No start cold unless plugged in block heater - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:02 PM
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No start cold unless plugged in block heater

Guys,

Could use some help here. I can not get my 1996 F350 7.3 (Just purchased) to start when cold.
-Relplaced glow plugs with Beru/Motorcraft ones
-Replace the valve cover gasket with wiring harness.
-Replaced ICP sensor.
-Cleaned EBPV - NO more codes on this item.
-Replaced fuel filter
-Changed oil - Rotella (same as I used to use in my 99 powerstroke)
-Thrown tools/adverbs etc. Drank beer in can still no progress

A few frustrating things was when I replaced the valve cover gasket and harness and had a very hard start when plugged in. I traced that down to a bad harness when torqued down (They were brand new!)

I ohm'd the new glow plugs at the connector coming out of the valve cover and will not ohm through the (5 prong plug) center ground. Will ohm when touched to engine lift ring etc. I believe that is normal. The injectors ohm through plug though.

Jumped the relay with jumper cables (both large terminals) and still no start. I checked with the key on and I have power to the plug at the harness on the valve cover for approximately 50 seconds. Forget how much voltage.

The wait to start light only stays on for less than 10 seconds in under 30-40 degree ambient temps. Normal?

Batteries are fully charged and on a charger for a boost to help along in case they run low.

I replaced the ICP and it starts now in around an hour instead of 2-3 hours when plugged in.

I have an AE scan tool. The 3 minute 3300 RPM test leaves me from 1397-1420 on the ICP with a 10.94% duty cycle.
At idle 574 ICP/11.33% Duty cycle
EBPV 13.88 MAP 12.8 no boost at idle.
Cylinder contribution test pass.
KOER test pass

The only issue is the no start cold. It sounds like about half the engine is trying to start. Once plugged in it fires right up. The longer it is plugged in the less smoke or the warmer ambient temp the less smoke. It sounds like the Relay is working (checked at terminal on relay and plug to harness) and new glow plugs.

One more thing. I pulled the valve cover again and connected one glow plug and energized it. Did not get hot. Tried to ground to engine with jumper and still not getting hot. Is this a legitimate test for the glow plug or would a good one not work not plugged into the engine?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have a lot of tools in the yard to pick up....
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:55 PM
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I don't know if I read everything correctly or not. If you check the glowplugs at the gasket pins, the reading should be 0.1-2.0 ohms from each connector's outer pins to a good engine ground (so pins 1 & 5 on each connector, pins 2, 3, & 4 are for the injectors). Going from the engine harness side of the connector (same corresponding pins) back through the wiring to the GPR large terminal (the one that does not have voltage on it with key off), you should get 0-1.0 ohms.

As far as the Glowplug relay, measure the voltage drop across the relay when the plugs are (or should be) active. This means having one lead on one large terminal and one lead on the other large terminal. A reading (the voltage drop) of more than 0.3V and the relay is bad.

Battery condition and starter make a huge difference in cold starting as well, so maybe have the batteries load tested (independent from each other, cable disconnected from both). Make sure all cable connection ends are clean and tight.

Cheers!
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll see what the volt drop is across the relay. If I jump the relay, that should rule it out as bad?
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:54 AM
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If you jump the GPR's large terminals and now it starts, it's probably the relay. The drop test is better though. Cheers!
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndamendment View Post
If I jump the relay, that should rule it out as bad?
Nope. That doesn't tell you whether to power to the coil circuit, or the ground path via the PCM is good. Test them as well, and if they're good, and jumping the relay makes a difference, then you know the relay is bad.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:24 PM
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Ok checked the relay - .2 volt drop from bat + to gp circuit and stays active for approx. 50 seconds. So Relay is good.

Put a amp meter on gp circuit. passenger side good. pegged the 10amp dc meter. unplugged each connector and tested pegged the meter each time.
The drivers side did not draw amps.
Checked resistance from GPR to valve cover - good 0.00
Checked the GP resistance from valve cover connector to ground good.
Pulled valve cover on that side (driver) and tested each glow plug. Each one pulled 10 amps and got hot immediately.
Replaced the valve cover gasket - had previous problem of short when torqued for the injector circuit. So thought even though it was showing 0.00 resistance to the glow plug maybe once the current starts flowing it gets hot and shorts? Worth a try since I was there again.
Added another ground to the battery and alternator bracket - can't hurt either.
Fired up.... Temps were warmer around 40ish. Tomorrow morning will be around 20 ish and will be a good test to see if this is working. First time it actually fired with out being plugged in so... will see in the morning.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:18 AM
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SUCCESS!!!!

Found all my tools, AND! Fired up in under 30 degree weather without being plugged in. It fired right up.
Appears the fix was the valve cover gasket/harness. Showed good continuity but I assume under loan it was shorting. Anyways, it starts - me happy.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:06 AM
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glad you got her figured out
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