2001 7.3 wont start cold unless plugged in - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 09-17-2010, 12:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 7.3 wont start cold unless plugged in

Hey guys I've been dealing with a hard starting 2001 7.3 for a while now and any help would be greatly appreciated. The problem is that my truck will not start if it is colder than about 5 degrees celsius unless it is plugged in. When it is cranking over it will be hitting on a few cylinders and sounding like its about to start but usually doesn't. Once I finally get it to run it misses on at least 2 cylinders and will be gutless as hell until it starts to warm up, then if I press it hard it will clear up and run like a champ for the rest of the day until it gets cold again. It seems like it is getting air in the injection system somehow and when I press it, it shoots out a cloud of black and will clear up immediately. I have checked the oil level in the hpop and it is full, I have pulled out every glow plug and watched them get red hot, batteries are new, changed fuel filter, cps is fine, tested the fuel pressure and it rang up 60 psi. Only other thing I can think of is that it needs new injectors, but if that was the case wouldn't it miss and run badly all the time? Or is it possible that the ipr or icp could have anything to do with it? Truck will not even try to start when I give it a shot of ether, which is unusual as every truck I've seen starts with ether...only way to start it is by plugging it in. Sometimes if it is left plugged in for long enough on a reasonably warm day it will even start and not miss at all...the truck does have high km's at 436,000 but it does not burn any oil or smoke at all (other than when you press it it dumps out some coal ) and has a load of power leading me to believe that the engine is not worn out bad enough to cause it not to start. Its only when you leave it for 8 hours or more she will not fire up again without some effort. Sorry for the long post but I have tried alot of things to get this beast to run good and I hate to take it to a mechanic because they will charge me an arm and a nut and most likely not solve the problem, so once again any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm in the exact same boat...
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Glow plug relay problem (both you guys) would be my guess.

Check the Hard/No Start link in my signature.

Get back to us if the GP system checks out OK. I'm betting it won't.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I also had to replace my GPR today, and It hasn't even dropped below 50deg... Went ahead and ordered the Stancor... Now I have a question... I just read that waiting until the Wait to Start light too go off, before starting your PSD plays hell with your GPR?

I was curious how many of U only wait 15 sec or so before U crank it over?
How many of U wait until the Wait to Start light goes out before you crank on it?

What is the correct proceedure on starting our 7.3L? If one way is hard on the relay why do it?

Thanks
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyN View Post
I just read that waiting until the Wait to Start light too go off, before starting your PSD plays hell with your GPR?
B.S.

The timing of the WTS light and the GPR activation are independent. The GPR "ON" time depends on engine oil temperature and barometric pressure, and can be on for up to 2 minutes at low EOT and/or high altitude. So the GPR can be on long after your WTS light goes out, and can be on even with the engine running.
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Hard or no-start? Check Here
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klhansen View Post
B.S.

The timing of the WTS light and the GPR activation are independent. The GPR "ON" time depends on engine oil temperature and barometric pressure, and can be on for up to 2 minutes at low EOT and/or high altitude. So the GPR can be on long after your WTS light goes out, and can be on even with the engine running.
What he's saying is the little reminder light we see on the dash has absolutely nothing at all to do with how long the glow plugs stay on. You can verify this with a meter on the GPR / GPCM. Anyone saying starting before the light goes out has absolutely no clue how these engines work.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey guys thanks for the replies, im quite confident that its not the gpr I have tested it multiple times with the voltmeter, taken it apart to make sure the plate inside wasnt burnt or anything, and even tried the old holding a screwdriver across the two posts to see if that would help but nothing. Usually I will let the gpr run well after the wait to start light goes out until I hear it click, in the warmer weather it runs for about 10 to 15 seconds, in the winter it will run for up to 2 minutes I think. This truck has really been pissing me off because it runs like a champ once its warmed up so I figure it cant be time for a rebuild just yet, and if the injectors were bad you would think it would miss constantly even when warm. The only other thing I can think of is that the poppet valve inside the injectors is getting stuck and once it warms up enough to thin the oil out and maybe expand the injector they free up and the truck starts running good, would also explain the fact that it always starts when plugged in. If I wasnt so damn cheap (as well as broke haha ) I would just buy a set for it but dont feel like coughing up 1000 bucks when im not 100% sure that will even fix it. Ill probably end up taking it to a mechanic I know and at least get him to scan it for me and it will likely be the injectors...it does have 436,000 kms after all and likely still the original injectors. If anyone else has any thoughts please let me know. Stocks, what has your truck been doing exact same thing? If you get her figured id greatly appreciate it if you let me know what was wrong with it! Thanks guys
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is a good "No Start" trouble shooting guide.
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Originally posted by Dave (Golfer) on PSN 01-20-2010 Thanks Dave

its nevvvvver the oil pump...seriously.

I see sooooooooooooooo many guys (dealerships included) that see "no ICP" or some ICP codes in a scantool...and toss HPOP's on truck after truck...when it is either an IPR or an injector (poppet valve) issue.

If you hook up the scantool, and monitor ICP (psi) while cranking...you'll see IPR% (duty cycle) climb & climb 15% key on..20, 30, 40, 55%, higher..the increase in IPR% means that the PCM is requesting ICP pressure to increase...

so ALSO watch ICP(psi) and if it comes up to only 180-250psi or so and stays there...then it's the IPR hung open (bypassing oil back to the oil pan through the front cover) such that only minimal psi can be made.

If the ICP is VERY low...like under 60psi...then it could be injector (poppets) pissing oil (under the VC's)..which is typical for injector with more than 180-200k miles.

if ICP climbs above 550-600..then it will probably climb much higher (15-1800+) and it is most likely going to be an electrical issue.

If his scantool will not connect then its a PCM or chip issue (remove the chip if you have one & haven't removed it yet)

if the scantool connects AND you have >600ICP then look at the datastream for a RPM reading.

if the scantool picks up an RPM signal and it seems accurate....then the CPS is good.

If no RPM on the scantool, replace CPS.

If you have RPM (on scantool, not just on dash)...AND have ICP >600, then run an (key on, eng off) injector "buzz test"...

the buzz test is nothing more than a continuity test from the PCM, through the IDM, and to & from each injector solenoid.

LISTEN to each inj buzz....do they all sound the same? nice & crisp?

if the test passes (and you audibly heard them all)...then wiring is good, IDM is good, HPOP is good...CPS is good...then it could be a fuel issue. gasoline, water, etc...

I wouldn't mention it if I haven't seen it myself numerous times...

any chance this no start began with 10-20miles after a fillup?

holler if you need help troubleshooting. take care~ Dave
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Hears some good info also:

7.3L Powerstroke Starting Requirements:
Battery voltage a minimum of 10.5 volts while cranking
RPM at least 100 while cranking. If no tach movement suspect CPS
If you have a scan tool ICP should be 500 PSI ± 25 PSI and fuel
pulse width should be 1 to 6 milliseconds.

The above requirements assume the following:

Correct oil level, oil type and pressure
Correct type of fuel
Correct fuel pressure (53 PSI per Ford spec)
Sufficient air supply (clean air filter & unobstructed intake)
Proper oil level in HPOP reservoir (1 to ¾ inch from top)
Proper glow plug relay and glow plug operation (in cold weather)
Proper injection timing (PCM controlled)
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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LOL, my solution is to always plug it in when it gets below 5 degrees Celcius and avoid going anywhere longer than 8 hrs where there's no power.

You mean this isn't normal?!?
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Myself, i don't know what 'normal' is, but i do know that my 7.3 will start down to -5* F without being plugged in. Below -5*F it will not go without being plugged in. Oh, to get it to go at -5*F i have to be patient, hold my mouth just right, and kinda say nice things to the cold sluggish old truck, but i don't beg.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 7.3 coal roller View Post
The only other thing I can think of is that the poppet valve inside the injectors is getting stuck and once it warms up enough to thin the oil out and maybe expand the injector they free up and the truck starts running good, would also explain the fact that it always starts when plugged in. If I wasnt so damn cheap (as well as broke haha ) I would just buy a set for it but dont feel like coughing up 1000 bucks when im not 100% sure that will even fix it.
Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing here. Of course if you're too cheap to spend the money on new injectors without being sure, I don't really see that as a bad thing.

The way to check the poppets is maybe by performing repeated buzz tests to see if the injector sounds seem to wake up, or just pull the valve covers off and start the truck up cold. If you've got sticking poppets, you'll see some of the injectors not spitting the same, or any, oil out of the discharge port. If you've got some injectors not spitting oil right, and you still aren't 100% convinced, swap the bad spitting injector with one near it that spits oil good and re-test on a cold start. If the oil problem stays with the injector and not the hole, you've got a worn or bad injector and it's time to spend some money. If the problem stays in the same hole, it's electrical.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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http://www.dieselpro.ca/Poppet%20Valve.pdf After reading this page and reading some of your replies about the possibility of bad poppet valves, I decided to pull the valve covers off today and measure the clearance between the armature plate and adapter housing of a few of the injectors and the clearance was virtually zero. Just to make sure I fired the truck up cold (was about 20 degrees celsius and it still hardly went lol ) and watched the discharge ports on the injectors. At least 3 for sure were not spitting any oil at all and as the truck warmed up one of them came around and started shooting out oil. Didnt need to wait for the others to come around I think the solution is quite clear: I need new injectors! Guess I cant complain though I bought the truck for 2100 bucks running somewhat better than it does now, so I should have been ready to throw some money into it. I will be ordering a new set of injectors asap likely off ebay unless someone knows where to get cheaper ones. Hopefully this will fix my hard starting issue, otherwise I will be down at least 1000 bucks and might have to drive the truck off a cliff either that or ill have to throw a generator in the box and plug it in every 8 hours if im not near a power source haha. Once I get the new injectors installed I will be sure to let you guys know how it turns out. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have heard some horror stories about some of the companies on ebay for injectors. Do some searching before you choose. Cheapest is probably not the best for injectors. Clay at Riffraff Diesel probably would be my choice. I think he has the stock rebuilt ones for about 130.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh really? These are the ones I was looking at on ebay Ford 7.3 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel Fuel Injector Superkit: eBay Motors (item 200524715180 end time Oct-07-10 20:49:42 PDT)

They claim to have a 1 year warranty on them and also come with the glow plugs and valve cover gaskets which I thought was handy, but maybe they are crap. I will look into the Riffraff diesel injectors, 130 is pretty cheap anyways. Ill definitely do some searching before I go laying out a grand for some crappy injectors.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't think I'd buy from that eBay dealer, because just looking at their posting made me want to

I think others have posted about that shop (I recall most of the comments I've seen are negative.)

I'd go with one of the known injector builders, such as Swamps or Riffraff as mentioned.
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99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version), AIS, coolant filter w/"hokum" bracket, regulated return, heated mirror mod, lighted cupholder, Marinco heater plug-in.

Hard or no-start? Check Here
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