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jwhitehouse
jwhitehouse, Ford Sr. Master Diesel Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 59
Experience:  ASE & Ford Certified Tech, 9 years dealer exp., Ford Senior Master Diesel & Gasoline Tech.
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SUPER CAB 7.3L DIESEL: 2003 FORD F350 7.3L is very hard starting

Customer Question

2003 FORD F350 7.3L is very hard starting in the morning and after engine sets for awhile. Have to pre heat glo plugs for several minutes for engine to start at all. Glo plugs and wiring harness have been replaced, injector o-rings are new, injector cups are new, valves are new, heads have been rebuilt, batteries and starter check out fine. The engine starts ok after initial warmup but still cranks for a couple seconds before firing. Diagnostics test indicate internal KAM sensor failure and and engine manifold high heat censor failure. HELP!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  jwhitehouse replied 1 year ago.

jwhitehouse :

Thank you for using justanswer.com, the late model 7.3L diesels had a problem with the CMP (camshaft position) sensor. There is an updated sensor available to correct CMP issues. The sensor was covered under a recall for a period of time. The sensor is located towards the top of the crankshaft pulley on the passenger side front of the engine. If the sensor has already been replaced with the updated part the bracket that holds the sensor in will be silver and the sensor will be gray. If it has the old sensor then the bracket will be a goldish color and the sensor should be black. If it has the old sensor then it should be replaced, and if it is the old style sensor then you should check with you local Ford dealer to see if it still may be covered under the recall.

Customer :

The sencor in question has been replaced

jwhitehouse :

ok, what are the code numbers?

Customer :

P0603 AND P0113

jwhitehouse :

ok, P0603-Internal Control Module KAM (Keep Alive Memory) Error, is set when the PCM loses it's power supply-normally the code will set when the batteries have been disconnected. KAM is an intregal part of the Powertrain Control Module. When I read this the first time without the code numbers I thought you were talking about the CMP sensor when you said KAM sensor, sorry. So if you have disconnected the batteries, or if the batteries have been drained really low at one point or another you can ignore this code. P0113-IAT (Intake Air Temperature) Sensor Circuit High Input. Possible causes for this DTC are as follows: contaminated or damaged sensor (could be dirty or possible damaged by water ingestion), open circuit or shorted circuit in the wiring harness, or a damaged PCM. Do you have a scanner or programmer with a datalogging function? While this code may or may not be the source of your problems it is where we need to start with a repair. When diagnosing you have to start with what you know is wrong and work your way through it even though there could possibly be more than one issue.

Customer :

This morning the truck took 1/2 hour to get started, I preheated the glo plugs at least three minutes each time before I attempted to start the truck. I had to hook it up with jumper cables to another vehicle after about 20 minutes due to the battery starting to lose energy, finally after about another ten minutes the truck fired and started running but only on about four cylinders. After warming up for about fifteen minutes the truck smoothed out and ran fine. There has to be some issue with it when cold, because it seems to start fine when it has been run awhile and is warmed up. When I was able to plug it in, the truck started right up in the morning, but the engine heater has quit working and is not able to be used. Could it possibly have something to do with the oil pressure regulator sencor? Just a thought. The oil is full and clear. This is one of the only things that has not been replaced on this engine.

jwhitehouse :

Yes the Injection Control Pressure sensor could cause this concern. The ICP sensor is a 3 wire sensor that is located towards the top of the driverside cylinder head towards the front of the engine. Disconnect the electrical connector and inspect for signs of oil. The sensors will leak oil through the sensor and up into the conector. If you find oil there then the sensor should be replaced along with the connector pigtail. I read that you have done a lot of work to this truck. Have the injectors also been replaced? How many miles does the truck have on it? Also do you have a scan tool capable of a data logger function? Thank you for your patience with all my questions.

Customer :

The injectors have not been replaced but have had new o rings and injector caps replaced. The engine has 189,000 miles on it but still has lots of power and runs very strong when warmed up and put under a load. Could batteries possibly be an issue? Maybe they are not cranking engine at a high enough rpm?

jwhitehouse :

I would say that if you were able to crank it over for 20 minutes this morning that the batteries are fine. Diesel engines are high compression engines and take a lot of energy to crank them over which is why diesel engines require 2 batteries. You said that you replaced the glow plugs. Did you replace the glow plug control solonoid?

Expert:  jwhitehouse replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  jwhitehouse replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The glo plug relay has been replaced. Is it different than the glo plug control solonoid? I was told by the mechanic who did the work on the truck that if the engine did not turn at least 250rpms it would not start.

Expert:  jwhitehouse replied 1 year ago.

Yes it is the same. Some people and even manuals call it a relay even though it is a solenoid. In my opinion I would say that 250 would be a bit high to call a minimum. Have you looked at the ICP sensor? Your diesel engine requires very few things in order to start. It needs compression, air, sufficient high pressure oil pressure to fire the injectors, fuel pressure, and a timed injection pulse directly injected into the cylinder. So if the engine is not wanting to start then we have a problem with one of those things. Since it runs fine we can rule out sufficient clean air and any timing issues. Normally if there is a high pressure oil system leak the vehicle will start cold when the oil consistency in thicker and turn into a hard or no start when the engine is warm and the engine oil is thinner so we should be able to rule out a high pressure oil system leak. If the ambient temperature outside is rather warm then we should be able to rule out the glow plug system. The engine should start just fine in warm temperatures with out functioning glow plugs. A diesel engine uses the heat built up during the compression stroke to ignite the injected diesel fuel. If the engine is wearing out and there is not sufficient sealing in the cylinders a loss of compression can occur. This would cause a hard start when the engine is cold. As the engine warms and the internal engine components swell due to heat the cylinders will seal better and the engine will become easier to start. A simple crankcase pressure test can be used to determine if this may be the cause. I have also seen injectors cause this type of concern in which all of the injectors needed to be replaced. Also the ICP sensor needs to be checked as I stated previously, and there could possibly be an Injection Pressure Regulator issue. We would need to know what the ICP pressure is to determine this. To determine ICP pressure you will need a scanner with a data logging function or have someone check who does have one. Sometimes a diagnosis has to be completed by process of elimination. Thank you

Expert:  jwhitehouse replied 1 year ago.
Hello, just wondering if you still needed assistance with this question. Thank you

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