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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, PSN! I’m having another problem with what is now my project and less a functional vehicle.

I recently fixed a crank, no start condition. It was a short in the fuel bowl heater with an intact fuse. It took a month of weekends and a bunch of help from the nation to figure it out.

I removed the rear tank, for a 38 gallon swap. Started it to run an errand in between and it died. Started right back up, but I shut her down because I didn’t trust it. Next day, it was back to crank, no start. I thought it was because I unplugged the fuel gauge connector, so I finished the swap.

Today, I turned the key to let the plugs warm up and went to start. Click. All electrical shut off. No dash lights, no turning over, nothing. I removed every fuse and all were intact. Dash lights came back on and I tried to start. Click, everything dead again. Removed every fuse, intact, no power at all.

Here’s what I’ve done:
1) Checked batteries and terminals - good
2) Checked grounds from batteries to block, rear of passenger head to rear of engine compartment, under cab to frame - intact, tight

Not sure where to go from here. Any help is appreciated!
 

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PSN intsigator
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Battery and ground connections
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I’m not sure what else to check when it comes to the battery and grounds. I checked the ones that I’m aware of. Am I missing any?
 

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What voltage do you have on the batteries both when it is just sitting and then when you turn the key on?

Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
12.43, key off. Didn’t check with the key on because it didn’t turn over.
 

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as doc said, check the battery terminal connections for clean, and tight.
then check the other end of both ground wires for clean and tight.
it really sounds like you have a bad ground connection, or bad batteries.
 

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Do you have something wired up backwards? IE a hot to a ground. Could be shorting out your key switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I’ll disconnect and reconnect the connections tomorrow. One at a time, of course. I have one new battery and one that is borderline good.

I shouldn’t have anything wired backwards. I didn’t mess with the connections and it was running before.
 

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A border line battery can draw down the good one. You need to check the voltage once the key is on.. The glow plugs draw a lot of amps and with a combination of a bad battery, low voltage, and the glow plugs being on could draw the voltage down to where you think that you don't have anything.
 

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yup, batteries on diesels need to be changed in pairs.
one new and one marginal battery will turn into two bad batteries very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Replaced my bad battery. Cleaned the posts and terminals and added some electrical grease. Replaced the fuse I had taken out. Truck started right up.

I guess it was the battery, like you guys said. Thank you all!

I drove it to the gas station to check my work with the rear tank. I didn’t turn it off for fear of it not starting after putting a little fuel in it.

Driving home, it stumbled and the wait to start light came on while coasting to a stoplight. I tapped the accelerator and it rumbled on, WTS turned off. It ran fine the rest of the time. This was all on the front tank.

Any thoughts on the reason it may have stumbled? I still plan on doing maintenance to the grounds.
 

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Usually it means power was interrupted to the PCM somehow. More fun! Check the ends of all battery cables for cleanliness and tightness. If your ignition cylinder is sloppy, sometimes that can cause problems too. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, now you mention it, my ignition cylinder is not in the best shape. Gotta jiggle it and the key can be pulled out while the engine is running.

You think I can tighten that up or should I just replace it?
 

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PSN intsigator
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Your ignition switch is not the same as your key switch, the key switch moves a rod that is connected to the ignition switch which is located about half way down the steering column.
 

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The key goes in the "lock cylinder". Read the captions in this album:

(phone app link)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
201952

So, I removed the ignition cylinder and used a zip tie to reinforce the connection indicated in the link above. It seemed pretty sturdy to begin with, but it’s not going anywhere now. The cylinder needs to be replaced, because I can pull the key out while it’s running... later.

I’m going to replace the ignition switch to see if that fixes my new electrical problem. My ODB 2 monitor (Edge CTS3) has power, but doesn’t register. Gives an error message stating I need to turn the key to run, but the truck is running.

The question I have until my switch comes in the mail is; what are the purposes of the connections labeled in the picture? They do not match one another and they were both disconnected when I found them. Truck runs and all electric seems to function, barring the problem I have in the paragraph above.

I did a quick search and couldn’t find a diagram with labeled connections under the dash.

Thanks, in advance, for the help!
 

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PSN intsigator
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1 looks like it would go to a brake controller.
 
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Project Shamu
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Brake controller wiring is under the ashtray, you can see the red, white and black wires in the background behind the yellow tag. Not sure about the 2 plugs you're asking about
 
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