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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 1999 Ford Econoline with a 7.3 power stroke. Lately I have been having a hard time starting even in warm weather. I have checked the relay for the glow plugs and that seems to be operating fine. I pulled the fuel bowl heater and it heats up with 12 V. I do not have any blown fuses especially number 30. Wait to start light is on and WIF light. When I meter the plug of the heater in the wait to start position I am not getting 12 V. My first question is should I be getting 12 V out of that plug? It seems that maybe that’s temperature dependent in the circuit of the PCM? I feel like there should be a designated fuse for the system but I cannot find one online or in any forms. Is it possible that the heater element should be working at less than 12 volts when it is warm?
Is this also wired to the number 30 fuse? What should the ohms be across the heater element itself? If I remember correctly it was 1.3 ohms. Is it possible that the heater elements is bad and will only work at 12 V? Is that connector voltage ambient temperature sensitive meaning that it may start with a much lower voltage at start up if it’s warm out? Fires right up with a little starting fluid but I know that is bad for the engine. Any help would be great I’ve been pulling my hair out and can’t figure out what is going on.
 

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If you are having trouble starting in warm weather:

*Ignore the fuel heater for now. Mine has not been hooked up in years and has not made a single difference in -25 degrees or 110 plus degrees...

-Injectors getting work esp if say over 250k miles-Plug in your block heater and see if it makes a difference. At least a couple of hours before hand.
-Glow plugs: I cant remember if the van was ever made in CA the early 99s had a extra "shunt" and some extra wires to help diagnose glow plugs but most are gonna get false positives and negatives anyways so generally speaking if they are OEM you'll want to replace them.

Does it take onger to crank? Does it just struggle to start after cranking but cranks up fast? Any recewnt work?
 

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Bare minimum of 100 cranking RPM and 9 volts on the power outlet on the dash -- while cranking

Do you have any codes ? -- ForScan is the goto tool -- BAFX, OBDLink Mx+, of vLinker MC+ adapters
use the product links from the ForScan website

Fuel pressure would be good to know also
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you are having trouble starting in warm weather:

*Ignore the fuel heater for now. Mine has not been hooked up in years and has not made a single difference in -25 degrees or 110 plus degrees...

-Injectors getting work esp if say over 250k miles-Plug in your block heater and see if it makes a difference. At least a couple of hours before hand.
-Glow plugs: I cant remember if the van was ever made in CA the early 99s had a extra "shunt" and some extra wires to help diagnose glow plugs but most are gonna get false positives and negatives anyways so generally speaking if they are OEM you'll want to replace them.

Does it take onger to crank? Does it just struggle to start after cranking but cranks up fast? Any recewnt work?

Thanks for the response. I rebuild the fuel bowl seals about a year ago. I do not have a block heater but I'm gonna install one. It cranks well and has a little white smoke while cranking. It tries to start but won't catch. Fuel bowl is filling for sure but will check the pressure. I think glow plugs are working due to a little smoke coming out of the intake when I energize the solenoid. It does have 300k on the engine. Is it possible I have low oil pressure at the injectors? I assume I need to measure the oil pressure. I do have an OBD link that I may be able to buzz each injector to see if they are firing. Is there a better app for testing than the OBDlink? Thanks for any help. Gonna keep trying all the things but I wanted to start with at least the fuel bowl heater. Sounds like this is not important though.
 

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The OBDLink app is good for monitoring, and works well for all vehicles -- but the ForScan app is better for these trucks (PC version is best)

With those miles, the injector control valves may be worn to the point of a hard start with cold oil -- this is the reason to use the block heater as a test
if the injectors have not been replaced, likely that is the problem -- they do wear out about 200k ish


You should test each glow plug at the valve cover connector, there are different tests depending on if you have 1 or 2 plugs on the valve cover
you can use a meter, test light, or a spare glow plug as a tester at the valve cover plug -- plenty of vids on here and the web to show how

A permanent fuel pressure gauge would be a good addition
 

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Thanks for the response. I rebuild the fuel bowl seals about a year ago. I do not have a block heater but I'm gonna install one. It cranks well and has a little white smoke while cranking. It tries to start but won't catch. Fuel bowl is filling for sure but will check the pressure. I think glow plugs are working due to a little smoke coming out of the intake when I energize the solenoid. It does have 300k on the engine. Is it possible I have low oil pressure at the injectors? I assume I need to measure the oil pressure. I do have an OBD link that I may be able to buzz each injector to see if they are firing. Is there a better app for testing than the OBDlink? Thanks for any help. Gonna keep trying all the things but I wanted to start with at least the fuel bowl heater. Sounds like this is not important though.
Fuel bowl heater is worthless... treat your fuel in extreme cold (below 0F) and there is no reason for it.

Do you know the history of the glow plugs and relay?

If not I would suggest replacing the glow plugs and installing the larger stancor relay.

What temperature are you attempting to start the truck?
 
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