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post #1 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Basic 7.3L Question...

Okay, long story short is I am looking at getting a PSD and found a rig I am excited about, and hope the deal goes through.

But, I am normally a gas-guy and will be trying to learn on the fly as far as diesel's go. I had a few basic questions, and was hoping some here could give me some help.

1) How cold does it have to be to plug the truck in? Temps in the winter can get down into the teens and twentys. I have no problem plugging the truck in if it's necessary, but just want to make sure.

2) Cycling the plugs - How is this done? Just turning the key to on? What benefit does this give to the truck?

3) Could you put an auto-start on a diesel? If yes, how does that work with the glow-plugs and cylcing them?

4) What's a normal operating temp on a diesel?

5) What are the major things to monitor on a diesel? I know water temp, oil PSI, and all that, but I'm hearing EGT's and Tranny temps and alot of others. Plan on putting a set of gauges in, but want to know which ones I should get.

6) How big is the gas tank on an 03 F250?

Sorry for the amount of questions. I have so many questions, and figure this is a good start.

Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 25 Old 12-01-2010, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSS454 View Post
Okay, long story short is I am looking at getting a PSD and found a rig I am excited about, and hope the deal goes through.

But, I am normally a gas-guy and will be trying to learn on the fly as far as diesel's go. I had a few basic questions, and was hoping some here could give me some help.

1) How cold does it have to be to plug the truck in? Temps in the winter can get down into the teens and twentys. I have no problem plugging the truck in if it's necessary, but just want to make sure.

2) Cycling the plugs - How is this done? Just turning the key to on? What benefit does this give to the truck?

3) Could you put an auto-start on a diesel? If yes, how does that work with the glow-plugs and cylcing them?

4) What's a normal operating temp on a diesel?

5) What are the major things to monitor on a diesel? I know water temp, oil PSI, and all that, but I'm hearing EGT's and Tranny temps and alot of others. Plan on putting a set of gauges in, but want to know which ones I should get.

6) How big is the gas tank on an 03 F250?

Sorry for the amount of questions. I have so many questions, and figure this is a good start.

Thanks,
Chris
1. i'd say below 30 i'd start pluggin in but some will say colder.
2. Cycling the plugs is done by turning the switch on, letting the glow plugs warm, turning the switch off, turning it back on, etc.. This is COMPLETELY unecessary to do and only wastes batterys.
3. You can put an auto start, seen it done, it will do just like you would when you get in, it'll heat the glow plugs for you and fire right up.
4. I idle at 200-250.. Normal driving between 500-600.. up hills and stuff you can see anything just NEVER get over 1200 degrees.
5. Your basic things to monitor are your boost pressure, exhaust temp (egt's), and transmission (the trans is more important on an automatic, if its a stick shift it aint to big of a deal)
6. not positive about the gas tank but my 01 has a 25 gallon but i can fit 28.

Hope this helps, enjoy your diesel if ya get it.


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post #3 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 02:33 AM
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99 f250 extended long box. Mine take about 38 to 42 depending on how low lol
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSS454 View Post
Okay, long story short is I am looking at getting a PSD and found a rig I am excited about, and hope the deal goes through.

But, I am normally a gas-guy and will be trying to learn on the fly as far as diesel's go. I had a few basic questions, and was hoping some here could give me some help.

First, what kinda truck is this? Year, engine mainly.

1) How cold does it have to be to plug the truck in? Temps in the winter can get down into the teens and twentys. I have no problem plugging the truck in if it's necessary, but just want to make sure.

Some deal with cold better. Mine is usually when it's down to about 20.

2) Cycling the plugs - How is this done? Just turning the key to on? What benefit does this give to the truck?

The glow plugs are heating elements that heat up the cylinders and incoming air to allow diesel to combust easier. You turn the key on, and they can stay on for up to 90 seconds.

3) Could you put an auto-start on a diesel? If yes, how does that work with the glow-plugs and cylcing them?

Auto start yes. You might could put a delay on the auto start for 20 seconds or so. Or have it tapped into the wait to start light so that it waits until it goes out to start.

4) What's a normal operating temp on a diesel?

Operating temp for what? Oil, coolant, transmission? 7.3s coolant are around 180 I think. But they have a 195 thermostat. I put in the International 203.

5) What are the major things to monitor on a diesel? I know water temp, oil PSI, and all that, but I'm hearing EGT's and Tranny temps and alot of others. Plan on putting a set of gauges in, but want to know which ones I should get.

The big three are boost (once you start doing some mods you wanna make sure you don't blow a turbo), exhaust gas temps EGTs, and trans temp. Then after that, water temp (ECT), fuel pressure, and maybe high pressure oil pressure. But the big three for sure.

6) How big is the gas tank on an 03 F250?

Crew cab, single, long bed, short bed? Biggest is a 38 for a CC LB.

Sorry for the amount of questions. I have so many questions, and figure this is a good start.

You can never ask too many. Especially not on The Org.

Thanks,
Chris
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 05:52 AM
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Pretty sure that's a stripper. I prefer to "reply" on them.

To the OP, pull the intake arm on the pickup and check the turbo for shaft play, look for oil leaks (HPOP), and fuel leaks, and check the transmission fluid if it is an auto. If you get an Auto upgrade to a 6.0 Cooler immediately after buying, then go get it flushed!

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post #6 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 06:07 AM
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For what its worth, I can start my truck on the first try, as soon as the wait to start light goes out, down to about 6º F. Bellow that, I can wait about a 10-count after the WTS light goes out and it will fire up (The glow plugs stay active for about 2 mins when the temp is below 30º F). So there is no need to 'cycle' the ignition when the wait to start light goes out.

Now a plugged in truck makes it start easier, and its already well on its way to being warm when you first start it, but your truck will start unplugged down to about 0º F. If it won't, you have other issues that need to be addressed.

Also, the block heater does most of what it's going to do in the first 2-3 hours of being plugged in. So much longer than that is a waste of time/power. I use a christmas light timer rated at 1350watts to turn on 3 hours before I leave for work.

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I can't imagine we'd be welcome at hooters very long if there was a bunch of half drunk guys in the back sitting around whistling and humming trying to make the perfect 7.3 turbo noise...
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 08:18 AM
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imho the block heater is a personal preference. 3 hours is generally good to get you started. if its starts getting around 0 i plug in for convienience. keep in mind in a psd good oil (fresh - religious changes) helps cold startign quite a bit. and if you in a cold climate drop your oil weight from 15w 40 to 10w 30

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post #8 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 10:55 AM
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I agree, I'm not advocating the use, or non-use of the block heater. I'm just saying that someone with a truck with a good glow-plug system and good injectors, has no need to plug them in for most people in the states.

The truck was designed to start unplugged down to the 0º mark. So I see no reason it shouldn't....

It is nice to have heat almost right away, and it will keep the windsheild just warm enough to keep ice from building up!

Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e99f2506p View Post
I can't imagine we'd be welcome at hooters very long if there was a bunch of half drunk guys in the back sitting around whistling and humming trying to make the perfect 7.3 turbo noise...
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  • AEM Brute Force Intake
  • 4" Magnaflow Turbo Back Exhaust
  • Gloshift 3in1
  • SuperChips MAX MICRO
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 11:57 AM
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I cannot plug in my truck at work but it starts every time. The truck started just fine in the below zero weather last month. I use 5W40 synthetic oil because of the low temperatures here in Montana.

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post #10 of 25 Old 12-02-2010, 01:44 PM
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I am in Houston and last week we had a few nights under freezing temperature. My truck had a hard time starting after the "wait to start" light went out. It took about ten seconds of the starter running before it fired up. A huge, I mean huge, ball of smoke came out the tail pipe. After the first start in the morning it ran just fine the rest of the day.

I am using 10-40W engine oil.
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