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Sounds like it could be GPR or glow plugs issues or low clearance on the injector armatures / solenoids.Just bought this '99 f450 powerstroke. Hard starting. Pumps out a lot of white smoke while cranking - smells like raw vaporized fuel. Runs fine once started. 250k. Haven't checked anything yet. Thanks.
Easiest would be to check glow plug system first, here a copy of that thread credit to klhansen for having it as a link to his signature:
Thought I'd post this as a sticky thread now that cold weather is on us. How to check Glow Plug System To check the Glow Plug Relay (GPR) · Be sure the engine is cold, so that the PCM will tell the GPR to turn on. If the engine is hot, you won’t have as much time to check. (if oil temp is...
Also, have you tried plugging in the block heater the night before? That will help if glowplugs aren’t heating up and If it is an injector clearance issue running Rotella T6 5W40.m will help with engines with low oil clearance. But since your getting white smoke / raw fuel out of the exhaust I’d probably lean towards glow plugs as long as your engine is turning over fast enough with the starter.