1993 7.3 IDI Naturally Aspirated CRANK no START after sitting 11 years.

SterlingCharles

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Some thoughts -

1) A common issue not often brought up on this site is if you pull the lifters and let them drain they easily collapse and prevent good compression. (Don’t open the valves all the way.) They may work when rotating the crank by hand, but not during the cranking of the starter. I have seen this on a few threads over the last two years. You said you cleaned them, the oil may be out of them or partially out of them, this may be adding to your low compression. (Or causing artificially low compression.) I don’t recall what folks did to fix, as I recall some got the engine running and higher oil pressure fixed it. If you pull the heads I would soak them in oil for 24/48 hours. If the fill up they should not leak down easily.
2) You replaced the CAM, just make sure it is timed right.
3) You mentioned you have diesel mist coming out of the crankcase, sounds like a ring issue. (Could also be a intake valve not shutting or seating.) Seafoam makes something called deep creep. I would put some in each cylinder for 48 hours to help clean and perhaps break loose the rings. If you pull the heads it is easy to soak and clean/wipeout. If not pulling the heads then pull the glow plugs and soak. The turn the motor by hand a 4 revolutions to get most of it out. Then run the starter and blow out the rest. I would then repeat with a teaspoon of Delo oil in each cylinder. So when it starts the cylinders are lubed.
4) You need to find out why you have compression coming into your cooling system. You mentioned cavitation holes, did you sleeve that piston? If you have a pinhole or two on a cylinder it could be pushing air into your cooling system. But more likely it is one or two head gaskets if you damaged them. So you should pull the heads, look carefully for pin holes in the cylinder walls, often some discoloration around and below the pin hole.(I am not saying you do, but you mentioned above.)
5) You put on a new IP, I would move it one dimes width towards the passenger fender.

Deep creep the cylinders, get some oil in the rings, and put the heads back on. Check your compression again and see if it’s at least 300psi.(I would expect it could start and after running it will increase to 350psi or better.

You started with a non-runner, you did a lot of work, put on a lot of parts, and you just need to be patient and recheck your work. Go step by step and review your work. Think about other potential issues like is your IP solenoid getting power and working. Is the fuel line from the tank to the lift pump working or is it clogged. Are the glow plugs working correctly. Since your pistons did not get water in them you should have a decent bottom end and something else is causing the low compression.

Let us know how you plan to attack and what results you are getting. We can help guide you from there.

What I did was soak the lifters and pushrods in mineral spirits for several days. Then I blew them out with
with compressed air…saw milky oil shoot out. Then I soaked them
In oil for several days then threw them straight in their bores during installation.

Prior to installing I noticed many of them were very hard to compress. I was suspected that they wer seized. I know lifters can be hard to compress but I thought it should have some type of play.
Then there were some lifters that I could push down easily with my finger. Those were the ones that I thought were normal.

You know what I was thinking the same exact thing that oh yeah I’ll be fine to throw these lifters in and they will get filled with oil while cranking to open and close the valves of any lifters that are empty.
Are you suspecting that I replace the lifters??
 

SterlingCharles

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Response to hacked89

Since these aren’t adjustable rockerarms…doesn’t that mean there is no preload.?
 

Big Bart

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I am glad hacked89 chimed in.

My concern is

1) Your low compression and no start is perhaps your lifters are not lifting (Or lifting enough) your valves and 2 or more cylinders have low compression and perhaps preventing you from starting the engine. Also perhaps causing the diesel mist in the crankcase and intake manifold. (Missed stroke (IE - exhaust stroke from lack of valve opening.)) or back pressure from missed stroke.) I have seen where folks take a engine with decent compression and take off the rocker arms/heads, leave the lifters. Put back on the rocker arms and have bad compression. It was the lifters that I assume drained out or filled up for days now did not work correctly. (Perhaps those members did not pre-loaded correctly.) So thank you Hacked89 for your insight on how to address. Some have lifters collapse after the truck has been sitting, warm up the engine, they reload, and engine works fine. Since you pulled apart and replaced lifters I felt it was note worthy.

2) You should not get compression from the engine into your cooling system. Head gasket, crack in block or heads, or cavitation holes can lead to this.
 

Big Bart

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Response to #1 and "common issue" -

The cam pushes on the body of the hydraulic lifter. The pushrod pushes on the plunger side. The spring and check valve assembly when working properly can open and close the valves when the oil cavity is empty. If that assembly is broken you have a bad lifter. You want to prelubricate the body and bore but not preload the lifter. It sounds like you are indicating preloading the lifting, but soaking will not force oil into the lifters oil passage. You shouldn't preload the lifter. The oil gallery to oil passage on the lifter will flow and fill the oil cavity on the lifter once the engine starts. This then takes the slack out of the valve train after the valve train is already assembled onto the engine and the pushrod is pushing down against the hydraulic lifters plunger with an empty oil cavity.

When you install rocker arms on the 7.3 and turn the damper to 11:00, it's 24ft lbs on the rocker arm nuts. That seems like no torque but when you do it, it easily pushes the hydraulic plungers down into the spring, opening certain valves, and setting the baseline. Because the oil cavity in the lifter isn't preloaded. Once you start the engine, slack is adjusted out as a I described above.

To what you observed in the last two years -
Handing cranking works to open and close the valves as described above, makes sense. If theres an issue with the plunger assembly it usually results in a dead lifter and you won't see the valves open at all, but they can partially fail. Cranking the starter in theory would push oil through the gallery's and the lifters oil passage. But, in my experience and testing I've cranked quite a bit and had a clear line on the rear gallery after rebuild and no gallery pressure on the line. So thats why cranking doesn't "fix" the issue. Once the engine fires its a second for the oil to go through the passages and not alot of seconds for the lifter process to do its thing. Maybe it's obvious now why when you start the engine it works the process, cause that's what you are supposed to do. You aren't depended on hydraulic lifter preload to fire it.

Valves are closed by default. It's not a perfect vacuum, there's air in his cylinders for a not running compression test to work. When running a partially bad lifter on an intake valve can throw it off because it's not opening enough to draw in the amount of air expected on the intake stroke.

Also regarding compression psi numbers. It's a 21.5:1 CR engine, so it's baseline psi to run well should be about 315ish. They *can* start and run down into the mid 200s but if it's 250 or under I would diagnose and repair.

SuperDave - tell us exact psi for compression test per cylinder as the engine currently sits, and home many strokes it takes to reach the psi. And what the actual results of the leak down test is currently per cylinder. Also, even a small cavitation spot is an issue.
So is there any suggestion of what someone should do to set up a lifter for a head rework or engine rebuild? (is there a way to fill it with oil?) Or is your point you cannot do anything, so just crank till it starts and wait for them to fill up upon engine start when the oil pressure comes up.

How much adjustment can the lifter make in inches? If the lifter is collapsed does the valve open much or at all?
 

SterlingCharles

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So is there any suggestion of what someone should do to set up a lifter for a head rework or engine rebuild? (is there a way to fill it with oil?) Or is your point you cannot do anything, so just crank till it starts and wait for them to fill up upon engine start when the oil pressure comes up.

How much adjustment can the lifter make in inches? If the lifter is collapsed does the valve open much or at all?
And these heads have already been reworked. Valves were reground at the correct angle. I was at the shop when it was getting done. All valve guides were replaced on both heads. New valve seals and caps.

As far as replacing lifters…on this engine I wouldn’t have to take off heads again thank god. Just remove intake manifold and valley pan.
I’m gonna do more research on this lifter situation and see what I come up with.
 

hacked89

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Response to hacked89

Since these aren’t adjustable rockerarms…doesn’t that mean there is no preload.?
There is a plunger spring inside the hydraulic lifter that sets the required tension. Oil from the gallery than enters the lifter and fills an oil chamber. Do not preload/prepump the lifter. The plunger spring is designed to have the force to open and close the valves properly to start the engine and have good compression.
 

hacked89

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What I did was soak the lifters and pushrods in mineral spirits for several days. Then I blew them out with
with compressed air…saw milky oil shoot out. Then I soaked them
In oil for several days then threw them straight in their bores during installation.

Prior to installing I noticed many of them were very hard to compress. I was suspected that they wer seized. I know lifters can be hard to compress but I thought it should have some type of play.
Then there were some lifters that I could push down easily with my finger. Those were the ones that I thought were normal.

You know what I was thinking the same exact thing that oh yeah I’ll be fine to throw these lifters in and they will get filled with oil while cranking to open and close the valves of any lifters that are empty.
Are you suspecting that I replace the lifters??
If milky oil shot out of the lifters oil chamber than this isn't just water in the engine from sitting and dropping through the intake. This is concerning because someone ran the engine with water in the oil. And how did it get there.
 

hacked89

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So is there any suggestion of what someone should do to set up a lifter for a head rework or engine rebuild? (is there a way to fill it with oil?) Or is your point you cannot do anything, so just crank till it starts and wait for them to fill up upon engine start when the oil pressure comes up.

How much adjustment can the lifter make in inches? If the lifter is collapsed does the valve open much or at all?
Thanks. See me previous reply to OP. You do not want to prepump/preload the lifter. The proper way designed by international is to lube the lifter body and bore. I have tested with fully bled down lifters and still getting 475 psi cylinder compression. My point is also that you do not want to do anything outside of what is designed. The engine will quickly fill the oil chamber in the lifter to get the final slack out of the drivetrain.

For your final questions, If you are reusing lifters or you think one is bad there is a rotunda tool that you test the spring and plunger assembly at 50ftlbs and observe bleed out compression distance. Most people aren't gonna have this tool so thats why if you aren't confident in your lifters they aren't expensive to just replace.
You must be registered for see images attach
 

hacked89

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So is there any suggestion of what someone should do to set up a lifter for a head rework or engine rebuild? (is there a way to fill it with oil?) Or is your point you cannot do anything, so just crank till it starts and wait for them to fill up upon engine start when the oil pressure comes up.

How much adjustment can the lifter make in inches? If the lifter is collapsed does the valve open much or at all?
If the lifter is collapsed generally the valve doesn't open. There can be partial failure modes. It wont really affect your non running compression test though if it's on the intake side. On the exhaust side you can chuff out the intake. It will affect running performance and will stand out on a running compression test.
 

hacked89

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And these heads have already been reworked. Valves were reground at the correct angle. I was at the shop when it was getting done. All valve guides were replaced on both heads. New valve seals and caps.

As far as replacing lifters…on this engine I wouldn’t have to take off heads again thank god. Just remove intake manifold and valley pan.
I’m gonna do more research on this lifter situation and see what I come up with.
@Big Bart all questions answered in the posts above.

OP - if you want to do diagnostics and determine what's wrong we can do that. That starts with leak down test and compression test with stroke counts that I posted before, with the numbers by cylinder. Then taking the valve covers off and turning the engine over by hand observing the lift. You can use a magnetic dial gauge to check the distance the pushrod is rising to see if theres valves opening inconsistently

If you want to read stuff online and throw more money at it I wish you luck. That's an expensive way to repair automotive issues.
 

Big Bart

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@Big Bart all questions answered in the posts above.

OP - if you want to do diagnostics and determine what's wrong we can do that. That starts with leak down test and compression test with stroke counts that I posted before, with the numbers by cylinder. Then taking the valve covers off and turning the engine over by hand observing the lift. You can use a magnetic dial gauge to check the distance the pushrod is rising to see if theres valves opening inconsistently

If you want to read stuff online and throw more money at it I wish you luck. That's an expensive way to repair automotive issues.
Thank you for the insight, showing the tool, and your suggestions. Very useful info for the future.
 

SterlingCharles

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As far as timing goes. After setting the crankshaft, camshaft and injection pump Dot to Dot, Y to Y is this all these trucks need to start or is there additional adjustments on the injection pump that will get it running??
 

IDIBRONCO

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There's no other IP adjustments to get it running. Your timing should be to start by lining up the lines on the IP and the housing. You will have to set you timing after the engine's running though.
Honestly, if it was me, I wouldn't try to run those lifters. If there was milky oil in them, there was water in them. If there was water in them I would be afraid that there's also rust inside them now. Maybe the engine will run for a while and then you'll start having issues due to the rust inside the lifters. If one of them happens to stick completely closed and won't collapse, I think that you'd probably have contact between that valve and piston. That can bend the valve or worse.
 

SterlingCharles

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If milky oil shot out of the lifters oil chamber than this isn't just water in the engine from sitting and dropping through the intake. This is concerning because someone ran the engine with water in the oil. And how did it get there.
Well…..the engine did sit since 2011 and hasn’t literally ran since. So it’s really a mystery. The sticker on the window says 2011. That tells me a lot. Now was the head blow. Idk but I do know that there was moisture and water leaking on top of engine and down past valley pan.

Let’s say my lifters are seized. Like u said even if they were it wouldn’t cause loss of compression because the valves wouldnt even open at all right. So next is maybe they’re collapsed. Well cant believe you push a collapsed lifter down to its full travel with you finger..??
Based on my inspection I would say those lifters were more seized than collapsed if I had to chose between the two. When forcefully pushing down I barely felt any play.
 

hacked89

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Well…..the engine did sit since 2011 and hasn’t literally ran since. So it’s really a mystery. The sticker on the window says 2011. That tells me a lot. Now was the head blow. Idk but I do know that there was moisture and water leaking on top of engine and down past valley pan.

Let’s say my lifters are seized. Like u said even if they were it wouldn’t cause loss of compression because the valves wouldnt even open at all right. So next is maybe they’re collapsed. Well cant believe you push a collapsed lifter down to its full travel with you finger..??
Based on my inspection I would say those lifters were more seized than collapsed if I had to chose between the two. When forcefully pushing down I barely felt any play.
Theres little tolerance between the valves and pistons so you want to be cautious of the components of the drivetrain not working as intended like idibronco mentioned
 

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