Should have looked here sooner - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
Non-Powerstroke General Discussion General Discussion for 6.9L and 7.3L IDI (Non-Powerstroke) Engines

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post #1 of 5 Old 03-31-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Should have looked here sooner

Before i installed autolight glow plugs in my 7.3

I needed a tow rig to haul my rock buggy around and found a good deal on a 94 250 diesel. Friend of a friend thing. Guy said it had new IP, glow plugs, injectors, seals and a rebuilt tranny (auto). None of that was true. Except myabe for the tranny. He had receipts. It was a 3 hour drive to go look at it. I went over it as best i could. Been a mechanic all my life but never on diesel. This was my first.
I told the guy to let me start it for the first time that day when i got there. It was running when i showed up. I asked him 3 times if it had any problems starting cold. He assured me there was no problems. I pointed out a couple bad tie rod ends and a tiny bit of slop in the driver side wheel bearings. He then said it had new brakes, and wheel bearings were just packed.
Then i asked to give it an oil change before i bought it. He thought i was crazy, but i wanted to see what the oil looked like. I offered to pay for the oil wether i bought it or not. All looked good. Not a spec on the magnet. I was confident that i was getting exactly what i thought. Test drive was in town (45mph) tops. Seemed to drive fine. Untill i bought it and hit the freeway. The first time i hit the brakes at 65mph it jerked me to the left. Had at least one really out of balance tire that kept me white knuckled the whole way home. My wife was following me and called to tell me that the brake lights were working intermittenly and no turn signals. I really considered just taking it back, but had allready transferred the title and had insurance on it. I told my self Its just little things, I can fix it.
The next day i go out in the moring and it wont start. Wont even try. Wait to start light just flashes on and off for a second. I knew nothing about how the glow plug system works at this point. But, you see where im going here.
Did a little research and pulled the glow plugs. all bad. One wouldnt come out, so i pulled a little harder. 1/4" of the tip was missing But looking at it it looked melted rather than broken. That ended up being the case. The head did not need to come off.
Went down and got a brand new set of autolite glow plugs and put them back in. Started and ran great. Then i found a thread on the autolite situation. Crap, i didnt want to take them back out and do it again. I figured summer was comming and it is AZ so its going to be plenty hot soon. Its not a daily driver and i just figured I'd replace them before winter. Got about 15 starts out of them before 3 went bad. Hard to start again. So i pulled them out again and 4 of them were starting to swell allready.
Ok i learned my lesson AUTOLITE GLOWPLUGS SUCK.
I went and got good motorcraft plugs and put them in. Then while i was doing the one under the turbo, I was using a screwdriver to push a wire harness out of the way, I slipped and busted a hose barb off of the injector cap. So today i got to learn how to do caps and o-rings.
I've since replaced all the Tie rod ends, did a repair on a window motor, Steering box, and replaced wheel bearings that were not done. The pulling to the left thing i mentioned earlier, That was from the new brake pads that were installed........... Only on the driver side.
The last thing really made me thank the good lord above. The sector shaft on the steering box, just above the pitmann arm was busted. I drove that thing home, 3 hours of freeway like that. I'm very lucky that i didnt kill me or someone else. I'll throw up a pic of the busted steering box.
BTW im new here, I may have found some of the info a little late but im glad its here for us new guys to use.

94 F250 7.3 turbo IDI Tow rig
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-31-2010, 08:14 PM
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Also make sure to check out the GPR (glow plug relay) as that is what usually goes bad when a cold start situation happens.

That steering box is sketchy as hell. Glad you made it home.


Now featuring a 6.4 fat bottum 6 speed
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-31-2010, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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I was just luck to find it. It was only because i was OCD about a little seepage from the seal around that shaft. Otherwise i never would have known.

94 F250 7.3 turbo IDI Tow rig
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-31-2010, 08:21 PM
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Trial by fire brother. You have been officially baptized. Welcome aboard


Mine - 94.5 F250 ZF5: Basics w/a few extras, DIY bumper, steps and exhaust, AFEII, D60, PMF 2.25 RSK, V-codes
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-31-2010, 08:21 PM
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Dang Shaggy1000, that's quite a story. Too bad it's true. I'm impressed with your newly gained knowledge. Hope you got all the gremlins out & enjoy that truck for years to come. Welcome to the ORG!!!

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