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Thread: Gas or Diesel truck

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    Default Gas or Diesel truck

    Wife and i are planning to move to either Seward or Homer next spring. She is a retired Alaskan school teacher who taught in Adak, Barrows and Cordova I'm a lifetime resident of Tennessee and i've talked her into moving back to Alaska I'm not retired and have a F 250 Diesel truck for my business ( Chimney cleaning and repairs etc ) which i plan to continue once we arrive. My question is will a Diesel work in the winters there or should i get a gas truck. We get some weather in the teens and even single didgets here and so far no problems. But just wondering what others say Thanks

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    No problems with diesels in S.C. Alaska. Make sure you have good batteries, good glow plugs (on a Ford), and a freeze plug heater and you will be good to go. My Fords get plugged in at 20F, but my Duramax doesn't need it until 0F.

    I've been running diesels up here since I was in high school in '86. All the generations of Fords, heavy equipment, Cat 3406's, and my current Duramax Chevy. The only issues I have ever had was fuel. If you are running the truck all the time you will likely never have an issue. The only time you really get caught is if you have summer fuel in the truck and don't drive it much..and then get caught in November with gelled fuel. I did have issues at -40F last winter with the new ULSD, but Homer and Seward aren't going to see those temps.

    I also highly suggest a quality synthetic oil. I use Rotella Synthetic 5W-50 in all my rigs with great success. Diesel fuel up here right now is about 40 cents higher than unleaded. That negates quite a bit of savings of owning a diesel. You already own one, so you might as well run with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    No problems with diesels in S.C. Alaska. Make sure you have good batteries, good glow plugs (on a Ford), and a freeze plug heater and you will be good to go. My Fords get plugged in at 20F, but my Duramax doesn't need it until 0F.

    I've been running diesels up here since I was in high school in '86. All the generations of Fords, heavy equipment, Cat 3406's, and my current Duramax Chevy. The only issues I have ever had was fuel. If you are running the truck all the time you will likely never have an issue. The only time you really get caught is if you have summer fuel in the truck and don't drive it much..and then get caught in November with gelled fuel. I did have issues at -40F last winter with the new ULSD, but Homer and Seward aren't going to see those temps.

    I also highly suggest a quality synthetic oil. I use Rotella Synthetic 5W-50 in all my rigs with great success. Diesel fuel up here right now is about 40 cents higher than unleaded. That negates quite a bit of savings of owning a diesel. You already own one, so you might as well run with it.
    All great advice!

    I have 3 7.3 Powerstrokes and all start fine down to 0f without being plugged in. I use a cetain booster and always have a bottle of 911 is case of a cold fuel jell up.

    I have coolant heaters in two of mine so I can go winter camping or leave them in airport parking and know they will start. My heaters are Mikuni/ThirmoKing brand I got off Ebay for about $700 each. All the school buses here use Webesto brand and there are also other brands you can look for. Without any heater at about -20f you will need to start it for about 10 minutes every 3 or 4 hours so it donít get dead cold, a remote starter works great for this.

    All in all my Powerstrokes handle cold better than my gas V6 Explorer does, and have better mileage to boot.
    Andy
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I also have a 7.3 ford. As was already said, Bit eh bullet and run the shell potella synthetic 5-30w synthetic oil! I never did until last witner. Without plugging the truck in, since new about 0 was all it was good down to for starting and BANKING on it to start. Sure there were a few -10 days that it would, most it would not. Anyting below +20 it was not happy, but would start down to 0. I switched to the synthetic oil last year after so many folks braggin about the difference I secided to try it. At 0 it would spin over and start like summer time! Once last winter it was forecast to get down to +10 that night. I was too lazy to go out and plug it in and was confident that it would start fine. Well, I got up in the morning and it was -25! I did not expect it to fire up since it was not plugged in at all. I went out and cycled the glow plugs and hit the key. That thing spun over faster at that temp than it used to at +20 with delo 400 oil in it! Needless to say, it popped right off and all was good. I am sold on the Rotella Synthetic (5-30) for the rest of the life of this truck.

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    Hey welcome aboard i use a dodge diesel and have never had a problem in the cold. When i drove the fords you really had to keep them pluged in below 32 degree and have good bat and glow plugs.

    I dont do the chimney's any longer but had a company in CO for over 15 years.
    Good luck

    Sweepint
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    Hey welcome aboard i use a dodge diesel and have never had a problem in the cold. When i drove the fords you really had to keep them pluged in below 32 degree and have good bat and glow plugs.
    I had a 5.9 Cummings company truck in my driveway all last winter and it did start better than my Powerstrokes but I freeze my feet off because no matter how I button up the thing it runs cold.

    The reason Dodge/Cummings motors cold start better than Powerstrokes (made by IH/Navistar) is that the powerstrokes injectors are driven by high pressure engine oil and thick oil prevents the high pressure oil pump from making enough flow to operate the fuel injectors. The pre-Powerstroke 6.9/7.3 motors in Fords function the same way as the Cummings 5.9s and with a turbo charger start just as good as Dodge Cummings in the cold. With a quality synthetic oil a powerstroke will start at temps below anything we get here in Palmer just like a Cummings, but I donít like to dead cold start mine below 0-f because itís hard on them.

    Anyone know if the Chevy/Duramax has a high pressure oil system like the Powerstroke?
    Andy
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  7. #7

    Default Thanks for the info

    Thanks for the info i guess i'll keep the truck it's an 03 with the 6.0 supposedly the year and engine that caused so much problems for others but i've got about 120k on it and no problems so far. Can't wait to get there

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    Member moosehead08's Avatar
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    Default 7.3 Ford Diesel Also

    mine runs fine too in the winters here in Anchorage.

    Please allow me to ask a question as some members know there diesels very well here it sounds. Recently my truck is starting really hard in the morning after sitting all night but, after that initial start, it fires up just fine all day. On the initial start there is a lot of white smoke and the motor is studdering.
    I did take all the glow plugs out and clean very well then I changed the fuel filter and filled it with pure ingector cleaner straight in the filter. The truck still is starting rough in the morning so, I tried plugging it in overnight and it fired right over. So, this eliminates bad injectors from what I know. My wait light comes on and goes right back off. Any suggestions of what I should do next? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead08 View Post
    mine runs fine too in the winters here in Anchorage.

    Please allow me to ask a question as some members know there diesels very well here it sounds. Recently my truck is starting really hard in the morning after sitting all night but, after that initial start, it fires up just fine all day. On the initial start there is a lot of white smoke and the motor is studdering.
    I did take all the glow plugs out and clean very well then I changed the fuel filter and filled it with pure ingector cleaner straight in the filter. The truck still is starting rough in the morning so, I tried plugging it in overnight and it fired right over. So, this eliminates bad injectors from what I know. My wait light comes on and goes right back off. Any suggestions of what I should do next? Thanks!
    What year 7.3 is it? If it's a powerstroke (94 up) you may be loosing the prime on the high pressure oil system or getting some air in it. Either way the oil would not open the injectors fully on start up.

    The pre-Powerstroke 7.3s and 6.9s have a glowplug timer in them that’s not computer controlled like the newer ones, in some of these when the timer goes out the light comes on for about 2 seconds and goes out.

    Witch ever model you have put a test light on the glowplug relay (looks like a starter relay and usually on top of motor) and one post should always be hot, the other hot when plugs are on. See that power is coming through when you turn the key on and it should stay hot 30 to 60 seconds, after that it will cycle till motor gets to around 60f degrees. If it does not turn on your plugs you’re in luck as it’s the easiest thing to fix that could be causing your trouble.

    Anyone that owns a Ford diesel and does any work on it should join Powerstroke.org as you will find thousands of knowledgeable people their forums happy to help you work out any troubles.
    Andy
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead08 View Post
    mine runs fine too in the winters here in Anchorage.

    Please allow me to ask a question as some members know there diesels very well here it sounds. Recently my truck is starting really hard in the morning after sitting all night but, after that initial start, it fires up just fine all day. On the initial start there is a lot of white smoke and the motor is studdering.
    I did take all the glow plugs out and clean very well then I changed the fuel filter and filled it with pure ingector cleaner straight in the filter. The truck still is starting rough in the morning so, I tried plugging it in overnight and it fired right over. So, this eliminates bad injectors from what I know. My wait light comes on and goes right back off. Any suggestions of what I should do next? Thanks!

    Give you odds that you are fighting a bad glow plug relay. I bought my 96 7.3 in 97 and have had to replace the relay about every other year since it was new. The wait to start light still funtcions even when the relay goes bad. Your clue is that before about 40 it starts hard. Below about 32 it is all but impossible to start it without plugging it in. And yes, all the white smoke is raw diesel fuel dumping out of the exhaust since it is not getting burned. If you just ahd one or two, even 4 bad glow plugs it would start right up, just run very rough till it gets warm. When the relay goes, you lose all 8 glow plugs and get a no start issue. Like the post above says, you can test the relay. Looks just like an old ford gas motor selenoid and sits right in front of your fuel filter bowl. Fyi....If you ever find yourself deead in the water because one failed, just like an old starter selenoid, you can jump across the two large posts with a screwdrive or anything metal and hold it there for 20-30 seconds and jump in quick and it will fire right up. This would be another simple way to test your relay as well. Good luck and let us know what you find.

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    Member moosehead08's Avatar
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    Default I Will try the...

    relay as this this seems like the easiest part to throw at it from your responses and symptom diagnosis.

    I called Schucks and they said these are about 76 bucks.

    The truck is a 93 F350 IDI so, non turbo. I wish I did have the turbo as these seem far superior in speed and pull, mine is a dog.

    Thank you very much for your help and I will be checking out powerstroke.com I think it was.

    Either way I will let you know what it was. Thanks Again!

    -Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead08 View Post
    relay as this this seems like the easiest part to throw at it from your responses and symptom diagnosis.

    I called Schucks and they said these are about 76 bucks.

    The truck is a 93 F350 IDI so, non turbo. I wish I did have the turbo as these seem far superior in speed and pull, mine is a dog.

    Thank you very much for your help and I will be checking out powerstroke.com I think it was.

    Either way I will let you know what it was. Thanks Again!

    -Nick
    Powersteoke.org not .com

    90% its the relay and it looks like but is not the same as a starter relay so don't buy the $12.95 starter relay and kill your timer. If it's not the relay it's likely the timer but could still be glowplugs. You can bypass the timer with a mickey-moused manual push button if you don't want to pay the price of a new timer.

    On a non-turbo motor the gloplugs can carbon over at the tips and they will test as Ďgoodí but the carbon insolates their heat from igniting the fuel when it's injected. In this case you can pull them and clean with a soft wire wheel on a bench grinder. Or just replace them if you want but as I bet you know they run around $15 each.

    There are some 93.5 non-powerstroke 7.3 Fords around that came with a turbo on them and many IH trucks from the early 90s 7.3 turbos also. You may want to keep an eye open for one of them to swipe the turbo and piping from. I did that on a 89 F350 I had and doubled my fuel mileage, it even started way better and went like a scalded dog when the gas was mashed.
    Andy
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    Default I see,

    I went back and checked on the website thanks. I did already clean the glow plugs up. Was putting that turbo in difficult at all what I mean is retro fitting parts and/making parts to mount it complex or does it all match right up? I have already been searching for one for a while. Power Strokes of Alaska wanted a grand for one they had. Too pricy or not enough of a priotiry for me. Idealy, I would love one of those moose pump turbos with cold air intake.

    Looks like an Abomination to say the least to me as well.

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    If you get it off a pre-powerstroke Ford it will all bolt right up. Off a powerstroke may also bolt up but because the Powerstroke heads are a different casting I am not sure if the exoust ports are the same and left to right spread between the heads could be wider. You would need to check it out but a P/S turbo could be made to work with a little work on
    the pedestal and oil lines. Your manifolds dump the pipe down near the center and P/S manifolds dump upwards behind the valve covers to get to the turbo. The pipe that exits the turbo on the 90s Fords is squished flat to pass between the bell housing and firewall, it's often called a 'cobra head' due to its looks. It’s very restrictive and many aftermarket replacements are made that require bending part of a seam to fit.


    Mine was off a 91 IH truck that was in a head on wreck that broke the crankshaft and block. Everything fit except the downpipe from the turbo, all bolted on just fine. At the time I was not aware of the aftermarket downpipes and ordered a cobra head down pipe from Ford. The aftermarket pipes are much better and less money to boot.
    Andy
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    Thumbs down Nope, not the Relay

    I put in the new one in last night and the truck started rough again this morning. So now I've got a brand new one in and a spare.

    What is next ADfields the timer you said I am not sure where this is or what it looks like.

    When I replaced the relay it was mounted on a box and there was a heater coil that connected from the relay to the box Schucks calls this this the control box not, sure if this is also something to do with the timer also, any thoughts or knowledge on this?

    I did try registering to powerstroke.org but found it to be a pain due to the security questions, I will try again today though.

    Thanks for any help!

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    If i remember right at least the 95 to 97 power strokes the glow plugs are wired that if one is not working or weak that will effect the rest. I could be wrong but i had a lot of problems with these thing in the mountains in CO. There may be a way to check the oms with a meter on this.

    Have you put this on a computor yet? I know it cost to do it.

    Are you going thou any oil at all?

    Sweepint
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    Default Oil yes

    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    If i remember right at least the 95 to 97 power strokes the glow plugs are wired that if one is not working or weak that will effect the rest. I could be wrong but i had a lot of problems with these thing in the mountains in CO. There may be a way to check the oms with a meter on this.

    Have you put this on a computor yet? I know it cost to do it.

    Are you going thou any oil at all?

    I have not put it in on a computer yet as I have no indicator lights on and it would probably not get any reads as this only happens on intial start up of the day. The rest of the day once engine has been heated up it turns right over, so my conclusion is it has to be something with the pre-heating of diesel. This is my first diesel so, I am constanly learning something new on it. I love diesels now though just need to learn more on there functions.

    I am going through a bit of oil and it is probably needing new injectors soon but, honestly I think this is a fuel-heat problem.

    I don't know what you mean at this moment on oms.

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    Have you tested each glowplug with a test light when it was unplugged from the wireing harness? Did you check the relay with a test light to see that it has power to the hot side and that the timer is turning it on when you turn the key on? If you are in the Valley and want to bring it by my house on Lazy Mountain I would be happy to run some diagnostic tests on it to get you lined out before cold comes. My # is 745-1904

    In case you don’t know how to test your glowplugs, I use is a pass/fail with a test light.
    Clip the alligator of the test light to the hot side of the relay.
    Unplug the wire to the plug.
    Touch the probe to the blade the wire hooks to and observe the light.
    Touch the probe to the grounded body of the plug and observe the light.
    The light should light up just as bright on both places if the plug is good, no light or dim light at the blade is a bad plug.

    Sweepint is referring to the measure of resistance to electrical conduction called ‘ohms law’ and checked with a volt/ohm multi meter. I don’t know what the ohms value should be for a glowplug but if you have a multi meter you could check that they are all in the same ballpark. To check set your meter to ohms (on mine it does not say ohms but has the symbol which looks like earmuffs) then ground one leed on the body of the plug and probe the blade with the other. They should all be close to the same ohms, but won’t be exactly the same. If any give odd numbers from the others I would scrap them.

    He is also right that on Powerstrokes the computer can sense a reduced draw when just one glowplug goes bad and then short cycles the others to protect them. Don't think that’s the case on your 93 but it is possible.

    Computer?
    Don’t think your 93 is OBD compliant but I’m not sure, if it is I have the software and cabling to plug it to my laptop and see what comes up. You do have a Ford computer in the dash but I think it has little or nothing to do with the Navastar motor till the all computer driven Powerstroke came about. There is a chance the computer is timing the plugs in a 93 but what Shucks is calling a controller is likely what Ford and Navastar call the timer.
    Andy
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