Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of buying a 1993 flatbed F350. Less than 100000 on it. Has anyone had one of these? If so, how hard is it to swap the fuel filter? And would it be fine to run my barreled John Deere engine oil in it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,067 Posts
Decent engines, is it turbo or non turbo? They aren't hard to maintain, I don't recall anything strange about the fuel filter. It's not a powerhouse, but it's a pretty simple engine.

What weight oil do you have? We always ran 15-40 in them, as long as your JD oil is the correct weight it shouldn't be a problem.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,001 Posts
Fuel filter is on the front right side, very easy to change but a but messy sometimes. It sets on a tall bracket and is about the size of a quart jar. Your "John Deere" oil is no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I know it's probably the same as another kind oil but to Deere specs. But it's alot easier and cheaper around here to just buy that barrel and use it for my trucks too.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,001 Posts
So all in all probably a handy truck to have for a truck farm?
Usually yes. They are very simple to work on, the E4OD trannys where the weak link generally as was the glow plug controller system but that is easily bypassed if needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What is the issue with the trans? It's a manual five speed the one I'm looking at. And what is the issue with glow plugs and how is it bypassed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
The manual transmissions that went in those trucks were pretty solid, especially when compared with the e4OD automatics of the era. The idi trucks aren't fast, but they are incredibly tough and easy to work on. If you are a halfway decent mechanic, you should have no trouble keeping it on the road. Plus, they aren't too fussy about fuel quality; they will run on a mix of diesel and just about any other light oil you happen to have lying around including used motor oil and used ATF, provided that it has been filtered a little. Used vegetable oil is another common fuel source for these trucks, but it requires more filtering and gels up below about 40*f without a tank heater.

The problem with the glow plug system is that the controller/relay for the system can be unreliable. Without the help of glow plugs, you will have a very difficult time starting an idi in cold weather. Never use starting fluid in an idi unless you really want an excuse to rebuild your engine. What most people end up doing is wiring a switch in the cab to bypass the problematic controller and give the driver direct control over the glow plugs. Hop in, hold the switch for twenty seconds, and fire it up. Pretty simple. YouTube is full of how-to videos on this and many other idi related subjects.

If I hadn't found such a good deal on my SuperDuty, I would have an idi in my driveway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,228 Posts
I'm thinking of buying a 1993 flatbed F350. Less than 100000 on it. Has anyone had one of these? If so, how hard is it to swap the fuel filter? And would it be fine to run my barreled John Deere engine oil in it?
I don't have one but my roofer does. He picked it up for $5K over 7 years ago and is still using it. It's used for his roofing business all spring, summer and fall. That truck is always carrying a load between his tools, air compressor, ladders etc. During the winter he uses the snow plow that came with it to make extra money.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,001 Posts
The manual transmissions that went in those trucks were pretty solid, especially when compared with the e4OD automatics of the era. The idi trucks aren't fast, but they are incredibly tough and easy to work on. If you are a halfway decent mechanic, you should have no trouble keeping it on the road. Plus, they aren't too fussy about fuel quality; they will run on a mix of diesel and just about any other light oil you happen to have lying around including used motor oil and used ATF, provided that it has been filtered a little. Used vegetable oil is another common fuel source for these trucks, but it requires more filtering and gels up below about 40*f without a tank heater.

The problem with the glow plug system is that the controller/relay for the system can be unreliable. Without the help of glow plugs, you will have a very difficult time starting an idi in cold weather. Never use starting fluid in an idi unless you really want an excuse to rebuild your engine. What most people end up doing is wiring a switch in the cab to bypass the problematic controller and give the driver direct control over the glow plugs. Hop in, hold the switch for twenty seconds, and fire it up. Pretty simple. YouTube is full of how-to videos on this and many other idi related subjects.

If I hadn't found such a good deal on my SuperDuty, I would have an idi in my driveway.
Well said...
The ZF 5-speed is a great transmission, the E4OD could be built to handle the diesel and shift well, but at a big price.

The GP controller measured the resistance of the "loop" of 8 plugs to determine how cold the engine was and hence how long to stay on. All is well until one GP burned out, then the system would short cycle and starting became difficult if not impossible if it was really cold. Adding the simple switch in the cab as EG mentioned allow the operator to bypass the controller, engage the massive relay, and at least light the other 7 GP's so you can start the truck. When I sold mine it had two bad GP's, one under the turbo that was near impossible to get to, and one broken off-but with 6 remaining and the manual control it had no issues starting. There is lots more info in the diesel truck forums about this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Only one time is all it could take. :nunu: Highly not recommended. Heck, I wouldn't even recommend using that stuff on a lawn mower! The only reason I keep a can of it handy is because it is great hornet killer.

The old idi's are very high compression and early detonation can cause the engine to suddenly start spinning backwards, but if even one glow plug somehow happens to light it will blow up the charge of starting fluid in the intake and pre-chamber and wreck the cylinder head.

Some diesels are designed to use starting fluid in cold start situations, this isn't one of them. However, with a set of healthy glow plugs, I have seen them start all the way down to -20*f. Checking glow plugs is easy; pull the valve covers and test them with a multi-meter while doing your fall oil change.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,001 Posts
Checking glow plugs is easy; pull the valve covers and test them with a multi-meter while doing your fall oil change.
No pulling valve covers on a IDI, they are right in the intake and are easily checked with only a simple OHM meter.

TF, if your suggesting this truck has been started on ether frequently, I'd be very cautious as mention by EG. Also using ether with even a partially functioning GP system can be disastrous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The guy said only twice. It might not even work out getting this truck. I'd have to have a cosigner because of my age and the cosigner doesn't like the truck even though it's for the business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
I've never used a gauge to test a diesel's cylinder compression. If it has enough to start up when cold and run on all cylinders, then it has good enough compression...:lol: I'm sure there is a way to check it with a gauge though. I would assume you would check at the glow plug hole because removing a fuel injector would make a big mess, but I'm not sure.

If the pre-chamber was damaged by starting fluid, it should be obvious even from the outside. The truck will probably run, but it will be 'missing' a cylinder. Another way to check if the truck is somehow running on all eight is to find the crankcase breather tube and put a finger on the end of it; if you feel power pulses coming out of the breather, something is wrong.

If it turns out that the motor is on borrowed time, that might not be a bad thing. It gives you leverage to negotiate a better deal. Like I said before, these motors are brutally simple. You could probably re-build it in a day an the only special tool needed is probably a torque wrench and a heavy duty engine stand. The only difference between rebuilding an idi and a big block gasser is the fuel injection system... But if you understand a basic medical syringe and the concept of injection timing, then you know everything you need to know about an idi's fuel system.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top