6.9L & 7.3L IDI | 1994-2003 7.3L Powerstroke | 2003-2007 6.0L Powerstroke
You must be able to use the Ford factory IDS (or WDS) scan tool for 6.0 L diagnostics due to the number of PCM updates. There are so many drivability issues that are solved with a new PCM calibration that attempting repairs without the IDS scan tool is an exercise in futility. Be aware that after the PCM is re-flashed it may take up to 1000 miles for the PCM to re-learn how you drive. During this re-learn procedure it is very likely that your mileage will drop. Ford does not have a quick learn procedure like GM or Chrysler, they are “slow learners”.
Engine serial number
There have been many changes to the 6.0 L and getting the correct parts for it depends on the engine serial number range. The engine s/n is located on the FICM which is on the top of the left valve cover. If the FICM has been replaced you may need to get the s/n off of the block. The s/n is stamped into the block at the left rear of the engine just under the head.
Diagnosing starting problems and drivability problems requires that you start at the basics. The HEUI system uses engine oil to actuate the injectors; if you are low on oil you will have problems.
-Check the oil and change the oil if it is due. If the oil is worn out from excessive change interval, you will have problems. Oil change intervals are critical,
-Fuel filter plugging will cause issues. Has it been more than 10,000 miles since you changed the filters? Change the filters before proceeding with further diagnostics.
Air in the fuel will cause injector failures. Inspect the fuel when you change the filters.
-Avoid long idle times; long idle times will cause the EGR and turbo to carbon up excessively.
Besides the proper scan tool you will need good service information and the correct tools to work on the 6.0 L. There are many TSB related to drivability issues that you need current service information for, besides the ability to re-flash the PCM.
www.fordspecialtools.com for Ford special tools
www.motorcraftservice.com for scan tool information and service information, you can purchase three days, a month or year.
-Mitchell and Motors also offer online service information
www.helminc.com they have printed publications such as manuals and TSB, as well as online subscription choices.
www.forddoctorsdts.com many different articles to help with diagnosing the Ford Powerstroke
-Check batteries and connections, voltage should stay above 10 volts during cranking
-The PCM controls the starter, so if PCM voltage drops below 9.5v the PCM shuts off and won’t control the starter.
-If the fan clutch shorts out it will draw the PCM voltage to zero, and thus you will have a no crank situation.
-EBP sensor shorted out will shutdown PCM
Several parameters are necessary for starting, not including glow plug operation and good compression.
1. ICP 520 psi min. (0.8v minimum)
2. PCM sync = Yes which means that the CKP and CMP sensors are sending a signal to the PCM and are working correctly.
3. FICM sync = Yes which means that the PCM and FICM are in sync
4. Pulse Width signal to the injectors
5. Minimum cranking speed of 100 rpm
-The fuel supply pump has an inertia switch in the circuit, located under the passenger side kick panel
-Try unplugging the ICP sensor it can cause a not start problem without setting any codes
-Monitor the oil pressure gauge on the dash, it should move up during cranking. If it shows no oil pressure then there could be a problem with the low oil pressure side.
-IPR duty cycle of 14% or less during cranking means no cam signal (and no sync)
-Check for loose connections at the FICM
-A shorted EBP sensor can cause the PCM to shutdown
-Glow Plug control module connector problems (pin tension, water intrusion, bent pins)
-Leak in the high pressure oil circuit, takes excessive cranking to build minimum ICP pressure, see ICP pressure.
-Minimum cranking speed should be 175 rpm cold and 215 rpm warm.
-Glow plugs; they should pull approx 170-180 amps total for a cold engine, which will drop to about 120 amps after about 15 seconds. If the amp draw is below 10-12 amps per glow plug then you will need to replace some glow plugs. CAUTION; upon removal of the glow plugs, the glow plug sleeve will sometimes pull out with the glow plug. This will require that the head be pulled in order to replace the glow plug sleeve
-Injector spool valves sticky
- 2004 with a sticky intake throttle plate can cause a hard start.
-Glow plug harness chaffing
-Glow Plug control module connector problems (pin tension, water intrusion, bent pins)
ICP pressure and IPR information
The IPR valve is normally open; it takes a 12 volt pulse width modulated ground signal to actuate the IPR.
-Monitor the ICP while cranking, if it is .4v to .5v (200 psi) it is a possible stuck IPR. The system will build 200 psi even if the IPR is open. Make sure that oil pressure registers on the dash gauge while cranking, if not you may not enough low oil pressure.
-If the ICP is .6v to .7v (400 psi) then it is very likely that you have a high pressure leak
-Compare actual to desired ICP on the scan tool, if actual is below desired.
-If ICP is low remove IPR and check for metal on the screen. If you have metal on the IPR screen then the high pressure pump and IPR will need to be replaced. You will also need to check the screen under the oil cooler, toward the front of the engine valley and clean or replace as necessary. The oil rails and check valves will need to be flushed to remove any debris. Of course the debris may have gotten into the injectors as well and could cause problems with a miss or rough run.
-The ICP pressure should be stable and not erratic. If it is erratic then you could have a high pressure side leak or a sticky IPR valve (requires replacement), or debris in the check valves which will require replacement as well.
-The ICP sensor can leak oil, if this happens replace both the sensor and the ICP pigtail connector
-ICP sensor should read .16 - .28 volts (less than 70 psi) KOEO at normal operating temperature after the engine has been off for at least 2 minutes.
-2004 ¼ and up should be updated to the latest oil standpipe design.
Miss, rough run, vibration or flutter
-PCM is flashed to the latest calibration?
-Injectors can cause a miss, rough run or surge when cold if the spool valves are sticking. There is currently a re-flash to operate the injector spool valves during the glow plug cycle time in order to free up the spool valves. Excessive oil change interval can cause the spool valves to stick.
-perform a relative compression test and a power balance test to verify miss on a particular cylinder.
-Low fuel supply pressure, particularly when cold. Fuel supply pressure should be 45 psi minimum, KOEO and 45 psi minimum on WOT hard acceleration.
-Check valves in the high pressure oil circuit that feeds each injector rail can break.The check valve (snubber) plates have 3 small tabs; if any of the tabs are broken they can stick in the oil inlet to the injectors. You will need to flush the oil rail to find any missing tabs.
-Dual mass flywheel bad (used in 2003 & 2004)
-FICM if bad should miss at all temperature ranges
-Is the PCM flashed to the latest calibration?
-Dirty air filter / Dirty fuel filter
-Exhaust leaks (hiss, squeal or smell)
-Injector spool valves sticking
-Biased MAP sensor
-Low FICM voltage
-PCM at the latest calibration?
Bad injectors can cause a surge, hard start, cold rough run, low power, black smoke or a miss. Address oil and fuel maintenance issues and aeration before replacing injectors.
-Injector installation is critical, improper torque will cause injector chamber gasket failures.
-Injector chamber gasket failures will result in aeration in the fuel from combustion gases.
-Failure to remove the oil from the hold down bolt hole will result in improper torque.
-Broken injector stator housings, when the two bolts that holds the stator housing to the injector body break, are caused by air in the fuel.
-2004 1/4 vehicles need to update the stand pipes when replacing injectors.
Turbo failure diagnostics
-Normal boost 25 – 29 psi (22-25 psi in 3rd gear at WOT, per Ford)
-The Variable Vane Turbocharger (VGT) that is on the 6.0L uses engine oil to move the vane positions in order to improve turbo response and control boost pressures.
- If you have a squealing noise, particularly when using a scan tool to close the vanes, look for leaks at the EGR cooler connections, turbine inlet and turbine outlet. If the turbocharger has been recently replaced check for misaligned pipes and other leak point as noted above. If the turbo is responsible for a squealing noise, expect to find the wheels rubbing the housings and bearing failure.
-A “bark” or “chuffing” sound from the turbo usually indicates the turbo vanes are stuck or sticky. Often caused by excessive idle time,
-Turbo vane failures (sticking) can cause EGR codes to set.
- Run the KOER EGR and VGT test multiple times to check for erratic operation or sticking.
-Excessive exhaust back pressure due to sticky vanes can cause pressures as high as 80 psi, which can cause EGR cooler failures.
-There is no vane position sensor and the system ignores EBP on the 03-05 models so if boost is low the PCM tells the vanes to close in order to create more turbo boost (MAP).
-Boost leaks (intake, intercooler or piping) can also cause high or excessive back pressure because the vanes close to create more boost.
-The oil pressure tube feeding the turbo can plug which will result in actuator or turbo bearing failure. Turbo bearing failure due to oil starvation from plugged oil feed line, will repeat itself and is not a warrantable turbo failure.
-Squeal could be vanes sticking closed, a boost leak or an exhaust leak. The left side “Y” pipe is known to crack and cause a squeal.
EGR and EGR codes
-Is the PCM re-flashed to the latest calibration?
-Check the turbo, if the vanes are sticky, that will affect MAF and possibly set EGR codes, such as P0404
-Check the air filter, a dirty air filter will affect MAF and could cause EGR codes to set.
-Some performance air intake systems will set EGR codes (they affect MAF right)
-A dirty IAT2 sensor can cause EGR codes because the PCM expects to see and increased temp reading when the EGR is turned on. If the temperature increase doesn’t change fast enough it can effect turbo operation as well as EGR operation.
-EGR coking can be reduced by using a crankcase vent filter kit such as the BD 1032175 -EGR coking can also be reduced by using Stanadyne Performance formula to improve combustion and reduce carbon in the exhaust. If you find a condition where the EGR was causing a surge or stalling and disconnecting the EGR corrects it, check VGT turbo performance. Use the IDS to run the VGT from 0 – 80% and verify. The turbo could pass the KOER & VGT test even with a bad VGT control valve.
- If the EGR valve fails the system test, replace it don’t just clean it.
-Check the EGR cooler; remove the EGR valve and inspect, is it wet with coolant? Raise the rear of the vehicle to see if any coolant flows into the EGR hole from the EGR cooler. Pressurize the coolant system using the proper tools and inspect for leaks.
-If the EGR cooler is leaking, many times it was caused by excessive back pressure. See the turbo section for diagnosing excessive back pressure.
Stalling and Dies
-FICM voltage should be 48 volts, if it drops below 45 volts it could be a connection issue, in need of a re-flash, or a bad FICM
-High pressure oil leak, which will usually happen more often when the oil is warm because it is thinner then.
-Is the PCM flashed to the latest calibration specification?
-Injector spool valves (see injector section)
-Turbo, see the turbo section
White Smoke Cold
- White smoke cold could be caused by the spool valves sticking in the injectors, see “Miss Rough Run” section for more information.
Wire Chaffing Issues
-Wire chaffing can cause a variety of drivability problems, common locations are valve cover bolts, near the FICM, or intake bolts where the wire harness is routed under the air intake hose. Other possible problem areas are the thermostat housing, idler pulleys, glow plug relay brace, relay box braces, and near the PCM by the battery.
Common DTC (trouble codes)
-P0263; cylinder balance #1
-P0266; cylinder balance #2
-P0269; cylinder balance #3
-P0272; cylinder balance #4
-P0275; cylinder balance #5
-P0278; cylinder balance #6
-P0281; cylinder balance #7
-P0284; cylinder balance #8
-P0299; turbo under boost (see turbo info)
-P0336; CKP range-performance
-P0341; CMP range-Performance
-P0401; EGR Insufficient flow (see EGR info)
-P0402; EGR Excessive flow (see EGR info)
-P0611; FICM Performance (replace FICM)
-P0671-P0678; Glow Plug circuit codes
-P1334; EGR Throttle MIN Stop Performance (2004 throttle plate stuck)
-P2269; Water in fuel
-P2284; ICP sensor CKT range-performance (see ICP info)
-P2285; ICP sensor CKT low (see ICP info)
-P2614 & P2617, if set with other codes diagnose other codes first, these can set with a chaffed harness or low fuel pressure.
Ford 6.0 L Cylinder location and Firing Order
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94 - 03 7.3L Diagnostics on PDF
This guide is not a substitute for the proper diagnostic manuals and a scan tool. It is intended to be used with the proper tools to help diagnose and solve drivability issues.
Performance boxes that tap into or connect into the vehicle wiring should be removed to make certain that they are not causing any of the following complaints. Also chips, including downloaded ones like superchips, can cause false MAP readings on the scan tool. They will cause the actual EBP and MAP to go higher due to more fuel delivery.
Low or dirty oil can cause intermittent low power, miss, rough run, no start etc. Make sure the oil level is correct and the oil is in good condition (less than 3000 miles before trying to cure any other drivability or starting issues.
Most PowerStroke that we see, with starting or performance issues don't set codes, if you have DTC codes, proceed to the DTC code section first. If you don't have a scan tool, the diagnostics, other than visual examination or parts changing, is difficult at best.
1. DTC P0340 Bad CMP Sensor
2. Are you getting smoke while cranking (after about 10 seconds) if no smoke then no fuel is getting into the engine
3. Low oil level
4. Fuel supply pressure low; Plugged fuel filter or no fuel in tank, minimum 20 psi cranking, and 99-03 should be 50 psi cranking
5. Refer to Hard Start or No Start Issues below
NO START OR HARD START COLD
1. Check to make sure that 10.8 or more volts are going the glow plugs from the relay. The glow plugs don't cycle until EOT (engine oil temp.) is below specification, which varies by vehicle year. The engine should start without the glow plugs energized down to about 40 degrees. Look at the volt gauge in the dash, the glow plugs will cycle up to 120 seconds depending on EOT
2. Refer to No Start or Hard Start Issues below
3. Bad wire harness connections at the valve cover gaskets, internal or external connections. Examine the connections, do pin tension tests also smell for burnt wires.
4. Injectors bad; Injectors with high miles on them can fail to operate cold. If correct PW displays on cranking you can remove the valve cover and watch the oil spill discharge, every injector should discharge oil when pulsed by the IDM during cranking. If no pulse of oil then the injector isn't activating and injecting fuel into the cylinders. Running several buzz tests cold will sometimes free up the injectors. This is typical in a high mileage situation with inadequate engine oil changes.
NO START OR HARD START HOT
1. Refer to other hard start or no start issues below
2. IPR (Injection Pressure Regulator) bad, will cause low ICP
3. IPR o-rings bad, will cause low ICP
4. Injector o-rings bad, will cause low ICP. Should also show up as black fuel (from oil in fuel) in filter canister.
5 High pressure oil pump bad, will show up as low ICP
6. Engine oil worn out or too thin
7. Cranking speed too slow, should be 180 rpm minimum when warm
OTHER NO START OR HARD START ISSUES
When trying to diagnose hard start or no start issues a scan tool is needed to check and monitor the ICP (Injection Control Pressure), RPM (From the CMP) Vehicle Voltage during cranking and PW (Pulse Width) signal.
1. RPM, minimum 100 rpm cranking speed (When warm it should be over 180 rpm)
2. ICP, minimum required for starting 500 psi if no rpm signal, ICP won't go over 400 psi
3. Voltage during cranking 7-10 volts minimum depending on year
4. Pulse Width; 0 ms means no sync, 1994-1997 .42 ms indicates that PCM and IDM are in sync (on 99-03 it should be .60 ms) and the PCM is waiting on the ICP to reach the minimum pressure. When min. ICP is reached PW should change to 1-6 ms
5. If any of the above doesn't meet the minimum specification, solve the problem as-per the appropriate Ford Diagnostic Manual.
LOW POWER POOR MILEAGE
1. Fuel filter dirty; recommend changing every 8-10,000 miles
2. Air Filter dirty; the filter minders don't always work, visually inspect the air filter for excessive contamination. CAUTION; When inspecting or changing the air filter on the 94-97 PowerStroke, make sure to clean out the air filter housing, because setting the filter back in on top of the bugs and dirt that dropped off will result in turbo or engine damage from unfiltered air.
3. Exhaust leak before the turbo at the turbo feed pipes or the donuts that seal them.
4. Fuel filter housing return screen, in the 1994-1997 the screen will become plugged not allowing aerated fuel to return to the tank.
5. Throttle voltage should be 3.85-3.95 volts at WOT; check floor mats or a bad throttle assembly
6. Fuel supply pressure below 50 psi can cause a low power or hesitation problem. Check at idle and at WOT a plugged fuel filter, bad pressure regulator, bad supply pump or a restriction in the tank can cause low pressure.
LOW POWER POOR MILEAGE
To make further checks you need to monitor the following PIDs with a scan tool. Normal readings for EBP (exhaust back pressure) MAP (manifold air pressure, boost) and BARO (barometric pressure) Note; all readings are in absolute pressure, so you must subtract KOEO (key on, engine off) MAP readings from WOT (Wide open throttle) readings to get gauge pressure. The following readings are for about 500-1000 foot elevation, higher elevation will give lower base readings due to lower atmospheric pressure.
IE: At 5000 foot elevation BARO would be about 12.1 psi
NOTE; at KOEO all three readings should be within .2/10ths, if not repair or replace the bad sensor before continuing. BARO won't change with the engine running
|1994-1997||KOEO||IDLE||WOT, HARD ACCERERATION|
|1999-2003||KOEO||IDLE||WOT, HARD ACCERERATION|
|1994-1997||IDLE||WOT in neutral||HARD ACCELLERATION|
|1999-2003||IDLE||WOT in neutral||HARD ACCELERATION|
MISS OR ROUGH RUN
1. Check valve cover connectors for burnt or bad connections, do a pin tension test.
2, Manual Transmissions; check for bad dual mass flywheel, this will cause false cylinder contribution codes if the flywheel is bouncing around.
3. Run a cylinder contribution test.
4. Check the turbocharger compressor wheel, if dusted or damaged from poor air inlet filtration, run a compression test before replacing any injectors. Low compression will cause a rough run.
1. DTC P0344 CMP sensor erratic
2. Loose IPR Solenoid or chaffed wires at solenoid
3. Low engine oil
KNOCK OR CACKLE
1. Low fuel supply pressure, Normal as follows;
1994-1997; 50 psi at idle and 55 psi at WOT
1999-2003; 50 psi at idle and 45 psi at WOT
2. Aeration in the oil
CHIRP OR COMPRESSOR SURGE AT SHIFT POINTS
When a 99.5 to 2003 has been "hopped up" it can cause the compressor wheel to chirp or surge at higher boost levels (25 psi or so). You need to replace the compressor wheel with the same wheel used in the 1994-1997 turbos.
EXCESS OIL CONSUMPTION
1. Bad injector o-rings, on the 94-97 oil from the leaking o-rings will return back to the fuel filter housing and the fuel will be black from oil.
2. Internal o-rings can cause excessive oil consumption and not show up as black fuel.
3. 99-03 engines don't have a fuel return off the heads, so in the unlikely event of injector o-ring failures, the fuel will not be black from oil.
4. Turbo; this engine is a closed crank vent system, which means it pulls crank vent fumes into the inlet of the turbo. You must compare the amount of oil at the compressor inlet with the amount of oil at the compressor outlet, before condemning a turbo. Excessive blow by will be pushed out the crank vent and pulled in by the turbocharger.
SURGE AT IDLE
1. ICP circuit problem, disconnect the ICP sensor, if the surge goes away then you possibly have a bad ICP sensor.
2. AA code injectors installed into a engine that require AB code injectors will cause a surge (California emissions engines in 96 and 97 require AB injectors)
1. Usually a bad CMP (cam position sensor)
1. Usually a bad CMP
2. Can be caused by excessive cranking
1. Can set if the vehicle is equipped with an exhaust brake.
DTC P0603; KAM (keep alive memory)
1. If the batteries were previously disconnected, this code will set and be stored until cleared.
2. If the PCM was unplugged this may cause this code to set.
1. If there is a chip plugged into the PCM that will cause this code.
2. Excessive cranking can cause this code.
DTC P1211; Indicates that the injection control pressure was above or below command desired during self test mode.
1. Check Oil level.
2. Possible bad IPR or IPR o-rings
DTC P1212; will set if 725 psi ICP is not detected in 6-15 seconds of cranking.
1. Check oil level.
2. Possible bad IPR or IPR o-rings.
DTC P1261 to 1268 LOW side to battery +
1. Check valve cover wire harness connections first, including under the valve cover.
DTC P1271-1278 Low to high side open
1. Check wire harness connections and pin tension of valve cover connections
DTC P1280 ICP Circuit low, PCM will default to 725 psi at idle
1. If other codes are present repair those first.
2. IDM likely bad, replace
Oil Change Intervals; Oil changes done at 5000 miles when the vehicle is driven in the severe service category (3000 mile change interval) will result in failures of turbochargers, IPR, High Pressure Oil Pumps, and Injectors before the "normal" life expectancy.
Further Diagnostic information available is from the following:
1. www.Motorcraft.com on-line sign up by the day, month or year, follow the links to technical resources.
2. www.helminc.com Service manuals and Powertrain and Emissions Control Diagnostic manuals.
3. www.Auto-Video.com 7.3L Diagnostics on DVD, you must have scan tool to make this DVD worthwhile.
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Ford IDI 1983 - 1994 Diagnostic information (click to open PDF)
6.9L & 7.3L IDI | 1994-2003 7.3L Powerstroke | 2003-2007 6.0L Powerstroke