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Your 1990 will have an IDI 7.3 diesel engine in it and there isn't much you can do. You can turn up the fuel, but that is dangerous without gauges. Another option is to install an aftermarket turbo. If you want to turn up the fuel here is a link to the page that explains it. MAKE SURE YOU INSTALL A PYROMETER ( EGT gauge) FIRST!!!
According to my Haynes Diesel Engine Repair manual this is a list of possible causes.
1.Slow idle incorrectly adjusted
2.Fast idle is inoperative
3.Restricted fuel return system
4.Glow plugs turn off too soon
5.Insufficient fuel suuply to injector pump
6.Injector pump malfunction
7.Incorrect, contaminated or poor quality fuel
8.Air in fuel.
The manual is part number 10330 anywhere they sell Haynes manuals ($20). It has a very good section on the 7.3 especially if you don't want to spend money at a diesel shop every time it needs work. Hope this helps.
I'm looking at a picture which I don't have any way to send to you so I'll describe as best I can. Standing in front of the truck, the injector pump is just to the right of a rad hose. I can se what appears to be throttle cable and linkage on the left side of the pump and a fuel line going into the center of the pump. On the immeciate right side of that fuel line are 2 electrical fittings mounted front to back. The front one, which seems to have 2 wires in this photo, is the fuel shut-off solenoid. There is nothing to tell me what the back one is and there is nothing to tell me what the electrical plug-in on the front of the pump to the left of the fuel line is either.
Failing this simply pinch of the fuel return line. This will stop the engine. Hope this helps.
that fuse powers pcm fuel heater and some other things. when the fuse blows the pcm shuts down. causing it to not run. usually its the heater that is bad. it is located at the back driver side by the fuel pump. you can unplug it and see if it starts. if so you will need to replace the heater
The 6.9L and 7.3L diesel engines use a one-piece spin-on fuel filter. Do not add fuel to the new fuel filter. Allow the engine to draw fuel through the filter.
Remove the spin-on filter by unscrewing it counterclockwise with your hands or a strap wrench.
Clean the filter mounting surface.
Coat the gasket or the replacement filter with clean diesel fuel. This helps ensure a good seal.
Tighten the filter by hand until the gasket touches the filter mounting surface.
Tighten the filter an additional 1⁄2 turn.
NOTE: After changing the fuel filter, the engine will purge the trapped air as it runs. The engine may run roughly and smoke excessively until the air is cleared from the system.
it sounds like your fuel lines aren't maintaining pressure and the angle is allowing too much fuel to drain out of the lines. i have the same issue with and older f350 diesel if i let it sit a while and it doesn't get started.