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You would need to check the glow plug timer circuit and the fuel supply. Diesel glow plugs can wear out. Make sure the "Ready light" is working and that you hear the timer cycling. Usually the lights will dim as the power goes to the glow plugs.
The glow plug wire can be checked with a Voltmeter inserted on a wire from the Relay timer. The glow plugs are tested when they are removed from the engine. If you get this far, you can use battery cables to test them. They can melt. Ask for more details about proper procedure.
Are you waiting after turning ignition key on before actually moving key to start position? My diesel I turn key to 1st position;bells and lights;if engine is cold an amber light that looks like a lamp filiment comes on...wait until that light goes out before engaging the starter.
first thing to check is voltage to glow plugs on the start cycle, it should be 12 volts or better, if good the do a resistance test on the glow plugs any burnt plugs will not give you a reading, they should all read about the same
The old 7.3 diesel motors are great when they run, their biggest fault is in the glow plug control relay (passenger side fender well), wiring for the glow plugs (harness) and the glow plugs themselves. If you are sure of wiring harness and the plugs, the relay would be the place to start. Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions please let me know. Thanks, Joey
Have you checked for power on the fuel shut-off solenoid on the injection pump? There are two wires to the pump. One is the fuel shut-off the other is the cold advance. Both should be hot with the key on when the engine is cold. Do you hear the glow plug relay clicking when you turn the key on?
Sounds like bad advice. If your glow plugs are bad, the last thing you want to do is try to start it. Remember, diesel engines use these glow plugs like coils in a toaster. Since diesel is harder to burn than gasoline, the glow plugs heat up to a combustible temperature, allowing the diesel to ignite and your vehicle to start. I don't know the reprocussions of trying to start it without them working...but it can't be good.