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 > Who’s still using a 7.3 diesel truck

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Marcela

Kansas

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I happened to buy a new '99 F250 with the 7.3 just cause that is what they had at the time. Lasted till a couple years ago at 155k miles with hardly any problems and used well. One of the last loads I hauled with it was a triple axle gooseneck dump trailer loaded with dirt. This was a stock truck, and it was overloaded. There was a big hill to go over to cross a dam and I had to get a run at it and on the way up it would drop to 2nd gear. I probably did this at least 5 times and the truck never gave up. It was stock or it probably would have broke something. Also used it to haul a couple truck campers.

So I got the itch again for another truck camper and found a '01 F350 locally owned by the Ford diesel mechanic at a nearby dealership. Only 60k miles[emoticon]. The only thing he did was chip it so when I got it I did all the preventative maintenance and upgraded bits and pieces. It is a nice truck and I'll probably sell it this spring if I can force myself.

The previous owner showed me the truck he replaced it with, was a 6.4 or 6.7 Ford truck. The engine compartment was packed with stuff. Simplicity of the 7.3 is not to be ignored.

Last of the big blocks as someone else put it.

swhunter

SF, NM

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Posted: 02/23/21 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2000 F350, 7.3 liter diesel, Crew Cab, SRW, Auto trans, 4x4 Long bed. I bought it in 2002 with 26,000 miles from the original owner. The pickup now has 156,000 miles. I already had a 1992 Lance camper that I carried on a 1993 Dodge 250 club cab 4x4 with the 5.9 liter Cummings. The camper has a 11’3'' floor with a generator. I had installed Reese class 5 hitch and the airbags on the Dodge. I took the hitch and the air bags off the Dodge and put them on the 2000 F350. The air bags helped the rear end to not squat so much. But the front end was too soft with the camper on. When a semi truck would pass me I would have to get off the throttle and ride it out. There was a lot of sway on uneven ground when the camper was on also. I had the Rancho 2.5” level kit installed, Rancho 5000 shocks and double shocked the front end. That modification really made a big improvement to how the pickup handles when loaded with the camper. Since then I have added an Edge Products programmer, K&N cold air intake, bigger trans oil cooler & temp gauge, 4” exhaust with straight through muffler. Almost two years ago I went to 19.5” wheels & tires. I am happy with tires they don’t bulge out under load and they really helped reduce the sway. I also took the F350 to a spring shop and they added a thick-heavy spring to the main spring pack on the rear end. They also replaced the one overload spring with two thicker-heavier springs. Now the pickup rides level and handles well even without using the air bags. Last year we bought a really well taken care of in great shape, 2010 Lance model 950-S has a 9’10” floor one slide out and a generator. Hope to sell the 1992 Lance this spring. Things were pretty weird last year, because of multiple reasons we only got to go on one short camping trip with our new to us camper. Hope we can do more before long. With everything I have done to my 2000 F350 it carries the camper very well, handles well and is nice to drive loaded. I haven’t had many engine problems. Replaced the ball joints at 100,000, water pump at 120,000 and alternator at 140,000 miles. It would be nice to have a newer F350 with the 6.7 that has more power and is quieter. I don’t now and won’t have the means to get another pickup for a good while. I hope nothing drastic and bad happens to my F350, 7.3 because I would like to keep it for a long time.

36guy

Princeton

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

36guy, sounds like you couldn’t drive a manual shift, didn’t do proper maintenance including oil changes, and modified ito use non OEM parts and it’s Ford’s fault. [emoticon] At leat, you found something you liked. [emoticon] That’s really all that matters.


You know.....one shouldn't pass judgement of others if you don't know them. I drive truck for a living, I've been building hot rods and custom motorcycles for 40 years, and I stand corrected, it is a ZF 5 speed stick I put a Luc clutch and flywheel in, the dual mass shields the tranny from power pulses that a single mass setup does not, leading to bearing failure on the input shaft.
I probably know more about servicing my pickups than most on here, I have a fully equipped shop to do just that. Thanks for your esteemed and totally incorrect observation.

Jtime

North

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Posted: 02/24/21 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Alright guys let’s keep it on topic!

Anyone done a TC on a 7.3 with a flat deck ?

Marcela

Kansas

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Posted: 02/24/21 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jtime wrote:

Alright guys let’s keep it on topic!

Anyone done a TC on a 7.3 with a flat deck ?


I looked into that. The oem bed weighs around 700# or less if I remember right. The flat bed either aluminum or steel is going to weigh a bit. Compute accordingly.

I did change the stock oem 2600# rear springs for some 4400#ers. Makes a big difference. And sway bar. My Bigfoot truck camper had so much weigh up high it needed all the help it could get.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/24/21 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jtime wrote:

Alright guys let’s keep it on topic!

Anyone done a TC on a 7.3 with a flat deck ?


Same as any other truck. Not specific to brand or engine.
Flatbeds make for nice TC haulers if you take advantage of the extra space for additional storage. Otherwise I don’t see an advantage in the TC application.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

36guy

Princeton

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Posted: 02/24/21 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

jimh425 wrote:

36guy, sounds like you couldn’t drive a manual shift, didn’t do proper maintenance including oil changes, and modified ito use non OEM parts and it’s Ford’s fault. [emoticon] At leat, you found something you liked. [emoticon] That’s really all that matters.


Sounds more like a lemon to me. It happens with all vehicles.
I don’t get the impression that the OP didn’t take care of it. Idk about the input shaft issues though. Not familiar with those trans.
I do know the 7.3s were a cold blooded engine that needed properly operating glow plugs and that good oil change maintenance was imperative on them (and 6.0s) because the HPOPs were good but finicky without frequent quality oil changes.

Every vehicle has its quirks. But there’s quirks and there’s issues and they had quirks, not issues.


Thanks, yes, from the day I bought it, the first week one glow plug went, two or three months later after a long high rpm pull it threw its first fan belt, then ate the first of three water pumps, then one morning start up it only ran on seven cylinders, always back to the dealership, it was just one of those trucks you pour money into......I loved the truck, I just got tired of fixing it.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 02/24/21 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jtime wrote:

Alright guys let’s keep it on topic!

Anyone done a TC on a 7.3 with a flat deck ?


I did purchase my 12' TC with F250 flatbed. 7.3l pulled just fine, regardless the bed [emoticon]
Not only the tires were overloaded, but securing the camper from moving around on steel-plated deck was additional task. I did not have rubber mat at the time thought.
So when I was ordering new truck - the bed mat was on top of the list.
One of the best $120 spend.





sonuvabug

Mid-West Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 02/25/21 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've owned our 2001 Ford F250 Extended Cab Lariat with the 7.3 diesel and 8' box since 2013 and it has travelled almost 93,000 miles ... that's less than 5,000 miles annually. It really is a Pavement Prince with very little real work experience.

[image]

Yes it requires and receives regular maintenance and yes, things need replacement and repair on it as you would expect from a 20 year old vehicle. Rebuilt the 4R100 tranny with HD components (darn mechanical diode issue) a few years back, new drive shaft and just recently the front hubs stopped engaging. Perhaps a vacuum line leak or a good hub cleaning MAY solve that but I won't know until the warm weather comes.

It is a simpler design than modern day diesels thus making it easier to understand and work on for me ... and yes, I do as much of the maintenance and repair/replace wrenching on it as I can using the FSMs to guide me and the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums cited earlier.

Over the past 5 years it has had some minor surface rust sanded out and touched up, a new water pump, starter, alternator and on-going corroded fluid lines replaced as needed not to mention the occasional consumable items like brakes, batteries, tires etc. It is rust proofed regularly to keep the inevitable rusting at bay as Ontario still uses a salt mix or brine when deicing the roads.

It was a purpose specific purchase and does a very good job for us hauling our Adventurer 90FWS truck camper (3,500lbs.) while towing our enclosed cargo trailer (also about 3,500lbs.) with two maxi-scooters and too much camping gear. Making power for any terrain or situation has never been an issue as we never exceed 63 mph while hauling/towing. I drive a little faster light loaded but usually keep it under 70 mph.

I've always said I would not own a vehicle I couldn't jump in/on and drive/ride across the country and I still don't. I really like this truck ... it keeps me busy sometimes and certainly makes me happy most of the time. Best mpg was 21+ (could have been an arithmetic error) and worst was 10 mpg (again likely an error). Regular average 15'ish mpg light loaded and between 12-14 mpg under the load described above.

Some might think why hang onto it if it needs ongoing attention and money? Well, here in Canada, a comparably equipped new truck would run approximately CAD $85,000+ or about USD $68,000. This one is paid for and we have far better uses for our money so it's a no brainer for us.

[image]


2007 Adventurer 90fws Truck Camper
2001 FORD F250 SuperCab; 8' box; 4x4, 7.3l diesel, rear Sumo Springs

Jtime

North

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Posted: 02/25/21 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sonuvabug

Great write up, and thanks for taking the time to do so! Our soon to be ours 7.3 will also be getting an adventurer But the 910DB model, So it’s going to be a dually. With all the things you listed for maintenance that’s pretty much every long standing 7.3 owners check list for these trucks. I’m in Alberta, Canada so truck bodies don’t last around here either unless the previous owners took good care.

Either way I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one!

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