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Old 03-11-2019, 02:25 PM   #1
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T444E not starting

My bus has been sitting for a month and would not start. I got a Noco boost pro GB150 4000 amp jump starter and a 4 gauge set of jumper cables as the batteries drain fast after continuous cranking. The bus is sitting in a puddle of water so I am not crawling under it. lol. in the pics is my Glow Plug Relay Solenoid. I noted that is was lightly smoking and extremely hot to the touch. Could it be the culprit? or is it just hot from continuous cranking. I haven't really got a lot of time under the hood of this bus and the T444e (7.3L) is new to me. I need to familiarize myself with it. Is that the fuel filter in the second picture? not sure where the water separator is but I might look into fuel delivery. I am also thinking I need to buy one of those ScanGauge D so many of you are fond of. has anyone used an obdII reader with an adapter and successfully read codes?

20190310_122001.jpeg20190310_122005.jpeg
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:56 PM   #2
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It sucks that I am here at work and not at home with my bus. I also wish I had more pictures to share so you all can tell this dumb guy where to look. where is the priming button located? how about the fuel/water separator? poor bus needs to get some miles on her. I have 1/2 tank of fuel. hope it is not the pump because I put my flooring over the access hole. I did take measurements for where the opening is, just in case I need to cut it to access it. other thought. I know my coolant is just at the add line (or low line) perhaps just a shade under as I haven't wanted to add more because I need to change a heater hose line inside the bus. any suggestions would be helpful.

in regards to a scangauge d, would money be better spent on something else? I wish the display was larger like on my Chevy Duramax. it is an edge CTS touch display.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:22 PM   #3
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a smoking glowplug relay is a bit abnormal... rather than a jump box do you have an actual battery charger? I found that I could never restart my 444E after dead batteries with any kind of Jump aid.. not even another diesel bus.. once I charged my batteries overnight. it would spin right over and go.... the computer appears to need an extra fast spin up with solid voltage. after the batteries have been killed... the book says it needs 160 RPM... the glowplug relay is probably not designed for continuous duty but intermittent so if you are constantly key off key on crank.. key off key on.. it will get hot... if it gets too hot or is defective then it may not actually make contact...

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Old 03-11-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
a smoking glowplug relay is a bit abnormal... rather than a jump box do you have an actual battery charger? I found that I could never restart my 444E after dead batteries with any kind of Jump aid.. not even another diesel bus.. once I charged my batteries overnight. it would spin right over and go.... the computer appears to need an extra fast spin up with solid voltage. after the batteries have been killed... the book says it needs 160 RPM... the glowplug relay is probably not designed for continuous duty but intermittent so if you are constantly key off key on crank.. key off key on.. it will get hot... if it gets too hot or is defective then it may not actually make contact...

-Christopher
Thanks Christopher! I would have to take the batteries out as I am not near shore power. My bus is about 200 yards to my house at the end of our street. have to pack them in my wheelbarrow. even using my truck and jumper cables couldn't start it....
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:10 PM   #5
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the damn things are finicky.. its possuble you could leave your truckl connec ted and running for an hour or so which would give the batteries a decent charge if they are good batteries... luckily where i park mine has outlets so if I kill the batteries I can charge them.. but even when i used another bus and the engine sure sounded like any respectable car engine would when cranking.. the darn thing would not fire.. and didnt set any codes...
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:57 PM   #6
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prior to starting the bus the meter read 12.1 volts. just the continuous and repeated cranking kills the batteries. Since I don't know the history of the bus I should get the batteries bench tested but it is low on the priority list as I am mid build and don't want to invest in new ones until I am ready for travel.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:50 PM   #7
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Even a normal true 8-cyl don't like starting below 12.3 battery charge.
A diesel is going to require 13.2 minimum to at least 14.3 on a cold system.
Charge your batteries over night and you should fire up just fine.
Be careful of the starting fluid mess unless your engine is dead cold ?
The glow plugs will blow it back in your face.
A spray bottle of gas is better than either.
Either is like a drug addictions to a new older diesel.
Once or twice is not bad but constant use it wants it?
A little squirt of gas will have the same effect without the addiction.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:57 PM   #8
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I would at least replace the fuel filter or make sure the fuel filter bowl is full of fuel. before trying again with charged batteries. Your bus might also have a diagnostics button on the dash somewhere to retrieve the blink codes if there is another issue.

Key "ON" then hold diag button a few seconds and then retrieve the 3 digit codes from the flashing check engine light. Have a pen and paper handy to write the codes down. The light flashes equal the number like 2 flashes would be 2 and so on. The codes will have 3 digits and there may be more than one.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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So, what's the weather link there? Presumably pretty cold. Your glow plugs should be firing off, and when they're on they pull nearly 100A. On my mus, that means my voltage reads in the 11s, sometimes even 10.5 while they're on. if you're not seeing that huge drop in power, I'd suspect that your bus isn't starting because your glow plugs aren't really working.

Quick way to find out is to bridge the two big terminals on the glow plug relay with a screwdriver (plastic handled of course) for about 20 seconds before turning the starter.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:45 PM   #10
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At 12.1 volts those batteries were at about 35% charge. The glows and starter are big draws so you may not have had enough juice to feed them both when starting.

After I start my 7.3L the digital battery gauge will read down near 11 volts for 30 seconds or so before the glows shut off so there's a considerable drain when starting these beasties. I'd give those batteries a good overnight recharge and try again.

If your bus was parked with summer grade diesel and you're trying to start in cold weather that may be part of the problem.

You won't see 14 volts without a charger connected or the engine running. Normal, fully charged volts will be 12.6 or 12.7 volts after charging. Battery voltage may read 13.2 or so until the surface charge drains off in a hour or so.
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