better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke

Folks, could use a little help here. My son is stationed at Camp Lejuine with his 1996 Ford F250 7.3 Powerstroke. He cant get it to start because its too cold, and he has no way plug in his oil heater since he lives in the barracks. I've looked at some heater mats that stick to oil pan, some are 75W and others are 150W. My concern with those is draining down batteries overnight. I've never used them since we live in Texas, and my 6.7 fires right up when its in the 20's and 30's for the few weeks we get it. I talked to my buddy who is a master diesel mechanic to see what he had to say about it, and he said that glow plug tecnology has come a long way since 1996. So my question to the group is this, are there some other glow plugs I can put in that are better than stock? He mentioned ceramic ones, so before I go buying something, would appreciate your opinion on the subject.
1. Any thoughts on using the heater mats that stick to the oil pan
2. changing out glow plugs to a better type that heat up quicker and hotter. If so, what brand should I get?

Many MANY thanks up front for your replies, sincerely appreciate it. My young Marine needs to be able to get around before he goes stir crazy.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 12:23 AM
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Re: better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke

Your son should be able to get it to start at or below 0F assuming he has:
Good glowplugs: Most of us would recommend only using OEM Motorcraft/Beru ZD-11 plugs. There are too many horror stories using others.
Good starter
Good batteries
Good Glowplug Relay. The stock relay is notoriously lousy. I would recommend using a White-Rodgers (formerly Stancor) 586-902 relay (about $50) or a Western Plow 56131K-1 (about $16). I've used both with excellent results (W-R on the 94 and a WP currently on the 97). He should also test the plugs and relay per the below details.

For checking the injector/glowplug wiring: From each valvecover gasket connection's outermost pins (2 per connector) to ground you should get 0.1 to 2 ohms (indicates good plug and wiring). From each valvecover gasket connection's center pin to each immediately adjacent pin, you should get around 3 ohms (indicates good injector solenoid and wiring). You should not get any continuity from any of the outer pins to the 3 inner pins (indicates no shorts between injector and glowplug wiring). You should also get 0 to 1 ohms from each of the external harness connectors outer pins back to the Glowplug Relay's large terminal on the GP side (indicates good wiring from external connections back to the relay).

To check the glowplug relay (GPR), measure the voltage drop across the GPR's large terminals. While the GPR is active (up to 1.5 to 2 minutes after the key is turned to Wait-to-Start) put your meter leads on the large terminals (one lead on one large terminal and the other lead on the other large terminal). The measures how much voltage is being "lost" across the relay. A reading of 0.3V or more indicates a bad relay. Also, check the relay’s control wires (smaller wires) disconnected from the relay for battery voltage at the Red/Light Green striped wire and ground at the Purple/Orange striped wire (check both when the key is turned to Wait-to-Start).


97 F250 SC 4x4, E4OD, 4.10 LS, Basically Stock, Relocated Block Heater Plug, Ext Trans Filter, Tru-Cool Max, I/C Mounted but not Plumbed

SOLD: 94 F350 CC DRW PSD, 5 Speed, 4.10 LS, SBC Con-O, Baldwin Filter, Tymar HPX Hose, 3” DP, Bilsteins, $12 AIC, Coolant Filter, Explorer O/H Console, Trans Temp, Boost, and Pyro, Pedestal Mod, Gutted EBPV
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 01:18 AM
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Re: better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke

The motorcraft glow plugs are the best you can buy...

Also, theres a reason the block heater heats the coolant and not the oil. Warm oil wont help you cold start your truck.

Shoulda bought a Cummins.

1997 F250 7.3L XLT, 4x4, 5spd, 315K, TS chip, BD Turbo-Thruster II, Donaldson 6637 filter, 4" straight piped dual exit SOLD

1995 F350 CCLB 6.0L WIP

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 01:25 AM
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Re: better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke

Hate to hear your Marine is having issues. I’m a few hours away from Lejeune and it hasn’t been that cold around here. If his plugs/relay are operational he shouldn’t have any issues starting. As was mentioned I’d check the batteries, could just be the cold is showing their age. The glow plug relay is easy enough to check and easy/cheap to replace. I went with the Western Plow relay myself. Also check the battery cable connections. If he ends up swapping glow plugs definitely stay with Motorcraft plugs, the previous owner of my truck used the autolites and I had one that was swollen and stuck. Wish I was a bit closer and I’d go help him troubleshoot it. They should have a decent hobby shop on base where he can work on his truck.

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1995 Crewcab XLT 4x4 7.3, E4OD, 3.55, TS 6 chip, RiffRaff air filter.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 09:12 AM
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Re: better glow plugs for 96 7.3 powerstroke

as others said, the best glow plugs for ford 7.3 powerstroke are still motorcraft ZD-11's. no matter what some dumb wrench puller or auto parts counter monkey will tell you.
ALL aftermarket glow plugs are garbage and will burn out is short order, some after only one start.

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