Sinister Diesel Sucks!!!
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Douglassville, PA
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You cant go on looks alone, with a FICM, especailly if its running a "FICM Killer" strategy. Monitoring its logic power and output are a must. You never want to see output below 45v. That is a good way to ruin injectors.
11.7V on a fully charged battery is not a good sign. It is said that the number you should see on a battery after it sits over night should be about 12.9V. But that in itself is not a good indicator of battery health. Individually load testing them is the best way.
Then there is the alternator. The OEM alternator is very undersized. I recently upgraded to a DC Power Engineering 185 amp alternator, and let me tell you, its a whole different truck.
Switching to a full synthetic is beneficial for several reasons. Its lighter weight and easier to move when the engine is cold. It has better lubricity. It is not going to create the varnish on engine parts with tight tolerances, namely, the spool valves of the injectors.
Stiction, is the build up of varnish on the spool valve of the injector and basically slows down the reaction time of the injector, which creates wrong injection timing and poor performance, especially when cold. You should hear the injectors buzz for a few seconds during the glow plug cycle, before you start the truck. This is inductive heating, trying to fend off cold stiction.
If you want more elaborate explanations, you can either google it, or just search here on the org about it. Twoicebergs has some great, very informative and educational links in his sig you should check out about stiction, curing it, and how the injector works.