2000 E450 7.3 No Start Condition 65 & below - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:27 AM
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2000 E450 7.3 No Start Condition 65 & below

Hey everyone, this is my first post I have been a long time reader and I must say that this forum is very informational.

So the problem that I have had over the last 4 years is my E450 box truck will not start in weather below 65 degrees. In the warmer month's I can get in the truck turn the key to "on" and the glow plug light flashes I then turn it to start and it cranks like a new vehicle. In the colder month's I turn the key to the "on" position and the glow plug light turns on and stays on for about 45 seconds and then shuts off. During that time I watch the voltage gauge dive hard. When the light goes out I turn the key to start and it cranks maybe 3 rotations and then gives up. BATTERIES DEAD. Alternatively I have waited the few addition seconds for the glow plugs to actually turn off after the light turns off and found that the voltage gauge then starts to climb a little but the batteries have had to much of a draw on them and the truck might turn over 5 rotations but still not start. FYI when the truck cranks with the condition it cranks very very slow. In the warmer months it cranks like a new truck.

Things I have replaced and tried:

2 New Batteries Every year Optima gel or AC Delco Gold
New Alternator Charging good 105 amps
No Draw on the batteries when the truck is parked .008 amps
New starter
Checked resistance on the glow plugs mechanic said they are with in spec
changed glow plug relay

Non of these have helped.

If I pull fuse #8 the truck will crank forever in the cold weather but I have a no start condition because not only does that fuse kill the glow plugs but it also kills the ecm. I think.

If I plug the truck in so the block heater warms the engine then it starts fine at any temp. I also have a small trickle charger wired in with the block heater.

I just refuse to believe the truck needs to be plugged in when its 65 degrees or less outside. I don't think I should ever have to plug the truck in unless its below 0.

I should also mention the negative terminal on the under hood battery seems to get a decent amount of white corrosion on it when it gets cold out. It takes about 3 months to form.

Suggestions please. Cold weather is on its way.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:48 AM
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lol starting fluid.....
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:00 PM
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Great! Now a real solution.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:08 PM
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Check all connections on the starting circuit. This includes all batt terminals, grounds on block, posi on starter solenoid and starter, and the connecting surface between the starter and trans.

Check voltage (with multimeter) the bat voltage when sitting, with gp's on, and cranking. Might need an assistant for this. Let us know all those voltages.

It honestly does sound like sub par batteries. What cca were your bats rated at?

The gp's might be dead shorted and drawing too much amperage. This measurement would best be taken with a clamp-on amp meter.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbostang500 View Post
Check all connections on the starting circuit. This includes all batt terminals, grounds on block, posi on starter solenoid and starter, and the connecting surface between the starter and trans.

Check voltage (with multimeter) the bat voltage when sitting, with gp's on, and cranking. Might need an assistant for this. Let us know all those voltages.

It honestly does sound like sub par batteries. What cca were your bats rated at?

The gp's might be dead shorted and drawing too much amperage. This measurement would best be taken with a clamp-on amp meter.
Checked all connection and everything is tight.


Voltages:

Sitting 12.47

Key On 10.37

Cranking 8.09

Running 11.48 This is probably with the GP's still on I think.

These voltages tell me the starter is pulling a lot and the alternator may have a issue. The strange thing with the alternator is the truck has no issues in the summer and I always have this problem in the winter. The alternator has been changed with in the last year.

I also purchased a DC Amp clamp meter. Tested it at the battery + cable.

Key off .07 Amps
Key on 5.2 Amps GP's on
Cranking 50.69 Amps GP's and Starter

Believe it or not it actually started on its own this morning without being plugged in and it was 41 degrees this morning. I couldn't believe it.

Batteries are 2 years old now. Both of them are AC Delco Gold 650 CCA.

I was going to go out today and buy to Optima Red Tops. Is that a good idea?

Last edited by Brian Wynn; 11-16-2012 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:46 AM
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Aside from the voltage sitting are bad.

When I said check i meant check and clean! Lol sorry bout that. At least make sure the bat terminals are clean.

Example, I had a slow crank and voltage drop like you. I found a bad connection on the positive term of bat yet it showed NO signs of being corroded. I pulled it and cleaned it. Problem solved! Cranks a lot faster now.

Of, 650 cca bats are pretty weak for out trucks. I would buy 850's if you can get them to fit. Also, I like optima but I dont think they are well suited for our engines either. There is ALOT of amperage draw on cold mornings and I dont really think they last long with that abuse.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:43 PM
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50 amps? Did you test the driver's side cable perhaps? The connection inside the big lead block on the passenger side cable splice is bad about getting resistance in it, or passing no current at all.


Batteries should be 1000CCA each size 65. These trucks generally will barely start in cold temps with only one functioning battery @1000 and you usually will only get ONE go at it. 650CCA sounds about right for your symptoms and if both batteries were functioning it would start.

Tip, if you have a Sam's Club membership. Buy your batteries there. They have a 8 year warranty. I have not bought a battery since 2001. They have been replaced 4 times under warranty for free.

Last edited by ~CrazyDiesel~; 11-19-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:21 PM
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I just found out that my clamp meter was broken out of the box. I had it replaced and checked amp rating while cranking and I get 650 amps. In the on position I get 150 amps.

I changed the both batteries to the Optima Red top because thats the largest cca rating I could find locally. And the truck seems to be starting fine now in the cold weather. It has gotten down to 27 degrees at night and it starts with out being plugged in. I find it hard to believe that my batteries only lasted 2 years.

Maybe this fixed it. Will found out soon under colder conditions.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:39 PM
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Thoses amperages sound a little better
With 650cca bats in it, they were just about to melt down on every key cycle! Lol

I am kinda interested in how the optimas hold up also. Please come back to this thread and update at a later time.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:11 PM
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Well it has been a little time now. We have had some 20 degree nights. The truck seems to be fine it starts without being plugged in at all. The Optima batteries seem to have done the trick. I have purchased several lead acid batteries in the past and they never performed this well. The Optima red top batteries that I'm currently running start this truck like its 80 degrees outside even in the worst conditions like sitting for a week not plugged in and 20 degree weather. I would say problem solved.

Thanx
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