Help! 7.3L ran out of trans fluid - 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 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Help! 7.3L ran out of trans fluid

I accidentally ran my 2002 7.3 out of transmission fluid. Truck seems to be locked up. Is there anything I can do to free it? I put fluid in now. I'm broke down on side of the road and truck wont crank. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 11:58 AM
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How much motor oil do you have?
What you describe does not make much sense to me...

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:14 PM
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Not having any transmission fluid should not prevent the engine from cranking. I think something else is wrong.

How do you know you ran out of transmission fluid?

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:35 PM
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How did it die? Maybe hydrolocked, but nothing in the transmission should cause a lockup of the engine. I think anything mechanical in the engine would have let you know about it - like a rod coming loose and ventilating the block - that would have made some noise.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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There is likely something else wrong but I'm not sure what and would like to just get the truck moving if possible.
1. Abs light came on
2. Truck began experiencing electrical problems.
2. Radio, etc were acting irradic but the truck was still driving fine. And it was intermittent, went back to normal with the exception of abs light on
3. It started making a terrible noise so I pulled over. Noise did not stop at this point until I started driving it again.
4. Went over a bridge going slow and without brakes on and the truck went into a slide.
5. Went to menards turned truck off, now all I hear is what sounds like something trying to turn (on the drivers side) maybe from transmission. I had also been hearing some sizzling noises from inside transmission for a while now. Nn

6. I applied power directly to the starter wire and same thing. Sounds like something is trying to turn but can't.

7. 2 quarts low on trans fluid
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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It didn't die. It was running fine. I turned it off, went in the store, came out and no start
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Motor oil is right where it should be.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 02:54 PM
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Sorry - didn't see the third post up. If you put it in neutral, will it move? Is it 4WD? Sounds like the transfer case locked up. Are your front hubs engaged?

Also - how did you check the transmission level without it running? It has to be warm and idling to check the fluid level.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I just noticed the trans fill tube on my truck is completely loose. Like to the point that I can pull it out, nothing holding it in place. I'm guessing it popped and fluid leaked out. The manual hubs were locked they are turned to free now.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I moved out a few inches in neutral. I have a trailer attached, pretty hard to do. Tow truck is coming.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 06:14 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through this. I think you had a transfer case lockup based on what you've described. Hope it's something easy and cheap to fix.

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 #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2018, 07:08 PM
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Your original dscription of electrical issues also sounds like what occurs with low voltage. Could the sound you were hearing be the bearings in your alternator?

It sounds like you had a few mechanical problems building up and one of them finally was bad enough to require troubleshooting and that made you aware of the others and think they are your primary issue now. For instance, the ATF dipstick tube being loose. That has nothing to do with the electrical gremlins you described immediately prior to the noise.

Please let us know what the shop finds out. There are guys on here that know more than the shop you are being towed to and I guarantee it. We can help you with options.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 05:50 PM
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Hey, Michael - any update?

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 #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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I got it towed. It moved freely in neutral. I'm going to try and turn the engine by hand just to make sure it is not hydrolocked. Im going to look at the connections on the starter. Maybe something is arcing?? I wont have a chance to look at it until Saturday. Thanks for the thoughts so far.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I crawled under her. I Put a 24mm on the lower pulley and turned the engine a little. Maybe 6 slow ratchets. It moves. I look at connections on starter. Little post seems a little wobbly, not super solid. All I hear is a loud click (from the starter). Same if I try to jump across the 2 starter terminals. Any thoughts?
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