starting problems, and belt tensioner...?????? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:02 AM
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starting problems, and belt tensioner...??????

So, I just bought my powerstroke a few weeks back; PO told me that the batteries were a couple years old. No problems, but couple years old. It had just been inspected in April. The other day when we got all the awful storms in the mideast, I spent quite a lot of time in and out of the truck helping my parents and neighbors saw up trees that had fallen across driveways, garages, and homes. I left the lights on ONCE for an hour or two, and had problems later that day with starting the truck. The battery gauge read in the low 1/3 range of voltage; not too low, but not great either. The interior lights worked fine, power windows, fine, etc. But, it was like it didn't have quite enough to turn over the starter. I did let the glow plugs do their thing before trying to start, but no clicking, spinning, or anything when I turned the key, just a slight dimming of the cab lights when I tried to start it, but no cranking. I got my dad to jump me with his little 4x4 Tacoma, which took several minutes of him revving the engine halfway to get enough juice into the Powerstroke to get it to crank.

No problems for a few days. Then, same thing, but my GF put the key to ignition instead of accessory while she was my spotter cutting firewood. Had to jump it again. Fine for a few days. After it wouldn't start again this Monday, I cleaned the terminals with a brass brush and baking soda, and topped off the batteries with fresh water, as several cells were very low, with the lead core exposed by like 1/2" in the electrolyte solution. Started right up afterwards. I took it for a drive to make sure the battery was charged.

While looking in the engine bay I noticed the serpentine belt tensioner pulley is vibrating--flopping around a bit, and the belt is chirping a little. I know I need to replace the tensioner, but could that be the root of the problem, or am I looking at a new alternator? No, I haven't gotten the alternator tested yet. It wouldn't start yesterday while my girl was out doing errands, leaving her stranded.
She swears that she didn't leave the key on, or any lights, or anything, and I believe it from how upset she was. Now the ******* truck is at the damn grocery store parking lot, and I'm out of town with the other car at work. Is this the battery, the starter, or just the pulley keeping the alternator from charging right?

HELP!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:36 AM
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Go have your charging system tested. Most part stores will do this for free. It could be the batteries, alt, and even the starter.
When i had hard start issues i went and replaced batteries and alt and it turned out it was the starter in the end
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:09 AM
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Did your starter click or turn when you tried to crank it?
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:46 AM
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Yes have the alternator and batteries checked and make sure the batteries are checked independent from one another (cables disconnected from both). If one is bad, replace both. Cheers!
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodturner Nate View Post
Did your starter click or turn when you tried to crank it?
It never got to that point... If i let it sit for more than a few hours it turned over extreamly slow to the point i though it would not turn over acted like dead batteries
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:51 AM
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One of the batteries was bad--dated from early '05. The other battery is a 2011, so I only replaced one.
I still need to replace the tensioner, but I can't get the #(**&*G torx bolt loose holding the pulley tensioner in place.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:39 AM
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The tensioner bolt is regular right-hand thread, but get a GOOD quality #50 torx bit and breaker bar to get it loose. I broke one bit on mine before I got it off. Use some antiseize on the threads when reinstalling (it tends to corrode due to disimilar metals). The tensioner PULLEY bolt is left-hand threaded (that way you can use a wrench on it to release the belt tension). Cheers!
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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Yup---I have bent the torx bit one way then the other. Its good to know that it is definitely right hand thread though. On my '96, the bolt is a T47 though, I think. I can't remember what the bit was that I eventually bought. I bought a few to ensure that I had the right size--I didn't have a breaker bar with me at the parts store, so I couldn't check the bit sizing--the belt partially covers the bolt when under tension.

What brand did you go with? the off brand at the parts store should've been fine; I've used other tools from them and have never bent anything. I need something hardened.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:51 PM
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The one that finally worked was a Craftsman. Kind of a two-piece deal with a socket and a bit together. I also like to tap the bit into the bolt to make sure it all the way inserted. Cheers!
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:02 AM
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thanks. Most of the time you can't go wrong with craftsman tools. Lifetime warranty on all the hand tools means that I get free new tools if I break 'em!
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