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Van wont start after head gasket rebuild

I just finished replacing the head gaskets and all gaskets above it on my Chevy Venture. When I went to start the vehicle the first time nothing happens. The dashlights come on, but when I turn the key to start nothing happens. No clicking, no nothing. I have tested the battery…OK. I have tested the starter…OK. I have traced the wiring harness to ensure all wires are plugged in. I have checked all the fuses. I thought maybe its the gear switch so I changed down to 1st and then back up to Park…Nothing. I jiggled while in park…Nothing.

Could it be the actual ignition switch? It was fine before this escapade.

Please help.

Check for blown fuses and fusible links. Use a test light to confirm that current is getting to the ignition switch and then test to see if the switch is sending current to the starter.

1 Like

Did you get all the battery and ground cables - the big ones - back bolted down tight?

I like the fusible link thoughts, too

Did not have to disconnect the ground wires from the engine or body, but yes I double checked to make sure.

I checked all of the fuses. I don’t know that there are any fusible links but I will look around under the hood. I know current is getting to the starter because I crossed the positive terminal with the ground and it sparked nicely. How do I go about checking that the ignition switch is good? Do I have to remove the housing around the steering column?

You can put a meter on the starter solenoid to see if it gets power with the ignition switch.

This is a no-crank problem, right? Should be fairly simple to solve. Suggest to start at the starter motor, make a couple of voltage measurements there. Specifically, measure the voltages at both starter electrical terminals during attempted cranking. Measure from the connector to the starter case. There’s a thin wire, and a thick wire connected to the starter, right? Both should measure 10.5 volts or more during attempted cranking Do they?

Does this van have a neutral safety switch and could you have knocked the plug loose when doing the gaskets?

Remove the heavy ga wire on starter and lightly sand the terminal surface. I had the same issue recently. it looked ok but a bit of sandpaper made it crank.