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Glow plu relay dosent cycle like it should half to ether to start it.

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This is caused by burnt out glow plugs, they should always be replaced as a set to avoid glow plug timer issues.

Posted on Feb 09, 2012


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It's likely a bad glow plug relay found on the left fender well. You may have bad glow plugs as well. You should hear a faint click when you turn the key to glow psn. . Open the hood and have someone glow it. The click should be abvious and the wires will run from the relay to the glow plugs. also obvious.

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white sort of smoke when cold and trying to start ,well dont panic and pull engine apart i think you just need new glow plugs thats all ,when its really cold just spray a squirt of easy start ether spray into the air intake whilst someone cranks engine and if it starts straight away then you know you need new glow plugs or the timer relay isnt working ,their is nothing wrong with the engine its just the fact that the glow plugs are down to one out of the four working if not all of them are dead and what you seeing is unburnt fuel as vapour .This is normal what you are seeing if the heater glow plugs are not working as after 40yrs i have seen this quite a lot especially with ricardo type cylinder heads (indirect injection) but you do get it with direct injection as well if the compression is down or the fuel has gelled up but you need temperatures of at least 10c below for this to happen unless the fuel has a antifreeze additive or half a gallon petrol to a tank of diesel will do the same antifreeze trick.

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Battery condition? I used to "cycle" the glow system two or three times before cranking. In other words when glow finishes, turn key off then start the glow cycle again. Get a crankcase or block heater. To warm up or "keep" warm. Glow almost never fails.
But it's possible the Glow timer or connections are going.
There are "Cetane" improvers that may improve cold starting. Quality of fuel you are getting? Last time Filter was changed? Really cold? and stuck. Only for emergency, not recommended. Ether cold start spray can. Spray into the air intake. You may need to open Air filter passage to spray. I knew a farmer who had an automatic ether system. Blue up the engine from over speed. So that is why you need to be careful!

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1994 7.3 wont start without ether runs good after it starts turns over good after it warms up .still wont start without ether

There are two areas to check for this problem. The fuel and the spark. There is a Timer for your Glowplugs and you should hear clicking and notice the lights dimming in Synch with the clicking. This should work with your "Start" lamp in the dash.

Test one or two Glowplug wires with a Testlight and see what kind of Spark you have. If the spark is present you need to pull about half of your Glowplugs, if not all, and Test them with Battery voltage. They should be uniform in glowing and be careful not to melt them. Any Glowplug that remains cold or sluggish should be replaced. If no Spark, then check the Timer or replace it. Some models may have a Relay, check with Autozone or Oreillys or similar for parts listing.

The Glowplugs start a cold engine. In a warm engine, the Timer will not engage at a certain temperature. Engine compression will ignite the Ether if the Glowplugs do not work, but compression will not ignite a cold diesel engine.

Fuel, if you have a bleeddown in the fuel system the pump may be weak or there is a hole in the line or bad "O" rings. The Ether simply gets the engine turning fast enough to siphon the fuel and draw it back to the pump. A shop can pressure check the fuel system for leaks or use a "smoker machine" for difficult to find leaks.

I hope this helps and you are happy with the info I provided.

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Double check your fuel filter and replace as necessary. Also replace your coolant temp sensor. I would also pull out each glow plug and bench test with heavy cables and make sure they do glow red. It very well could be a couple of the glow plugs have failed due to quality. Let me know what you find.

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Check fuses.Then check the glow plug relay 7.3l has relay mounted on front top of engine looks like a starter solenoid.... Switch truck ignition on to the normal preheat position, u can use insulated screwdriver or the like to touch the 2 larger bolts (of the four total) at the same time in order to make them 'connect'... hold this for about 30 seconds.. to activate glow plugs... if engine starts, sounds like u need GP relay. If truck doesnt start you may have 'under valve cover' wiring problem. DO NOT use ether to start your truck it will cause damage to your engine.

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there is a glow plug relay mounted to the rear of the engine try jumping across it to run the glow plugs and see if it will start then (these relays fail quite often)

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