My Dad wants to give me a 1997 Ford F-250 Powerstroke diesel

My Dad wants to give me his 1997 Ford F-250 Diesel and its in great condition. One problem…It won’t start! The engine tries to turn over but won’t run. Does it need a knew starter? I know its not a battery issue…The radio, headlights, taillights, interior lights, and windows roll up and down just can’t the engine running. And if its a starter, how much do mechanics charge in general to change a starter?

Do you really want such a huge truck?

I’ve been wanting a pickup truck for a long time and this one is free. My Dad’s had it for a few years and he’s taken really good care of it. The body is in great condition, it runs really good (once it starts), and the interior is in good condition as well. The only problem is what I mentioned above. I do have a lot of uses for that truck.

If the engine turns over then the problem is not with the starter.

I think it’s great that you’re being given a free truck in good condition. Tell your Dad that you accept, but it has to be in running condition. Most likely you will have it towed to a shop that has a mechanic who will accept the assignment.

If the motor is turning when you hit the key then is dosen’t sound like a bad starter. Diesel motors need “glow plugs” to start. Once running the glow plugs turn off, but they are important to get the motor started. If you live in a cold area perhaps you have summer diesel fuel in the motor where the weather has turned cold.

A starter for a diesel is bigger and heavier duty than a starter for a gas motor. It might be more expensive, but should be a major repair if it turns out to be a starter problem. There are some mechanics that “come to you” and your options are find one of those or have the truck towed to a shop for evaluation.

It could be lots of things; bad fuel pump and low fuel pressure, bad starter, bad glow plug circuit, etc., etc. You need a mechanic to diagnose and estmate the repair costs.

OK, great to have since you’ve wanted one. But like the others say, it has to be checked out first to find out how much $$ will be needed. Could be a little, could be a lot.

If it CRANKS but wont start, it’s not getting any fuel, the glow-plug circuit is not working, the compression is too low for the engine to run…How many MILES on this truck?

It has 109k on it and the engine hasn’t been rebuilt. Dad has kept up with the regular service on it. He’s just not sure why it’s not starting. He’s not too familiar with diesel engines. Unfortunantly there’s no shops around here that have mobile mechanics. I may talk to the guy who does the service on my car, his shop also specializes in Diesel engines, see what he says.

NO MOBILE techs? LOL…I have been doing house calls FOREVER…knocks people socks off sometimes. I should do this as a Pro and still make house calls…Hmmm

A FREE DIESEL TRUCK? Whooo Hooo Man! Well Diesel Engines usually are BARELY broken in at 109K When it is cranking over OR RATHER>…before you crank it…DO you see the glow plug light and then turn off…prompting you to start it?

Diesels need COMPRESSION and FUEL to run…and to be honest are actually HARD to shut off…many Diesel engines use a sort of Flapper valve to actually choke out the engine to shut it down…(A LA VW TDi) MANY X this flapper gets stuck and will not open back up to allow air to enter the engine again…look into this FIRST…bec if it is the flapper…IF it has one…it must be open for the engine to breathe and then run. Ford may have found a different way to shut down its D-Engine but the flapper method is quite common. ALso make sure that the exhaust is not restricted…by either a stuck or seized turbo…or a small animal in the tailpipe…lol… Check the Air filter also while I am thinking about the engines ability to breath and exhaust itself…

After that inspection…you need to know if you have fuel VERY VERY important and then the glow plugs… Check into all of these things and let us know… That engine should outlast most of us on this forum to be honest. Dont give up now.

I’m not giving up on this beast of a truck…One of my friends says get a new truck but those cost at least 40k…I bought a brand new car last year so I’m not stranded without the truck. My dad had a mechanic come out today and it needs new glow plugs. Then it should be fine.

There you go baby…nice and simple solution. ALL of the glow plugs went bad? Thats strange…Oh well…whatever gets it up and running again I guess

Not all of the glow plugs went bad on it but I told the mechanic to just go ahead and replace em all…costed a little extra but got all new glow plugs…

Consider doing what you have to get it running, but be sure and convey to dad, at some point you may need to get out from under the gift if it’s financially not worth it to continue.

Truck is running great since all the glow plugs have been replaced. It’s been well cared for. Dad had new brakes and tires put on it a few months ago. It’s a good truck and has been well cared for over the years.

That’s a great motor and should last you a LONG time if you take care of it, my two bits of advice. ONLY use Diesel approved oil (such as Rotella) when you do an oil change (PS an oil change on that truck is about $120 because it holds a TON of oil). TWO make sure you take care of the transmission on the truck, as that is the weak point in the drive line. I have a friends with a 97 Pwr Stroke and its on its third trans (although he does plow with it), the same friend was working at a ford dealer when these trucks first came out and had not one but two trucks come in brand new with blown transmissions in under 100 miles. Frequent fluid changed are cheap insurance !

Good point about the tranny, I was towed (don’t ask) one time with a Ford, and the driver said they had constant tranny problems. This was a towtruck, much abused, I’m sure, but just take care of it.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll take good care of the Beast (my nickname for it). I’m amazed at how fast that truck can go. It goes even faster than some of those little sports cars. Of course I only tested the speed on it once and it was on a back road. I didn’t want to face wrath of the Nevada Highway Patrol lol…