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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone,
Recently picked up a 1999 F350 7.3 4x4 dually crew cab. Truck had been sitting forever, and had its fair share of issues. When trying to start it, it demonstrates the same symptoms as the beginning of this video:


The starter kinda lopes/fluctuates and doesn’t turn over. Was also burning a fair amount of white/grayish smoke. Changed the oil/filter, air filter, and fuel filters. If you hit it with a touch of starting fluid, it’ll eventually turn on, but runs rough like there’s a misfire (shaking badly). Idle isn’t all over the place and no check engine lights. Diesel tech took a quick look and thought it might need new injectors, but I’m terrified of it having a catastrophic failure like the video above. I believe it’s had the motor swapped, along with GEM/IDM swapped out at some point due to cab water intrusion. 4wd also doesn’t illuminate/work, if that means anything. I put a ping pong ball on the oil fill cap and it did not shoot off. Probably experienced dusting in the past, old owners ran the **** out of it and there’s even dust in the interior air vents. I’d appreciate any ideas. Terrified of the prospect of needing a new motor.
 

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"doesn't turn over".....no crank? cranks but doesn't start?

Lots of things to check before condemning the engine to having a catastrophic failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"doesn't turn over".....no crank? cranks but doesn't start?

Lots of things to check before condemning the engine to having a catastrophic failure.
Cranks, but does not start w/o ether. I am terrified because of the sheer amount of dirt the truck has been exposed to (dusting), along with the fact that cranking makes a sound like low compression in one cylinder. It doesn't make a steady cranking noise. Very much like the disaster video linked above lol
 

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Cranks, but does not start w/o ether. I am terrified because of the sheer amount of dirt the truck has been exposed to (dusting), along with the fact that cranking makes a sound like low compression in one cylinder. It doesn't make a steady cranking noise. Very much like the disaster video linked above lol
how many miles ?

STOP using ether....guaranteed way to cause a catastrophic failure

Assuming your batteries are charged and the starter is good.....

try plugging the truck in for at least 3 hours prior to starting.

While you're waiting for the block to warm up go ahead and remove both valve covers....

after 3 hours of being plugged in, crank the engine over and see if all 8 injectors are squirting oil from the spouts (if the truck still doesn't start)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
how many miles ?

STOP using ether....guaranteed way to cause a catastrophic failure

Assuming your batteries are charged and the starter is good.....

try plugging the truck in for at least 3 hours prior to starting.

While you're waiting for the block to warm up go ahead and remove both valve covers....

after 3 hours of being plugged in, crank the engine over and see if all 8 injectors are squirting oil from the spouts (if the truck still doesn't start)
I'm not using any ether, only used it when i was getting it on/off the tow truck. Haven't even seen a block heater plug anywhere, not sure if it's even installed. Around 230k on odometer, not sure how many on the swapped motor.
 

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Block heater is on the end bracket of the oil cooler on the driver side -- should be able to see it laying under the truck

I would first use a tool like ForScan to do a injector buzz test, to see if the electronics can work on all injectors -- they should sound all the same
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Block heater is on the end bracket of the oil cooler on the driver side -- should be able to see it laying under the truck

I would first use a tool like ForScan to do a injector buzz test, to see if the electronics can work on all injectors -- they should sound all the same
I will take a deeper look tomorrow. We did a buzz test, and they all buzzed, but some of them weren’t super strong. This was with old oil and sitting for a year. Still should be starting though, no?
 

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You getting smoke from the exhaust pipe?
Also as @greenskeeper mentioned, remove the valve covers and see if the injectors are venting oil from the spouts when you crank
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update: threw some new batteries in the truck and it eventually turns on (takes a while to crank.) However, there’s a pretty noticeable vibration/misfire at idle, less noticeable when you rev it. No obvious smoke coming out the tailpipe. Pulled the oil filler cap, and it steadily puffs, but it doesn’t shoot the cap off or anything (just vibrates off).

Removed intake and found a fair amount of sludge inside, washed it out thoroughly and dried with compressed air. Turbo didn’t look trashed, but hard to get a photo. The wheel spins, but I was scared to mess with it too much.

I’m very concerned about dusting. Looks like the damn air filter was never changed, the housing was loose, and the truck has been run through a ton of dirt. I’m guessing it’s either an injector issue or cylinder compression?

It’s 100 degrees outside, so I had to call it a day. Thinking I maybe should buy some Archoil?
 

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Dusting will show on the turbo fins as a worn leading edge(the edge is normally straight and slightly rounded) -- go ahead and grab the shaft with your fingers and see if there is end slack -- also see if you can push the wheel into the housing while rotating -- should not touch
 

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Update: threw some new batteries in the truck and it eventually turns on (takes a while to crank.) However, there’s a pretty noticeable vibration/misfire at idle, less noticeable when you rev it. No obvious smoke coming out the tailpipe. Pulled the oil filler cap, and it steadily puffs, but it doesn’t shoot the cap off or anything (just vibrates off).

Removed intake and found a fair amount of sludge inside, washed it out thoroughly and dried with compressed air. Turbo didn’t look trashed, but hard to get a photo. The wheel spins, but I was scared to mess with it too much.

I’m very concerned about dusting. Looks like the damn air filter was never changed, the housing was loose, and the truck has been run through a ton of dirt. I’m guessing it’s either an injector issue or cylinder compression?

It’s 100 degrees outside, so I had to call it a day. Thinking I maybe should buy some Archoil?
So now that you got it running, it's time to catch up on service.

First thing I would do is pull the fuel filter and look for algea or nasty stuff in the fuel bowl from sitting so long. I would then drain the fuel from the tank and refill with fresh, adding an algecide and fuel treatment to the tank.

Then I would do all the required service on the engine (fuel filter, air filter, oil & filter change) along with new glow plugs and relay. That way you can get a basesline for service.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So now that you got it running, it's time to catch up on service.

First thing I would do is pull the fuel filter and look for algea or nasty stuff in the fuel bowl from sitting so long. I would then drain the fuel from the tank and refill with fresh, adding an algecide and fuel treatment to the tank.

Then I would do all the required service on the engine (fuel filter, air filter, oil & filter change) along with new glow plugs and relay. That way you can get a basesline for service.
There was minimal diesel in the truck when it was sitting, less than 1/4 of a tank. Added new diesel and some seafoam. New fuel filter installed, bowl was clean. Oil and filter have been changed with OEM Motorcraft (15w-40 conventional?), air intake cleaned, air filter replaced, and coolant added. If I recall correctly, the transmission fluid was okay.

Just got an OBDLink MX bluetooth dongle on Amazon. I am trying to run the Buzz Test and Cylinder Contribution Test at home. Not sure if I can get CCT done using Torque Pro or another Android app (and I'm not sure how it would output data). I've seen videos of people doing the Buzz Test, but not the CCT.
 

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ForScan will run a buzz test
 

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ForScan will do a cyl cutout test, but you have todo the interpretation -- unlike some of the fancy software that shows on a graph
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pulling codes P0263, P0269, P0476, P0272, and P0541. Running rough as hell and hard cold start today, no ether needed though.
 

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The injectors should all sound the same -- differences can be cause by electrical connection issues -- or in high mileage injectors, the armature clearance will change enough to cause the injector not to fully open -- these can be shimmed up to restore the clearance in some cases
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The injectors should all sound the same -- differences can be cause by electrical connection issues -- or in high mileage injectors, the armature clearance will change enough to cause the injector not to fully open -- these can be shimmed up to restore the clearance in some cases
They don’t all sound the same. The CCT codes match up to the weaker injectors for the most part.
 

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They don’t all sound the same. The CCT codes match up to the weaker injectors for the most part.
That is what I was hearing as well, sounds like either shimming your injectors or replacing -- depending on the path that is best for you
shim kits are inexpensive compared to new injectors and may buy you a few more years

You mentioned earlier about uneven cranking -- have you tried jumping the starter solenoid with the key off, to establish a base cranking sound? -- should all be the same

If the engine is worn and in need of an overhaul, I would just shim the injectors for now -- and decide on a path later for the engine overhaul or replacement
 
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