My 7.3L won't start or even crank over - 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 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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My 7.3L won't start or even crank over

I have owned an '01 F250 7.3 auto 4X4 for about 2 years now, got just over 200k on the odo. Has run great until 2 days ago. My wife drove it Sunday, and said it was totally normal. On Monday I went to start it and it won't even crank over. Instrument lights came on and interior light was on, but I just assumed the batteries were getting low for some reason and didn't have enough power to turn over the starter. So I put the charger on them for a day. Tried again last night (charger reads "fully charged"). Nothing. Checked all the fuses inside and in the PCM box under the hood. All are intact. Checked battery connections and connections at the starter, all look great. I did remove the driver's side battery last week when installing the new Ford AIS intake system, but I reinstalled it and everything started up right away after this, so it seems unrelated. When I turn the key on, I hear the fuel pump cycling as normal and the "wait to start" light goes out after a few seconds like normal, but when I turn the key to engage the starter I only get a faint "click", no turning of the starter at all. Actually I hear two clicks. One sounds like it is coming from right down near the parking brake pedal, and the other sounds like just in front of the firewall on the passenger side.

Also, something that may or may not be related.....
Last week for the first time I noticed the airbag light staying on after startup. It would blink on and off a few times, then stay lit up. I didn't realize til a day or two later that maybe it was trying to flash an airbag code at me. But the truck was starting up and driving fine at that point as well...
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 11:36 AM
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My thought would be to take the starter off and put the charger on it...see if the relay pops like it should then see if the starter will actually spin off of the truck. Then if not, replace it with one of the bigger higher torque starters that someone here can point you to, I'm sure.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 12:09 PM
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Before you go pulling the starter, check the starter relay on the passenger side fender just behind the battery. If you jumper 12V to the small terminal, the relay should pull in and crank the starter. If it doesn't check for voltage at the output terminal of the relay. If you don't get 12V there with the relay activated, then replace the relay. If you get 12V out of the relay, then your problem is further down the line at the starter (or the starter mounted solenoid).

While you have the small wire pulled off, check for voltage there when you turn the key to start. You should get 12V. If not, there's a problem either with the neutral start switch in the shifter (try it in Neutral instead of Park), or the ignition switch itself. The ignition switch has 4 separate switches in it, and any one of them can go bad.

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 02:10 PM
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Oops. Klhansen said it much better than me, but that's basically what I was thinking. Meant check that relay before removing the starter, not afterward.
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckjake View Post
Then if not, replace it with one of the bigger higher torque starters that someone here can point you to, I'm sure.

DB Electrical - Ford 7.3 Diesel Starter Powerstroke Truck HT 1994-2003 SND0355 17802

Here you go. Here's the link to the high torque starter.

2001 F350 XLT 4X4 crew cab, dual rear wheels, long bed, black, 7.3l turbo diesel, automatic transmission, 4.10, shift on the fly, running boards, sliding rear window, 38 gal fuel tank, Odyssey extreme 65-PC1750T batteries, Michelin LTX-MS2 rear tires, Sumitomo Encounter front tires, Shell Rotella Ultra elc, 11,500 gvwr, 20,000 gcwr, 7500 gvw, completely stock, 114,000 miles when purchased, now has 250,000 miles, repairs so far: two starters, batteries, cps, brakes, tires, alternator, ball joints, locking hub, wheel hub, AC compressor, serpentine belt, power steering pump, driver's side window, ignition switch, o-ring, Spectra premium radiator, water pump, fan clutch, fan blades, thermostat, thermostat housing, tensioner. Stolen twice so far, but recovered both times with major damage.

2005 Nomad Rampage toyhauler made by Skyline. 11,500lb gvwr.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thx everyone. I'm an electrical idiot so please forgive me with the stupid questions/statements. I put 12V to the small threaded terminal on that relay (put the + battery charger cable on it at 10 or 20 amps with the - charger cable on the - battery terminal) and I heard a loud "click" sound from the starter area that sounded like the starter trying to engage. It didn't make a constant whirring/spinning sound, just a single loud click. I tried to start the truck in neutral; no difference. Then I checked the voltage on the relay, but I think I checked it incorrectly. I think I put the + multimeter lead on the small terminal, not the output terminal. I put the - multimeter lead on the - battery terminal; is this correct? Anyway, the reading I was getting was around a constant 20V, but that just doesn't seem right. I'm sure I was doing something wrong. I have a nice multimeter and I don't even know how to really use it......

My gut feeling based on the "click" response from putting power to the relay is that my starter or solenoid has gone bad. $119 for a new high-torque starter seems pretty good, given that the local AutoZone wants $200+ for a replacement.
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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I would go outside and recheck the relay again, but I am at work all night tonight. Plus I still have no skills with the multimeter...
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered a new starter last week and it arrived yesterday. Got it installed tonight and truck fired right up. Thanks for your help everyone. I went with this one:

M8T50072 Mitsubishi Gear Reduction Starter for Ford Diesel FORD TRUCKS 7.3L

I called the place before I ordered and talked to one of the guys there. He has the same truck as me ('01 F250 7.3) and runs this same starter on his own truck. It sure turns the motor over fast, and has a very different starting sound than the old one did.
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:59 PM
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Replaced the Starter

Maybe to help others:

2001 F-350 4x4 7.3 liter automatic (door sticker ~mfr date 04/'01)

New batteries last fall. I thought they were weak because they did not seem to charge enough for a re-start on a short trip.

A few days ago, I went to start a hot (warm) engine and cranking was s l o w and eventually nothing. - Not even a click. No noise except normal glow circuit. Tow truck to get 4-miles to home.

It was the Starter.

After all these years, it probably needed grease! It does not seem like anything besides the Starter melted and no fuses blown (If there are any??)

Replaced Starter and all is good. (Found the info right here. Thanks!)

Advance Auto 2-bolt P/N P6669S ("Re-manufactured" in Mexico)
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 05:18 PM
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Good information here. I'm interested in the Denso starter for my SD. The DB website says the Denso is out of stock, but they may be able to get one from another supplier...Call. I plan to do that.
3 weeks ago I purchased what was claimed to be an authentic Denso for my truck. Spent a bit of time notching the crossmember to get it in, bent the two wires to fit the different solenoid configuration, the truck started 3 times, then FAILED. Sent it back and got my money back. Old starter still works but occasionally doesn't engage the flywheel when it's cold ... which it isn't here in Nevada right now.

The phony starter I got had no ID on it whatever. Not a single number or letter anywhere.
How is a real Denso marked?
How much should I expect to pay for it? DB doesn't price since it's out of stock.
Any alterations to make it fit?

'02 F-250 7.3 PSD. Toreador Red, Lariat long bed, 4-R100 trans, 4" turbo back exhaust, Pyro in both exhaust manifolds, X-Monitor, SuperChips 1705 Tuner, Mag-Hytec transmission pan & Diff cover.
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atropine View Post
I ordered a new starter last week and it arrived yesterday. Got it installed tonight and truck fired right up. Thanks for your help everyone. I went with this one:

M8T50072 Mitsubishi Gear Reduction Starter for Ford Diesel FORD TRUCKS 7.3L

I called the place before I ordered and talked to one of the guys there. He has the same truck as me ('01 F250 7.3) and runs this same starter on his own truck. It sure turns the motor over fast, and has a very different starting sound than the old one did.
Make sure you have the right bolts in there, a lot of these trucks get 3/8 bolts thrown in by backyard mechanics; and eventually with the higher torque they loosen and your starter will sound like you held the key too long, or it won't engage at all.

They're supposed to be 10mm theads, 1.50 thread pitch, 40mm thread length. I had the wrong ones in and they kept loosening, and just about stripped the bolt holes. I caught it in time, put in the right bolts, and lock-tited the hell out of them.

Check your starter bolts! - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 12:00 PM
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had same problem ...dash lights come on but will not crank over...thought it was my batteries but they were full charge...thought it was my starter but i shorted out starter and it started...inside the driver door theres a fuse box ,theres a square pink fuse its for your starter ...its blowin i changed mine and fired right up
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 02:33 PM
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I'm having a similar problem w/ my 2002 7.3 F350. Hubby checked fuses they were fine, solenoid it's fine, checked starter its fine, batteries fine so he started tracing the wiring to this huge mass of wires. He got upset & stopped. Any ideas for my (not wanting to work on my truck) hubby? I really need my wheels back soon.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:51 PM
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Your 02 doesn't have a starter relay on the passenger fender, so you can't try that check. It's a standard Bosch style relay in the fuse/relay box under the dash. Try swapping that with another relay.
Also try starting in neutral versus park. If that works, then you probably have some loose bolts on the linkage up under the dash.

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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 05:53 PM
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klhansen Thanks for responding. I've tried switching relays and starting in neutral-no luck/not cranking. With the starter relay out of the socket in the fuse panel I was able to check voltage coming to the solenoid pin. I am not getting voltage coming to the starter relay. I think that is being fed from the park/neutral sensor, but don't know where that voltage is coming from I really need a print giving me wire colors or something to go on. I've gone back to fuse #27 (15amp) and with it removed have verified that it gets voltage when I turn the key on. I think I'm loosing the voltage between the park switch or the printed circuit board under the fuse panel?

PLEASE HELP ME! My wife (paints200) is driving me crazy & threatening to buy a new truck!
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