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Got a 96 F-450 and was using it yesterday for hauling out dirt I was digging from a duck pond. It was running good, will always start within 2 seconds so, when i was done for the day, brought it into the barn and shut it off.

This morning, when i try to start it, it will not but sounds just like it is on the verge of firing with a lot of smoke coming out the tail pipe. I wait the proper time for the glow plugs to do their thing but she won't start. i try it at idle position with throttle, full down or 1/2 down, it is all the same.

A buddy of mine said it sounds like i got air into the fuel system and i need to crack each line at the injector till I see fuel leaking out and that should do the trick. Trouble is, i am all by myself, no one to crank while i crack the lines.

I can see how air might have gotten in since I had 1/4 tank of fuel but was parked at a fairly steep incline while loading the truck with my track hoe. But shoudn't it have started acting up while I was driving it to the barn about 500 ' away?

Any tricks on how to bleed the lines all by myself, like crack open a line crank for 10 seconds and then see if fuel had squirted out then go to the next, or crack them all at the same time and then crank? Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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No lines to crack and bleed on the Powerstroke. If you have white smoke then that's a good sign.

You could try a new CPS which is quick and easy. May be the GPR and/or glow plugs going out. If you got air in the lines it should still fire off with a stumble.

Also, be sure your battery connections are perfectly clean and tight. These need every bit of juice to start.
 

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Likely the glow plug relay, since there is white smoke the CPS is working or there would be no injection at all
 

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No lines to crack and bleed on the Powerstroke. If you have white smoke then that's a good sign.

You could try a new CPS which is quick and easy. May be the GPR and/or glow plugs going out. If you got air in the lines it should still fire off with a stumble.

Also, be sure your battery connections are perfectly clean and tight. These need every bit of juice to start.
The batteries are good, it is not a "slow" crank, but the normal crank speed I always get. The temperature is in the 70's, so even if the glow plugs aren't working wouldn't the engine start or are these really critical for the powerstroke?

What is frustrating is my diesel shop went under 3 days ago due to COVID and even though they were only 2 miles away probably would cost me $200 for a tow truck to haul it there. Not sure if this has a code system where a scanner could point out what might be wrong and since I know nothing about these, do not know what a CPS or GPR are even. Hate having to throw money for new parts or sensors on just guessing.

If air did get into the fuel system and you can't crack and bleed the air out somehow, what to do then? Thanks
 

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Smoke means you are getting injection -- it also means you are not firing
that can be because the glow plugs are not working or your compression is gone

What shape is the air filter in?

Take something metal and jump the large posts on the glow plug relay
get any sparks? -- key must be OFF
 

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CPS is cam position sensor, GPR is glow plug relay. If you are getting white smoke you are getting fuel. Double check your crankcase oil level. Is the wait to start light coming on, tack moving while cranking, voltage pulling down around 10 volts with key on like the glow plugs are drawing power?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Smoke means you are getting injection -- it also means you are not firing
that can be because the glow plugs are not working or your compression is gone

What shape is the air filter in?

Take something metal and jump the large posts on the glow plug relay
get any sparks? -- key must be OFF
I had the truck in the shop less than 100 miles ago to have the high pressure fuel pump rebuilt, cost me around $1100. The truck has 147 K mile on it. Was owned by the Forestry Department for the State of Washington and sold at State auction. It was a little slow to start, like 4-5 seconds which was a concern since my 5.9 Cummins with 275K miles will always start in 1 second. The mechanics put new oil, filters and coolant in when they buttoned it back up. I am sure they checked the air filter and the truck is really not on the road so air filter should be good.

The wait to start light does come on when I turn ignition to own with accompanying buzzer. I wait litt bothgo out, usually 5-6 seconds before i start cranking. I would like to be able to test all 8 glow plugs to make sure they are all working and need to find out if I can do this. Many yers ago when I was a lot younger I had a 6.9 and took all the plugs out myself and took them to a local diesel shop and they tested them and about 1/2 were bad I took all the injectors out too and them powere cleaned. They were really dirty with spotty spray patterns.

After a while, it took longer and longer for the 7.3 to start, cranking 10 seconds so knew something was wrong and the mechanics knew right away what it was. That fixed the problem and now starts usually within 2 seconds.

I believe the compression is good but the mechanic told me to expect to replace injectors soon since he felt around 150K is where they need to be replaced.

There is an update now on the engine. Today I tried starting it but instead of stopping after 5-7seconds of the "sounds like it wants to start with not white smoke but grey smoke out of exhaust I decided to keep cranking for 20 seconds. I am always reluctant to crank that long to prevent starter from overheating.

After about 10 seconds, i noticed a different more encouraging sound like one or two cylinders are firing and at 15 seconds the whole engine came to life. Idling smoothly, I took it out of the shop and hit the road, going through all five gears, running a steady 2000 rpm at 50 mph. Lots of power engine sound good, brought it back home and shut it down..

So tomorrow will start it up and hopefully the Gremlin is gone and it starts like it should. Perhaps there was an air bubble somewhere and it is now gone. I added another 5 gallons of diesel so fuel gauge shows 1/2 now.

Thanks for the tips
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CPS is cam position sensor, GPR is glow plug relay. If you are getting white smoke you are getting fuel. Double check your crankcase oil level. Is the wait to start light coming on, tack moving while cranking, voltage pulling down around 10 volts with key on like the glow plugs are drawing power?
1Dieselman: Engine was recently serviced with fresh oil, it is at proper level. Wait to start light does come on along with buzzer. Tomorrow I will watch tach and amp gauge to check what you suggest. I think some of the glow plugs may be bad since even when it was starting within 2 seconds, it seems to run a little ragged for a couple of seconds after ignition . I would like to know that all 8 plugs are working like they should.. If you read my last post it tells i got it running today but not certain what the issue was which makes me a little uneasy.
 

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Again check the glow plug relay -- about 60 amps, so a decent spark
You can check the glow plugs at the valve cover gasket connections
the outermost connections are for the glow plugs
use an ohm meter to check from the valve cover gasket terminal to ground
be aware the gasket connections, both outside and inside are a trouble spot on these engines

My WAG(wild *** guess) is you have a few burned glow plugs and/or a bad relay
glow plugs are like light bulbs, they either work or are burned out
these engines need a little glow to start

I also have a 5.9 in my Maxxum 5140 and it starts on the second compression reliably -- 3 or 4 in cold weather
unlike the ford engines that need a little glow and several compressions to start

Here is a vid that shows testing

 

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Again check the glow plug relay -- about 60 amps, so a decent spark
You can check the glow plugs at the valve cover gasket connections
the outermost connections are for the glow plugs
use an ohm meter to check from the valve cover gasket terminal to ground
be aware the gasket connections, both outside and inside are a trouble spot on these engines

My WAG(wild *** guess) is you have a few burned glow plugs and/or a bad relay
glow plugs are like light bulbs, they either work or are burned out
these engines need a little glow to start

I also have a 5.9 in my Maxxum 5140 and it starts on the second compression reliably -- 3 or 4 in cold weather
unlike the ford engines that need a little glow and several compressions to start

Here is a vid that shows testing

Hydro: Thanks for the video. I tested my glow plug relay yesterday and it is working , when key turned on it shows aprox 12 volts going towards the Glow plugs, plus a drain on amp gauge in the cab. Today I tested again, still working but let the key in the on position for about twice as long after the buzzer stopped and light in dash went off. Some posts say glow plugs stay on for up to 2 minutes after light goes out.

The engine started but only after cranking for about 7-8 seconds with that "I think I can" starting sound and clouds of grey/white smoke out the tailpipe.

So my guess is there may be a majority of these glow plugs bad so will try testing the resistance tomorrow as per video.

I looked under the engine for a plug like my Cummins has for pre heating but could not find one. Was that an add on feature and not standard with the '96 Powerstroke? I was going to try that route to see if it would start quicker until i can find a mechanic to replace bad plugs.

I may be mistaken but once I remember i started the engine when it was at normal operation tempertures and noticed the "Wait to start light" came on when I put key to on position. I will double check that tomorrow but isn't there another sensor that when presented with a hot engine does not start the glow plug cycle? If that is defective , could that causes premature burn out of the glow plugs?

Many years ago i took the glow plugs out of my 6.9 (injectors too) which was simple and easy to get to. Does it take special mechanical skill to replace the glow plugs on this Powerstroke? Sounds like valve cpovers need to come off which sounds like a more expensive bill if taken to a shop.
 

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The block heater is located on the oil cooler, left side near the rear of the cooler - crawl under behind the front wheel and look up
the engine temperature sensor directs the glow plug duration - so, water gauge works?

yeah, sounds like you may have a few plugs burned out
 

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The block heater is located on the oil cooler, left side near the rear of the cooler - crawl under behind the front wheel and look up
the engine temperature sensor directs the glow plug duration - so, water gauge works?

yeah, sounds like you may have a few plugs burned out
Guess I was looking for a longer cord like my Cummins, will check again tomorrow. didn't really look at the oil cooler that much. Looked on u-tube and looks like you need to take a few things off to get the valve covers off so best leave it to a mechanic. I will check the Ohms to see how many are burned out. I heard the mechanic whose shop went belly up due to COVID is working out of his home garage to stay alive so will help himout. He is a real good diesel mechanic.
Thanks for the tips, will let you know what i find out on those plugs.
 

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Didn't ohm check the glow plugs today since the truck just started up in 2 seconds like it was doing before the troubles. This is what drives me crazy and it is a "come and go" problem. I STILL can't find any cord plug for the block heater on this. it is a '96. Was this standard for the year or optional.? I crawled under th entire engine, especially in the front where the radiator is, feeling with my hands in any cavity for a coiled up cord.

I know a guy with a '97 and he said his cord was hidden inside the front bumper but nothing found in my bumper
 

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Sometimes the cord is tucked up under the battery. If it has the cord, you will see it attached to the oil filter/cooler header just above the oil filter. It was standard on the 7.3L PSDs, but was a "delete" option. Cheers!
 

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Sometimes the cord is tucked up under the battery. If it has the cord, you will see it attached to the oil filter/cooler header just above the oil filter. It was standard on the 7.3L PSDs, but was a "delete" option. Cheers!
Patrick: Thanks for the tip. I will look under the battery and the area just above the Oil Filter. The trucks' original owner was the Forestry Department for the State of Washington so maybe to save money they opted out of a block heater.
 

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my 95 was an absolute bear to start last winter. smoked like a chimney every start of the day and cranked forever. what i found was no continuity on 5 glow plugs aswell as a bad 12 volt signal to the gpr. what happened was the gpr was getting intermittent works and then days it wouldnt. and i pulled the valve cover to find the glow plug connectors disconnected from the plugs as if they were pulled out. i put in 8 new Ford brand glows, 2 new harnesses and put new o rings on my injectors(not related to my starting issue) fixed it perfectly cranks about 3 compression strokes to fire. fwiw i have 310,000 on original injectors. only mods are just reliabilty mods only. and my injectors ran much quieter after cleaning the tips and spraying carb cleaner into the port holes on the body of the injectors. kind of a half *** way but it worked for me. whatever you do stay away from dorman gaskets, some work good some dont. in my case it didnt work out. i will say i can fire mine up without even waiting for glow plugs its like 90+ here daily right now. if its coming and going. look at the little connector that goes to the glow plug relay. mine was bad at that little connector and fixed my relay from intermittently working. it would fire up on some days sort of okay and other days flat not havin it. its a cheap repair just cut it and butt splice it and see if it resolves it without removing the valve covers first
 

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my 95 was an absolute bear to start last winter. smoked like a chimney every start of the day and cranked forever. what i found was no continuity on 5 glow plugs aswell as a bad 12 volt signal to the gpr. what happened was the gpr was getting intermittent works and then days it wouldnt. and i pulled the valve cover to find the glow plug connectors disconnected from the plugs as if they were pulled out. i put in 8 new Ford brand glows, 2 new harnesses and put new o rings on my injectors(not related to my starting issue) fixed it perfectly cranks about 3 compression strokes to fire. fwiw i have 310,000 on original injectors. only mods are just reliabilty mods only. and my injectors ran much quieter after cleaning the tips and spraying carb cleaner into the port holes on the body of the injectors. kind of a half *** way but it worked for me. whatever you do stay away from dorman gaskets, some work good some dont. in my case it didnt work out. i will say i can fire mine up without even waiting for glow plugs its like 90+ here daily right now. if its coming and going. look at the little connector that goes to the glow plug relay. mine was bad at that little connector and fixed my relay from intermittently working. it would fire up on some days sort of okay and other days flat not havin it. its a cheap repair just cut it and butt splice it and see if it resolves it without removing the valve covers first

Josh 317: Thanks for the info. I found the plug for the block heater thanks to tip from Patrick. I used that to preheat the engine and it fired right up, temps were near 70 outside. I will check for continuity this week-end and also that connector you mentioned going to the GPR. If the glow plugs check out, then it more than likely is that plug since sometimes it fires right up, sometimes need to crank for 10 seconds . Someone told me they got a set of glow plugs on Amazon for $60 but want to check that they are not some cheap Chinese knock off but real Ford/International ones. I read somewhere you want the real McCoy on these and Injectors.

Amazing you got that many miles on your injectors. I see posts that about 200K is the most you could get out of them. Wintertime project might be for me to take them out (Got 147 K on them)and have them power cleaned and inspected. Those valve cover gaskets look expensive, hope mine are in good shape and they can be reused.
 

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Motorcraft/Beru ZD-11 glowplugs only! The glowplug relays can also be intermittent as the internal contacts are supposed to rotate slightly to avoid "burning/wearing" in a particular spot. Sometimes it will land on a "bad" spot and not work well. Most folks (me included) will recommend getting a White-Rodgers 586-902 relay as a replacement. Much, much better than stock. Cheers!
 

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Motorcraft/Beru ZD-11 glowplugs only! The glowplug relays can also be intermittent as the internal contacts are supposed to rotate slightly to avoid "burning/wearing" in a particular spot. Sometimes it will land on a "bad" spot and not work well. Most folks (me included) will recommend getting a White-Rodgers 586-902 relay as a replacement. Much, much better than stock. Cheers!
Thanks Patrick. I was thinking too about a sticky GPR so will check out the prices on these either at NAPA or Amazon and throw one in for good measure.
 

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definately recommend the white rodgers relay. will last the life of the truck but a little more coin tho. id inspect the gaskets with testers and check resistance instead of wasting money on something you dont need. id bet its either the relay going bad or like i had said, that little connector that supplies the switched ground i believe if memory serves. but anyways thats what mine was. i also did motorcraft glows and it fires to life like new at over 300k. youll get it!!
 
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