88 IDI New to the Diesels - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
7.3L IDI (Non-Powerstroke) Diesels Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 12-04-2007, 11:44 AM
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88 IDI New to the Diesels

Hey guys Im new to fords and diesels but anyway, Question: I have an 88 7.3 and my truck has to have the glow plugs cycled numerous times to get this thing started. Usually Ill try to get it started about an hour befor i have to go. The previous owner really did some rigging on the wire from the column and gauges. I have 2 toggle switches, one for the gp's and the other to start it while the key is turned over. Confusing and retarted i know. Before it stared getting real cold out it might only take me 3-6 cranks to get'r going but now its a nightmare! Please help me out! Thanks
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:00 PM
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I am not familiar with idi's, so I will defer to someone more knowlegable on this one
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:08 PM
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i am currently dealing with a similar problem. first off, plug it in, that will help it start. Does the gp toggle start the glowplugs for as long as they decide to come on? or is it a manual gp system? If it is a switch to run the standard gp set up, your controller could be bad, this is a unit that tells the gp's how cold it is. Mine was bad, i am not sure, someone correct me, but on the 7.3 idi the controller and relay is all in one, or are the seperate? But i say check out the controller, the relay, and the glowplugs? Those more knowedgable than me and with more information should be able to get you going. Good Luck!
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:15 PM
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I would first check each glow plug with a test light and make sure they are all good. Plugging it in will make all the difference in the world! It is better for your engine when it is plugged in too. I can't remember if the relay and the controller are one unit, I don't think so though. There may not be anything wrong either, when it's cold these engines don't start too good. I have two IDI diesels and I plug them both in, my 6.4 powerstroke starts good even below zero, as did every DI powerstroke I have had, your '88 sounds pretty normal to me. Good luck, let me know if I can help.
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:12 PM
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Thanks guys for the help. Although i have been plugging it up, Im thinking that its not in working order either. Last night got just below freezing just enough to have a light frost on the ground. The truck had frost on it you could tell that plugging it up wasn't helping. Got it tried to start it for about 20-25 minutes, ..nothing. Came back in the afternoon after it had warmed up significantly and tried, still nothing. Checked to gp's, they were fine. everything thing seemed fine to me. Like i said this is my first diesel..HELP
Thanks for the feedback
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:18 PM
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your injection pump may be worn and also there is a cold start sensor on the engine that sends 12 volts to the cold start solenoid on the injection pump
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDIreefer View Post
Thanks guys for the help. Although i have been plugging it up, Im thinking that its not in working order either. Last night got just below freezing just enough to have a light frost on the ground. The truck had frost on it you could tell that plugging it up wasn't helping. Got it tried to start it for about 20-25 minutes, ..nothing. Came back in the afternoon after it had warmed up significantly and tried, still nothing. Checked to gp's, they were fine. everything thing seemed fine to me. Like i said this is my first diesel..HELP
Thanks for the feedback
Does not sound like your block heater is working. Plugged in that truck should start within seconds even at zero, at least mine do. Can you hear any activity down by the pass. side wheel well when you plug it in? You should be able to hear some water boiling type sounds coming from that area when plugged in, if you don't that heater is bad and you need a new one, but first trace the plug wire all the way back to the heater in the block and make sure it is not damaged and that it is connected to the heater. If you can hear it making noise then your problem is definately fuel related. Try bleeding it while you crank it with the schrader valve on the fuel filter. I have an '89 that is loosing its prime over night do to a worn out injector pump but I can get it started by bleeding it every time. Let me know what happens.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:26 AM
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Ok thanks so much for the help but, Im still plugging it in even when its 50 degrees outside, there aren't any water boiling sounds or any kinda sound coming from the heater for that matter, when i hold down the switch for my glowplugs i dont hear a clicking type of noise, i have bled the fuel system for air and fuel, i gave it a little dose of ether and she fired up for a few seconds. the first time she has fired up in days. I have researched everything to try to get this truck started and i just cant seem to figure it out.there isnt a manual for this truck on the internet anywhere where i can look and see what and where evry thing is on this truck. BUT..the only thing i can figure is...
1.this so called schraeder valve on the fuel filter... i read in another thread that without a cap this could lead to air getting in the system, well mine doesnt have a cap. Or atleast i think its the schraeder valve.? Its a valve or plug with out a cap but its right on top of the fuel filter and has fuel in it when running.
2.the glowplugs are on a switch seperate from the column. so when starting i just have to guess how long to hold them(about 30sec) but there is no wait to start light or anything and when i hold that switch down i dont hear any clicking like ive read i should. so maybe ive possibly melted them?
when she fires up it will have white smoke everywhere for a minute so i know im getting fuel through the sytem. If it fires up for a second but wont keep it that couldnt be because of my GPs could it. Where is the relay or controller for the GPs anyway? any help or tip are greatly appriciated .
~Hunter
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:48 AM
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Get a Haynes Diesel engine manual for the 7.3 and early GM diesels. It has a good deal of info on the glow plug system. Your glow plug relay is probably bad and not sending any power to the plugs. The relay is on the top of the engine toward the front above the passenger side valve cover. The glow plugs may need to be replaced and if giving problems, I would replace them anyway. If the engine is not warm, it will smoke white and can still cut back off because of the low fuel temps. I think if you get your glow plugs working, you will be fine. Check the cold start solenoid on the injector pump also, but I would start with the plugs and relay.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:58 AM
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appriciate it. Ill get back to you once i see about these GPs.
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