I've been having a dickens of a time getting my '01 7.3L to start no for about two months, since the end of November when I returned from hunting. Woke up one morning and the truck wouldn't start. Ran the batts down, removed them took them to the shop for a recharge. Truck started, ran for a couple of days, then didn't start again. Plugged it in and noticed that my plug was frayed and two wires were broken at the plug. So, plugging the heater in wasn't going to work. Tried several more times to try and get my truck going. Run the Batts down a few times, finally one failed and I had to get a new one. Put the new one in and the truck started (much to my chagrin 'cause I got a "told you so" from my GF). Truck ran fine for maybe a week. Then it didn't start again. I took the batts out again for an over-night trickle charge (my arms are really getting a workout now) at the parts store. Next day I put the batts back in and the damn thing started. Nice high RPM sound. I tried again that evening, and it started again. I tried it this morning and it wouldn't start. I tried again late this afternoon after it warmed up. I have to take the batts out again for another over-night trickle charge.
I haven't replaced anything yet, except the battery. I don't know where to begin. It does not blow smoke during crank. However, whenever it does start, I'm getting a nice little cloud of blue smoke - not black, not white.
I'm ready to shoot the damn truck. But, I won't 'cause I'm in city limits. I've had the truck since April and driven it all of 4 months - maybe.