We had this thing happening in an 81 chevy manual transmission where you would press the accelerator, and the engine would rev up, but the truck wouldn't move. We could get just enough movement almost to make it back home but got stuck on a hill. Had to roll it into a KFC. The engine could start, but it was backfiring. We have a clear inline fuel filter so we could see that the gas was pretty cloudy from water. I've tried to do a compression test, but the battery has been dying quickly. Its been a few weeks now working down the list of many things that this truck needs. We still haven't been able to start it though. We most recently replaced the starter, and then the old crusty wiring snapped in my hand. So we're doing a lot, but I want to get some ideas based on what was going on when it died.

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    Drain fuel tank, change filter (fuel), add fresh fuel. Then charge or replace battery. Check spark plugs for condition and check for a spark... Check oil & top up or change as necessary. After that see what happens.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2019 at 11:30
  • Thats about where we are...we even replaced the fuel tank and sending unit because we happend to have an extra laying around. Last time we tried to start it, seemed like a no spark situation, thats when we noticed the starter was broken. We looked at the spark plugs, but didn't test them
    – volare
    Mar 28, 2019 at 13:06
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    Revs but no movement on a manual transmission sound to me like a clutch problem; add that to your list of things to do!
    – PeteCon
    Mar 28, 2019 at 14:03
  • He had a new engine and clutch put in about year ago...Is there anyway to test the clutch when the engine still won't start?
    – volare
    Mar 28, 2019 at 15:41
  • Can you push-start it? Also, if the clutch is slipping when the revs go up, you'll likely be able to smell it. This may sound like a silly question, but when the revs go up, does the speedometer also move? I'm not sure where the speedo cable plugs in for this vehicle, but if you had a problem in the differential, it would keep the truck from moving much (or at all) and the speedometer should still indicate movement.
    – 3Dave
    Mar 28, 2019 at 19:09


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