Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Diesel Questions and Problems in General (non specific makes)



  • Algae - that's what it probably is. The algae gunk starts to get sucked up into the fuel lines at about 1/4 tank. That sounds like too much to kill and then try to suck dead algae up thru the lines/filters to get it out, right?

    I do change the fuel filter every other oil change, unless I accidently get some of that stuff sucked up into the filter, then I change it as soon as possible. This is the fuel filter / water separator. You stated "filters". Is there more than one filter that I need to track down?

    Ford quoted me $599 to drop and clean the fuel tanks. That seems a bit high. Is this a difficult job and can any mechanic pretyy much do this? The mechanic I've been using has been good so far.
  • The same thing happened to me. I was pulling the 12k trailer up a hill, truck downshifted, lost power to 45 mph, and didn't resume power until I got over the hill. But - the next week is when multiple fuel leaks were found.

    Wound up replacing all the rubber return lines, parts in the fuel filter/water seperator (leaking bad). Once those were fixed, the next weak link went, the fuel pump.

    Sometime before the end of the month will be tackling that big hill again and see if I lose power down to 45 mph. Long ago, I used to pull a heavy horse trailer (fully loaded about 10k), and didn't lose power, although it would downshift.

    Will try to remember to post the results of going over the hill the next time... I'm going to guess if no power loss, fixing all the fuel leaks did the trick. From my guess, the fuel filter/water seperator & fuel pump were the culprits (as opposed to the rubber hoses - part of the return system) --- or maybe all of them together.
  • Dang,,,,, I don't know if the mechanic replaced the o-rings...

    Will have to go there and ask him. Thanks for all the great stuff guys!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Some diesels have a primary and secondary filter. I don't know about yours though.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,616
    The glow plugs are like spark plugs.
    A 10mm deep socket and extension (I prefer an extenstion with a wobbly tip) will be needed.
    And a pair of needle nose vise grips for teh glow plugs that are a little stubborn coming out.

    The 2 center ones on each side are a it of a bear, you may need to unbolt the clamp that hoses the injector lines together to get the socket and extension in there.

    Some of the blow plugs may be swelled and a little hard to get them to come out.
    Use the needle nose vice grips to gently work them out of the hole.
    DO NOT force them to hard, as you can break the tip off and that wouldn't be good.
    Put a small dab of never sieze on the threads before installing them.
  • :confuse: I heard a couple of weeks ago that Ford had a recal on the older 7.3 trucks. Has anyone heard what this is about or when they will send out the recall notice? I own a 2001 Excursion and have not recieved a notice yet. Thanks
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    This is for replacing the troublesome cam position sensor. See recent posts in the Ford F-Series Powerstroke Diesel Problems discussion.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • :) Thanks. I had mine replaced at 110K. I heard this was a big problem and many folks carry an extra one just in case.
  • ok, my son accidentally put abt 4 gals of unleaded gas in my deisel..waaahhh!!! I had abt a half tank of diesel already in it, but not knowing this I drove it abt 5 miles when it stalled and, of course wouldnt restart. I had it towed to my mechanic hoping he can cyphon the mix out of it and run new diesel in it and replace the fuel filter. Do these models have a sensor where they detect gas and automatically shut down? Im sick abt it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Well you might have suffered some damage to injectors and fuel pump, since gasoline has none of the lubrication properties of diesel; on the other hand, the ratio of gas to diesel might have saved your butt. All you can do is flush the system, put in diesel and fire it up and see what happens. Sounds like you didn't drive far enough or hard enough to damage the engine. Let's hope not.

    I'm surprised he even got the nozzle to fit the diesel filler neck.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Thank you for your response. Im hoping the ratio thing you suggested works in my favor. Anyway,he used a 5 gal can we had at home which is where the mistake came from. We have off-road for our tractor and I thought that specific can also had diesel in it. He used a funnel. But a good point is that not alot of diesel stations have a regular sized nozzle. Most have the large ones for trucks. The jetta's have a regular sized nozzle so I have found , in my travels, which stations I can go to and which I cant. Will let you know how we make out later today. Cross your fingers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Diesel gas cans should be painted green--that way you'll know.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Well, good news!!! They drained the fuel,(had access to the tank through the trunk) replaced the filter,filled it up, and bam!! All is good. He took it for a ride and he said everything is fine. Thank you for your help. It made me feel better. The diesel can we have is yellow but someone this summer decided to put regualr gas in it. I have 4 boys and between all their comings and goings, quads, trucks, etc, my head spins somedays trying to keep track. However, lesson learned and thank god not an expensive one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Yeah, good for you. I think the proportions of the mix and the short drive saved your butt THIS time ;)

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I have this trans in my 2004 GMC med. duty flatbed comercial truck. will these directions still work or have they changed something. When I asked at the dealers shop before I read this, they said there was nothing I could do. I had a problem with a long hard pull towing about 10,000lbs going over the rocky mountains and had the hot tranny light come on. I stopped and slept over night and never had it come on again, but I have noticed that when I pull a grain trailer the temp claims to 200 degrees fast but I only have about 4 miles to go so it doesn't over heat. I think I can feel it slipping when I drive less than 45 to 50 miles an hour under normal driving and it just will not lock up unless I go faster. Sounds like your fix will fix a lot of this problem. if it will still work? Thanks for the info.
  • Can you do harm to the fuel pump or anything else if you crank on a diesel that has a gelled fuel in the system? I know a lady who hasn't used her truck since it been cold (-20F) but she said she has been trying to start it but it wont start. Whiile talking to her I found out that she hasn't fueled it up since summer so I know the fuel is gelled. I told her to stop trying to start it and wait for a warm up. Then drive it to town put in some anti gel and fill up the tank before it gets cold. It's got a 1/4 tank now so it should be empty by the time she gets to town. The only thing I don't know is if harm can be done by just cranking alone? It's startig to warm up to +20 so it should start now but has there been damage done already?
  • I have a '96 Ram 2500 that will not stop leaking coolant. I have gone over every inch of the cooling system and found nothing. Replaced the seals and hoses, pretty much anything that has to do with the cooling system. I even called Cummins directly, they basically said to take it to a diesel repair I did. They found nothing wrong, well nothing that would be causing it to leak the way it is. I've basically done it all except pull the massive radiator, which I really don't want to do. So I am at a loss.

    Anyone out there that has any advice it would be much appreciated. I have been working on cars and trucks for a while so I know what to look for, but I have never seen anything like this.

    Thanks much, take care.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    No leaks at all? Then you are burning it.

    There's really no other possibility.

    Has anyone tested for combustion gases in your coolant?

    Have you done a pressure test on the cooling system and looked for coolant on the glow plugs?

    Is it an automatic? Have you checked the fluid for coolant intrusion?

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I don't think I'm burning it. All the fluids are clear, tranny is bright red, no bubbles or oder. The mechanic did the pressure test and it was normal and he didn't find anything wrong with the core either. He also said that Cummins has a habit of leaking in colder temps, but it's not a constant thing. Only after short rides or when it's below 25 degrees, which we haven't had many of in Connecticut this winter. I have a block heater, had the filaments were replaced in January, guy said they really didn't even need to be done. Actually had an end to end tune up done around the same time, they didn't find much wrong except the usual for a truck with 150k on it. Like I said, I really can't find anything that would be causing this thing to leak like it is. When it does, its on the opposite side of the bleeder valve so I really have no idea what else to do except for pulling the radiator.

    Thanks for the help.

    - Mark
  • cayadopicayadopi Posts: 12
    Thought I had the same problem last year, and radiator and hoses were not leaking. Was told to look for evidence of a coolant leak from the engine block or wherever in the oil in the form of a slight streak of grey or other lighter color than the black oil color streaked thru the oil? And that the other evidence disappears thru the tailpipe.

    (My problem turned out to be that cooling system had some air or something in it after I had done a routine coolant change. Added a half gallon and haven't lost a drop since.)
  • fphilli1fphilli1 Posts: 30
    :confuse: The only thing I can think of is a trans cooler. I do not know Dodge trucks but my wifes VW bug had an internal trans cooler that burst and leaked all over. Hope this helps.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Have you ever parked the truck, then spread newspaper under the engine, and then started it up and let it idle for a while? Does anything show on the paper?

    if not, drive it around until it' hot and then re-park it under the paper and shut it down and see what drips.

    If you get no visible leak hot or cold, overnight or after a hard run, then you are burning it. There's no place for it to spill out in the radiator---the reservoir tank captures it, or should.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I had my 96 3500 Cummins for almost 9 years. One thing Dodge did that wasn't the greatest thing for a diesel was use a ridiculously oversized radiator for the Cummins - same one they used with the 8-liter V10. I couldn't get that truck to overhear even in stop-and-go traffic in July summer heat with the AC at full "meat locker" mode. And even after a good long highway drive in winter, the temp never made it to 180°.

    Most likely, you have a spot leak that may only be found during actual operation. I had one engine seal go that my master tech found only because he saw oil spots where they shouldn't have been on a crossmember... it never actually dripped on the ground.

    In addition to Shifty's suggestions, you may need to get the truck in the air and "drive" it while someone observes.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • I'm looking to upgrade to larger injectors in my cummins, Do I need to do anything to the computer after the higher hp injectors are installed? I have no chip or other engine mods.
  • cayadopicayadopi Posts: 12
    not recently, but.....

    I am original owner '92 F350 7.3L diesel dually crew.... and never got a recall notice on the tranny many years ago.

    Kept taking to dealer with complaints during warranty (they kept telling my no problem), until after out of warranty. Then said a computer chip needed to be replaced. A number of years later tranny problems continued, when to a private guy 3 different times. The last time was 11k miles ago, for an rebuild.

    Over last 5 months have been redoing as much as possible, getting my old Black Beauty ready to haul a 13k trailer (@142k miles),,,, re-did just about everying except the tranny, thinking I had just had it done. The tranny blew the first day. I was very very fortunate that I broke down in Spanish Fork, AL near an incredible tranny shop. (The tranmission was smoking and probably close to catching on fire; the metal was "blued" it was so hot.) I found out that many many moons ago Ford put out a notice to fix/update a bunch of stuff on that transmission, and NONE of it had been done by either the dealer or the other tranny shop. (I had given copies of all the tranny work I had had done to the vehicle the the AL shop.)

    Fortunately, the rest of my trip was uneventful, albeit a bit slow going up some of the steeper small mountains. Passed the tranny inspaction for the warranty on arrival at my destination.

    I even blew the outside cover, basically everything between the drive shaft & the crank shaft. (The rangers who helped rescue me basically gave me a heads up on how bad it was before I was towed to the tranny shop.)

    Anyone with a '92 7.3L really needs to find out if their updates were made on the tranny if you're going to do any towing, before a super expensive repair and getting stranded.

    I can't believe Ford didn't send out a recall on this one - the tranny shop didn't have anything nice to say about the Ford dealer (based on the receipts) or the other tranny shop.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Take a look at the site below. No irrational touting, just the facts. We simply do not produce enough plant and animal fats to produce enough biodiesel to replace a significant portion of the petroleum diesel we use.

    Here is the one possibly real benefit of biodiesel: "Biodiesel has excellent lubricating properties. Even when added to regular diesel fuel in an amount equal to 1-2%, it can convert fuel with poor lubricating properties, such as modern ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, into an acceptable fuel."
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    See post 118. Biodiesel is a good fuel, but we cannot produce enough of it from soybeans and other high value food crops to satisfy our needs. The only hope is that new technologies will provide a new route to biodiesel which will allow currently unuseable starting materials to be used. Still the problem remains that we don't have enough bio-fats.

  • muncymuncy Posts: 10
    have a 1991 7.3 ford diesel, so hard to start and when it dose it smokes white stuff smells like diesel and at tail pipe sounds like missing or poping, smoke settlels down after worms up, have changed all hoses and o-rings,and fuel filter, can any one help.
    thanks jerry
  • orchiddjorchiddj Posts: 13
    My 1990, 7.3 had problem starting. (Ran great after it got started) it would smoke (white) when it finally started. Had strong diesel smell. Filter change made no difference. Finally I found a very very small fuel leak in a return hose near back of engine. Replaced hose and it has started great for over a year now. Another possibility is bad glow plug/s. 1 or 2 bad glow plugs can cause hard starting also. (I am no expert. Just sharing my experiences)

This discussion has been closed.