Truck dies intermittently - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-04-2013, 02:15 PM Thread Starter Rookie
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Truck dies intermittently

Hello all, new member, first post. I have a 2002 F350 7.3L automatic 4x4. Three times now, the truck has just died for no apparent reason. After it dies, it will not start until it has sat for a while ( each time a couple of hours later). While trying to start it immediately after it dies, it seems like the engine is cranking faster than usual. Each time, I've had to call for a ride and go back later to retrieve the truck. One time I drove about 5 miles after a 10 minute warmup and it happened. One time I drove about 3 miles after a 1 minute warmup. The third time, I drove about 10 miles after a 15 minute warm up. Several other times I drove it up to 20 miles without any issues. I changed the cam position sensor after the second time that it died, but that didn't help.
Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-06-2013, 02:56 AM Thread Starter Rookie
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Not a very active forum, or nobody has a clue?
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-07-2013, 07:34 AM
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It's not very active here... You would have gotten a Much better response in the 7.3 General, or Motor problems below.

I confess, I read this a couple of days ago, got ready to type "Classic CPS" as a reply, then your last sentence took the wind-out-of-my-sails (Sorry)

I would repost this in the proper forum if I were you, but here's how I see it.

This stuff all comes down to, for the most part, between Fuel & Electric. The whole "cooling off" thing is just what the old, black, CPS's needed (you've addressed that). Fuel just isn't that consistently effected by the wait, temp as the oil thins, but this, to me, sounds electrical.

Next on my list would be the IPR. BUT these things are EXPENSIVE! You do not want to just go and Buy one to try. That's why we have scanners, to monitor those sensors and direct us to the problem (Unfortunately, it takes a special scanner to retrieve the codes and the Genreric OBD-II scanners like the Auto Parts stores use don't do us much good).

You can however look for Physical issues with the IPR yourself. You can check the plug and sheet metal nut going to the IPR. That nut can vibrate off and allow the solenoid going over the valve to slide around. The wires going to the IPR can get brittle, crack, and short together. Make sure the plug & wires look in good shape. Try "rapping" on the IPR with a screwdriver handle, sometimes if stuck, you can "free it up".

Next, if you are a mechanical guy, you can actually take it out and take it apart. I have this from a post somewhere;

IPR Disassembly

An IPR is a fairly robust yet intricate item. They are easy to service, but they can be damaged.

An IPR consists of two main parts: a pilot operated valve and an electromagnetic actuator. Each part has been known to give trouble. The electromagnetic actuator is in the end the solenoid was on. The pilot operated valve is the brown end.

To service the unit, first separate the pilot valve from the actuator. To do this, place the IPR in a vice. Then, use a sharp, good quality pipe wrench or similar tool to firmly grab the pilot valve body. (See picture). DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SQUEEZE THE PILOT VALVE BODY TIGHTLY IE IN A VICE OR IT WILL CRUSH AND BE RUINED.

A decent working pipe wrench works well. I've opened many IPRs this way without damaging any. The pilot valve slides on the inside of the body, so if it is crushed, it will stick and not work well.
Loosening the IPR
Once loose, the body will separate easily. However, there is a tiny needle in between the body and the actuator that MUST NOT BE LOST. (See IPR Disassembly Picture for a view of the pin.)
Normally this pin stays in the end of the body because of the oil that is present, but it has been known to come free. DO NOT LOSE IT.

More IPR Disassembly

Once the pilot valve is free of the actuator, disassemble the actuator by loosening the internal screw inside it. (No picture for this, just look inside where the pilot body screwed in.) It takes a big flat screwdriver to remove the internal screw, which is actually a guide for the actuator pin. (See IPR Exploded View Picture).
Once the pin and the internal screw is removed (guide actually), shake the actuator body firmly up and down several times to get the piston out.
IPR Exploded View

The IPR is now fully disassembled. It is possible to disassemble the pilot valve itself, but this takes a press and jigs to do it properly.


Three things commonly go wrong with the IPR:

a) debris in the pilot valve
Using a small screwdriver, gently push in on the end of the pilot valve assembly. You should feel the valve move about 1/8" in and out and return to its seat with a bit of snap. Should the action of the valve be sticky at any point, use a combination of solvent, screwdriver motion and compressed air to clear any debris that may be trapped in its motion.
Operating the IPR

b) debris in the actuator piston area
Thoroughly clean the actuator body, piston, guide and pin. Lubricate them well with a very thin oil or solvent. Assemble the actuator only, but do not tighten. With the solvent as the lubricant, the piston should move freely. I.E. if you shake the actuator assembly, you should hear the piston sliding around freely. This will not happen with motor oil as the lubricant.

c) bad external O Rings.

Examine for wear/damage. There should be a backup ring and an O Ring. The backup ring should be nearest the actuator. Ford sells a rebuild kit consisting of the O Rings and a replacement solenoid nut.


Assemble the actuator end of things. Gently tighten the internal screw (guide). Don't over tighten this. It is difficult to describe how much torque it takes. A little more than the amount for a screw in a computer case.

Place the pilot valve needle in the body. Screw the pilot valve body into the actuator body. Tighten, but don't over do it.


Reverse of removal. Tighten, but don't over tighten the IPR nut.

NOTE: A PSD WILL RUN INCREDIBLY ROUGH IF THE IPR NUT IS LOOSE. The symptoms of this will make you think you've got multiple bad injectors among other things. You might want to check it for tightness after a few hours of use.

BTW: Ford says that IPRs are not serviceable. They don't/won't service them. They rarely give trouble except for debris build up in the valve or actuator.

Anyway, although there are MANY things that might do what you describe, this is my first thought. You could also simply unplug the ICP sensor next time it happens (the PCM will then set a default value for the IPR to run on) as a quick test. BUT, in the end, the right scanner would eliminate a lot of guesswork
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-07-2013, 11:28 AM Thread Starter Rookie
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I changed the IPR last night and ran the truck in the driveway for 1 1/2 hours without any issues. I'm still leery of taking it on the for fear of it leaving me stranded again. After I changed the CPS, I let the truck run for 1 1/2 hours without any issues and few days later it died again.
I'll post a link to this thread in one of the other sections.
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