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Possible lightning strike - now no-start

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Possible lightning strike - now no-start

  #1  
Old 10-02-2018, 11:47 AM
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Possible lightning strike - now no-start

I have a 2000 Excursion 7.3L. 160/80 injectors, 38R turbo, otherwise stock engine. Last Thursday night we had a nasty thunderstorm come through. I live on top of a hill and there were quite a few strikes close by. One hit the utility pole near the corner of the house, which was possibly the loudest and most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. We had some electronics get fried that weren't protected but no injuries. After it hit, I ran to the front door for some reason - maybe to check for burning debris? - and saw what I'm about 80% sure was the courtesy light on the running board on my truck flickering. It could have been a piece of burning debris from the strike, or some weird lightning-related thing. But I thought it was the light flickering which kind of says to me that the Excursion took some of the charge.

The next morning, my truck won't start. This is the first time it's failed me since I bought it in 2014. When I got in and turned the key on, I noticed that the glow plugs didn't light. I cranked it over and it won't fire. The batteries are starting to get low (I can't find my charger either - grrr!) from all the cranking. I checked all the fuses (including the ones under the hood) and found nothing blown or burned. I've been trying to pull codes but I can get neither the bluetooth adapter or the Wifi adapter to work. Neither device is seen by my iPad or Kindle Fire, both of which have read codes from my truck in the past. I also could not get them to be seen when plugged into my girlfriend's car, an '08 Toyota. So I don't know if I have two bad adapters or what. Both of them have LEDs that light when powered, and both of them come on in both vehicles. So I know they're getting power. I also don't know for sure that the truck was actually hit. The utility pole is actually about 150-200 feet from where the truck was parked. This could be a coincidence and the light flickering could have been a piece of burning tree bark, for all I could see in the dark and pouring rain.

I haven't pulled the PCM or the IDM yet. Fuel pressure is good. Oil is halfway up the hashed area on the stick. Plenty of fresh fuel. Everything else looks normal, except no glow plugs and no start. All the lights on the dash that should be on, are.

Can someone recommend a OBD-II dongle that will for sure work?

Ideas? Next steps?

Thanks guys
 
  #2  
Old 10-02-2018, 12:53 PM
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so there is no wait to start light ? First easy step: load test the batteries make sure they are healthy.
 
  #3  
Old 10-02-2018, 01:11 PM
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First thing is check fuses. Being a 00, your windshield may be letting water in, dripping onto GEM, creating the havoc your experiencing
 
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by viperman86 View Post
so there is no wait to start light ? First easy step: load test the batteries make sure they are healthy.
As I said, all the lights that are supposed to be on, are. Including the WTS light. The batteries are fine, both are less than a year old. The truck cranks over fine and I have no reason to suspect the batteries because that doesn't explain the glow plugs not engaging. I know this because I have a voltmeter plugged in and the voltage has always dropped below 12V when the glow plugs are engaged and the voltage no longer drops when I turn the key on, so something is clearly wrong electrically with the truck.

Originally Posted by timmyboy76 View Post
First thing is check fuses. Being a 00, your windshield may be letting water in, dripping onto GEM, creating the havoc your experiencing
Fuses checked out fine. No sign of moisture under the dash anywhere (and yes, I do know where to look and what to look for as far as the GEM module, though I did not remove it yet), except for some very old indications on the fuse panel cover that have been there since I bought it. The windshield was been replaced at some point in its life and I think that solved the problem. I have let it sit outside in the pouring rain for years and it started every time until last week.
 
  #5  
Old 10-02-2018, 02:38 PM
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batteries can go bad even after a week ....just double check lol
 
  #6  
Old 10-02-2018, 03:06 PM
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Andy, I am sorry to see you return to the FTE on such a bad note. It has been too long my friend, but I understand life gets in the way.

This is a tough one really...

Since the truck cranks over, I would immediately eliminate things like the starter relay, the starter, ignition switch, etc...

So, best you can tell the PCM is working fine, but you are unable to connect to it right with your OBD tools? You asked for suggestions on an OBD tool that works, and the best one we have found is probably one you are familiar with at the link below.

For Android:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NZTZLQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006NZTZLQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For Apple:
https://www.amazon.com/ScanTool-OBDLink-Wi-Fi-Automotive-Diagnostics/dp/B00OCYXTYY/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1538506885&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=ScanTool+OBDLink+MX+wifi&psc=1&smid=A1C2436WDJ39HA https://www.amazon.com/ScanTool-OBDLink-Wi-Fi-Automotive-Diagnostics/dp/B00OCYXTYY/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1538506885&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=ScanTool+OBDLink+MX+wifi&psc=1&smid=A1C2436WDJ39HA

They are pricey, but they go to sleep when not used and have great success connecting to TorquePro or Forscan/Forscan Lite.

Do you know of anyone close that you can swap IDM's out with since you suspect the PCM is OK?

Does the CEL go out after the short period of time before trying to start the Ex?

There was an electonics shop in TN (Chattanooga I believe) that was being discussed here a couple weeks ago. He is a co-founder of Swamps, but does work on his own time now. He tests PCM's and IDM's for customers and can repair most faults from what I saw. If you search and cannot find the info I am referencing, shoot me a PM and I will see if I can find it. That is an option up to you.

To me, the problem you are having really seems electronic related. What about your fuel pump, is it coming on and filling/priming the bowl?

I know you are running single shots, but as I understand it the truck will start without the chip/hydra even on single shots. It runs like crap, but it is capable of starting. Maybe remove the chip/hydra and see what you get from that.

Batteries need at least 10.5v I believe to start the truck. I think you already know this because of the extensive work you have done in the past on the truck though.

Does it try to start at all, or is it just cranking and no signs of firing up?

Keep talking, we will get to the bottom of it...
 
  #7  
Old 10-02-2018, 04:17 PM
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Are you physically pulling fuses or just doing a continuity test with your meter?
 
  #8  
Old 10-02-2018, 04:38 PM
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andym , I found the post I was referring to since I am home now and had a few minutes. He is in fact in TN, so if you needed some service the shipping should be quick.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post18196988

and

https://www.dieseltechchatt.com/
 
  #9  
Old 10-02-2018, 08:31 PM
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You can remove the wire to the PCM off of your GPR then ground it and see if your GPR works then. If it does your PCM is not grounding it.
 
  #10  
Old 10-02-2018, 09:27 PM
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I'd start by checking the bluetooth dongle on a vehicle that does start. If the PCM did indeed get fried by lightning, then a scanner won't be able to connect to it. Buying a new OBDII connector won't help if that's the case.
 
  #11  
Old 10-03-2018, 11:11 AM
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My '03 had similar symptoms that I had documented here. On the advice from Nicmike , I sent the PCM out to Diesel technology of Chattanooga. I am glad to say that it came back with a clean bill of health. Waiting on my technician to work on the truck.
 
  #12  
Old 10-03-2018, 12:58 PM
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Quick and dirty: Jump the GPR lugs and see what happens.

​​
 
  #13  
Old 10-03-2018, 06:45 PM
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Got mine back in less than 5 days. He even loaded it with a single-shot tune instead of the Ford factory split-shot tunes I can't use any more. He resoldered all the chip contacts, and he painted it.
 
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:45 PM
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I think the first thing you need to do is sort out that problem of no communication. Can you beg borrow or steal a scan tool? Even the one at Autozone will connect to our trucks even if it can't read all the codes.The PC is highly suspect in my mind if you can't connect so I would want to know that first. We were at a huge party with over a hundred cars parked in a grassy lot when a thunderstorm rolled through. Lightning hit the ground between 4 cars and they all left on rollbacks that evening. ...never did hear the outcome on any of them
 
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:53 PM
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Did you check all the fuses with a test light? Any noticeable damage to fusible links ?
 

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