1996 7.3 URGENT PROBLEM! FUEL FILTER LIGHT CAME ON, TRUCK DIED - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:21 AM
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Exclamation 1996 7.3 URGENT PROBLEM! FUEL FILTER LIGHT CAME ON, TRUCK DIED

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 looked under the truck, and there was engine oil dripping on the ground and some oil on my front suspension parts. Atleast, it looked like engine oil, its dark outside and I havent had a chance to check it out yet. I researched a bit before posting this, and everyone wanted DETAILS to help with issues. This story is as detailed as I can get.

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.
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:40 AM
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more details......
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.

I guess I had this issue coming............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. In the morning, Ill be tracing the oil I saw on my suspension and the ground. If some or all of my injectors went out, would that cause an external oil leak?
IT NEVER LEAKED A DROP BEFORE.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:48 AM
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OK...I had another realization.....when the tow truck driver showed up, I had to crank the steering wheel back and fourth a few times getting my truck onto the flatbed tow truck because I had to park at a weird angle when I coasted into the lot with my truck dead. Im thinking maybe when I had to crank the steering with the engine off, it forced against the hydraulics and pushed power steering fluid out of the resivoir or something. in the morning ill check the oil that leaked out and smell it and see what it is

Last edited by ridehonda89; 03-30-2013 at 02:49 AM. Reason: type o
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:41 PM
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the oil was just from my power steering overflowing when i had to crank the steering wheel back and fourth getting on the flatbed
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:39 PM
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check the fuel heater element in the bottom of the filter housing
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:09 PM
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BUMP on this thread.

I definitely feel your pain man! I'm in the same boat. Recently this happened to me too. Not trying to jack your thread though. Just trying to bring more attention to this problem.

About a month ago, I ran one of my tanks pretty low, and the engine had symptoms just like yours. However, as soon as I stopped and pulled the engine into neutral, it died. So, I replaced the fuel filter and filled the tank with diesel after letter her cool down for about 45 minutes, and then she started back up.

No problems for about 3 weeks. Now about a week ago, I was running the truck on a hot day, and I parked her after driving pretty hard down the freeway. After about 5 minutes of being parked, she did not start up. Tried to read some forums for about 30 minutes, then she started up.

Replaced the fuel filter, IPR, filled up the tank, cleaned out the fuel bowl. No problems for a week.

Yesterday, came to a stop sign after the truck was running for 30 minutes or more. Started showing the same symptoms, loosing power, loud knocking, could not accelerate, and then died as soon as I pulled over. Waited about 2 hours, started back up. Driving down the highway, symptoms came back up. Losing power, knocking, but did not die. Then symptoms just disappear. About 5 miles down the highway again, symptoms come back up, losing power, knocking, this time cannot even accelerate. So, I pull over, and the second I pull over, she dies.

I get towed home. I read on the forums that sometimes this is caused by the fuel pump. I replace the fuel pump, clean out the fuel bowl, clean the screen on the fuel orifice, clean the fuel pressure regulator screen, everything I can clean gets cleaned.

I'm running the truck down the highway again today on a fresh tank of diesel, and she dies AGAIN. SAME EFFING SYMPTOMS.

I let her COOL THE FUc off, and she starts up. However, this time, it took about 3 minutes to start up. She was stuttering as if there was air in the lines. Once started up, drove her home, also testing her on the highway with WOT runs to get the temps up as high as possible hoping to agitate the issue. Got home no problem.

....Now I'm waiting for her to die again....

So, any help would be greatly appreciated!!

I've got a 6-pos chip, 4" exhaust, tymar intake, 1.0 AR housing, wicked wheel turbo compressor, and gauges.

Last edited by gotsomegetsome; 03-31-2013 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highwaywrench View Post
check the fuel heater element in the bottom of the filter housing
Wouldn't that just cause a fuse 22 blowout? The engine would not be able to start again after fuse 22 is blown.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:19 PM
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how about not looking at it. can't possibly be the problem.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:21 PM
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ridehonda...

Have you tried changing your oil? These trucks depend on oil badly. I just changed my oil today since I suspected it might maybe be caused by this. When I did my fuel pump, I did not change the oil, and I realized that if diesel got into the engine, the oil would have been really thin. I had about an extra 2 gallons of oil in the crankcase which was probably all diesel.

Truck ran fine today, but i will post more this week.
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