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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay everyone, I am in need of your expertise. I apologize upfront for the lengthy explanation below.

A couple days ago I tried to start my 02' F-250 7.3 with an automatic transmission and got no crank and no start. It sat for 5 days before this without being started and the temperatures here have been between 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. First thing I did was plug it in and tried to start it 4 hours after being plugged in. Still, no crank no start. I also tested the voltage across the GPR and all was good. When I turned the key to start it, the truck clicked rapidly and the dash lights would flicker on and off. This led me to believe it may be the batteries (I have two 6 month old Interstate Megatron batteries). I attempted a jump start and that didn't change anything. After that I had both batteries tested and they are in good working order. Before hooking up the cables, I cleaned the terminals and cable clamps to ensure that wasn't the issue. I also tried starting the truck in neutral, still nothing. I checked all the fuses under the dash as well, all fuses were good. The next thing I tested was the starter. Since the 02' does not have the solenoid on the passenger side fender, I pulled the little circular harness and ran a lead from the positive terminal on the battery to the male end of the harness and it did not turn the starter. This alone makes me believe it is a good chance it is the starter, but the clicking and flashing dash lights have me concerned it may be another issue. Would a bad starter/starter solenoid cause rapid clicking and flickering dash lights? Any thoughts or tips on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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I don't see how your flashing could be related to the starter itself, but it might that the starters draw is putting the system over-the-edge.

So first, this no crank/no start, what's Your definition of no crank? Is that Not even turning-over on the Starter (to me that's a No Crank but to others "cranking" is Starting).

Next, the first thing you want to do is to get Volt Meter and see where your voltage goes during the start attempt. You might measure this first in the cab (Outlet maybe) and if that's down under say 9V (as it might well be) then at the batteries themselves. Your symptoms all sound like Low Voltage.

Also, when you had them "tested" - how did they do that? With a Load Tester? Most Parts Stores have testers that load batteries to 100A and our Glow Plugs Alone draw that much. Our Big Batteries need to be loaded to a Much higher test (250-300A) to properly test them.

Finally, in an '02, there is a connection where the B+ makes it's transition to the Fuseable Links that feed the fusebox. This is a problematic connection and corrodes easily, preventing the passing of full current to the fuses. Have a look at that for signs of corrosion, it's under a sm black plastic cover labeled "Caution High Current", about 1" square, on top of the inner fenderwell, between the Airbox and battery on the dr side.
 

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FWIW, on my 99' (owned since new)7.3 at ~ 90K mi, I had almost identical symptoms. Starting was getting weak. Replaced batteries with new private label AGM's. Worked for a few days but did not sound strong. Decided the private label's were less than satisfactory. Exchanged for Optima's and installed and still weak cranking, too slow to even start and was draining the batteries as if near dead short / at least a huge draw. Bought a new starter and solved completely. Hasn't spun that fast cranking since new. That was about 2 years ago. Hope this helps.
 

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i agree with the new starter is a great place to start. I replaced the starter on my 2000 f250 7.3 with a new starter from a 07 f250 and works great. the 07 starters have a different gearing ratio and allows them to turn faster. (one of my favorite updates)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you all very much for the info. I started by replacing the starter. New starter is in, and similar symptoms are occurring. I paid closer attention to the fuse box under the dash to determine where the clicking was coming from. Relay 303 is where the rapid clicking is coming from. I even tried to switch the relay with the one next to it and relay 303 still clicks rapidly. Also, fuse #22 is NOT blown... any ideas?

Thank you guys very much for helping me with this.
 

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This is exactly why being advised to throw a Starter, or any other parts, is such Bad Advice (Hey, it's not Their money ~ right? :wink[3]:

Always smarter, and more economical, to do a proper diagnoses (but that requires more than a cursory understanding of the systems involved).

ReRead my post and have a look at this link, where MY 2002's 303 was buzzing, and associated with that fuseable link connection I already pointed you to -> http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/99...sion-if-your-truck-like-mine.html#post1343921
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks NoRalph, I wish it was the fusible links connection. That would make my life easier. Attached is an image of it cleaned up as best as I could. At this point I really don't know what it could be besides an issue in the battery cables somewhere. One thing I tried... when I pull fuse #22, relay #303 does not click anymore when I turn the key. I also looked at the fuel bowl heater plug, unplugged it and tried to start it. Still the same problem.
 

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That still kinda looks like it should have some attention. I would put grease on all contact areas. You have measured the voltage? While Cranking, in the cab? Clicking relays are all about Low Voltage, not enough current flowing through the coils to make a sufficient magnetic field to hold firmly. Pay close attention to what happens to the voltage.

Next, you never defined cranking for me :(

But let's start with the Basics (assuming it's turning-over on the Starter)

My usual No Start -

WTS Light? - do you get it when you first roll-on the key? (shows the computer is running)

Is there fuel in the fuel bowl now? Does it refill after cranking? (open the drain lever to check) Look above the pass ft tire, you'll see a 3/8" metal tube, against the motor that ends there, it's the drain for the bowl (yellow lever you slide to the side). Get a cup, open the lever, drain the fuel bowl, look at the fuel, close the lever. Then, turn the key to the ON position (should hear the pump) for 15 secs. Drain the fuel bowl again, whaddya got?

Can you hear/feel the pump running (below the dr seat, against the framerail)

Could the fuel gauge be giving a bad reading? (Below 1/4 tank?)

Is it cranking fast enough? - it won't even TRY to start if cranking too slowly.

Is your truck "chipped"? If so, remove it as a Test.

You can unplug the ICP sensor, as a Test, so the PCM sets a default value for the IPR to run on (expect this to set a new "Low ICP" code, don't let that misdirect you after a scan).

Did you check the plug and sheet metal nut going to the IPR? That nut can vibrate off and allow the solenoid going over the valve to slide around. The wires going to the IPR can get brittle, crack, and short together. Make sure the plug & wires look in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No cranking as in absolutely nothing when I turn the key to start it (starter does nothing). After installing my new high torque starter I tested the voltage at the starter and I am getting around 13V just to make sure. Probably wasn't a bad idea to install a new one as my old starter was in really rough shape. I do get the WTS light when I first turn the key. I will check the things you mentioned tomorrow. I do agree, I believe something has to be causing low voltage somewhere. The truck sat for a week or so and that is never good for corrosion to begin its course. Truck is not chipped.

Thank you again for the help! I'll keep at it in the AM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, so this morning the very first thing I did was double check to ensure the WTS light came on when I turned the key to the on position. I'm going to do the best I can to explain what happened.

The first time I turned the key to the on position this morning, all the dash lights came on including the WTS light simultaneously while relay #303 clicked rapidly. The dash lights stayed on for at most 2-3 seconds and then all went off while the relay continued clicking. Turned key to the off position.

I tried a second time. When the key was turned to the on position NO lights came on. The WTS light did not come on either. Relay #303 clicked rapidly. Turned key to the off position.

I tried a third time and the same thing happened. No dash lights, (no WTS) and relay #303 rapidly clicked.

This has me thinking the PCM isn't happy. Maybe a bad connection somewhere to the computer? Maybe the PCM itself is faulty?
 

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No - no - & - NO! :D

I agree the PCM isn't happy but accompanied with a clicking relay, I'm still going with the reason being LOW VOLTAGE.


From a week ago....


"Next, the first thing you want to do is to get Volt Meter and see where your voltage goes during the start attempt. You might measure this first in the cab (Outlet maybe) and if that's down under say 9V (as it might well be) then at the batteries themselves. Your symptoms all sound like Low Voltage."

Are you doing any of the things I suggested? Have you done them and gotten good results and just keeping it a secret?

First response to your thread here, Post #2, it's ALL Important! Please respond to those suggestions and questions (look at how long it took you to just say what "cranking" meant! You're a hard guy to help... ;))
 
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