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Power Stroke Excursions Technical discussion of the Ford Excursion SUV with the Power Stroke diesel.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Starting Issues

I am hoping someone can helps us figure this out. My brother owns a 2002 7.3. I has a hard time starting when it gets the least bit cold out, but when he plugs it in, it starts right up. We did an oil change yesterday which he hadnt done since he bought it. It now has the Rotella in it. We changed his glow plug relay around the first of the year. Another thing he does to get it to start is, turn the key to on and wait for the light, turn it off and turn it back on again and wait. He does this about three times and then turns the key to start it. It then starts. I dont think he has the issue when its warm, but even when it gets in the 40's here in Utah, it struggles if it is not plugged in. My 2000 7.3 cranks for 2-3 seconds and fires right up. Today we woke up to a foot of snow, and mine cranked and started. Could his be a glow plug issue? What more can we try to see if we can get past this issue?

Thanks everyone in advance.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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sounds like a glow plug relay......
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you already changed the relay, then it is the glow plugs. Especially if it starts after multiple key cycles. The excursions usually throw a code when the relay goes bad. But you could test it to be sure.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It might be glow plug system related, but it could be as simple as batteries that are getting weak. The engine has to turn over fast enough build enough oil pressure to fire the injectors. If the batteries are weak, the drop in temp may slow down the cranking enough to keep the systems from putting fuel in the cylinders.

We have a Glow Plug Module instead of relay. It is more expensive than the relay, but I think it allows you to know which glow plugs are bad if you have it scanned for codes.

Plugging in the block warmer warms the whole engine compartment if it is plugged in long enough. So that helps the batteries too.

The problem may have nothing to do with the batteries, or it could be a combination of the two.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input. He did mention something about the batteries as well. Maybe will start there and see if there is any improvement. The batteries are the easiest to swap out. Then we will look into the glow plugs.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I say batteries too, and put a meter on the alt, when running it should put out around 14.4. If the batteries are newer it could be the alt. It kind of goes hand in hand, I have had 3 alts in 270k and 10 years, I quit buying the NAPA crap and went with a Ford alt, it has lasted a long time now, longer than the others. When the alt goes it is weak and the batteries don't charge, if the batteries are weak the alt works overtime and goes south. The last would be the starter, if it is going south it will crank slow. Start at the alt with the meter, if it is pumping out 14.4 it would be the batteries, get the Interstate with 1000 cold cranking amps, I have had good luck with mine. Also keep an eye on the block heater plug end, they go bad and can short out and burn the truck down. Once I plugged mine in and it sparked big time, I replaced it with a Marinco plug that mounts in the bumper and eliminated the plug end with a waterproof housing with the male end protected and fixed so it is not being stressed and moved around. Heck mine did not even work due to a broken wire in the plug end. A way to tell if it is working is to feel the ext cord, it will be warm if it is drawing current. Also an ohm reading across the plug ends will tell if it is open (broken) or show about 15 to 20 ohms of resistance, which means it is good. The wire causes resistance to the current, no resistance means nothing is flowing thru the wire because it is open....or broken. Good luck.
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