94-7.3 Idi Turbo hard start cold - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 06-25-2011, 08:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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94-7.3 Idi Turbo hard start cold

Just bought first diesel,300000 miles, No start without blaster spray, replaced batteries, glow plugs, glow plug controller. It will start after alot of cranking now but still not cured. I do not have a Wait to start light on dash or can not find it. Can anyone tell me where it is on the dash? The controller clicks on and off aprox every second for about 20 seconds, is that normal. I have cycled 5 times and and it seems like until the oil pressure comes up while cranking it won't start. It does put a cloud of white smoke out when it starts. I checked the check valve in the fuel filter, nylon ball and spring, Seems ok. Any thoughts as to what I should check? How about the correct start procedure, Thank You. Rod
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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WTS light lives to the right of the instrument panel.

Correct start procedure: turn key to run, wait until WTS light goes out, start. Unless you also get a Water In Fuel light, in which case you drain the water sep before starting.

Sounds to me like your GPs aren't doing the GP thing, AND you have a drainback problem.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
replaced batteries, glow plugs, glow plug controller.
What brand of GP's did you install? If they are autolites get them back out asap! Too many issues with that brand. Use Motorcfraft/Beru ZD9's. I am using a set of Wellmans from MidWest Fuel Injection ( site sponsor).

The WTS light is in the panel just to the right of the dashboard. It is square and has the WTS and WATER IN FUEL, FUEL FILTER and ENGINE (overheat) lights in it.

If your WTS light isn't working and the controller "clicks" right away, I would suspect the ground for the controller is not complete. The grounding can be an issue with these trucks.

If the controller is grounded and the GP's are good then the WTS light should come on for 12-15 seconds and then the controller will clkick (cycle) the GP's for up to two additional minutes. The white smoke could be air intrustion, but it can also be a "cold" cylinder, so lets get the starting issue cleared first.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Put champion glow plugs's Napa GPC. Sounds like i need to find and fix the WTS light
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As soon as I turn the key on I hear a click, click,click. as fast as you read it, for aprox 20 seconds. I will try to find the wait to start light. I tested the new glow plugs and all check ok, Any place I can get test info for the GPC? Thank You again. Rod
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I let my glow plugs cycle 3 times before I attempt a cold start. I know I have at least 1 bad plug though, possibly 3. If it starts immediately with, sorry, "starting fluid" then I would strongly suspect a fuel flow problem. I start mine in the winter when the batts have drained down enough (not a daily driver) to not to fire the GP's with a shot of propane and it will start immediately.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ford told me once that if the wait to start light does not come one or stays on a short period of time then you have more than 3 bad glow plugs. Every time this has happened to me I have found 3 to 6 bad glow plugs. I check them by using a test light hooked to the + of the battery and touch the tip of each glow plug. If the light lights then the glow plug is good, if the light does not light then the glow plug is bad, replace it. This has worked for me in the past but there are more experienced people out there than I. Maybe someone can validate this but it has worked for me. Good Luck
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrpm View Post
As soon as I turn the key on I hear a click, click,click. as fast as you read it, for aprox 20 seconds. I will try to find the wait to start light. I tested the new glow plugs and all check ok, Any place I can get test info for the GPC? Thank You again. Rod
After you have verified that all the GP's are good, check your ground. The GPC ground is attached at the valve cover bolt..known to be a poor connection. It sounds like your ground is bad, the GPC should keep the GP's energized for 12-14 seconds and then cycle (click) ...My brain is on overload at this second but If I remember right the cycling starts based on resistance and if the ground isn't there or good the GPC skips the heat up and goes straight to the cycle....I may not be explaining it perfect but you get the idea right? BAD GOUND= NO heating of the GP's..
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks so much, I was told today if you have battery problems and you replace glow plugs you can burn them up again,The batteries were bad. I will recheck GPs as I replaced batteries after the GP s. I can't believe the GPC would cycle so fast and heat the GPs. I will run a separate ground after checking and post for others. In south Fla everybody says, "u don't need Glow plugs" Yes or No??? Thanks Again, Rod
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In south Fla everybody says, "u don't need Glow plugs" Yes or No??? Thanks Again, Rod
For cold starts, an IDI always needs glow plugs. It usually doesn't get as hot here as it does in south FL, but I can tell you that even when it's 90+ out, my first start of the day requires glow plugs.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:00 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I can start my MBZ at the end of a hot day without any glow, but the IDI hates it and doesn't want to do it. Always glow.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ok I just dissected my dash to find my wait to start light, water in fuel & filter lights, Surprise, They are there! But behind the Dash Bezel! Either someone changed the bezel to a non diesel or Ford put the wrong one in. The electrical board/light module is there screwed to the back of a solid bezel. Now I can tell you the wts light comes on and shuts off right away, while the GPC cycles fast. I am posting this just in case someone else can not find the light cluster.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrpm View Post
Either someone changed the bezel to a non diesel or Ford put the wrong one in. The electrical board/light module is there screwed to the back of a solid bezel. Now I can tell you the wts light comes on and shuts off right away, while the GPC cycles fast. I am posting this just in case someone else can not find the light cluster.
Just like it was from the factory!!


I am still betting on a bad ground..
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
Train Horns: Pictures here

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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My dash has No insert with the Lenses you have, Crazy, I ran a ground from the battery to the ground wires at the controller and it still click click click. Starting to think the Harness is shorted, will disconnect all glow plugs and try Saturday as well as for shorts. Thanks for the picture, Rod
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Changed out the injectors and return hose kit yesterday, Today Glow 2 times and it starts up. One injector had 1/2 of the copper seal ring gone and One injector unscrewed from the lower part of the injector, came out in pieces, the same hole was carboned up bad, had to dig out carbon and grind the threads off the old injector where it would normally screw into the head and thread back into the hole to get the lower 1/2 of the injector out, I now have a 7.3 that will start. Thanks to ALL.
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