'1994 7.3L IDI clicks but won't start. - 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 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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'1994 7.3L IDI clicks but won't start.

Hi all,

I have a 1994 f250 7.3 idi 356k miles, automatic transmission(rebuilt at 300k). Recently when I go to start the truck the WTS light goes off i try and start it and it just clicks repeatedly, the starter doesn't engage at all, but if If bump the key again after it clicks it will attempt to start and the starter will run, however it acts like the batteries are super low. It all started about a month ago, where it would take a long time to start almost like a cold weather start, but now the starter won't click over at all. I replaced the starter solenoid about a year ago and both batteries back in 2015. Could it be the starter relay? The truck sat for a period of time over the winter with occasional start ups. The batteries are duralast with 700 cranking amps and 845 cold cranking amps. Do these trucks require more amps and the batteries could just be too weak? Thank you in advance for all help it is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 05:13 PM
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What is the voltage on the batteries before your start it?

Have you had your batteries tested at a parts store?


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Battery voltage was 12.3V on each battery. The batteries tested good at the parts store, they were at "60%" is what I was told, I'm not sure if that is enough to turn these trucks over though? Thank you for the response!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 08:21 PM
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60% isnt enough. You need 2 good strong batteries to turn these beasts over. I bet if you load test them, they are junk.
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Last edited by chuckster57; 08-09-2018 at 09:10 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Gotcha, I have the batteries charging now. When it clicks repeatedly could that be the batteries or the glow plugs? I'm not sure how often the glow plugs need to be replaced. Forgive my ignorance, trying to learn more about these trucks. Thank you all for the help!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 01:00 PM
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GP's almost never need replacing. They are not like spark plugs. IF you are really concerned, pull them and check them with a multimeter. There is a specific Ohm range that all GP's should be in, and if they are off, then replace them with ZD9 motorcraft plugs. DO NOT buy cheapo GP's.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, the battery cables were fairly corroded so I have replaced those and charged the batteries. When I turn the key it still just clicks once the first time, but if I bump it immediately after that click it will attempt to start. Does that mean a glow plug is bad? or the glow plug relay is failing?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segalj View Post
Ok, the battery cables were fairly corroded so I have replaced those and charged the batteries. When I turn the key it still just clicks once the first time, but if I bump it immediately after that click it will attempt to start. Does that mean a glow plug is bad? or the glow plug relay is failing?
Is the clicking when you turn the key to the start position or in the on/run position? You can try at the starter solenoid on the pass side fender. S terminal and battery terminal. If just a clicking then bad connection. If spins over /starts then other problems.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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It will click once, after the WTS light goes off and I turn the key to the on/run position. But If a second or two later I move the key back to the start position and then to the on/run position it will attempt to start. It seems like the second time I turn the key to the on/run position it "bypasses" whatever the clicking problem is.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 11:06 AM
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Sounds like your 3 year old batteries need to be replaced.

You can jumpstart from another running vehicle and see if that helps.

It is also possible that along with your weak batteries that your Glow Plug system is not fuctioning at 100%. You should test your GPs before winter arrives.

Amso plug your block heater in for 2-3 hours before attempting to start. The warmer the engine is then the less resistance it will create when trying to get it to start.

Are your batteries below the rated minimum CA & CCA for that engine even if they were tested at 100% ? I think my group 65’s are near 1,000-CCA.
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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. 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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Last edited by ArcticDriver; 08-12-2018 at 11:21 AM.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segalj View Post
Battery voltage was 12.3V on each battery. The batteries tested good at the parts store, they were at "60%" is what I was told, I'm not sure if that is enough to turn these trucks over though? Thank you for the response!
60% probably means they were charged to 60% of capacity but FYI a fully charged battery will usually be over 13 volts as soon as you disconnect the charger and will be atleast 12.6 volts after sitting several hours after being charged.


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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. 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 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Will do! I believe the batteries have CA of 700 and CCA of 845 I believe. Which sounds like it is well below the necessary CA and CCA rating for these trucks? Is there any brand of battery that is better than another? Thank you!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 04:35 PM
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I have a pair of sears die hard AGMs. Prior was a pair of interstates. Interstates died at 37 months into a 72 month warranty, wanted to credit me a total of $30.00. Current batteries are over 36 months old and going strong.

1994 F-350 7.3 IDI Turbo, crew cab, E4OD,4:10 L/S, LB, Dually
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:04 PM
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AGM are great but if you are on a budget then call your Interstate Distributor and ask if he has any factory seconds. They sell these for about $60/each.

The typical life of a lead-acid battery is 3 years.


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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. 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 #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
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AGM are great but if you are on a budget then call your Interstate Distributor and ask if he has any factory seconds. They sell these for about $60/each.

The typical life of a lead-acid battery is 3 years.
Yeah, but they came with a 72 month warranty.

1994 F-350 7.3 IDI Turbo, crew cab, E4OD,4:10 L/S, LB, Dually
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler:
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Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
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Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
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