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-   -   98 6.5L will not start or turnover. (https://www.dieselplace.com/forum/63-gm-diesel-engines/21-6-5l-diesel-engine/815266-98-6-5l-will-not-start-turnover.html)

SmokePoint 03-04-2016 11:53 AM

98 6.5L will not start or turnover.
I am a complete rookie with diesel. I was hoping to start out on the forum with a welcome post instead of a help! post, but life happens. I've been trying to go through other posts for help but I'm a little lost. This van was a wheel chair van and it looks like it was used by a contractor for a while as well. I know the PMD was moved, but I don't know what other modifications were done to it. I was going to start changing fluids and filters this weekend because I do not have any service history on it.

Thank you for any help you can give this Rookie.

1. Describe the problem you are having in detail:

Purchased van on Friday. Worked fine all weekend. Tried to start Wednesday morning and it would not turn over.

Tested battery and replaced. When I turn the key all lights come on. WTS is on for about 13 sec. When I turn the key to start I hear a click and nothing happens. During wts I can hear something running, I assume the pump?

The second battery is missing as is the wiring for it. This van has a wheel chair lift that will be coming out. I think they used the 2nd battery wires for the wheel chair lift pump.

I have tried to check grounds and cables, but as you know, it is tight under the hood. There are three cable ends connected to the positive post, two of which have more then one wire attached. There is also a 100 amp 42 volt cut out on one of the wires.

2. Year of truck/engine. 1998

3. Odometer reading (indicate miles or kilometers). 327000 Miles

4. Indicate the model number on the Injection pump (starts DS4 or DB2......). ?

5. Indicate if you know if it’s a 1500, 2500, 2500HD, 3500, 3500HD. 3500

6. Do you have an EGR on the engine? (An F or an S engine code 8th VIN digit) Yes - F as 8th digit

7. Air Filter condition (visual check). Looks ok

8. Fuel filter condition (freshly changed, mileage since changed). Unknown

9. Location of PMD/FSD? (ex. on pump/remote over intake, behind bumper). Under van

9a. If remote mounted, describe wiring harness (homemade or purchased from which vendor). Unknown

9b. Indicate the location and condition of the FSD/IP grounding wire. Unknown

10. Outside Temperature (C or F). _____25 F

11. Service Engine Light while running?- on/off/intermittent Off when it was still working. Comes on while I try to start it.

11a. Service Engine light does glow during start/cranking/bulb check: Yes

12.Have you scanned for engine codes? No, will a car scanner work on this?

12a. List exact results on engine codes.

13. Condition of Battery terminals (removed, cleaned and tightened). Tightened

14. Known condition and age of Batteries. 1st battery tested bad. Replaced with a equal CCA battery I had that tested good. 2 years old.

14a. Are batteries a matched set of same age? Second battery is missing as is the wires for it. I think they stole the wires for the wheelchair lift pump that is located nearby.

15. Condition of Major Grounds (removed, cleaned and tightened) Cleaned and tightened the ground by the battery. Are there other places I should check?

15a Have the batteries been individually load tested? Yes.

16. Does engine crank, or "turn over"? No I hear a click and nothing happens

16a. Does engine start and run? No

17. If engine does not start- Crack injector line: do you have fuel?

18. Does your Wait To Start light come on? Yes
18a.Number of seconds WTS light is lit. 13 sec

19. Engine Cranking speed (if you have an accurate tachometer). Does not crank.

20. Are you experiencing Stalling? No

20a. Describe the event (upon startup only, down the road, hit a bump, etc...) Does not start or turnover.

20b. Do you notice loss of dash or instruments? No

21. Check turbo inlet and air filter for obstructions. None I can see.

22. In a no-hot start, pour a bottle of room-temp water on the injection pump. Does it start now? Have not tried.

23. Lift pump test - Describe results. ? I think I hear it come on during WTS.

24. Upon cold start, does the radiator hose get hard quickly? It did not get hard quickly when I purchased it. (Thank you for the buyers FAQ)

25. Upon cold start, do you have excessive white smoke? White smoke for about 12 seconds

26. Do you have excessive cranking time before the engine starts? Not when it was working.

27. Have you used the block heater? Does it affect engine starting? (only try for starting problems). I have not tried. It is not parked near an outlet. I will have to find a long cord and try.

28. Are all glow plugs in proper working order? I do not know.

29. During hard acceleration, do you have excessive black smoke? I did not notice any when it was working.

30. Do you have any unusual exhaust smoke issues? No

31. Turbo check out - Pass/Fail I have not checked this.

32. Indicate fuel that you are using: Bio-Diesel, #2 Diesel, SVO/WVO, other
Winter diesel.

32a. If running Veggie Oil fuel setup, indicate details of your conversion (homemade or packaged system).

33. Are you using any fuel additives? If so, please list. I did not add any during my only fill-up. I do not know what previous owners did.

34. Upon unscrewing fuel cap, do you have a large vacuum formed in the tank? No

35. Do you have any service history available that might pertain to the problem you are having? No

36. Please indicate any modifications to the vehicle that might help us diagnose better. I do not know what has been done with this van other then moving the PMD.

In one of the posts someone suggested using jumper cables to check the starter. How does that work?

Thank you again for your help.


SmokePoint 03-04-2016 12:05 PM

One other note. I often have to wiggle the key to get it to turn. I don't know if that means anything.

JMJNet 03-04-2016 12:22 PM

Did you hook up the second battery? You need it for the Starter and the Glow Plugs.

Starter may be weak also but you need to make sure you have 2 GOOD batteries first.
Starter takes at least 1200 Amps to crank and most good batteries only have around 600-700 Amps. (Forget about what the stores tell you about the amp, they usually over rate them). That is why it needs 2.

If you don't have the second battery:
You need a long positive cable to go from one battery positive to the other battery positive.
The length depends on the route of the cable, the stock route is around 85-90 inches (> 7 ft) with side post battery.
The cable goes down to the half way down on the fan shroud, go up the fan shroud along the top and go down halfway again and sideway to the battery. Get at least a 2 gauge may be even bigger cable with a 3/8" eye battery lug.
Another negative battery cable to hook up the now missing battery to the engine block somewhere usually the intake stud.
You can even add another small negative battery to the body if it is not there.

JMJNet 03-04-2016 01:20 PM

:welcome: to DieselPlace.

jrsavoie 03-04-2016 01:26 PM

Make double sure you have the brace on the front of the starter. You can break a block at the hit of the key, if you do not have the brace.

You can somewhat circumvent the ignition switch by running a push button from the little wire on the starter to 12 volt - I would use an inline fuse at the source if you do this.

Start as JMJ said. Good batteries and cables are a must, If it has been starting good on one battery, I would give the cables a double check

In one of the posts someone suggested using jumper cables to check the starter. How does that work?

I would not mess with this - it's to tight of quarters to get the jumper cables on the big starter lug. To easy to short something out.

If the starter needs checking after you get the cables and battery situations straightened out, then I would drop the starter and check it out

I have had to replace the ignition switch on all of my vehicles except the 1994's.

HeavyChevy95 03-04-2016 01:42 PM

BATTERIES- The [EFI 6.5TD] vehicle electrical systems use two 12-volt batteries connected in parallel to provide a cold cranking current of 1140 amperes at 0 F (-18 C).

Any less will not do and will quickly burn the house down... starting with switches (eg ignition, OPS), electric motors (eg starters, lift pump), sensors, solenoids, senders, etc etc. Weak batteries are most likely responsible a few PMD sales err tales too..

I would suggest purchasing a matching set of the biggest baddest highest CCA batteries you probably cant afford... Dual post batteries are highly reccommended in order to relocate the very important double gang positive post connection to the top post, slightly modified. Helps disipates the heat when the grind is on..

The double gang pos post (typically on passenger side) will get warm to hot under 'normal' start-up conditions, the slightest amount of extra cranking only makes it worse.. Excessive cranking will make it smoking hot, potentually damaging side post batteries while loosening the connection(s) as they near smeltering hot lead battery post softens releasing its grip on a most important connection... so needless to say, avoid grinding on the starter, it will quickly burn the house down..

Check out the library in my signature.. Educate yourself rookie. Dont be like most of the factory authorized pro'poser who skip the basic inspections and system checks. Assume nothing and follow proper diagnostic procedures, you'll soon be having a vantastic time.. :hehe:

Good Luck..

SmokePoint 03-04-2016 01:43 PM

Thank you for all the advice. I will go over the cables carefully.

Is there a way to check if it is the ignition switch? Can I just hook a second battery up to the first with jumper cables to see if a second battery would fix the problem? There are no wires at the second battery box, and it would give me an answer faster then running new lines. If I do that, should I run the black to the frame or to the first battery?

Thanks again.


HeavyChevy95 03-04-2016 01:51 PM

For proper routing.. see page 236 of the DB2 student handbook..

jrsavoie 03-04-2016 01:56 PM

Black / ground / negative / - should go to the engine.

From what I have seen our OEM cables could be bigger.

I get along fine using the side posts, but I do the battery bolt / Allen screw mod and still use dual post batteries in the biggest cranking amps I can get.

You can try using jumper cables, but the wire has to be as big or bigger than the wire in your cables. Don't look at the size of the outside coating, that means nothing. Many jumper cables are sold with over sized insulation to make them look bigger.

I never really figured out how to diagnose an ignition switch. It was usually the result of eliminating a bunch of other stuff. After I had to replace a few ignition switches at around 200,000 miles.

I got faster at deciding to parts swap instead of doing more diagnosing. I still did a fair amount of diagnostics, but from previous experience I thought of changing the ignition switch more as preventive maintenance and wasn't scared if it did not cure my issue. Every time I changed the ignition switch it cured my issue and the pints were arced when I took them apart.

Bad thing about parts swapping without diagnostics, is if you get a bad new part, you can be really scratching your head

I would only use a GM or AC Delco ignition switch.

I never had an issue with the double gang battery connections after doing the Allen screw / battery bolt mod.

Use only crimp on / solder on battery connectors - top post or side post. DO NOT use the cheesy clamps with the 2 - 1/4" bolts clamping the wires / cables to the terminal end

JMJNet 03-04-2016 02:19 PM

You can buy a real 2 gauge jumper cable and cut it to become the battery cable.

Unfortunately, the real 2 gauge jumper cable is not cheap.
I saw one somewhere and they want $100 for it.

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