Bad starter or bad ????? HELP... - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:22 PM
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Bad starter or bad ????? HELP...

Alright, I couldn't get my SD to crank properly. Sounded like the batteries were going dead, so I charged them over night. No help
Replaced both batteries (one had a bad cell). Still cranked like the NEW batteries were half dead.
Started tracing wires and found a dead short between the starter relay and the alternator. Bought new alternator, recharged the batteries overnight, and the starter still sounds like it is dragging for the first 10 or 15 revolutions. Sometimes it will finally spin fast enough to finally crank, other times it takes several tries before it will finally fire. The last time it died, I had to have a friend pull me down the road and pop the clutch, and then it ran just fine (64 miles to the house, highway and town driving) No serious white smoke when it cranked or anything else. All of the idiot lights come on (the WTS light comes on for about 1 minute, and I can hear the GPR click on).

As this is my first diesel, I don't know how fast the starter should spin. It just sounds to me like its dragging. Is there a video somewhere of a 7.3 being started cold (not cold as in outside, just after sitting overnight)? I'd like to hear someone else's truck starting up for comparison.
I don't want to replace the starter if it is something else. I looked at it and it looks fairly new...Is there another point I should be checking?
IPR? CPS? WTF???

One thing of note...I noticed today after filling it up with +/-20 gallons, the fuel gauge didn't move until well after I had driven away from the station. I know the fuel filter is new, and the fuel pump is working properly (lost about a 1/2 gallon learning that little tid-bit ) up to the filter housing... Could crud in the tank cause the engine to drag at startup?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:52 PM
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UPDATE:

This morning it took 3 times cranking for about 10 seconds each time for it to finally spin over and fire. Every time the engine would spin a little faster than before.

It runs fine once it's finally cranked. Still takes about 5 minutes after a cold start to develop power (every gear drags for about 20 seconds before finally taking off, then it runs fine from 1-5th) even in 80+ weather.

I'm ruling out the starter, as it does spin faster and faster eventually. I would think that if the starter was going bad, it wouldn't be getting better as I drive more often. What else should I possibly be looking for? Would the HPOP failing cause this. I've got no oil leaks, no visible oil on the engine, and no oil spots in the driveway.

Anyone had this happen to them before?
I've read through most of the threads, and there aren't many people with a manual tranny here. Is this a common thing? Inquiring minds want to know...

Thanks
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:12 PM
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Just to let you know there are a lot of people on here with standard transmissions as far as your problem. are the terminals on the batteries good
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000 7.3 6speed View Post
Just to let you know there are a lot of people on here with standard transmissions as far as your problem. are the terminals on the batteries good
Terminals are brand new. Batteries are less than 2 weeks old.
It gets progressively better the longer the starter says engaged.


BTW...It's good to know I'm not the only shifthead here.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:29 PM
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UPDATE #2

Today, like clockwork, I had to crank about 10 seconds, re-key, and about 4 seconds later she fires right up.

I did this about 4 times in the course of the day, and all but once did I have a sputter.

The one different time, I turned the key, cranked for about 8-10 seconds just like always. Starter spun faster but never fired, just like always. Second attempt , re-keyed it and...nothing. The idiot lights are working, the pumps are whirring away, but the starter wouldn't even turn.

Re-keyed it 3 more times with a dead result, and on the 4th try it finally spun over and fired.


I'm documenting this for my own benefit, and maybe to help someone out if they end up having the same problem.

Does anyone have any ideas about why I'm now getting what seems like a clutch-start issue, or could it be the starter relay?
Is there an clutch interlock switch that I can disengage like on a Jeep to narrow that down?

I really don't want to just start blindly replace parts
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:50 PM
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It's hard to tell long distance but it sounds like your over thinking this and that the starter is the problem. There is an interlock on the clutch pedal but that's not going to effect the speed that it cranks at. It'll either crank or not if that's the issue. If the batteries are good and the cables are good (including the ground to the block) and it still cranks slow it's almost got to be the starter. Due to the oil fired injectors in these trucks they never fire off at the first twist of the key but they should crank with enthusiasm and fire within 3 or 4 seconds.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:13 AM
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Just replaced the starter on my truck. If you remove the starter and take it to a good alternator/starter shop they will test it for free. Usually will do it as soon as you walk in. It takes them about one minute to give you an answer. I got a rebuilt one for $160 and it took me about 20 min to remove and 20 min to reinstall.

Yes, the HPOP "could" be the trouble. When the oil is cold the pump might not develope the pressure needed until the oil heats up and thins out. Could be other things. Take it to someone who could scan it for you and go from there. Stay away from ford...they'll charge you big bucks to give you simple answers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:18 AM
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For your fuel gauge it will not go up imediately if the truck is running while you fill up with fuel. if you shut the truck off and turn it back on it should imediately reset.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:04 PM
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UPDATE #3

This morning, had the same start issue. Cranked about 10 seconds, starter spun a little faster each time, but never developed enough speed to fire off.
Re-key and 4 seconds later, bingo...off to the races...

This afternoon, turned the key and the starter sounded like it was stuck. I've heard that noise before on my old airboat. it sounds like it's scratching or missing or being fried...
I tried to re-key again, and absolutely nothing. No click, no spin, nothing.
I tried about 5 more times with no results, popped the hood, grabbed a hammer and banged on the relay, banged on the starter, banged on the solenoid (and banged my head against the fenderwell )...

5 attempts later she finally spun over and fired.

I'm guessing it's gotta be the starter the solenoid or the relay.
What ever event caused the alternator to fry, must've also fried the relay, the starter solenoid (fingers crossed), or the whole frakkin starter...

Looks like I'm gonna be pulling the starter afterall...

I hope this is it. I'm down almost $600 already and I'm still chasing the same problem I was 3 weeks ago...
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:13 PM
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Join the club brother. I am just gonna yank my starter tomorrow and get it bench tested.
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