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Resurrecting a Behind-The-Barn baby.

1725 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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Wow, what quick service. You folks rock!

I have not replaced the return lines, but I'll get that done as part of the resurrection project.

My plan in the morning is to install the new water pump and then check on a few other things. I don't yet know if I can rely on the dashboad tach to tell me how fast the starter spins. I'll give it a go though. The batteries are old, but seemed to take a charge and the cables are all original equipment. I'll give that a thorough once-over as well.

I was thinking about the IP timing because I noticed that the marks are not quite lined up. Looking at the top/front, it appears that the pump is rotated about two line-widths to the right of the mark on the cover. Just thought I'd line them up better to see if that helps as well.

Wish me luck!

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To tell the truth, I don't remember how I changed the pump. It was at least six years ago, and the truck has sat without care for the past five.

But, I did get her started today and the motor sounded pretty smooth. I found that I have more work to do though. The batteries were still weak and couldn't crank at any decent speed for more than 20 seconds or so. She fired right up with a pull around the barn only to find that I have no brake pressure. I'll deal with that next I think.

She is leaking fuel around three or four injectors, I'm guessing that the O-rings are probably rotted and I could stand to replace all the rubber fuel return lines. Perhaps I just need to order one of those injector installation kits I saw on cndsarguy's link.

The good news is that we enjoyed a nice trip around the horse pasture a few times, but I didn't dare take her out on the road without brakes. There's plenty of room to coast in the pasture.

I also got my '51 GMC 2 ton truck idling smooth and ready to roll today, but that's for a different forum!

Thanks again for the help! It's almost like the good old days. I'll keep you posted on the progress!
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It doesn't appear to be a vacuum problem with the brakes, more of a hydraulic problem. The pedal just drops to the floor. I probably lost the seals in the master or wheel cylinders/calipers. Or are you saying that a vacuum problem can cause that situation also?

Yeah, the fuel is way old right now. I will need to clean all of that up as well. It may be a good time to drop the tanks as both fuel level senders have acted funny since I bought this truck 11 years ago.

Not much time for wrenching today as it's Mothers Day and all, but I'll get right back to it evenings during the week.
Thanks for the tips. I'm not so worried about the brakes, that should be trivial (I hope).

I now have an injector installation kit on order from Midwest Fuel Injection. Hopefully, that will take care of the leaks in the return system. With any luck, the kit will arrive by next weekend.
The folks at MidWest Fuel Injection done me good. The installation kit arrived yesterday and all parts are there.

Way to go MWFI!
Finally got to replacing the fuel return system this past Saturday. I have not purchased new batteries yet, so I did need to pull her and dump the clutch for the initial start.

The good news is that she ran strong and true. I just couldn't resist tearing up a bit of the horse pasture while spinning a few doughnuts and basically raising a huge cloud of dust.

The bad news is that after about 15 minutes or so of idling/fiddling/monitoring, I decided a test run around the block was in order (about 6 miles). In the last 1/4 mile the temp skyrocketed and she overheated by the time I got back to the barn.

I guess I'll throw a new thermostat at her and try again to be sure I got the air out of the cooling system. I hear that can be a challenge on this truck.

-Tom O
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