Chevy K1500 Losing power, smells hot, backfire & power surges

1991 Chevy K1500 4.3L, started to bog down 2 hours into our drive, thought at first my clutch could be going out cause I’ve known I would eventually have to replace it, but didn’t think it’s time had come yet… a few miles further down the road started to smell hot (my engine temp gauge doesn’t work). Then it would hardly speed up, pedal to the floor hardly got us to 10mph. Backfiring/gurgling like it was flooded. Kinda started to smell antifreeze. Engine killed at a stop sign and took a few turns to get it to start again. Parked it, No leaks anywhere to be found and still had coolant in it. Thinking possible MAP sensor?

How 'bout a stretched/jumped timing chain?

Tester

No timing chain, has a belt and all belts are in good shape.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/chevrolet,1991,k1500+pickup,4.3l+v6,1050860,engine,timing+set,5756

Tester

1 Like

Interesting. My BF is the one working on it and I’ll pass that in to him!

Those era vehicles, it’s pretty easy to retrieve the diagnostic codes if the check engine light is on.

Half of the post reminds me of a plugged cat converter, but not the backfiring and gurgling… But does it still have a catalytic converter? If not, we can rule that out right off the bat.

Check the distributor/ignition too. Look for anything obvious, like a loose plug or coil wire, broken terminals on the distributor, etc. If nothing obvious is found, check to see that all plugs are firing.

I suspect it’s overheating, among other things, based on the antifreeze smell. How long has the temperature gauge been out?

The fuel pump has failed, check the fuel pressure.