6.4 Powerstroke engine rough idle, now won't start - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:48 PM
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6.4 Powerstroke engine rough idle, now won't start

Hey guys thanks for all responses in advance I'm not quite sure what is wrong with my truck but any and all input/ advice would be greatly appreciated. This is the first diesel truck I've owned but I have driven my father's 7.3 powerstrokes/ 5.9 cummins in the past so I do know some basics. I am going to try and provide as much detail as possible right now so bare with me lol. I bought my truck with 90,900 miles and have 104,000 miles now. It's a 2010 f250 XL crew cab, 6.4 powerstroke diesel and the fx4 4x4 package. I have had absolutely zero problems out of this truck and when I purchased it had all service records up to the date I bought it at the dealership. The other day I was driving to work and came to a stop light. When the truck dropped down to idle speed it was running really rough, it felt like the whole truck was rocking back and forth. When the light turned green I gave it a little fuel and it smoothed out, I figured i just got a bad patch of fuel or something but when it dropped back down to idle speed it started doing the same exact thing. I made it all the way to work (only 1 mile down the road) as long as i gave it just a little fuel and it was above idle speed I had no problems. When I got into my parking spot at work I shut it off and tried to restart it. It would not start at all, it tried but wouldn't do it. Everyone at work said it was probably the fuel filters so I told my wife to grab the 2 filter kit and all the tools and meet me at work. I probably should have read the instructions first but I changed the filter on the engine first, (my boss told me he knew what he was doing just cycle the key on and off 3 times for 10 seconds and it'll fire right up.) Filter looked pretty clean but still wouldn't start. I went to change the filter under the truck next, and it was clogged full of crap, it looked like clay all around the filter, no idea how long it had been since someone changed this one. Changed it out and this time I followed the instructions. Cycle key 8 times for 30 seconds each and still no start. Please help any advice/opinions/past experiences with other engines or whatever would be great thanks so much guys!
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:28 PM
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Is the truck running yet?
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! No truck is still down, I've heard all kinds of things injection pump, fuel pump, oil pressure sensor. But I don't think the pump failing that fast makes sense, the truck was running fine as long as it was above idle speed before I shut it off. And when I gave it fuel it wasn't sluggish at all.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:49 PM
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you have to get all of the air out of the fuel system. the average is 6-10 cycles of the key but you may need to do more.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:52 PM
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What made the truck run poorly in the first place though? Could the clogged primary filter make the truck run rough at idle speed just all of a sudden and not be able to restart at all? I did try for like an hour to get it started after both filters were changed, and used the shrader valve to purge the air.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:48 PM
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honestly, if your fuel filters looked that bad then i think you need to really go over the whole truck top to bottom. start a service and maintenance regimen asap! anybody can right down that a vehicle was serviced but you do the investigating yourself and start protecting your investment. i hope in your case the problems are limited but something doesnt seem right if this truck was reportedly serviced. Keep us posted and try cycling the key and starting the truck a few more times. keep us posted
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:52 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies, I'll take my jumper cables tomorrow and give it another go
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:25 AM
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Okay so I've done some research today, the gunk on my filter is called "algae", I have read about a few cases of algae in diesel causing rough idle, and later no start conditions. Could it just be that my fuel lines and tank need cleaned?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:10 PM
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Okay, so problem solved. I took the truck to a highly recommended diesel mechanic in my neck of the woods, lol. Atwater Fuel Diesel in case any needs a good mechanic in the area. It turned out to be the lift pump, which thank the Lord, is the cheapest pump in the truck. The algae had stopped up the filter and burnt up the pump. After he replaced the lift pump it fired right up! If anyone else has a similar problem, this is probably your fix!
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