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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm having some stalling and hard starting problems. Before I jump on a new Heath FSD, I though I would get some opinions on my problems. - here's the background:
1996 2500 4x4, 5 speed tranny
192,000 miles when purchased last February, 200,400 miles now
PO claimed to have installed a rebuilt engine at 190,000 miles

The truck is used primary around the farm. About 4 weeks ago it stalled twice while driving through a field. 2 weeks ago, I left to tow home a car 500 miles away. It stalled about 15 miles from home on the highway and again at a stoplight 30 miles from home. I had trouble getting it to restart at the light, finally got it going and drove it back home without problems. Now I have difficulty even getting it to start. Usually have no WTS light. When I get a WTS light, it will either start right up or all the cranking in the world won't start it.

One other possibly related issue. Since I've owned it, I will sometimes get no crank. I can then hit the start position on the key switch two or three times and will eventually get it to crank. Seems like a bad starter, ground, or maybe the ignition switch. Not sure how any of those may fit into the stalling and hard start problem.

1. Does the engine Turn over? yes
1a. Does the engine start? about 20% of the time
1b. Do you have a Wait To Start Light & duration lit. WTS light only lights about 1 out of 3 tries. When the WTS light does not light the rest of the dash lights are dimmmer than usual
1c. Ambient Condition (temperature outside) 90F
1d. Engine Cranking speed (if you have an accurate tachometer). Tach does not register when cranking. Sounds like normal speed though.
1e. Are you experiencing stalling? yes
1f. If Stalling, describe (upon startup only, down the road, hit a bump etc) upon startup and down the road
1g. If Stalling, do you notice loss of dash or instruments? yes
-note if experiencing stalling,you must indicate PMD location in #24.
1.1Lift pump test - describe results Lift pump audibly runs, diesel coming from hose. Lift pump does nothing if the WTS light does not light.​
2.Service Engine Light - on/off/intermittent off
3.Model year 1996
3a. Odometer reading 200,400 miles, engine rebuilt at 190,000
3b. Miles on major engine components if been replaced (example Injection pump) don't know
3c. Indicate the model number on the Injection pump (starts DS4 or DB2......) DS4 I think
4. Have you scanned for engine codes? (varies by pre/post 96) yes/no Haven't scanned for codes. Not sure I'll get home if I drive to town.
5. List exact results on engine codes:
6.Air Filter condition (visual check) Needs to be replaced. Tried removing air filter did not help.
7.Fuel filter condition (freshly changed or condition unknown) 200 miles on new filter
8.Condition of Battery terminal connections (removed, cleaned and tightened) cleaned terminals
8A.Known condition and age of the batteries. don't know, they don't look that old
8B.Are batteries of differing age or are they a matched set? matched set
8C.Condition of Major Grounds. (same drill as batt - removed, cleaned, retightened) Cleaned two battery grounds, two grounds on the intake manifold, one ground on the passenger fender, Is there one to the frame somewhere?
9.Upon cold start, does the radiator hose get hard quickly? Yes/no No
10.Upon cold start, do you have excessive white smoke? Yes/no No
11.Do you have excessive cranking time before the engine starts? No, if it starts it will start quickly with minimal cranking. Otherwise several seconds of cranking won't start it.
12.Have you used the block heater, and does this effect engine starting?(only try for starting problems) Haven't tried the block heater. I don't think it's a glow plug problem.
13.During hard acceleration, do you have excessive black smoke? Yes/no NO
14.Do you have any unusual exhaust smoke issues? No
15.Turbo check out - pass/fail Pass
16.Do you have an EGR on the engine? (An F or an S engine code) F engine
17.Indicate if you know if it’s a 1500, 2500, 2500HD, 3500, 3500HD. 2500
18.Indicate fuel that you are using: Bio-diesel, #2 Diesel, #1Diesel, SVO/WVO, other It's had a couple of B30 tanks. Recently only #2 diesel.
18a. If running a VO setup, indicate details of your conversion (homemade, or packaged system) NO VO
19.Are you using any fuel additives? If so, please list. No additives
20.Please indicate geographic region you are in: (example: Texas or Canada) Texas panhandle
21.Do you have any service history available that might pertain to the problem you are having? No records
22.Please indicate any modifications to the vehicle that might help us diagnose better. No mods I'm aware of
23.Upon unscrewing the fuel cap, do you have a large vacuum formed in the tank? yes/no Haven't noticed any vacuum
24.Location of PMD/FSD? On the pump/remoted over intake/remoted out of engine bay (please specify specifically) On the pump
25.Are ALL glow plugs in proper working order as per this thread? Haven't checked glow plugs. When it starts, it starts easy.
 

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Welcome to the 'Place, csp...........

Initial symptom is failed Ign switch, but check the battery terminal connection where the left and right cables join - all other grounds and connections clean, could be start relay in courtesy center or the starter solenoid if the starter is not cranking - intermittent WTS is more the IGN switch, with crank but no start
 

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See if you can get it started and make it die by wiggling around the ignition switch. The fact that gauges are dieing when stalling is pointing me there.

Also two major ground straps on passenger side firewall fairly low in engine bay. If you remove passenger wheel well you can get to them. One goes to frame and the other to right bank back of head. Both connect to firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
corolla;1954953; said:
Is the lift pump intermittent with the WTS lamp?
Yes, I believe it's intermittant with WTS lamp. If the lamp lights the lift pump works. If the lamp doesn't light, the lift pump doesn't work.
 

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It is starting to sound more and more like the ignition switch. But for $100+, I do a little more diagnosing.
 

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I would agree with powerchallenge and continue to troubleshoot, having said that it sure sounds like what mine was doing.
I replaced the ignition switch, its much better.
As trouble shooting remove the lower steering column cover and inspect the ignition wiring harness (runs from the key across to the drivers side then down along the column), see if the tape wrapped around the harness is falling off and the wires are covered in a sticky goo
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Thank you much for the update! Wish everyone would post their successes as well as their questions!:)
 
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