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Old 02-08-2012, 11:16   #1 (permalink)
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97 powerstroke long starts

I have a 1997 f-250 sd powersrtroke. The problem is that I have to crank the engine for about 15-20 seconds before it will start. The truck has been sitting for about a year with occassional starts to keep up the battery. I recently put a trickle charge on the battery, started it (after about 20 seconds), drove it around for awhile, parked it and after about 5 minutes went to start it and again took about 15-20 seconds to start. This happens each time I try to start it after it sits for more than a minute. I also replaced the fuel filter and it still happens. Bad fuel pump, anti-syphon valve?
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Old 02-09-2012, 16:24   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

check glow plugs to be sure all are working and put cleaner in fuel to be sure injectors are clean. other than that might want to put fresh fuel in truck.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:36   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

Thanks for the response rjpev1. It's not the fuel because after about 10-15 seconds of cranking the engine finally turns over and runs fine after that. I spoke with my mechanic and he said that there are seals around the injectors that dry out and create long starts. It's a place to start but it's beyond my mechanical abilities so I guess I'll turn it over to him.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

Diesels are meant to be driven, and the mechanic is right in that the seals will dry out, but if it hasn't been years I can't see a loss of compression happening. It might be worth while to get a fuel pressure test done.

Another thing you can try, is before attempting to crank the engine, keep it in "run" for a few extra seconds. that should allow the fuel pump to better prime the lines and get pressure up before you start it.

If the engine light is on, it'll be worth while to get the codes checked.
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:37   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

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Diesels are meant to be driven, and the mechanic is right in that the seals will dry out, but if it hasn't been years I can't see a loss of compression happening. It might be worth while to get a fuel pressure test done.

Another thing you can try, is before attempting to crank the engine, keep it in "run" for a few extra seconds. that should allow the fuel pump to better prime the lines and get pressure up before you start it.

If the engine light is on, it'll be worth while to get the codes checked.
Thanks 360ci. Sorry it took me so long to reply but my commuter car wouldn't start and spent 3 weeks trying to find out what the problem was. You guessed it, fuel pump. Just got the car back and I can now address the truck problem. Still not sure it's the fuel pump because the truck will run but only after cranking about 10-15 seconds. Is there 2 fuel pumps on this truck? As to the seals, I haven't driven the truck for about 2 years other than starting to charge the battery and driving it about a mile or two. Also no check engine light.
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

I'm not sure about it having two fuel pumps. Diesel pumps operate slower (gpm) than gas engine pumps but allow for slightly larger volume (thicker lines).

I'd take it on a couple of long trips and get it 300rpm before redline for a good 5 minutes of driving to get the valves working well.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:00   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

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I'm not sure about it having two fuel pumps. Diesel pumps operate slower (gpm) than gas engine pumps but allow for slightly larger volume (thicker lines).

I'd take it on a couple of long trips and get it 300rpm before redline for a good 5 minutes of driving to get the valves working well.
Are you saying run the engine to within 300 of redline for the entire "long trip" or on a number of occasions during the trip?
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:03   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

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Are you saying run the engine to within 300 of redline for the entire "long trip" or on a number of occasions during the trip?
Never mind, I just reread your post and saw the part about 5 min.. Thanks I'll give it a try.
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Old 03-09-2012, 16:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

A lot of people don't 'drive' their vehicles, they drive them relatively slowly and since most are automatics, the rpms will naturally stay low as per the computer programming unless they press the pedal to the floor.

Selecting a lower gear while on the highway in any engine for a set time, will help clean out excessive carbon. Consistent high rpms can help blow out carbon and clean the valves a bit. When you see a car suddenly accelerate to pass someone, or merge onto traffic and a plume of white smoke comes out of the exhaust, you can tell the vehicle doesn't see much action above the usual 2000-3000rpm. If an engine had it's way, it'd run at maximum rpm at all times. Vehicle speed in governed through use of throttle calibration, and gears. This is why hybrids often use CVT transmissions. A CVT when you mash the throttle will slowly go up to just under the engine's redline - and stay there, until you let off the throttle. It's just too bad that CVT's sap more HP than a conventional automatic does.

Anyway, a couple good, long trips may help you here. If you have the funds, go see a relative or friend out of state even and go through a tank of fuel and as mentioned, stay in the upper RPM range for a while. 5 minutes each way at say 2700-2800rpm should be plenty, as I think your redline is around 3000rpm with the 7.3L V8 TD.

Diesel's can take more abuse and stay at high rpms longer than gas engines as they are generally over built for their purpose. That purpose is hard work, not just driving around without hauling a 40' trailer. If you had 4.56 gears in your truck, even in overdrive you'd knowingly see 2500rpm at a consistent 70mph. If you are unsure which gears you have (knowingly either 3.73 or 4.10s), check the glovebox for a sticker, the ratio should be listed on that, or on a tag/plate on the axle (might be covered in road grime).
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Old 03-10-2012, 22:55   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 97 powerstroke long starts

Have your batter tested? If one is weak that could be whats rong!
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