Hard Cold Start; NOT GLOW PLUGS!!! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:15 PM
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Hard Cold Start; NOT GLOW PLUGS!!!

I'm new to this forum, but after sifting through all the forums I could, I still can't find a solution to my problem.
I have a '99 F350, it won't start unless I have it plugged in, even when it's 60 degrees out. I have replaced the glowplugs (motorcraft), Glow Plug Relay, Under Valve Cover Harness (both sides), injector O-rings, fuel filter, coolant, oil, and cleaned the IPR. Yes, the Glow Plug Relay is working and I've checked the resistance on all the NEW plugs, they all test fine. If the truck sits for a while but doesn't completely cool off, it will start but run rough; If I put the accelerator down to the floor it will slowly build RPM(over 10-15 sec) then around 2,500-3,000 RPM it feels like it 'blows something out' and will run fine after that.
Sometimes it will start, run really rough, then die. If that happens and I try to restart it right away, it will do a little 'skipping-almost-start, but as soon as I let off the starter it just dies.
Even when it's plugged in and starts ok, it doesn't just fire right up. I will crank it for a second or two then it will skip a little and gradually start up.
I guess I should also mention that there is virtually no smoke during startup. No white, black, blue or any other color. There might be minimal smoke, but hardly anything
I Have Auto Enginuity and have monitored the ICP and IPR Duty cycle, both seem ok; the ICP starts at 507 and then builds to about 2300 PSI over the course of a couple of seconds of cranking. the IPR duty cycle starts just under 15 then goes up to a high of about 43. I'm no expert, but those numbers seem to be where they should.
I did an injector buzz test (engine 'cold' but plugged in) 1,2,3,6 buzzed nice and loud; 4,5,7,8 buzzed not quite as loud.
I know that with it starting when it's plugged in really points to a glow plug issue, but I can reasonably assure you that it's NOT the glow plug system. The problem is: I can't think of what else would be temperature related.
I'm completely stumped on this and hate to just throw money and parts that aren't needed at my truck. Any help would be really appreciated!
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:05 PM
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How many miles on the truck?
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:35 PM
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320,000. The problem is I bought this truck a couple months ago and have NO idea what maintenance has been done on it or what has been replaced by previous owners.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:43 PM
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I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but when I drove home tonight I checked the pulse width; it stayed around .2ms for the most part but didn't get above .3ms even at Wide Open Throttle. The truck ran fine, but I thought Pulse Width was supposed to be at 1-6 ms while driving...
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:43 PM
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Have you got fuel pressure? is your fuel pump activating with key on?
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:11 PM
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fuel pressure at the bowl? I don't have a gauge to check that right now, but if the fuel pump wasn't activating, or if I didn't have fuel pressure, the truck wouldn't run, would it?
Once I get it started it runs fine, and if it's plugged in it starts fairly well. I'll try to get a gauge to check the fuel pressure at the bowl, I just don't see how the truck would run if that was an issue...
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:28 PM
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Doesn't the PCM use oil temp and air intake temp during glow plug activation or is that only to activate the EBPV?
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:32 PM
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Glow plugs ARE coming on. I've checked multiple times. I know Glow Plugs are the most common culprit, but believe me: they're working
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:43 PM
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I even read that they were working.... Got any blowby? FPR could worn out letting fuel by when cranking? Just throwing ideas out there

Last edited by strokin-7.3; 04-08-2014 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:16 PM
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I'm trying to check the fuel pressure right now, but the fuel pressure tester I borrowed from O'Reilly's doesn't seem to have the right adapter... I'll check blowby after I get the fuel pressure tested (I'm pretty sure there's no blow by, but I'll double check).
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hard start, long crank, no smoke, no start cold

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