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First post, First PSD, First NO START!!! Help!
Hello everyone! New to the forums here, but have been reading them for a little while in preparation for my first powerstroke purchase. I'm pretty good mechanically with gas engines, but this is my first diesel. I bought this 1999 F350 powerstroke about a month ago. It has 180,000 miles on it and runs pretty well. Starts right up(i live in san diego, so cold is never a problem), seems to have good power, and idles smoothly.
All was well until a couple of nights ago when I was driving home from work. I was driving normally, engine was warmed up, and I came to a stop light. I noticed the engine started sputtering and bucking as if I was running out of gas. It was progressively getting worse as I was waiting for the light to turn green. I slowly accelerated away from the light(engine was down on power and still sputtering), and the engine just died on me. I coasted to the side of the road and tried to re-start the engine. Cranks well, engine turns over just fine, truck fires up but is violently bucking and stuttering. I shut the engine off, wait a minute, cycle the key several times to prime the fuel system, and try again. The engine starts but sounds like it is only running on half of it's cylinders. It seems to fire 2 or 3 cylinders and then waits 1/4 of a second and then fires the cylinders again. It ran like this for about 10 seconds and then died. I looked under the hood, wiggling all electrical connections, and checking all fuses(under dash too). I check fuel shut-off valve inside the cab, and it's good. Unscrew fuel filter and the fuel bowl is full of fuel. I know the diesel is good because I've been driving on the same tank for two weeks. Fuel filter is good, I just changed it last week along with top end and bottom end oil, air filter. Put diesel additive in the tank, and engine treatment in the crankcase. It might be useful to note that I noticed a good amount of sediment in the bottom of the fuel filter bowl, probably rust due to previous owner not draining the water with that valve on the back. I also can hear the fuel pump on the frame rail whining when I key the ignition on, so I know it is working.
So..........I tow it to my house and check the forums here for ideas. I hear alot of people with my symptoms have had a problem with their UVCH coming loose. I am checking that first. Checked under the drivers side valve cover first, connector was tight, and looked good. I will check the passenger side tomorrow. Can anyone suggest a proper course of action for isolating my problem? I'm just taking stabs at things right now, and could use some help. I'm reading alot about IPRs, IPCs, CPSs, etc. You guys love your acronyms!! Unfortunately, I don't have a solid grasp on what any of these sensors/regulators do, or how to check them.
P.S.: The check engine light is NOT on. I don't have access to a code reader either(unless someone in san diego wants to make a new friend!)...so I gotta diagnose this thing without the aid of computer diagnostics.