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Old 03-24-2014, 09:33 AM
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Cranks, no start...

Let me begin by saying that I know it can be next to impossible to accurately "internet diagnose/troubleshoot" an issue, so by no means am I looking for or expecting someone with the wave of a computer mouse to fix my issue. Just looking for some alternative insight, experiences, and ideas.

I'll try to provide all possibly relative information, this may be a bit lengthy.

Within the last 2-4 years the truck has had a new set of Stage 1 single shots installed, new T500 HPOP, new HPOP lines, and a new ICP sensor. Also replaced the oil cooler o-rings about 1.5 months ago.

The truck has been good for the last couple years. Randomly however over the last couple of years the radio would just turn off for no reason. Sometimes it would come back on in a minute or two, sometimes it would take a lot longer, or not until the next day. This only happened maybe 3-4 times over the last 2-3 years, so admittedly I never made it much of a priority to pursue. Now, also possibly relative, from time to time after a hard rain I would notice a "wet" smell inside the cab, occasionally have condensation on the inside of the windshield, and a few times found a little water on the passenger side in the "track" under the rubber door molding. Again, it didn't happen every time it rained, and since there were no other obvious issues, I didn't make it a big priority.

Now, about two weeks ago a buddy of mine needed to borrow the truck to use so that he could tear into his '05 6.0 to do some fixes and mods, so he's been using my truck.

His driveway is at an incline, and he's been backing it in, so the front of the truck has been pointing down hill. I mention this because I think it may be relative.

So, a few days ago he started the truck to move it around in the driveway and it started fine, but then after a minute or two he says the RPM's started dropping and then it shut off. Since then, it won't start. It cranks but won't start. Engine oil level is full. I checked the HPOP oil level through the top plug, it was only about a 1/3 full, so I topped it off, still no start. I believe if the IPR is sticking open a little that could cause the HPOP to drain down a little. I don't think this is a major concern at this point.

First thought was CPS, so I swapped that with a new spare I keep in the truck. No change. I see between 500-750rpm when cranking so I'm pretty sure we can rule out the CPS.

After this, I actually noticed the nut had come off the back of the IPR and the cylinder was almost off. Replaced the nut, tightened back down, no change.

Next thought was maybe the IPR itself was bad. Disconnected the IPR which I understand will cause the truck to default to a 700psi reading. No change, still cranks but no start.

Since this was an easy/quick thing to try, next I swapped the starter and glow plug relays with each other. Now, here's where it gets a little more weird. Both are NAPA GPR 109 or 110 relays. After swapping them, nol crank, no start. So, that makes me think the relay that was installed at the glow plug position, now installed on the passenger side fender/wall was/is bad and also the relay installed now at the glow plug relay position get's REALLY hot, to the point of even starting to smell it a little. Even turning the key off doesn't stop it from heating up. Key off, key completely out the ignition and the truck is acting like the key is on. Relays buzzing, etc. So, I disconnect the batteries, remove both relays. Unfortunately, by this time in the evening NAPA was closed, so I go to Advance Auto and get two new relays. I know, not the best choice/quality part, but I'll address that once the truck is firing again. So, put the two new relays on, reconnect the batteries, same thing, cranks but no start.

Next thought is maybe a bad chip. Truck has a DP Tuner F5 installed. So I pull the chip out the PCM and then try to start. Again, no change. So I put the chip back in.

Admittedly this should have been one of the first steps, but at this point we grab my buddies top of the line Matco scanner and hook it up to the OBD II port. Interestingly it can't establish a connection to the PCM. So, I grab my el cheapo eBay Bluetooth OBD II adapter that I use with the Torque app on my phone that I know for sure has worked on my truck before....same thing, can't establish a connection to the PCM. Now, during all this the WTS (Wait To Start) light has been coming on when turning the key on to the run position as well as the SES (Service Engine Soon) light for a few seconds. As I understand this confirms that the PCM is running through it's "self test" mode, so it's at least getting power. Doesn't mean there still couldn't be something wrong with it since neither scan tool can connect, but it's at least energizing.

Now, this is where we left it Friday night as we ran out of daylight. We had hooked jumper cables up to the battery from another vehicle in between all of these multiple crank attempts, so when we stopped Friday night the batteries still were adequately charged and would turn the truck over fine. I couldn't get over there Saturday to mess with it further, but when my buddy got back home Saturday evening he had to grab something out of the truck and he said the batteries were almost completely dead. The dome light would barely illuminate when he opened the door. So, something has been drawing on the system with the ignition off to almost kill the batteries.

This made me start thinking maybe I should look toward the GEM. Now, there are a few things that make this seem like a likely cause. The water in the cab in the past (but only on the passenger side), the radio randomly turning off a few times, and then that my buddy has been parking the truck with the front down hill which would have allowed any recent rain that was leaking into the cab (either from a bad windshield seal or the roof clearance lights) to run down the A-pillar and drip onto the GEM. But, I've read that the GEM has nothing to do with the starting of the truck, just control of lots of various accessories and systems.

I was able to get back over there for a little while yesterday. Pulled the lower dash panel and there were no visible signs of water or moisture in the area of the fuse block. Checked every fuse, none blown.

Removed the fuel filter, drained the bowl, turning the key on immediately fills it back up, so it's not a fuel delivery problem, at least up to that point.

The truck is high mileage (350k or so) and for the last couple of years when first starting the engine it would take a second or two until the oil pressure would register on the gauge. I've read this isn't uncommon on higher mile trucks, and that although not impossible, it's EXTREMELY rare that a LPOP fail....so I don't think the no start is coming from a lack of oil pressure or anything.

I pulled the driver side fender liner and removed the IDM. This whole general area was damp, and there were signs of water running down the inner fender area here back by the A-pillar as well as on the IDM case. Also, inside the harness plug, and the plug on the IDM there appeared to be a very small amount of moisture.

So my current thought is maybe a bad IDM? I'm going to try to get over there today after work and test the harness from the IDM to the injectors by OHM'ing them out. If all that's good, then to "test" the IDM I'm going to see if I can borrow a known working one from somebody to try. Is there any way to test the IDM off the truck? Can a Ford dealer do this? I have a friend or two at some dealerships.

I'm also going to really spend some time in the fuse block/GEM area inspecting. Maybe even remove both to check for any signs of moisture or corrosion. I know the GEM isn't causing the no start, but it or the fuse block could be causing a voltage issue to the PCM causing the no start and the inability of the scan tools to connect.

I'm also going to try to see if I can pinpoint what the key off draw is. I believe a way to do this is to disconnect grounds on both batteries, and use a volt meter (or test light) between the battery post and the terminal on each one at a time. If I see voltage (or the light come on), start removing one fuse at a time until I see the voltage drop (or light go out) to identify what circuit is causing the key off draw.

Well, I believe that's pretty much all the info I have at this point and gets the situation up to current.

Again, I'm not expecting someone to definitively tell me exactly what my problem is or what certainly is the failed part. Just wanting to get some ideas, thoughts, or suggestions on where to go from here.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and for any responses.

Last edited by Hi-psi; 03-24-2014 at 10:10 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2014, 12:17 PM
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I may have "skimmed" some But here's what strikes me...

It's the ICP you unplug to set a default mode, Not the IPR, you cannot run with the IPR unplugged. You can try unplugging the ICP though. Usually, a sign you're defueled is that during cranking you never see any white "smoke" (fuel Vapor) from the tail pipe. Also, the IPR can be removed, dissembled, and cleaned if you suspect it is the problem.

Try plugging it in for 3hrs, this would eliminate the need for a functioning GP system (assuming it's not REALLY Cold)

Make sure you're cranking at a fast enough speed to satisfy the PCMs requirements to Start. You also need to maintain 10v while starting in a 2000 I think (you could have a battery problem with those symptoms, have them Load Tested at a High Rate, not that 100A draw the Parts Stores use on 4clys).

The easiest IDM check would be to find somebody to do a swap with as a temp test (Any 7.3 will work) but, they Are "supposed" to be able to get wet being where they're located.

I don't like the idea you can't communicate with the PCM

Do you have power in the port? Have you checked All the fuses? I agree, the WTS means the PCM isn't "dead" but, reading it will be worth the trouble in a case like this. Also, look for corrosion in the port, make sure there are no Green pins...

You seem to have covered the easy stuff already, gotta dig further now, nothing will get you there faster than being able to monitor the sensors if you can reestablish communication.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:35 AM
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Yeah, sorry, ICP. The letters/acronyms run together at times.

Got back over there yesterday afternoon with an hour or so of daylight. I removed the GEM and fuse block. Neither were wet, but there is evidence of there at least being water on the outside of the GEM at some point as the label/sticker was stained (see below). I cracked open the GEM and visually inspected the board and there were no obvious signs of water having gotten into the case or any blow resistors or anything on the circuit board.

The fuse block "appeared" perfectly find. No signs whatsoever of any water or history of it. Pulled every single fuse an no signs of any corrosion or anything on any of the terminals.

I didn't have an 1" 1/8th socket or wrench with me, so I couldn't pull the IPR.

I've currently got the batteries out of the truck on a slow charge cycle to make sure they have enough juice when I put it all back together, so I wasn't able to check much else yesterday. Every time I've tried firing it though, it cranks over fine and there is ZERO smoke. So, that makes me think even though I've confirmed I'm getting fuel up to the bowl, the injectors aren't firing. I'm inclined to think it's not an oil/oil pressure issue. I did pull the plug on the top of the of HPOP yesterday and the oil level is exactly where I left it on Sunday after topping it off and trying to start it a couple more times. So, at least for now I don't think the IPR is sticking open allowing the oil pressure to the HPOP to drop, otherwise it would have drained down some in over 24 hours.

So, that leaves electrical. Either the IDM isn't functioning, the harness from the IDM to the injectors has an issue, or still something with the PCM, either caused by a bad PCM itself, or lacking voltage due to an issue with the fuse block or GEM.

A friend of mine at a local Ford dealer says they can test the IDM off the truck, so in the next day or two I'm going to try to get him to test it to eliminate one more thing. If it tests bad, then I'll replace it and see if that fixes everything. If it doesn't, or it tests good, then I'll start trying to diagnose a possible PCM issue.

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Old 03-25-2014, 04:11 AM
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I believe your power to your obd2 port also runs your cigarette lighter. Make sure your getting power to them. If your getting no power it won't talk.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:18 AM
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I've checked every fuse under the dash, and under the hood. All were good. So I think I'm getting power to the OBD II port.

This is further supported that when we had my buddies Matco scanner hooked up we were able to pull some other (non PCM) codes....ABS, airbag, etc. So, the communications to the truck through the port are happening, we just weren't able to actually connect to the PCM for some reason.

Right now I have the batteries out slow charging them, so in the next day or two when I get them back in and get my dealer buddy to test the IDM I may have a better understanding of what to look at next.


Regardless, thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and throwing other ideas out there. It's always good to have fresh eyes and a different perspective.

I'll continue to update with any further details and findings.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:12 AM
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Ok, my dealer buddy came back and said they he was wrong, they are not able to test the IDM off the truck....but he did let me borrow a "test IDM" that they keep in the shop to try on the truck.

So, yesterday evening, put the fuse block and GEM back in the truck, hooked everything up, put the freshly/fully charged batteries back in the truck, and plugged in the known good "test IDM".

Absolutely no different. Truck cranks over fast and fine, no start. ZERO smoke out the exhaust. It's not getting fuel.

I'm running out of ideas at this point...

So, here are the current things to think on...
  • Still can't connect to the PCM. Neither my cheap OBD II Bluetooth adapter with the Torque app on my phone, or my buddies high end Matco scanner will establish a connection to the PCM.
  • The OBD II port IS getting power. It is powering the Bluetooth adapter when connected to it, and also powering the Matco scanner, so the port has power.
  • With the key turned to the "On" position, I do get a WTS light and SES light for a few seconds, which from everything I've read means the PCM itself is getting power/energizing.
  • I have a DP Tuner F5 chip which has the remote switch box with the LED display. This is connected to nothing except the PCM chip. With the key turned to the "On" position, the display on the switch lights up as normal and displays the selected program, so again, that tells me the PCM is getting power.
  • Have tried starting with the chip removed to eliminate it as the problem with no change in the issue.
  • The oil level in the HPOP resevoir is probably 75-80% full. Removed the plug on the top of the HPOP and watched as my buddy cranked the engine over. The oil level did not move or change. Didn't go up or down. Since I can't connect to the PCM, I'm not sure if this is a major concern at the moment, but I've read conflicting things on this. Some say you should get oil squirting out the top port with the plug removed when cranking. So would this mean that the LPOP is not pumping oil up to the HPOP? Or that there is some restriction somewhere? Since the oil level doesn't go down, I don't think it would mean that the IPR is stuck open allowing the oil to bleed back down. Even if the LPOP isn't pumping oil up to the resevoir, I'd think with a full resevoir it would at least try to fire for a second before it depleted the oil.

Again, if I didn't have the issue with not being able to connect to the PCM, I'd be thinking mechanical/oil issue is the cause of the no start. But since I can't connect to the PCM, I'm stuck still trying to determine if it's an electrical (PCM) or mechanical/oil issue that's keeping the injectors from firing.

At this point, I'm open to any thoughts or recommendations.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:37 AM
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I would try to test your PCM at ford since you have a friend there. Also check your pins on it to see if they are all straight and clean.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:02 AM
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If I'm able to get my hands on another PCM to test/try, since I'm essentially overwriting whatever is in the PCM with the chip, does it really matter what PCM I try? Of course, as long as it's from a '99-'03 7.3 Super Duty.

Current PCM is a DPC-422 (NVK4).

I'm pretty sure I have a two headed beast to battle right now....
  1. I'm not getting oil pressure up to the HPOP. I talked to a dealer tech a little bit ago and he confirmed that with the top port out of the HPOP, cranking the engine over, I should be getting a pretty good spurt/stream of oil coming out of it. I'm not. The oil level is not moving. So that tells me I'm not getting oil pressure up to the HPOP. This could be from a number of things....either the LPOP, the pickup tube, or some type of blockage. For the last couple of years on first starts, it would take 2-3 seconds for the oil pressure gauge to come off of zero. I've read some threads where guys had the same thing going on, and even a couple that ended up with a no start issue and changing the LPOP out fixed it. The truck has 350k or so miles on it, so it's not entirely unlikely the LPOP could be so worn it just can't supply enough or any oil pressure up to the HPOP. I've read that you can test for a cracked pickup tube by either parking the truck engine facing down hill, jacking the rear of the truck up high on flat ground, or over filling the engine with oil. This submerges the pickup tube completely so you "bypass" any crack. The last thought on the oil issue... About two months ago I replaced the oil cooler O-rings because they were leaking when the engine was cold. I know there is a pressure regulator built into the oil filter housing that bolts to the rear of the block. It's held in by a retaining clip, but is there a chance something is messed up or got messed up removing/reinstalling this that could be restricting or blocking the oil flow from the bottom of the engine up to the HPOP? Truck ran fine for weeks afterwards, so I'd think if this was the case it would have exhibited immediate problems.
  2. Undeniably I also have a PCM issue since no scan tool can connect to it. The truck had been running fine until it just died and wouldn't refire. Now, to me, this "sounds" like more electrical (PCM) than mechanical (oil pressure) related....for something to just suddenly die and not restart.

Not impossible, but it's just REALLY odd if I happened to develop both an electrical (PCM) and mechanical (oil pressure) issue at the exact same time.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:45 AM
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I may have missed it but i couldnt find anywhere where you said you tested oil pressure or fuel pressure? Not just unplugging the ICP but actually running a gauge to the oil rails since you cant connect to the PCM(which makes me lean towards a bad PCM).

ACTUALLY measuring the pressure of the rails will tell you if the injectors are getting psi. Your HPOP could have crapped and even unplugging the ICP wont let it fire if theres no pressure to fire the injectors.

Then fuel pressure is always something thats good to know but the truck will still fire with little to no fuel pressure but its terrible for the injectors. They will beat themselves to death like that.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:54 AM
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I would get some mechanical gauges on the Lo/Hi pressure oil.

Find out if you have EOP and HPOP pres (sometimes we forget there were test methods before all these electronics )

There's no question that you should have oil flowing out of the HPOP res plug if the motor started. But just cranking over - I donno... The reason it sits at 1" down is because it "overflows" back into the crankcase at that level. It's not sealed-up so, I would think it is possible the LPOP doesn't produce more oil than the overflow can handle at cranking speed.

If you have a way to try another PCM that would be a wonderful option. Even if you got a Totally mismatched one, maybe you could put it in and try to communicate with it and not worry about starting, just confirming a good communication line in the electrical side.

Those two things should answer some important questions
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