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Glenn, Technician/Trainer
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 606
Experience:  28 years experience, Interprovincially Licenced Motor Vehicle Mechanic and Instructor
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E350: van..wont start..the glow plugs with the glowplug relay

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 93 ord e350 7.3L diesel van and the thing won't start when its cold or hot. I replaced the glow plugs with the glowplug relay. the fuel filter and fuel pump was also replaced. A mechcanic said he thinks it could be the the injector pump? He said he can get the truck to start with starting fluid but the truck won't idle. do you think it could be lack of fuel pressure? I know that the fuel pressure should be @ 90-110PSI at 3300RPM. But what is at when you crank it to start? Also the glowplug relay is clicking after the wait to start light goes off for 15sec. Could it be something electrical. There is no check engine light on.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Glenn replied 8 years ago.




My name is Glenn. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'd like to try to help you with this question.


From what you are describing, it doesn't sound like the glowplugs or the controller are at fault. The clicking of the glowplug controller is normal.


It is important to check fuel quality when experiencing problems of this type. Diesel fuel contaminated with gasoline will also cause this problem. A specificgravity tester is used by diesel mechanics to test this..


Once he gets it started, he keeps his foot on the throttle to keep it running... got that. After doing this for a few minutes, can he release the throttle without having the engine stall? If the engine is stalling, he may have a restriction in the return line that comes off the top of the injector pump.





You mechanic needs to remove the fuel return hose shown in the image above and to crank and start the engine. A small flow of fuel should be leaving the top of the pump from the fitting that the line had been connected to . If you put your finger over the nipple and block it, the engine will stall. If this line is restricted, the engine will continuously stall.




There have been problems with "fuel drainback" on this application. Air can get into the injector pump after the engine shut down. This is a result of age and wear at the fuel injection pump lever shaft.




This problem will require serious cranking to restart the engine.. The plastic caps on top of the injectors ( referred to as "fuel return tee" in the following image) that connect to the fuel return lines can also admit air to this system.


( by the way, even though I am showing a disassembled fuel injector, there are no field-serviceable items on this injector other than the TEE, the o-ring seals at the TEE, and the COPPER GASKET at the bottom of the injector)




Some technicians have tried raising the rear end of the vehicle way up in the air to keep the tank higher than the injection pump after shut-down to try to pinpoint this problem. Vacuum tests can also be done on the system to try to pinpoint this as the cause.


I'm not sure where you are getting those fuel pressure specs. If you are talking about the mechanical lift pump on this engine, it should show 2 psi at idle and 1 psi at 3300 rpm. It should be able to maintain 2 psi while cranking when tested at the test port .


If you have found this information helpful in any way, please hit the ACCEPT button. Otherwise, hit reply if you need more info.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Expert:  Glenn replied 8 years ago.

Hi again..


I'm not trying to be rude or unkind, but if he has asked this question then he doesn't understand this system.


Good on the o-rings and caps.


If the pump was unable to build sufficient pressure it wouldn't start and run AT ALL. Your post led me to believe that it will start with assistance and then stay running at fast idle... Is this correct?


You haven't answered the questions I asked in my post. Please provide me with answers to those questions first. Thanks.

Expert:  Glenn replied 8 years ago.

Hello again


I have done my best to assist you with this question.


If my repsonse has helped in any way, please hit the ACCEPT button on my answer.



I've done my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. Please be sure to rate your level of satisfacton with my answers.