How to: Clean the 7.3 engine
Hello all, I have been asked how I keep my engine clean and after trying to explain this several times, I decided to post this short write-up on my process. This has worked for me, but always use at your own risk. I am sure there are a lot of other methods, but here is mine. Keeping a clean engine is the best way to find leaks ASAP and to perform general maintenance without washing around the area you are working on first. Hope this helps someone out!
Cleaning the 7.3 engine
*This is my method of cleaning a 7.3 engine. These methods have always worked for me, but use this at your own risk. I protect all parts that may be affected by this process*
To clean your engine, go to a retail store’s auto section and buy the Purple Power cleaner and degreaser. Do NOT use the Castrol brand, it is by far the strongest and may damage some parts. Ford and other companies also make an approved engine cleaner as well. I use a low pressure, gas powered pressure washer with a variable pressure nozzle. Use the most powerful water you have available to you, power washer or water hose with pressure nozzle. As a rule of thumb, when determining the right water pressure, don't use water pressure that is too strong to spray on your bare leg. (Be VERY careful doing this as pressure washers can cut skin very easily on high pressure)
Start with a cold engine OUT OF THE DIRECT SUNLIGHT, like first thing on a day off or weekend day. (NEVER clean an engine that is at operating temperature) Use the water source you choose to wash the entire engine, including the engine valley, with plain water. Wash from all around the front of the truck, not just the front, and get a step or small ladder to wash the engine from overhead and both the left and right sides. Then, spray the entire engine with your cleaner HEAVILY while the engine is still wet. Make sure you get plenty of cleaner in the engine valley and any other heavily oiled areas. Let this soak for 10-15 minutes and do not let it dry. Lightly spray water to keep it wet if you need to. Then spray off the engine with your water source from all sides and above, including the engine valley, until ALL soapy residue is gone and only clean water is seen and on the ground. Blast away all soiled areas and repeat the entire process if your engine is extremely dirty. TAKE YOUR TIME
When I am finished rinsing, I use air (a leaf blower or compressed air) and dry the engine as much as possible. I then take the truck for a drive to heat the engine and evaporate the majority of the water from the cleaning. I LIGHTLY spray all bare metal parts with WD-40 (or similar) to protect from rust to finish the job.
This is addicting as when you have a clean engine, you want to keep it that way. Plus, any new leaks are very easily found. Hope this helps out someone to get those engines clean.
2001 F-250 4X4 CC SB 7.3 4R100 3.73, BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO, Motorcraft filters, Mile Marker manual hub locks w/ESOF (No hub "floating"), AIH delete, Rust-Oleum bed coating, Silverstar Ultra headlamps w/ clear headlight assemblies, 5,000K LED interior lamps; Moog greaseable u-joints, ball-joints, front hub assemblies; retractable bed hitch, original black CPS (BEST "mod" I have), Energy Suspension bushings, Red Heavy Duty ELC, Edge Evolution 15001 (for gauges), Walker BTM, Donaldson AIS