6.0L No Start Mystery
Hi, I have a real head scratcher with a 2004 F350 6.0L crank no start. About 1 week before any trouble, I replaced the EGR Valve with a cheap new one off ebay. Code went away and truck ran fine. My dad plowed with it for a storm, and truck ran well. After that, he took it on about a 70 mile drive, and experienced low power, similar to a clogged fuel filter. The trip ended with the truck driving poorly, eventually only going 5 mph and dying.
We had the truck towed to our garage, and after a lot of cranking, I got the truck starting but running rough. Once started, pressing the accelerator gave no response to the motor.
The truck has 220,000 miles on it. We just put a rebuilt transmission in it. The motor was replaced at 130,000 miles with an engine that had 80,000 miles on it, so this motor has about 170,000 miles on it. The motor was replaced by someone who wasn’t very professional, but it did work very well for almost 90,000 miles.
We had the truck towed to a shop that specialized in late model Ford Diesels. They have the IDS software. From here in anything in “quotes” is from the mechanic’s bill.
“1 Hour Labor, scan for codes, perform self tests, observe data from pcm. Observations: FICM output voltage 51.5V, Fuel pressure at idle 50 psi, codes for low icp indicating a bad icp sensor and/or low high pressure oil. Starter will not engage consistently interfering with further testing. Needs to be replaced before we can continue” They replaced the starter and said flexplate teeth were rounded, but the starter catches and said that was fine.
“.5 Hrs labor: Set up Test Gauge, run engine and test for proper low psi oil (ok at 80 psi)”
“4.5 Hours labor: Disassemble upper engine bay components and remove turbocharger, clean old oil residue from engine valley, set up ids for ipr command, set up air test equipment for HPO system leak test, air test the HPO System (IPR leaking, Remove ipr valve and inspect, remove icp plug and inspect, remove and replace icp sensor, inspect icp connector for updated part, replace ipr valve, pressure test HPO system again after new ipr, reinstall turbocharger along with new oil drain tube and proper hardware, apply sleeve retainer to map sensor nipple and reinstall into manifold reassemble upper engine bay components as needed, start engine and test, set up coolant system pressure gauge and monitor coolant system pressure while cranking.
IPR Valve would not close completely and was causing a hpo system leak, icp sensor was damaged and leaking oil. icp connector was already upgraded to newer style, lots of carbon tracking indicating up-pipe exhaust leaks, this may be a previous problem that has already been corrected? Most exhaust and turbo charger clamps and v bands are installed backwards or incorrect requiring extra time to remove. Turbocharger was not properly secured to the engine, incorrect hardware install, no pedestal spacers present, incorrect o-ring on the oil drain tube, ect, ect. Oil fill tube had no o-ring and had silicone in the threads that can fall down into the cylinder head and get into the oil drains and oiling system. MAP sensor brass nipple was not secure into intake manifold allowing an air leak. Coolant bottle nipple partially broken off, firewall insulation is torn and all folded back contacting the turbo charger. Coolant hose blew off due to excessive coolant system pressure while cranking engine. Coolant system created 13psi while just cranking engine over. Most likely caused by severely blown head gasket, further testing required to confirm. Engine still does not run properly after ipr and icp replacement. Possible fuel restriction or bad hpop.”
“3 hours Labor: Remove and inspect upper fuel filter, remove fuel feed banjo bolts from right cylinder heads for inspection, clean and blow out debris from fuel bowl, remove and replace broken fuel filter stand tube, reinstall fuel feed lines to cylinder heads with new banjo bolts / check valves / and gaskets, remove lower fuel filter and inspect, replace fuel filter cap, check and tighten fuel drain valve, purge old fuel from entire system from engine back to pump, set up fuel line from pump to new fuel supply, cycle fuel pump to run fuel up to fuel bowl, prime fuel system, attempt engine start and idle on new fuel, draw fuel sample from tank for testing.
Observations: Upper fuel filter is twisted but not too dirty. Fuel filter stand pipe was broken and was allowing unfiltered fuel to the injectors. Small plastic pieces of the broken standpipe found in both fuel feed lines at the banjo fittings. Fuel drain valve was not tight possibly allowing air into the system. Engine still not running correctly. Most likely needs a HPOP. Probably not worth doing due to suspected head gasket problem.
.5 Hrs labor: set up mechanical gague on HPO system to test pump pressure at startup and confirm icp readings, cycle engine on starter and record hpo system pressure at crank, remove test gage and reinstall icp sensor, confirm ficm sync again, re-program ficm with current calibration.
Observations: HPO system pressure 650 - 700 psi during engine crank. System requires 510 psi for engine start. Observed gauge pressure matched icp sensor data. Fuel tests ok.
2 Hrs labor: Remove and replace ficm with test ficm, attempt start while monitoring data, crank engine repeatedly attempting to start, inspect wiring harness between crank sensor and pcm / pcm and ficm, set truck up on lift, remove and inspect crank sensor, inspect crank trigger, install new crank sensor, attempt start repeatedly while monitoring data, remove and inspect cam sensor, install used cam sensor for testing, attempt start while monitoring data, move truck from lift, remove test cam sensor and reinstall original cam sensor, reassemble engine parts as needed for customer pick up.
Observations: No codes set while cranking with old ficm. Crank synchronization codes set while cranking with stock ford test ficm. Intermittent “NO” sync observed on laptop data while cranking along with drop to 84 rpm sensor data on the laptop while the no sync occurred. Found intake hold down stud protruding through one wiring harness but no chafed wires are evident. Communication and power wires in harness from sensor to pcm and pcm to ficm all test ok. Crank sensor was broken and glued in with gray silicone. Crank trigger is intact with no broken welds Cam sensor was installed crooked and had gray silicone indicating a possible air gap problem. No change with no start condition with new crank sensor and test cam sensor installed. Next step would be to perform cranking compression test to determine relative compression on both banks and possibly install a test pcm to rule that out depending on results of compression test.
2 HRS labor: Disconnect and remove left bank glow plug harness, remove left bank glow plugs and perform cranking compression test, disassemble and remove valve cover, hpo rail, etc to access injectors, remove and inspect left bank injectors.
Observations: Cyl 2 400 psi, cyl 400 psi, cyl 6 350 psi, cyl 8 340 psi. Head gasket most likely blown between cyl 6 & 8 as well into water passage. Fuel inlet screens on all left bank injectors are discolored but not clogged. Next step would be to send injectors out for testing.”
At this point, the mechanic said regardless of what any other test would show, a head gasket job would be needed. To do it properly, it would be about $8,000, including a new oil cooler, bypass filter, ect, ect ect. At this point we figured further diagnosis would be fruitless. However, he noted that he has never seen a blown head gasket so bad that it would cause a no start.
We are left to assume the no start is from the following:
1) All or enough of the injectors uniformly failed due to a(poor fuel (from a tank at our garage) b (there was never seize on the lower fuel filter housing threads that could have gotten into the fuel) and/or c (failed fuel filters from less than professional service)
2) Since we did not check the odd cylinders for compression, there could be one there so bad that it would cause a not start.
3) A combination of 1 & 2
4) A wire harness issue that did not show up to IDS
5) The mechanic never tested for the sync of the crankshaft before this truck and didn’t know if the out of sync was a problem. Maybe this has to do with the no start?
Since the injectors would have to be put back in, I had him put in 4 from our previous engine just to give it a shot and no change. (Those 4 injectors could have very well been bad. They looked better than the ones that were pulled, but I know that doesn't mean anything)
“ 2 Hrs Labor: clean all parts as needed, install new o-rings onto customer supplied injectors, install customer supplied injectors, reassemble engine as needed to test for start, crank engine and attempt start, set up battery charger, monitor hpo system pressure to determine when enough air had exited the system for starting to occur, continue cranking and attempt to start, remove test FICM.
Observations: Cranked engine until 700 PSI HPO psi was achieved for a considerable amount of time to purge air from hpo system and still no start. Engine cranking returned to slow initial crank followed by fast crank indicating system is attempting to fuel. Recommended not continuing with any further work unless the engine is going o be overhauled to fix the head gasket problem”
Total cost was $2514 and still no definite reason while
Any clue what else it could be?
On Monday, I will try to crank the motor while spraying diesel mist into the turbo to try and rule out a huge compression leak.
If I can’t get it to start, I will check compression on the odd cylinders.
$100 to anyone who correctly diagnoses the problem and helps me get it running. I can’t get anymore info from the IDS, but I do have a code scanner with live data.