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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 07-24-2010, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blown Head Gasket

I got under the truck to find out where some oil was coming from that kept getting on the exhaust and smelling bad. It is on the right rear side at the head gasket seem. I was thinking it was just a valve cover leaking but I could see a slight bubling between the head gasket and the block.

This truck is turning into a money pit. I have put 10K miles on it since I bought it and I have spent several hundred in parts since then trying to keep it running.

So how much are the parts to fix this going to cost? The truck has 180k on it and I am wondering if it is not going to be one thing after another even if I fix this problem. I would expect that I need all the gaskets, thermostat, and glow plugs. Anything else that might need to be replaced that might cause me to have to remove the heads again? I will probably replace both head gaskets since 90% of the work is getting all the crap off the engine and pulling the intake. Should I try to pull the engine out of the truck or leave it in? I don't have a heavy duty hoist or engine stand.

I don't use the truck that much. I probably spend more on up keep than I do on fuel. I guess that is the problem with stuff that sits. Upkeep is the same if you drive it everyday or once a month.

Perry
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No hoist and no engine stand will make the job difficult. Do you have any garage rafters that ou can use a block and tackle on? the heads on the IDI's are heavy. Why would you replace the GP's if they are good, or the thermostat for that matter? GP's are right on top so they are a breeze to get to if they go bad.

Head gasket set - about $120.00 includes valve guide seals and valve cover gaskets.

Intake gasket - (valley pan) about $60.00

Antifreeze- Depends on brand and prediluted or not.

YOUR TIME... SO for about $200.00 you could do the job done.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If i remember correctly there is a small hole near the rear of the right head that is used to drain oil & fluid from the valley of the motor. Before I assumed it was a head gasket I would do a thorough cleaning with degreaser and recheck for leaks. Sure would hate to do head gaskets and find out it was the hpop or something else leaking in the valley. By the way oil can leak out this hole, run down the back of the block and into the bell housing of the transmission causing some people to think their rear main seal is leaking
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peewee View Post
If i remember correctly there is a small hole near the rear of the right head that is used to drain oil & fluid from the valley of the motor. Before I assumed it was a head gasket I would do a thorough cleaning with degreaser and recheck for leaks. Sure would hate to do head gaskets and find out it was the hpop or something else leaking in the valley. By the way oil can leak out this hole, run down the back of the block and into the bell housing of the transmission causing some people to think their rear main seal is leaking
If your talking PSD motor then you might be right. the IDI doesn't have an HPOP. And yes there is a drain in the valley pan but it's pretty much in the center of the rear.

Quote:
but I could see a slight bubling between the head gasket and the block.
That's a pretty good indicator of a H/G leaking
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So where is the best place to get gaskets and whatnot? The Ford stealer is not it. I am in Huntsville, AL.

Perry
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So where is the best place to get gaskets and whatnot? The Ford stealer is not it. I am in Huntsville, AL.

Perry
Got my prices at O'Reillys on-line. AZone should be about the same price.

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1994 F-350 7.3 IDI Turbo, crew cab, E4OD,4:10 L/S, LB, Dually Photos
ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've found that autozone is best for price for about everything I've gotten on my truck.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Depending on how bad it's oozing many times it's fixed by just re-torqueing the heads. Back when these engines were fairly new and more common, retorqueing was done at many truck shops as part of maintainance at about 30,000 miles.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I can't even get to the valve cover bolts to even try to get to the head bolts. I would assume the heater box has to come out. I am not sure if the oil that I am seeing is coming from the head gasket. I think the oil is actually coming from the valve cover and leaking down to the head gasket. I do see what looks like bubbles coming out of the oil I am seeing.

Perry
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Well I can't even get to the valve cover bolts to even try to get to the head bolts. I would assume the heater box has to come out. I am not sure if the oil that I am seeing is coming from the head gasket. I think the oil is actually coming from the valve cover and leaking down to the head gasket. I do see what looks like bubbles coming out of the oil I am seeing.

Perry

I was able to get to the valve cover bolts on mine with the a/c-heater box in place. But getting the head off may be an issue. The pushrods on cylinder #7 wont come out with the box in place, although you may have success with cutting out some of the plastic, but be very careful because there is a module that can be damaged where a vacuum line enters, right up top next to the head.

I ended up leaving my 2 pushrods on #7 in place when swapping out the lifters and valve seals.

I did not pull my heads.
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92 Mazda 626 350K
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86 Mustang GT Ragtop 5 speed 250K
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have two issues with removing the engine which is probably the best thing to do. I can buy an engine hoist but most of them are too short to pull the engine out of a 4x4 (another reason not to have a 4x4). I don't have a paved route to my shop so getting it in there is going to be a pain. Hoists or engine stands don't roll on grass. If I recall the engines in these things is about 1000 lbs. I am not in my 20's anymore and climbing on top of a truck and trying to pull heads is probably not something I want to do unless I like being in traction.

Perry
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I have two issues with removing the engine which is probably the best thing to do. I can buy an engine hoist but most of them are too short to pull the engine out of a 4x4 (another reason not to have a 4x4). I don't have a paved route to my shop so getting it in there is going to be a pain. Hoists or engine stands don't roll on grass. If I recall the engines in these things is about 1000 lbs. I am not in my 20's anymore and climbing on top of a truck and trying to pull heads is probably not something I want to do unless I like being in traction.

Perry
The hoist will probably roll on a few sheets of plywood. The IDI engine does weigh in at about 1100 lbs. I have taken the tires off on a 4X4 to make the front end squat enough for the hoist to clear. Pulled a V10 out of a dodge 4X4 with a 4" lift.

Another thing to think about is to "plant" the hoist and then roll the truck backwards as you lift the engine. A good strap across the frame under the tranny will hold it up!
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ATS Turbo upgrades: 3" DP with 3" exhaust Magnaflow XL muffler: Pictures Here
2012 Copper Canyon 273 FWRET w/2 slides, Air Lift 5000 bags
Pillar pod: Autometer C2 Series gauges: pyro,trans, boost, water, oil pressure
Hypermax Cowl induction, K&N air filter, flex-a-lite 26K trans cooler with fan,Tekonsha prodigy
Train Horns: Pictures here

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Old 07-25-2010, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I tightened up three of the head bolts near the leak. It leaked some when cold but it seem to stop when hot. It has probably been there a long time and it just so happened that it was in a place that I could see it. For the short run I am going to monitor it and see how it goes.

I may sell it or trade it in on a newer model gasser that is easier to maintain and costs less to maintain. I wish I could find a truck that has been as trouble free as my Ranger.

Perry
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