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7.3 F350 questions

615 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  MikeP
I just bought a 2002 dually. 367,000 miles on it. It has new injectors HPOP and glow plugs. I had it gone through by probably the best diesel mechanic in the area. I paid to have a compression test done before I bought it. He said it is in great shape for the miles on it and has years left on the engine. I plan on running 4” straight exhaust, and installing an upgraded factory air cleaner on it. Any other suggestions from you guys that have this engine? It does have a DP tuner which is mild.
BTW he said none for the guys in the shop will own a newer Ford diesel than the 7.3
I asked about crate motors and was told that the only one they have seen hold up is the Ford crate motor $9,300 complete with new turbo, HPOP etc. $2,500 for labor and fluids.


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none for the guys in the shop will own a newer Ford diesel than the 7.3
The ones having issues with the 6.0 engine are the ones that can't leave the engine alone. We had 10 of them in Supercrew 4x4 form and had zero issues with any of them. And trust me, many of the drivers only knew two ways to drive them, completely off the throttle and flat on the floor. Hard to beleive any engine could survive the 500,000 miles we put on them. The engines never got the reflash either. Ours had the multi-injection cycle thru the entire life of the trucks.
The 7.3 is noted for being a long life engine. When it starts burning oil a simple parts and hone is usually enough to overhaul one. Rarely will you ever need to bore or even replace the block. Just hone the glaze off of the cylinder walls and replace the wearables. I'm not a fan of the 7.3 although you can't argue with the fact it's extremely reliable. It really doesn't do anything great, it's slow by comparison to newer ones, doesn't have the grunt of the newer ones, is not nearly user friendly as the newer ones, and it has a habit of burning far too much fuel. It does not use DEF which can be a headache but you'll need to watch the fuel you buy. NEVER put generic diesel in one. The injectors rely on sulfur in the diesel to soften the impact of the pintel. The newer diesel fuels have reduced the sulfur and it can be an issue with excessive injector wear. You need to be aware of the oils available for diesels. I would strongly suggest you find Delo 400 LE ONLY. The issue is the additive package for the new oils has changed considerably. You'll find the newer oils have reduced amounts of zinc, phosphorus, and sulfur. Some of these have been reduced by 50%. You engine was designed with the additives in mind. Wear will be increased by using a CK rated oil and engine life will be shorter. They make different Delo 400 oils. Us ONLY the LE and it can be a hard find. Ford has now issued a service bulletin that no Ford diesel is approved for the use of the newer CK oils. If you have Motorcraft Diesel rated motor oil in your area, it's formulated to be used in any Ford diesel. Look for the Ford certification on the bottle or the CJ rating. If it carrys the CK rating, you cannot use it unless it's an emergency and then change it as soon as you can get the Ford approved oil.
I hope you like the truck. The engine will probably last a lot longer than you're going to want it. But I will tell you, it's not a cheap date to own one. Oil changes by the gallon and the cost of filters is a killer. Might consider a by-pass oil filter for extending oil changes. The FS2500 or even the Amsoil unit will filter to 3 microns absolute. The only thing you have to worry about when to change oil is the acid build up from combustion processes. An oil report from somebody like Blackstone Labs can help you trend the oil changes.
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Thanks Trapper

I know the 7.3 does not have the power of the newer ones. It is all a trade off. I know there is not a perfect combination made. I can handle a few hundred for a turbo but not $3,000 for the new ones. The mechanic said even though guys “bullit proof” the 6.0 they still keep getting guys coming in for repairs.
Thanks for the oil info. I will watch that.
I own a 2004 Grand Cherokee, an XJ Cherokee that has lockers and well built 4.5 stroker, and the 2002 F350 dually. At 66 I don’t seeing me buying new rigs.
I good friend bought an F350 with a Cummins in it. The guy he bought it from has built 5 of them. I thought he had the perfect rig. My friend owns West Coast Classic Cougar so he knows his way around vehicles. At one point I tried to talk him into selling me his Ford Cummins. He talked me out of it. He said there are still to many gremlins in it. I have driven it and it really hauls but there are definitely electrical issues in the conversion.
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I acquired a 2001 club cab 6 speed 250 with a 7.3 in a trade last year and even though I'm not a ford fan I cant get myself to sell the dinosaur.
Even with just a mild tow program in the 7.3 I have to watch the EGTs with the 7000 lb trailer as a mild hill will send them over 11000 deg in a hurry, and the gremlins keep picking away at the electrical system it does however get the best milage of the three by quite a bit and two tracks great!
The 05 2500 Duramax just got sold and replaced with a 2010 Dodge dually.
I bought the Dodge to pull the 16000 lb camper and would not consider the 7.3 an option, the duramax workt but was a little lite for the mountains.
If you don't need the 7.3 to pull heavy loads or reliably start in the winter its a good unit but don't think because the glow plugs work today that they will work tomorrow by my experience.
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I've got 2

Still have my 1997 F250 and wife's 2000 Excursion. One thing nobody has mentioned is keeping up the levels of coolant additive to prevent cavitation. You can buy precharged coolant or add it yourself and check levels with test strips. At over 300k it's probably been taken care of or too late. Oil is definitely important as already mentioned. Check out Hot Shot's Secret, they have several products made specifically for the 7.3.
My old '96 F250 with the 7.3 keeps pulling my travel trailer anywhere I want to go. She's been doing that since I bought her new off the dealer's lot 22 years ago. I've replaced a few things on her through the years, like a radiator and a water pump and batteries and tires, but nothing else. Can't get any better than that, especially at 14mpg towing the trailer.
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