Sunday, October 12, 2008

Glow plug relay disintegrates

After replacing my glow plugs this August, life got better: my 100% biodiesel-running 7.3L PowerStroke actually started up in the morning!

But then, all of a sudden last week it began having trouble starting again in the morning.

My instincts said: glow plug relay. Everything I've read on this subject, just screamed "glow plug relay". So I got a deal on a new glow plug relay, and bought it. But then I got scared. Fear is what has stopped me from doing just about anything good and necessary I've needed to do in my life. And here it was again-- I was paralyzed all weekend.

Finally on Sunday, a friend kind of shamed me into at least TESTING the thing to see what was wrong. It's a very easy test; all I need is a multimeter and not very much time.

Sure enough, I applied the multimeter, turned the key, and... nothing coming out of the glow plug relay. Zero volts. I tested the other posts, and they all had the voltages they were supposed to have, at the time they were supposed to have it. OK, time to R/R this thing!

So I located all the wrenches I'd need (8mm, 3/8", deep-socket 1/2", and deep-socket 10mm, in case you care), disconnected the batteries, and removed the relay.

It was cracked. The old glow plug relay casing had actually split in two. The relay contact inside was clearly visible, deeply rusted, and useless. No wonder the thing didn't work!

The new glow plug relay went in easily, and I tested it-- sure enough, voltage with the key on!

The thing now starts like a Honda. Beautiful. I feel so much better.

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