water in fuel? need opinions - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-05-2014, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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water in fuel? need opinions

My 02 7.3 gave me my first sample of a diesel hissy fit today. All winter long no problems starting in below freezing new england weather( except when I forgot to plug it in.) Today it was a solid 50 or so degrees and I had a no start. Cycled the glow plugs and cranked it a few times with nothing but a thick cloud of white smoke. 3rd crank attempt the water in fuel light came on. I cracked the fuel bowl drain for a few seconds and it fired immediately. After sitting for 5 or so hours the truck did the same thing except no water in fuel light. I cracked the valve for a few seconds and tried cranking again. White smoke and no start. Cranked again and fired right away. This is lowest I've allowed my fuel level to get, quarter tank. But I have the 38 gallon tank, meaning 1/4 tank is 9 gallons or so. Do I need to keep it above a 1/4? Or does this sound like a different issue? 150k on the motor
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-06-2014, 05:51 AM
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First, at 50 degrees you shouldn't need glow plugs to start. But this "cycling" thing... You know the WTS light is No indication of GP function, so no need of the cycle. Turn the key to ON, and leave it there and the plugs will be on for as long as needed (up to 2mins in Real Cold). If you've been plugging it in all Winter, your GP system isn't much needed either.

Check it out here -> Troubleshooting GPR & GP's

Next, Anytime you get a WIF indicator you should collect the discharge and look at it to confirm you actually have Water (Look above the pass ft tire, you'll see a 3/8" metal tube, against the motor that ends there, it's the drain for the bowl (yellow lever you slide to the side). Get a cup, open the lever, drain the fuel bowl)

Finally, YES the "1/4 tank" is a significant place for running dry. The pick-up, in the tank, has been know to crack or even fall off and limit you from going any farther down. I would start here. Go pour at least 5gal in the tank (10 is better) and see if this solves your problem...

The white "smoke" you see is Fuel so, it's likely you're getting that to the injectors. Have you seen an SES light at all?
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-06-2014, 07:29 AM
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probably a HUTCH mod, is in order

99.5 x-cab 7.3l, 6spd, 161k miles.....
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-06-2014, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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OK, yea the cycling thing was something I picked up from work, my superiors always told me to restart the glow plug function whenever the light went out on skidsteers loaders etc.. And no ive never had an ses light during the the month I've owned the truck.
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