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Resurrecting a Behind-The-Barn baby.

1722 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  cdnsarguy
Hi Group, I just found this forum today in my searching for information about one of this springs' projects.

I have a 1988 F-250 with the 7.3L (non powerstroke/non turbo) that has been parked out behind the barn for the past 5 years or so. The main failure when it was parked was a bad water pump, but historically before that it suffered from the (as I found out here) all to common very hard to start problem.

I'm trying to recall what triggered the hard starting and it may be related to the rebuilt injector pump I installed back then (the original sort of dis-assembled itself one day), or it may be related to the replacement starter.

The problem is cold starts mostly. It seems as if the starter runs long enough and fast enough, but without a small sniff of ether, it will not start. If I roll down a hill, or pull the truck at 5 - 10 mph, it fires right up almost as sonn as I get one revolution from the engine. The GP indicator (Wait to Start) lamp comes on for about 10 seconds when I turn the key on and I believe that the glow plugs are in pretty good shape. Also, one of the last things I did before parking this beast was to replace all of the injectors, but it was hard starting both before and after that.

I'm going to try and mess with the IP timing a bit, as it is just left wherever it landed when I installed it years ago.

I'd welcome any advice as I venture out on this journey!

Hi from a newbie!

- TomO
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If it'll cold start by pulling or push starting it, you're most likely looking at weak batteries/starter. Everyone around here says these trucks have to really spin fast to start, like fast enough that you cannot count the revolutions when you're cranking it. If you have a tach, I'm pretty sure I read here somewhere that it needs 200-300 rpm cranking speed. You need two 1000 amp batteries in good condition, good connections on the cables everywhere, and a strong starter. Look at the positive battery cable where it connects to the passenger side battery for corrosion up inside the cable insulation. I'm sure some others will jump in here soon, they LOOOOOOOOVE fixing hard start issues.
After sitting for 5 years it may have rusted out a brake line. Fill the MC and pull it up onto gravel or concrete or something and stand on the brakes and have someone look for leaking fluid onto the ground.

Vacuum problems will cause hard/stiff pedal (no assist in pushing master cylinder).
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