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Thread: Manual glow plugs

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    Full Access Member 84-6.9IdI's Avatar
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    Default Manual glow plugs


    I have an 84 with a 6.9 idi that the gp controller is broke off in the head. I was wondering if anyone has tips on how to wire em up to a manual switch. any input is appreciated.

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    Full Access Member hairyboxnoogle's Avatar
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    From what i understand, the 6.9 controller is mounted on the fenderwell. On the 7.3 its mounted to the intake in the back. Nothing is in the head except the glow plugs themselves.
    '79 F-350 Custom, Super Cab Flareside weighs in at 6460 -- 7.3IDI Diesel, Hx35, ZF-5/NP-205. Homemade 6.5" lift and straight pipes. Now i need some bigger tires and some side steps


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    Full-floater Kevin 007's Avatar
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    In the past I have taken an aftermarket HD solenoid and wired the glow plug harness to it. Id have the other end hooked to the positive battery terminal and activate it with a push button switch on the dash. The solenoid must be grounded tho for it to work. A very reliable system.

    I have done this on many rigs including 7.3idis but not a 6.9 yet. Mine will get it as soon as I solve the overheating issue.
    -1984 F-250 ext cab 4x4, 6.9, ZF S5-42, BW1345 t-case, Re-sealed Dana 70 (axle code 73) 3.54's, 3.5'' exhaust, road draft tube, Racor 225 with 2 micron filter replaced the factory stanadyne unit. New Delphi BB codes with a Baby Moose pump. 223,000km (canadian). Oil cooler re-sealed. This truck will never see a turbo, she has been reliable stock, gets good mileage, never been apart and I wish to keep it that way.

    -1985 BJ60 Toyota Landcruiser, 4cyl 5 bearing cam 90hp solid lifter gear driven 3B diesel, inline injection pump, ND 2 micron filter/water seperator, H55F 5 speed, 3.73 gears, closed knuckle front end, pyro and water temp gauges, bio diesel burning, 400,000km, custom bumpers and roof rack, long range fuel tank, motorcycle rack for rear bumper...best rig I have ever owned or driven...bar none, no questions.

    -1981 Honda CT(trail) 110

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    Full-floater Kevin 007's Avatar
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    And apperently, you can remove the purple wire from the glow plug relay on passenger inner fender, and have your push button switch wired to the terminal where ther purple wire was. that gives you manual control. I haven't tried this yet.
    -1984 F-250 ext cab 4x4, 6.9, ZF S5-42, BW1345 t-case, Re-sealed Dana 70 (axle code 73) 3.54's, 3.5'' exhaust, road draft tube, Racor 225 with 2 micron filter replaced the factory stanadyne unit. New Delphi BB codes with a Baby Moose pump. 223,000km (canadian). Oil cooler re-sealed. This truck will never see a turbo, she has been reliable stock, gets good mileage, never been apart and I wish to keep it that way.

    -1985 BJ60 Toyota Landcruiser, 4cyl 5 bearing cam 90hp solid lifter gear driven 3B diesel, inline injection pump, ND 2 micron filter/water seperator, H55F 5 speed, 3.73 gears, closed knuckle front end, pyro and water temp gauges, bio diesel burning, 400,000km, custom bumpers and roof rack, long range fuel tank, motorcycle rack for rear bumper...best rig I have ever owned or driven...bar none, no questions.

    -1981 Honda CT(trail) 110

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    Full Access Member 84-6.9IdI's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info I will take a look at it tomorrow. And the controller screws into the back of the engine on the head i'm pretty sure. I'm assuming running it through the relay would give me the ability to use smaller wire because it uses less amps? I'm not too smart with electronics

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    Full-floater Kevin 007's Avatar
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    Not too sure what you mean by that but if you run a manual switch to your relay and wire it to the terminal where your purple wire is now, you shouldn't have to modify any other wiring.
    -1984 F-250 ext cab 4x4, 6.9, ZF S5-42, BW1345 t-case, Re-sealed Dana 70 (axle code 73) 3.54's, 3.5'' exhaust, road draft tube, Racor 225 with 2 micron filter replaced the factory stanadyne unit. New Delphi BB codes with a Baby Moose pump. 223,000km (canadian). Oil cooler re-sealed. This truck will never see a turbo, she has been reliable stock, gets good mileage, never been apart and I wish to keep it that way.

    -1985 BJ60 Toyota Landcruiser, 4cyl 5 bearing cam 90hp solid lifter gear driven 3B diesel, inline injection pump, ND 2 micron filter/water seperator, H55F 5 speed, 3.73 gears, closed knuckle front end, pyro and water temp gauges, bio diesel burning, 400,000km, custom bumpers and roof rack, long range fuel tank, motorcycle rack for rear bumper...best rig I have ever owned or driven...bar none, no questions.

    -1981 Honda CT(trail) 110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin 007 View Post
    Not too sure what you mean by that but if you run a manual switch to your relay and wire it to the terminal where your purple wire is now, you shouldn't have to modify any other wiring.
    What he said, thats all there is to it. And yes you can use the same guage wire as the purple one that you are replacing. The amps are all going through the solenoid.
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    There are two different controllers, the early style and the later style. The early style usually used on the 6.9 has the controller screwed into the engine(the brain part of it) and it controls the solenoid on the fenderwell. I have never switched this system over to manual, but from what I understand you need to find a small hot wire under the dash somewhere, run through a momentary switch, and then run another wire from the switch out to the fender mounted solenoid. The switch will fire the solenoid(small wiring) and the solenoid will then do the heavy work(the larger wiring). To fire this solenoid, that must be the purple wire they are talking about.

    The later type controller is mounted at the rear of the engine, and it's a combination of the controller brain and the solenoid mounted to one piece. This is the type I have, and to convert it you take the white wire loose and tape it off, and then add a wire where the white wire used to be, run it into the cab to a momentary switch, and then run a ground wire to the other side of the switch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hairyboxnoogle View Post
    From what i understand, the 6.9 controller is mounted on the fenderwell. On the 7.3 its mounted to the intake in the back. Nothing is in the head except the glow plugs themselves.
    The relay is on the fender but the controller itself, is screwed into the back of the drivers side head.
    89 F250 4-wheel drive xtra cab, 7.3, Baby moose, C6 auto, Gear Vendors, B&M shifter, Hypermax turbo, side exit straight piped. 153,000 miles.

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  10. #10
    0-60....eventually IDIDieselJohn's Avatar
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    Lemme explain in the most simplest way I know how to do a manual glow plug setup.

    You'll need just a momentary push button, run a wire to the GP solenoid purple wire terminal, make sure to remove the purple wire from solenoid so the truck can't control them, and then find a ignition on hot wire in the cab, connect that to the one side of the momentary switch and the wire you ran to the purple wire terminal, to the other side, bam, done.


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    1994 Ford F150 XL, 4x4, 5 speed, 300-6, Reg. Cab. Short Box, 151,000km (94k miles)
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    Full Access Member CaptTom's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the solid state replacement that IIRC Agnem posted about in the tech articles for the 6.9... no such critter for 7.3.

    BTW- just replaced 1 glow plug yesterday.... really... just one plug can screw it all up. Amazing! I tested them all and only the one tested bad, pulled it and it almost looked fine, some minor swelling at the tip, but probably swelled inside the ground as well. Crazy!
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    Full Access Member 84-6.9IdI's Avatar
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    alright thanks again sorry I am not the best with wording. I will take a look and see what i can do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post

    BTW- just replaced 1 glow plug yesterday.... really... just one plug can screw it all up. Amazing!...... Crazy!
    As long as you stick with the "automatic" factory type glowplug system, that's what you are going to have to deal with. When I changed mine over to manual, it still started, but ran rough for a few seconds a coupe of winters ago. After the weather warmed up enough in the spring to work on it, I found I had been running it with 3 bad glowplugs. The auto system would not have worked with that.

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    Full-floater Kevin 007's Avatar
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    Apparently the flaw with the early controller is when it fails, it fails in the on position and fries all you plugs

    Mine is working fine at them moment but until I have a manual switch; I cringe every time I use it.
    -1984 F-250 ext cab 4x4, 6.9, ZF S5-42, BW1345 t-case, Re-sealed Dana 70 (axle code 73) 3.54's, 3.5'' exhaust, road draft tube, Racor 225 with 2 micron filter replaced the factory stanadyne unit. New Delphi BB codes with a Baby Moose pump. 223,000km (canadian). Oil cooler re-sealed. This truck will never see a turbo, she has been reliable stock, gets good mileage, never been apart and I wish to keep it that way.

    -1985 BJ60 Toyota Landcruiser, 4cyl 5 bearing cam 90hp solid lifter gear driven 3B diesel, inline injection pump, ND 2 micron filter/water seperator, H55F 5 speed, 3.73 gears, closed knuckle front end, pyro and water temp gauges, bio diesel burning, 400,000km, custom bumpers and roof rack, long range fuel tank, motorcycle rack for rear bumper...best rig I have ever owned or driven...bar none, no questions.

    -1981 Honda CT(trail) 110

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    Full Access Member 84-6.9IdI's Avatar
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    Got my glow plugs wired to a switch and it works a heck of a lot better. Keep in mind one of the glow plugs has a broke off terminal so i know for sure one is not working. Who knows how many of them actually work but I do not feel like messing with it outside so I'll just wait till I get it in the garage. I love killing the environment! ;P

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