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Old 07-22-2019, 11:54 AM   #61
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Year: 2003
Chassis: E-450
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
It can happen. I'd approach your future troubleshooting focused on the very high likelihood that the two problems are related, and/or are different manifestations of the same problem with the same root cause. But sometimes two crap things can happen at once, which can lead to the most frustrating moments ever. Still, I'd eliminate every possible scenario that could explain all the behavior you've experienced before I entertained the possibility of a great coincidence.

You sure you don't have a poor ground connection somewhere?

I can't wait to find out what the problem is. I'd be surprised if it was fuel-delivery related - unless as a consequence of an electrical malfunction - but what little I do know is based on much smaller gasoline-powered engines, so I plead ignorance.
I've thought a lot about the alternator. I think that particular problem had to be a bad connection causing arcing and the heat required to melt away the entire stud. The wire leaving that connection has both a regular fuse and a fusable link before it gets anywhere else, and I think that a high voltage problem either from the voltage regulator going bad or some weird input from something external to the alternator would have done something to the fuses before melting a stud off.

If it was in fact a bad connection that caused the alternator problem, then for the problems to be related I guess I'd be looking at the arcing having caused damage to something else nearby?
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:30 PM   #62
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Did you happen to get any pics of the old alternator while still installed. Would like to see that connection to the stud. Was the nut loose at all?
That would create some heat, possibly enough to melt the stud off but have never seen that personally, I guess because the nut never generally works itself loose. Human error will do that if one forgot to tighten the nut well.
So heat gets created and perhaps not enough current flow to blow any fuse or fuse link in that configuration.


About your fuel..do you use a conditioner in your tank? This is algae growth season ya know. Is a possibility too.
Do you fill your tank slowly or hold the pump on full force when filling. Very slow is the way to go due to the amount of foam a fast fill of diesel fuel creates. Adds lots of air bubbles to the system that might give poor running at any rpm.
Glad you made it ok, was beginning to wonder!


John
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:50 PM   #63
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Do you have an ODB reader? Any codes?
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:54 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Did you happen to get any pics of the old alternator while still installed. Would like to see that connection to the stud. Was the nut loose at all?
That would create some heat, possibly enough to melt the stud off but have never seen that personally, I guess because the nut never generally works itself loose. Human error will do that if one forgot to tighten the nut well.
So heat gets created and perhaps not enough current flow to blow any fuse or fuse link in that configuration.


About your fuel..do you use a conditioner in your tank? This is algae growth season ya know. Is a possibility too.
Do you fill your tank slowly or hold the pump on full force when filling. Very slow is the way to go due to the amount of foam a fast fill of diesel fuel creates. Adds lots of air bubbles to the system that might give poor running at any rpm.
Glad you made it ok, was beginning to wonder!


John
No pics of when it was installed, but there wasn't any connection left to speak of. When I say the entire stud melted off, I mean that there actually was nothing left. The wire and terminal were just hanging behind it.

When I replaced the alternator the first time, I know that it was connected well - but the terminal was not in great shape to begin with, complete with a crack / break. I didn't think it would be a problem with a washer and strong connection, but I'm sure this was my fault. The terminal in question was removed and replaced before connecting the new alternator this time.

I'm pretty sure I have a picture of after I took it off. I'll look.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:55 PM   #65
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Do you have an ODB reader? Any codes?
Yes, I'm about to go read it now.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:59 PM   #66
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:04 PM   #67
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Here is one of how bad the terminal was by the time all this happened

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Old 07-22-2019, 04:11 PM   #68
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Beautiful shots of what once was molten metal.



Reminds me of a trailer hitch weld I saw recently but a nicer job actually imho.


Don't feel bad I remember a few cracked lugs that I had no choice to change at the time. Some last, some don't/


So hope you have this settled, code check and roll on.


John
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:10 PM   #69
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A failing cam position sensor will give you random "ignition off, ignition on" hiccups. It can also stall long enough to put you on the side of the road then restart or stall and not restart. The CPS itself is cheap (around 30 bucks) and relatively easy to replace on the front of the engine just below the water pump. It's a known issue with the 7.3/T444e engine although the later years (and your 2003 is the very latest) got more a reliable CPS. I carry a spare with me.

Sure can't hurt to have a look at the filter and strainers. Some of the Ford fuel tanks are known to have delamination problems where the inside coating of the tank flakes off and plugs the strainers. You'll need the Ford quick disconnect tools to get the fuel pickup out. They can be had at any auto parts store pretty cheaply. I cleaned my strainers with some brake cleaner spray.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:47 PM   #70
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Welcome back! Glad you got mobile again. Sorry the asides didn't degenerate sufficiently to bring Canadian Bacon to the table.
Yup, I do believe you experienced a perfect storm. Don't you feel fortunate to have been at the focal point of two convergent waves?!
Inconvenient, and quite possibly unrelated.
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...And at least the conversation centered on bacon while I was missing.

And it appears we are dealing with two separate problems. The weird stalling issue has persisted even after the alternator was replaced.

...And then the other interesting thing I noticed is that it seems to happen entirely in a very narrow range around a half full tank. It could be a fluke, but it did not stall at all when full or near empty. Every time it was at a half tank, it didnít just stall - it stalled frequently. It doesnít make sense why that would be the case to me, but I figured I would share that detail in case someone else sees something in that fact that I donít...
Your description of that narrow band were it acts up has been like an itch that I can't... quite... reach...
The improbability of it being caused by anything other than the pump/fuel sender unit seems patently ludicrous to me.
That would be the very first thing I'd attack. While the other solutions offered on the stalling glitch are commendable, they'd only be applicable if the problem presented across the board.
As a scientist, I know that when I see a bald-faced outlier, one that is consistently repeatable, I'm behooved to run it to ground.
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