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Glow Plug Wiring

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Post by Dave 418 Sat Dec 17, 2022 1:18 pm

Last winter whilst we were in Skipton I had a bit of a struggle starting the engine after a cold frosty night.We havnt been out since late November so I thought a couple of runs out before the MOT in January would be a good idea.
During  the recent cold spell it struggled a bit to start when I moved it to put it on hook up. With it being a bit warmer today I thought it would be worth a look at the glow plug wiring again. 
This time the fused link is intact but theres no feed to the relay. I will have a bit of a think and check the wiring again. Typically its service and MOT time next month so that might add to the costs.
I know the fused link can blow if a glow plug shorts out but its only done 55000 miles so I am hoping its just wiring. Changing the glow plugs is not a job I fancy anymore.  I used to have a kit for pulling plugs out but sold it when I retired.
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Post by IanH Sat Dec 17, 2022 3:24 pm

From distant memory, glo plugs are 2v connected in series, high current so battery volts drop and are alread low if cold enough for gloplugs anyway.
My mechanic hates changing them as they are fine thread and quite slim so high torque on removal is shear risk.
I'd say disconnect the feed wire from each, one at a time and measure the resistance to earth, the cyl head. If one is open cct, there's the problem.
My man heats them to very high temp and is ultra cautious undoing them. Worst case is head off and spark erosion to get the remains out......
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Post by Dave 418 Sat Dec 17, 2022 3:44 pm

As I said I know about plugs snapping off in the block and threads stripping. My mate borrowed my kit to pull the plugs out of his daughters Mazda Pick Up. He got the back two out, number two snapped off below the threads and number one would turn but not come out. He left number one and used my kit to extract the remains of number two. 
Number one didnt blow when the engine was running and it started quite well so it was left alone. 
AS much as it pains me having to pay for work to be done I cant face struggling with engines anymore. It trust the garage we use but I will warn him in advance if I cant sort the wiring. Thats not a job to drop on someone. 
AS I said 55000 miles isnt a lot but  17 years of corrosion wont help.
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Post by Dave 418 Sun Dec 18, 2022 11:44 am

I have done more checks today and it looks like a garage job. The feed from the fused link disapears into the back of the fuse box amongst a major rats nest of wires. Theres no way I am messing any further. I know my limits and struggling outside in the cold insnt for me any more. 
That means the service and MOT is going to put a dent in our travel budget. shrugg
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Post by glyne lock Sun Dec 18, 2022 11:59 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]The relay feed in first picture and should read 12volt and behind the oil filler the feed for the glow plugs and when the relay is working will read 12volts 
This test will help you if it’s the relay that’s faulty  or a glow plug fault
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Post by Dave 418 Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:51 pm

Thanks for the pictures. Sadly  my problem isnt that simple. I am now thinking that when the fused link was replaced with a blade fuse there  was more than just that. Until this  cold weather the fault may have not shown its self.
Tomorrow its supposed to be a bit warmer so I will give it one more try before I call the garage.
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Post by Dave 418 Mon Dec 19, 2022 12:37 pm

I spoke to the garage today and explained the problem to him. He didn’t seem too fazed and said they are confident they can get the plugs out if needed and they have an electrician on staff now. They said I can help with the plugs if I like. Maybe I will get a discount on labour charges. think_smiley_46
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Post by Dave 418 Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:35 pm

To follow up on the glow plug issues with our Rienza. The garage had a look at it today whilst it was in for its MOT.
The original problem of the fused link being corroded was cured by replacing the fused link and worked fine until the recent cold spell. This time the feed wire between the relay and the glow plug bus bar was corroded. The electrician replaced the wire and said the problem only shows itself during extreme cold spells as we have just had. The rest of the time the glow plugs are not on for long enough to draw many amps.
As an add on the MOT showed nothing. I did put fuel system cleaner in and had a run up the motorway before the test to help with emissions. 
Hopefully this should give us another years travels without any major mechanical issues.
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Post by glyne lock Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:38 pm

Dave 418 wrote:To follow up on the glow plug issues with our Rienza. The garage had a look at it today whilst it was in for its MOT.
The original problem of the fused link being corroded was cured by replacing the fused link and worked fine until the recent cold spell. This time the feed wire between the relay and the glow plug bus bar was corroded. The electrician replaced the wire and said the problem only shows itself during extreme cold spells as we have just had. The rest of the time the glow plugs are not on for long enough to draw many amps.
As an add on the MOT showed nothing. I did put fuel system cleaner in and had a run up the motorway before the test to help with emissions. 
Hopefully this should give us another years travels without any major mechanical issues.
so was the wire as to my picture
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Post by Dave 418 Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:08 pm

Yes Glyne. It was between were you’re finger is and the relay in the fuse box. When I was doing breakdown work we used to have problems on some Fords were the fused link between the battery and the alternator corroding and failing. 
There must be some technical reason why they use a fused link wire rather than a replaceable fuse. Being out of touch with the motor trade for a long time I am not sure if this system has changed.
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Post by glyne lock Thu Jan 05, 2023 6:54 pm

in the early life of your camper van the relay was the common fault and I always had a spare on my breakdown van
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Post by Dave 418 Thu Jan 05, 2023 8:15 pm

Probably from my breakdown days I have a locker full of useful bits in the Rienza. I still keep up my breakdown cover for the larger problems like rear wheel punctures. Being retired dosnt mean I can’t still tinker.
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