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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 10-16-2007, 07:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hard to start after sitting overnight

1992 Ford F250 7.3L IDI. 141,000 miles

Engine turns over for a long time before it finally starts, white smoke comes out of the tail pipe. Once it has ran for a while, the engine starts normal for the rest of the day.

Fuel filter was changed @ 118,000.

How often should I change the fuel filter?

What type of fuel additive should I use?

Thanks for all the info. I get a lot of info from this forum.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Im not 100% sure on the interval, but I'm sure @ 23k mi, that fuel filter isn't helping the situation. If that doesn't help, check the glow plugs... tis the season =D! And don't rule out a possible air leak into the fuel system, mines kinda notorious for those...
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

I eyeballed the fuel lines from the lift pump up to the filter, but didn't see any signs of leakage. I guess the fuel filter would be a good start huh? The filter looks like an oil filter, does it come off similar to?
Should I be concerned about fuel spillage?

Whats a good way to check the glow plugs? I have mechanical skills and understand the use of and ohm meter.

I bought the trunk this summer, and it's my first diesel, so I'm still learning the ins and outs of the diesel engine.

thanks
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Yup, fuel filter is easy, same idea as an oil filter, except you'll wanna fill it up with fuel before you install it. As for spillage, there's not alot, just be sure to have a place to put a filter full of fuel. Ive never tested glow plugs, I jumped straight into replacing mine, but I'm sure somebody on here knows exactly what the resistance should be if you wanna get technical. Welcome to the diesel brotherhood!
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Easiest way to do Glow plugs is to take a test light, remove the wire going to the Glow plugs as you do each one, connect the clamp to a positive battery terminal, and touch the probe to the top of the Glow plug. If it lights you have a good glow plug.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

For air leaks, check the smaller hose off the top of the fuel filter and follow it down onto the engine injectors. That first hose segment is a common air inlet point, as is the return hose on the front of the Injection Pump. The problem occurs when the truck is shut down and a vacuum exists as the fuel wants to return to the tank but can only do so if air leaks in. If it leaks, the next time you go to start, the fuel filter header and IP is full of air that has to be displaced making for a hard start. A $30 kit will replace all the return line hoses and injector caps and o-rings.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

I appreciate the info everybody!!
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

We had a very hard starting problem on our 7.3 IDI.. At first it was after sitting overnight. We could not get it started with
our killing the battery. We chased and repaired all of the vacum leaks we could find. Then if it sat for a week or more same no staring problem. I gave up chasing vacum leaks, instead we put on an additional pass through electric fuel pump, installed on motor side of the fuel tank switch. Problem solved.

The new electric pump is on a toggle switch. If the Motorhome has sat for more than a couple of days we run the pump for about fifteen seconds. No more hard staring problems.

Good luck.

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1987 460 ford in a 36' Grand Villa pusher
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

How long does the glow plug light stay on when you first try to start? If it's for a few seconds only you need to test and if necessary replace the glow plugs with ZD-9's.

If your return line caps and O rings are good and not leaking, the fuel won't leak down to your tank. Before you go replace the fuel pump with an electric one, you need to replace the O rings and caps. That's the first order of business with the symptoms you have.

Ford recommends a 65,000 mile change interval for the fuel filter and they usually can go a lot further before needing to be changed.
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Do you know the part# of the hose kit or what it would be called. If I went to an auto parts store, what would I ask for?

Thanks again for the info on this.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Checkout
http://www.intellidog.com/dieselmann/ford.htm $37.
http://www.mwfi.com/dieselPage/ford_73.htm $32.62
I'm sure you can also get a kit from any truck parts store.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

replaced the fuel filter, injector caps, o-rings and hoses. It still had a hard time starting this morning, but it was the coldest morning of the season (32 deg F). To really see if I've made a difference, I'll wait until a milder temp. morning and see if it starts any different. If I still have the same problem, what would be my next step? Injectors? The glow light stays on for about 4 to 5 seconds on a cold start. Is this long enough?
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Mine stay on for at least 9-10 seconds on cooler mornings like today 35F or so....
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

Your glow plugs may still not be working right. Double check all your grounds. Some times when you replace the cap and have the lines off they will still leak some air. I've had the same problem and just let it go a couple of days and it sealed it self. I guess it depends on if you feel lucky or not. You also can take a clear line and replace the return line from the pump to the last cap in line and see how many air bubbles you are getting when you start it. If it starts and isn't running rough from air in the line it has to be your glow plugs aren't heating long enough. Also make sure you have good batteries so it is spinning over fast enough.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: hard to start after sitting overnight

How the system works.....

http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthrea...vc=1&PHPSESSID=
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