I own a '97 F250 Heavy Duty truck with a 7.3L deisel. It has about 145,000 miles and has been a pretty good truck except for the piece of crap front end, but that's another issue. I bought this new and never had to plug this in until this year. I live in Michigan so it has seen pretty cold temps. in its time. Like many, I have been having starting problems with the truck lately, when it is not plugged in. I tried to start it today when it was about 48 degrees out. I After about 5 attempts, it finally started. I forgot to plug it in one night when it was about 18 degrees out, I spent over an hour and ended up jumping it before it started. She used to just fire right up.I think I might have both a relay switch and a glow plug problem just due to the fact that they are both stock. What kind of lifespan should I expect out of the glow plugs? Has anyone here ever taken theirs into a shop to get replaced? How much money can I expect to pay for this? It seems that most here are mechanics, unforunately I am not. I think I could figure out the relay switch(if I can locate it), but the glow plugs kind of sound like too much a pain in the *** for me. I have seen people listing part # GPR-109 from Napa as an inexpensive replacement for the relay, but one post stated it wasn't built for this application and wouldn't last. Any thoughts on this? Is there any site that shows how to replace any of this or has diagrams with parts shown? Sorry for rambling on...Thanks for any help
Last edited by dbrink1; 03-27-2004 at 09:17 PM.
Reason: Added explanation
If you've never changed the glow plugs and relay I would almost guarantee that you have some poorly/non-functioning glow plugs. Another possibility is the injector o-rings. Deteriorated o-rings will make it harder to get good compression and will result in harder starts with plenty of white exhaust. Any combination of these things could be the problem.
The GPR-109 from NAPA goes for around $24, and the MR-99 from Autozone goes for around $16. Both will do fine, and are parts for the older IDI diesel systems. There is a high quality Stancor unit out there for around $50, but for me, I carry a spare and would rather only spend $16. The life span will depend on how often you start the truck. I have a Glow Plug Relay Bypass System that I sell that helps prolong the life of the GPR, glow plugs and batteries, email me if you're interested.
The glow plugs can be a pain. If they are original, they may be broken off in the head which would require removing the heads. Not fun. Had to pull both heads off mine to replace them. That's the worst case. If they are frozen in but still intact, lots of penetrating oil should get them out.
where at in michigan do you live?
i live here in mi also. detroit area.
first of all you should check the relay. it is located under the plastic shroud over the fuel filter on the passenger side of the truck. using a 12 volt test light ground the tester and see which sid eof the relay is hot with out the key turned on. then have someone turn the key on so it turns the glow plugs on and touch the other side of the relay with the test light. if the light comes on then the relay is ok. then you have to remove the valve covers and check the glow plugs. to check the glow oplugs you can use the 12 volt test light and hook it up to the positive side of the battery and touch the glow plug. if the light comes on the the plug is good , no light then that plug is bad. my suggestion to you would be if you find one bad glow plug then change them all, once one goes bad then the rest will follow.if you can find a international dealer go there and tell them that you need a glow plug relay.
I haven't worked on it yet. I am just going to purchase all new glow plugs and a relay switch for it I guess. They are both original, so I imagine that even if the relay switch is gone, I would think that some of the glow plugs are bad as well. I am still plugging it in every night, even though were into April now, so I should probably get on it quickly...
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