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Glow Plugs

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by cos, Jan 14, 2001.

  1. cos

    cos Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Are they easy to replace? Any advice on changing them? I am ready to replace them, but don't know how easy they are to do. I was told at the dealer that you have to take the valve covers off.

    Any suggestions?
  2. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 140

    No problem job

    If you have a 7.3l, then its easy as pie. I think you need a 10mm deep socket. Once you see the new glow plugs you'll be able to figure out how they are put in. The job is similar to changing spark plugs. Be sure to take out the glow plugs though, not the injectors. You'll be able to tell the difference because the injectors are connected to rigid fuel line, while the glow plugs are connected by wires which slip off so you can put the socket on them.
  3. bob

    bob PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 57

    Harbor Freight has a glow plug removal tool in their catalog.
  4. cos

    cos Junior Member
    Messages: 28


    Thanks guys. I am going to replace them asap then. The dealer wanted a whoping $350 just for labor. Close to $600 altogether.

    Thanks again,


    UNISCAPE Member
    Messages: 48

  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    I replaced glow plugs in a 85 6.9 @9 each-ACDelco. Plus I had to buy a deep 7/16 socket.

    Get out your good ol continuity tester, pull the lead and check em before pulling them. If they are bad they will show an open circuit.

    Dont forget the never-seize on the threads or the next time you replace one you will not be happy.
  7. Stonewall

    Stonewall Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    thelawnguy has it right. Glow plugs are not that expensive, but they will definitely make for hard starting. Burned up a starter with that one. No way would I pay 350 or 600 for glow plugs/installation. Check your local parts house first.
  8. bob

    bob PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 57

  9. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Easiest way to check a glow plug is use a test light.Clip the lead on the + terminal,yes positive,and then touch the test light to each glow plug.If it is good the test light will glow.Make sure you are touching the small centre prong on the glow plug,and not the body of it,or it will cause the light to come on,when the glow plug may actually be bad.This is the same as using a continuity tester,just much easier.The light will come on when grounded,so when you touch a good glow plug,it has a ground,and the light comes on.

    BTW -as someone mentioned previously,anti-sieze compound is a must,preferably the silver colored,or it will never come back out.
  10. DIG'EM

    DIG'EM Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Ihave a 90 model f450. It has a7.3litter in it. for about 3 weeks it has had ahard time starting. ive changed batteries no difference i think i know the problem now thanx
  11. nlminc

    nlminc Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    My 97 7.3 Ps is giving me a hard time starting. How do I know if it's the Glow plugs or the regulater? Do you have to remove the Valve covers to relace the glow plugs?

  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Chris,if your under 100K,your still under warranty,take it to the dealer,if not try more frequent oil changes,they start quicker.The injectors plug up real easy on PSD's,they are very sensitive to bad fule and off-road fuel with high sulfer.All the others'there is also a controller for the glow plugs that have been known to fail occasionally,if it does,it will be almost impossible to start without a block heater or ether.
  13. nlminc

    nlminc Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    John, Thanks for the info. The truck only has 42k on it and I have an appointment with the dealer on Tues. I was not sure if it would be covered under the warranty. I try to change the oil at around each 2500 miles.

  14. Cleve

    Cleve Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Chris, I have a 96' and at about the some milage as yours it started getting hard to start. Hard to believe the glow plugs would go that early.
    You might want to check the glowplug relay. It is fairly easy to replace yourself and way cheaper than the dealer will charge. Less than $20 from NAPA. Unit is mounted near the fuel filter. Has two large wires and two small wire attached to it. I could tell mine was bad just by looking at it. Had a burned area around one of the connections. Although that is not always the case. These things seem to just fail.
    I've about decided to put a switch on mine to disable it in warm weather and after the engine has warmed up during the day.

    You might want to visit the Ford-Diesel web site sometime and look over some of the posts there. Visit the 94-97 forum and do a search on glow plugs and/or glow plug relay.

    By the way, I have increased my oil changes to 4000 miles and doing an oil analysis from Blackstone labs each time.

  15. nlminc

    nlminc Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Well, I got my truck back from the dealer today and I had to have the relay replaced. Had to pay a 100.00 deductable for the warr. work. They said the relay cost $80.00 and with something like $70.00 for the diagnostics and labor I saved by having them do it. I know I have seen someone here mention that the relays only go for $20.00. My vacuum pump also had to be replaced for the brake system. That was'nt under the warrenty.

  16. Cleve

    Cleve Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Now you know how a dealer can screw you.
    I spent about $17 and took about 10 minutes to change my relay. Was also easy to diagnose the problem. Took about 1 minute to do that. Also didn't have to do without my truck for a day or more.
    If it isn't under warrnaty I don't allow the dealer to do anything anymore. I do have an extended warranty but even that only covers the drive train.
    There are a lot of things on your truck that you can easily do if you want to. That relay was one of the easy ones.
    The vacumn pump is also fairly easy to know when it is about to go. I would bet you could have replaced it for less than half what the dealer charged.

    This web site (lawnsite.com) is a great site for info on lawn care. I only found it a few weeks ago and have learned a great deal from it. The Ford-Diesel web site is probably the best place to find out info on Ford trucks.