Recently hit 100K: a long-term test for an '03 7.3L - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Recently hit 100K: a long-term test for an '03 7.3L

See truck in avatar and signature below.

Given that I drive two trucks, the mileage doesn't add up quickly on either one. Having said that, I recently passed the 100,000 mile mark on my 2003 7.3L Powerstroke F-350. Not bad for a 14 year old vehicle. Here are my observations:

A. When I bought this truck in February of '03, I was quite fortunate that it had everything that I wanted and nothing that I didn't, feature wise. How many people can say that about a vehicle purchase? It was literally the exact truck I wanted, right down to every single detail. Why is this important, even after 14 years? It's important because I have avoided spending any money on features or systems that broke or failed in some way, features that I didn't want in the first place. No sunroofs leaking. No electronic SOTF 4x4 crapping out. No power seats breaking. Simply put, the less that's there, the less that can go wrong. However, it should be noted that very little has gone wrong with this truck (more on that later).

B. The appearance of this truck has held up remarkably well over the last 14 years. There is a little bit of rust bubbling on the right rear fender well and the left rear cab corner needs attention, but aside from that, the skin is rust-free. Again, driving two trucks helps in this regard, especially in winter. The interior literally still can pass for brand-new. I put a beach towel on the driver's seat when I think I might get dirty, so that helps protect the seat that gets the most use. After vacuuming and Armor-All-ing the interior, it could pass for show-room condition.

C. Ride quality is surprisingly good. Last year (2016), I had the front-end rebuilt (it had the clunks and thumps these trucks always get over time). Since that rebuild, it drives like new again. Also last year, I test-drove a new 2016 F-350 CC short bed XLT, and I must say, I really couldn't detect much of a difference between the two, ride quality wise. I know some readers are rolling their eyes over that last sentence, but I just couldn't see an appreciable difference between the two. Maybe it's because I was expecting a big difference (based on the glowing reviews of newer Super Duty ride quality for the last half-dozen years), but either way I was left wondering what the big hub-bub was about.

D. Right up until ULSD made its debut in '07, this truck was getting in the low 20s for hwy fuel economy, with a personal best of 23.5mpg on consecutive tanks. Around town was about 17mpg and towing a 5,000lb trailer about 15mpg. After ULSD, the absolute best I've been able to wring out of this truck on the hwy is 19mpg even. BTW, this truck is completely stock.

E. Power-wise, the specs say it has 250hp and 525lb/ft of torque. Nothing had more stock torque until the 6.0L replaced it. This truck tows both via Reese and gooseneck, and a healthy portion of the overall miles are towing miles. It has towed some pretty stout loads over the years, weights that I won't bother publishing, for a few reasons, some of them obvious. However, suffice to say that everything has held up. With all of my experience in driving and towing (many more trucks that this one, including family-owned Duramaxes), I can say that while the current models are offering nosebleed level horsepower and torque specs, it is my opinion that 300/600 is the perfect combo, all things considered. That's what my (obviously not stock) '94 Dodge Ram Cummins has, and it works pretty well and still delivers decent fuel economy. Either way, my '03 7.3L Powerstroke has never made me late to a destination due to lack of power, and probably 40% of its miles are spent with a trailer hitched to it.

F. The bottom line: This was the last 7.3L Powerstroke in the area when I bought it. The lot was full of 6.0Ls, and I did test them, but decided not to go that route. What followed for the next decade-and-a-half or so was decent performance with virtually no money expended on repairs until last year's front-end rebuild. Sure, the CPS went out (like they all do), but that was replaced under warranty/recall. That's it. This has been a reliable, well-built truck since day one, and I hope to be driving it for a few more years yet.

2003 F-350 SRW XLT 7.3L 4R100 PSD 4x4 Supercab SB 3.73
1994 Dodge 3500 SLT Dually 5.9L Cummins NV4500 5spd US Gear "splitter" Exhaust brake 4x4
RETIRED: 1985 Chevy K20 6.2L Turbo-400 3spd auto 4x4 4.10
2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V-6 5-spd auto 4wd 3.55
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for sharing. I'm right there with you, still enjoying my 2001 as much as ever.

2001 Lariat, F250, 7.3, 6-speed, 3:73, Ford AIS, MBRP 4" turbo back, ATS ported housing, 205 t-stat, Infinity DX w/DP Tuner 80hp tow, coolant filter, Hutched & Harpooned, EGT & Boost gauge. Fuel Mavericks with 285/18, 86k miles(Jan-2017) Bought brand new April 2001.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:05 PM
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Interesting feedback on the loss of fuel economy with the ULSD switch.


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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 160,000 miles.

NOS Black CPS. Rebuilt Fuel bowl w/gold spring, 6.0 Cooler, Walker BTM, Stancor GPR, AIH Delete, ScanGauge II, AIC, 2002 Headlights, Bilstein 4600, Marinco Mod, Cupholder Upgrade, B&W Turnover Ball, Michelin LTX


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 160,000 miles.

NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II, Bilstein 5100, Marinco Mod, B&W Turnover Ball
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
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Interesting feedback on the loss of fuel economy with the ULSD switch.
Agreed. I've always used cetane boost additive but my mileage hasnt changed at all.

2001 Lariat, F250, 7.3, 6-speed, 3:73, Ford AIS, MBRP 4" turbo back, ATS ported housing, 205 t-stat, Infinity DX w/DP Tuner 80hp tow, coolant filter, Hutched & Harpooned, EGT & Boost gauge. Fuel Mavericks with 285/18, 86k miles(Jan-2017) Bought brand new April 2001.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 10:43 PM
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Wish mine had 100,000 on it. I'm closing in on 250k, but still runs like new...


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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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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 08:39 PM
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I've had the same experience with my 2003. great truck. 104,000 miles, killed me to see the odometer turn.
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2003 F250 SBSC 4X4 7.3 6spd..Great Truck!!
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2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited built for the rocks
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:40 AM
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You have man mor years my friend I am about to turn 300,000 miles with no major issues. Although I did upgrade to an HD transmission and a few other things. I still love mine.

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 #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Texkenusmc View Post
You have man mor years my friend I am about to turn 300,000 miles with no major issues. Although I did upgrade to an HD transmission and a few other things. I still love mine.
Did you upgrade to a 4R100HD? Are you satisfied with it? Who did the work?

2003 F-350 SRW XLT 7.3L 4R100 PSD 4x4 Supercab SB 3.73
1994 Dodge 3500 SLT Dually 5.9L Cummins NV4500 5spd US Gear "splitter" Exhaust brake 4x4
RETIRED: 1985 Chevy K20 6.2L Turbo-400 3spd auto 4x4 4.10
2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V-6 5-spd auto 4wd 3.55
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:57 AM
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I ordered it through ford and had my my cousin do the work he has been a diesel mechanic for 20 years. I love it ! I pull a 35' triple slide fifth wheel that is 14k loaded. I take it through the smokey mountains every year.

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 #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:02 PM
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I'm pretty close to 250,000 miles on my 2001, and it still runs like a brand new truck.

2001 F350 XLT 4X4 crew cab, dual rear wheels, long bed, black, 7.3l turbo diesel, automatic transmission, 4.10, shift on the fly, running boards, sliding rear window, 38 gal fuel tank, 11,500 gvwr, 20,000 gcwr, 7500 gvw, completely stock, 114,000 miles when purchased, now has 240,000 miles, repairs so far: starter, batteries, cps, brakes, tires, alternator, ball joints, AC compressor, serpentine belt.

2005 Nomad Rampage toyhauler made by Skyline. 11,500lb gvwr.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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There will be some people who scoff at this, but I truly think the best non-aluminum Super Duties were the following years (in order):

1. 2003
2. 2002
3. 2007
4. 2006
5. 2016
6. 2015

2003 F-350 SRW XLT 7.3L 4R100 PSD 4x4 Supercab SB 3.73
1994 Dodge 3500 SLT Dually 5.9L Cummins NV4500 5spd US Gear "splitter" Exhaust brake 4x4
RETIRED: 1985 Chevy K20 6.2L Turbo-400 3spd auto 4x4 4.10
2003 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V-6 5-spd auto 4wd 3.55
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:50 PM
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Here are my 7.3 s.

The Black F350, aka Zeus - 105,000 . It is mint !

The Maroon F550, aka Aries - 140,000. Almost mint !

Best trucks ever made !

Mongus rigs;
1992 F-Superduty Dump truck 7.3 - Luk SMF 5spd 5:13 rears-Ricksons 19.5 wheels & tires-Banks get kits.
This is my work hoarse !

2000 F550 - Crew cab -Custom Hood
Harley Flamed Fenders & Doors.
4x4-7.3 - South Bend 6spd 4:88 rears. Loaded ! Volant intake
Hog Performance 4" SS exhaust
Banks wheel, turbine, exhaust brake-Ceramic coated
AFE Blade Runner Spyder
Strickley Diesel Return Fuel & Banjo Bolts
IH up pipes - ceramic coated
Powder coated everything.
Brake Performance-slotted & dimpled rotors with performance pads
DP Tuner 80 Tow
Coolant filter system
Evens Coolant
203 thermostat
Bullet Liner coated Dana 60 front end

2008 F-350 Harley Davidson Crew cab - long bed - 6.4 - Banks-Six gun-Air intake-IQ-Dual Exhaust

2004 Pace American 28' x 9' x 8' enclosed work trailer. 18k GVW. Tri axle - loaded

Custom Built Roll -Off dump trailer. 17yard box. Double dual axles. 20k GVW.

Fully decked 2003 Anni Fat Boy.
Rare "Reaper Tins"

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Last edited by Mongus; 05-19-2017 at 03:49 PM. Reason: added picture
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