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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so after -30 degree temps and a non working circulating heater I apparently fried my gps. 94 7.3 idi turbo f250. Here is the deal. I bought the truck used and this is my first winter with her. I have a push button system and when it was -5 one morn I held the button down for over a minute after I read on a forum somewhere this was an acceptable method to cold start yer diesel. Yay for me. So then what happened was the light would come on ONLY until I hit the button and immediately shutoff. No voltage change would show on the gauge. So I then tested the gpr with a multimeter. 12.9 volts. And with the button held down both post showed 12.9. Just for the hell of it I tried to bridge the gpr with a screwdriver but this still did not yield to a starting engine. Redundant I know. Interestingly after having done this the light on the dash now stays on for ten seconds and does not shut off when I hold down the button. However the gauge still does not show any voltage change when the button is engaged. So I decided to buy new glow plugs and I went to oreillys and the only had champions. I was able to install six of them but two of the old ones are positioned such that the injector lines and turbo are totally in the way. Also, the wires don't even want to snap down on the plugs! Now the champions are 5 volt plugs yet my relay is showing almost 13 volts. And after searching these forums on champions I have found, much to my chagrin, they are really poor gps. Should I pull them, lose the 90 bucks I spent on them, and buy berus? Do I need 12 volt GPS? This is a working truck and I need it working ASAP. Animals need hay etc. I hate to burn up champions and have the tips break off in my engine. Also I'd greatly appreciate any help when it comes to working around the turbo and injector lines. Can I simply remove? Seems like a bigger job ESP when it comes to the turbo. Thanks for reading.. I'm not a mechanic but ready to learn.
 

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I have an 84 6.9 idi and 89 7.3 idi. no turbo on either truck. I am not familiar with your push button system as mine are both stock automatic systems. I have used champions in my 7.3 and they did not last as long as the oem plugs. but they never all burned out at the same time. Your truck probably has a block heater on it. when temps fall below freezing for me, I pug in the heater for about 3 hours and the truck starts like a gasser with instant heat in the cab. You might want to try starting that way until the cold start problem is repaired. Glow plugs can be tested with a multi meter without taking them out. With the meter set for ohms (continuity) disconnect a plug wire and put one lead to a good ground and the other on the point where the plug wire connects. There should be a very low resistance reading on the meter. If there is infinity, that plug is no good. My trucks automatic system works with up to 3 plugs inoperative. The system timer is based on resistance and as the plugs burn out one at a time the automatic timer stays on for a shorter period of time. I have found that with the block heated with the block heater the plugs are not usually required to get the engine going. Make sure you are getting power to the plugs. with the system energized there should be voltage at each plug. set the multi meter to DC voltage and check each plug to make sure your system is working. I would be inclined to return the system to stock condition. Some systems also have a relay similar to the starter relay in the system that works as the control relay for the glow plugs. It makes a click noise when the key is turned on (in my stock system). If the relay does not trip then there is no voltage to the glow plug circuit. Hopefully some else on the forum will be more familiar with the system that you described and be able to offer some specific checks for you. good luck.
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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I never had good luck with Champion either. AC, or NGK always seemed to hold up well. Unless a customer was demanding the stock operation system, I always installed a 100 ampere DC contactor triggered by a push button switch on the dash. Never had to re repair once this was done. If you ring each of those plugs out with a multimeter ensure the meter will take 10amperes. Each of those draws right at that limit when the plugs are good. If it's not drawing current but does have voltage, the plug is scrap.

Pretty simple system but those engines don't like to start under 50 degrees without a little preheat.
 

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Old Fart
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I think you are confusing glow plugs with spark plugs. And you know diesels don't use spark plugs. Ford or Beru are the only glow plugs you should use! Other brands of glow plugs can swell, making them hard to remove without breaking up.
 

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I think you are confusing glow plugs with spark plugs. And you know diesels don't use spark plugs. Ford or Beru are the only glow plugs you should use! Other brands of glow plugs can swell, making them hard to remove without breaking up.
Not me. We used to install glow plugs into those engines quite often and fished around for those offering the best service life. At the time, (mid 1980's) FoMoCo branded plugs were vendored/manufactured by Autolite, and didn't last as long consistently as AC branded units. It's been a few years now but everybody that marketed spark plugs offered glow plugs also for the most part.

Sorry but didn't mean to sound harsh in my response.
 

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Old Fart
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No problem Backslap. I had a '93 IDI and I never had to change my glow plugs. I would have stayed with Autolite as a good diesel parts store was 40 miles away. Now days Beru makes Ford Glow Plugs. Autolite went down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I do have a frost plug heater installed but it wasn't working so when I took it into the tire shop to have an alignment done I had them install a new one. They recommended a circulating style heater that warms coolant and pumps it around (I'm not actually 100% on how these are truly supposed to work). Now it seems that the thermostat would get in the way of correct operation. Anyway, after the first circulating heater blew out on me in under two hours of operation I took it back to the shop and they replaced it. Same thing. Didnt' work. AFter that it was so cold out I couldn't start the truck to get it running. That's when the above scenario happened. My question is, should I LEAVE the champion glow plugs in that are rated for 5 volts or should I take them out, thus not risking the likelihood of swelling and breaking off due to me using a bypass switch and also having 13 volts of juice going through the relay. I don't exactly know how the electrical system of my idi is suposed to work in conjunction with the glow plugs, but I do know that the relay seems to be working and it is showing 13 volts being sent to my glow plugs. I didn't test individual glow plugs (which were Berus originally) because I live in a very remote location and need the truck to run immediately. SO I purchased 8 and figured it'd be worth the investment. But ARE Champion glow plugs worth the risk??
 

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Old Fart
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Get rid of any glow plug that is not Motorcraft or Beru. They are junk and will cause you problems, besides failing to work properly. They can swell up making them impossible to remove without breaking them, this will leave debris in the cylinder - not good!

I am not sure why your block heater doesn't work. The freeze plug (factory) works great if you plug it into 120VAC for three hours before you need to start the truck. It maybe shot and needs to be replaced. DO NOT let your mechanic install other 'heaters'. They are not made for your truck and are not reliable, as you have seen. Good Luck!
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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I like both immersion heaters and external tank types. The immersion heater type called a frost plug heater is submersed in engine coolant against the cylinder block and warms the engine by convection heating. This means the immediate area surrounding the heating element gets hot, (actually boils) and this heat is released into the surrounding engine. A tank type heater does not actually have a pump at all but relies upon the same principal of actually boiling the coolant it's heating element is in direct contact with. When these are mounted lower than the cylinder head mounting surface of the cylinder block they will fill from gravity. Don't ever plug one of these in without giving it ample allowance of time to fill. Always leave the radiator cap off until the engine has been run a few moments after installing one of these things. If you activate one of these without coolant against the heating element they won't last but a couple of moments as they overheat. The tank type heaters have thermostats in them to regulate temperature but it measures coolant temperature, not heating element temperature so it doesn't protect itself if emptyl When they are activated, (plugged in) the element heats, the coolant touching the element boils, the entrained air of the coolant expands and explodes pushing the coolant away. You will hear them boil the coolant if listening close. The space vacated by the coolant is then replaced immediately by colder coolant and the process is repeated several times per second. Pretty simple really if you realize heat rises, and lack of heat falls. This is why most of the fluid outlets on these things are higher than the inlet. The thermostat in engines is not a 100% shutoff to coolant flow, they only offer substantial restriction to allow the coolant to absorb engine heat faster before opening.

I have dozens of each type with neither's benefits outweighing the other. I like 1200-1500 watt units myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So am I tempting fate by firing using these champion glow plugs even one, two, three times? That's the way it sounds. The last thing I want is debris in my cylinders but I REALLY need to get this truck running even if it's just for a few days. It really sounds like I shouldn't even risk it but I kinda have to. Why did Ford make it so difficult to access these glow plugs in this engine? I'm not a huge diesel guy so I really don't know my way around the injector system, etc. Is there a guide somewhere to accessing the glow plugs which buried under the injector lines and the turbo? I guess I don't know where to begin when it comes to pulling all this crap off and out of the way to get to the GPS. I don't mind doing it, but I just want to do it as efficiently as I can. Meaning, the last thing I want to do is trying to work around hard to reach places. I'm assuming somebody has posted a thread on this topic. Anybody know? I'm pretty sure the auto parts store won't let me return the Champions as I've already put them into the truck so I guess I'm out 100 dollars on that deal. Sounds like I shouldn't risk using them even once or twice! UGGH. I'm not so certain that the the frost plug heater I had wasn't working or if the power cord might not have been plugged in, lol. I didn't know how they worked until AFTER I had the guys at the tire place "check" to see if it was working and they said it wasn't. But how would ou check anyway? They came back to me in five min and said no it's not working, sold me more product and as far as I'm concerned they still owe me 200 dollars for that crap they made me pay for. Twice.
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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I would ohm out the glow plugs you have. Look for about 833 milliohm to 1.3 ohms in range. If they ohm out within this range you are probably good to go. I've never seen 6V rated glow plugs myself and can't remember any indirect injected diesel having a six volt preheat system.

You should be able to hear any immersion or tank heater boil the water within about a minute after plugging it in if it's working and submerged in coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I went ahead and started her up with the champion glow plugs in there. Was a real bad, bad cold start. Sounded terrible rough when it finally did fire up. But now apparently I've got bigger problems. The moment she started running I noticed a huge coolant leak somewhere near the firewall on the passenger side. I couldn't see exactly where it was coming from but with the truck idling it probably filled a quart in 15 minutes or so and when you step on the throttle it really spills forth. I suppose I'll create a new post for this problem. Gr. No white smoke though or anything like that in the exhaust.
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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Well, I went ahead and started her up with the champion glow plugs in there. Was a real bad, bad cold start. Sounded terrible rough when it finally did fire up. But now apparently I've got bigger problems. The moment she started running I noticed a huge coolant leak somewhere near the firewall on the passenger side. I couldn't see exactly where it was coming from but with the truck idling it probably filled a quart in 15 minutes or so and when you step on the throttle it really spills forth. I suppose I'll create a new post for this problem. Gr. No white smoke though or anything like that in the exhaust.
I responded in the other thread but a leak that large is either a hose, heater control valve, or heater core itself which is buried in the plastic housing under the dash.
 

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re glow plugs

in reguards to champion glow plugs,not a problem.Now keep in mind that if your intake heater isnt working it will not start even if the glow plugs work or will be long cranking process to start.there should be the two solinoids glow plug and pre heat solinoid.if the preheat doesnt work and you cant figure it out plug truck in and it should start.remember intake heater will never work below o degree cel.
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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in reguards to champion glow plugs,not a problem.Now keep in mind that if your intake heater isnt working it will not start even if the glow plugs work or will be long cranking process to start.there should be the two solinoids glow plug and pre heat solinoid.if the preheat doesnt work and you cant figure it out plug truck in and it should start.remember intake heater will never work below o degree cel.
Never have seen an intake heater or grid installed factory on an engine with glow plugs myself. This would be a new one to me.
 
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