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I want to start this off with this is the first diesel I have owned, it is a 95 F-250 4x4 I bought it from the original owner, fresh oil change 1000 miles ago, new batteries. I got off work last night and the pickup wouldn't start. Lights, heat, radio all worked but when I turned the key the engine wouldn't turn over. Got a ride from a friend back to the parking lot this morning and it starts up just fine, back and forth to around the farm all day no problem today. It was in the mid 30's when this happened and it is only getting colder, I live in north eastern Nebraska. Does anyone know what my issue may be or what might be causing this? Any help is appreciated thanks.
 

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Generally speaking for the 7.3l the glow plug system and or injectors are the cause of slow/hard starting in winter.

do you have the ability to plug the trucks block heater in for couple hours before leaving?

how many miles are on the truck? Is say 250k plus good chance they are still working just fine in most cases but will has much harder starts in cold

do you know if/when the glow plug relay, glow plugs or under the valve cover harness has/was replaced? If not use FORD OEM MOTORCRAFT only esp for those parts and you will have a dramatically better cold start vehicle assuming there are no other issues.

Do you have access to a Buddy or equipment to monitor some sensors for a true diagnostics before dumping parts/money?
 

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If you put in new batteries go back and double check the connections. They must be PERFECTLY clean and tight.

Working glow plugs and glow plug relay with a good strong starter and batteries will start it right up in freezing weather. Key word "good" for all of those.

Batteries are only as good as the health of the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Generally speaking for the 7.3l the glow plug system and or injectors are the cause of slow/hard starting in winter.

do you have the ability to plug the trucks block heater in for couple hours before leaving?

how many miles are on the truck? Is say 250k plus good chance they are still working just fine in most cases but will has much harder starts in cold

do you know if/when the glow plug relay, glow plugs or under the valve cover harness has/was replaced? If not use FORD OEM MOTORCRAFT only esp for those parts and you will have a dramatically better cold start vehicle assuming there are no other issues.

Do you have access to a Buddy or equipment to monitor some sensors for a true diagnostics before dumping parts/money?
The pickup has 211k on it

I can't plug it in, it does not has a block heater as far as I can tell (I've searched and searched but can't find a cable that would be used to plug it in anywhere)

No idea if the glow plug relay, glow plugs or valve cover harness was replaced

I may have access to something for diagnostics a family member has an 02 7.3, any particular brand or equipment I should purchase if they have nothing?
 

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If the engine wouldn't turn over (spin), check the battery cables and connections (all ends, battery and opposite ends like block, starter, etc). Make sure the batteries are rated at least 850 CCA. Starters can and do slow down over the years, so be aware of that. Below are some tests that you do fairly easily to check the glowplugs and relay. The block heater will be in the oil cooler/filter header adapter and you should see a cable connected to it. It usually ends up tucked somewhere under the driver's side battery tray. The block heater was a "delete" option, so most trucks should have it.

For checking the injector/glowplug wiring: From each valvecover gasket connection's outermost pins (2 per connector) to ground you should get 0.1 to 2 ohms (indicates good plug and wiring). From each valvecover gasket connection's center pin to each immediately adjacent pin, you should get around 3 ohms (indicates good injector solenoid and wiring). You should not get any continuity from any of the outer pins to the 3 inner pins (indicates no shorts between injector and glowplug wiring). You should also get 0 to 1 ohms from each of the external harness connectors outer pins back to the Glowplug Relay's large terminal on the GP side (indicates good wiring from external connections back to the relay).

To check the glowplug relay (GPR), measure the voltage drop across the GPR's large terminals. While the GPR is active (up to 1.5 to 2 minutes after the key is turned to Wait-to-Start) put your meter leads on the large terminals (one lead on one large terminal and the other lead on the other large terminal). This measures how much voltage is being "lost" across the relay. A reading of 0.3V or more indicates a bad relay. Also, check the relay’s control wires (smaller wires) disconnected from the relay for battery voltage at the Red/Light Green striped wire and ground at the Purple/Orange striped wire (check both when the key is turned to Wait-to-Start).

Cheers!
 

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just a thought..i always have a story to tell so here it goes. my truck is a 95 crew cab long bed 350. truck needed tons of work to make it road worthy and so that i had started doing and cattn around town with the wife n kids. kids love it lol. we pulled up to restaraunt and went in had a good time and when we came out( mind you i locked the doors with the button inside) i unlocked the door with my key jumped in and went turn start it..got nothing, everything worked like normal except that. i noticed at times i wouldnt get the driver door shut all the way and if i locked it but didnt shut it right it would do this upon opening the door. to remedy this i closed the door, locked the door with the key, and then unlocked with a key a few times. truck would start everytime this would happen. i eventually pulled my lock actuators out and put new in. guessin i had some corrosion on an actuator not closing the circuit. also had the same instance where i pulled the column down for a repair and when i put it back, it wasnt quite where it used to be and it would catch a piece of plastic on the inside of the dash from the shifter bottoming out on it, once in a while it wouldnt be fully in the park position and would cause a no start. next time if it does it, try going to drive and back to park or try to lock and unlock your doors. may be somethin as simple as that or like the others mentioned check those connections.
 
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