90 ford ambulance not starting - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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90 ford ambulance not starting

Hi all,

I have a type III ambulance that I use for a work truck. it is a 1990 e350 with a 7.3 box type truck.

I have only driving it a few times this winter. the other day I went to start it.. it ran for about 10 seconds and died. cranked and cranked and it started up and ran fine..

this morning, did the same thing. starts for about 10 secs, then died.. this time I was unable to start it (drained batterys)

this truck has 70 thousand miles on it and has been regularly maintained when it was in server as an ambulance. Where should I look first. this is my first ford diesel, or my first diesel ever!

thanks
mark
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 08:55 PM
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Prob time to replace the batteries. Get them tested and properly charged before you do anything. Sitting around for long periods of time never helps either. Run that bad boy.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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no start

no, its not the batteries. they are less than a year old, interstate police interceptor batteries and theres a special dual battery system monitor on the ambulance that keeps them charged fully charged...but ty..

let me rephrase..

first time starting the other morning, ran for 10 seconds, died.. I then cranked and cranked, and it eventually started, and drove it all over town with a few stops. started up ok at the stops. a few days later. I come out on morning, started it, ran for 5-10 secs, then died.. tried to restart it a few times with no luck. after a few more times trying to start the batterys were getting weak so I stopped.

Last edited by blackturbo; 02-25-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 12:53 AM
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You are getting air in the fuel system,possible causes-rings on injector return line caps;replace lines,caps and o-rings(usually comes as a kit),fuel lift pump,fuel line from filter to injector pump seals,if the truck is equipped with dual tanks then the o-rings in the fuel lines at the tank and/or selector valve,injector pump.Most common is the return line o-rings at the injector and the fuel line from the filter to the injector pump seal.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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not starting

but why is this only happening at cold starts, the truck runs fine when warm.
i suspected glow plugs. ty
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 04:06 PM
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First off,if it was glow plugs,the truck would not start.You say the truck starts fine then stalls after it runs a few seconds,so the glow plugs are working.The reason that it stalls after a few seconds is that the fuel in the injector pump and maybe the supply line to the inj pump is used up and then you get a gulp of air.The reason that this only happens after sitting a longer period of time is that the leak is small and is drawn into the line as the fuel in the return line back to the tank doesn't produce a high rate of vac in the line-weght of the fuel in the line(no,the fuel in the return line dosen't drain out normally in a sealed system).During the day after running the vehicle the leak is small enough that there is't enough air in the fuel system to cause a stall.If there is enough air in the system during the day,it may only cause a slight stumble after starting until the leak get bad enough to cause stalling during the day.If you have any fuel leaks on the engine,repair those first.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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not starting

Ok ty for explaining it. Also I wanted to point out,, i did an oil change before all this starting happening . i changed with rotella 15-40 .. but i dont think that should cause an issue..
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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no start

well today i cannot get a thing outta it. I have alittle experiance in gasoline engines.

what things can I test for? I imagine I can open the shrader valve on the fuel filter housing and see if fuel squirts out to see if its getting fuel.

does the fuel pump work like this? when u turn the key, it pressurizes the fuel system then stops once its pressurized till its started?


also i also read somewhere if u get air into the oil system it wont start is this true.. it seems it started doing this after i changed the oil. thanks for the replys on my "bambulance"
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 05:30 PM
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1990 is an IDI diesel,so you have to crank the engine to do a fuel pressure test as it has a mechanical pump.This engine also dosn't have a high pressure oil system to get air into.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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not starting

Ok i see. wow no electric pump. thanks for the replies hopefully it will start soon.
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