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86 F 250 6.9 Diesel Snowdozer GP Swap

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Randy26933, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Randy26933

    Randy26933 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    This 86 250 has less than 70k on it. This summer I replaced every panel except the hood, New cab, box, fenders, doors, rad suppport, everything. As you can tell I plan on keeping her around a while. Now the problem.....

    The glow plugs "blew up" inside the cylinder. They swelled up and will not come out. I was told that a faulty GP controller would had allowed the plugs to come on while the engine was running. I was also told that these plugs were on a 6 volt system and that there was a retro kit to change the system over to 12 volt.

    1) Any of you heard of this problem?
    2) Is such a kit available?
    3) Does this mean tearing the heads off to dig out the pieces of glow plug, or will they "exhaust" out?

    I've read a lot of posts and am impressed with the way you help people out.
  2. 04sd

    04sd Senior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 266

  3. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    what kind of glow plugs were they?? i bet either autolite or champion.
    they are the two largest pieces of crap glow plugs out there, and the wellman and bosch's ain't much better.

    the only glow plugs to run in ford diesels are MOTORCRAFT/BERU plugs. for your 86 6., you will want the ZD-1's
  4. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Don't you mean ZD-7s? I could be wrong
  5. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    nope. up to mid year 87, the 6.9 with the old style glow controller used the spade tip plugs, ZD-1.
    mid year 87 6.9 with the new style glow controller and bullet plug tips, and 7.3 idi trucks used the ZD-9's.
    then you go to the powerstroke that uses the ZD-11.

    we go through the glow plug debate at least once a week over on fordtrucks.com.
    someone will come on swearing how the crap autolite, champion ,wellman , and bosch plugs are the best thing ever invented, then a week later they are back on asking how to get one of the autolite or champion plugs with a swollen tip out of the head.

    or with the "i just put a set of wellman or bosch plugs it, and it worked fine for two days, but then burnt out my controller".

    when we finally convince them to there is nothing wrong with their controller and the plugs are the problem, they put the BERU plugs in and everything works again.

    what is really funny about all this is the BERU plugs are cheaper than the others, but people still by the crap plugs for more money anyway..
  6. rancherman84

    rancherman84 Senior Member
    Messages: 196

    if you want to do it the right way you need to pull the heads.the glo-plugs in the 6.9/7.3 are 6 volts.that way when you put 12 volts to them they heat up very quickly,hence the need for a glowplug controler.if you just held the plugs on continuasly they will burn out.only use motorcraft/beru plugs,period.
    some older IH engines like the D 282 use 12 volt plugs,and those you can hold them on until your finger goes numb or the batt goes dead,which ever comes first!lol
  7. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Thanks for the correction...I knew the 7.3idi are ZD-9s and the Powerstroke ZD-11 but I could remember the 6.9
  8. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    if it wasn't for the constant questioning over on the other site, i would not remember it either. i put one set of glow plugs in my 88, and that was 4 years ago. i figure by the time it needs another set, the kids will have to worry about it.
  9. Randy26933

    Randy26933 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the link. So I guess the heads have to come off, thats the only way, or the right way, to get the old plugs out? And if I am gleaning these posts, correctly use the motorcraft/beru plugs and change the controller? Do these controllers fail frequently? I've asked around at work, but not too many people deal with diesels. I am beginning to see why. What I like about the diesel is that its old, smelly and makes too much noise when it runs, like me.
  10. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    yea, the 86 has the old school controller on it. there are instructions in the idi forum at ford trucks.com what detail how to convert to the new solid state controller used after 87.
    we have had limited success getting swollen glow plugs out using pb blaster and an electric drill to spin the plug while you push and pull on the plug to cut down the swollen tip till it comes out. then you remove the injector and using a combination of compressed air and a shop vac in the glow plug and injector holes to suck the crap out.
  11. Randy26933

    Randy26933 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Finally, today, I got the time (and nerve) to try and remove the autolite glowplugs. I used tjctransports suggestion and a little improvisation of my own. I first turned the plugs to the ends of the threads. I put pb into the gp hole and then used the air ratchet to slowly turn the gp while I applied a little leverage with a wide flat blade screwdriver to the lower shoulder of the gp. Each one popped right out without any breakage.

    The zd-1s are on order from the local Ford dealer and should be in tomorrow. I also ordered a new controller, while I was at it. I noticed while we were working on the master cylinder that the "glow plug" indicator light stayed lit as long as the switch was in the on position. That controller, I think, led to the demise of the autolite gps.

    Well now it'll all be new. I wanted to thank the posters for the suggestions. You saved me a ton of money, I thought we were headed for a major tear down.
  12. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    You should get a huge amount of miles from the engine. A buddy of mine got almost 375K out of an old 86 ambulance.You could just not kill that engine! He got broadsided by a dump truck and that killed the body it was bolted to.
  13. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    good to hear it worked for you.:salute:
    whenever i hear of a swollen tip, i suggest the spin and pull method. of the over 30 people i have suggested it to, only one person had to pull the heads, because the plugs broke off in the heads and had to be drilled out.:eek:
  14. Goofyexponent

    Goofyexponent Member
    Messages: 67

    I run bosch plugs in my 1993 7.3 IDI N/A without a problem. My controller recently stuck on and burnt out ALL 8 plugs in one smash....not happy.

    This is where I buy my Gp's now. They are the same Bosch plugs I have in her now.

    And about these engines lasting forever, I have 380k on mine and a buddy had almost 450K on his...both running strong as ever!