7.3 will not turn over, new starter & batteries - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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7.3 will not turn over, new starter & batteries

I have a 1999 7.3 that sat some during the winter. I cranked it off and on, until it got to 0, then I quit, to cold to fool with it. Well when it got warmer, I cranked it, and got lots of white smoke, but it did crank and run. Then, the batteries died. I put two new batteries in, and it cranked and run, still white smoke, but it did run. But, the starter seemed to be dragging. So yesterday I put a new starter on. Now, with new starter, the engine will not turn over. I jumped the relay to see if the engine was turning. Nope, engine just sits there moving about 1/2 inch each time the starter is hit.

My family has plans to go on vacation in 4 weeks, and I wanted to drive the truck some before the trip to make certain all is well.

Does anyone know what might be the problem after 2 new batteries and a new starter?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 10:49 PM
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It maybe hydro locked. That is one of the cylinders maybe filled with coolant or fuel. Pull a glow plug and turn the engine by hand, using a big bar and socket. What comes out?

Dave

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 07:29 PM
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7.3s don't often hydro lock, that's more a 6.0 thing. If the white smoke smelled like diesel, it's likely an injector. If the white smoke smelled sweet, that would indicate coolant. Try turning it manually first, if it won't go clockwise, you can try counterclockwise but don't go more than 1/16-1/8 turn. If it turns counterclockwise but not clockwise, pull the glow plugs and try turning it clockwise again manually. If a hydro lock condition exists the fluid will escape via the glow plug hole. If no fluid comes from any of the glow plug holes and it doesn't want to turn you have an internal mechanical issue. There is an inspection port near the oil filter that will allow you to snake an inspection camera into the engine for inspection without removal.

The Current Truck (Oct-2013 to Present):
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 07:56 PM
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I would be removing the starter and get it tested and see if you can turn it with a screw driver on the flywheel/flex plate if it locks up stop, try going back and forth. Then
I would pull the oil filter looking for metal.
Just a thought!

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Turned engine ok

OK, i turned the engine with pull bar clockwise, with about 30lb of pressure, give or take, and it turned what I would call normal. I built engines with my father in the past, and it feels about the same. It moved with some resistance. Moved it back the other way, and the same.

The white smoke smelled heavily like diesel. I removed about 2 quarts of oil, and no signs of coolant, water, or anything that should not be there.

I wonder if it's just a crappy starter, it WAS made in chinatown. I also wonder about the batteries. Both check out at about 9.6 volts. They are NEW, but it has set since March without me cranking. I did put them on charge overnight, and they still show 9.6 volts. Swap em?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 08:26 PM
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Yes swap them out. you absolutely need 12v to get the starter going against a diesel engine. Stay away from that China crap. Nothing but headaches.

Dave

2004 Ford F-350 Regular cab with 6.0.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Update

OK, Just put 2 new batteries in, and charged them first, before install. Both read 13.2 Volts. Tried to crank, same event, just clicks and motor moves about 1/4 inch when starter is engaged.

Would this just leave the starter? I may put the old starter back on, as it did crank it, and is a FORD starter. Suggestions?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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2nd update

Put old starter back on. Does the same as the China crap. But, old starter is made in Japan. No difference in the way either starter tries to turn the motor. The motor just seems to not want to turn. Attempts to turn about 1/4 inch when engaging the starter.

What else? Motor turns with pull handle. Both batteries are 13.2 volts, no junk in oil, or coolant. Motor just will not turn over with starter, but will with pull handle, with not much effort. Starter relay bad?

I just don't know that much about diesels, this is my first one.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncgoldpanner View Post
Put old starter back on. Does the same as the China crap. But, old starter is made in Japan. No difference in the way either starter tries to turn the motor. The motor just seems to not want to turn. Attempts to turn about 1/4 inch when engaging the starter.

What else? Motor turns with pull handle. Both batteries are 13.2 volts, no junk in oil, or coolant. Motor just will not turn over with starter, but will with pull handle, with not much effort. Starter relay bad?

I just don't know that much about diesels, this is my first one.
Ok, if the effort by hand is not any higher than you would expect from past engine turning experience, and you can rotate the engine a full revolution, then a known good starter should turn it over. That being said, based on your description of the events leading to this issue, I'm going to suggest you go back to basics.

What is the condition of the battery terminals and cables? Any current or past corrosion issues? If yes, you may need to replace the cables. Follow the cables to their respective connections. Ensure that all connections are clean and tight. This also includes locating chassis grounds from the engine to the frame and from the body to the frame.

Check for damage to the wiring harnesses. Chaffing or animal damage are possibilities, rabbits, rodents, even birds can get places you wouldn't expect, and they can damage the electrical system. Inspect everything you can visually, use a mirror and a light to see into hard to view areas.

Once you've eliminated the main cables and wiring harness as possible causes, and knowing the engine rotates a full revolution or more manually, you'll want to make a jumper wire for the starter solenoid, I recommend using a switch and fuse, attach the wire to the starter solenoid start post, usually identified with an S and usually a small post the size of a #8/#10 machine screw. Attach the other end of the jumper circuit to the positive side of the battery. I like to use alligator clips or strip back the wire enough to make a good connection with the clamp from the battery charger so that in case the switch fails, I can pull the wire free of the positive terminal easily. Simple circuit path follows:

|STARTER SOLENOID|----------|Switch|--|FUSE|--|+BATTERY|

If the engine cranks with the jumper, put the key in and turn it to the run position and see if it can be started with the jumper. If it starts, you may need to repair the ignition switch or the circuit to the starter solenoid. If the engine still doesn't crank, after verifying all power and ground connections, and verifying it turns a complete revolution manually, I would try a different (new) starter.

The Current Truck (Oct-2013 to Present):
1999 (Early) F-350 Lariat, CCLB, SRW, Black/Tan

7.3L Powerstroke, 4R100, 4x4, 3.73, 37x13.50-18s, '05 Axle Swap, 6" Fabtech lift, GTP38 "D66" turbo upgrade, SCT 4-position chip with custom tuning by me, Straight Piped 4" down pipe through 5" dual stacks, N-Fab full length triple steps, Pro-Tech cab guard and tool box, louvered 5th wheel gate, Hella 500 Fog and Driving lamps, much more to come...
The one I'll miss, (Mar-2009 to Jan-2014):
2000 Excursion XLT 4x4

6.8L V-10, 4R100, 4.30, 285/75-18, 271whp / 388wtq
The one I won't, (Jul-2005 to Sep-2012):
2005 F-350 XLT, CCLB, SRW, 4x4 FX4

6.0L PSD, ZF-6S650, 3.73, 35x12.5-18, 4.5" Lift

Last edited by IdahoF350; 07-17-2014 at 10:37 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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3rd update

Well, when I put the made in Japan starter back on, it cranked. It blows white smoke, like crazy. Still nothing in the oil or coolant tank. Ran it for about 15 minuets, and it smoothed out for about 30 seconds, and ran fine. Then went back to knocking. Shut it off.

Let it sit for one day. Cranked it up, without any problem, fired right up. I tried to drive it, but when I got in the highway, it had no power, at all. I backed up and limped into the driveway, and it barley made it back into the yard.

I let it run for about 15 minuets. At first it would not rev above 1000 rpm. I would slowly try to increase Rpm's and finally got it up to 3000. The smoke changed from white at idle, to grey/blue while giving it more RPM's. It still has a knock that is noticeable. It then started to smell, different, like oil was burning. I then shut it off.

Any thoughts?
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