1993 chevy astro van trouble starting?

My wonderful surplus fleet vehicle 1993 Chevy Astro van AWD is hesitating big time when starting up. Normally, it fires up nice and strong. Starter motor cranks strongly. sounds like the engine is maybe gasping? as it tries to catch? if I give it a quick jab of the gas pedal while it’s trying to start…it seems to help. If I drive a bit and then shut it off and then start it up again after a minute or two, it fires right up no problem. hmmm…I don’t know where to start. the guy at the auto parts store suggested the fuel filter if it hasn’t been replaced in a while. New plugs probably wouldn’t hurt. it seems to idle rough once it starts up…but not rough enough that would suggest a cylinder isn’t firing, or is it? i do get a whiff of gas after the prolonged starting process…unconsumed fuel? any suggestions where to start? i haven’t done the PCV valve ever…I should do that anyway, but don’t know if that affects ignition at all. any advice appreciated. thanks.

Sounds like fuel pressure bleeding off when the van sits for awhile. The problem could be a defective fuel pressure regulator or the check valve on the fuel pump.

My guess would be the pressure regulator, it’s common failure on the 4.3 engine.

he may be correct.when you first start it pop your hood take offthe top of the air intake and give it a good blast of starting fluid.if the problem doesnt happen then you know its the gas.i have a 96 blazer 4wd.as you know we have the same engine and setup.i had a similar problem and changed the fuel filter.nothing happened.turns out it was toe fuel pump…sounds to me like its gas related…try what i told you.do not use to much fluid.you can also try gas.if you take off the gas filter when it drys after a few minutes wipe it off with a rag put your lips on it and blow.the air shoulg go very easy.if not it needs replacing…

thanks for the advice. it’ll be a while before I test it with the starting fluid. I have a new set of problems. I went ahead and changed the plugs since it’s never been done since I’ve owned the vehicle…I still have the starting problem, but it runs really weird (engine is pulsing strong enough I can feel it in the steering wheel)…possibly? because I managed to bump the decaying knock sensor connectors (plastic) which cracked to pieces. or the fuel delivery problem has gotten worse, if that’s what it is.