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Old 09-19-2011, 09:25 AM
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hard start this morning, have some questions

i have a 94(.5) powerstroke with almost 300k on it, all bone stock, owned it less than 2 months, havent put 500 miles on it yet so im still figuring out the quirks and trying to learn as much as i can about diesels. I havent started/driven it in about a week and its been getting cold at night, but not freezing.

FWIW, i did read the sticky about winter 7.3 issues, and i think i may need to test my GPR but i just wanted to run it through the knowledge base first.

I went out this morning, and after the wait to start light clicked off, i gave it a go, and it wouldnt start. took about 5 cranks of a couple seconds worth of a keyturn, so i let it go for another second or two in the next cranks and it finally started. when it did start, i noticed the oil pressure gauge go from nil to normal operating pressure after a couple seconds, which kinda had me worried, is that normal? i havent noticed it yet, of course i havent paid to much attention to it while starting, either.

PS, if anyone has a link to steps to test the GPR please pass it along, thanks!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Stole this from another thread, and printed it to put it in my truck! haha


Testing info to go with pics

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, cold weather is certainly upon us for most of the states and I thought it would be useful to have this around for those who have noticed hard starting in the mornings due to the cold temps.

The main thing that is going to make or break a cold start for your PSD is the glow plug system. The first and easiest test is to check the glow plug relay.

1) Let the truck sit overnight in fairly cold temps ( < 45 ) this will require the glow plugs to activate for a good amount of time for the truck to start properly.

2) The test part can be done several ways, first of all if you have a voltmeter, dial it up to the correct setting for 12V systems, ground it to a good ground, and put the + lead on the right/back side of the glow plug relay. With the key off, that terminal should read zero, while the other one (which connects to the battery) should read +- 12V at all times. You want to measure the one with zero voltage.
When the key is turned on, the one that had zero should go up to 12V and stay there for 30sec - 2min. This is feeding the glow plugs 12V to heat them up.

3) Have someone turn the key on for you, or turn it on and get back around to your tester quickly, and see if you have 12V across the relay. If you do, see how long the relay stays activated, if it goes off very quickly it's not allowing the gp's enough time to heat up and the truck is going to start rough. If the relay fails this test, replace it.

2-3a.) Some alternate methods to above, instead of using a voltmeter, jumper across the relay either with a screwdriver (which will cause sparks until you make a good contact) or with a set of jumper cables from the hot + terminal on one of your batteries, to the gp side of the relay. Make the connection for about 45 seconds, then immediately try to start the truck. If it fires up nicely, whereas it was struggling before, the relay is bad.

4) If the relay passes the test, and is good. Or if you replace the relay and still experience hard starts, you will need to move on to testing the glow plugs themselves. This can be done quite non-invasive, only requiring you to pull the valve covers if you find a bad glow plug, to replace it / them.

5) There are also a couple ways to test the glow plugs, you will need either a test light, or a good voltmeter that will read in ohms.

5a) Voltmeter method - Remove the large rectangular plug leading to the valve covers on either side of the engine. This plug powers your glow plugs and injectors. The 2 outside pins are your glow plugs, the 4 inner ones are for the injectors. () () () () () () () () Blue is the Glow Plugs Red is the injectors. Be very careful not to insert your test lead into one of the injector pins. The IDM feeds the injectors 110V and could cause a lot of sparks if it happens to try and actuate the injectors while you're testing, and could worse destroy the IDM, so steer clear of those and make sure you test only the 2 outer pins on each side of the plug.
Connect the ground lead of your voltmeter to a good ground, and insert the positive + test lead into the first glow plug pin.
A good glow plug will read btwn 0.8 - 1.2 ohms a weak glow plug will have much less resistance, and a completely dead one will have unlimited resistance through it because the electrode is internally burned out. Make note of the plugs that are out of range based on the cylinder number, and replace them. The cylinders are numbered 1-3-5-7 on the pass side, front to back, and 2-4-6-8 on the driver's side, front to back.

5b) The test light method - See 5a and substitute voltmeter for test light, if you don't have a voltmeter. Connect the negative end of the test light to a good ground, and insert the test light into the outer 2 terminals on the plug. If the test light illuminates the plug is still working. If the test light does not illuminate, the plug is bad. Make note of the bad ones and replace.
The disadvantage to this method is that it won't tell you if a glow plug is weak, only if it is completely burned up.


*note this does not apply to california emissions equipped vehicles (cali trucks) or the Excursion with 7.3L PSD engine (all years) as they use a controller to actuate the glow plugs instead of a relay. A bad glow plug on these trucks will throw an engine code.

Replacement parts - For the glow plug relay your choices are to buy a stock replacement ($$$), get a GPR-109 from NAPA for less than 30 bucks. This one will work, but some have had issues on them not lasting as long as the stock unit. There is a good option from Stancor, the part number for which I will let someone post. Or you can always find one that's designed similarly and rated for the voltage/amps that the stocker is or better, and use it.
Here is a link for the Stancor unit: http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/Pro...DA8041ECE1 7F

For glow plugs, you want to use only Motorcraft or Bosch plugs. This is very important as the Autolite / Champion cheap brands have a bad reputation for swelling up, burning out prematurely, and breaking off in the head. The motorcraft part number is ZD-11.

The relay is simple to change, disconnect the 2 large terminals, and the smaller ones, unbolt the relay, and install the new one.

The glow plugs are located under the valve covers. Remove the vc's and you will see 4 white wires, with black plug ends connected down beside the injector. Remove the plugs from the gp's, and remove the gp's with a 10mm deep socket.



Hope that helps!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:30 AM
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^^^^^ The UVCH connectors will be different from what's describe above; that's for a SuperDuty. Our trucks have two connectors on each side. Each connector has five pins, and the outer pins lead to the glow plugs.

Also, for the relay test, you don't need to run back and forth between the cab and under the hood, nor do you need an assistant. You can simply plug and unplug the #22 maxifuse to have the same effect as turning the key on and off.

Oil pressure "gauge" - that's perfectly normal. It's not really a gauge, more of a dummy light with a needle. The sender on the HPOP reservoir is just a switch; open with no pressure and closed with "sufficient" pressure (I forget the threshold). When the switch closes, the needle goes to about the "O" or "R" in NORMAL. But now that you mention it, it usually builds enough pressure to activate the "gauge" while cranking. So if it took that long, that could be part of your slow/hard start. How's your oil level? Also, check the level in the HP reservoir.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:47 AM
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oil level i can check, and it may be a bit low, i havet checked it in a few trips to and from town and it has a bit of a leak. not sure how to check the HP res though, so il have to learn that. I told my buddy when i bought this and popped the hood that it felt like i was trying to find a round hole to stick a square peg with all the differences between gassers. thanks for all the info! there is a plug hanging behind the tranny that looks like its wrapped up on something and just dangling, so il have to eventualy undangle it and try to run it up to where its s'posed to be so i can plug er in at night.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:14 PM
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I think our trucks were seperated at birth! Good looking rig ya got there! Good luck with your starting issue, I am going through the same thing. Just ordered a new GPR for mine yesterday.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:02 PM
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HPOP - the reservoir is the square-ish thing up top up front. There's a plug in the top surface, I've heard on some trucks the "socket" in the plug is hex, or torx, or some such, but on most trucks it's 1/4" square. So take a 1/4" extension, put a handle on it and crank it counter-clockwise. Once it's off, you should see oil in the reservoir, pretty close to the top. Might be illustrative to see what the level is right after you shut it off, vs. parking it for a while. Is any oil dripping on the ground, or do you see any in the engine "valley"?

FYI, the one-wire electric plug in the top of the reservoir is the sender for the "gauge"; that's why the slow response of the gauge suggests that the level may be low.
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