1997 GMC HD3500 6.5 diesel Won't start

1997 GMC HD3500 6.5 diesel Truck will not start, or starts, then dies in a second or two Tried new glow plugs, fuel pump, fuel filter, air cleaner, full tank
Fuel comes out the top of the fuel filter when the small black cap is loosened so it is getting fuel to there. Starting fluid helps sometimes. Sometime not. This truck will start and run fine. Sometimes for several weeks. Then, this problem crops up. I spend a day or two playing with it. Eventually, it starts. Then runs fine for a while. Till this problem comes back. Thanks for any suggestions. Chief
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First and foremost you are going to do much more damage by using starting fluid. Starting fluid is not for diesels except in very limited circumstances, and this ain't one of them.
Second, is your service engine soon light on? Do you have any codes stored in memory? I greatly suspect that you have either a failing Fuel Solenoid Driver (FSD, a.k.a. - Pump Mounted Driver or PMD) or a fried optical sensor inside your fuel injection pump. Ignition is all about fuel for these engines.
If you catch it quick and it's only an FSD then you might get lucky by just replacing it. I also highly recommend a product called the "FSD Cooler", which removes the FSD off of the fuel injection pump and places it onto a heat sink away from the FI pump. This placement is the prime cause of FSD failure because the FSD runs very hot and the injection pump doesn't cool it as effectively as it should. If it's been more than 100k miles since you've last had the injection pump replaced or rebuilt then it's time, but the FSD cooler will prevent this problem in the future.
Here's a link that explains it much better than I can..
http://www.thedieselpage.com/reviews/FSDCooler.htm
If you didn't catch it quick and the heat from the FSD fried your optical sensor then you're in for a complete injection pump replacement/rebuild, which runs around $1800.00 if you go to a diesel shop and not to the dealer.
Good luck - Jonathan

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