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Thread: What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

  1. #1
    Van Enthusiast terrence's Avatar
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    What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

    I have a 86' 4wd automatic that was involved in an accident that I *think* can be saved. The previous owner cut way all the bent sheet metal and disconnected everything under the dash. I have all the wiring/fuses/etc. but I just want to connect the bare minimum to get this thing running so I can see if it drives straight. Nothing structural seems to be damaged, it hit the back of a school bus and just damaged the front between the headlights and the windshield.


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  2. #2
    Van Enthusiast terrence's Avatar
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    Re: What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

    Little bit of an update. Got most of the harnesses plugged back up. Van cranks now but won't start. Getting spark but can't tell if the fuel pump is on or not. I tried the jumper in the fuel pump tester but didn't hear anything change. All the fuses and fusable links are good, not sure where to go from here.

  3. #3
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    Re: What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

    That's a very interesting look into the front structure of the vans.
    If I were in that situation I would probably test for power at the fuel pump first and then if no power, dig through the fuel pump thread and just go through the fuel pump system forward to back confirming everything checks out.

  4. #4
    Van Enthusiast terrence's Avatar
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    Re: What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

    If I didn't have another van to constantly go back and forth between for reference this would be almost impossible. But having no front end does make wiring an absolute breeze in that sense. Well, funny enough the open circuit relay was my first culprit. No clicking from it when I shorted the fuel pump test connector and lo and behold:

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    So I swapped out the relay from my other van and clicking ensued, but no fuel pump whir or fuel pressure. I knew the van had been sitting for a few years so I just assumed it was probably shot and the gas needed to be drained. Well, it was pretty ugly, lot of corrosion and dirty gas.

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    Going to order a new pump and filter and check the wires before it all goes back together.

  5. #5
    Van Enthusiast terrence's Avatar
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    Re: What is the bare minimum wiring to get a van running?

    Well, I got the damn thing running. I went through the whole fuel system replacing all the rubber lines, cleaned out the tank and cleaned up the sending unit along with installing the new fuel pump. While I was waiting for parts to arrive I cannibalized my old van to get the climate controls and everything under the dash squared away on this one. Tore out the carpet to find pretty bad rust in the floor pan. I put some POR-15 on it until I can get my hands on a welder to patch it and start rebuilding the front end on this thing. I may make a build thread for this van when I have something to show; I have some pretty wild plans for this thing.

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