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1988 ford won't start

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Old 11-14-2005, 10:14 PM
snap_on_tootls snap_on_tootls is offline
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1988 ford won't start

I have a 1988 ford f-350 diesel 7.3 liter. My problem is I'm having a hard time starting the truck when its cold. I have changed the fuel filters, installed new fuel pump, new glow plugs, new relay for glow plugs and I even drained the tanks and put new fuel in them. I tested the glow plugs, the relay and fuel all is fine. Once I get it to start its fine until the next day. Then it won't start its like it losing its prime but the fuel pumps up no problem no air in system. I'm at a lost help.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:24 PM
gallantentry gallantentry is offline
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Im not a mechanic but my experience with new parts doesn't always mean theyre working properly. I know that dielsel injectors aren't supposed to be ran dry, so it doesn't sound like a fuel delivery problem, unless the pressure is too low, but then it wouldn't run smooth warmed up or not if the pump was the issue. maybe the glow plugs are weak or something.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:25 PM
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Sounds like you got it pretty much covered. This may sound odd, but a friend of mine has a '88 F-250 7.3 and he went through the same thing. (And he's currently in New Jersey, a hard start problem in a New Jersey winter with a diesel is not a good thing.) After checking, testing, and replacing everything he was about to have the injection pump looked at. He called me up a while back and said he fixed the problem, it was his batteries. Even though they cranked the truck over okay and passed a load test they were his problem. I don't know if they weren't quite turning the engine over fast enough or not getting the glow plugs hot enough or what, but that did it for him.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:32 PM
IHdieselfan IHdieselfan is offline
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Yeah what he said about the batts. if they don,t put out like 10.5 or 11 volts it doesn't like to trigger the relay or it might at first but the 80 amp draw will pull them down.
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Old 11-14-2005, 10:51 PM
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First impression.
Sounds like air in the system to me. Check the fuel level in the filter before you try to start it.
Second thought.
Battery system must be first rate, clean all connections including grounds.
When load testing the batteries you did disconnect the grounds before testing, right. Many people in the auto parts stores think you can just hook the load tester up to the battery terminals like you do a car. It does not work that way though. You must isolate the batteries from each other to test them.
Also if the starter is old, they do slow down over time, it might not be cranking fast enough.

Last edited by Dave Sponaugle; 11-14-2005 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-15-2005, 04:18 AM
PLC7.3 PLC7.3 is offline
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What brand of Glow Plugs did you install.... ZD9 Beru/Motorcraft are the only acceptable long lasting OEM GP. They are available at Autozone for about $10 each. If you used Champion or Autolite they are probably already burned out........

Test them with a test light, remove the electical connector from the GP bullet top, then clip the TL wire to 12v positive on the battery. Place the light tip on the bullet top of the GP there should be a light, no light GP is bad.

If you have either Autolite or Champions installed and they are bad, read all you can on "Tips Breaking Off On Removal".

Visit.......... http://www.members.shaw.ca/k2pilot/ he has a ton of really good info with pics.
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:14 AM
snap_on_tootls snap_on_tootls is offline
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about truck not running

I retested glow plugs with test light they all light up. The fuel pump I installed is a electric in line. I have installed two new batteries, and new starter already. I'm thinking it might be the inj. pump but if it was that the pump won't run when its hot.
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Old 11-15-2005, 11:53 AM
smiller4597 smiller4597 is offline
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Have you cracked open an injector line to see if fuel or bubbles come out WHILE you are cranking the starter? If you have done everything in this thread, I suggest you, again, post complete details of your problem and all you have done to correct it. My 86 6.9 wouldnt start one time and I had a heck of a time trying to figure it out. Turned out I had a bad battery cable, looked great on the outside but green on the inside. The way I found this was, with everything hooked up, volt meter on the terminals-crank the starter, meter on the cable end-crank the starter, meter on the other cable end-crank the starter(there was my problem) all connections showed 12 volt until I cranked the starter. Cable would conduct 12 volts but couldnt handle any amps.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:06 AM
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I had a similar problem on my 1987 6.9. Would start OK if block heater was pluged in. Ran fine once started. Glow plugs checked OK. Relay clicked Ok but power was not getting to glow plugs. Found nut on relay connecting glow plug wires to terminal was loose. Cleaned and tightened connection, now starts fine.
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Old 11-19-2005, 09:54 AM
pnose pnose is offline
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Try plugging in the block heater for a couple of hours,if it then fires up and runs smooth its a glo plug related prob,if it acts the same as it does now its an air intrusion or weak starter or weak batts or dirty batt cables.
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Old 11-19-2005, 10:17 PM
dpekin dpekin is offline
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I had a similar problem w/ my '94 F-350. It would not start if it was level or facing up hill. If it was pointing down hill, it fires up fine. The common consensus is that my problem is air leaking into the fuel recirculation system. I'm parking downhill until I fix the problem....

How does your start uphill/downhill?
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1988, 73, 73l, air, bubbles, diesel, ford, hard, idi, loses, parked, prime, start, uphill

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