1993 F350 7.3L IDI starting problems - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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1993 F350 7.3L IDI starting problems

Hi, I am new to this site and am hoping to get some help. For the last 2 weeks I have been reading a lot of post and have tried what others have suggested but to no avail. Hopefully someone will be able to guide me to the right answer.

Here is the problem, my 1993 F350 7.3 idi was running fine and then one day it was having problems starting. I replaced the starter and the starter relay, the one on the passenger fender. While I was at it I knew that the batteries were getting old and so I replaced both of them. The truck ran fine for the next year. I traveled out of the country for several months and when I returned I have had problem starting the truck. I replaced the glow plugs and the glow plug relay in the last month and have just replaced the starter relay again tonight. I am out of options and would like some help.

When I turn the key to the on position the WTS light comes on for a sec and then the GP relay clicks about 10 times while the volt indication on the dash bounces back and forth. I have put both batteries on the charger to make sure that they were fully charged. The relay that I just changed out when I jumped would turn the truck on with no problems, that is why I thought it was a bad starter relay. Now I jump the relay, the new one, and I get it to try but will not turn over. Also when I took everything off to replace the relay I cleaned all the connector. I will look again tomorrow to ensure that I connected the relay right.

Thanks in advance for any help provided.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 09:24 PM
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Check your starter solenoid, The one on the starter. Also ohm out your glow plugs. it sounds like you have one or two open, or shorted

1993 F-350 crew cab non-turbo 5 speed transmission
35 years a mechanic on large stationary engines natural gas and diesel fired, and other industrial equipment.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Oldrebuiltdodge,

I Ohm out the glow plugs and they all were below .4 ohms. What should I do to test the starter solenoid? I will do some reading to see if I can find a test. Thanks.

I am charging up the battery to make sure that it is good and strong. I also swapped out the Starter Relay with a new one on my way home from work. I will install it and then when the battery is charged up I will try to fire the truck up.

Thanks

Last edited by cbvoigt3; 07-25-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 11:28 AM
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I had this same problem on my 1990 IDI it had 3 bad glow plugs. I replaced all 8 and it started right up
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1990 f250 idi View Post
I had this same problem on my 1990 IDI it had 3 bad glow plugs. I replaced all 8 and it started right up

I also replaced all 8 about a month ago, also I ohm'd them today and they all ohm'd below .4 ohms.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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So I think I may have found the answer and it is not what I wanted. I put in the new relay and made sure the batteries were fully charged. I then tried to start the truck with no luck, just a click. I then tapped on the starter and solenoid with a hammer and attempted to start it again. It tried to turn over this time. I then immediately turned it off and turned it back on, after the glow plugs finished I turned it over again and it started right up. I left the truck running for about 30 minutes and then turned it off. I immediately tried to start it again and just got a single click. This leads me to believe that the stater, even though I replaced it a year ago, is bad or at least the solenoid on top of the starter is bad. Is there anyway to troubleshoot this down any further or do I just need to go buy a new starter. Also if I can troubleshoot it down to the solenoid can I just replace that component and not the whole starter or is it smarter to just replace both since they come together.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 12:45 PM
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You need a VOM, can't troubleshoot with out one. Throwing parts at it can cost dearly.

As above. Starter brushes could be sticking or starter solenoid contact is intermittant.

Fender starter solenoid/relay. Put the meter set at 12VDC or above that, VOM Positve lead on the 90* wire on side of solenoid/relay, turn key to start. Does the VOM show ~12.5 VDC?
NO Key switch is bad or intermittent.

Fender starter solenoid/relay. Put the meter set at 12VDC or above that, VOM Positive lead on the solenoid to starter terminal or wire, Neg. lead on battery Neg. post, pull the 90* key wire off, small terminal on the side, with a jumper wire from battery Pos, touch the other end to the 90* key terminal.
Does the starter turn the engine over. YES starter and solenoid is good. NO Do you have a 12VDC meter reading? NO solenoid is bad. YES Solenoid on starter could be bad, starter itself could be bad.
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92 F350 Lariat, 2WD, Dualie, CC, LB, E4OD Trans, Banks Sidewinder turbo, GV O/U, Pyro, Boost, Oil temp, Trans temp. Chassis 129K, Engine 7.3L 75K. Bench seat.

"99.5 F350 7.3 PSD 4R100 CC LB 4X4 DRW 4:10 Centurion Conv.
ScanGaugeII SPDiesel Performance Module 40-60-80 HP -- A Pillar - Boost - Pyrometer - Trans.Temp. - Engine Oil Temp.GN Hitch 20K -- Reese 16K 5er Hitch - Draw Tite Brake Control - Aux. Trans. oil cooler - 100 Gal. Transfer Flow fuel tank, W/Trax II computer. DIY black bed liner. Red Knight

IDI firing order 12734568--------1&4-2&5-7&6-3&8 Cyl's @ TDC. 1&4 TDC when timing mark is @ 0. Each 1/4 turn, next 2.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Trucker87

Thanks for the reply. I have used a Voltmeter to determine what you have stated. Wasn't really throwing parts at it as much as diagnosing what I thought was wrong and then replacing that component.

I had already done this by simple jumping, no real need of the voltmeter if the jumping starts the truck. But I did go out and do what you have suggested and got these results.

--- With the VM attached to the negative battery and the starter wire (B) from the relay, I then jumped from the power (M) side of the relay to the key on (S) terminal on the starter relay. The truck started right up and I had 12 volts to it.

Which is what I had already figured out from just jumping the relay itself. However I did not understand quite what to do with the Key On troubleshooting that you have suggested. Please explain a little bit more. I assumed that that part of the system was good if jumping B to M or M to S started the truck right up.

I assumed it was the starter/solenoid however I wasn't quite sure if there was a sure fire way of making sure before I replace it seeing as it went out about a year ago and I replaced it already. Maybe you get what you pay for and since I had got the $130 one it was only a matter of time.

Thanks for your help.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 10:06 PM
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New Starter for Ford Truck Diesel 6.9L 7.3L F150 F250 F350 1985-1994 16658

This is the starter that is in my truck seems to work fine
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 05:49 PM
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I had similar problem with my vehicle, replacing the plugs helped to solve the issue.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-25-2018, 04:53 PM
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Trucker87:

Sorry to bother you, but wanted to get some confirmation that I was doing a test you prescribed right. I have an IDI '89 F350 that I just dragged home. I saw this set of tests that you recommended. Wanted to see if it sounded like I was doing it right.

"Fender starter solenoid/relay. Put the meter set at 12VDC or above that, VOM Positve lead on the 90* wire on side of solenoid/relay, turn key to start. Does the VOM show ~12.5 VDC?
NO Key switch is bad or intermittent.

Fender starter solenoid/relay. Put the meter set at 12VDC or above that, VOM Positive lead on the solenoid to starter terminal or wire, Neg. lead on battery Neg. post, pull the 90* key wire off, small terminal on the side, with a jumper wire from battery Pos, touch the other end to the 90* key terminal.
Does the starter turn the engine over. YES starter and solenoid is good. NO Do you have a 12VDC meter reading? NO solenoid is bad. YES Solenoid on starter could be bad, starter itself could be bad."

First part of the test: When I turned the key on, with the red (+) lead on the 90 degree wire post (with the wire still connected), and the black lead of the tester on the battery (-) post (it didn't specify what to do with the black lead, so I went with this...), upon turning the key it was showing about 10.5 V on the VOM. Is this near enough to the specified 12.5, or problematic? I WAS doing this myself, so had the leads connected as well as I could hope, with the VOM lying on the air cleaner so I could see it from inside the cab. IF this indicates the key switch is bad, is there a way to "jump" the solenoid to get the engine to turn over? Because I have tried that at the solenoid on the fender wall and gotten nothing. I have NOT tried that at the starter solenoid yet.

I connected the VOM with the red lead to (+) (red cable directly from the battery (+) post) terminal ON the solenoid, and the black lead to the (-) terminal post on the battery itself. I then took loose the small, red wire that has the 90 degree elbow bend connector from a SMALL post on the solenoid. I took a length of wire (about 12"), and ran it from (+) battery post to the small terminal ON THE SOLENOID (NOT to the end of the loose wire with the 90 degree elbow). When I did this I got NO starter turn, but DID get an audible and repeatable click from the solenoid itself. Also, upon doing this, my VOM continued to read with DC Voltage. It was showing about 12.65 before connecting the jump wire, and dropped down to about 12.60 or 12.59 while holding the jump wire to the solenoid, but did continue to show DC Voltage.

If I am reading correctly, this indicates that the problem is down on the starter solenoid or starter itself, correct?

Or if I did part of this test wrong, please let me know and I will redo it.

Thanks for any help. I appreciate your knowledge and assistance.

J. M. Shaw, II, D.C.
1988 International Harvester S1654 Retired UHaul truck
(Converted to Flatbed Hauler-ish)
IDI 7.3 International Diesel, 5-Speed

1989 F-350 XLT Lariat, CC, DRW, 2WD
IDI 7.3, Auto, Charity Auction Find!

Last edited by jmshawii; 02-25-2018 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Updated Information
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 04:56 PM
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The side of the relay with all of the wires on it is comimg directly from the battery. The side with one ~10 GA. wire goes to the starter solenoid. Put the red lead of the voltmeter on the side that goes to the starter, the black lead to a good ground (batt. neg.). energise the relay (a screwdriver from the batt. side to the small 90* wire should do that) if you hear a "click" it means that the relay is pulling in like it should. At that point you should get batt. voltage on the side that runs to the starter, and the starter should run. If not then look at the starter, or solenoid.

If you don't get voltage then replace the relay.

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35 years a mechanic on large stationary engines natural gas and diesel fired, and other industrial equipment.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-27-2018, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmshawii View Post
it didn't specify what to do with the black lead...
It takes at least 2 tests to locate a fault, no matter where you put the probes. Your first test shows that there IS a fault - to locate it, move either probe somewhere else on the circuit. For example, you might put the black probe on the positive battery post; if it shows ~2VDC, the fault is on the positive side of the circuit. If it drops to 0VDC, the fault was on the negative side (in the relay's grounding to the fender &/or battery post).
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Originally Posted by jmshawii View Post
...it was showing about 10.5 V on the VOM. Is this near enough to the specified 12.5, or problematic?
No, that's a problem. It's not necessarily THE ONLY problem, and it might not even be contributing to the symptom you're working on. But it's not what it should be.
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...is there a way to "jump" the solenoid to get the engine to turn over?
Yes: use a heavy conductive object with an insulated grip (like a screwdriver shaft or pliers) to jump from one heavy solenoid post to the other.
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Because I have tried that at the solenoid on the fender...
You'll reduce everyone's confusion (including your own) if you use the correct terms for the parts. The thing on the fender is the STARTER RELAY. The small cylinder on top of the starter is the STARTER SOLENOID.
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Originally Posted by jmshawii View Post
...this indicates that the problem is down on the starter solenoid or starter itself, correct?
You haven't done enough testing yet to make that determination.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-28-2018, 12:53 PM
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Steve, I think you and I will end up having "It a RELAY, dammit!" etched on our tombstones......
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-28-2018, 05:37 PM
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Steve, I think you and I will end up having "It a RELAY, dammit!" etched on our tombstones......
I just keep calling it a relay hoping they'll take the hint. Sometimes they need a piece of pipe between the ears though.

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