panel."
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:52 PM   #20
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Have it torn apart. There is absolutely no switch visible anywhere. Just wires and connectors. No switch.

The owners manual indicates that just turning the ignition on and off should reset it. So... despite my hops being high - and for once looking in the right place - no go.

I reckon Monday will be a tow day, and my 4-day weekend in the fall color in Colorado is shot.

Thanks to all that have tried to walk me through this. After everything, I think it is a failed fuel pump that will require a tow unless someone has an epiphany or wants to come see lovely Los Alamos this weekend!
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