1996 Ford F350 Restarting engine after air gets in a DIESEL

Tiny
DAN CHURCHILL
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD F-350
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 250,000 MILES
I ran out of fuel and can not restart my diesel engine after air got into the fuel system. What is the best way to fix this problem? My "Power Stroke" manuel says the system will self purge with longer cranking times needed. This has not worked. I have heard of pressureizing the fuel tank to filling the water/fuel seperator with transmission fluid and starting the engine with transmission fluid.
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 AT 6:42 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER
You need to stay far away from the person who told you to put trans fluid in the water/separator. BAD IDEA! Try checking the filter housing for diesel fuel. If there is fuel, just keep cranking. It can take up to 10 minutes of cranking to purge all the air. The bad part is that the injectors are lubrricated in part by the diesel fuel. If you ran them dry, they can become damaged during the excessive cranking. Check the fuel filter housing for fuel and post back. We'll have to go from there.
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 AT 10:30 PM
Tiny
DAN CHURCHILL
  • MEMBER
Yes - the fuel filter housing never did run dry. (Except for when I ran out of fuel in the tank of coarse). I filled the tank with 5 gallons and also topped off the fuel filter housing with diesel and a fuel aditive. Made sure I am running off of the proper tank. And cranked it over about 20 times or so. I will try cranking for 10 minutes though. Is that non stop cranking time or will the glow plugs lose there charge after that long of a cranking time? THANK-YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 AT 11:17 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Use WD-40 to run it on. It is like quick start for diesels
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Saturday, February 16th, 2008 AT 7:31 AM
Tiny
DAN CHURCHILL
  • MEMBER
Is that WD-40 to be used in the fuel filter resevor or in the air in take?
Also how do I give rep points? THANK-YOU FOR WORKING WITH ME!
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Saturday, February 16th, 2008 AT 11:54 AM
Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER
Don't crank continuously, it's bad for the starter. Crank about 30 seconds and then wait a minute. Then do it again. Also, WD-40 may be good for starting diesels, but not the 7.3 DI. If it starts and there is no proper lubrication inside the injectors, they will burn out. They are tempermental anyway and are not like other injectors. They are also expensive to replace--several hundred dollars each. Then you have to bleed the high pressure oil system down in order to remove the injectors. If they burn out, the overall cost to replace them all is about the same price as a used economy car. Just keep cranking and let the fuel system purge itself, it may do some damage, but not as much as using a supplimental starting method.
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Saturday, February 16th, 2008 AT 5:14 PM
Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER
As far as rep points, under the name, you will see "give feedback." Click on this to give rep points. Thanks for your donation also and for choosing our website. We're glad to help.
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Saturday, February 16th, 2008 AT 5:17 PM
Tiny
DAN CHURCHILL
  • MEMBER
Whoooooo! Whhoooooo!
I cranked it for 30 seconds. And let it rest for a minute. Repeated it 4 times and on the 5th. Crank it fired right up. Thank-you. The mechanic that said to use tranny fluid also said he would get it up and running for $400. You just saved me a bunch of money. THANK-YOU!
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Sunday, February 17th, 2008 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
DAN CHURCHILL
  • MEMBER
I have 0.3 points that I am trying to give to Dave (flexy5) the system keeps asking me why give zero. I'm not trying to. I, m trying to give all of what points I do have.
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+1
Sunday, February 17th, 2008 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Ill give him point courtesy of you.
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Monday, February 18th, 2008 AT 9:41 PM
Tiny
REYNOLDT
  • MEMBER
The 7.3 is cranky anyway. I always hold the accelerator down 100 % until I get ignition. Helps much in cold weather. I do 50 Z% even when the engine is warm. I drive a no smoker and enjoy it
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Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 AT 7:53 PM
Tiny
TRUJILLOPR77
  • MEMBER
A quick fix is simple stating fluid, 2 or 3 light sprays on the air intake and crank it up, hold diesel pedal down, it will start
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Thursday, March 6th, 2008 AT 6:43 PM
Tiny
FLEXY5
  • MEMBER
And as I posted earlier, on a 7.3, any supplimental starting method (such as starter fluid), if the injectors are dry, will burn them out. The injectors (last I replaced them) were $450 each. Since it's a v8 that's a lot of gamble for a $3 can of starter fluid and a lot of impatience. I've done my fair share of replacing injectors on the 7.3 and 6.0 and they aren't cheap. Don't take the risk of a $5000 repair.
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Thursday, March 6th, 2008 AT 9:02 PM

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