Help diagnose cold operation issue - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-26-2012, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Help diagnose cold operation issue

99 E350 PSD, 113k.

Occasionally when its very cold (below freezing) my PSD likes to do something funny. Startup is normal - GPR kicks on, crank, fire. Idles great. I let it idle as long as I can which is up to 10 minutes if I have the time, or 2-3 minutes if I'm late for work

The road I take is uphill about a half mile to a stop sign. As I pull out, everything is fine. I keep very light throttle since its cold. A few times now, about halfway up the hill, it starts "missing" and I mean its just like dropping a spark on a gas vehicle. I lose a cylinder and it chugs a cloud of unburnt fuel (bluish white). Normally that's all I get from it and it behaves after the stop sign.

This morning, it didn't want to move from the stop sign. It was idling rough (missing a cylinder), and when I hit the accelerator it didn't respond. It was as if the computer was only letting me get about 3% throttle. I put it in neutral and let it rev a bit and I got the cylinder back, put it in D, and it never gave me another bit of trouble - not on the way to work, not on the way to lunch, not on the way home.

Scanner reveals no codes pending, no codes set.

I considered the following:
- bad fuel; although it has done it over a few weeks and a few different fuel supplies.
- fuel filter; although it was changed about 8000 miles ago, it could be a problem.
- fuel gelling; but wouldn't that cause more issues than just one time in the morning when its cold?
- water in the fuel; but I opened the drain on the filter housing and only got diesel. I also verified that the "water in fuel" light is operational, but that may not mean anything.

Do these symptoms point to anything specific to you folks?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-26-2012, 07:21 PM
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I'jm no expert. What weight oil are you running? Might be a sticky injector? Don't know that those would throw a code.


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post #3 of 17 Old 12-26-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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15w40 Rotella... its ready for an oil change and I have some 5w40 synthetic ready to go in.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 08:10 AM
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You need to let the engine warm up it is not a good idea to crank it , wait 10 min then leave, atleast plug it in at night

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.3HeavyHauler View Post
at least plug it in at night
I would love to... but its a TX truck that didn't come with a block heater. I need to add one. I've owned several PSDs in PA winters and never plugged them in and they never had this problem. I agree that plugging it in at night is the best thing to do, but I don't think that is the cause of the problem.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 07:03 PM
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I agree it sounds like something is not up to snuff. Unfortunately i am not versed enough to be able to be of much help.


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post #7 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 07:06 PM
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Get some diesel kleen 911 and put it in the tank.

Drain the fuel bowl and fill it up with the 911 too.

If you do this, I would go ahead and change the filter again if the fuel is suspect. (I know, the damn things aren't cheap).
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 07:07 PM
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To keep from being weary of the they fuel you get, try and buy it at the big truck stops that turn over a lot of fuel.

The mom and pop/smaller fuel stations that don't turn over a lot of fuel stand more of a chance of fuel contamination.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thick, cold, heavy molasses oil not circulating. After 8k miles, couldnt hurt to change that fuel filter. Do you run any diesel additives? Im a personal fan of Diesel Kleen.


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post #10 of 17 Old 12-27-2012, 07:35 PM
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a 10 minute warmup is not enough for these trucks, I would suggest a longer warmup time in that environment, summer/spring not so much, winter and subzero temps yeah, mine doesn't move until it gets to operating temp, thats why i did the hi idle mod, i run out there get it started, hit the hi idle and go back inside for breakfast and coffee by then she's ready to haul.

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