Engine Swap, running (barely) and choppy - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:40 AM
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Engine Swap, running (barely) and choppy

(I posted this in the chat thread last night, but wanted to get more info, so I decided to start my own post.)

Having some trouble with my engine swap. The patient is my '95, ZF5, 4WD, which cracked the block back in May. The donor was a '97, E4OD, 2WD, which ran great until I pulled the engine in November to put into the '95.

I got it started, and as suspected, it took a bit to get going. It starts hard, lopes for a while, then smooths out somewhat. I say 'somewhat' because it never quite gets to its old PS idle. It's noisy as all get out, and shakes quite a bit.

The first time I hit the throttle, absolutely NOTHING happened... scared me a bit, even remembering the e-throttle. The second time, it revved just a bit, then the third time it came up slowly. Even at 2k RPM, it was choppy, and when I let off the throttle, it faltered as though it was going to die, but caught itself. Full oil, and I made sure to fill the filter before cranking it over.

Also a note, ever since I first started it I got a CEL, and it only goes away when I've got my foot on the throttle. It used to do that when I was running out of fuel, but I've got half a tank of good #1 in there. No leaks that I can see, although I suppose it's possible it could be sucking air somewhere. The filter bowl is full, no water.

I've been told by another PS fellow that when some of these 7.3s run out of oil, the injectors will not self-pump, and you either have to let it sit in the shop with a brick on the pedal until it smooths out, or take it out on the highway and give 'er hell. The latter sounds like a great way to pick up a nasty towing bill, and the former just sounds like abuse.

Any suggestions would be most helpful, I want to get my big ugly baby back on the road!
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 AM
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An update:

Marine and others suggested I get a code reader to find out what code it's throwing, and find out why. Anyone got a code reader they'd rent to me for a bit? I can send cash, you send the reader, when I'm done I'll send it back and you send the funds back. Alternately, can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced (i.e., less than $200) reader for a '95?

I went down to the barn where the truck was stored this morning, and had an absolute devil of a time getting it started. Roached one set of batteries, switched to the newer ones, and managed to get it started. Same as before- choppy as hell, noisy, shaking, and wanting to die if I hit the throttle and let off the fuel too fast.

I decided I'd had enough of taking up this old feller's barn space, so I limped it home. A mile down the road, I had to put it in 4LO just to make it up the hill! GUTLESS. I drove it the second mile in 4LO, and had to downshift to 2nd to make it up the hill to my driveway.

Once in the yard, I let it idle a bit, still choppy, still noisy. Not overheated, even though I was at 2500 RPM in 5th for a bit, and no oil in the coolant nor coolant in the oil (whew!). I shut it off, and came in to pick your brains here.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:29 AM
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Tanks fer nuttin! LOL!

Well, got lots of lookie-loos on this thread, but no suggestions? Great. Well, at least I can leave some resolution for posterity who may be experiencing similar issues.

Days of searching here at PSO gave me nothing to go on, so I decided to hit teh googlez. That lead me to TheDieselStop.com, where I found several threads which implicated the injectors. TDS was also where I found the link to this brilliant fellow's video: http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/GHwjEfJtM_g&hl . Fix your truck for a quarter, WITH a quarter! Fortunately for me, I didn't have this problem (yet), but perhaps that's to come. Either way, I'll be ready!

Further googling took me to FullSizeBronco.com, where I discovered this little nugget: GB Remanufacturing - Tech Bulletin #103 , GB Tech Bulletin #103: Ford Injector Driver Module (IDM) Replacement. Following the instructions given there (downloaded as a PDF using the link at the bottom of the page), I disconnected the IDM and ohmed out the harness to check the injectors. All of them came within spec, whether at resistance or open, which cleared the injectors, UVCHs and harness of any issues (for now, of course- this is why I don't yet need to do the quarter mod, although I may do it anyway just to have it done and not worry about it).

So, that left the IDM as the most likely culprit. Luckily, I have a 'spare' from the '97 engine donor! Plugged it in and bolted it down, and she started like nothing ever happened. WOOHOO!

So, three months almost to the day, and my big ugly girl is back on the road. I hate to think that the issue with the old engine (see thread "I think she's dead, Jim..." at I think she's dead, Jim...) was just a dying IDM and perhaps a blown oil cooler, but it's entirely possible. That would make this a VERY expensive case of mistaken identity, owing solely to my ignorance and impatience. But, as the generous old coot who donated the space in his barn for my swap is often heard to say, "All's well." Even if I spent twice the money, having my truck back is worth it.

Hope this helps someone somewhere down the line.
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