Looking at F250 with 7.3 powerstroke- Advice

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DaFoole, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. HiSPL

    HiSPL Adventurer

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    I have an 02 Excursion with the 7.3. Bought it with 140k miles and it now has 245k on it.

    There is a Cam Position Sensor that, while it doesn't happen often, goes out and will sideline you. As in, will not start and there's no work around. Truck just dies.

    Good news is, the sensor is not that expensive, nor is it hard to install on the side of the road. Many people carry a spare sensor and the tools to change it with. You can be back on the road inside of 15 minutes.


    The other very common problem with these trucks is the stock airbox. They have a nasty habit of developing cracks under the filter so that the turbo can suck in unfiltered air. That's bad. Generally the fix is to remove the whole airbox and install a Napa 6637 air filter. It's a giant paper filter that replaces the whole airbox. Kinda like those ricer kids with their cold air intakes, but the 6637 is physically bigger than a whole honda engine. (not really, but almost)

    After that, just drive the damn thing. I know a guy that runs a limo service that has just shy of a million miles on a stretch excursion. He probably has a million hours of idling time on it too since they never shut off the engine when they are on a job. He hasn't done anything inside this motor, ever. It does have a lot of blowby and needs a rebuild, but he's waiting until it rolls the odometer to see if ford will give him anything for it!

    To get max economy out of it keep the RPM under 2000. On my 2wd Excursion I am doing 68 mph at just a tick under 2000 rpm. I'll get about 17 mpg there. If I drop it down to 65 mph I can get around 18.5 to 19 mpg. I think the pickups do a little better than my Ex. I've got over 8000 pounds to haul around when fully fueled with my junk in the back.
    #21
  2. HiSPL

    HiSPL Adventurer

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    One more thing. Make sure it has the right antifreeze in it. Since this guy is a mechanic, hopefully it will already.

    The diesel engine shakes and vibrates like a hound dog shittin peach pits. Regular antifreeze can cavitate inside the waterpump and erode the impeller. Ford makes a special antifreeze that stops the cavitation from happening. It basically has a higher surface tension than regular antifreeze.

    Not a big deal, and won't stop the truck, but can cause it to run hot at high RPM's because the water pump isn't working like it should.
    #22
  3. Gourdhedd

    Gourdhedd n00b

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    That's very low mileage for a truck of that age. I had a 2000 model and loved it until some knucklehead ran into me on a snowy road in Colorado. I wasn't ready to let that truck go. It had 207K on it and still would get 18-19mpg on highway. Some of the typical problems are cam position sensor, vehicle speed sensor, high pressure oil pump seals, turbo pedestal seals, needle bearing in front end(4WD only), leaky pinon seal. The steering will get a little wonky in higher mileage units and you'll need to replace the sector and other components. These were very reliable trucks. Take a look over the thedieselstop.com for a lot of good info on these trucks. I replaced my 2000 with a 2008, still a good truck, but the mileage is terrible.

    Gary
    #23
  4. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    :lol3

    :clap
    #24
  5. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    I have an early 99 f-350 4wd dually with the 6 speed and 7.3. Best truck I've ever owned so far.

    When I bought it (very cheaply) the truck needed a lot of work and the previous owner didn't have the money to fix it. I drove it home and tore it down, had to change front leaf springs, one leaf in the rear was broke, ball joints, front u-joints, glow plugs, glow plug solenoid, clutch, and turbo.

    All of that added up to around $2,500, so not too bad considering the price of the truck. In the last 2 years I haven't had to do much besides drive it. The fuel milage isn't the best, around 12 or 14, but considering it's a dually with 4.10's I expected that. I'm running about 2400 RPM's on the highway, well out of the 'good economy' range but it pulls hard.

    I run 5W40 synthetic rotella in it, with good batteries it has started every time without being plugged in, coldest was about 0 Farenheit. I like to have it plugged in though, it sounds like there's an oil pan full of rocks at those temps.

    One thing with my truck is I have to use fuel treatment. I use Powerservice, it seems to work well. If I don't use it within 10 or 15 miles I'm stopped on the side of the road putting treatment straight into the fuel bowl to get it to clear up. I don't know why, but that's the case. Miles on the truck is unknown, it's worn out 2 odometers so far. Currently the second one is still there and non-working, I'm not worried about fixing it. All I know is that I put at least the 3rd clutch in, because the one I took out wasn't original.

    Anyone have a rough estimate on how long a clutch would last in this truck? The one I took out was ceramic and shot, so at a minimum the truck wore out that and the original. Maybe 150,000 each, putting 300,000 on the truck? Pedals are worn to about the 300,000 point I would say, and the steering wheel is shiny smooth.
    #25
  6. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    I was sort of wondering the same although I would imagine it would have a lot to do with how the truck was used.
    #26
  7. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    You would think.

    I know my truck was worked hard it's whole life, but at the same time with the 6 speed it doesn't need much slipping to get moving. Low gear has a top speed of like 2. :lol3

    You still looking at yours today? One thing to consider is these trucks are helpless as a 2wd if you get snow or need to move in wet grass or something. They are very heavy up front. Mine sinks like a rock as soon as I hit a puddle in the yard. I've been pulled out quite a few times, and I'm 4wd.
    #27
  8. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Had a 94 F250 2WD....same thing. Fact is, I have the Xterra for 4WD stuff. Don't really want the weight/complexity and expense of 4WD. Just looking at this thing for towing a trailer....I just gotta remember to keep it outta wet grass.....:lol3
    #28
  9. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Soooo, I went and saw this thing and OMFG!!!!!!!!!! AWESOME truck!!! :clap
    Looks showroom inside and out!!! The guy is a diesel mechanic and apparently a perfectionist. I keep my vehicles pretty nice but I have been put to shame. Been garaged it's whole life. Paint is near perfect with no signs of a repaint anywhere. EVERY receipt of every bit of work done including recalls (original owner), repairs and maintenance. Rotella and Ford filter every 5k miles (has ALL the receipts..:eek1) New clutch and pressure plate at 80k. Power Steering pump upgrade. New shocks, tires, brakes about 2000 miles ago. New belt. Could find no leaks or evidence of any leaks. NOT a pressure washed engine...had slight grime here and there. Diff dry. Line X bed liner. Bed not beat up. Banks four inch turbo back exhaust. Power chip (more for mileage). Turbo timer. Exhaust brake. A pillar gauge cluster.
    Pretty much bought it on the spot....paid a bit more than originally advertised but he has been bombarded with calls and I was the first so he gave me 1st right of refusal...which I didn't. This is one of those vehicles you find very, very rarely. Have been looking a lot and the majority were shite with a LOT more miles.

    :freaky

    Here's a coupla shitty cell-phone pics....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. HiSPL

    HiSPL Adventurer

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    Looks like a Beaut! Glad you jumped on it. With that kind of maintenance history it was a very good price. Most 7.3's you see are dogged out by the time they get sold and people are still wanting north of 10 grand for them.


    Double check that stock airbox for cracks. You may want to go ahead and do the 6637 mod now, just because it'll work better with the exhaust and chip you have.


    :clap
    #30
  11. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Nice truck man, congrats. It's nice to see a well taken care of 7.3, there aren't many at this point.

    That thing makes mine look like it belongs in the junkyard. Our road salt kills them here in the winter, plus the last few owners weren't very kind to her. :cry
    #31
  12. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    Will check that out. Thanks all for the heads up. :clap
    #32
  13. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    So, just an update. Have added about 2200 miles to the truck since purchasing. Getting 14-15 mpg around town. Got 17-18 towing a (large) bike trailer and two bikes up and back from SW Oregon to the SF area (960 miles in one day!!). Lots of passes, climbing on I-5 and Hwy 101. Got 22mpg doing the same route not towing but a fair amount of crap in the back. Kept it out of the turbo most of the time (68mph at around 1800 rpm). Oh, and WAAAY more comfy than my Xterra!! I'm lovin' this truck!!! :clap

    :freaky
    #33
  14. Wasser

    Wasser Spilt my beer

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    97K on a 7.3. . . . hell, it ain't even broken in yet. :D

    Nice score! Clean truck that has been well maintained and a great diesel engine.
    #34
  15. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    I didn't read the entirety of every post but I didn't see anyone mention the failure-prone glow plug relay. It is a common issue with the 7.3 PS I read about from consumer reports and the only major fault with the engine design according to consumers anyway.

    I've read that you can "install a relay from a GM 6.2L and fuggedaboutit" but no guarantees from me.
    #35
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    congrats... nice truck!
    #36
  17. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    This. So many blowhards embellish/take a high-mark sample about mileage. Yes, they are more efficient than gasser's, but the big power uses fuel... when you USE the power. Do ten full tank fill-ups with mileage calcs, then report back to us. Great truck, enjoy! The most common bane for diesel's is mistreatment, neglect, improper servicing, wrong oil used, misdiagnosed poorly done repairs, and last but not least, misfueling (gasoline accidentally put in, driven until it stops). Ask lot's of Q's, see the receipts. Check the clutch feel.. some operator's are slider's and rider's.
    #37
  18. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    FYI to the OP and Powerstroke owners...if you ever have an engine take a dive, take a look at dropping in a 12v Cummins 5.9L. It's actually a fairly common thing to drop a 12v or a 24v Cummins into a Ford trucks, people call it a "Fummins". People even convert gas trucks.

    Quite a few people, including myself, believe Ford Super Duty's of any year (particularly late models) about as "bulletproof truck" as a consumer can get for a reasonable price...but the one thing that might be improved upon are the power plants especially the 6.0 although the 7.3, as mentioned here, should last forever. Kits and parts for Ford - Cummins conversions are readily available and when you're done you have a bulletproof truck with the most bulletproof yet simplistic consumer diesel engine around. Buy an Allison 1000 for it and consider yourself sitting pretty!

    http://www.destroked.com/
    http://www.fordcummins.com/

    No I don't work for these ^ people. I myself have an old Cummins truck who's 12v I plan on dropping in a Super Duty soon enough and thought other people might be interest in the possibilities.
    #38
  19. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

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    central coast of California
    I have an '01 7.3l 4x4 that I ordered from the dealer because I wanted the manual trans. I've got 220k and the engine has been pretty reliable.

    The clutch pedal was a bear from the factory. I was once stuck for 4 hours in bumper to bumper traffic and drove 4 moles in that 4 hours due to a snow closure. after about 3 hours I was having musscle spasms in my leg. As fate would have it my clutch went out a couple of days later and I finisnhed the trip with no clutch. when I had the clutch done the guy removed one of the two return springs on the clutch pedal and its been great.

    Ford switched oil pump designs mid way durring the 99 model year. Might want to read up on that and see which you have.

    These things are hard on ball joints and front rotors. also the front caliper pins tend to run dry and then cause it to pull to one side.

    There are some great internet forums for 7.3L's and most of us that have em love more the more we drive em.
    #39
  20. Devo 1

    Devo 1 lurker extraordinair

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    Parts from other years fit fit these trucks. Here is my 99 with: 07 front, 08 box and tailgate, 09 mirrors, and 08 rear diff cover.
    [​IMG]
    #40