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1995 Ford E-350 Collins school bus
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1995 E350 7.3L w/ turbo. I changed the glow plugs but it still takes a long time to start unless it is warm. After letting it sit for a day it will take up to 90 seconds of cranking to start but once it ignites, we're off to the proverbial races. Everything else is working flawlessly but I don't have a clue as to why it won't start right up.

When I was changing the glow plugs I was thinking that I should probably change the injectors as well since it is a van and getting into the engine is a pain in the )#%$^; (literally everything has to come out except the intake system and the AC, although the AC must be dismounted so that it can be moved out of the way.) Anyhoo, the thing ran fine all the way from California, where I bought it, to Michigan, so I figured the injectors were fine. But could that be the problem?

Bummed and confused in Saginaw.
 

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99 & 00, F350s, manual and auto, Ext & Crew Cab, 4x2 & 4x4, need more room!
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1. Get FORScan scanning software for Fords (free) and an OBDII reader.

2. DO NOT throw parts at it . . . if you must, then make them Motorcraft parts. 7.3s are quite particular about their sensors.

3. Come back with the codes. Lots and lots of smart people here!


Welcome to PSN!
 
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99 & 00, F350s, manual and auto, Ext & Crew Cab, 4x2 & 4x4, need more room!
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3,480 Posts
Long crank can be anything from the glow plug relay (Love White Rodgers!) to the fuel system to the Injector Pressure Regulator to a leak in the high pressure rails to the . . . .

Get some codes.
 
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I changed the relay at the same time. Testing indicates conductivity is very good.
So when you are cranking the engine over everything is turning? If it cranks fine but doesn't start it could be a high pressure oil leak. Your truck takes like 800psi to fire up, and only 400psi to run, so the long cranks could be you building that kind of pressure needed to fire the injectors. Those kind of oil leaks start off small and get bigger and bigger until you can't build the pressure needed to start.

Could be fitting on HPOP, but if it starts its probably not that. Its probably an o-ring in the standpipe or dummyplug on fuel rails. That is common if they are the older style plugs.
 

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1995 Ford E-350 Collins school bus
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So when you are cranking the engine over everything is turning? If it cranks fine but doesn't start it could be a high pressure oil leak. Your truck takes like 800psi to fire up, and only 400psi to run, so the long cranks could be you building that kind of pressure needed to fire the injectors. Those kind of oil leaks start off small and get bigger and bigger until you can't build the pressure needed to start.

Could be fitting on HPOP, but if it starts its probably not that. Its probably an o-ring in the standpipe or dummyplug on fuel rails. That is common if they are the older style plugs.
I'm going to be starting it and getting it scanned tomorrow. Will let y'all know what's up when I find out.

Thanks y'all
 

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2002 F450 SD 7.3L 4R100 RWD DRW
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I'd start with looking for fuel leaks. The o-rings for the water separator drain valve are a notorious leakers. Could be something else. A loss in fuel pressure will make for hard starts and runnability problems. If not a fuel leak, likely a HPOP or some oil system problem on the high pressure side. Proper diag is hard with expensive gauges and difficult testing locations though.
 

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1995 Ford E-350 Collins school bus
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd start with looking for fuel leaks. The o-rings for the water separator drain valve are a notorious leakers. Could be something else. A loss in fuel pressure will make for hard starts and runnability problems. If not a fuel leak, likely a HPOP or some oil system problem on the high pressure side. Proper diag is hard with expensive gauges and difficult testing locations though.
No obvious fuel leaks. Was going to start Saturday but time got away from me. Tried starting it this morning but need to replace batteries as they are not holding enough charge to crank long enough in the freeze. Will let y'all know later.
 

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1995 Ford E-350 Collins school bus
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
To 1970something, good thinking, and yes, I had the block heater plugged in overnight the other night. We are going to be checking that circuit the next time he comes over to make sure that it is working properly. I believe that I was the first one to ever plug it in because this bus came from Los Angeles, where it would likely that the school district would never had reason to use it.

I replaced the batteries yesterday with 950 CCA units, replacing 700 CCA units. I knew I would need to replace them anyway as they were weak when I purchased the bus and they sat all winter long last year without any charge going to them, and we had several days sub-zero F. The new ones will have a battery tender on them over winter this year.

We got it started today. A friend who is a big truck mechanic figured out the electrical issue but we are still having a challenge with either fuel pressure or HPOP pressure. We are thinking it is probably the HPOP because we needed starting fluid to get it started then, after shutting it off it will fire right back up if done immediately. If let sit for a minute it will take several seconds to fire again. After letting it get to normal operating temp it will fire up immediately even five minutes after shutting it down.

The only other thing that we are currently thinking is that one or more of the fuel injector o-rings could be compromised. We want to check the fuel pressure and HPOP pressure before anything else.

Does anyone know of how to test either one or both of these pressures?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow PowerStroke peeps.
 

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As the vehicle is an E350... "I would recommend that you first invest in FORScan (forscan.org) and a suitable adapter. I have an OBDLink EX usb adapter (should you wish to use a computer to collect data), or take a look at either a BAFX or OBDLink unit. Both BAFX/OBDLink have a bluetooth/Wifi units (there are a few folks around here that recommend them) that will would work with a smart phone (Run of the mill box store scanners and even a great number of the higher end scanners can't touch these trucks as Ford used the "heavy duty diesel" protocol for communication). Once you are setup I would capture data.. At minimum I would save RPM (really this is CPS), ICP, IPR, MAP, EOT and IVS (at least I think that is the PID for the go petal). FORScan will allow you to save the data as a .csv file which you can import into excel. The information you get from the truck will help identify what your problem really is without just "throwing parts" at the truck."
The above should work to read info from the PCM. I least I hope you have the Ford PCM...

Cj
 
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be very careful using starting fluid if the glow plugs are not disabled.
starting fluid and glow plugs tend to make engine go BOOM!!!
i saw one where the explosion blew a head off the engine, and bent the connecting rod on the piston that tried to fire.
 

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1995 Ford E-350 Collins school bus
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As the vehicle is an E350... "I would recommend that you first invest in FORScan (forscan.org) and a suitable adapter. I have an OBDLink EX usb adapter (should you wish to use a computer to collect data), or take a look at either a BAFX or OBDLink unit. Both BAFX/OBDLink have a bluetooth/Wifi units (there are a few folks around here that recommend them) that will would work with a smart phone (Run of the mill box store scanners and even a great number of the higher end scanners can't touch these trucks as Ford used the "heavy duty diesel" protocol for communication). Once you are setup I would capture data.. At minimum I would save RPM (really this is CPS), ICP, IPR, MAP, EOT and IVS (at least I think that is the PID for the go petal). FORScan will allow you to save the data as a .csv file which you can import into excel. The information you get from the truck will help identify what your problem really is without just "throwing parts" at the truck."
The above should work to read info from the PCM. I least I hope you have the Ford PCM...

Cj
I ordered the OBDLink EX. It should arrive by Wednesday, Nov.30. Will run diagnostics with that and my laptop to see what's what. Something else I've learned that could be part of, if not all of the problem is the Fuel Injection Pressure Regulator. Will be checking that before receiving the OBDLink EX, just to see.
 
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