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Need To Vent A Little...


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#1 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 09:31 AM

Well guys, it's been a rough week and there's no end in sight.  If you'll bear with me a little bit I'm gonna bend your ears and get some of this off of my chest; try to preserve whatever may be left of my sanity.

 

Those that saw my steering upgrade thread know that my diesel work truck lost head gaskets last week and that's turned into a battle of wills between me and my stubborn truck.  The heads checked out good, bottom end looked good and everything seemed ok.  Worked all day Sunday putting that 7.3 back together and til about 4:30 AM Monday putting it back in the truck (that's a tough job by yourself with that big of an engine, she's about 1,500 lbs).  Grabbed a nap Monday morning for a couple of hours then got back at it and got her fired up.  Immediately blew a power steering hose apart so I had to shut it down and go on a several hour hunt to acquire a new one.  Finally got it going again, the alternator quit.  Got that replaced and tried again, starts leaking oil from the rear main (brand new factory seal installed using the $400 Ford install tool) got too frustrated and walked away.  Tuesday:  Started checking, there was a clog up the line the breather system that was far from obvious and I got excited that it might be something simple, cleared that out and tried yet again; no more oil leak :D  The rest of Tuesday and all day Wednesday was spent re-engineering the breather system, flushing the cooling system and tidying things up.  It all looked good and I was finally in a better mood.  

 

Yesterday:  I decide I'm gonna run over to Elkhart, IN and grab a load, finally make some money... My trailer was sitting in Elkhart as I had loaned it to a good friend to run the loads I couldn't do for the last 2 weeks.  That was a mistake.  The trailer was a wreck.  He tore into the wiring (apparently the brakes just happened to quit the day after he picked it up from me) and he "fixed" it.  It's a hack job.  Wiring dangling all over the place, connections hanging out it in the open not weather-proofed at all, cover missing off the battery box (that came back to bite me), etc. I wasn't happy but sucked it up and tried to get on my way.  Couldn't even get out of his yard, my starter died.  When we finally got that going I discovered quickly with the 53' trailer behind me making the truck work a little harder that my serpentine belt was slipping.  Changed that in an Autozone parking on a hot truck, minimal difference; the tensioner was maxed out like the belt was too long but they had nothing else in stock so I figured I'd deal with it when I got home, another half hour of banging on the starter and it finally started again.  I get to the yard to load and leave it idling while I get paperwork, come back out to a puddle of diesel fuel under the truck, trace it (I thought) to a fitting on the back of the driver's side head that's nearly inaccessible.  Couldn't get to it with the truck running and didn't dare shut it off again so I hustled up to load and get out of there. 

 

As I was pulling the winch cable out to get the last trailer on the load (I haul new, enclosed cargo trailers from the manufacturers and I was over 50' from the front of my trailer) the cable contacted the exposed positive battery terminal on the giant deep cycle battery mounted on my trailer and welded itself to it  :mad2:  By the time I made it up to yank the cable off it had melted halfway through my BRAND NEW $200 cable  :mad2:   Needless to say by this point I was about ready to hang it up and find a new career but I held it together, ran the 140 miles back home at about 52 mph (due to the slipping belt) and arrived safely.  A buddy of mine who's a Ford mechanic brought me a brand new factory belt, tensioner and starter so I worked into the night on that.  The starter worked (thank God) but the belt and tensioner did not so I'm stumped there.  He has the exact same truck as mine and we cross referenced everything, can't figure out what's wrong.  So I decided I'd address the fuel leak, ha, yeah right.  It wasn't the fitting that I thought it was.  It's a fuel galley plug in the back of the head that's completely inaccessible with the engine in the truck  :wallbanging:

 

For anyone who's still with me after that novel of a rant I thank you for humoring me.  I'm at a standstill at home with a loaded trailer that was supposed to be delivered today, no end in sight and no idea where to go from here.  To top it all off I've gotten virtually no seat time on my newly repaired 120 since I don't have a truck to take her anywhere (my yard isn't big enough to satisfy me so I volunteer to cut grass for a couple of other people who have no other way to do it).

 

End rant.  Time for more coffee.


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#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 09:59 AM

That's quite a tale of woe! Amazing how one thing fails after another like that. I wonder if the belt is slipping because there is too much load on it. You might want to check the accessories that are driven off the belt to make sure one of them isn't mis aligned or taking extra power to turn for some reason. Good luck!


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#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 10:20 AM

I had a serpantine belt start slipping on me for "No" reason once... ended up being the 1 yr old Alternator had a bad bearing... locking up when hot.


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#4 DougT ONLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 10:30 AM

You mentioned changing the alternator. Did you check the pulley diameter on the replacement or did you reuse your original? If the belt seems too long, it would be that or the routing is wrong. Fuel galley plug, is that the one that takes the 1/2 in square to turn? I cheated one of those with a hole saw through the firewall once and used a rubber body plug when I was done. I was thinking the one I did was leaking engine oil though. Still may be a possibility. Excuse me for asking.......Is this how you picked the handle walkinman??  bigrofl.gif



#5 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for the ideas guys.  I had a Ford certified, senior master diesel tech, another good mechanic I know and of course myself stumped with this last night.  Basically the problem is that the tensioner is maxed out on it's throw before the belt is even tight.  It would appear that one of my accessory pulleys is too small or the belt is too long hence why we were matching things up to my buddy's bone stock 7.3 (same year as mine)  All pulleys measure out to the same size, belt is routed properly and the part numbers match the parts on his truck.  There is no adjustment in any of the accessory mounting locations either so I am totally stumped.  Must be something we're missing.  The Ford tech is doing some checking at work for me today so hopefully we can solve the problem tonight.



#6 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 10:40 AM

You mentioned changing the alternator. Did you check the pulley diameter on the replacement or did you reuse your original? If the belt seems too long, it would be that or the routing is wrong. Fuel galley plug, is that the one that takes the 1/2 in square to turn? I cheated one of those with a hole saw through the firewall once and used a rubber body plug when I was done. I was thinking the one I did was leaking engine oil though. Still may be a possibility. Excuse me for asking.......Is this how you picked the handle walkinman??  bigrofl.gif

You're thinking of the oil galley plug but the fuel galley plug is right next to it and just a little smaller so the hole saw idea might work if I can get the up-pipe unbolted and out of the way, I'll check into that.... Thanks for the idea!  Actually the handle came about as a result of my last name and a friend nicknaming me but the name fits for many reasons (even though my Fords rarely leave me stranded despite how much they break) so the nickname stuck and I embraced it.



#7 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 11:11 AM

Have those kind of days myself, and sure aren't easy to take!  Feel free to bend our ears, as that's good therapy, and we all need it at times. :thumbs:


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#8 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 11:26 AM

  So I decided I'd address the fuel leak, ha, yeah right.  It wasn't the fitting that I thought it was.  It's a fuel galley plug in the back of the head that's completely inaccessible with the engine in the truck  :wallbanging:

 

Walki, I have 7.3 Turbo Fords. All 3 have had the very same fuel leak on the back of the engine. After trying to fix the first one, I told them to our Ford dealer and they have the right tools to fix them without pulling the, turbo or cab. It was like 3 or 4 hrs. labor on each one. I could not do it myself and would have paid double to get them fixed to save me the frustration!!.

 

Good Luck and it will get better



#9 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 11:28 AM

Thanks for the ideas guys.  I had a Ford certified, senior master diesel tech, another good mechanic I know and of course myself stumped with this last night.  Basically the problem is that the tensioner is maxed out on it's throw before the belt is even tight.  It would appear that one of my accessory pulleys is too small or the belt is too long hence why we were matching things up to my buddy's bone stock 7.3 (same year as mine)  All pulleys measure out to the same size, belt is routed properly and the part numbers match the parts on his truck.  There is no adjustment in any of the accessory mounting locations either so I am totally stumped.  Must be something we're missing.  The Ford tech is doing some checking at work for me today so hopefully we can solve the problem tonight.

 

You replaced the Alternator, I think you said. Check it to make sure it has the same DIA. pulley on it that the old one did. I had that issue one time and had to go back to the parts store and get the old one. I should have checked it there, but didn't.



#10 twostep OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 11:33 AM

Rough time!!! Good luck with the fuel leak. I had an issue with a CPS going out and there was a bolt that would not come out as it was bumping agains the firewall... so I just cut a hole in the firewall :) after the repair I stuck a rubber plug in the hole.



#11 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 11:49 AM

You replaced the Alternator, I think you said. Check it to make sure it has the same DIA. pulley on it that the old one did. I had that issue one time and had to go back to the parts store and get the old one. I should have checked it there, but didn't.


I swapped the OEM pulley onto the new alternator, started thinking that the alternator case itself may be smaller but after comparing to the OEM one on my buddy's truck that was a no-go as well...
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#12 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 12:22 PM

I swapped the OEM pulley onto the new alternator, started thinking that the alternator case itself may be smaller but after comparing to the OEM one on my buddy's truck that was a no-go as well...

 

I'm sure you did, but did you double check to make sure the belt routing is right. I thought I had mine right one time and the belt was just at being loose on the tensioner. I re checked the routing and had gone around one pulley the wrong side, made about 1" difference in the length.



#13 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 12:56 PM

I'm sure you did...

 

I'm not sure if that was intended to be sarcasm or if I just read it wrong but I honestly did do that.  I know it gets annoying to give suggestions and hear "I already did that" and I have no intention of coming off as a know-it-all (I learn new things every single day and almost every single time I work on something) but these are simple things I already checked.  I'm a very meticulous mechanic and especially so when it comes to this truck as my livelihood depends on it.  The aftermarket alternators come with a 6 rib pulley and the diesels use an 8 rib so I had to swap the pulley over no matter what...  We're going to triple check it all tonight when my buddy gets off work and brings the Ford service manual over, hopefully it is something simple we overlooked.  He's gonna bring his truck so we can measure pulley sizes, spacing, quadruple check routing, etc. as the simple solution (shorter belt) isn't an option.  The next size down that we can find on an 8 rib belt is almost 20" shorter.  It HAS to be something simple that we're just not seeing.  I really do appreciate any and all suggestions as no matter how much I think I know about mechanics there's always someone more clever than me that found an easier/better way to do something and I love learning that kind of stuff so thank you all for the ideas and the help.


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#14 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 01:05 PM

I wasn't trying to sound sarcastic, I just meant that I was sure you had already checked that but wanted to make sure. Between all of us, surely we can figure out what has changed. Like I said, we have 3, 1997, 1999 and a 2001. We get great service out of the 7.3 and my truck (1999) 509,583 miles on it. the 2001 has around 250,000 miles and the 97 has around 370,000 miles.

 

I don't think you are coming across as a know-it-all at all.



#15 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 07, 2013 - 01:25 PM

Ok cool, glad to know we're on the same page here.  I know the newer 7.3's use a different tensioner and belt than the older ones (the newer style can also be retrofitted which is an option but kinda pricey) but I'm not sure what year they switched.  We thought that might be the issue, i.e. they gave me the newer belt by mistake but no dice there.  Hopefully it becomes obvious once we start measuring things on my buddy's truck since last night we just eyeballed it then gave up as we were all too tired and I couldn't fix the fuel leak until I get parts anyways.

 

I can't remember the last time I had a run of bad luck like this but hopefully it ends soon.  I need to get my head screwed back on straight and that's difficult when things keep snowballing like this  :wallbanging:






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