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You are on the right track, for fuel filters they are readily available at most any auto parts store or walmart, I run Motorcraft or Nappa (usually Wix filters) but in your case anything will work for the time period. As for scan tools you will need a scanner that will read these trucks. Most plug in OBD II ones will not read anything. You will need to buy a ELM 327 OBDII adapter WIFI or Bluetooth and download Forescan (I got mine through Google play for 6 bucks or so for my phone (android). I am buy no means a tech junky (my 13 year old has to show me how to do anything on my phone or computer). But this program can read about anything these old trucks will throw at it.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few more things keeping it from running in addition to the water in fuel. Have you considered renting a truck and trailer to haul the ambulance back to your house where you can take more time to figure out everything that it needs and get it running properly? Might be better than being dead on the road somewhere on the attempted drive home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
You are on the right track, for fuel filters they are readily available at most any auto parts store or walmart, I run Motorcraft or Nappa (usually Wix filters) but in your case anything will work for the time period. As for scan tools you will need a scanner that will read these trucks. Most plug in OBD II ones will not read anything. You will need to buy a ELM 327 OBDII adapter WIFI or Bluetooth and download Forescan (I got mine through Google play for 6 bucks or so for my phone (android). I am buy no means a tech junky (my 13 year old has to show me how to do anything on my phone or computer). But this program can read about anything these old trucks will throw at it.
thanks again for the info. what brand ELM 327 obd11 adapter is recommended? is this something that can stay plugged in to use as a gauge while driving? thanks. I think it is called live data?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few more things keeping it from running in addition to the water in fuel. Have you considered renting a truck and trailer to haul the ambulance back to your house where you can take more time to figure out everything that it needs and get it running properly? Might be better than being dead on the road somewhere on the attempted drive home.
I wasn't aware I could rent a tow vehicle and trailer myself? I wonder what that would cost roughly? I wonder what the cost would be to have it picked up and delivered? Google says its about 450 miles if I remember correctly. thanks for the information. Yes I have been wondering if more is wrong too. lights, brakes, steering, etc?
 

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One the code reader and the Elm device, I just keep mine in the glove box encase I need it. Other than that you would be looking at your phone to get any information that it can give you.

On the tow vehicle, I would hire it done. By the time that you rent something big enough to haul a F350 ambulance you would be up to a semi sized vehicle.

As for other things that are wrong, most vehicles with the ambulance package are going to be retired while they are still in fairly good condition but with a lot of hours on the engines so I wouldn't worry too much about it. That is unless you start down the road and it doesn't stop. But brakes, and steering can be checked before you get going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Brief update. I was able to get the ambulance insured. I was previously told from my auto insurer Progressive that I needed commercial, then when I talked to the commercial agent he said they don't insure commercial for individual use! Stress big time. I ended up getting very cheap insurance from liberty mutual. SO cheap that I had them quote my other two vehicle insured by progressive. I ended up insuring all three for $5 a month more than the prior 2 vehicles! Cancelled Progressive duh, sorry FLO. Getting excited, 2.5 hours more of work then load up car and leave for S Carolina early morning, woohoo!
 

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Have fun! Good luck. As for the ELM Both the ones I got came from ebay one is bluetooth BAFX Products one is WiFi Foreseal. I like the Bluetooth one better. There are tons of them out there. Please let us know the outcome of all this. Worst case scenario a hot shot hauler could probably get it home for you. I would bet that the guys at the auction lot have a few business cards
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Have fun! Good luck. As for the ELM Both the ones I got came from ebay one is bluetooth BAFX Products one is WiFi Foreseal. I like the Bluetooth one better. There are tons of them out there. Please let us know the outcome of all this. Worst case scenario a hot shot hauler could probably get it home for you. I would bet that the guys at the auction lot have a few business cards
thanks Stroker for the vote of confidence (needed) I will certainly post the outcome-short story! LOL
 

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Best of luck!! I hope that you are able to drive it home the whole way!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thanks so much everyone. I am back home. What an adventure! I will give the short version. If anyone interested in the long version I can post that story as well. Drum roll.....the truck is in my front yard!!! It was not water in the fuel. When I first attached batteries via jumpers to juice the batts I opened the fuel bowel and it was crystal clear and clean. no sign of water. turned on master power switch and noted which tank was selected=front, and gauge only showed 1/8th tank. I thought maybe if pickeup tueb was broken that it could be the problem-nioe. TRied the key and nothing, readjusted jumper cables and added my crown vic super alternator via cable to the other battery, waited 5 mins, nothing but a click at solenoid, jumped solenoid with screwdriver and it cranked and started quickly but quickly stalled. Fleet mechanics all gathered round and with arms crossed started giving suggestions, The lead mechanic said the ignition key used to work and he bumped the key a few times and it finally caught and started, then died. Another mech. said try giving some throttle, started and kept running and idled smoothly!! Tears and emotion overwhelmed me. I jumped for joy, high fived everyone, started disconnecting cables, putting tools away, grabbed an empty antifreeze bottle and walked away to the water spigot to fill it up. When I returned a minute later the truck had died, would only crank but no start. I tried some brake cleaner in intake and it fired up and died. Exhausted I called a mechanic, then tow truck to get it to mechanic 10 miles away. It was noon and the lot closes at 2pm. A Hugh semi tow truck showed up at 1pm and we he hauled it to the mechanics garage. $300 tow fee! A long story on the diagnosis of non starting/running, but it turned out to be the cam position sensor. It ran as sweet as tupelo honey! Brakes were good, no obvious leaks, but headlights and tail lights but brake lights worked. Headed out of mechs at 5:05pm-they closed at 5pm. If the cam sensor didn't work it was to sit there until the next day or longer. I would of left to go home and????
Drove to the nearest diesel station, rear tank was almost full, front took a few gallons only? Float or sender must not be working right? Had selected the front tank previously since it showed mostly full. Headed toward home while the sun still shining. Made it to N Charleston SC that evening. My son and I didn't eat anything all day until 8PM that night. Next day I bought an air filter and topped up the tanks, and was home at 3pm that afternoon! Truck drove pretty good, pulled to the right but now shimmy or shake! The motor is a honey, inched the speedometer to 70-80mph! Thank goodness for cruise control! No air conditioning so I cooked in the cab. Felt like engine heat was blowing in around my feet from somewhere?
SO now I have to figure out why there is no running, head, or dash lights? Have to pull driver door skin and figure out why the inside handle doesn't open the door, try charging the A/C, clean and debadge the outside/inside, and what to do with the thing-conversion. Toward the end of the trip-off the highway at traffic light it started getting hot-gauge whent to 3/4, and it had a very sight roughness at idle. I will flush radiator and block and probably a new thermostat, and replace the ICP sensor as it had some oil on the inside of connector. Thank you all for helping me get er done!!
 

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Congratulations on getting her home.

The lights problem could be some cut wires since it was a ambulance vehicle and they like those funky lights. Some wires may of been cut to put in a module and then they removed it and didn't splice the wires back.

On the coolant flush here are some good instructions

 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
thanks bugman for the suggestion. Most of the ambulance stuff is intact. There was something that resembles a radio mount removed from the center console huge box with wires just laying there? Might start there. I also have read that the trailer wire harness can get rusty and short out the dash, head, and tail lights too? And of course fuses. I will check them out this weekend as I am back to work today. At least the brake lights were working. I couldn'r resist to turn on the siren for a very brief time of course! The flashing lights too! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
update: the info on the listing for truck said 165k miles, but the odometer
says 065000, So got a 100k miles get out of jail free bonus! it has 6500 hours too. It was used as (special operations) vehicle, whatever that means? Is there any way to get more leg room and recline the seat back? I feel like im sitting on commode! LOL. I am 6'4" tall. thanks
 

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The seat is your problem. I'm 6'4" also and find that while just driving I'm OK but the seat is all the way back and it has a slight angle backwards. Bit it still isn't what I would call real comfortable on some of my 800 mile trips

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just purchased a 97 F350 ambulance with 7.3 engine and 160k miles at gov deals auction. In the advertisement it stated was running when parked, now starts only with ether. I just called the manager of the storage lot and he informed me that it would only crank, not start. then they shot some ether and it fired up and died. THen they decided to drain fuel bowl and fill with fresh gas (truck has been sitting for approx 1 year near Charlestown, South Carolina), and it started and ran for a while until fuel bowl filled with water again then it would die. This is my first diesel engine. I have been googling and you tubing everything of 7.3 power stroke. I am unsure the best way to approach getting this truck running reliably.
I am in central Florida and will be driving up to South Carolina on Memorial day, spending the night and viewing/visiting/fixing truck 0900 Tuesday morning. Its in a remote lot with no electricity and 3-5 miles from a gas station according to google. I don't know how he confirmed that water is the problem, or he just assumed it was water. He said the pump must be ok because it refilled the bowl. I think the best woud be to completely drain both tanks-I guess around 20gal each, then fill with fresh diesel, drain bowl and clean, install new filter, and cross fingers a hope it runs good.
That would require up to 40 gallons of tankage to hold the old diesel. And I would need at least 5gal of fresh to get it running and drive 5-10 miles to gas station to fill up. Or if water settles to the bottom of tank then if I suck from the bottom of tank until I get just diesel then I might not need so many cans? I have heard that the end of the pickup tube is like a 1/4-1/3 of a tank from the bottom? So, that would be like 5-8 gallons? Can a diesel tank get that much water in it from sitting a year? Is it possibly something else? Of course it can, but what? He said it ran good with fresh fuel in the fuel bowl so that would rule out injectors and high pressure oil pump problems right? As well as cam position sensor, ICP sensor, And oil pressure sensor, and even the IPR or whatever the high pressure pump is abbreviated. I would greatly be beholding to any insightful info you can give. Its remote location, distance from auto parts stores is like 50 miles, and my ignorance is making me nervous. I only have 1 day to get it right and then drive 6-7 hours home. Thanks n advance for any info. I thought about an inline water separator like in boats but it dont take a ton of water to fill them up. If the fuel filter got wet initially does it not let diesel fuel through after that? questions going round in my head
I had algae grow in my tank once, they make a treatment for that also. Might be best to drop the tank.
 

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Thanks for sharing the story of how you got it home. Congratulations!! I hope that you have a lot of fun getting everything on it working right!
 

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just purchased a 97 F350 ambulance with 7.3 engine and 160k miles at gov deals auction. In the advertisement it stated was running when parked, now starts only with ether. I just called the manager of the storage lot and he informed me that it would only crank, not start. then they shot some ether and it fired up and died. THen they decided to drain fuel bowl and fill with fresh gas (truck has been sitting for approx 1 year near Charlestown, South Carolina), and it started and ran for a while until fuel bowl filled with water again then it would die. This is my first diesel engine. I have been googling and you tubing everything of 7.3 power stroke. I am unsure the best way to approach getting this truck running reliably.
I am in central Florida and will be driving up to South Carolina on Memorial day, spending the night and viewing/visiting/fixing truck 0900 Tuesday morning. Its in a remote lot with no electricity and 3-5 miles from a gas station according to google. I don't know how he confirmed that water is the problem, or he just assumed it was water. He said the pump must be ok because it refilled the bowl. I think the best woud be to completely drain both tanks-I guess around 20gal each, then fill with fresh diesel, drain bowl and clean, install new filter, and cross fingers a hope it runs good.
That would require up to 40 gallons of tankage to hold the old diesel. And I would need at least 5gal of fresh to get it running and drive 5-10 miles to gas station to fill up. Or if water settles to the bottom of tank then if I suck from the bottom of tank until I get just diesel then I might not need so many cans? I have heard that the end of the pickup tube is like a 1/4-1/3 of a tank from the bottom? So, that would be like 5-8 gallons? Can a diesel tank get that much water in it from sitting a year? Is it possibly something else? Of course it can, but what? He said it ran good with fresh fuel in the fuel bowl so that would rule out injectors and high pressure oil pump problems right? As well as cam position sensor, ICP sensor, And oil pressure sensor, and even the IPR or whatever the high pressure pump is abbreviated. I would greatly be beholding to any insightful info you can give. Its remote location, distance from auto parts stores is like 50 miles, and my ignorance is making me nervous. I only have 1 day to get it right and then drive 6-7 hours home. Thanks n advance for any info. I thought about an inline water separator like in boats but it dont take a ton of water to fill them up. If the fuel filter got wet initially does it not let diesel fuel through after that? questions going round in my head
thanks for that most useful information. I will pack some 3/8" line and a glass jar in my trunk while packing up my 2 batteries fully charged and a pair of jumper cables. Not to use the mech. pump to drain the tanks mind you. Just to crank to start. that sucks about getting bad fuel at a station! Did they make it right and fix the problem?
to add to my problem 1:remote location
2: no electricity
3: probably in afield or dirt/gravel lot
4: open from 0900-1400 so 5 hours max
5: very shallow pockets
6: have to get back the next day some 450 miles, go drive girlfriend to airport and go to work-to make money to fix truck!
thanks again Bugman keep um comming
IMO your best solution would be to arraign someone with a truck and trailer capable of hauling it back home or to a location that you can travel to reasonably. Then you could take your time and figure out your problems. It doesn’t require a big combination of T & T just big enough to handle the GVWR . You could easily spend several days and still not get everything done if you are no mechanically inclined. Good Luck
 

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He posted that he got it home

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Sounds like a good adventure. Glad you got to ride it home, rather then have it towed. If the auction lot had been able to give you some more information someone may have caught the Sensor failure before you had to have it towed to the shop, but what is done is done. 65K she is not even broken in yet! Southern truck too so should be no rust, should be no problem turning it into what you what as a camper. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Sounds like a good adventure. Glad you got to ride it home, rather then have it towed. If the auction lot had been able to give you some more information someone may have caught the Sensor failure before you had to have it towed to the shop, but what is done is done. 65K she is not even broken in yet! Southern truck too so should be no rust, should be no problem turning it into what you what as a camper. Have fun!
thank you Stroker. I should have been able to diagnose the problem myself! I watched all the youtube videos about crank-no-start on the 7.3. I knew it was probably going to be the cam sensor, the ICP, or the IPR? Having the supposed water in the fuel made me change my thinking. THe fact that I ran for over a few minutes made me feel it was something out of my abilities. The senior fleet mechanic said it has to be something electrical the way it just shut down. But in the end all worked out good. The $300 for the tow and the $150 repair bill for the cam sensor is what I spent or my lack of deductive reasoning. I never thought to crank it and check the tachometer to see if it was moving at all. I am so happy with the way that thing runs.. I am pretty sure it will out last me with proper maintenance. thanks again.
question: The AC compressor does not kick on when air is turned on in cab. The fan blows at all speeds. The ambulance has a rear AC unit, Is the rear AC unit a part of the engine cab AC? Or is it a separate stand alone unit? My 2002 Dodge conversion has rear air that is part of the engine ac system requiring more Freon. I was thinking to just buy some cheap Freon and put a few cans in to see if the compressor kicks in? What you all think? Pull a vacuum on it first? I know the rear ac blows but haven't checked if it is cold or anything. thanks the cab got hot like an oven on the ride home until I figured out to open ing vent windows to help evac the hot air,LOL
 
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