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PLEASE HELP! 1996 7.3 URGENT PROBLEM!
Ok Ill start off by saying im a full time college student, I have class monday, and work monday. I HAVE TO FIX THIS ASAP. I HAVE NO OTHER VEHICLE AND THE BUSSES DONT RUN AT MIDNIGHT WHEN I GET OUT OF CLASS.
I was driving on the freeway tonight and my red FUEL FILTER warning came on. (fuel filter is only 4 months old, fuel tank is 1/2 full.) I slowed down to 50mph and got off the freeway as soon as I could. There was no shoulder, so I had to drive to the next exit. The truck started losing power pretty soon after the red FUEL FILTER light came on. I got off the freeway after about a mile of 50mph with the light on, and the engine was knocking VERY loud and the truck was limping along. I pulled into a parking lot and the idle was even worse at that point...idling at 400rpm instead of 700-750 like it normally does. I shut off the engine and drained the fuel bowl from the water drain port to hopefully flush some crap out from the fuel bowl. I bumped the starter a few times to hopefully re-fill the fuel bowl before starting the engine again. The FUEL FILTER light was off at this point, and I started the engine. It ran, but was knocking very loud. I let it idle for a minute or two, and tried to drive it real easy and get back on the road so I could get home. After about 20 seconds, it wouldnt even accelerate past 10mph, so I pulled back into the parking lot and it just straight DIED on me. It hasnt started up since it died there. I researched a bit before posting this, and everyone wanted DETAILS to help with issues. This story is as detailed as I can get.
a few months ago, my red WATER IN FUEL light came on. I changed the fuel filter and cleaned the water/fuel sensor. I should have cleaned the fuel bowl, but I didnt have time then and I forgot about it since. Even after I changed the filter and drained the fuel bowl about 10 times in a few days, the WATER IN FUEL light kept coming on when I was on the freeway. I would pull over and drail the bowl and the light would go off. But it would come back on later that day or the next day. After atleast a week of this and me changing the fuel filter that one time, the damn light finally stopped coming on and I havent seen it since. In the last month or two, the FUEL FILTER light has been coming on, rarely though. I would only see it once every 2 weeks at most, and it would stay on for about 5-10 seconds after hard acceleration from a freeway on-ramp into traffic, or making a merge from a stoplight in traffic when Im late to work or school. I would ease off BIG TIME when I saw the light, and it would go off.
Im figuring some (or all?) of my injectors went bad from water in fuel and/or lack of fuel and not changing my oil on time. Im not sure if the previous owner ran synthetic. He probably didnt. I know a whole lot about gasoline engines, but I dont know much at all about diesels. I know how diesels run, but I dont know jacksh*t about their internals or their engine accessories & components. Im assuming Ill be around $2000 in the hole for repair of my injectors and seals and whatnot.
More info on the truck:
1996 2wd 7.3 extra cab long bed, 103,000 miles, auto tranny, its had a 3 position chip and 3" turbo downpipe for the past 3 months. Truck has been well maintained all its life. Im the second owner, first owner was an old guy that kept it in PERFECT condition. Its been due for an oil change for the last few weeks. I run regular pump diesel. I dont drag race the truck or drive it very hard at all. And like i said...I cant get to school or work or anywhere for that matter.
It is extremely important that I figure out whats wrong ASAP and get the truck going.
ANY HELP OR IDEAS OR TIPS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT MORE DETAILS ARE VERY VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.