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Diesel Won't Start!!!

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by truszip, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. truszip

    truszip Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Can't get my 97 PS to start this morning. Turns over fast enough and on occasion wants to fire up but no go, glow plug timers coming on but still no start? Glow plugs maybe have 15000 miles on them so that shouldn't be the problem. Any other ideas? It's hovering around the plus zero mark temperature wise here today so it's not that cold. I've plugged it in but I'm not sure if these things have a block heater or just battery warmers as I've never had to plug it in before. Also - can you safely ether these things, just in case I can't get it going. Thanks for any help.
  2. truszip

    truszip Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Well I got the thing started easily after it being pugged in for only a stort time. So this leads me to believe it's glow plug related. There's not enough miles on the plugs for them not to be working so the problem should be in the timer, relay or other glow plug items. Does anybody know what 's all involved and were the components are? Thanks.
  3. HerkFE

    HerkFE Member
    Messages: 92

    I would stay away from ether! I had no problems ever when I had my '97 plugged in. Usually only when it was forcast below zero. Even in the coldest days when I was traveling and she sat at the airport for a week or so unplugged I would just let the glowplug timer cycle twice (key off/on again) and she would fire right up. Temps down to $%&& freezing over!! Anyway, I think the newer SD's '99 and up? have a "smart" timer that looks at temp, etc and adjusts the cycle time.

    I later put in a remote starter. What a sweet piece of gear! I had it set for the "cold mode" where if temps where low and the battery voltage dropped she would fire up and run for 15 min. Piece of mind for those cold night getting off the plane. No dead batteries and I could start it and let it warm up while I put my gear away!!

    Good luck and let us know what you find!

  4. UpstateDzlGuy

    UpstateDzlGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Did you change out the Glow Plug relay at the same time? This may be the culprit. Don't bother with Ford, find a local International dealer to get the relay. Better Price, Chris
  5. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    I just sort of skimmed the post, didn't read everything. But, I did see ether mentioned. DO NOT USE IT ON THE DIESEL. It is very bad news. I would agree with the last post. Check and just change your GPR(glow plug relay). It is for sure not working right. The GPR's in these trucks have a bad track record. After the GPR change, if there isn't a big improvement in starting in cold weather, then I'd check the glow plugs, and if there are two of more not working up to snuff, then put all new ones in. You can get the glow plugs for your truck at Auto Zone. They are a Motorcraft part, and come in a Motorcraft bag, but for alot less than a ford dealer. Good Luck. for more info, and better, visit= "www.thedieselstop.com" and go to the 94-97 section. good luck, Nick.
  6. mow4real

    mow4real Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    make sure the batteries are FULLY charged. That big diesel engine requires a lot of juice to turn the engine over entirely. I've had a situation previously where the diesel engine was cranking nicely, yet would not start. However, after recharging the batteries to 100% the engine turned over and started up like nothing was ever wrong.

    To the above posts: what's wrong with ether? is ether different than starting fluid that is labeled as being "safe for diesel and gasoline engines?"
  7. truszip

    truszip Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    The only reason I mention ether is because that's what I have to use to get the old diesel farm tractor going in the winter. Works everytime. I agree though and it would have been a last resort if the thing didn't start. In any case as I mentioned - plugging it in did start it and doing an elimination check it is the relay. Thanks for all the help.
  8. clueless

    clueless Member
    from pa
    Messages: 43

    glow plugs wear out as like spark plugs.i think they recomend changing at 100,000 or when it gets hard starting.they use 2 styles,the quick and the slow,the quick glow are 6v plugs on a 12v system,they tend to go quicker,the 12v slow ones last a long time,but do wear out.

    to test the relay,clip a volt meter on one of the plugs,turn the key on and watch the light or meter for voltage.there should be close to battery voltage in there,if no voltage,change the glow plug relay.if there is voltage,chnge all the plugs out.its cheaper and will save battery and starter life.plugging it in will also save wear and tear also.

    either in any glow plug relay type vehicle could convert it to being headless.it could blow the heads or intake off the vehicle.use ing either in any vehicle does put too much wear and tear on the pistons had heads also.once you start them on either,you basically have to keep using it.

    if you do have to use either in a vehicle with glow plugs,spray it while cranking,never before.while cranking the glow plugs are not on and the chance of blowing up is minimal.ive done it in quite a few glow plug vehicles,gm,ford,ih,dodge,and a few others.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2004
  9. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Before spending $50.00 on a new GPR or if Ford doesn't have one in stock, jump the two posts on top of the relay with a jumper cable. Just make sure to use the same color on both ends of the cable. Attach the jumper, wait 15 seconds, then kick it over. Should fire right up.
  10. captfudd

    captfudd Member
    Messages: 88

    The Ford Turbo's are a pain in the A$$ when they don't start in the cold, I manage an ambulance service that has about 10 of these and found out the hard way what happens when you use starting fluid in them .... just a short burst caused a fire in the air intake housing and damaged the turbo .... our mechanic got a good laugh :eek:
  11. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    That would be a lot of trouble just to check the relay since the glow plugs are under the valve covers. It is much easier to check the relay at the relay on top of the engine. clueless, your whole post seems to be information on an old Chevy diesel. The psd's are a newer deal than the old Chevy's. No more quick glow and slow glow.

    truszip, Does it smoke when it cranks over but won't start? If so check the relay. It is under the plastic cover on top of the engine. Just take a 1/2" deep socket and remove the three nuts that hold the cover on. The relay will be above the passenger side valve cover. If the relay is bad you can pick up a Napa GPR-109. The posts are reversed on the Napa relay but they are half the price. You might have to extend the wires a little for them to reach the proper post but usually they are long enough.
    If you don't get smoke while it is cranking but not starting look at the tach. If the tach is not moving while you are cranking it then it is the CPS(cam position sensor). The tach should be reading several hundred rpm's when you are cranking engine.
  12. truszip

    truszip Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Again - thanks for all the help. Changed the relay, starts everytime. Thanks again.
  13. neversatisfied

    neversatisfied Member
    from ct
    Messages: 73

    Not to clog the thread up but the reasone ether is no good is because even with a bad glow plug it will still heat up and the ether will make it burn so hot the tip can fall off and be injested by the motor.It happens and if the motor doesnt pass the tip u could have major internal damage.And always get the motocraft glow plugs,autolites and champion ones burn out whey to quik .
  14. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Just another example of a FORD needing a minor Adjustment / Part to fix it. PSD rock! My next plow truck will have one!
  15. Fordtech

    Fordtech Junior Member
    from LI.NY
    Messages: 4

    Just to add a bit more.
    With a Powerstroke the glow plug "wait to start" light has .Nothing to do with the time the glow plugs are on the light will turn off after about 15-20 sec nowhere near enough time to heat the cylinders up . The glow plugs will stay on for up to 1 Min if conditions are correct.So plug it in below 30 deg and sit down in the truck turn the key on and count to 25-35 before cranking in weather below 30ish your starter will thank you.:)