So you would rather just throw parts at it and see if one gets it right? Are you getting free parts or something?
Kinda harsh response, considering the question was more along the lines of is there any way to avoid getting price-raped by ford, and trying to save a dollar or two, and in NO way implying throwing parts at the truck.
The reason it's not a bad idea to go to Ford when the code pops up, is, we're not 100% OBD-2 compliant on our trucks.. We have the connector, BUT, to get the real readings you need a code reader that is up to par with that ROTUNDA version that the stealerships use, that has multiple software packages designed for specific vehicles. For what its worth on our trucks, it CAN be cheaper to get it read at ford, depending one 1 specific thing...
Auto Enginuity has a USB powered OBD2 package that hooks up to your computer for about $250, and then for another hundred bucks or so, you can get the additional software for the PSD that will let you do all of the cool things the stealership can do, like the injector BUZZ test and so on....
If you intend on having this truck for the LONG HAUL, an Auto Enginuity unit wouldnt be a bad spend, BUT, if you don't intend on wrenching on this pickup much, or will be trading up anytime soon, the A.E. package may not be for you, and you could save money going to ford.
Long story boring, the standard $40 obd2 reader isnt going to get you very far on our trucks, so it's up to you to weigh what is going to be better for you...
And by the way, don't let any of the sarcastic replies on this forum keep you from posting or asking questions. For every 1 guy who thinks it's cool to try and make you sound stupid on this forum, there's another 4 guys who will save you an "arm and a leg" in mechanics fees, and tach you A TON about the T444E(7.3l powerstroke) along the way.
Best of luck brother. Let us know how it comes out.