2004 6.0 Very hard cold starting - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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2004 6.0 Very hard cold starting

This is my first post here. I searched around and read a lot of info on hard cold starting but I don't have a solution to my problem yet.

The truck is a 2004 (late) F-250 with about 255,000 miles on it. My parents bought it new and I got it 2 years and 20,000 miles ago.

Lately it has been in the low-mid 30s in Michigan and the truck is having a hard time starting in the cold. I plug in the block heater every night and it starts great in the morning, but after sitting in the parking lot at work for 9 hours it will barely start. I get white smoke and it will fire occasionally but not enough to run. I can usually get it running after about 20 minutes of cranking and waiting for glow plugs, but a couple times I had to jump start it.

When the truck had 105,000 on it, the dealer did the head gaskets and I don't remember what else. Over $5000 in work.
New batteries, FICM and starter right before I got the truck. (20,000 miles ago)
New alternator 3 months ago.
New glow plugs and harness on passenger side a few weeks ago. The driver's side tests ok , <2 Ohms.
Rotella 15w-40 oil and Motorcraft filter has about 5000 miles on it. I plan on changing it to 5w-40 this weekend.
New fuel filters about 10,000 miles ago.

Running SCT "Street" tune. MBRP 4" exhaust with resonator.

Here are some parameters during cranking according to my SCT tuner:
Battery voltage: 9.5-10V
FICM voltage: 48-49V
ICP pressure: over 1000psi

Based on all this I don't think it's a problem with any of this:

Any ideas what the problem could be?
It does have the factory injectors, do you think they could cause this?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 08:04 PM
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Re: 2004 6.0 Very hard cold starting

Is the glow plug relay good?

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 10:49 PM
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Re: 2004 6.0 Very hard cold starting

No relay, gpcm. Will give codes if any of that system is bad. But it can be unplugged and not give codes.... lol
IMO, battery voltage is dropping a bit low.
But.... with that mileage I think your injectors are pooched.
You can try a heavy dose of hot shots secret stiction eliminator. Do at least the full 2 quart jug with your 5w-40 oil change. Get away from rotella as well. Walmart has Chevron delo xsp 5w-40 full synthetic for $20/gal.
Other option is RevX.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 01:56 AM
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Re: 2004 6.0 Very hard cold starting

As mentioned, make sure all the glow plugs are working.
5W oil may help, but I think problems such as these originate from the fuel side of the injectors, not the hydraulic side.
Speaking of which, check your fuel pressure!!!
Battery voltage is a bit low, but still within the recommended range (I believe the lower limit is 9.3 V while cranking).
I'm a big believer in Power Service Winterizer (white bottle) fuel additive. I use this in all my diesels (the silver bottle in the summer as well). With the original 180k mile injectors and low fuel pressure (bad bad bad, unknown to me at the time) a couple years ago I started the truck in single digit temperatures after days of sitting with no heater. It was far from happy, but it started. I've also started by TDI in temperatures -20F and colder with no heater with the additive. It helps our Kubota tremendously.
New injectors are great, but that's a big investment. I now have a brand new set (new, not rebuilt) and they're great. That said, the couple times I've started it in the cold since they're not much of an improvement for cold starts over the old ones as I expected.

2004 F-250 Lariat, 6.0, SCLB, 4wd, Magnaflow turbo-back, EGR delete, studded, 6.4 banjo, new oil cooler and HPOP as of 5-11-2014
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