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Old 10-20-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 3
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Ford Collins
Chassis: E350 short bus
Engine: 7.2L Diesel
Rated Cap: 13
1994 Ford E350 starter issue? HELP!

I have a 1994 E350 Diesel Short bus. It won't start up after sitting for a few months. The battery is in okay shape according to the autoparts store. When I try to start it, it starts to turn over and I get some smoke out the tailpipe. However, the engine doesn't get going fast enough and the battery drains really fast. I think it might be the starter. I'm not good at mechanical stuff. It's parked in tricky spot between two trees (one in front and one behind with about 3 feet of clearance either direction) so I'm not sure if a tow would be possible.

Is replacing a starter something a novice can do?

If you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear them!!!!

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Old 10-20-2018, 03:09 PM   #2
Bus Geek
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 3,025
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
The battery might be in OK shape but it still needs a good full charge in it to turn a diesel over.
If you have a battery charger then put it on slow charge over night or on boost for about 10-15 min. And try again.
The smoke out of the exhaust tells me the fuel is there.
but if it has been setting what is the condition of the fuel?
Try a good hot battery first.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:47 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 819
Year: 1993
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 66
Batteries are probably weak. The stock batteries in the E series are junk and undersized at best for cranking the diesel over.

I'm assuming since its a '94, its an IDI... not a powerstroke.

How quickly does it crank and slow down? If it takes longer then 5 seconds of cranking, you are more then likely getting some air in the fuel system or the glow plug system needs some attention.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:34 PM   #4
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Johnny Mullet's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Must have a good, fast crank to fire it. I suggest fully charging or replacing the batteries. There should be 2 of them.
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