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‘98 T/A LS1 Sporadic Cold Start Spin, No Fire Issue

Old 08-09-2018, 06:40 PM
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Default ‘98 T/A LS1 Sporadic Cold Start Spin, No Fire Issue

I have no idea which forum this best fits, so if I’ve posted in the wrong one forgive me and please let me know it’s proper place.

Where to start? Husband went to leave for work one day but when he turned the key, the engine spun but wouldn't fire. Switched the ignition back off and tried again, same result -- no fire. After several attempts, the engine finally fired and ran as normal -- no stumbling, sputtering or hesitation. The car started and ran fine for a couple days but decided to catch an attitude again after 3, maybe 4 days with the same symptoms as several days prior. Since the first occurrence, this issue has happened more than a dozen times over the past several months with no apparent rhyme or reason and no consistency whatsoever other than being a cold start each and every time. Sometimes there would be a week between happenings other times it's done it every cold start 2 or 3 times in a row.

Jump back about a month ago to when his key got stuck in the ignition in the run position and we were unable to turn the engine off by turning the key. He had to pull the fuel pump relay in order to shut the car off. We tore the steering column down to fix the ignition issue, had a locksmith fix the ignition switch and sewed everything back up. After the switch was taken care of, the cold start issue ceased to rear it's head for about 3 weeks, however multiple other problems took it's place. The dash lights had begun to flicker and come on when depressing the clutch or accelerator, the A/C would also stop blowing when this happened and at one point the head and fog lights went out though all the dash lights stayed on, but no more cold start problems.

Fast forward to 2 days ago. I took the steering column back down to the switch to see if it was somehow related to the ignition. Low and behold, it seemed one of the wires from the switch had gotten pinched and the insulation had separated, exposing the bare copper which had also suffered some breakage. I took the switch out, soldered the wires for a better connection and put everything back together. Upon the very first start up attempt after repairing the wire, that pesky cold start gremlin made it's appearance. And while the other issues seem to have been resolved with no more occurrences, the cold start fail has presented twice.

We've checked fuel pressure, which was as it should be. Fuel pump, filter and injectors all check out. Plugs and wires are all in good shape. MAF and IAT have been sprayed and cleaned, along with air filter. Also, no codes have been thrown. Any ideas on where else to look and what the culprit may be?
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:24 PM
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It's odd that repairing the damaged wire seems to have brought the problem back, and that the problem wasn't present during the period when that wire was damaged and other issues were happening. Could be a coincidence, since you said the main problem was always very sporadic, but it just seems odd.

Anyway, both the ignition and fuel pump relays have been known to fail on these cars from time to time. When the crank/no start issue happens, can you hear the fuel pump prime? If yes, then the ignition relay would seem more likely. The intermittent nature of this problem will make it hard to test, but these relays are not terribly expensive. That would probably be my next attempt, if it were my car, as failures of these relays can be intermittent for quite some time before they totally fail. Still doesn't explain why the wiring issue seemed to somehow have an effect, unless it really was just a coincidence.
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