We’re dead in the middle of winter here in Southeast Missouri, as well as many other parts of the United States, which means our mission today is perfect timing. We have a 1999 Ford F-250 that we have tinkered on over the last year and it is starting to stack the miles up. Although most of the projects we have done on this truck had performance in mind, maintenance is just as important. With the help of Prosource Diesel, this truck will be ready for this frigid cold weather.
Currently, the temperature outside is 25º F. While that may not seem that cold to some of you, these trucks don’t care. Once you start getting into that 30-degree weather and cross into that freezing threshold, these trucks start to notice it. For this 7.3-liter Power Stroke, it relies on glow plugs.
The glows plug is a very important part of the operation of these engines. They help provide heat inside the combustion chamber. If the required temperature to fire is not reached due to faulty glow plugs, the performance of the engine can and will be weakened. It will have to work extra hard to meet the demands of the road.
If you’ve ever heard a truck started in freezing weather and its idle is very choppy, you know what I mean. This truck is creeping up on 250,000 miles. The last time the glow plugs were replaced is unknown; heck, we don’t know if they’ve ever been replaced.
With that being said, we reached out to Prosource Diesel. We know they offer a full-on replacement kit for these trucks. After they sent us a kit, we unboxed it to see what it all came with and it looks like we’ve got a pile of quality parts here that promise to impress.
I highly recommend that you use this kit because it comes with genuine Motorcraft ZD-11 plugs. Yes, there are plenty of aftermarket options out there, but we’ve heard horror stories of the aftermarket plugs failing prematurely or just not lasting as long. The OEM units are hard to beat for the price and since you’re this deep into it, why not replace it with quality parts?
Some of the concerns with aftermarket plugs include swelling of the tips and breaking off in the cylinder during disassembly. This would be catastrophic in this process and would require an extensive amount of work to repair. So, we’re trusting this kit.
What we were really after were new glow plugs. We wanted to make sure this truck didn’t have a bit of trouble when it came to firing off on those cold early mornings. What’s cool is that this kit comes with so much more.
Other than eight new Motorcraft ZD-11 glow plugs, the kit came with eighteen butt connectors, two external injector connector pigtails with 12-inch leads, four crankcase ventilation o-rings, and two new valve cover gaskets. These valve cover gaskets are a one-piece design built with PTFE-coated, copper-core wire, resulting in perfect fitment and sealing.
With everything unboxed, it was only a matter of putting it all in the truck. It isn’t that involved of a job if you’re somewhat mechanically inclined.
So, let’s begin. With the batteries disconnected, we began by removing the air intake system off the driver’s side of the engine and the charge pipes on the other.
With these parts out of the way, it really opened up our access to the valve covers. Once those were removed, our glow plugs, harness, and valvetrain laid exposed. As you can see, once we got the valve covers popped off, everything on the inside looked pretty good. You could tell that some things were showing the nearing 200,000-mile mark, but we are going in and fixing it all.
Once the valve cover harness was disconnected, we then removed it and the valve cover gasket. These two items are made together, sort of like a rocker box on a Cummins engine. Not only did we get a new harness, but we also got new valve cover gaskets. At this time, the original glow plugs were seen. It was only a matter of ratcheting them out of the head.