Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Time to retire the 7.3 OBS?
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tow Vehicles

Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Time to retire the 7.3 OBS?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
ctrout

Mountain Home, ID

Full Member

Joined: 07/08/2008

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 10/23/20 10:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've had this 1997 F250 diesel for over 15 years and in that time, it has left me stranded just 3 times. Once a dozen or so years ago when the fuel bowl heater shorted and took out the ECS fuse with it, once when the water pump catastrophically failed after about 500 miles into a trip from Idaho to California, and today when I was towing my camper into the mountains for a weekend deer hunting trip.

I'm not sure yet what the failure was. I was towing up a steep grade that usually has me down to about 60mph as I reach the top. Today I was at 40mph and still losing speed. I found a turnout so I pulled over and the truck immediately stopped running. I suspected a clogged fuel filter so I pullet the filter to look. The fuel in the bowl was either boiling or air was blowing through it from the lift pump. I could not get the truck to start again so I had it towed to the dealership.

The last time I had the truck in for maintenance they said that I really should get the gaskets and seals redone because I have numerous, significant oil leaks. They said that this will be an engine-out repair and would cost roughly $2-$2.5k. The truck has about 230,000 miles on it. The AC hasn't worked in about three years (Idaho, 90-105F in the summer).

I am feeling like it might be time to put this one out to pasture and get something newer, but I don't have $30-$50k to spend. My wife and I prefer to pay cash for everything because we are approaching that time in life when income will soon become pretty fixed. Our house will be paid off in 6 months and we will be debt free. We were right in the process of saving to pay cash for a new to us camper sometime in the next 12-18 months so I do have a tiny bit of cash to work with ($5000).

Would I be better off pouring the $5000 into getting my Powerstroke overhauled, or selling it for maybe $5-$6k and finding a bulletproofed 6.0, or something else that I could get maybe in the spring when I have maybe $15k to spend?

We are planning a trip to Italy next summer so we weren't going to do too much camping anyway. I may possibly be able to live without a truck for a year and a half and save even more to buy one the following year but that would not be an ideal plan from my point of view.

mleekamp

Washington, IL

Senior Member

Joined: 10/18/2012

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 04:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only you can decide what makes sense for your budget and plans. However, in my opinion, I'd spend the $2k or so to fix the leaks, even the AC for a bit more. I look at cost per mile as my guide to repair or replace, vs. cost to repair vs. what it's worth. I doubt the engine needs overhauled -- just repaired -- long overdue maintenance type repairs.

After repairing the truck, start saving for a newer one as you suggest. 230k miles on a 7.3 --- why, I bet the engine could take more.

You mention your house will be paid off in 6 months. Again, IMHO, fixing the truck, start saving, and in a year or 2, you will be ready. You already mention a trip so not a lot of camping next year.

My opinion on this, by the way, stems from experience ... I've given up on a vehicle and next thing you know, I'm deeper in the hole, and the old vehicle has been repaired by someone else and still truckin'. Your experience and variables may vary.


2019 Jayco Redhawk 29XK Class C, Ford V10 E450 with Roadmaster Hitch Mounted Spare Tire holder, Bigfoot Hydraulic Leveling

bucky

Raleigh metro

Senior Member

Joined: 05/07/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mention the dealership. Please tell us it's not a Ford dealership. There are diesel shops everywhere that know more and charge less. The valve cover gaskets liked to leak and can make it look a lot worse than it really is. They are a little pricey as they have wiring harnesses built in but not $2500 worth
The 7.3s were basically indestructible and at your mileage fixing it is the way to go. If it had that many leaks you would have noticed it by now even if you only smelled them.
Good luck with it but read posts about the 6.0s before buying one. Without receipts they are not bulletproofed. Heck, now people selling DAs and Cummins are saying they are bulletproofed.


2005 Cummins 3500 2WD LB quad cab dually pulling a 2014 Blue Ridge 3025RL


valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Posted: 10/24/20 07:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a 1992 7.3...The motor leaked but ran perfect...it was all the other little things that started making it more hassle than it's worth. Little wiring issues, rust, seats getting worn, etc...

I don't know the Idaho prices but you should be able get a reliable truck for well under $30k. Based on local midwest pricing, $15-20k would get us something in the 8-12yr old range that should be reliable. We picked up a pristine 2008 3yrs ago for $10k. It was a V10 and I assume in the mountains you want the turbo that comes with the diesel.

Unless the truck is pristine other than the items listed, you are reaching the point where you can expect new items to wear out regularly.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


Flan

NE

Full Member

Joined: 10/08/2017

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How’s the body and frame? Does Idaho use a lot of salt in the road? If it’s starting to get rusty that’s another determining factor.


Heartland Prowler 27LX
19 Ram CTD 2500

Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Online
Posted: 10/24/20 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Twenty-four year old truck...could be $5000 in engine repairs? Let the old girl go.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


ppine

Northern Nevada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/04/2016

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am going through a similar mental exercise with a 2002. The logical thing to do is make some repairs and keep driving it.

In 175k miles I have never had my truck fail to get me home. I had an issue with the wiring harness once that disconnected 2 cylinders. I could still tow a boat through the mountains on 6 cylinders.

Hank85713

Tucson, Az

Senior Member

Joined: 05/04/2006

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As noted it is your choice really. But for around $5K you should be able to get EVERYTHING done, new exhaust bellow (always leak), new gaskets, possible new hpop, turbo cleanout etc. Find a good recommended independent shop, not a 'dealer' to work with. I have found a ford tech who does side jobs and he is reasonable and when last worked on my truck brought it up to all the latest tsb's that applied to it. Just saw tacoma (i know not same) but on used lot at $43K! dont know but that was pricey just for a name. Have seen used diesels for less but 'buying' used is really just getting a pig in a poke as you have no knowledge of its 'real' history. BIL has a friend who got a good deal on fairly new dodge/ram, ran good but soon was a nightmare. Guess it came out of texas and had been submerged in salt water or? and all electronics became toast, engine evidently had some water also in it, but it was a 'good deal'! Anyhow guy had to get rid of it and bought a suv of some sort.

Bottom line is you know what you have and with a little searching can find someone to do a good job at reasonable cost to you. Interiors can be upgraded with new seats out of salvage yards etc again not all that expensive if you can do work yourself.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

Senior Member

Joined: 05/06/2013

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 10/24/20 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tough call. You neglected to keep up with repairs for however long. Now aside from a list of needed repairs, you have a critical repair that must be done to get any value out of the truck either as transportation or to sell. Otherwise it isn’t worth squat , not running.
Best case you spend whatever getting it running and then whatever you can sell it for plus $5k. The truck you can buy with a theoretical $10k is not going to have less miles than yours if it’s a diesel and in any sort of decent condition.
Look at your needs. If you need a diesel, (you don’t if an old low power 7.3 does what you need) then you need budget, skills or luck to find something within budget that is not a pit.
IMO get it running, get what you can for it and find a newer gasser or if you feel the rest of your truck is in good shape, spend the minimum to keep it going.
And don’t use a dealership unless you want to spend more than you have to.
Good luck. At some point you gotta spend money to have a vehicle and your time has come.
Dunno how nice your truck is or what your wants or needs are so tough call on the internet


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

BenK

SF BayArea

Senior Member

Joined: 04/18/2002

View Profile



Posted: 10/24/20 02:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2 to Hank’s suggestion


-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Time to retire the 7.3 OBS?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tow Vehicles


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.