’96 F250 Powerstroke Glow Plugs

I recently replaced the glow plugs on a ’96 Ford F250 pickup with 7.3l Powerstroke engine. This particular vehicle is also equipped with several Banks upgrades. I found some good articles over at for replacing the glow plugs as well as a source for an entire “kit” from the to do the job right.

The drivers side was pretty straight forward but the passenger side was an little more complicated because of the inter-cooler piping and the Banks Brake. I started on the drivers side and removed the air inlet pipe housing from the compressor to the air cleaner. I then removed the brackets and bolts holding down the valve cover. There was enough room to remove the valve cover without removing the inter-cooler piping on this side. I then removed the valve cover gasket and the under valve cover harnesses. I had read several warnings about the glow plugs swelling or becoming carbon encrusted and stuck in the cylinder head during removal. One suggestions was to run some injector cleaner through the system before replacing the glow plugs to clean up the carbon. This truck has been running bio diesel for a while and no problems were encountered during the removal of the plugs. A 10mm thin walled deep socket is needed. The rockers are pretty tight so a thicker wall socket will get stuck. I replaced the glow plugs with the new Ford ones from the kit, as well as replacing the under valve cover harness and valve cover gasket.

As I said, the passenger side was a little more tricky. I had to remove the inter-cooler piping, the alternator and the Banks Brake mounting bolt closest to the valve cover. The back bolts on the valve cover near the A/C evaporator are a little hard to reach as well. With that done I was able to squeeze the valve cover out. Again I removed the valve cover gasket, UVCH and glow plugs replacing them all with new. After reinstalling every thing it was time to test. This truck will no longer need to be plugged in, even on moderate days, to start.

There was not much swelling or carbon build up on the old plugs compared to the new but I have included a picture of the both, side by side. The top plugs facing down are four of the old ones removed, the bottom 4 facing up are the new.

All said, this was about a 3 hour project with out any glow plug removal issues. There are several tools available for removing the plugs if they are stuck as well as tools to remove the lower portion should they break off in the head. If that happens, replacing the glow plugs could easily become a 10 hour job with the added expence of head gaskets and machine shop time to remove and repair the head should it get dammaged.

9 replies on “’96 F250 Powerstroke Glow Plugs”

good info ,im not a mechanic so i need step by step instructions in order to do work like this.

how would u compare the power stroke to the duramax diesel,most of the diesel pick-ups i see on the road are fords personal and commercial.

i have a 99 f259 powerstroke and the glow plugs have been out for quite some time. the block heater quit so starting fluid is my glow plugs haha do you think they will have carbon build up and be hard to come out since using starting fluid so much??

Unfortunately, they easiest way to find out is try and remove them. I was surprised how easily mine came out. No excessive carbon. I don’t know if using starting fluid itself would cause buildup, but how long it smokes while warming up maybe.

@ Brandon – what gaskets, etc did you replace while installing the new glow plugs? I’ve got the new glow plugs, but want to make sure I have everything I would need to replace before getting started.

I only replaced the valve cover gaskets. They are integral with the wiring harness for the glow plugs and had read that the wires tend to go bad with age.

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