what is this gizmo? - 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 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question what is this gizmo?

This gizmo on my '88 7.3 IDI started smoking the other day and blew the glow plug fuse, so I chucked it out and now I wish I hadn't because the cold timing advance doesn't kick in and starting is kind of hard. It said Eaton Controls on it. Does ANYONE know

(1) what it is called?
(2) what does it do? Control cold timing?
(3) where can I get another one?

Basically this thing is a hockey puck with a cable plugged on the side and a single vacuum hose on the flat side that goes to the IP. It's near the fuel filter tower on the right wheel well. It seems to be for opening/closing a vacuum line which I think is connected to the cold timing advance on the IP. Mainly I just need another one, or some alternative solution.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:39 AM
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:41 AM
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Still no picture.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 12:51 PM
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Bump. Doesn't anyone know what it is?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 06:52 PM
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what is this gizmo?

Take a picture where the hose goes. Looks small to be a vacuum canister.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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It's not a canister. I broke the old one open and it had this spring in it, thermal type of spring. There was a diaphragm too if I recall. Here's the hose. A vacuum hose routing diagram would really help. Without this mystery gizmo from the 80s of the ford diesel pickup truck world, starting the truck is very hard. It needs the cold timing advance to start. You can start the engine but without the timing advanced its hard on batteries. This thing apparently controlled it. Does anybody know what this thing is called and what one can do to replace it when it burns up, as did mine? It's like out of production by 20 years at this point I am guessing. And yeah, I know I need a newer truck.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture of the missing gizmo. This is from a 1985 with the 6.9.

what is this gizmo?-gizmo-5-.png

This close up pic was taken from a 1996 7.3 powerstroke engine bay. Apparently this mysterious highly confusing strange bizarre wonderful missing mystery gizmo was used to control timing advance from about 1982 to the late 90s. Nobody owns one?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
It needs the cold timing advance to start. You can start the engine but without the timing advanced its hard on batteries. This thing apparently controlled it.
Not true, back in the day FoMoCo stated the cold advance and cold fast idle are strictly to lessen cold engine smoke complaints. Bought my pickup new in '91 and disconnected the timing advance about 2 weeks later. With the advance on, it sounded like the pistons were going to fly through the hood. Can't be good on an ice-cold engine. And with starting, glow plugs and fuel system in A-1 shape mine will start in 3 seconds at 10-20. According to the shop manual, the component you have circled is the low vacuum warning switch.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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I believe it to be a barometric pressure switch...it's purpose is to adjust air mixture relevant to the elevation your at.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnose View Post
I believe it to be a barometric pressure switch...it's purpose is to adjust air mixture relevant to the elevation your at.
I'd be interested in knowing just how that works??

Heavy truck and diesel mechanic (thankfully retired after 30+ yrs)
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMJD View Post
Not true, back in the day FoMoCo stated the cold advance and cold fast idle are strictly to lessen cold engine smoke complaints. Bought my pickup new in '91 and disconnected the timing advance about 2 weeks later. With the advance on, it sounded like the pistons were going to fly through the hood. Can't be good on an ice-cold engine. And with starting, glow plugs and fuel system in A-1 shape mine will start in 3 seconds at 10-20. According to the shop manual, the component you have circled is the low vacuum warning switch.
Ding ding ding. That's it. Part identified (thank you). Apparently it is wired to the idiot light for brakes so you know the vacuum is low if it is. I just don't understand why the cold timing advance is not working now, but maybe it's because when I threw out this smoking low vacuum warning device, out I also left the vacuum tube disconnected and the cold advance is run by that. It's nice to know it won't make the engine easier to start (thanks). Probably mine has air in the lines despite trying every trick known to man to cure that, return lines, olives, washers, on and on, also probably a somewhat worn starter and weak-ish batteries now. I might try and replace the (now identified) low vacuum warning switch since power brakes are handy on these trucks. I bet I'm headed to the junk yard (120 miles round trip) for one.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnose View Post
I believe it to be a barometric pressure switch...it's purpose is to adjust air mixture relevant to the elevation your at.
On a diesel? How would that work?

On a diesel the airflow into the engine isn't controlled, it's wide open all the time. Power is controlled by how much diesel is injected. The injection pump is all mechanical and is controlled by the cable from the accelerator pedal.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Probably mine has air in the lines despite trying every trick known to man to cure that, return lines, olives, washers, on and on,
Yeah, like I stated above, mine starts real quick, but it also lets me know real quick-like when I suddenly develop a air problem in the drainback system. I can't remember and I could be wrong but I think the cold timing advance is governed strictly by one of the 2 coolant temp senders like the fast cold idle is.
And if your starter is due for an overhaul, getting it rebuilt will make a big difference in cranking speed and quicker startup.

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Last edited by LMJD; 02-10-2019 at 05:02 PM.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:59 PM
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...to the junk yard (120 miles round trip)...
Put your location in your profile - someone might be close enough to help you.


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