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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The subject: 2002 F-250 7.3L 4x4 with 150,000 miles

About a month ago during a camping trip, the truck's CEL came on while warming up in the morning and it started running rough. After a few minutes the CEL went out and everything was fine for the day. Next morning same thing. Then again the next morning as we headed home.

This was consistent ... start, run fine for a few minutes, run rough for about five minutes with CEL, then CEL out and fine for the rest of the day.

Mechanic read codes but nothing came up. Hubby used injector cleaner, new fuel filter, and checked through obvious things. We figured (based on reading here) that it might have been the wiring harness or clips. But he was reluctant to remove the valve covers right away and we also wondered if maybe we got some bad diesel on that camping trip at one of the gas stations that is known for diluting their fuel (but there's no other station in that town so ... )

Last week the rough running happened while idling after about an hour of highway driving. Took the truck to the mechanic yesterday to have codes read again. This time there were four codes during the "buzz" test. Hope I got that right ... hubby is the truck techy but not too computer literate so here I am!

Codes returned were:
- P1272 #2 Injector Wiring Idle Side Open Hi/Low Open
- P0269 #3 Balance Fault
- P0284 #8 Balance Fault
- P0705 Transmission Sensor Circuit Malfunction

Mechanic's advice is to focus on the engine and not the tranny. His suggestion is to change wiring harness. Maybe change injectors. Says there's a special tool for the injectors so its not easy to DIY. He doesn't work on diesels but referred us to another mechanic who worked at a Ford dealer and knows them better. Hourly rate of $85/hour.

Hubby is a good DIY mechanic. This truck is the first vehicle he's had that he hasn't pulled the engine for one reason or another. Generally, he fixes every toy we have. We also have the Workshop Manuals for this truck,

But he wonders if this job is beyond his ability and maybe it is best to have the mechanic take it on. We've read about the difficulty of getting the valve covers off. How much time would be needed for a somewhat competent first-timer doing this?

We love the truck. It suits our needs perfectly. Most of its mileage has been hauling a trailer or carrying the camper. This is the first problem we've had with it, other than a ball joint that needed replacing. This truck is in great shape, just has this engine problem. If we get it fixed, how much more time can we expect with it?

Would appreciate some input for us to banter about as we decide what to do. We're even wondering if its time to look for a different truck.

Thanx in advance for your input!

Fifth wheel, a trials bike in the box, and 2 kayaks ...
 

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:agree: just beat me to it... also look up the .50 cent mod too :thumb: and carry a spare CPS. Also look at getting AE scanner too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We already have the new little clips from Ford because my initial research indicated those as an issue. Hubby has been delaying taking the valve covers off though as he hears it is a pain-in-the-butt job. BUT this seems to be the first step, to check the wiring.

Also needs to get new valve cover gaskets? Yes?

Because we live in the bush away from civilization these things have to be planned in advance. Need to be sure we have all the stuff before getting in to it ... sometimes it can take weeks to get parts in to Whitehorse.

I've also read that once you've done the valve covers once, it's only an hour task after that because you know better second time around. True?
 

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I am a DIYer, first time diesel owner 01 F250 7.3L. I was having the same issues that you are describing. I took both valve covers off, took about an hour and a half, after that I disconnected each injector one by one while the truck was running and determined my #3 injector was not firing. I swapped #3 and #1 injector and was still having the same issue. I wound up replacing the injector/glow plug harness for around $50. While I had it apart I did the $.25 mod on the driver side (the new harness did not have the connector, so I saved my quarter). Truck runs great now. You tube videos are great for showing you how to fix stuff.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yup, hubby confirms there is a spare CPS in the glovebox.

Looks like we'll be into the valve covers soon. He does the grunt work and I'm the assistant, following along in the shop manual, reading aloud, handing tools over, and getting my hands dirty when his fingers are too thick & clumsy to get into tight spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Epilogue ... the job is done. As soon as we opened it up it was obvious the wiring harness was not seated snug. It was in good condition though. No chafing or raw spots. So just a new clip in the driver's side valve cover fixed the issues. Will also do the passenger side in the near future, just 'cause then we'll know its done.

Took about three hours total, and that included cleaning everything as it went back together.

Phew ... a big relief that the fix was this simple!
 
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