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2001 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme LS 4.3L V6 Vortec
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Discussion Starter #1
So I was driving my 01 S10 xtreme with the 4.3 in it home from work yesterday when the truck backfired and died on me. I tried for about an hour and a half to start it again but it just wouldn’t go. Got it towed back home and pulled out the OBD II and I’m getting a P0341 Camshaft position sensor code. When trying to start it, the starter goes and the engine will choke out air after a few seconds and sometimes it will start for a revolution or two. The remote starter seems to think the engine starts but it ultimately stalls again. Put in a fresh battery as well. No fluids leaking.
Is this just simply a camshaft position sensor fault or did I slip the timing chain or something?
 

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2001 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme LS 4.3L V6 Vortec
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Discussion Starter #2
Update: replacing the sensor cleared the code but now I’ve got no codes and it still won’t start. Just with the whole choking air thing I’m pretty sure it’s the timing chain at this point.
 

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There's pretty much no way the cam chain is going to jump timing on a 4.3L unless you've rounded off all the sprocket teeth and I've seen almost no wear on 4.3L sprocket teeth, ever. Unless you changed the timing chain and put on the cheapest thing you could find, and even then I'd still be pretty surprised. You have to drop the oil pan to get to the timing chain cover, so rule out everything else before going there.

Start with wiring. Visually inspect the CPS and wiring loom to see if there's an obvious problem. I'm not sure that the CPS code will return if the engine won't fire. If no wiring issue, then pull cap off the distributor. Crank the motor and check that the rotor turns. If so, crank the engine to the point where the rotor is pointing a bit before the #6 mark on the distributor. You will need to turn the engine forward (clockwise on the crank) to align it precisely. Your harmonic balancer timing marks should now line up (see sticky about replacing the distributor) with #1 on TDC. If this all aligns, then your timing is okay. If not,then ...

Next, pull the distributor up and out and inspect the distributor gear. Is it still there? Is it worn down to nothing? It's much more likely that your distributor gear has jumped time than your timing chain has jumped time. If your distributor gear inspection reveals good condition the whole way around the gear, then you need to chase something else (start with fuel pressure).
 

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2001 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme LS 4.3L V6 Vortec
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Discussion Starter #4
Ok
There's pretty much no way the cam chain is going to jump timing on a 4.3L unless you've rounded off all the sprocket teeth and I've seen almost no wear on 4.3L sprocket teeth, ever. Unless you changed the timing chain and put on the cheapest thing you could find, and even then I'd still be pretty surprised. You have to drop the oil pan to get to the timing chain cover, so rule out everything else before going there.

Start with wiring. Visually inspect the CPS and wiring loom to see if there's an obvious problem. I'm not sure that the CPS code will return if the engine won't fire. If no wiring issue, then pull cap off the distributor. Crank the motor and check that the rotor turns. If so, crank the engine to the point where the rotor is pointing a bit before the #6 mark on the distributor. You will need to turn the engine forward (clockwise on the crank) to align it precisely. Your harmonic balancer timing marks should now line up (see sticky about replacing the distributor) with #1 on TDC. If this all aligns, then your timing is okay. If not,then ...

Next, pull the distributor up and out and inspect the distributor gear. Is it still there? Is it worn down to nothing? It's much more likely that your distributor gear has jumped time than your timing chain has jumped time. If your distributor gear inspection reveals good condition the whole way around the gear, then you need to chase something else (start with fuel pressure).
Rotor does turn, needed it to turn to line up the notch on the rotor with the cam position sensor so I’ll take a look at the timing on the distributor then. Thanks for the info! Will check out the stickied thread and update here
 

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2001 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme LS 4.3L V6 Vortec
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Discussion Starter #5
There's pretty much no way the cam chain is going to jump timing on a 4.3L unless you've rounded off all the sprocket teeth and I've seen almost no wear on 4.3L sprocket teeth, ever. Unless you changed the timing chain and put on the cheapest thing you could find, and even then I'd still be pretty surprised. You have to drop the oil pan to get to the timing chain cover, so rule out everything else before going there.

Start with wiring. Visually inspect the CPS and wiring loom to see if there's an obvious problem. I'm not sure that the CPS code will return if the engine won't fire. If no wiring issue, then pull cap off the distributor. Crank the motor and check that the rotor turns. If so, crank the engine to the point where the rotor is pointing a bit before the #6 mark on the distributor. You will need to turn the engine forward (clockwise on the crank) to align it precisely. Your harmonic balancer timing marks should now line up (see sticky about replacing the distributor) with #1 on TDC. If this all aligns, then your timing is okay. If not,then ...

Next, pull the distributor up and out and inspect the distributor gear. Is it still there? Is it worn down to nothing? It's much more likely that your distributor gear has jumped time than your timing chain has jumped time. If your distributor gear inspection reveals good condition the whole way around the gear, then you need to chase something else (start with fuel pressure).
Alright so the rotor was turning, but my dad noticed that it would only turn slightly and then it would rip around. Pulled the distributor out and half the teeth on it are shaved off but not chunked. What are the odds that the crank gears are completely mucked as well and is there an easy way to check the gear without tearing it apart? I'd assume they would make them tougher than the distributor gears.
 

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The gear is on the camshaft. Take a look down the distributor hole, and have someone turn the engine over by hand and observe.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The gear is on the camshaft. Take a look down the distributor hole, and have someone turn the engine over by hand and observe.
Looked over it, don't see any obvious signs of wear on it. Gonna drop the new distributor in it after I get home from work in a few hours. Will update again.
 

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Looked over it, don't see any obvious signs of wear on it. Gonna drop the new distributor in it after I get home from work in a few hours. Will update again.
FYI: You can buy the gear separately without having to buy the whole distributor. The cam is hardened so it tends to survive and sacrifice the gear on the distributor. I suspect that you've got a very high mileage engine and a whole bunch of debris in the oil from the eroding gear teeth. Change the oil and filter a couple of times.
 

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Stripped gears on the distributors are pretty common with the vortec motors V6 and V8. Change your oil also since there will be metal in there.
 

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2001 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme LS 4.3L V6 Vortec
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Discussion Starter #10
so I’m dropping in the new distributor but I can’t get the oil pump driveline to rotate. Shaving in there maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you used a long screwdriver to try and rotate it?
Oh yeah. Put a socket on the end of it and still nothing.

further brainstorming I think the oil pump seized while I was driving causing the distributor to stop and the cam gear just grinded the distributor gear away. Just the way the gear is grinded down its in one spot in the exact shape of the cam gear. But I don’t know about this because the distributor rotor Rotated when I bumped the engine which should mean the oil pump shafts not stuck?? I dunno
Edit: probably seized the thing trying to rotate it haha
 

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Oh yeah. Put a socket on the end of it and still nothing.

further brainstorming I think the oil pump seized while I was driving causing the distributor to stop and the cam gear just grinded the distributor gear away. Just the way the gear is grinded down its in one spot in the exact shape of the cam gear. But I don’t know about this because the distributor rotor Rotated when I bumped the engine which should mean the oil pump shafts not stuck?? I dunno
If it won't turn, it may be seizing up. I would bet the cranking of the engine would turn the distributor since it is driven off the camshaft. There is oil in the motor correct?

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Discussion Starter #14
If it won't turn, it may be seizing up. I would bet the cranking of the engine would turn the distributor since it is driven off the camshaft. There is oil in the motor correct?

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There is oil in the motor. But with that little notch in the oil pump shaft and the distributor I’d expect that thing to rotate if it was on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Put a socket on which end?
On the end of a screw driver. Half inch drive and got a socket to fit on the end of the screwdriver while it was down on the oil pump driveline (so top of the engine side) and it wouldn’t budge. I’m gonna do some math on the rotor placement and try and turn the engine by hand till it drops in that hole (since I have it at TDC on 1 already).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Have to do math on rotor placement because the distributor I bought didn’t have a mark on it to align the rotor properly, before anyone asks about it
 

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On the end of a screw driver. Half inch drive and got a socket to fit on the end of the screwdriver while it was down on the oil pump driveline (so top of the engine side) and it wouldn’t budge. I’m gonna do some math on the rotor placement and try and turn the engine by hand till it drops in that hole (since I have it at TDC on 1 already).
I'm kind of confused about your approach to turning the oil pump. Get a long screwdriver (16 inches should do) with a flat-head. You do not need a socket (at least, you shouldn't). Here's what the oil pump looks like. The shaft out the top has a slot in it and you're trying to get your screwdriver into that slot. You don't need a socket to accomplish this.


With the screwdriver in the oil pump slot, it should turn easily. If that pump doesn't turn, then: When you were trying to start it, did the oil pressure indicator on the cluster move? If so, then your pump is fine and you need to get a bigger screwdriver or some help. If the oil pressure needle on the cluster doesn't move when you're cranking it, then you've probably got some metal in it and the distributor gear will be trashed. Anyway, at that point, it's probably new-motor time. You could pull the oil pan to verify that it's full of metal chunks, but you'll probably get some of them out by dropping the oil. Don't bother putting new oil in the engine as that'll just waste perfectly good oil on a trashed motor.

But really, after blowing up a few 4.3L's with metal in the bottom of the pan, I never had an oil pump freeze up. I suspect that you're not in the slot properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm kind of confused about your approach to turning the oil pump. Get a long screwdriver (16 inches should do) with a flat-head. You do not need a socket (at least, you shouldn't). Here's what the oil pump looks like. The shaft out the top has a slot in it and you're trying to get your screwdriver into that slot. You don't need a socket to accomplish this.


With the screwdriver in the oil pump slot, it should turn easily. If that pump doesn't turn, then: When you were trying to start it, did the oil pressure indicator on the cluster move? If so, then your pump is fine and you need to get a bigger screwdriver or some help. If the oil pressure needle on the cluster doesn't move when you're cranking it, then you've probably got some metal in it and the distributor gear will be trashed. Anyway, at that point, it's probably new-motor time. You could pull the oil pan to verify that it's full of metal chunks, but you'll probably get some of them out by dropping the oil. Don't bother putting new oil in the engine as that'll just waste perfectly good oil on a trashed motor.

But really, after blowing up a few 4.3L's with metal in the bottom of the pan, I never had an oil pump freeze up. I suspect that you're not in the slot properly.
I feel the screwdriver slotting in there but the thing just will not budge. The socket wrench was getting put on the handle of the screwdriver just to clarify and it still would not move. When I was trying to start it, after it died, only the battery gauge moved and it would take a little bit for the fuel gauge to pop up.
 

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I feel the screwdriver slotting in there but the thing just will not budge.
There's something in your oil pump preventing it from spinning and it's probably a piece of metal. Drop the oil and see if it's full of sparkles or chunks.
 
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