02 7.3 won't start when cold - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:59 PM
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02 7.3 won't start when cold

Hi All,

Excuse me but I'm new to this forum and did a search on the subject and didn't see any remedy listed in the responses I searched.

I have an 02 F250 7.3 PS and it has been a bear since the day I bought it (brand new in March of 02). The problem is it won't start when the weather gets cold. From 32F to about 20F it'll start when I plug it in but below that it won't start at all. I have been through at least 15 GPRs (seriously), had my GPs replaced twice and have even had the GP computer replaced once. Still it won't start.

I have had Ford look at it (at a cost of way too much money) and the local diesel guru look at it and all they've done is take my money - to the tune of about $3000+.

I love the truck but in the winter I hate it. It has let me down so many times I don't know what to do. Like I said I plug it in when it's at the house but at work I can't plug it in and if its below 20, it doesn't matter if I plug it in or not.

I carry an extra GPR with me at all times and that'll work in a pinch but its a pain to change them out when its -20 and I haven't been able to plug it in.

I also use a 16oz bottle of Power Service (good for 100 gals of fuel) per tank when its cold and cycle the GPs four times before turning over and no help.

Sorry for the long-winded post but I'm at my wits end here.

Thanks in advance for any help and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Terry
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:53 PM
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psd

what type of oil are you running? dont you have a intake heater,is it working?
does it just crank and not fire?
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:13 PM
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If the glow plugs and GPR are good it should have no problem starting at that temp. Are there any other driveability issues that it is having? It could be something with the under valve cover harness that isn't getting the power to the glow plugs? It could also be a fuel issue. Have you changed your fuel filter recently?

If your batteries are weak they could be having trouble when it gets cold out, and if they are not putting out enough the truck won't start. Also if they are weak cycling the glow plugs that many times isn't helping them out, plus you shouldn't need to at that temp. When you say cycling are you just waiting until the wait to start light goes off, or waiting the whole 2min or so until the GPR goes off? If you are only waiting for the wait to start light to go off they may not be getting hot enough. If you are waiting the whole 2min it may help to try starting it before they kick off, like at 1min or so, that way they are still on and warming when the fuel is being injected.

If you are using the whole bottle of power service your mix could be too strong, I know I accidentally did this once and the truck didn't like it.

I would think there is an issue with the glow plug system of some sort. There is a thread in the tech section that will help you test it all out, I'll try and find it. On the 02 you have an air heater, which some of the older trucks like mine don't have, and my fuel heater is unplugged (you could check to make sure yours is plugged in), and my block heater isn't working and with a good glow plug system it will still start below 0.

I just realized I rambled on forever so I hope some of this helps.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:38 PM
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Flyin Hawaiian - I have no clue. I have my oil changed at the service place and have no clue what oil they're putting in it. Yeah, I know, bad. But I'm a chemical engineer..... :-) Also, it just cranks and doesn't fire at all. Have no clue about the intake heater either. I tell you, I'm no mech.

FC - Batteries are 1 yr old and have been replaced 3 times in the course of 6.75 years. GP wires/harness have been replaced twice with the GP replacements (forgot to say that in the original post :-/ ).

When I cycle the GPs, I let them go until I hear the GPR go off. Its a click at about 1 minute - not 2 minutes.

Thanks for the help guys. Sorry I forgot some of my problems in the first post.

Terry
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:49 PM
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What size batteries are you running?
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:00 PM
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Just curious, do you have a chip/tuner or anything on the truck?

Hopefully somebody that knows more can help you out. The only other thing I can think of is some type of fuel issue like low fuel pressure or bad injectors, but I would think you would notice other driveability issues like loss of power. Have you been doing the glowplug replacements? Don't know how likely it is, but I guess it could be possible that if you are going somewhere to have it done that they are givin you the shaft and not actually replacing the plugs.

You did say that in a pinch you can change out the GPR and it will start then, is that correct? Which would mean that your GPR is going out, but 15 is alot, and there is something causing them to go out so fast. I know bad glowplugs can make the GPR go out fast, and I'm sure some other stuff can also. I'm guessing if you are going through them that quick that you are getting the cheapest ones you can to save money, I sure would if I was getting them that often. Have you tried a heavy duty one like the Stancor? If not it may be worth it because it should last longer and do a better job, but that may just cover whatever issue you have that is making you go through them so fast.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:06 AM
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CRRC - I'm running group 27 850 amp batteries in it.

FC - The truck is completely stock. The dealer did one GP replacement and the diesel mech did the other. Both times they showed me the old GPs but who is to say that those were my GPs?? As for the GPRs, I was buying Ford GPRs but recently switched to NAPA GPRs to see if they are any different than the Ford POS. I've never heard of a Stancor. Maybe I'll try one. Problem is, like you said, I shouldn't be going through this many. In my eyes, there's something wrong electrically with the system and no one can figure it out. Like a short somewhere that is creating a higher resistance than the system can operate under. But, like I said before, I'm no mech and haven't the foggiest idea where to look or take the rig to now.

Thanks again guys for the help.

Terry
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.3TerryB View Post
CRRC - I'm running group 27 850 amp batteries in it.

FC - The truck is completely stock. The dealer did one GP replacement and the diesel mech did the other. Both times they showed me the old GPs but who is to say that those were my GPs?? As for the GPRs, I was buying Ford GPRs but recently switched to NAPA GPRs to see if they are any different than the Ford POS. I've never heard of a Stancor. Maybe I'll try one. Problem is, like you said, I shouldn't be going through this many. In my eyes, there's something wrong electrically with the system and no one can figure it out. Like a short somewhere that is creating a higher resistance than the system can operate under. But, like I said before, I'm no mech and haven't the foggiest idea where to look or take the rig to now.

Thanks again guys for the help.

Terry
I thought the Powerstroke had group 65 batteries in them.
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:08 AM
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I am no guru on these engines by any means but have found that the GPR from Ford is about the only one I will use. Have tried the NAPA ones several times and they are IMO a POS. You didn't say how many miles you had but I am experiencing a similar problem and have already replaced GP's, GPR, harnesses, Intake heater relay, fuel filter, and take good care of my truck but, I was told that at many miles, worn injectors will malfunction at coild temps. Seems logical to me because if I plug ion, good to go. No plug, no start when anything below about 50 degrees. The fix is not cheap... about 280 per injector with a 180 dollar core charge. I have tried about everthing else and this will be the next after the holidays. Still find iot hard to believe that I can buy a reman engine for about 8500 and the injectors are just under half that price. Hope this helps or at least gives you some ideas. Good luck! anbd merry christmas.
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:14 AM
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Steelsoldier, have you checked into the DIY injectors?DIY-Injectors.com
If you feel like you can rebuild them yourself you can save a ton of money, and if not you can send yours to Jim and he will rebuild them for you and it sounds like a lot cheaper than the $280 each. You cold even get stage 1's for cheaper than what you are looking at. Just another option.
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