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Problem with '02 7.3 diesel
#1
Just limped out of the mountains into Asheville, NC with some engine problems I'm having. Looks like I'm going to wait till shops reopen on Monday and try to get it looked at. The one guy that does 24/7 repair has such horrible reviews on Google I'm afraid to try it. Any input welcome!

The problem exhibits primarily as engine stumbling on steep grades, making top speed of 25mph highway... seems to have improved to 40mph after adding cetane boost/injector cleaner.

When I pull over, engine idles perfectly, and revs smoothly to a point (guessing 3500 rpm?) where it stumbles and will belch white smoke from exhaust. Smells strongly of diesel and pretty confident that this isn't a water issue. Repeated engine revving will keep blowing smoke, gradually clearing until get full revs, nice and smooth like there was never a problem. Resuming driving and runs fine for varying periods, seemingly related to grade/engine strain. Rinse/wash/repeat at least got me out of the mountains and to Asheville NC.

After additive added, there was an improvment.

Check Engine light appears randomly, either resetting itself or will reset when vehicle turned off.

This problem first appeared in flat FL six months ago while on first long trip after spending better part of a year just sitting, idling, or moving parking spaces. It cleared up and never caused a stumble again...but after the truck sits overnight, it takes a few revs of engine to clean out and blow a little smoke...after that, not again until it sits.

On a strange sidenote, the Overdrive "off" light started flashing just before I parked for the day.
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#2
Change the fuel filter first, to make sure its not just a plugged filter.
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  • BradKW (05-11-2018)
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#3
(05-11-2018, 06:40 PM)tx2sturgis Wrote: Change the fuel filter first, to make sure its not just a plugged filter.

yep, done before trip started...had no impact on the cold start symptom. 

The mechanic I'm not comfortable about say he thinks its "socks" on the fuel somethin-or-other inside the tank causing blockage, but that don't fit the symptoms to me...
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#4
A sock is a fuel strainer on the pickup tube to strain debris from the fuel before it goes into the pump. Gotta pull the fuel pump out to get to it. I had to put a new fuel pump on my little pickup and the wrench guy had to take the bed off to get to it. Otherwise you gotta drop the tank.
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  • BradKW (05-11-2018)
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#5
Still, with old fuel that sat in the tank (diesel that sits in a tank for long periods can get cloudy with bacteria) and repeated temperature swings, mostly warm, and on the humid 'side' of the US, it still could be a plugged new fuel filter, or maybe the new filter gasket is sucking air....

Anyway, it sure sounds like a fuel delivery problem...so I sure hope it's not injectors or fuel pump. 

You might want to read about diesel fuel problems...

Here is one source:

http://www.diesel-fuels.com/bad-diesel-fuel.php

(not an endorsement of the products being sold, just linking the page for information)
Wondering about Wandering.
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  • BradKW (05-11-2018)
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#6
02 so the full on electronic model,your check engine light came on so there is codes stored,thats where you start
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#7
(05-11-2018, 06:36 PM)BradKW Wrote: Just limped out of the mountains into Asheville, NC with some engine problems I'm having. Looks like I'm going to wait till shops reopen on Monday and try to get it looked at. The one guy that does 24/7 repair has such horrible reviews on Google I'm afraid to try it. Any input welcome!

The problem exhibits primarily as engine stumbling on steep grades, making top speed of 25mph highway... seems to have improved to 40mph after adding cetane boost/injector cleaner.

When I pull over, engine idles perfectly, and revs smoothly to a point (guessing 3500 rpm?) where it stumbles and will belch white smoke from exhaust. Smells strongly of diesel and pretty confident that this isn't a water issue. Repeated engine revving will keep blowing smoke, gradually clearing until get full revs, nice and smooth like there was never a problem. Resuming driving and runs fine for varying periods, seemingly related to grade/engine strain. Rinse/wash/repeat at least got me out of the mountains and to Asheville NC.

After additive added, there was an improvment.

Check Engine light appears randomly, either resetting itself or will reset when vehicle turned off.

This problem first appeared in flat FL six months ago while on first long trip after spending better part of a year just sitting, idling, or moving parking spaces. It cleared up and never caused a stumble again...but after the truck sits overnight, it takes a few revs of engine to clean out and blow a little smoke...after that, not again until it sits.

On a strange sidenote, the Overdrive "off" light started flashing just before I parked for the day.

I have two 7.3 liters. Mine are 1995 and 1997. Same engine. Sounds like injectors, fuel prob.  Quick check.. Look for the wire harness connector to the valve cover gaskets. Its a common problem with them coming loose or having problem. The wire harness goes to your injectors under the valve covers.  If that is all good ..hit me up and I will give you some others things to check. 
https://youtu.be/GHwjEfJtM_g
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  • BradKW (05-12-2018)
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#8
I had rats chew into the wires on top of my engine on one truck. It too sat for extended time in a pasture. Would happen randomly/ Fix was the wiring i mentioned above. I had to patch them. then eventually replaced the valve cover gaskets. The wires connect to the gasket itself and then go to the injectors inside the valve cover.
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#9
quick update: got NAPA to plug in the diagnostic tool and it shows no codes. I thought the computer would always store codes even if the light goes off on it's own, and he said there are soft and hard codes, soft not being stored. I'm wondering if a better diagnostic computer tool might yield different results?
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#10
Just try to replace the fuel filter again. Is the fuel pump / intake easy to get to? In other words can you do it yourself?
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to MN C Van for this post:
  • BradKW (05-12-2018)
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