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Prepare Your Diesel For Winter

Glow plug system troubleshooting and cold-weather preventative maintenance

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Winter months are the hardest on our vehicles. From road salt to cold start-ups to gelled-up fuel systems, the end of every year marks the beginning of a long battle for diesels. With our '97 Ford F-350 once again back in Illinois for the winter, we decided to ensure that its 7.3L Power Stroke was prepared to perform flawlessly throughout the next five months of dismal weather conditions.

We took our truck over to Flynn's Shop in Alexander, Illinois, and got started by troubleshooting the truck's glow plug system. Then we replaced the glow plugs, valve cover gaskets, the under valve cover harnesses, and the glow plug relay. What we found was that after 14 years, we were overdue on this preventative maintenance project, and it only took us half a day to do everything. Keep in mind that the same basic diagnosis, tips, and tricks shown here apply to any diesel engine that utilizes a glow plug heating system.

Parts List With the cold weather fast approaching, we figured it was time to perform a little maintenance on our '97 7.3L Power Stroke. Our genuine Ford parts list included the items below, which came from Rodeo Ford in Goodyear, Arizona.

UVCH PN F4TZ-9D930-K ('941/2 to '97) $31.70/each 4
Glow plug PN F4TZ-12A342-BA (all years) $10.18/each 8
UVC gasket PN F4TZ-6584-A ('941/2 to '97) $51.14/each 2
Glow plug relay PN F81Z-12B533-AC ('96 to '00) $52.59 1
Total Price: $363.11

*Mention this Diesel Power article in order to get these prices

Flynn's Shop
Rodeo Ford (AZ)
13680 West Test Drive
AZ  85338
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well this is a fairly good write up, except it is just routine maintenance, you should have written up something about trying to remove a frozen glow plug from # 8 or #7 cylinder :)  that is my problem now, all the other 7 were fine but this glow plug seperated the screw in tube part came out and the actual glow plug is still stuck!!  very very bad, wont even come out cranking the engine and trying to pop it out. so guess what i am doing ?  pulling the drivers side head and actually its not that bad im about 5 hours in and all i have left is to remove the actual head bolts and its off, new bolts and a head gasket and removal of the glow plug and im done. anyways good article, just a little too basic.