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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010, 09:33 AM
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the annual winter glow plug question

I did a search and didn't find much on "cycling glow plugs" and "how to check your block heater" (I say that so as to keep the flaming to a minimum - still may not work )

Quick lay of the land:
97 PSD with 158K on the clock
Hypermax H2E turbo/intercooler
Stage 1 injectors
TW 4 pos chip
5" straight exhaust
put in new glow plugs and relay this past February.
Truck has ALWAYS smoked all gruesome-like at start-up (even in the summer) DEF worse in the cold - sometimes if it's still, I can't even SEE the truck there's so much smoke. Warms up, clears up.

OK, coupla questions: other than the anecdotal evidence of harder starts, is there a way to know if your block heater has spit the bit? I've plugged in the last few nights to little assistance come sunrise...

Also, does anyone cycle through the glow plugs a few times? I have done that a little more of late, cycling the key on maybe 3-5 times, and the big fella busts off a LOT better. Still smokes like a chimney, but fires up quicker. Just how hard is that on the relays/plugs?

Thanks, boys!
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:34 PM
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Cycling will, of course, cause additional wear. The OEM gpr can be replaced with a 586. It's beefier, but that doesn't help the gp's.

The only time I've had a lot of smoke, it was gp's or a gpr. I've read there are other reasons though too.

Don't know about the plug-in question because I don't know what, "spit the bit" is.

Edit: Actually found, "spit the bit" on and on-line dictionary; It pulls enough amperage if it's working that you'll probably find the plug warm to the touch when you unplug it. If I don't plug in, it takes and additional 10 plus minutes to get heat to my toes. Sorry I'm not more help.

Last edited by retmotor; 11-20-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:48 PM
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The glow plugs stay on after the light goes out. So cycling the plugs is really not necessary. Just wait a little after the light goes off.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:59 PM
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The GPs can stay on for up to a total of 90 seconds.
You should be able to test resistance on the heater with a volt meter.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:12 PM
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thanks, boys. I didn't cycle the plugs this AM - instead, I just left the key on for a minute or two longer and it had the same affect as cycling (just like majek5 said )
retmotor, when I unplugged this AM, the plug on the truck was cool to the touch. jesilvas, I would guess you just use an ohm meter to check for resistance across the prongs on the plug, eh? What numbers should a guy be after?
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundpounder View Post
...retmotor, when I unplugged this AM, the plug on the truck was cool to the touch...
Sorry that's not what you'd call scientific... Wish I knew the ohm value. My service manual is on back order.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:01 PM
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if it has continuity between the two prongs it should work if not unplug cord and check directly at heater if cont. there then you have a bad cord if no cont then you get a bath in antifreeze changing the block heater.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retmotor View Post
Sorry that's not what you'd call scientific... Wish I knew the ohm value. My service manual is on back order.
scientific or not, it made sense to me that it should be at least a little warm..anecdotal evidence sometimes is just as good as scientific evidence, so good on ya, ret!
And I'm sure the ohm reading is somewhat arbitrary anyway, depending on the temp, meter setting, type of meter, etc. I'll get er checked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowpuncher View Post
if it has continuity between the two prongs it should work if not unplug cord and check directly at heater if cont. there then you have a bad cord if no cont then you get a bath in antifreeze changing the block heater.
I'm pulling for a bad cord if I get a funky ohm reading, but punch, if I have a bad heater wanna come over a bathe with me (in a non-homo way)?? LOL!

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Old 12-10-2010, 10:20 AM
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my truck has a bad block heater..it didnt start as if it was a 80 degree day but it did warm up sooner then it does without plugging it in. my GPs work just fine i replaced them 3 years ago but it was wicked cold at work and usally i pull my salt truck out at work and park my truck inside but last night i couldnt and i didnt want my truck to be frozen so i plugged it in for the first time this year cuz i park inside at home. so get a ohm meter. i was told there are a thred in kind and a freeze plug kind. what kind does the 96 7.3 have?
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:35 AM
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Don350, I just saw one on ebay for 59.95 and it is threaded and includes cord
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