1997 F250 7.3l diesel - Crank, No Start - Help! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:23 PM
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1997 F250 7.3l diesel - Crank, No Start - Help!

I had planned on introducing myself the traditional way but unfortunately my newly purchased truck has died!

I am a newby. This is my first diesel truck. Really clean truck, only 160k miles. I got married last week and we purchased this truck - only to have it die on us today. S.O.S.

Here's what I know..

I was driving home from work when it felt like it wasn't accelerating much pass 40 mph and it started shaking, so I pulled over. When I started it again, it was shaking worse but evened out so I drove it home (two miles).

I let the truck sit for a lil bit and then came back out to check things out. All the fluids are fine. Started her up and it sounded / felt like when the washing machine goes out of balance. Turned the truck off. Started up again, more shaking - I turned the A/C off and the truck stopped immediately.

Note.. the A/C was dripping a lot more than usual, if this is a symptom.

Everything I've read says the first step is to plug in the block heater to warm the glow plugs but I have been unsuccessful in finding the plug. Is it possible that this truck that's been in Florida most of its life does not have the plug?

Glow plugs? Fuel issue?

I have all day tomorrow (Sunday) to work on this - Your help is greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks,

Pete

Also... I was watching videos on powerstrokehelp.com but the videos I need are $99 per month subscription - Is this worth it? It looks like a good place to learn but $99 is a lot of money for us.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:09 AM
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OK First, let me clear-up a few things for you

#1 - In your entire life, you'll Never come across a worse investment then throwing $99 to Bill Hewitt's site, that man is an, uninformed, IDIOT (not everything he says is wrong, just some important stuff....) MUCH better info here for free!

#2 - Your truck should have a block heater, but you don't need it in FL (look behind the ft bumper on the drivers side for a coiled-up extension cord).

#3 - Glow Plugs are an aid in cold starting but shouldn't be necessary to start in FL, have no effect once running, and not associated with the block heater at all.

#4 - Could be a fuel issue, but with your "Washing Machine" description I would look first at the electrical plugs that control the injectors (called UVCH) and have a look at this recent thread -> not another NO START thread, starts but idles like crap!!

Here are my basic No Start questions...

WTS Light? - do you get it when you first roll-on the key?

Tach Movement? - does the tach needle move up slightly when cranking?
If not, do you have a spare CPS to try? (Everybody should carry a spare in their glovebox anyway, even if it didn't help you'd have the old one as your spare)

Is there fuel in the fuel bowl now? Does it refill after cranking? (open the drain level to check)

Is it cranking fast enough? - it won't even TRY to start if cranking really slowly.

Last edited by NoRalPh; 01-29-2012 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:48 AM
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Hopefully it's apparent that I'm a 100% total diesel rookie. I've taken an automotive class but nothing in regards to diesel or these issues.

1.) I appreciate the quick response! I was just about to panic and buy a month of that guy's website videos. I know we can find a lot of info on here but it's "knowing" where or what everything looks like is an issue.

2.) I'm not sure if I even have a block heater cord because we've torn the truck apart, looking in all the spaces we're supposed to and following the cable from the starter as well as under the front driver's side, but we've still found nothing.

It's possible that we're blind and just not seeing it. I know it can be hidden away so we've really dug around.

We're looking for it because we were told to plug in the block heater to warm the glow plugs for two hours - and this will help the truck start, hopefully.

4.) We're now thinking it's a fuel issue and I will read the thread you posted after answering your questions.

WTS = still turning on and still cranking.

Tach = it jumps a lil when you crank, hopefully it's not just rigor mortis setting in.

What's a CPS?

I will check the fuel bowl.. as soon as I can find it. We'll google that next.

I'm pretty sure it's cranking fast enough. Sounds like a normal crank just doesn't wanna kick over.

NEW HINT: When she pushed down on the gas pedal while cranking, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the "Water in Fuel" and "Temp" lights came on.

The truck is not on empty but it's pretty low on fuel.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:58 AM
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You actually may not have that cord, but will have the heater in the block (look above the oil filter for either the cords begining or the receptacle it plugs-in to). And, again, the block heater will not "warm" the Glow Plugs, just the engine oil.

The fuel bowl (filter housing) has a drain at the bottom for water removal. There is a plastic Yellow lever you rotate to open behind it. There is a steel tube you can see over the top of the passenger ft tire, next to the exhaust manifold, you can monitor what comes out to see if it IS water. It's also how you judge how much fuel is making it to the motor from the tank. It is not uncommon for a bad sending unit to suck-air below 1/4 tank.

The CPS is the CamPostionSensor (just like a gas motor uses, but sensing the Crank in our case) If the Tach moves it's probably OK though.

When you watch the vid in that thread you'll see a motor running on 4clys, it IS kinda like a Washing Machine out-of-balance If you can get it to sputter you can just use your hand on the exhaust manifold to see if ones side is dead.

Verify your fuel bowl is refilling when cranking first though, you might have just run-out! If so, you need to put over 5gals in (I'd put in 10) to recover so, don't think just 1 or 2 is going to solve that problem

Another thing: To get the most out of your Glow Plugs, leave the key in the ON position for over a min. before you crank. They're actually activated for much longer than the WTS light is illuminated (up to 2 mins in really cold weather)

Last edited by NoRalPh; 01-29-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:04 AM
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OK, To give you an update on where I'm at...

I have located and removed the CPS. I just picked one up from Pep Boys so I'll be putting that in shortly.

I bought a drip pan and I'm ready to check the fuel bowl.

I bought 5 gals diesel. When should I put this in?

It hasn't turned over yet.

I really appreciate the help so far, thank you!
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:19 AM
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See what the Fuel Drain spit-out. Is there water in it? Does it look "black"? That kind of stuff. Then, with it still open, fuel should pour out as you crank to know if the pump is doing it's job and there something there to pump If it doesn't, you could add fuel and see if it then did to know your problem was low fuel I guess...

As for the CPS, first you have Tach movement and that's a good sign that the CPS is doing ITs job. Second, Pep Boys CPS may not be the best choice Is Motorcraft? 'cause the aftermarket ones have a ton of issues (even the Motorcraft ones do) but, you're still better off with either a Ford or International CPS I think.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:06 PM
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It's alive! It's ALIIIVE!!!

Thanks NoRalph and Google. I learned quite a bit today. Turns out if was the Camshaft Position Sensor. I filled it with 5 gals of diesel just in case because both tanks were low.

Grand total to fix the vehicle? $150 trip to Pep Boys picking up the part and basic goodies. The part itself was only $25.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:09 PM
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I almost forgot! My biggest surprise was after being so excited about finding the yellow lever and leaving it open, starting the truck up and diesel going everywhere.

Good thing I was parked in my neighbor's driveway because my spot is pretty clean compared to hers.

Thanks Again,

Pete
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:30 AM
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It wasn't a Motorcraft part but it did come from Pep Boys.

I plan on purchasing a back-up to keep in the truck.


Anyone know where I can get an International CPS?


By the way, thanks to this forum - I got laid after fixing the truck.

THANKS AGAIN!
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