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Old 10-21-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
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2002 Power stroke glow plug issues

I have a 2002 power stroke 7.3. I live in an area where the temps get below freezing about 3 months out of the year. Every two years when the temps start getting below 40 degrees the motor becomes hard to start until the temps even get colder and then It won't start. If I plug the block heater in it always starts because its warm. I have had the glow plug system replaced 3 times now in the past 6 years. The glow plug wiring is in the valve cover gasket and gets hot and starts drawing more and more current as it gets older and this puts a strain on the glow plugs and glow plug relay (50 amps) to the point where all need replacing along with the fuel plate heater. I'm sick of it but don't know of a permanent fix. I have been considering putting a switch on the dash that could turn off the glow plug relay system during the warm months to try and extend the life of the glow plugs and wiring. Does any body out there have this problem and or a permanent fix for it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 2000 Damon View Post
I have a 2002 power stroke 7.3. I live in an area where the temps get below freezing about 3 months out of the year. Every two years when the temps start getting below 40 degrees the motor becomes hard to start until the temps even get colder and then It won't start. If I plug the block heater in it always starts because its warm. Does any body out there have this problem and or a permanent fix for it
2000 Damon
Why not simply USE your block heater?
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:48 PM   #3
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If I'm camping, snowmobiling for the day or somewhere with no power I don't have that ability unless I drug a generator around with me. Then I would have to worry about theft when I'm gone, the rewarming time it would take when I got back, or the cost of leaving the generator running while gone.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:08 PM   #4
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I have a 2000 super duty 7.3 and never replace a glow plug. I have to replace the glow plug relay twice in ten years I have owned it. I have many plow trucks I service with same results. Have you done this repair work or did you have it done? If the wiring harness is what is causing your issue it would not take out the glow plugs, if all the resistance is in the wire nothing would get to the plow plugs. If your harnesses are failing under the valve cover (in the oil) then I would question the oil it self. It would either be cheep oil or extended intervals.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:13 AM   #5
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Repairs were done at the ford dealership. I use synthetic oil and change it between 3 and 4 thousand miles. Does your stroke have a wiring harness in the valve cover gasket?
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:46 PM   #6
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I avoid Ford dealerships in favor of a really good independent diesel repair facility with extensive PowerStroke experience. My pocketbook thanks me.

Starting problems can often masquerade themselves as other issues. They can be injector and fuel pump bleed downs, too.

All diesel parts are terribly expensive to buy, which means 100% correct problem diagnosis is required. You cannot just throw parts to the problem hoping it'll be solved.

When I have diesel engine questions, TheDieselStop.com is the place to go. These are high tech animals, and the real experts are monitoring that website.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #7
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I second the Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com as the way to find the experts...having said that, I have a 2000 F250 7.3 and have done most of my own work since I have owned it. I replaced 2 original glow plug relays as they wore out in a couple years - I got tired of replacing them and got a heavy duty relay that is still in the truck doing it's job.

Mine gets hard to start around 15° - if I have failed to plug it in (dammit!) it will not start on the first go, but if I cycle the glow plugs a couple times it will start, but if plugged in, it starts just as if it was warm. I have never replaced a glow plug...either the relay dies or the batteries are pooed out.

If you replaced the glow plug system 3 times, I'd suggest finding another mechanic!

And yes, the glow plug wiring is under the valve covers.

On the dieselstop my screen name is the Maroon Harpoon - look for the article "Harpoon Your Tank and Fill It Fast" - one of my contributions to the 'stroke group'.

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Old 12-04-2014, 06:30 AM   #8
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Mine, like all, have the valve cover harness.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:24 PM   #9
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My 2003 engine is one of the last 7.3's made, and it's been a great engine at 120K miles. But I have a cold start problem if I let it sit a few days.

I've replaced the fuel filter, glow plug relay, IPR and Injection Module. They didn't help my cold start problem. I took it to an independent diesel shop, and it's also stumped them. They scoped the engine and said it's running perfectly--and the glow plugs work correctly.

I changed the fuel pump last week, and it helped starting a little--but not completely.

It sounds as if an injector is letting the fuel pressure bleed down. I would have to get a good used injector and change one injector per day until the problem goes away.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
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But I have a cold start problem if I let it sit a few days.

I've replaced the fuel filter, glow plug relay, IPR and Injection Module. They didn't help my cold start problem. I took it to an independent diesel shop, and it's also stumped them. They scoped the engine and said it's running perfectly--and the glow plugs work correctly.

I changed the fuel pump last week, and it helped starting a little--but not completely.

It sounds as if an injector is letting the fuel pressure bleed down. I would have to get a good used injector and change one injector per day until the problem goes away.
You've been having that cold start issue for a while now. Doesn't sound like your getting your answer from forums. Probably time to start spending money at that super diesel shop you've mentioned.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:00 PM   #11
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How good are your batteries? Watch this video from Powerstroke Help, maybe it will help. He has many other videos on Youtube that are helpful.

Good Luck

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