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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to go look at a 87 F350 that's been sitting since 97! It's a cab/chassis truck, 6.9 IDI 2wd. From what I've been told, it ran when parked, is low mileage and had all the maintenance done but hasn't been touched since. Obviously before I drag this puppy home I want to make sure its going to be worth the effort. My plan is to check all the fluids for contamination and try to take a fuel sample before even moving it. If the fluids look acceptable, then I'll bring it home. After I get it home (if I do) I plan to change all the fluids, throw in some new batteries, pull the glow plugs and see if I can get compression, fuel pressure and oil pressure. Which brings up my main concern. What should I do with the fuel, if there is any? How can I tell what the inside of the tank(s) look like? What steps am I missing?
 

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your plans sounds legit and like you are covering your bases.

an option for your "whats in the tank" situation could be one of these...cheap and pretty handy to have around. i have one, not used it much but i got it.

https://www.amazon.com/Endoscope-Bo...TF8&qid=1493052924&sr=8-12&keywords=endoscope

they shoot amazing photos or video and have there own lights in the head.

if you are gonna pull the glow plugs that will get you into the cylinders i'd shoot some oil into them just so they are not totally dry when you turn it over. if possible, while GP's are out, turn it over by hand...big breaker bar with a socket and turn the harmonic balancer. you will hafta have the compression released which having the glow plugs out should do for ya.

otherwise i would crank it but not let it fire up..get 30 seconds to a minute of cranking to get some oil thru the dry motor.

and change every fluid before ya get to driving it regular...trans, motor oil, and the diff's , don't forget about them, transfer case, blinker fluid, etc

good luck with it though, update us on how it goes for ya to get it running.
could go pretty easy, or , well, not.

oh and check for mouse nests in the airbox!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The plan was with the GP's out and the fuel filter off I could crank it to get some oil up to the top end. After some searching and reading your post, I think you're right in putting some oil in the cylinders and turning it by hand. I also read some horror stories of wiping cam lobes and beat valve springs from sitting. I'm hoping these cases are like doing medical research on the internet, you only read the worst!
 

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Yeah the "wiping out of the cam lobes" would be the reason NOT to let it fire up too soon...until some oil flow has been developped.
Newly rebuilt gas motors (old school motors anyways) ya normally prime the motor by spinning the distributor shaft which is hooked to the oil pump.
But i think pulling the GP's & fuel filter you can get some free cranking time...but ya still have stress on the cam lobes but not much you can easily do about that...
With no compression you will have no stress on your main and connecting rod bearings....so thats good.

At least with oil in the cylinders the cylinder walls and pistons will get some lube initially.

Not sure of the oil capacity of that engine but you might put in a low, thin viscosity oil for initial cranking and start up. Easily get it thru the engine. Call it a "flushing oil". Then if it fires up, pretty quick like get that oil out and put in the correct viscosity oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I went and looked at the truck. Fluids looked decent and everything else checked out, so I towed it home. I pulled the GP's shot some PB blaster in there, also removed the oil drain plug and filter and let it sit. I read that these trucks can use the 7.3 powerstroke oil filter so I put one of those on, bringing the oil capacity up 1 quart to 11. I have delvac 15-40 in bulk so that's what I filled it up with. I also changed the fuel filter, which honestly didn't look bad. What was weird was the fuel wasn't slippery like diesel, also it had almost no smell. I turned it over by hand and suprisingly met little resistance! I attached a 5 gallon can of fresh offroad diesel to the mechanical pump and disconnected it from the injection pump. Threw two decent batteries in her and gave it a crank. Almost instantly I had nice red fuel coming from the filter housing. A little later my oil gauge came up. I put everything back together, gave it a crank and it came to life for a second then shut off. I figured air in the IP or injector lines so I cracked them loose and cranked it, NOTHING! So that's where I'm at. I have compression and good fuel to the IP. No fuel coming out of the IP. I'm not ready to drop $400 on a injection pump without knowing the rest of the truck IE trans, diff etc. Gonna go do some internetting...
 

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Sounds like you are on a good track...it fired up...hhhhmmm, so it was getting fuel thru the IP for a second anyways...then nothing. interesting. I cannot say I know much about diesel Injection pumps to help ya there and I couldn't say whether or not there is a sensor somewhere cutting off the fuel flow past it.

It looks like a mechanically driven pump (driven off cam or some connection to the motor) so it should pump (in theory). maybe the drive mechanism to it snapped or otherwise became disconnected (less likely).

yeah rockauto has them from 442-1200 bucks (ouch)

1987 FORD F-350 6.9L 420cid V8 DIESEL Diesel Fuel Injector Pump | RockAuto

I see some electrical connections going to it. i wonder what they tell it to do or not do ?

Personally I would start with those electrical connections on that pump. Learn what they do and where they get there signals from.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So after some research, I found there is a FSS (fuel shutoff solenoid) that usually gets stuck after sitting for more than a year or so. The main connector is basically 12v key on which opens the solenoid. Testing of the solenoid is as follows 1) Make sure it has 12v key on AND cranking. It does. 2) When applying 12v listen for an audible click. It does. 3) If all checks out, the pump needs replacement.
The manual is very technical!
After some more internetting I found you can open the top and replace just the FSS for about $70. This sounds better, but apparently if it's not put back together properly the engine could enter a runaway condition. I feel confident in my work but "runaway diesel" is always a scary term.
 

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After my 91 sits for the winter I usually have someone pull me around the yard and the extra rpms will usually get the old grey mare to life without any drama or wear on the starter and the extra rpm helps purge the air if any in the system that cranking with the starter just seems to not do.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wish it had a manual trans, it would make my end goal so much easier! I think I'm gonna call around to my local U-pull-its and see if anyone has a 6.9 in the yard. I'll disassemble that one and see how bad it really is. If it looks pretty simple then I'll give rebuilding mine a shot.
 

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The solenoid on that pump is pretty straight forward and if at all mechanical go for it. The pump should be rebuildable for around $500. There is a small valve on the return on the top of the injection pump that easily gets gunk in it to not get proper pressure into the pump and has been an issue with several of my older vehicles. Was under $15
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If its clicking, my solenoid may be ok. Could it be as easy as cleaning out the internals? What I did find after looking at rebuild kits is that this is the same Stanadyne DB2 pump that is used in chevy 5.7 and 6.2 diesels. After broadening my search I've found more resources. Also, by looking at these it seems pretty easy. These photos are NOT mine. I'm just gonna go for it and open it up.


 

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I would shoot for and check that spring loaded valve on the return line on the top of the pump. If the injector pump does not get some pressure it won't feed the injectors. Easy enough to see if that solenoid is working
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I removed the cover and sent power to each solenoid. The small one clicked and moved. The large one, FSS, did nothing. I made a video but can't figure out how to post it from my phone. Still outside testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is what I found
https://www.facebook.com/nick.lon.7/videos/a.1551753568210621.1073741829.100001279797031/1551759011543410/?type=3

Removed the FSS and tested seperately
https://www.facebook.com/nick.lon.7/videos/a.1551753568210621.1073741829.100001279797031/1551759248210053/?type=3

After reinstalling into the top cover it worked fine.
https://www.facebook.com/nick.lon.7/videos/a.1551753568210621.1073741829.100001279797031/1551759451543366/?type=3

After I did all this, I was cranking and cranking and still couldn't get it to fire. I had one injector line off to test for fuel flow, but I had none. Then it hit me, Bioburner said "If the injector pump does not get some pressure it won't feed the injectors." I reconnected the one injector and cranked it and it fired right up! Good oil pressure, no leaks and idles like a dream. Thank you guys! I'll keep you all updated as I go through the rest of the vehicle and get her back on the road!

 

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Used to be common practice to crack open a injector or two to bleed system of air when one ran out of fuel on tractors.
Glad it worked out
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi guys, back again with my project truck. I've put some mileage on it and its being going pretty good but I have a new issue. If I go to start it, it just cranks. If I hit it with either it fires right up. Now, I've been told that the glow plug system needs to be fully operational no matter what the temperature is. Which would make sense because if it sits for a while it wont refire. Also, when I turn the key on the WTS light comes on and quickly shuts off (less than a second) I pulled all the glow plugs and replaced them. Then I checked to see that the glow plug relay was working. Key on, no power to the GP's. I ordered a new glow plug relay and decided to test it right out of the box. No good. Or, maybe I'm testing it wrong?

Not my diagram but looks exactly like what I have. I have power at the always hot terminal. Key on I have power at the "to sensors/ignition" and no power at the "glow plugs" I've tested this on both my original and the new relay with the same results.
 

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You are right about the glow plug system on the 6.9 needing to be right no matter the weather. I don't have any real technical knowledge to give, but when we had problems with our 86, we would throw relays and timers and whatever at it, and throwing parts at it never cured it. We would give up and haul it to the dealer, and they would find a bad connection or bad ground and have it back in action. I am sure I could do better now, back when I was trying to troubleshoot I was just a kid that could barely run a meter. Our issue was always that it would start the first time, and then would not restart when warm. Good luck with it, nice to see someone getting one of those back on the road. I hope mine is still roaming around, I miss the racket that the 6.9 made compared to my 6.7, though I am enjoying modern power.
 
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