Hard Cold starts. - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'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 50 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Cold starts.

Where I live it has recently dropped into the 40's, and my 99' 7.3 really doesn't seem to be liking it. I can still get it started with a jump, but it's still brutal. At first I thought it we're just my batteries (which it could be), since after 1-2 decent turnovers the cranking slows down greatly. I tested them and they have 12.6 volts with the truck off. Then I considered the glow plugs relay since I just did all my glow plugs a couple months ago with ZD-11'S. I just tested it and I'm getting power to the glow plugs side of things with the key "on." Reading 10.5 volts or so. I have yet to change my oil to a thinner blend (currently at Rotella T4 15w-40). Could a mixture of the thicker oil and possibly weakening batteries be causing me all of this trouble?

More info- When I jump the truck I have to cycle the plugs about 7 times and give it some gas. About 4 cycles through, it will romp once then shut off. When I finally get it to start, pushing down on the go pedal rapidly, it will romp really badly for 5 seconds or so, then even out. I was really thinking it was going to be the glow plug relay, possibly I tested the wrong relay if there's more than one?

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
252,000 miles and increasing
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 09:47 PM
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Your early 99 has only one relay in the valley. There's no Intake Air Heater on the early models. The GPR will have large gauge brown and yellow wires on the output terminal.

You should get your batteries load tested (separately) to be sure they are up to the task. The slow cranking may be battery problems, or it could be the starter. You shouldn't have issues with 15W-40 oil at 40F. I run it all winter at much lower temperatures. I recently changed out the original starter which was cranking very slowly, causing extended cranking before it started. Quite a difference in cranking speed with the rebuilt starter I installed.

You shouldn't need to push the go pedal to get it to start. It's possible you have issues with the IPR or some other issue with the HP oil system, although those typically show up when hot.

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'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
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'll test the batteries soon separately. I believe the past owner put in a new starter but I would have to take a look at it. I didn't have any issues starting it when the temps were warm. Thanks KL

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 07:09 PM
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Before you start buying parts, make sure the batteries are fully charged with the battery charger. Then once you get it started check the alternator output also this should be around 14 V you can lose a diode in the alternator that will make it not charge properly but won’t light up the idiot light. The oil is not the issue! I would lean towards a alternator going bad or bad starter if your batteries check out OK.
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Early 1999 F350 AUTO 4x4 CC LB DRW 4.10 6.0 trans cooler, Front hitch, 2,000 hubs/ brakes, Bilstein shocks/steering stabilizer, Diesel site coolant filter 203 thermostat, EBV delete, new O-rings, new Oil cooler, RIFF RAFF FRX, Glow plug led, Pillar gauges, Lighted cupholder, Painless wiring fuze block, Harpoon/hutch mods, Removed axle blocks. Air bags, 5 wheel hitch, In bed 7 pin plug. Spare tire key delete. KLHANSEN on speed dial. 75,000 as of May 2019
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I'll be sure to do that. Also when I start it it almost sounds like it's not getting fuel. Most cold starts that I watch on YouTube some smoke comes out the tailpipe and you can hear the engine turning over. When I start it I only hear the starter and there's no smoke to my knowledge.

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 07:31 AM
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You should see white smoke out the tailpipe in large quantity.

Do you have a block heater that you can plug into a 120v wall outlet? Is there a cord near your front bumper dangling down or tucked inside? If so then plug it in until you sort this out.


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Stancor GPR. Walker BTM. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I do have one but I still need to add some coolant or do a flush as I've been pretty busy. It sounds like a car that will not start basically.

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
252,000 miles and increasing
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 09:40 AM
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Read this - PoppetValve.pdf

Our weather recently took a nosedive as well. One day its in the 90s. Next morning it's 32 and we have frost all over the place. My truck started right up without cycling the glow plugs. Granted, it's a dog until you get some heat in the motor, but it started fine.

2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM, Full Force Stage 1 injectors

IF MY BODY IS EVER FOUND ON A JOGGING TRAIL JUST KNOW THAT I WAS MURDERED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DUMPED THERE
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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RT the attachment says 'broken image' for me for some reason.

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
252,000 miles and increasing
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 12:43 PM
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Opens for me. It is a .pdf link, so when you click on it, you should see a file download.

2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM, Full Force Stage 1 injectors

IF MY BODY IS EVER FOUND ON A JOGGING TRAIL JUST KNOW THAT I WAS MURDERED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DUMPED THERE
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 03:05 PM
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Very informative pdf.

I could not open the attachment on my iphone;however, pressing on the image allowed it to enlarge so I could read it.


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II, AIC, Bilstein 5100, Stancor GPR, Marinco Mod, B&W Turnover Ball, Michelin Defender LTX


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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Stancor GPR. Walker BTM. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

SOLD:
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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. Rebuilt Fuel bowl w/gold spring, 6.0 Cooler, Walker BTM, Stancor GPR, Michelin LTX M&S2.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Okay I got it to open, I hope that's not the case but it sounds like my issue. I really don't think it's my starter, it looks relatively new. I tested my batteries, one is reading 12.02v and the other reads 11.70. One is a motorcraft the other is a Optima (both 750cca). I think I definitely need new batteries and I'll end up getting some blemished ones like Arctic mentioned. Possibly an alternator as well, I have yet to test it. In the PDF it mentions that the issue resolved once the oil is warm it thins out, am I able to use a low viscosity oil this winter until I could get some new injectors to help out? I was planning on saving for new Injectors this winter anyways.

When I drove the truck a week ago, I experienced something odd. I floored it to listen to the turbo (3 seconds top), then I let off the gas completely for around 5 seconds. I then went to give it some more gas (a normal depression of the pedal this time) and I had absolutely no throttle throttle response, meaning that that I had no rpm change even when I pressed the gas. It only took 2 seconds depressing the gas tops until the RPMs immediately jumped to 2000 or so. It was really strange and I hope I explained it okay. I've experienced this issue 3 or 4 separate times now. Possibly this is another sign of the injectors going out? Thanks y'all.

Early 1999 F250 XLT 7.3l 4x4
252,000 miles and increasing
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Also, when I rev it in park, it stumbles pretty badly. I believe it should be smooth. Even when the engine is warm. I hope I can upload a video to YouTube soon to show you guys exactly what I mean

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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 08:55 PM
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Low viscosity oil definitely will extend the need to address the issue. Batteries should be at 12.6 volts resting. Yours are nearly completely discharged. Got to get that addressed first.


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2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM, Full Force Stage 1 injectors

IF MY BODY IS EVER FOUND ON A JOGGING TRAIL JUST KNOW THAT I WAS MURDERED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DUMPED THERE
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 09:10 PM
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Like RT said, your batteries are bad.

Its common to think a 12v battery should still be fine with 11v and dead would be much lower like 6v but it doesn’t work like that.

A good and healthy 12v battery should be atleast 12.6v and will usually be 13+ right after it was charged.

Plugging in the block heater will help until you have a chance to get batteries. Its lousy you have to keep spending so much money on your rig.


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II, AIC, Bilstein 5100, Stancor GPR, Marinco Mod, B&W Turnover Ball, Michelin Defender LTX


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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Stancor GPR. Walker BTM. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

SOLD:
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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. Rebuilt Fuel bowl w/gold spring, 6.0 Cooler, Walker BTM, Stancor GPR, Michelin LTX M&S2.
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