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Old 01-20-2011, 07:17 AM
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Powerstroke Noob

I am looking at purchasing my first diesel truck. I have a lot of experience with gas engines, but am completely new to diesel. I am looking at a 99 F250 Powerstroke. I've seen a lot of posts on what to look for and how to buy, but anyone with any advice geared towards someone new to diesel? also, I live in Wisconsin, where it is currently -2 degrees, and have some fears of getting a diesel with the weather that we can expect here. I would be able to plug it in most nights, and it would be kept in a garage, but what happens if I venture to camp where there is no electricity? or what about when I have to leave it at the airport for 3-4 days in this weather? I've seen all of the threads on conditioning the fuel, and check glow plugs and all that, but does it still have to be plugged in all the time when the temp is at 0? Also, any additional advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. j
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:26 AM
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no it dont have to be pluged in. just make sure to let it warm up. on mine I dont move till the temp gauge moves. set aside from the GP system put some diesel kleen and you should be good to go
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:37 AM
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Agreed - Not necessary to plug in, but it's nice to get in a truck that is already partially warmed up. If your GPR (glow plug relay) and your GPs are working, you shouldn't have any problems starting up without plugging it in. When ya do plug in, many recommend putting it on a timer set to come on 2-3 hours before you drive. Saves a bit of electricity.

Run a fuel conditioner, like Diesel Kleen, that has anti-gel components to it.

BTW -
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:03 AM
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great thanks for the reply. so extended periods of below 0 temps will not leave me stranded? I hear ya on the heater and warming up the truck faster. im just a bit nervous going to a diesel after reading the precautions. does 200,000 miles on the truck scare anyone if it has been maintained properly? injectors are new, gp's are new, ball joints recently replaced. i know this is a powerstroke forum, but I am on the fence between this and a gasoline V8 with 71,000 miles.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:14 AM
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Go diesel! Haha but i had a gasser truck before my diesel and ive got the mods listed in my sig and ive never driven a truck this fun to drive i love it! I have 2 friends that have 7.3s with 200,000+ and their trucks are strong and start well. A 7.3 will last a LONG time and hold a good resale value. Since you have new glow plugs if your glow plug relay is good that baby will start all the time. (considering you have good batteries) I also live in wisconsin and i cant plug my truck in very often. She starts every time. My gpr was not bad but i put a stancor relay on and it did help and you can really tell when its cold. Get the diesel read up on this site all you can and you will not be dissapointed. Like with any truck...take care of it and it will take care of you Sorry for the short novel lol
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:16 AM
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I prefer to keep mine plugged in when it's below about 30 degrees... just makes the truck start so much easier, like it's 80 degrees out in the summer. And I have an oil leak that seem to be much worse when started cold, not so much when it's warm to begin with.

So, I have to agree with above posts, yes the truck should start when it's down to 0 out, if the glowplug system is working right. It's gonna rattle, knock, shake and complain, but it will do it. I tend to judge how much someone cares about thier diesel by when and how much they keep the block heater plugged in... *grin* but that's just me!

Scared of the mileage? No way... Friend of mine sold me his early '99 with 180K on it, the '00 he bought to replace it has 250K!!! And runs great. My other SD, pic in my sig, has about 212K miles on it...

Last edited by dieselcrawler; 01-20-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:28 AM
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again, thanks guys. and like i said, i understand why plugging it in helps. I will be able to most of the time in winters, but my concern is when i am away from home, such as camp, or out of town at a friends or relatives, and dont have access to power. im not concerned about the days that im home, im concerned about the 10-20 times a winter that im not when i simply dont have the option. if it is even questionable, its a big con for me. i dont want to drive when we go ice fishing, spend the night on the ice, then the 4 of us get in the truck the next morning, and the truck is froze up, and Im out of cell reception. but it sounds like you guys aren't concerned about that worry. good to hear about the mileage also. Ive got a wrangler now, and love it, so i know how important it is to have a fun truck that catches peoples eye. any other diesel noob advice?
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:35 AM
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like others said, take care of it and it will take care of you..

a 7.3 setup for cold weather will start somewhat easily down to -10... I just swapped to 5-40 full synthetic oil. new GP's and a fresh GPR. it started at 5 this morning like it was hot out... let the wait to start light go out for like 10 seconds and the thing fired instantly.. cranked over super fast. We had a group of 4 7.3's all 150k+ parked in -10 weather 2 weeks ago, 2 started without to much a fuss.... mine had 6 bad glow plugs, so no start, and the other no start has a few out.

anyway.. spend them money and get it dialed, she will work no problem.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:05 AM
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i agree with everyone. another thing to add is compression. you need it. if hte truck ahs been cared for it shouldnt be a problem. check the turbo fins for damage.

the glows stay lit fro up to two minutes. i started mine last week at -5 without much trouble. i let the glows run fro about a minute or minute thirty while i scraped the windows off. fired up.

you and also drop your oil weight in that weather. people who go 10w30 report significant gains. i havent tried it yet. alos be sure your starter spins properly, mine went out and i replaced it with a dbelectrical gear reduction starter. that helps a lot too.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:04 PM
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so can you guys give me the first things you would look at in buying a powerstroke? ive heard to check the turbo itself for discoloration. And the obvious leaks. feel out the auto trans for clean shifting (any suggestions of what to feel or listen for?). what about checking compression? is that done the same way a gas engine is, with the same compression tester?
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