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Old 01-27-2014, 10:00 AM
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2003 starting problem

I know that tons of people probably aren't reading this because it looks the same as everyone else' cold start thread but I think mines different.

Its a 2003 7.3 liter with 170,000 miles. Yesterday it was around 25F out and I wanted to start and move it. it would crank over pretty much doing nothing. I plugged in the heater and gave it a while. After some time it cranked and would give me a couple cylinders firing off per revolution but not enough to start. I kept coming back to it about every 20 minutes trying it again and things got better as time went on and finally I was able to get it started.

I put a current meter on the glow plug wires and turned it to run. The current spiked up to about 160 amps and slowly fell as the plugs warmed up. The relay is definitely working and at least most of the GPs must be. I had previously ohmed them all out and they were consistent. I don't remember the exact number right now. This truck has consistently been giving me cold start problems since I got it. Some time on the heater will get it going.

After the truck finally starts it most of the time will not even rev up and for sure wont move itself until it warms up for a while. This problem shouldn't be related to glow plugs. It leaves me wondering if the culprit is likely to be injectors or HPOP. Even after warmed up it really doesn't have much power and doesn't give you a whole lot until you have it really reved up and its like it does try to take of right as you run out of room to rev it. Then I shift to the next gear and go back to having no power. I have suspicions of a weak HPOP based on torque app readings I have but they don't seem conclusive. The IPR isn't shooting way up on hard pulls. There is a reman. tag on the HPOP already but I don't know how old it is.

Any suggestions are appreciated. This truck does not have a chip or anything yet.
We used to have a 7.3 E series that acted the same way but worse and we just thought it was worn out from 325K miles of stop and go being a city bus. I just have a hard time believing this one is worn out at 170K. compression test showed consistent on the cylinders around 350 psi but that was with a rigged up harbor freight compression tester and based on the long whip and no check valve directly at cylinder it should have read a little low. So I don't think compression is the problem but could be wrong. The engine is really clean inside.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:33 AM
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Try some 5W40 oil. My truck is temperamental in the cold as well. It just doesn't stay cold enough long enough in this area for me to really be concerned with an oil change. But, many another owner runs 5W40 in the winter to alleviate cold start issues.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:45 AM
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It seems like there has to actually be something wrong though. I have a 2000 truck as well with 280k on it running the same 15w-40 that starts up at 0 with no problem and is only slightly sluggish until it's been running a few minutes. The other one won't even move itself until it's been running for a few minutes and even then it's a struggle. The bus wouldn't move itself either until it had been running 10 minutes or more.

I don't want to discount that the lighter weight oil will help but I would still like to find the root cause of the problems. Whether it's injectors or HPOP or whatever.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:49 AM
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The 5w40 oil really does help.

It could be injectors or HPOP post up your numbers you are getting from torque app, might want to also check the ICP sensor for oil.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:50 AM
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Also any smoke when it is giving you problems, might look for someone close by that can run a CCT for you to help identify if any injectors are causing problems. Your compression numbers are right with mine and I have no problem starting it at below zero.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:25 AM
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I'm not sure if yours is acting like mine, but it sounds somewhat close. I did a youtube video of it. Part 3 rough start - YouTube

My problem is a injector cup that was cracked and ended up leaking coolant back into the fuel rail/bowl. Even though many people will tell you that it's not possible... it is. The way I solved it (until changing out my cups this weekend and hopefully it's fixed), was to take a 2L coke bottle and cut a 2ft gas line and put it on the drain of the fuel bowl. Then I drained the fuel each morning before starting. The fuel will float and so you can pour pretty much all the fuel back into your tank so it's not like it's being wasted. This worked and I didn't experience another 30 minute start again for the 3-4 weeks I did it.

Got any diesel in your degas bottle? That's the normal tell of the cups going bad, but I had both. And one injector that failed the buzz test too.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:55 AM
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I pulled the ICP sensor from a truck I was parting out because when I got the truck it was having even bigger problems. The sensor solved the big issues (unless this one is related).

I will get some numbers from torque the next time I run the truck. I am guessing if I do a screen shot that the important gauges would be RPM, ICP, HPOP pressure, throttle position and boost. I don't think it boosts as well as it should which leads me to believe it may not be getting fuel how it should leading back to injectors or HPOP.

It does look like at one time it had oil or something aside from coolant in the degas bottle but it doesn't seem to now. The bottle is just very stained.

CCT test after I found the ICP sensor problem showed 3 and 8 being out of range but it seems like people have related that to an insignificant crankshaft position sensor glitch. It buzz tested ok.

Thanks for the feedback so far.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:27 PM
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If torque will pull it include the IPR duty cycle that with ICP and the others can help identify HPOP/IPR issues.

So is it now starting with the other ICP, or what was the big issues you are talking about?

Yeah #3 and #8 commonly show up as a fault with the updated cps.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:42 AM
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The original problem is described in this thread
2003 7.3 SES on start then lopes after

The ICP sensor took care of those problems and it now has no check engine light and in warmer weather starts up and runs fine. Still a bit weak on power and not building boost well.

I meant to say IPR instead of ICP in my last post. I plan to have that when I do run it.

Does anyone know a reason that the 3 & 8 fault shows up as a result of the position sensor. The sensors are pretty basic and, unless I'm incorrect, I didn't think there was any adjustability to them.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:58 AM
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It might be your injectors getting wore, the cold really impacts the oil side of things.

One thing you can do if not already is switch to the 5w40 for the winter to see if that helps. Im sure you already checked it based upon your other thread but is the tin nut on the IPR or has it fallen off?

As for the CPS not really sure other than minor differences in length and size but I do recall someone doing some testing that said the magnetic properties of each were different (I think with each the magnet pulled it to a slightly different center).
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