1991 Ford E-Series Van HARD START E-350 DIESEL 7.3L

Tiny
SHADE-TREE-MECH
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 FORD E-SERIES VAN
Engine Performance problem
1991 Ford E-Series Van V8

My '91 ford E-350 Econoline Diesel 7.3 L
is starting hard. When engine is cold (not-
run-for-over-eight-hours) it starts up right away,
BUT ONLY RUNS FOR 3 SECONDS AND STALLS.

It can't be the glo-plugs, because it does start rightup on the first try. But after it stalls, I have to crank for about 45 to 50 seconds before it will start. Lots of blue smoke after it starts, but being a diesel, can't tell if that is normal.
Runs just fine after it does start.... And it DOES ALWAYS START right up hot or on a cold engine. But of course as I said only runs about 3 seconds (on a cold start). And then just fine after the "long-crank"? And always a quick start for the rest of the day if the time-factor is less that five or six hours. (?)
___________________________
Here is the advice I have got so far, do you agree?
=> "Swap out the crank and cam sensors"
___________________________
___ "Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm.) But makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going.). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, I admit, a very short solution..."

+++++++++

Do you agree? (Thanks in advance)
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Thursday, September 9th, 2010 AT 11:25 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
MADMIKE1735
  • EXPERT
Whoever gave you this info is right on with it, sounds like it came from ford. Anyways, these are my thoughts. You said glo-plugs are good, they must be obviously if it starts right up cold. As for the long crank, right after it stalls, have you tried triggering the glo-plugs a few times? For example, you turn the key on wait for the "wait to start" light to shut off, then crank-it fires up 1st try. When it dies, turn the key on, wait for the light to turn off-dont crank. Turn key off, and then turn it on-wait for the light to turn off then crank? If so, what happens? I have a few ideas what it may be. Get back to me, hopefully I can get ya going. As for the blue smoke once it starts, thats not normal. Blue smoke indicates oil burning. If it was diesel burning, it would be a thick black smoke. Or at a cold start- a thick white smoke.
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Friday, September 17th, 2010 AT 8:00 PM
Tiny
SHADE-TREE-MECH
  • MEMBER
Yes, the very first thing I did was "triggering the glo-plugs a few times"
After the 'first' try ; the "wait-light' only "LIGHTS" for about 2 to 3 seconds, and then goes out. But at this point I must say this is the way the "wait-light" has ALWAYS 'responed' on any 'cycling' after the first turn of the key to the "wait" position. (E.G.)
I have owned this van for 8 years, and when the engine is cold, and the first attempt is made to start & turn the key to the "wait" position, the 'light' will stay on for about 8 to 10 seconds, before it goes out. ALWAYS any atempt to start after that (wait position) the light only stays on about two seconds, before going out. (NOTE that this has always been the way the "wait-light" has responded in the 8 years that I have had this van) (and it has always started first 'crank' even on the coldest of days)
I'm not sure if this matters but, always after the 'light' goes out, I here a cyclical 'clicking' for about 45 seconds. (But, again this has always been the case for 8 years. And this 'hard-starting' is a new occurrence)
____________________________
... When you asked:
". Turn key off, and then turn it on-wait for the light to turn off then crank? If so, what happens?"

Does the above statement(s) answer to this?
Still need more info, (?) Let me know.

Thanks
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Saturday, September 18th, 2010 AT 2:50 AM
Tiny
MADMIKE1735
  • EXPERT
The clicking your referring to is your relay for the glow plugs, and thats normal. At this point, I would recommend bringing it to the dealer. Im sure this isnt the answer your looking for, but this seems like something that cant be easily diagnosed without proper testing equipment.
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Saturday, September 18th, 2010 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
SHADE-TREE-MECH
  • MEMBER
When is the last time you took your car to a Ford Dealer?
Right, a very long time ago!
Well, I have been-there-done-that!
_________ Here is how it goes THESE-DAYS !. .
.
1) a mandatory diagnostic test: $117

________ 2) hourly rate @ $132.50

_________3) this is even if YOU (me) know what the problem is. . . that's right you can't just ask a Ford dealer to replace a part, like any other sensible mechanic (Shop) would do. . . Ford is running the biggest SCAM on-four-wheels ! !
I got one "written estimate' on day 'ONE' . . . but
when I show up to drop it off, they (Ford) added on another $50 bucks,... so I said " hey, I have a written estimate here, that's not what I have here in writting ! (?)" . . .
Well, long story short__________
______The service manager went in the other room . . . . and when the service manager came back said. . ." Well, I guess we can do it for that first price. . ."
NO, APOLOGY. 'NO-NUTTEN' , JUST A LOOK ON THEIR FACE AS IF THEY WERE JUST-CAUGHT-WITH-THEIR-PANTS-DOWN_________
(This story goes on & on forever, but I won't bore you !)
________________
I will never (here THIS) NEVER; NEVER EVER AGAIN TAKE MY VAN TO A FORD DEALER AGAIN ! !
________ am i pissed at the scam they are running. . . you BETCHA ! !


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/571278_Toilet_Rolled_1.png

________________________________

How about an educated guess on your part ! !

Should I change the cam & crank sensor. . .
_____where are they located, can a shade-tree-mechanic like myself, do-the-fix ?
=> HELP ME HERE !
THAT'S WHAT YOUR 'SITE' HERE IS ALL ABOUT, RIGHT ! ! (?)
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Monday, September 20th, 2010 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
JEDDAKOFPHX
  • MEMBER
This is not Ford, it is your Ford dealer. At ANY dealership toyota ford chevy honda etc service writers are commissioned sales people. Period. Typically they were car salesmen before. Rarely were they a mechanic of any sort prior to this position. All the other manufacturers dealerships do the same crap. Don't blame Ford
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Friday, October 19th, 2012 AT 3:10 PM

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