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Old 12-01-2009, 01:01 PM
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7.3 Tough Starts

Hey everybody,

I have been having an issue with my truck and need some help. When I try to start my truck after it is somewhat cold and maybe wet, my truck turns over, but sputters. Then I turn the key off and try to start it again and all of my dash lights including the WTS light all flash and my dash makes a clicking sound. I load checked both of my batteries and they tested good, so did my alternator, and my starter has never failed. I get over 100 RPM when it cranks and when it finally decides to start after playing with the ignition for a little bit I get a large cloud of white smoke, so I am sure I have fuel. I am kinda out of things that I know how to check, so I am looking for help. Please feel free to post anything that would help, I am kinda at a lost cause and after speaking to a ford service tech last night, I would rather talk to a wall. I appreciate all of you help and if you need more information please let me know. Thank you.

Joe
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:46 AM
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Did you disconnect the batteries before load testing them? Have you checked your glow plugs, or GP relay?
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:20 PM
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Sounds like glow plug issues. My truck been having those same problems. I just put in a new alternator and had my batteries checked. I killed them this morning trying to get it started.

Check the glow plug relay. when you turn the key and the WTS light comes on take a voltmeter and see if both posts on the gp relay are getting voltage. They should stay on for about 8 seconds depending on how cold it is.

White smoke is unburnt fuel. if you smell it it'll be like sniffing a diesel tank instead of an exhaust pipe.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:33 PM
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I have a 99' 7.3 that's I would say has been "Cranking" hard, just doesn't turn over fast enough. New batteries recently, had starter rebuilt and just knew that would fix it, finally, today I replaced the complete positive battery harness because I had heard they can corrode in that big junction on the Passenger side battery and you can't tell it. Still, NO GOOD! With the weather cooling off now there is no hope for it to start in the mornings unless it's plugged in.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:08 AM
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for all of your help. I recently had to call AAA and had then test my batteries and I had a bad cell in one of them. I was then rapped by AAA to purchase a new battery and the truck started right up. Then he checked my alternator for me and reported that I was putting out 0V, which was every interesting to me as I am an engineer. So, after he left, I rechecked my alternator with a DMM and received 14.3V. So, what I have learned from this experience is that don't trust Walmart as they will test your two batteries connected together and of course they will pass as one battery and make sure you get the diesel guy at your local ford dealership or the rest of the service people will have no idea what to do, and third don't let AAA test your alternator because they do not know how to test you alternator on a two battery truck. I hope that this helps everyone and that I will be able to learn from my mistakes and not be so naive.

OK, now that I have the truck running with a decent battery and a AAA battery, I want to replace the other decent battery. Both of my batteries were Duralast Gold series batteries, and I never had a problem with them until now. So what I am asking is what are your recommendation on batteries. Should I go with a starting battery or a deep cycle battery? What CCA should I be looking for, I know that I need over 750? Can a mix a starting battery and a deep cycle battery or is that a no no? I do live in the cold and spend much time here is the wintry hell of the north and I need my truck to start up easily at negative temperatures without being plugged in.

Thank you again for all of you help and I hope that everyone else's trucks are running great. Also I hope that I did not disrespect anyone with my early comments, but I have only seemed to be subjected to idiots through this entire ordeal and I could have easily replaced my battery weeks ago when it was tested for the first time for the winter and this would have never happened.

Thanks again for everything and I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Joe
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