96 Chevy S10 4.3 V6 seems to flood when starting - randomly

I’ve got a 96 Chevy S-10 with a 4.3 V-6 and automatic. About 60% of the time it does not want to start like it should. I have to turn it over for 3-5 seconds and then it starts and sputters, sometime stalls (have to try to start 2 or 3 times)before leveling off. White smoke with the smell of gas. I have had the injectors cleaned, replaced the TPS and O2 sensor and my mechanic has checked for vacum leaks, cleaned everything and tested the fuel pressure. He is stumped and so am I. No codes showing up either. The other 40% of the time she starts right up- no issue. Once running she goed just fine but idle is a little choppy. I even switched from rock and roll back to country on the radio. Any clue??


There could be a problem with the fuel injector spider assembly. This fuel injection system utilizes poppet valves in the injectors to introduce fuel into the cylinders. These poppet valves are forced open with fuel pressure and are held closed with a spring and ball. Over time the springs aand balls build deposits where they’re no longer to close completely. When this happens, fuel can leak into the cylinders as it sits. So when you go to start it, there’s fuel in the cylinders, and there’s air in the fuel system. The fuel in the cylinders vaporizes which causes the white smoke with the smell of gas. And it takes a while for the fuel pump to rebuild the proper pressure to blow open the poppet valves. And that’s why it stumbles and runs rough.

Here’s what the fuel injector spider assembly looks like. http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c152800bfe38



Thanks Tester. One question before I dig in to this. The truck typically starts best when cold, first thing in the morning and seems to not start as well when it is hot (either from outside temperature or from running. Neither of these are 100% true as it will sometimes start right up when hot and sometimes not when cold, but typically it starts best first thing in the on a cool morning.

If the car were a 1986 model, I would say it’s an ignition problem. What year is it now? How do I get back to the past?

You turn left at the stop sign. Next stop, the Twilight Zone! Bone voy-ah-gee!

vwfueldoor, yes. The VIN is 1GCCS14X2T8190359 if that tells you anything

Also Tester, is this a clean while assembled fix of tear down?

No, it’s a REPLACE when doing a tear-down. When I first started replacing these spider assemblies, they could only be obtained from the dealer. And they got $1,300.00 for these things. But now they’re sold through the aftermarket for about $300.00.


Thanks Tester