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re: F450 Starting Hard and Smoking

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Sticks, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Sticks

    Sticks Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 159

    Ok, I am sure that this has been discused over and over again i just cant find it with the search tool.

    My 1993 F450 towards the end of the year is starting hard, and smoking when it starts till it warms up.

    i dont know if it is the glow plugs, the injectors, or the glow plug timer.

    how do i check?

    I want to wire the glow plug warm up controller to just a simple toggle switch on the dash is that possible?
  2. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    what type glow plugs are in it, do you know??
    you should ONLY use motorcraft/beru glow plugs. autolites are pure garbage, and champion, Wellman, and bosch are not too far behind autolites.

    how long does the wait to start light stay on?? it should be 12-16 seconds. if it is less, you most likely have a few bad glow plugs.

    putting the glow plugs to a momentary push button switch can be done, but if someone holds the button in too long it will smoke the glow plugs. the best thing to use is the factory controller.

    to test the controller, on a cold engine, have someone turn the key to run position to activate the glow plug controller while you have a volt meter or test light hooked to a glow plug wire. if you get voltage to the plug, the controller is most likely working properly, and you have bad plugs.
    i usually buy them from these guys.

    but a few guys at ford-trucks.com have said they have gotten 8 beru plugs off of ebay for $80 delivered.
  3. Sticks

    Sticks Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 159

    I do know that i hear a clicking noise once the truck starts and while im warming up the plugs. the dash volt meter also flickers the clicking stops after 8-10 times.
  4. clydebusa

    clydebusa Member
    Messages: 85

    I have a 94 f450, same thing last year. Had to put new injectors, and new glow plugs. It is true that I put new glow plugs in it about every 2 years.
  5. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    the clicking after the WTS light goes out is the glow plug controller cycling on -off to keep the plugs hot till all cylinders are firing.
  6. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    in 22 years, i have put 2 sets of motorcraft/ beru glow plugs in my truck

    other guys on FTE have use autolite, champion, wellman and bosch plugs, and some of them only got 4-5 starts before the plugs burned out.
    we all only use the motorcraft/beru plugs now, and get many years of faithful service out of them.
  7. clydebusa

    clydebusa Member
    Messages: 85

    This is how I am able to tell if my 94 needs glow plugs or not. I should of wrote in the previous note, that I check them every couple of years and always have 1 or 2 out or lazy.

    How to Diagnose the Ford Glow Plug

    “California vechicles operate identically to the 49-state systems. Instead of a 4-pole relay controlled by the PCM, the glow plug system contains an actual module. This module is in the same location but has more wires.”

    Let's get right to the down and dirty of the powerstroke glow plug. This system consists of a glow plug control relay (GPC) for 49 states or glow plug control module (GPCM) on 1999 and newer California emissions vehicles, eight glow plugs, a "wait to start" light, related wiring and the powertrain control module (PCM) to operate the system.

    The "wait to start" light is independent of the actual glow plug on time. The PCM will turn the "wait to start" light on just for three to five seconds to allow sufficient cylinder temperatures to be reached for ease in starting. However, even though the light is off, the PCM will keep the glow plugs energized for a much longer time to reduce smoke and to improve cold driveability. The amount of on time can be as long as 180 seconds, and is determined by the PCM based on inputs from the barometric pressure sensor, the engine oil temperature sensor and available battery voltage.

    Symptom: Hard start caused by the glow plug. To diagnose (the following applies to 49 states only):

    Make sure the battery is fully charged.
    At the GPC, located on the right valve cover, verify B+ at the battery feed wire. This is a large diameter wire, usually black/yellow or black/orange.
    If OK, use a volt ohmeter to check for vehicle power to the GPC on the smaller red wire with key on, engine off (KOEO).
    If OK, have someone cycle the key off and on, while you check the other small wire (generally pink/orange) for less than 0.5 volts. This is the control wire the PCM grounds for 30 to 180 seconds to energize the GPC relay. If the circuit is being grounded, an audible click should be heard confirming activation of the relay.
    If no sound is heard, touch a standard 12-volt test light to the output terminal of the relay containing the two large brown wires (some later vehicles and California models will likely have one brown and one yellow) and check for voltage. If there is no voltage present, replace the GPC relay. If the voltage is OK, perform a voltage drop across the battery feed and output terminals of the relay by cycling the key off and on, and replace any GPC that exceeds a 0.5 volt drop across the contacts.
    If the GPC checks OK, turn off the key and allow the glow plugs to cool.
    Testing the actual glow plug operation requires more than a simple resistance test and presence of B+ at the components.

    Note: Testing should be done using any device containing a high current inductive amp clamp.

    Place the high current inductive amp clamp around the two output wires of the GPC.
    While turning the key on, watch for the initial draw to read 160 amps or greater. Depending on the manufacturer, glow plugs will draw 17 to 26 amps each with a minimum recommended draw of 20 amps (20 x 8 = 160). The reasoning behind the minimum specification will be addressed at the end of the article.
    If the initial surge does not reach 160 amps, move the clamp to each glow plug supply wire at the valve cover connectors, cycle the key on and check for a minimum 20 amps each, replacing any glow plug that does not reach this spec.
    Allow time to cool between testing each cylinder. On the 1994-1997 trucks, the supply wires will be the brown wires in terminals one and five of each of the four five-cavity connectors. On the 1999 and newer SuperDuty, the supply wires will be in terminals 1-2-10 and 11 of the two 11-cavity connectors. Note: The wires on the driver's side of the engine may be yellow.
    California vehicles operate identically to the 49-state systems. Instead of a 4-pole relay controlled by the PCM, the glow plug system contains an actual module. This module is in the same location but has more wires. The output terminal of the 49-state relay has one large wire for each bank that branches off to individual cylinders. The GPCM has one output wire for each cylinder. As with its 49-state cousin, it still contains the B+ wire, the vehicle power wire and the pink/orange to energize it. It also contains a communication line to the PCM. This module "monitors" individual glow plug draw and reports any errors to the PCM. It can flag a code P0670 if there is a control line fault, a P0683 if the diagnostic circuit is faulty and any combination of P0671 through P0678 for a glow plug fault in cylinders 1-8.

    The reason behind the minimum spec mentioned above is that since this module monitors actual current to each cylinder, the malfunction indicator light will illuminate and a code will be generated for any glow plug that draws less than 20 amps, even though no starting issues are present.