Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eventful three days - part 3

So after almost getting caught up on sleep, I got up Monday morning and got ready for work. At 7 AM, I headed out to my diesel truck. I turned the key and looked for the "wait to start" light. But it didn't look back. None of the gauges registered. Usually at least the battery gauge goes up. The lights were on, the radio came on. I cranked on it, but it would not start. After about 5 minutes, I headed inside. I fired up the work laptop and sent the boss an email about not making it in. I assumed that the engine wash, must have gotten something wet or, hopefully not, shorted out. This hadn't ever happened in the 10 or 15 other times I'd washed it over the years. I posted a message on the North Texas Power Stroke forum seeking advice and did some "real" work while waiting on their expert advice. Within 30 minutes, the president sent me a reply about a GPR. I had to ask what that meant, where was it, and how to test. It is the Glow Plug Relay. Diesels start much better when the cylinders are warm. The relay activates the Glow Plugs, which use electricity to warm up the cylinders on the diesel. This relay is located right up top of the engine on my truck. Kevin even sent me the part number to go get! So I went to work changing it out. Which wasn't too bad. Except the wires didn't exactly line up, so I had to jiggle the wires and grind down the edge of one connector. Still, the truck would not start. By now it was noon. A few others chimed in about checking all the fuses, especially under the hood. At 1 PM, I called Ford and AAA for getting a tow. But then went out and decided to not only check the under hood electrics one more time, but also the in-the-dash fuses. I got down and popped off the cover. Then it hit me. Actually it was staring me in the face. I have a Turbo Diesel Lifesaver on the truck. That allows the truck to idle, while locked up with no key in it. If you try and drive the truck when the TDLS is engaged, it just dies. Great for letting the turbocharger cool down. I use it when real cold weather, or on trips. I've let that truck run for hours, only shutting down while we ate a meal. As part of the unit, there is a "Kill Switch" feature. My kill switch WAS down low on the dash. While wife and I were cleaning the truck on Sunday, one of us must have tripped the switch! It "killed" the truck. So at 1:15, I flipped the switch and the truck roared back to life. I ran in and cancelled the tow, cancelled the service appointment, posted on the forum that "idiot solves dead truck", and then went and moved the switch to BEHIND the dash. I'm thinking I need to tape it so it can't be tripped again.
I worked from home the rest of the day.

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