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7.3 cold weather start

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Snowaway, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Snowaway

    Snowaway Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Hello I have a 02 3/4 ton with a 7.3 diesil. This is my first winter with this truck, I was hoping you guys could tell me about starting in cold weather. Where I live it would be difficult to plug the block heater in. How cold can it get before it won't start? It never gets much below 10 degrees here, without the wind chill. Thoughts.
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    when my 02 was new i never pluggged it in for the first 3 years ad it gets well below zero here BTW wind chill wont have any effect on it

    but in reality if your glow plugs arnt perfect i would get a little nervous at 10 degrees if you have to get it started
  3. Ford445

    Ford445 Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 243

    Some trucks are more tempermental then others. We have all diesels, 7.3, 6.0 and 6,4. Our 7.3s seem to start harder in the cold. We have a couple that if they arent plugged in under 20 degrees they dont want to start, others will start anytime. I personally plug mine in if it is going to be sub zero. Im sure you will get a lot of different opinions, but thats mine.

  4. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    A proper running 7.3 with a proper functioning glow plug system will start with no problem down to 0 degrees. I've done this many times because I didn't have a place to plug my truck in last year either.

    -10 Degrees with out block heater assistance is also feasible but a stretch.
  5. Case580M

    Case580M Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Snowaway, Thats what I drive a '02 7.3L.


    as someone said if the glow plugs are working properly you should not have an issue to around -10. I did have an issue and it turned out to be the Air Charge temp sensor instead of the normal glow plug issue. Weird I know but that was it.

    This is my 3rd 7.3L and a year or so ago was in Minnesota when it was -27 and truck without being plugged in started but not so easy. (my heater was not working)

    Keep it in top shape and you should not have issues. Another tip is before you retire for the night let it run up to operating temps then start it early in the morning when you wake up. Seems to get worse if you let them sit for extended periods

    Now I cheat and just park it in the heated shop. early morning jump in and its already 70deg..... no scraping or waiting just go
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  6. Vinnie

    Vinnie Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Mine is a 2002 also . Anything under 20 degrees is a gamble with mine if its not plugged in . Glow plugs work ,fuel filter always changed before cold weather starts and still a stubborn truck.i actually looked into a webasto coolant heater .
  7. jayw

    jayw Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Running a 10 weight synthic oil also seems to help with the cold starts as well
  8. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    My 97 powerstroke always started with ease even on the coldest days. I never ever had to plug it in.
  9. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Agreed, I run Rotella Synthetic 5W-40 and it was a night and day difference of cold cranking speed and start up, engine also runs a little smoother.
  10. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Are you sure that you're GP system is functioning properly. Have you checked the resistance at each of the GPs and function of GP relay?

    As stated you should not have a problem at 20 degrees or lower.
  11. sglaine

    sglaine Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I have a 2000 F-350 and never had to plug in .

    except 10 or below..How ever I do cycle the glow plugs twice before starting..
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,427

    Doakster pretty much beat me to it all.

    What he said. Make sure you're running some fuel treatment to so as to prevent fuel gelling up on you.
  13. jdo150

    jdo150 Member
    Messages: 55

    yeah our 7.3 starts hard in the cold.... I mean it will start but it takes a min to get it going and ours sits most of the winter and only gets moved when we plow the drive but when we plug the truck in it fires right up no problem and as far as our 6.0 im not to sure as it sits in a garage all night but when we have had it sitting out all day in the cold there has never been a problem.
  14. Stud Bro

    Stud Bro Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    i have a 99 7.3 i had issues with it starting hard replaced the glow plug relay and 2 new batts and the truck pops right off I didnt plug the truck in at all last year on the really cold morning i cycle the plugs twice just run some cetain boost and the truck will be fine.
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    if your that far into it you would be best off to just replace the glow plugs since they are fairly cheap
  16. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Yes but the cover gaskets and harnesses are not. It all adds up. It takes all of 2 min to ck them at that valve cover connectors.
  17. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Exactly correct.

    The GPs used to be cheap but not any more, a complete set will run & 80-100, and as stated it doesn't take much to check the plugs and you don't have to remove the valve cover.

    I actually picked up a set of ZD-11s when autozone depleted there entire stock for 1 cent, yes 1 cent each. I think I paid 9 cents total for a set of 8 with tax. Now if I could just remember were I put them in case I need them. :eek:
  18. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

  19. gotsnow?

    gotsnow? Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    my '00 F-250 starts hard below 30....... I may have glow plug issues though :cry: I just don't want to spend the money, it's easier to plug it in at night.

    David - got snow?
  20. brad96z28

    brad96z28 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,526

    Could just be the relay they go bad often. Only like a 50 dollar part. Takes all of 2 min to change also.