Hard start(Glow plugs) - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 10-25-2006, 03:07 PM
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Hard start(Glow plugs)

I have a 1999 F350 that starts hard in the morning now that it is getting cold out. I checked the relay and it has power at the main big terminal (Black with red stripe) and when the key is on power at the two small terminal(one wire is orange Ignition side of relay and red on the starter side) but i never get power to the other big terminal with the two yellow wires and one blue wire (with fuse link on it). Replaced relay and same problem. Wait to start light goes on for about 10-15 seconds but never any power going to the other side of the relay. any help?
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2006, 03:11 PM
Jon
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Well

Granted you have the wire right! You should have power on the glow plug system side, unless your engine oil temp is above 130 degrees F. Your wait to start light has absolutly no connection to your glowplug on time. So dont go by that. Multimeter on Batt neg and glow plug system side of relay under 130 degrees F there should be voltage there.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:06 PM
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I have similar problems with cold starting on my '99 F250. It doesn't take very cold temps to make my truck difficult to start after sitting overnight. Temps in the mid 40's overnight will make me take about 6 different attempts at starting. My routine is wait until the start engine light goes out, hit the starter, and stop cranking after I hear the first attempt at the motor to fire. I've found that if I keep cranking it doesn't help. My best results are to stop cranking, turn off the switch, turn back on the switch, and do the routine over again.

Here's where I'm at with this problem:

I found my glow plug relay was bad, so I replaced it. It didn't help.

My batteries seem strong; the motor cranks over very well.

I know my air intake heater relay is bad. However, I spoke to the Ford dealer, and they said it's unlikely the heater has that much influence on cold-weather starting performance. They suggested that I have one or more bad glow plugs. They wouldn't tell me how to check them to see if they're good or bad.

So...I have three questions:

1. Could one glow plug cause my truck to have difficulty starting in the cold weather?

2. How do I check glow plugs?

3. Where should I buy a repair manual for my truck? I want a pretty comprehensive manual for the engine...not one of those junk generic manuals you'll find in Pep Boys.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:38 PM
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No i don't think that one glow plug out would do the trick.
You need an ohme meter to check the glow plugs and there under the valve covers not like the old 7.3's. i'm talking to someone else and will let you know what he tells me tomarrow. Does the relay ever have power on both sides? 444E motor
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Old 10-26-2006, 05:17 PM
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I have seen one glow plug cause cold start problems and Extended Cranking.
Check the Glow plug amp draw . There are two feeds coming off that glow plug solenoid ,one goes to the right side and one to the left side glow plugs. The amp Draw on each leg with the key just turned on should be about 90 amps . It must be at about 90 amps or that bank has a glow plug problem or V/C gasket burnt Or UVC harness burnt. Unplug the oil temp sensor when doing this Test with a Current probe. Do this test using a Graphing Meter such as a Vantage and do the test quickly so the glows don't get to hot . Works for me, I'm in and I'm out. I use a 0 to 600 amp current probe with my vantage.
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:41 PM
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Does the oil temp sensor screw up the current draw?
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:15 PM
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power at both small terminals of relay

hey karbo if you have power at both small terminals it means that either your oil temp is too high when your checking it or if its cold your pcm is not providing the ground i would check your wiring i seen alot of chafes on the vehicle side of the big 42 pin connector over the left valve cover if all your wiring is good i would suspect the pcm is the culprit but make sure you check your wires good it doesnt take much of a chafe to make wires green
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:40 AM
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This stuff might help....(sorry..long!)

I just went through the same exact problems that you guys are having..here's how I fixed it, and also some FACTS about the glow plug system on a 7.3L (I say Facts cause I was fed quite a bit of BS before I finally got my truck fixed!). First the facts: (some of this stuff may have already been said).

1. The "wait to start" light has nothing to do w/ the actual glowplug operation.
2. If your dash voltmeter gauge goes instantly all the way up on a cold morning, your glowplugs are not getting any juice. Since I fixed my truck my volt meter goes up slowly and until the plugs shut off it won't go all the way to full charge. (Those plugs can pull 100 plus amps pretty easy)
3. Before buying anything, go have BOTH your batteries LOAD tested. Just cause the motor will crank doesn't mean your batteries are strong enough to crank the motor AND heat the glowplugs (or they won't heat up enough..).
4. The Glowplug relay looks similar to the intake air heater relay (Brown in color, round..looks like a solenoid), only it's shorter. It's on the passenger side valve cover and it's the rear-most relay. With the AAA discount at NAPA it's 64 dollars.
5. There is a 9 - pin connector towards the back of the valve cover on each side of the motor that connects the injectors and the glowplugs to the rest of the truck. You don't need to remove your valve covers to test the glowplugs. Unhook the connector, the outter most 2 pins on each side of the connector are the glow plugs, the inner-most 4 pins are the injectors. Use an ohm-meter to test the plugs, a reading of 0.5 to 2 ohms is good. Zero or Infinity (open) ohms is definitely a bad plug.

Now for how I actually fixed my truck: It turned out to NOT be the relay OR the glowplugs (even though I ended up putting a new relay on it). I had my batteries load tested, they were good, HOWEVER, when I checked BOTH ends of my cables for corrosion, I found that my ground cables on the block side were all rusted and dirty. I cleaned all the connections on the main battery cables and where they connected to, that was step one. Next I took all the wires off the glow plug relay (Since I'd bought a new relay in haste) and found that the main power wire to the plugs (big wire) was also VERY dirty and corroded. I cleaned all the relay wires and the posts on the old relay and put it back together and it worked! Turns out all it was was just dirty connections on the battery cables and relay wires! But I learned one heck of a lot of stuff in the process, which was way cool. I hope this helps!
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:55 AM
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RE: good information

Great post man, that is good information. High current systems (glow plug, starter, ect) are greatly effected by corrosion and dirty connections. It's always good to check this first.

Jim
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2006, 10:38 AM
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By the way...It was early when I wrote that post. Number 5...I said the glow plugs were the outtermost pins...that's backwards, the glowplugs are the inside pins...sorry!!! The injectors are the outside pins on the connector.
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