How long will a 7.3L last??? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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Old 03-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How long will a 7.3L last???

Hey Ya'll. I am looking at a couple of 96 fords in the local paper, Both are 7.3L diesel,5spd, 4x4 one is a 250 the other 350. My question is, How many miles can a ford 7.3L diesel have on it before it need's rebuilt? I currently have a Dodge diesel,4x4 with 3spd auto and 311,000 without any rebuilds that I pull with, but I need/want a 4x4 5spd for towing and since I can't find any dodge diesel, 4x4, 5spd's around here, That's why I'm looking at fords and plus, I kinda like the 94-97 ford diesels. So what do ya think, Could I see 300,000+ out of a ford 7.3L before I need to rebuild it? Just wondering, don't wanna buy somethin and have to dump lot's of money into it 6 months later. Thanks for the help, Mike
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

There are many guys on there w/ 300k+ and still looking good, all depends on the type of maintenance that was done on the truck before you get your hands on it.

As for the F250 or F350, if it were me again I would go w/ the F350 as the F250's had the D50 Indy front end and 3fifthys had D60's.
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

I'm a former Dodge owner and just wanted to own a Ford PSD so as to experience both worlds. I purchased mine (see sig) just a few days ago with 210K on it. So far I've had some usual problems but it runs out really nice when it's on top.
Bottom line is if you like to tinker and upgrade then a high mileage truck can be a good buy but if your wanting to just drive without fusing with little nuisance things then buy newer, less miles.

As far as Ford and Dodge comparison? So far I'm not sure I'm sold on Fords electronic system, millions of sensors etc etc. The old Dodges were mostly mechanical fuel delivery machines with very little electronics which in my opinion made them much more reliable. I can't speak on the new Dodge just the old 12 valve and the early 24 valve.

Jury's still out here.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

Don't ask me, I get over 300,000 on my gas rigs. Never plan on rebuilding my 7.3. Kust got it broke in at 369,000+
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???


Need no STINKIN REBUILD HERE (LOL)because I only have 297,000 on it now and plan on 500,000 for the rebuild time.

BAZ...
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

I agree, I have 380K and I am not even thinking about rebuild yet.
Chuck
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

426,000 and still going. Any 10 year old high mileage vehicle has the potential to need a lot on money in 6 months. Look at the front end, auto hubs and glow plug wiring. Many more in depth threads on them if you keep digging here. I've purchased a number of used high mileage PowerStrokes and those are the areas I can pretty much count on needing attention. Longevity depends on quality of care, type of use and good luck.
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'96 F350 4x4 PowerStroke, auto, 4.10 gears, crew cab, XLT, DRW conversion, AIC, 502,000 miles

'02 F350 4x4 PowerStroke, 6-speed, 3.73 gears, crew cab, XLT, DRW, AIC, 223,000 miles
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

312000 on mine and no major issues to date. Runs like a top.

Bub
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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re: How long will a 7.3L last???

Things To Look For When Buying A Used Power Stroke Diesel

Turbo:

You might take the air tube off the back of the air filter and look inside of it. If there is dirt build up, that is a very bad sign, so are the turbo fins looking sand blasted or bent. A little oily film is normal since the valve cover breather exits inside the tube.
Airbox:

Check the two bolts holding down the airbox lid. If they are plastic with a square recess, it is a recalled part. The recall is expired, but without the updated lid the risk of dirt infiltration is greater, the lid was updated with more supports and the updated bolts are metal with a straight slot. If it is the old style, you spend around $80 to update it.
Tranny:

If you buy a truck with an auto tranny, finding out if it's been maintained is essential, as the E4OD is an expensive transmission. Also, (if auto) seeing if the truck has an auxiliary transmission cooler would be worthwhile. For sticks, listen for clunking when shutting off or small vibration while operating. It could be an indication of a dual mass flywheel going out. Many have replaced them with single mass units.
Rear Gear Ratio:

4:10 will pull better, get slightly lower mpgs and run a higher RPM compared to 3:55.
Coolant:

Ask the previous owner about the coolant - have they been adding FW16 or DCA4 to keep a proper SCA level? It is very important for stopping cavitation. You can get test strips to check the SCA level from NAPA, International, or Ford. I would test the current condition while looking over the truck, the SCA level should be between 1.5 and 3.0. Also, see if it has a block heater (it was an option on 97's).
Front end:

Check the front end for wear, or have an alignment shop check out the ball joints and steering linkage (tie rod ends). If they are shot, it is spendy (all four tie rods are around $400 just for parts, ball joint labor is also very spendy)
Oil:

The questions to ask are how often the oil was changed (at least every 5,000) and what kind of oil they used (diesel rated)? An oil analysis could tell you if there might be an engine problem or not.
Aftermarket stuff:

Seeing if the truck has got an aftermarket downpipe would be nice, a chip, or gauges (pyrometer, trans temp, etc.). Ask about any added items and who installed them.
Glow Plugs/Relay:

Find out if the glow plugs are in good working condition as well as the relay. Ask if either has been changed and when. You can check the glow plug resistance through the valve cover connector if needed (http://forums.ford-diesel.com/cgi-bi...1&t=005210), and the relay should have power to both large terminals on top when the key is turned on, and one of the terminals should go out before ~2 minutes.
Injector o-rings:

The injector O-rings have been known to be a problem. The new o-ring sets have a pink middle seal. If the truck has an o-ring problem, one of the signs can be a discoloration of the fuel in the filter bowl. There is a drain on the passenger side front of the filter bowl for draining water (the filter is also the water separator) and you can catch some of the drained fuel in a jar it should be dingy yellow and not blue or dark.
Leaks and Drips:

You can check the valley between the heads of the V8 for moisture and/or fluid. It should be dry not wet. Most leaks will run through this valley and down the back of the motor dripping off by the tranny/engine coupling.
VIN number:

If you take the VIN to any dealer, they can tell you when it was built, when it went into service, and some of the work that might have been done on it. You can also run prospective VIN's through Carfax.com to see the title history.

Good luck,

BAZ...
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1996 Ford F350 PSD 4x4, Crew Cab, 5 Speed Manuel Transmission, 355 Differentials,
40 Gallon Transfer Flow Tank Center & 18 Gallon Rear, Rancho 9000s Shocks,
Rancho Steering Wheel Dampener, Auxiliary Idle Controller by Sparky, Velvet Rides,
Maddog Stage 2 Injectors, Superchips 70 horse power chip w/130 Torq, ISSPRO Gauges
in A-Pillar Pyrometer & Boost, Dash Cluster - Oil Pressure, Water Temp, Trans Temp, Hypermax Down Pipe, TYMAR, Nathan P-3 Train Horns, ViAir Air Onboard Compressor, ViAir 2 Gallon Air Tank & Air Tool Valve


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Old 12-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just bought a 96 F350 with 398,000KMs and runs great. Needs one injector for sure, I did'nt plug it in one night (Norther AB) and burnt my starter out trying to start it... solution: Espar heater and high torque starter going in this week. I also have the vibration noise at low idle and upon shut down coming from the engine/tranny meeting point which I'm suspecting is flywheel but not sure. My first PSD and looking forward to putting some money into good functioning mods... any suggestions?
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TractorMike View Post
Could I see 300,000+ out of a ford 7.3L before I need to rebuild it? Just wondering, don't wanna buy somethin and have to dump lot's of money into it 6 months later. Thanks for the help, Mike
I can't think of the posters name on here right now but he hot-shots professionally with an OBS F350. Something "Mule", and he should have well over a MILLION miles on his truck now. Last post I saw him make several months ago he had 97X,XXX+ miles and was still running it daily. He'd had a lot fewer repairs than the first Dodge CTD I read about in TDR that made a million miles too.

Hard to judge about how much you might have to spend on a 16-17 yr old truck to keep it running when used daily. Lots depends on how it was ran and maintained.

Steve BAZ has a LOT of good info, glad to see him post to this topic for you.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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800k is the highest I have seen to date. It was an old guy that drove the truck like crazy, the only thing is it was stock and a stock 7.3 will last longer than all these ones that are tricked out with crazy HP pumping out of them, but thats the nature of the beast.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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280K and it still runs great, and as strong as ever.
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