Repeatedly completely blowing glow plugs - HELP - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:02 PM
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Repeatedly completely blowing glow plugs - HELP

I have a 2008 F350 dually that has completely blown out glow plugs 3X in the last year. It is 78K on it.

I had to have it towed all 3 X. The first time the #6 plug blew, the dealer replaced the completely blown out glow plug. It blew shrapenals into the oil pan and they had to drain and replace all the oil. 2K miles later, the #5 plug blew, and damaged the left glow plug harness. They replaced the harness, ALL of the glow plugs, and said I also had a fuel pump and fuel cooler failure, and I had those replaced (at my expense). The 3rd time, 5K miles later, the #1 plug blew completely out.

This last time, the dealer just replaced the plug, and said nothing else was wrong with it. I'm worried that my warranty will expire in 2 months on my powertrain. When the truck was 1 year old, the engine locked up, and had a bent rod and cracked cylinder case, and a bad PCM, and they replaced all of those parts.

I'm female and I haul my daughter and her horses to shows by myself frequently. Thankfully, it hasn't broken down when I've been hauling. But, I'm concerned that there is something else going on with my truck to cause it to blow glow plugs like this. I really don't want to be stuck on the highway with a 15K pounds of horses / trailer late at night. And, I don't want to be stuck with a huge bill when my warranty goes out in two months and something is seriously wrong that hasn't been diagnosed properly.

I've also had problems on and off with white smoke.

Dealer says my truck is good to go and that nothing is wrong based on the computer diagnostics. Also, I live in Texas and I don't drive my truck everyday. I always warm my glow plugs up before cranking. Sometimes I may go a week or so between drives. Should I be cranking it everyday?

Any ideas on what could be causing my glow plugs to blow completely out like this?
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:38 AM
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why do you warm the glow plugs before starting? These trucks will start no problem.

I live in TX and I've never cycled the plugs on my truck. It was high 20's in Dallas overnight recently and I fired the truck up in the morning no problem.

the old Ford diesels were really cantankerous trying to start in the cold, but the 6.4 is high pressure common rail. I wouldn't cycle the glow plugs unless it was below 0*F
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:23 PM
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Those critters are pretty simple devices... I doubt they're to blame by themselves..

I'd be figuring about wiring being bad, or a controller bad..

I floggin hate it when you have a so called tech just swap parts w/o investigating reasoning it happened.. its sorta like a fuse blowing, or pretty much exactly like a fuse blowing in your case.. the fuse or a glow plug doesn't just blow for the helluvit, something putting too much strain on the circuit is what causes it to blow.. that something should be identified instead of just replacing the messenger..

So.. on either side of the plug could be the cause.. the plug could have ignited something which caused it to blow, like oil.. it could then simply burn up, and the aid of voltage allows it to blow up when its ability to dissipate heat is exhausted.. a leaking valve seal could do that.. a good way to check for that (that is non invasive) is with a vacuum gauge.. get one and watch it.. Google for vacuum gauge diagnostics for more help there..

I'd guess the issue is on the other side, though, and related to wiring.. of you're tossing too much voltage at those things, then you've got a problem.. they will burn up just as likely.. check the wiring harness for wear and exposed looms.. be pretty dang thorough around areas where they are adjacent to other wires that carry voltage.. was the controller swapped when the plugs were? If not, I'd ask the dealer why they werent..

Techs at dealers man handle those harnesses.. they get in the way of work, and its easier to push pull or bend them out of the way.. hell, I push pull or bend them out of the way.. that ain't smart, though.. those harnesses are full of tiny not well protected wires, and between that and heat, its easy to bust up the insulation on them..

Grab yourself a multimeter, put that bad bear on continuity checker, lay out your wiring schematic, and start looking for wires that share continuity that ain't 'sposed to.. wiggle and squeeze the harness whilst doing so.. albeit gently..

By the way, I always let my plugs warm too.. I figure tuere is no harm in doing so, and they warm in a coupke seconds anyway..
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:30 PM
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I'd like to know why you had to pay for repairs of you still have 2 months left on the warranty.
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