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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a 97’ Sonoma 4.3 auto 4x4 flatbed. It was originally owned by Disney in Orlando. My friend bought it from them and has barely used it over the years. It has just under 9,000 miles on it. Yes, 9,000. I just got the truck today and when I turn the key in the on position, I can’t hear the fuel pump kick on. 3 months ago the previous owner let the truck run itself out of gas so it wouldn’t turn bad. I poured 5 gallons of fresh 93 fuel, and like I said, no fuel pump sound. Could it have gone bad from sitting dry for 3 months? I should’ve tried tapping on it a few times but didn’t think of it until after I left my shop. Thanks !
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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I agree. It’s raining today, so tomorrow I’m gonna try and check out the connections and ground, tap around on the tank just for giggles, and if it does start working, pull it inside of my shop and change out the pump with one that comes with the new wires and connections, I believe orielly’s carries them.
 

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94 4x4,01 Blazer
2001 Blazer 4dr 4wd LT
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9000 miles is not the full story. Gas engines are not designed to idle for long periods of time- if that was a lot truck- it sat with the engine idling for long periods.- Diesels have an hours meter for this reason. Do a full PM on this truck and see if you can find any other items before they become problems.
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah that’s a really good point. Thanks for mentioning that! My grandpa races at Sebring and at daytona road course and a bunch of other tracks all over the south, he’s had a lotus exige, Audi ttrs, Porsche gt3, 04 mustang tube chassis with a built small block, and a 66’ Chevy ll over the past three years, and he doesn’t have any of them anymore. So while he doesn’t have a race car to work on for the next couple weeks, it’ll be hard to keep his hands off of it lol. So we’ll go through it and do anything we can PM wise and possibly put a fresh coat of white on the cab and front end. But that makes a lot of sense having low miles but high hours. I had a 77’ Chevy c20 2wd shortbed stepside 8 lug front, 14bolt ff rear end, with a big block and a th400 that came from csx, that had about 14,000 miles on it which seemed weird to me but makes sense if it doesn’t leave the lot.
 
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I couldn't see something like that sitting around idling much. It looks to be something that was only utilized for certain jobs and then parked again. But, I could be way off.

Buy a delco pump if possible.
 

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94 4x4,01 Blazer
2001 Blazer 4dr 4wd LT
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parks tend to use the flatbeds to delivery supplies to the food booths from central storage- boxes and coolers.
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The new fuel pump came in, we milled wood and kept the woodshop operating till about 5pm, and then we took a few bolts out of the flatbed, raised it up out of the way and removed the old pump. Got the new one in and the new connector on and everything. The tank only has about 4 to 5 gallons in it. When I turn the key into the on position, I can hear the pump come on and then turn off like usual, but it sounds free, like it doesn't build up pressure or not priming. So I noticed that the bottom of the fuel pump is like a big cup, so I'm wondering if I put more fuel in it to get above the top of the "cup" part of the fuel pump if it'll grab and prime up. All the hoses are on correctly and all the wires are on in the correct places. Anyways, that's where I'm at with it. So tomorrow I'll swing in the store and grab a couple 5 gallons cans and fill them up and pour them in and see if that does anything or not.
 
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Have you tried starting it on starter fluid? Also, if the truck has a Schrader valve on the fuel rail I would check for pressure there. Old fuel could have could have done a number on any rubber in the system and caused a clog. There's quite a few variables.
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven’t tried starting fluid yet. I have my fingers crossed, hopefully adding more fuel to it does the trick. If it doesn’t, ill use the starting fluid just to ensure that it is a fuel delivery issue. But I’m about to head back up to the shop shortly so I’ll post the result, lol.
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
^
And do you have the correct fuel pump with the bleeder that keeps the sump/cup full even with low fuel level?
It’s exactly the same as the old one, I held them side by side and thoroughly compared them, and they appear to be identical.
 

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^ the ones I am referring to have a small tube that attaches to a small brass fitting on the pump and drops into the plastic sump. The idea is that since the pump can supply well over what's needed, the bleeder sends part of the gas into the plastic sump/cup to keep the pickup and most of the pump submerged. This is GM's solution to fuel pump starvation problems with low levels of fuel. Works great.

Mostizzle's suggestion will make it easy to see if you're getting any fuel to the engine at all. When you hit the key and hear the pump run for a few seconds, push the center pin on the Schrader valve and you should see a small fountain of gas. Once you know you have plenty to the fuel rail, you can eliminate the pump (and usually the regulator.)

I had a 4.3 that sat for a few years that took not only a pump but injectors before I got it to fire. The old junk ones were stuck completely shut. I picked up the new upgraded spider for less than $150 on ebay.
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I haven't removed the pump to triple check it, But I just turned the key into the on position and had my grandpa press in on the schrader valve and fuel does come out of it. The truck shakes while turning it over which tells me it is indeed firing, but I'm starting to lean towards the injectors being clogged, because the smell of the fuel that comes out of the fuel line is horrible smelling. It could possibly be that the fuel that's still in the line is so bad it just won't even run on it. I have the truck inside my woodshop so I don't wanna just let the fuel puddle up on the ground. So later on today I'll figure out something to let the fuel drain into, and see what happens. Thanks for all the information so far guys!
 

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1997 Sonoma 4.3 4x4 Flatbed Auto 9,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I removed the return line off of the top of the tank, and then put it into a 5 gallon gas can and cycled the key about 10 times, and then put it back on. I then cycled the key about 10 more times and cranked it, it sputterd for about 5 seconds and then shut off. I repeated that 2 more times, and then on the last time I held it wide open and it ended up clearing out. It idles smooth as glass, I drove it around my grandpa's industrial park and if shifts through all gears, and then doesn't run hot. A/C blows nice and cold. So far so good !
 

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If you look at the doors just right and stick out your tongue, you can see where there was a little Disney wars logo, and in the front drivers side of the hood there was a 4 digit code there. It also has two barcodes in the door jam that says Walt Disney company, and the other one says Walt Disney World above the barcodes. I just painted the rims black earlier, and got the bed all cleaned up.
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Go with the full size pics...easier to see.
 
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