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Old 10-02-2013, 10:45 PM
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Electrical issue?

Is it normal for a 2000 f350 7.3 to have the electrical system have a big power drain when the glow plugs are on? About 20 seconds after starting, the headlights get brighter, and the heater fan speeds up quite noticeably. Truck has two known good batteries. Possible alternator issue?
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:08 AM
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That's normal. The glow plugs draw ~100a and will stay on for up to two minutes after starting the truck depending on temperature.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:02 AM
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Yup that's normal but it's not the glow plugs, the glow plugs cycle on and off after running, they don't stay on solid. It's roughly ten seconds on, ten off, for a varrying amount of cycles. This can been seen on cold mornings if you watch the smoke come and go. They will stay on for up to 2 minutes solid before running however.

My truck did this with the GPR removed in the middle of summer so it's definitely not glow plugs.

I've been told the dimness is due to the alternator not charging for the first little while, but I've never tested that.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:33 AM
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The glow plugs should only cycle on and off if the voltage is above 16v. Under normal conditions you are around 12v with them running and 14v after they shut off so you will see constant running till they switch off.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:48 AM
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Disconnect your glow plug relay and your lights will still brighten up after that first minute or so... Completely negating the glowplugs from the situation I know I've done it.

There was a video I saw on YouTube that specifically showed the glowplugs cycling on and off, you could see the light smoke come and go. I think it may have been the infamous Bill Hewit, but that doesn't change what the truck was doing. (He was showing a "cold start".... In Georgia lol) but my truck does the same, I've tested it with a voltmeter. If it is still a question in 2 months I'll take a video myself.

In a non plugged in -25C cold start i would give the glowplugs about 30-40seconds to warm up then start the truck. After that they went on/off at intervals of about ten seconds, for about 4 minutes.

What the OP is seeing is totally normal as we both know, but it is NOT his glowplugs.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:36 AM
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Might be a difference in years then. I have had my GPR disconnected without the initial voltage drop. Also the 16v cycle is per Ford's service manual.
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