Slow Starts, Very Light White Smoke, and Power Loss - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-03-2014, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Slow Starts, Very Light White Smoke, and Power Loss

Truck: 1994.5 F350 Crew Cab Dually with 7.3 "PSD"

A few months back my truck died. The UVC harnesses had shorted out to the point my glow plug solenoid seized contacted. I replaced the solenoid and the next day it died a mile from the house. Fuel Filter light came on and engine valley was full of diesel. Hooray!

While investigating the failure is when I found the extent of the injector harness destruction, so I ordered new UVC harnesses, gaskets, and pigtails, via the Dorman kit. Very convenient kit and 1/6 the cost of new from the dealer.

While I had all that apart I decided I'd go ahead and rebuild the fuel bowl since I had a few leaks and wanted to clean up the valley anyway.

Rebuilt the fuel bowl with parts from DieselORings.com and installed the "California Spring Kit" since my FPR spring was quite literally snapped in half (I kid you not.) While I had all that apart I pulled the turbo and fuel pump and resealed the banjo bolt and head lines, along with deleting the EBV and switching to the non-EBV pedestal. Another side note: If you EVER have to pull your turbo, delete the EBV if you don't need it. Reassembly is 10x easier without that damn valve blocking the rear driver bolt!

So... the truck sat for a month or two while I took care of all this stuff and now I'm having trouble with it. It has slow starts and it's blowing very light white smoke while idling. However, if I rev it from an idle it blows pretty heavily... just not anywhere near as much as most of the videos I've seen that turned out to be injector failures.

My fuel pressure is doing the typical mechanical bounce, between 60-70psi, and stays there pretty steadily. The Fuel Filter light stays on when cranking, but goes off as soon as the truck is running. I was having a couple issues with fuel leaking after reassembly, so I thought it could be that, but I've resolved all the leaks I can find and I'm still having trouble.

I've scoured the Internet looking for suggestions on what else it could be. Everything I'm seeing related to injector O-rings seems to be indicated by heavy white smoke, even at idle.

I've been told it could be trash in my fuel lines, so my next step is to remove the bed and replace both pick-up feet, reverse flushing the lines as I go, just to be sure that if they did fall apart, I'm not stuck dealing with crap wedged in my lines even after I replace the pick-ups.

Does anyone else have any suggestions on what I can look at next? I've been working on my own piles of Fords since I was a kid, but this is my first diesel. I've had it for three years, now, but it was just kind of a back-up vehicle. Only in the last six months or so have I really started investing in it and catching up on the maintenance and despite running what I thought was pretty damn great initially, it seems like everything has started going downhill since I replaced the fuel filter, which was solid black and looked like something was growing on it. In the three years I've had it, though, it's only picked up about 4,000 miles, so it hasn't really been a priority for me... but now I'd like to start driving it more frequently if I can get the dang thing running properly.

Any constructive help here is definitely appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-03-2014, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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How much should the fuel pressure drop as it's idling? The mechanical diaphragm pump guarantees SOME bounce, but what's acceptable? Mine goes 25ish to 75ish nonstop... seems a bit extreme...

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-03-2014, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Well... the void below the fuel pump is full of diesel again, but I can't find a leak anywhere... guess I'll be ordering a new fuel pump, as that seems to be the only thing left since I know every seal and hose is brand new.

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-04-2014, 02:33 PM
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Fix that leak and then just blow the system out. Rev it, drive it good and see if that helps. Mine was in the body shop for a month and when I got it out it smoked down the road so I just laid on it and it cleared up. While you were under there make sure you didn't break any connections or wiring to your other sensors etc.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-04-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered a new pump as well as the fuel pressure sensor since mine was causing problems. Hopefully it'll be here Friday so I can get all this sh*t knocked out over the weekend.

I'm ready to go wheeling again, but can't drag my rig out to the trails without the truck running reliably!

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-04-2014, 02:55 PM
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How much was that sensor? Where'd you get it?
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-04-2014, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered all the fuel stuff from DieselOrings
They seem to have the comparable prices and my first order was on my doorstep in two days, so I figured I'd send them my business again. I want to say the sensor is only $30 or something like that. The local dealer wanted $42.
Mine was leaking when I put everything back together, so just to get it all reassembled I used some high quality RTV until I needed more parts. Well... here I am... needing more parts. It sealed up fine, but was tripping the FF light while cranking.

Thanks for the tip on the smoke, by the way. If it was just smoke, I'd let it go, but there's a strong stumble, too. I figure I'll get all this done so I can be confident everything is sealed up and pressurizing properly, then I'll go from there.

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-04-2014, 03:32 PM
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strong stumble could be air in the lines. I ran mine low on fuel once and it sucked air in and I had to force it out. With the stumble i'd rule everything else out first.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-14-2014, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Bringing this one back to life... I hadn't figured out what was going wrong with the truck and parked it out back for a while... in talking with a buddy, he asked if I had replaced the injector O-rings. I hadn't.

Then he pointed out (what should have been obvious) that I went from ~35psi in my fuel system pre-repairs to ~70psi in the fuel system post-repairs... so while the 280,000-mile O-rings may have held up okay at ~35psi, doubling the fuel pressure could very easily blow them out if they were already weakening from age. It makes good sense, because it is definitely overfueling the engine in a big way.

Tonight I'll be pulling it out to the driveway to swap the O-rings this weekend. Hopefully this will resolve the smoking once and for all so I can either sell it or at least have a reliable back-up vehicle.

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-16-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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So... just to put this out there...

When you replace your UVC harnesses and pigtails... be extra cautious to not crosswire any injectors...

FOR SALE: 1994.5 F350 XL, 7.3PSD/ZF5, 4x2, 4.10s, crew cab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Diamond Eye 3"/4" with cat delete and new muffler, EBV delete.
2000 F350 XLT, 7.3/ZF6, 4x4, 4.10s, SuperCab, dually, gooseneck, brake controller, Red Head on the way.
1985 4Runner, 22RE/5spd, 5.29s, grooved 38" TSLs, front locker, rear spool, sliders, other stuff.
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