1996-2003 was CSFI IIRC. They do use the higher flowing Vortec heads CSFI was all that was available durring the years listed, after 2003 they went to MPFI. There is a kit available for the 1996-2003 to convert to the MPFI.
The delay in priming is programmed in, you need to cycle the power several times, might try to start it with another vehicle hooked up as jump start of your vehicle to boost the battery voltage to 14.4Vdc which will spin the pump faster and thus increase pressure, if it starts better, you can then suspect the pump, might throw a fuel pressure guage on it to see what it is at and if it bleeds off.
Lesterl, thanks for the head lesson. No wait, that didn't come out right...
Anyway, I've never quite figured out this VIN X, it seems to be a bit of a bastard configuration. So the VORTEC heads were available and worked with the TBI-appearing intake manifold? I don't have the LT1-imitation crossover intake runner upper intake, just a top mounted TB.
I guess it's not really that important; the FPR is still inside the upper intake assembly. I'm pretty sure it's not the fuel pump, since I don't get any lean running issues, even at high RPM.
Even with priming four or five times, the vehicle is still hard to start. I suppose it's still possible for it to be the supply line check valve in the fuel pump assembly. Do you know of a check valve I could install, say, near the fuel filter at the frame rail that would do the same thing and would be easier to deal with than dropping the tank?
I'm really leaning toward the FPR, I'm just whining about having to pull the manifold off. Cleaning and gaskets and all the sensors and blargh.
I've considered buying a fuel pressure gauge (auto parts store doesn't rent them here), but if it leaks down, that still won't indicate whether it's the fuel pump check valve or the FPR (down through the supply line, or down through the FI return line...does it matter?).
Then again, I'll probably have to go to a higher flow pump when I get the LT1 in, so maybe I should start there? But that's a REAL pain to do.