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Thread: Truck problems.

  1. #1

    Default Truck problems.

    I am recently having some problems with my truck which have surfaced and I am finding it odd and I really hope this isn't the end for this truck because I love it...

    The problems began shortly after getting 220,000 miles on the clock.

    First started as being a bit reluctant to start ( it has been in the mornings before I got it tuned up but ever since It usually started in about 3 cranks using my glow plugs )
    But for the last few days the truck has been not wanting to start. As in, I would have to crank it for 30 seconds before the engine even sputters. I crank it again after I see the smoke and it starts right up. Like nothing has happened.

    The other problem.

    For some reason, after being parked, ( the truck does fine unless I leave it over night ) *points to above post*

    When starting the truck up, and putting it in drive, results in the engine running funny for a few seconds then stalling on me. Revving the engine in park before putting it in drive, and it won't do this.

    But as soon as I put it in drive, I can barely keep the truck alive. It does this for about 4 minutes then its fine..

    The truck I have is a 1988 Ford F250 4x4 Diesel 5.7L
    Recently had it tuned up, new cats, new exhaust, new muffler, glow plugs, a/c recharge.

    I have tried pulling codes but I get nothing.

  2. #2


    How long after having the work done did this start, because the mechanic may have screwed something up.

  3. #3


    Which are the conditions of diesel filters, pump, and injectors? Although I'm not a big diesel expert, these are the first things I'd check, since it seems like fuel is having trouble getting to the engine at cold, which may be due to clogged filters or injectors.


    Quote Originally Posted by timmydiaperloverboy View Post
    I really hope this isn't the end for this truck because I love it...
    don't worry: if there's a problem, there's also a solution, it's enough to find what's wrong. At least for european "old school" diesel engines that I know of, 220,000 miles is not that extreme mileage, if they've been properly mantained and not mistreated.

  4. #4


    something went wrong with the glow plugs, maybe the circuit is dead, or the wrong glow plugs were installed? if it is smoking, it is getting fuel. (actually on a deisel engine when you see smoke it is unburned fuel) see if you have power to the glow plugs, you'll have to remove the wires from the glow plugs to do a voltage check, also the circuit will time out, so for the first say.....20 seconds there would be power, and then it should turn off. good luck

  5. #5


    5.7? I think you mean 7.3. The 7.3 IDI V8 was the only diesel offered in the '88 F-series.

    Anyways, I'm going to put my money on a vacuum leak, or poor grounds between the ECM, engine, body, and battery. On a fair weather day you shouldn't need to cycle your glow plugs at all (if the engine has been properly maintained), and while I don't know where you're at, the weather is getting pretty warm.

    To check for vacuum leaks, (obviously visually inspect the lines first for cracks) start the truck up, and spray WD40 on your vacuum lines. When the engine idle changes, you've found the culprit hose.

    To test for a bad ground (which can cause all kinds of odd issues), grab a set of jumper cables, and attach one side to the negative battery post ONLY. Attach the other end to a solid metal part of the engine, start it up, and see if it solves your problem. If it does, pick up some 6 or 8 gauge copper wire and some decent weatherproof ring terminals. Run a cable from the negative battery post to a valve cover stud, and to part of the chassis.

  6. #6


    ^^ im pretty sure diesels don't have manifold vacuum due to the fact that diesels don't have throttle plates XD so the WD40 method would be pointless. however, there should be a vacuum pump driven by the serpentine belt. definitly check those lines for leaks.

    also could be a fuel delivery problem. any way to check fuel pressure?

  7. #7


    To me it just sounds the the engine isn't getting time to warm up properly and the starting problem could just be down to a duff battery thats loosing charge over night, try leaving the motor to warm up for about 5 mins before you drive it ( or about ten if its baltic out ) and have a look at the battery if its old greasy and covered in cr*p then invest in a quality new battery if it isnt then it mite be loosing charge somewhere ( what nejay is saying about grounding ) or its some hideously complicated problem with something expencive but,
    The simplest solutions are usualy the ones that work.
    P.S. whens the last time the truck got a service? -that could help to.

  8. #8


    For a hard start, check the glow plug solenoid at the very back of the engine, under the air filter housing with a test light. It looks exactly like an old Ford fender-mounted starter solenoid from the '60s thru the '90s. One of the big terminals will have system voltage all of the time, and the other big one will have it only when the key is first turned on. If none have power, check for a loose connection between there, and the battery. It's a big wire, so it's easy to follow. Also check the little wire going to that solenoid for 12v with the key turned on. Power should be there for 10 seconds or so.

    For the poor running condition, make sure the fuel filter is clean, and there's no water in the bottom of it. The water in fuel warning lights often quit working, so don't trust it. If you open the tap on the bottom of the filter to drain water away, you'll have to remove the filter completely, and manually re-fill it with fuel so air doesn't get into the injection pump.

    From what you describe though, it sounds like the injection pump is sucking in air internally until it warms up a little, or it's loosing it's fuel prime internally when the engine is allowed to shut down and shed some heat. This also makes the engine hard to start, and causes the engine shut down until the air bubble passes. If this is the problem, you'll have to have the pump re-built by someone who specializes in diesel injection.

    Don't worry, the engine is still good. The old Navastar 6.9, and 7.3 IDI engines were almost bomb-proof. 7.3 Powerstroke engines were as well. It's the 6.0, and 6.4 Powerstrokes that have had so many problems with blown head gaskets, broken pistons, leaking EGR tubes, and faulty electronic injectors.

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