1990 IDI Starting issue - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:21 PM
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1990 IDI Starting issue

Hey guys i bought a 1990 7.3 IDI from my dad about 3 months ago, im just now getting around to work on it and im having some issues, and i would be grateful for all the help i can get.

First off i know my way around motors, but this is my first diesel so im still learning a few things, but i did buy a Chilton manual so i can do anything i need.

The truck has 156,xxx miles on it; and i have maybe put on 1000 in the past 3 months. Prior to me the truck hasn't been used in about 5 years but was started about once a month. My issue is when i start it for the first time each day it takes a lot for it to fire up. when i insert the key the "wait to start" light comes on and lights up for about 1 second, i typically wait about 10 or so, when i begin to crank the engine the "water in fuel" light comes on immediately and remains on while i crank. ill crank it for about 20 seconds max and white smoke will puff out the tail pipe sometime ill keep the pedal half way depressed, then ill stop for about 15 seconds and try again. the more i depress the pedal while cranking the more white smoke there is it seems. it sometime will take about 4 or 5 times of this before it fires up then comes a big billow of white smoke followed by a plum of black then back to white all within the first 5 seconds of running. after it is started it runs really rough for the first 30 seconds or until i rev the engine a little.

NOTE:
-The current average temp for my area is low:50F high: 75F and since im never starting it in the mornings i don't think temperature is an issue.

-so far the only things ive done to the truck are new air filter and an oil change.

any ideas?

-thanks, Dane
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 PM
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not sure if it helps but my 91 does the pretty much the same thing minus the whit smoke my glow plug relay is shot so usualy just give a quick burst of startin fluid in the intake and she fires right up
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:20 AM
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The glow plug relay uses ohms to hold the glow plugs on. As glow plugs get hot, their ohm rating gets higher (a lot higher). A good glow plug should have less than 1 ohm resistence when cold. When they start going bad, their resistence is higher. When you go to start your truck, with high resistence glow plugs (as they are bad) the relay thinks they are already hot and doesnt hold the glow plug relay on as long (therefore a short glow plug cylce).

Fix:

Check wiring, fix what is obviously bad.
New glowplugs, only Motorcraft or Beru brand. I will bash you if you buy any other
Glow plug relay if the above two dont do anything.

This should fix your wait to start issue, which will hold the glow plugs on long enough to get an easy start.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:53 PM
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it sounds like a bad glow plug module. mine was bad. the light would only stay on for 1 second. that wait to start light should be on alot longer than that
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:45 PM
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Glow Plugs? or Relay?

Our 91 has the wait to start light come on for only about 3 seconds and then starts clicking every second. The truck starts on starting fluid but we want to fix it.

We worked on our truck tonight (1991 7.3) 5 out of the 8 glow plugs had about 13 ohms on the DVM. 2 were open circuit ( meg aohms) and one was broke. I am ordering 3 new plugs and some connectors.

I am wondering if the relay is going to be bad or if the 3 new glow plugs is enough? The dealership calls the relay a module and the price is $220!
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:04 AM
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change the module and check all the wires around it. some of those wires could be bad. you should just change all the plugs
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