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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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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Starter issues

Hey all,

Iíve been having a slow crank issue with my van, (01 E350, 216K) and Iím hoping to get a little insight into whatís going on. So here goes.

Itís a slow crank that occurs at almost any time, regardless of time of day, temperature, or how long Iíve been driving it. Itíll crank slow almost to the point of dying, Iíll turn the key off, turn it back on and try again Ė and it magically regains power and starts up. Iíve had it start fine on cold mornings. Iíve driven it for 90 minutes, stopped for gas, and had it slow crank when I restarted. All of that made me think it wasn't a battery issue, but I checked them out anyway.

I took both batteries out. They were both at 75-80% already, but I charged them fully just to be sure. Took them into Napa and they both tested fine. Hooked them back up, still got a slow crank.

I removed the starter. I took it into Napa and it tested out fine. Thing is, I was expecting some sort of a load test, but all they did was hook it up to power, confirm that it spun up OK, and checked the amps and volts. It passed all tests. Whatís bothering me is that I still donít have the starter tested when it'sunder a load. Personally, I think itís getting weak, and I donít see how those tests can tell if the starter is losing its oomph.

What should my next steps be? Iíve seen suggestions around about checking the solenoid, relays, etc Ė but none of those cases seem to match this one. I never have a problem getting it to crank. I have never turned the key only to get a clicking sound. Itíll crank each and every time I turn the key, it just doesnít do it with all that much power.

Iím thinking of getting a new starter anyway and seeing how that works, mainly because I just don't think that the Napa test was what I was looking for. Thoughts?

2001 E350 Econoline with 7.3 liter powerstroke.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 02:03 PM
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Replace the starter! The compression on these motors is hard on starters. The test they performed is nothing more than an operation test. You pretty much already knew it worked.

You can measure voltage while cranking, but with the batteries getting a load test, they should be good.

I also assume by Slow Crank you mean the rpm is lower than normal and not longer cranking time.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodnthings8 View Post
I also assume by Slow Crank you mean the rpm is lower than normal and not longer cranking time.
Yes. It has a hard time turning over, not a problem with it cranking and cranking and cranking and just never actually starting up.

And thanks - I'll get to work on a replacement.
I've read a lot of great things about the Denso starters, but honestly, I'm just not sold on one actually fitting on my vehicle. It looks like it would be a snug fit, and it seems like everything is more difficult with a van, so I'm guessing I would buy one and have it not fit in the available space. I think I'm just going to stick with an OEM replacement.


2001 E350 Econoline with 7.3 liter powerstroke.
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