starting a 4.3 liter vortec

To start the 4.3 liter in my 2000 astrovan I have to pulse the starter. I engage the starter for about 2 seconds, than again and by the third pulse its running fine. To test the fuel pump I've turned the key on
and off and on and off, well you get the idea, but that doesn't do it. I've got to actually turn the motor over for a second or two. If I grind on the starter it just won't fire. I was thinking maybe a bad battery was the cause but on the pulse that starts it it starts on the engagement of the starter, not when I disengage it. Until I discovered this starting technique a month or so ago I thought I was never gonna get it started. But the pulse starting technique works so well I've kinda lost interest in fixing it, not really. It runs well. I've recently changed the fuel filter and I can accelerate to 100 with out a cough although I think the mpg is down (nothing to do with the filter but with whatever is wrong making it start hard is also affecting the mileage). Its hard to tell though, winter and all around here you know.
Anyone got any suggestions about my starting issues.
thanks,
jim
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What does it do when you engage the starter? Ex: whine, grind etc.......How many miles on it?

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jim wrote:

My first suggestion is that you not cause yourself a $1500 flywheel repair by accidentally hitting the starter while the engine is moving. I guess that's what you are attempting to do though. You must be very lucky to get by this long. You mentioned battery and this is a long-shot possibility. The starter turns on watts. A strong battery at 11.5V will turn the starter quite well, even much less. However, low voltage will prevent the ignition from firing and the vehicle won't start. You could have a battery that is low on volts yet has the capacity to turn the starter. Once you have the engine turning slowly, the starter takes less watts and the voltage in the system may come up enough to fire the ignition. Then you start. I would start with the basics and measure the voltage drop when the engine is cranking. The number needed varies by vehicle from as low as 9V to as much as 11V. Others can be more specific for you model.
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Its got miles, about 120,000. Regarding " How does the starter run?" It functions great. The drive engages as it should and cranks like mad. After about the third pulse the engine starts with a lot of vigor. Good idea though. In the past though I've noticed, if the battery is weak the engine starts right after I release the key. This starts when I hit the starter.
Jim
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Do these vehicles have any history of ignition switch problems? Your description makes me wonder if your starting routine is succeeding in "jiggling" something that is amiss inside the switch; the section of the switch that feeds the ignition. For what it's worth.

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Sounds like the problem I'm having right now. If you have the code "W" engine check the CPI unit. Change it if it is bad.
I've just about got all my parts together to change mine.
RJ in WV
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Never mind, yours is a differnt animal.
RJ in WV
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I have followed many of these posts and most of the time there is never a final fix. Most of the time I have a like problem or vehicle and would realy be greatful if the primary poster would follow up on the final fix, or even a status report. I know allot of times help comes buy direct e-mail, but it would be real nice to post the final fix under the origonal post.
Thanks
Warren
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I have followed many of these posts and most of the time there is never a final fix. Most of the time I have a like problem or vehicle and would realy be greatful if the primary poster would follow up on the final fix, or even a status report. I know allot of times help comes buy direct e-mail, but it would be real nice to post the final fix under the origonal post.
Thanks
Warren
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