Starter problem - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-15-2007, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Starter problem

'03 7.3L
On several occasions in the past two weeks when I've tried to start the truck the starter will spin but does not engage. Cleaned and retightened the battery cables (which seem to be very undersized for such a heavy duty vehicle) and checked battery fluid levels (ok). No load battery voltage is 12.6, which seems to be ok. The truck starts most of the time without any problems.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-16-2007, 12:45 PM
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starter

If the starter is spinning and not turning the engine over it's time for a new starter.Even if it's intermitant,better to replace it now before it strands you.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-16-2007, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Sluggish starter

I decided to start with the cheapest approach first and replaced the batteries since they are about 4-1/2 years old and the engine didn't seem to be cranking over as fast as normal. Just got the batteries in and they made a big difference is cranking speed. Seems to start just as in the good old days. If it continues to geve me problems I will probably have the starter diagnosed and if I change the starter I'll also change the battery cables, which seem to be rather puny for this size engine. Thanks for the help.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-16-2007, 08:24 PM
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LOL...I did the same thing and the new batteries worked for a week then the starter did the same thing. Good luck but be ready for a new starter! I got a life time warrenty and a new starter from AutoZone. I figure with a diesel I'll win the bet.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-19-2007, 07:33 PM
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I am having the same problem. I had the batteries tested they tested good and no didnt have them tested at auto zone had them tested at a battery specialty shop. My starter is failing to catch but only in extremely cold weather. So could the batteries just be too weak for extreme cold starts? Is there some way to test the batteries for cold starting problems? By the time I get to where I can test the batteries they are not cold no more and charged off the alternator. Or how do you test starter? I am trying to diagnose which to buy.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-19-2007, 07:36 PM
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when the starter spins but doesnt engauge...the bendex spring in the starter is broken.....u can get overhaul kits but your better off replacing it with a lifetime warranty starter....
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-19-2007, 08:56 PM
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starter issue

Like the previous post said,if the starter is "spinning" and the engine is not turning...it's the starter ,if it's cranking slow it could be either or both.You would start by testing the batteries invidually.Then do a starter draw test(if you have the equipment) and there ya go you know what's going on.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-20-2007, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for the input. It has been slleting and raining for a week now. So havent looked at how big of a job changing starter is and does anybody know any tricks to make it easier.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-20-2007, 06:59 PM
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starter issue

Disconnect the batteries,grab a 17 mm or 13 mm wrench(different years had different bolts for the starter bolts.A ten mm socket and ratchet and a 14 or 15mm socket for the connections at the starter and start undoing bolts.It's pretty straight forward.good luck.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-21-2007, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I replaced the batteries and have had one instance of the starter just spinning. Suggestions about just going ahead and replacing the starter in order to avoid being stranded are probably good advice. I can get one from Kragen for $139 with lifetime warranty and two year tow service. I replaced the starter on my '90 250 7.3 without too much difficulty. Definitely not worth paying $100 or more in labor to have it changed, if you have the tools and a nice flat, dry place to lay on your back for a half hour or so.
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