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Old 04-19-2013, 10:12 AM
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2001 Safari van misfire codes : false reading?

I have a 2001 Safari van that also has a P0304 code that is a false missfire, We have changed spark plug wires and plugs, distributor, PCM, performed a relearn, replaced intake gaskets as well as the cylinder heads. Does anyone know the solution to this problem?

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Old 04-20-2013, 09:53 AM
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Wow you replaced the heads. Thats big time.

Well I do have advice on this problem. It took two years to figure it out.

My first problem was the crank bearings. The thrust bearing had worn out. This
allowed the crankshaft to slide back and forth. That motion was translated by the sensors into a misfire code. To the computer, the crankshaft appeared to be slowing down during rotation. In reality, it was sliding back and forth.Oh yea, the engine ran just fine the whole time, but I could not get a tag b/c of atlanta's emmissions laws.

No one could figure this out(except me). Different mechanics all had different
"answers" on what the problem was. In fact, chevy with all their fancy diagnostic tools and "skills" determined that the HEADS were bad. The heads were NOT bad-as confirmed by my machine shop! In fact they were in excellent condition.

Check your thrust bearing and crank free play!!

But wait, there's more!

I replaced the engine, fuel injection, accessories, misc, and........the DISTRIBUTOR. All was great, and my van was back on the road. Then.....

All of a sudden the misfire reading came back!!!! Aghhhhh!! I was about to burn my van to ground at that point, But...

The after market distributor I got was a FAULTY DESIGN. Too much free play.
It would spin itself right out of proper timing, causing a misfire reading.
I had to get an ACDELCO distributor.

I also have an s10 pick up that began to read misfire and MAF sensor out of specs. A quick spray with MAF cleaner solved that problem.

So to recap:
1: Check/replace crank thrust bearing.
2: Absolutely use an ac delco distributor
3; Check and clean your MAF sensor.

After all I went through with my van, and truck, I have become a 4.3l vortec
master.

Please let me know when you get it solved. Good luck
Brian
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:55 AM
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Also, these engines can be sensitive to spark plug gap and type.
Dont cheap out on the plugs, and check the gaps.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for your reply. We have now replaced all the main bearings and the distributor with a new AC Delco unit. It still has a missfire at above 1500 rpm. As you know the distribuor cannot turn to set the correlation on the 4.3. With the new distributor the timing is -9 now. Can this cause a missfire?
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:30 PM
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It has the correct plugs in it now. We did swap them to a different cylinder to make sure.
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