Multiple issues after having shop replace two injectors, advice? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Multiple issues after having shop replace two injectors, advice?

So I have a 2000 F250 7.3 4x4 Crew Cab. 146k miles. I love it. It had a slight miss in it ever since I purchased it a few years ago. It never bothered me because it really wasn't noticeable unless you were really paying attention. I figured it was just an injector as it still had the originals at 120k miles when I purchased it. So about two months ago I finally had a little extra spending cash after paying for college, and I decided to take it in. I took it to my local ford dealer because the only other place around that works on diesels said he couldn't diagnose the miss until I paid him to replace all ball joints and control arms. (this is a completely different story but he stated he couldn't diagnose the engine because the truck was "bouncing around all over the road and he couldn't tell what was the engine and what was the suspension") Anyways the Dealer called and said I needed an injector on each side. It was pretty pricey (1400$) so I asked if they were absolutely sure that was the issue as I was fine paying that if it fixed the problem, but I couldn't afford much else as Im going to college full time and that eats up most of my funds. The service advisor seemed pretty nice and asked me to come up there to talk to the tech to try to work something out. So I went up there and the tech offered to do it "on the side" to help me out and it would only be 600 if I supplied the parts. The service advisor said the tech was his best tech, and while he technically wasn't diesel certified he only had like a class left to get his certification. So I went ahead and had him do it. A few days later he calls me and says itll be ready later that day and to come by. When I got there he said it was great timing and to come on back, as he was just about to fire it up. It turns it over and it only turns about half a crank and then stops. Does the same thing about 4 more times and he says "Oh, its just hydro locking, there must have been a little oil in the cylinder its no big deal" it finally started and blew out quite a bit of oil out of the exhaust pipe. It runs a little rough at first and then smooth's out and runs good. Paid him and drove it home two miles and all was well. The next morning it did the Hydro lock again, but started and ran fine. On my way to work I noticed my heater stopped blowing hot when I was just about to work. I looked down and the temp gauge was a hair over 3/4 of the way to hot (it had never gotten above half before). I pulled over and the coolant was coming out of the degas bottle and bubbling like a Jacuzzi. I checked the oil and didn't see any coolant, was just black like normal. When it cooled down I had to add approximately 3 gallons of water to fill the degas bottle. I didn't see any leaks and no smoke has ever come out of the exhaust except for when the oil came out when he first started it and there was a blue smoke for about a mile, then it went away. I called him back and he said to bring it by the following week as he was booked full this week. That was fine as I was leaving on a work training trip for about two weeks. I told him I'd bring it back when I got back. When I took it back the service advisor I was working with was no longer employed there, but the tech was, so I left it with the new service advisor and told him the techs name and he knew what was going on. The advisor called me back a few days later saying the tech says its "internal engine issues and needs me to approve 15 hours of labor to pull the engine apart to diagnose at a cost of approximately $1700" I told him Id talk to the tech. Well initially the tech said it was nothing caused by him even though the truck has never overheated even in the slightest, or ever lost any coolant at all. He stated he was absolutely positive it was nothing caused by him. I decided to have it diagnosed elsewhere incase by some extremely rare change it was just some coincidence it started at the same time. I found a difference shop that said they didn't specialize in diesels but would take a look. They said they're opinion was a headgasket and estimated the repair cost at 4k+. That shop didn't seem too confident though, so I decided to try another ford dealer about 30 miles away that is literally the only other place that works on diesels in my area. It's there now but Im hoping some other members may be able to give me some insight, as although Im fairly knowledgeable with gasoline engines and fairly mechanically inclined, this is my first diesel.


The Symptoms:
Truck does not overheat until it loses all its coolant, but the heater works only intermittently even if it full on coolant.
It appears the only way it loses coolant is when it boils out of the degas bottle cap. I cant find any leaks or smoke.
I have no power off the line. (I don't know if this is separate or related) I can flow it and it takes it a bit for the power to get built up.
There is no white residue on oil cap or degas cap.
When the service advisor (at the ford dealership its at now) took the degas cap off he smelled it and said it smells like diesel, and indeed it did)
It would boil all the coolant out after about 15 miles. (It appears empty when I go to refill it, but when I crack the cap open it starts to hiss pretty good and lets a lot of pressure out, and some will start to boil over) normally after 15 or so miles I have to refill with 3-4 gallons of water.
It still occasionally hydrolocks every once in a blue moon when I try to start it.




The second ford dealer service advisor said it was a possibility of an injector cup being cracked if the previous tech did the job incorrectly, or if it damaged it when he tried to start it without all the oil out of the cylinder. He said they could try to diagnose it but he said they may not being able to give me a forsure answer.
I'm at a loss at what to do. If its a 1200$ repair I might be able to swing that, but that would be about all I could do and still be able to pay for classes next semester. But I don't know how to isolate exactly what it is without throwing money at it or a complete engine tear down. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do have a full set of tools, and have done a fair amount of mechanic work in the past on my own vehicles, but never a diesel, it seems a little daunting to try something this extensive on my own. Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated, and sorry for the long post.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 03:34 PM
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The second ford dealer service advisor seems to be the only guy that has a clue. The first tech needs to be strung up and shot at sunrise. There is not a mechanic alive that could look you in the face and tell you that it was normal to hydrolock and then just force the engine over until it started. Absolutely, 100% without any doubt in the world that guy caused all of your issues. Did he blow a headgasket? Hopefully not - much more likely he blew a cup out of its seat.

Check your coolant reservoir for fuel. You're looking for a sheen in the top of the coolant, or maybe if you've got the nose, you can get up and sniff it out. You need to find someone in a diesel shop that specializes in PowerStrokes or Internationals to take it from here. I wish you were close enough - I'd come get it and do it for you. I hate that they've taken advantage of you at this stage of your life.

You need to stop driving it until this is fixed. Forcing a hydrolocked motor to turn over is a recipe for internal engine damage. You're kind of lucky it hasn't bent a rod yet.

A quick google search shows Gulf Coast Diesels in Gautier to be about your only choice with respect to independent shops. Give him a call and see what he thinks.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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The second ford dealer service advisor seems to be the only guy that has a clue. The first tech needs to be strung up and shot at sunrise. There is not a mechanic alive that could look you in the face and tell you that it was normal to hydrolock and then just force the engine over until it started. Absolutely, 100% without any doubt in the world that guy caused all of your issues. Did he blow a headgasket? Hopefully not - much more likely he blew a cup out of its seat.

Check your coolant reservoir for fuel. You're looking for a sheen in the top of the coolant, or maybe if you've got the nose, you can get up and sniff it out. You need to find someone in a diesel shop that specializes in PowerStrokes or Internationals to take it from here. I wish you were close enough - I'd come get it and do it for you. I hate that they've taken advantage of you at this stage of your life.

You need to stop driving it until this is fixed. Forcing a hydrolocked motor to turn over is a recipe for internal engine damage. You're kind of lucky it hasn't bent a rod yet.

A quick google search shows Gulf Coast Diesels in Gautier to be about your only choice with respect to independent shops. Give him a call and see what he thinks.
i
Yeah they were super nice at first, and seemed like they wanted to help with doing it on the side, but as soon as the hydrolocking happened I lost a lot of faith in the first guy and his abilities. I'm trying to get some kind of concrete proof that he was what caused the issues, because if I can prove it was his negligence Im going to take it to the service manager and tell him the whole story. I just don't want to do that until Im absolutely sure it was his fault, because if it was by some chance in hell it was a random coincidence I dont want to get the guy in trouble. The fact he's now avoiding all my calls and texts puts me off though. Man if you were close I'd pay you shop rates, I just want to get it fixed right and know its reliable again lol. Ive been saving up for a while, and don't have a ton, but I'm willing to pay to get it running right and reliable, I just don't want to throw money at random things and 'hope' it fixes it. Especially for the school year as I won't have any extra to keep throwing at it.

As for the fuel in the reservoir, Its extremely hard to tell because after driving ~15 miles all the coolant boils out. The second service adviser did take the cap off and smell the cap, and had another adviser there smell it and both said it smelled like diesel. I smelled it and while it definitely wasn't a coolant smell, I couldn't tell if it smelled like exhaust or diesel.
/
Do you think its more likely the headgasket or injector cups? I talked to my dad who has a 6.0 and supposedly from what he knows of 7.3's he said its pretty rare for the headgasket to go. Im extremely worried about a headgasket because I think that may be out of my budget ='(

So it only seems to hydro lock every once in a blue moon. Should I spend the $200 and have it towed to Gautier? or should I try chancing it and driving it there stopping to fill the coolant every 10 or so miles? its about a 32 mile drive from the dealer its currently at to gulf coast diesel. I'm assuming the safe answer would be to tow it. I may have to look into AAA or something like that. I think a 30 mile tow on a truck that big may be pretty expensive otherwise.

Thank you again for all the advice.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 12:30 AM
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AAA will tow 30 mile and charge extra if it is over 30 miles at least that is what they told me. I would say injector cup most likely lets hope that is it. I just payed of my wifes college so I understand your situation.

2002 f250 7.3 4x4 256,000miles. Bone stock other than hutch mode and edge evo programer I use for gadges most of the time. I also have air bags on back for towing.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 09:00 AM
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Your dad is right - the chance that a head gasket spontaneously blew on a 7.3 is about the same chance that you're going to win the PowerBall tonight. I've never seen one, never read about one, no one that I know has ever heard of it happening. Unless you are pulling sleds running nitrous, I think you can rule that out.

Now - what your idiot mechanic did - put an incompressible liquid in a closed cylinder and compressed it with two batteries driving a starter - something has to give. Either a hole in a piston, the rod bends, a head gasket blows, or the injector and/or cup lifts. So, you have to look at what the weakest link is. If I had to rank them (based only on experience of what actually happens) I would say the injector / cup assembly, rod, piston, and then head gasket. Based on your symptoms, I'm about 99% confident you have a lifted cup. If there is any diesel in the coolant - that has to be it. You'll have exhaust gas as well, but if you had a head gasket, there wouldn't be any diesel.

You have to see it in your head to know what's allowing different compartment's to mix. In order for compression gasses to get into the coolant, there has to be a breech between those two compartments. Normally, when an injector cup cracks, it just allows fuel and coolant to mix. To get combustion gasses, the whole cup has to be up a bit to allow the gasses from the cylinder to push into the coolant chamber.

As to your other questions - I wouldn't drive it at all. Every hydrolock episode is a gamble at total engine destruction. What needs to happen is those injectors need to be examined. Put a straight edge across the tops of the solenoids looking for one sitting taller than the rest. Then, they all need to be pulled and the coolant pressurized while someone looks into each bore for leakage. I'm pretty confident that's going to tell the story.

Getting the original guy to admit fault is going to be next to impossible. If he had the character to do that, he already would have. At this point, you're going to have to force him to admit fault, which will involve attorneys. That gets expensive quick and you're unlikely to recover what you invest. I would talk to the owner. He'll be interested in the "off the books" arrangement. You can let him know that you intend to file a complaint with the BBB if things aren't corrected, but you have to know what you want. Personally, I wouldn't let them work on my truck again even if it was for free. He's unlikely to cut you a check for the damages, but he might refund your labor from the first fiasco.

Your dad has a 6.0 - can you get your hands on a trailer and tow it to the shop?

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I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey, look - that one is shaped like an idiot!"
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AAA will tow 30 mile and charge extra if it is over 30 miles at least that is what they told me. I would say injector cup most likely lets hope that is it. I just payed of my wifes college so I understand your situation.
I think I might buy the gold membership. Supposedly that includes one tow up to 100 miles. I'm really hoping it's 'just' a cup too!!

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Your dad is right - the chance that a head gasket spontaneously blew on a 7.3 is about the same chance that you're going to win the PowerBall tonight. I've never seen one, never read about one, no one that I know has ever heard of it happening. Unless you are pulling sleds running nitrous, I think you can rule that out.

Now - what your idiot mechanic did - put an incompressible liquid in a closed cylinder and compressed it with two batteries driving a starter - something has to give. Either a hole in a piston, the rod bends, a head gasket blows, or the injector and/or cup lifts. So, you have to look at what the weakest link is. If I had to rank them (based only on experience of what actually happens) I would say the injector / cup assembly, rod, piston, and then head gasket. Based on your symptoms, I'm about 99% confident you have a lifted cup. If there is any diesel in the coolant - that has to be it. You'll have exhaust gas as well, but if you had a head gasket, there wouldn't be any diesel.

You have to see it in your head to know what's allowing different compartment's to mix. In order for compression gasses to get into the coolant, there has to be a breech between those two compartments. Normally, when an injector cup cracks, it just allows fuel and coolant to mix. To get combustion gasses, the whole cup has to be up a bit to allow the gasses from the cylinder to push into the coolant chamber.

As to your other questions - I wouldn't drive it at all. Every hydrolock episode is a gamble at total engine destruction. What needs to happen is those injectors need to be examined. Put a straight edge across the tops of the solenoids looking for one sitting taller than the rest. Then, they all need to be pulled and the coolant pressurized while someone looks into each bore for leakage. I'm pretty confident that's going to tell the story.

Getting the original guy to admit fault is going to be next to impossible. If he had the character to do that, he already would have. At this point, you're going to have to force him to admit fault, which will involve attorneys. That gets expensive quick and you're unlikely to recover what you invest. I would talk to the owner. He'll be interested in the "off the books" arrangement. You can let him know that you intend to file a complaint with the BBB if things aren't corrected, but you have to know what you want. Personally, I wouldn't let them work on my truck again even if it was for free. He's unlikely to cut you a check for the damages, but he might refund your labor from the first fiasco.

Your dad has a 6.0 - can you get your hands on a trailer and tow it to the shop?

My dad unfortunately lives in Nebraska, so it's a little far for him to come tow it for me lol. I think I'm going to buy a aaa membership and have them tow it. When I hear back from the current dealer on what they're opinion is, I'm going to try and see if they'd put something in writing stating it's their opinion a botched injector job caused the issues and then go to the first dealers owner and/or management and go from there. I've tried calling and texting the first tech again and he still won't respond so I'm getting more irritated with it.

You're definitely giving me hope it is 'just' a cup(s). I would hope that's more affordable then a head gasket job lol. If that's it and I can get it fixed for a reasonable price so I can pay for school I'll be happy. Lol
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 04:29 PM
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You're likely going to run into the "blue code of silence" with the dealers. One dealer isn't going to say the other dealer screwed up even if it is obvious to the whole world they did. And the tech is never going to admit fault. Like I said, if he had any character, he would have already taken care of it - that ship has sailed. I'd skip management. They are going to keep the boss happy no matter how many lies they have to tell him. I still think the owner is going to want to know about this off the books arrangement and he'll be wanting to keep his BBB rating out of the gutter so that's the cheapest way to influence him.

As to the cup - everyone except the Ford dealership can pull the cups with the heads in the truck. For some reason (well, ok -its so they can charge you book hours for pulling the engine apart) they insist they have to pull the head to swap the cup. Even though they don't actually pull the head to swap the cup when they actually do the job in the back...

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I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey, look - that one is shaped like an idiot!"
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You're likely going to run into the "blue code of silence" with the dealers. One dealer isn't going to say the other dealer screwed up even if it is obvious to the whole world they did. And the tech is never going to admit fault. Like I said, if he had any character, he would have already taken care of it - that ship has sailed. I'd skip management. They are going to keep the boss happy no matter how many lies they have to tell him. I still think the owner is going to want to know about this off the books arrangement and he'll be wanting to keep his BBB rating out of the gutter so that's the cheapest way to influence him.

As to the cup - everyone except the Ford dealership can pull the cups with the heads in the truck. For some reason (well, ok -its so they can charge you book hours for pulling the engine apart) they insist they have to pull the head to swap the cup. Even though they don't actually pull the head to swap the cup when they actually do the job in the back...

The second ford dealer just called and said their tech thinks it's a head or something internal. They don't want to start it because he said it's currently hydrolocked. I asked if there was any indication of it just being the cups and he said that coolant boiling over is indicative of a bad headgasket. He said maybe it was low on coolant and then overheated damaging the head. He said it doesn't take long at all for a blown headgasket when it's overheated, "especially on diesels." When I explained the situation of it never once overheating before the injector replacement, and that it only got about 3/4-4/5s on the temp gauge, and that it doesn't smoke at all he said there's nothing they can do without tearing down the engine first ($2100 lol). And it was 175 for him to basically just try to start it, not do anything and just give me his opinion. Lol. So I called the Gulf Coast Diesel shop you found and he said to bring it by and he'd do what he can. I did end up getting AAA with the high membership that does each tow up to 100 miles. So I'm going to try to get it over there today.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 11:13 AM
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The sad part of this whole story is with 120K, there is no way in hades you needed those two injectors in the first place. I've got twice that on my originals and they are fine. Anyone with any experience on these motors knows that the grey CPS causes a phantom "miss" that will even throw a cylinder contribution code that has nothing to do with injectors....

Also, while the 6.0 will blow a head gasket when overheated, the 7.3 just doesn't do that very often. The reason is there are 6 head bolts per cylinder versus 4 on the 6.0 and the latter used "stretchy" torque to yield bolts whereas the 7.3 doesn't.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 03:52 PM
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Just read this whole issue and RT is spot on.

start with the cheapest repair first which is a cup(s).

sounds like the tech didn't remove the glow plugs and turn it over? He needs a few more classes lol
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Just read this whole issue and RT is spot on.

start with the cheapest repair first which is a cup(s).

sounds like the tech didn't remove the glow plugs and turn it over? He needs a few more classes lol

I agree. I'd go to the general manager of the dealership. The "tech" who damaged your engine should be fired for stealing work from the dealership. Period.

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The sad part of this whole story is with 120K, there is no way in hades you needed those two injectors in the first place. I've got twice that on my originals and they are fine. Anyone with any experience on these motors knows that the grey CPS causes a phantom "miss" that will even throw a cylinder contribution code that has nothing to do with injectors....

Also, while the 6.0 will blow a head gasket when overheated, the 7.3 just doesn't do that very often. The reason is there are 6 head bolts per cylinder versus 4 on the 6.0 and the latter used "stretchy" torque to yield bolts whereas the 7.3 doesn't.
Yeah I really hope it's not the head. There's no way I'll be able to get that done. Lol

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Just read this whole issue and RT is spot on.

start with the cheapest repair first which is a cup(s).

sounds like the tech didn't remove the glow plugs and turn it over? He needs a few more classes lol
I have no idea what that tech did lol. The only reason why I was okay with him at first was because the service advisor said he wasn't "technically diesel certified" but was the only tech working on diesels at that dealership for the last 3 months, and since they were short staffed he just didn't have the time to get the certification completed.

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I agree. I'd go to the general manager of the dealership. The "tech" who damaged your engine should be fired for stealing work from the dealership. Period.
It's at the independent shop now. Talked to him last night and said he was digging into it today. He did say that he was already pretty positive that the issues were caused by the first dealer but would update me. The second dealer said it was likely. So as soon as this independent shop gives me his conclusion I'm going to try to talk to the tech and give him an out before I go to the owners. If he still won't do anything then I'll go to the owners because it's extremely frustrating.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:17 PM
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RT is telling you straight. I've done several injector jobs and a few cup jobs. I replaced the injectors in my personal truck last year at just over 300k miles. Unfortunately I was pressed for time and funds and stupidly didn't do the cups and I am now about to pull it all apart again (apx 40k miles later) to do cups as I have recently started getting a little diesel in my coolant. Like RT said; if you were closer... I would about bet real money that it is absolutely NOT the head! I've personally put craploads of miles on these engines pulling some stupid weight in the oilfield and have yet to see a 7.3 with a blown head! Bent rods and blown pistons from hydrolock I have seen before and that ain't pretty. I'd also about bet real money that this was 100% caused by the 'technician' (and I will use that term VERY loosely! I will say a prayer for your rods and pistons. Best wishes.

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Originally Posted by Gator5713 View Post
RT is telling you straight. I've done several injector jobs and a few cup jobs. I replaced the injectors in my personal truck last year at just over 300k miles. Unfortunately I was pressed for time and funds and stupidly didn't do the cups and I am now about to pull it all apart again (apx 40k miles later) to do cups as I have recently started getting a little diesel in my coolant. Like RT said; if you were closer... I would about bet real money that it is absolutely NOT the head! I've personally put craploads of miles on these engines pulling some stupid weight in the oilfield and have yet to see a 7.3 with a blown head! Bent rods and blown pistons from hydrolock I have seen before and that ain't pretty. I'd also about bet real money that this was 100% caused by the 'technician' (and I will use that term VERY loosely! I will say a prayer for your rods and pistons. Best wishes.




WOOOOOO!!! Finally some good news! The shop RT found (thank you so much for finding them. I honestly had no idea about them) just called. Said when the previous "tech" did #5 injector the copper washer got trashed and ended up cracking the cup. He said he's got it all back up and going and there's nothing wrong with the heads/headgaskets. Here's the kicker, he's only charging me $400. The interaction was a little funny when I asked what I owed him.

"Great news, thank you so much, what do I owe you??"
"$400.xx"
"400$?? Really???" (I guess he took this the opposite of how I meant it lol)
"Well uhm, yeah, I had to do quite a bit a work and also an oil cha-"
"No no no I'm sorry I meant it as I couldn't believe that's all it was going to cost me. Every other shop I've been to swore a minimum of 2k+, you don't have to explain why I owe you $400, I really appreciate it lol"

He started laughing pretty good lol. Says I can go pick it up today. I was also having a problem with having no power off the line and he said this also likely caused that as well but he was going to test drive it and call me back.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 12:37 PM
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Thank God for honest independent shops. Those are the guys that keep America great. No offense to the two honest dealer mechanics out there, but this episode should reinforce why most of us would rather eat glass than take our babies to the dealership. Red wolf- your job is to tell every diesel owner you ever meet about this guy.


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2003 F-250 XLT Crew Cab 7.3L, Chrome BigTex Grille Guard, Quad pillar - 3 ISSPRO gauges (trans, pyro, boost) and DP-Tuner F6; Roush fuel pressure / temperature / oil pressure gauges, Ford Severe Duty AIS, 31 row 6.0 transmission cooler, ScanGauge II, Marinco mod, Walker BTM

I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey, look - that one is shaped like an idiot!"
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