A proper operating GP system will start your truck down to 20 below, although plugging it in will make it much easier and you will have heat right away. I would check my GP system now as it is easier to change parts now then when you can't feel your fingers!! A good timer set for three hours before you leave will come in handy, anything more than 3 hours and you are wasting $$, these things draw 1,000 watts = 10 100 watt light bulbs all on at once.
Here is how to check your GP system, if you need a GPR buy the Stancor 586-902 rather than a OEM replacement. PM me with any ?
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.