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I have a 1992 Chevy p-30 step van...
Hasn't been running for a while ...
Changed battery and attempted to start and got a back fire ,and shut off... Not sure if its a compression issue or needs a full tune up ( spark plugs,gaskets,crab , wires&boots....


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contributions: 1945
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Location: Oregon
If you had a backfire it means you had fuel and spark. Maybe not when you need it but at least it's a start.

the first thing I would check is spark. Take off the coil wire from the distributor cap and place it somewhere close to a ground. Crank the engine over and watch for spark jumping from the coil wire to ground. If there is no spark of there is poor spark or the spark is not consistent with the engine cranking I would look at your distributor. If there is good and consistent spark I would check fuel next. Since it hasn't run for a while, I would spray some carb and choke cleaner down into the throttle body. Then crank it again and see if the engine would start on the fuel supplied by the carb and choke cleaner. Carb and choke cleaner has enough fuel properties to start an engine. Don't use starting fluid. It's a little too hot. Don't have anything over the throttle body except for the air cleaner because if you have a backfire up through the throttle body you could have a fire. having a fire extinguisher close by would be nice just in case. So, be cautious. If the engine starts and then dies, that means it runs on the fuel you supplied and died when the fuel ran out. You will need to check your fuel pressure and check for injector pulse. If the engine still doesn't start and run for a little while, then I would start checking compression and stuff like that.

was the van running normally when it was parked?Or was it not running so it got put on the side? How old is the fuel in it? How long has it been sitting around? How many times have you tried to start it? Is the engine cranking over normally for that engine or is it cranking slowly? What engine does it have in it? Have you owned this vehicle and know it's history or did you just buy it from someone that said it's been sitting around for a while? Let me know as much about the vehicle as you can please...


   
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