New Powerstroke owner please help. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 09:10 AM Thread Starter Rookie
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New Powerstroke owner please help.

Hello. I am new to this site but have read a few tips on here and it seems like there are some knowledgable people here.
Great Site!
First of all I should say that I've never owned a diesel pickup before although I have been driving logging trucks etc for nearly thirty years.
A couple weeks back I bought a 99 F-350 Dually. Nice truck but has 300,000 km or roughly 180,000 miles on it. The weather here is right around freezing. Guess what......Cold starting blues!
The truck will start as long as it has been plugged in for a couple hours. It does seem to smoke for about five minutes after it starts though.
When I drive it after warming it up the smoke clears but it almost feels a bit sluggish until you feel the turbo kick in. There almost seems to be a dead spot while pushing the throttle to the floor them whammo it takes off like a good thing.
Later today I will attempt to check the glow plug relay as I hope that might cure the hard starting but wonder if it is building up excessive fuel and that is causing the smoke when it's cold?
The truck has some nice features and I would kind of like to keep it but,if it,s going to give me a bunch of grief then I will have to go for a newer model.
It was a work truck but I spoke to the past owner and he claims it was always serviced regularly and he added some nice features including an exhaust brake. Anyone got experience with those?
Anyway, thanks for any help you might be able to give me. Have a great weekend!
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 09:13 AM
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 10:25 AM
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 05:10 PM
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Welcome to the Site!

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 05:31 PM
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Welcome, Checking the glow plug relay is a good place to start on you cold starting issues. Is the sluggish spot only when its cold or is it all the time?

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 05:32 PM
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-10-2007, 08:10 PM Fanatic
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Well, I will also say Welcome but, try and give you some advice also for your starting problem. First of all, you've got the right idea with checking the GPR. But my guess, if it is really cold, and starts at all, the GPR is good.
My guess is glow plugs. Probably one or two bad ones.
If it is a late 99, take the plug off at the valve cover and check the resistance on the two outside pins. It should be right around 2 ohms. anything more and it is no good.
Second, is the oil up to level. If it is low on oil, it could create a hard starting problem. Really cold temperatures with not plugging it in might need lighter oil, say, 10W-30 or synthetic. I'm talking temps of 20F and below.
Also, check the fuel filter, and drain any water from the filter housing. There is a lever on the back side of it that will drain it to a hose on the passenger side above the A-frame. Make sure you are using a good grade of fuel and in the really cold temps use a fuel additive to prevent gelling.
Start with these easy checks.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-11-2007, 04:31 AM
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Here is how to check your GP system and I agree in the Northen climates you need to switch to a lighter weight oil for winter use.

How to check Glow Plug System

To check the Glow Plug Relay (GPR)
Be sure the engine is cold, so that the PCM will tell the GPR to turn on. If the engine is hot, you won’t have as much time to check.
Locate the GPR – Its behind the fuel filter on top of the engine, a little bit toward the passenger side of the valley. There may be two relays there. If so, the rear one is the GPR. It will have two fairly large wires (yellow and brown) connected to one of the large posts.
With your multitmeter set to DC volts, and 15 V range (if not autoranging), clip the positive (red) lead to the output terminal (with yellow and brown wires connected), and the negative (black) lead to a good ground point (like the battery ground terminal or someplace metal directly on the engine block.)
Turn the key to ON (do not start)
If your GPR is good, it should click, and you’ll see 11 volts or so on your meter, then, depending on temperature, it will click off up to 2 minutes later. You should do this a couple of times to make sure it consistently makes the connection.
If you don’t get voltage with this test, confirm by retesting as follows.
Remove the two small wires from the smaller two of the four GPR terminals.
With jumper wires, apply voltage from the battery across the two small terminals. If your voltmeter now reads voltage on the output terminal, your GPR is OK, and your problem is in the PCM circuit that tells the GPR to activate.

If your GPR is bad you can use the factory replacement for around $75, Napa's GP110 is close to this price maybe $10 cheaper. But you can get a GPR 109 from Napa for around $22.00 This is the same exact relay as the GP110 except the mounting holes are rotated 180 degrees, which is no big deal as the wires stretch just fine.
Now if you are tired of replacing your GPR and want a H.D. alternative may I suggest the Stancor 586-902. This is a large relay and it can truly handle the large AMP draw our trucks call for at start up. Gopher Electronics has these for under $40. I know several folks that live way up North (Alaska, Canada) where they know about serious cold starts and they all swear by the Stancor. I am very happy with mine, I believe I have pics of mine installed in my webshots.

To check Glow Plugs.
Remove the electrical connector on the inboard side of valve cover at the gasket. Press down on the top of the connector latch and pry gently with a screwdriver. Photo of disconnecting one and another Photo of it loose.
There will be 9 pins on the valve cover gasket where you removed the connector. The two pins furthest forward and the two pins furthest back are for your glow plugs.
With your multimeter set to resistance (ohms) and low range (single digits) if not autoranging, clip the negative (black) lead to a good ground point.
Probe each of the 4 outer pins individually with the positive (red) lead, noting the resistance. Good glow plugs will have a resistance between 0.6 and 2 ohms. If you get infinite resistance on any glow plug, that one is either bad or the connector under the valve cover has come loose.
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