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Loose grounds and grease equal heat and then fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok so the ground on the bottom of the motor did not burn just the one from the battery on driver side to front by radiator and the two from the back of motor to the firewall. does that change anything?
 

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I would still suspect a bad connection on the ground.

But if multiple ones burned then I would start looking at a overload problems somewhere
 

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Electric fuel pump? More lights than the circuit can handle? A high resistance short that isn't bad enough to blow fuses yet? Too big a fuse in a shorted circuit? Air conditiong compressor locking up? Starter solenoid stuck? Shorted battery? The only way you're going to find it is to dig in and start checking.
 

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I am no electrical expert but from what you describe I would think there was alot of amperage involved and not many things could create that draw or short. Those grounds are each larger gauge wires, aren’t they? If the short was from an accessory then I would think the smaller wiring specific to the accessory would have melted or blown a fusible link or a fuse before you saw enough continued amperage to heat up and start a fire through a larger gauge ground.
As was stated above, an overload.

Have you looked at your fuse panel? Can you shine a light into the back of the panel?

Do all of your accessories still function properly?
 

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12v is the most fire prone voltage, add the fact it is DC.

Grounds need to be clean, tight and well secured from becoming lose.

So start from there, check the wiring run from the starter to both the + terminals, ensure no chaffing of the wire and that all connections are clean and torqued.

Do the same for the grounds, then start looking at other places. A little resistance makes big heat when dealing with low voltage I^2R = heat in watts
 

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Thank you all for your help. The starter was acting up the day before and day the fire happen so does that mean it caused it?
The starter would be the type of heavy amperage draw I was thinking of in an earlier post but I don't know if the starter acting up is the cause or just a symptom.

Did the engine actually start when the fire occurred?

Have you inspected the batteries and checked their voltage?

Have you inspected and improved the ground connections yet to both the frame and the starter that were damaged?

Have you attempted to start the truck since this happened? I am not suggesting you attempt to start it, I just wonder if you have tried. I would inspect the starter before attempting to supply power to it again.

I hate to speculate without you first doing a further visual inspection of the starter but my dad reminded me of a starter on an old tractor that failed to disengage many years ago and the engine rpm kept rotating the starter and it burned up. He remembers the starter actually became a generator and produced current. This back amperage then started burning up wiring. (Fortunately there is not much wiring on those... Lol
It was an old WD45 with its original 6v converted to a 12v but the problem was it was a push button type starter. The push button had either corroded or maybe had ice build up and remained pushed in rather than springing back out once the engine turned over.

I guess it would be possible for this to have happened with your starter if the solenoid stayed engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The motor was running when it happen even after the power loss. The only reason the motor shut off was cause my foot come off the clutch pedal. No I haven't check anything it's at a friend's shop so he can do the assessment for the insurance.
 

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I hope you will let us know the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
big update i finally got time to take things off and look at them, the alternator is bad and starter and i found that the big wire from the battery to the starter rubbed a hole in the cover and grounded out by the oil pan so i think that was the cause. so replacing the alternator i was thinking since i have emergency lights and a few more then most lights, would i be able to put a bigger on that puts out more amps or would that just mess things up? my truck does not have ambulance package.
 

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big update i finally got time to take things off and look at them, the alternator is bad and starter and i found that the big wire from the battery to the starter rubbed a hole in the cover and grounded out by the oil pan so i think that was the cause. so replacing the alternator i was thinking since i have emergency lights and a few more then most lights, would i be able to put a bigger on that puts out more amps or would that just mess things up? my truck does not have ambulance package.
Hey DD6154

Check out DB ELECTRICAL

I think this starter will work for your 7.3-nt-idi not 100% sure if is this one for you but, go to their website and enter your vehicle info to be sure.

DB Electrical.com

https://www.dbelectrical.com/products/ford-truck-case-6-9l-7-3l-diesel-starter-f250-f350-1985-1994-hi-tork.html

Item Description 7.3L Ford Diesel Gear Reduction Starter 85-94 Model years
Part number - SND0027
STARTER NOT OEM
$94.28Total *Free Shipping
Db electrical
Customer Service # 1-800-753-2242

Its a Nippo clone but as aGR starter its a decent design and better starting than stock.

NOTE:
They also have ALTERNATORS for your vehicle and may have the 3G higher capacity (if your looking to do the conversion and go serpentine belt )

They also have v-belt alternators that would go on your 1990 if your seeking now. They can be had at a good price and they have a fair return 1-year no questions warranty.

I used the GR starter above and have nothing bad to say and they shipped it and I recieved it in 24 hours with no upcharge for receiving it that quickly.

Hope this helps you.

And, just for the record, no I dont work for them or have any interest with them, just used their product.

YMMV

Btw, if ya need glow plug harness or push button glow plug complete new wiring harness and update to stancor/white rodgers contactor conversion, PM me and I'll give ya a great recommendation on doing that.

Good luck DD ... hope things work out.
 

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Using a reputable local rebuilder for your starter or alternator will give you the best quality, and is probably your best option but these shops are getting harder to find, as the few old, established and good guys that have the experience at least, in my area, have retired, or passed. Or new, from Oreillys or Napa, AZone, even if the parts are from asia, they can last a good while. Good luck with your fix.
 
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