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.


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.