Best Practices for 1990 F250 7.3L IDI - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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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post #1 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Best Practices for 1990 F250 7.3L IDI

I am a newbie. I just bought a 1990 f250 7.3 160,000 miles automatic reg cab all stock except 6 in lift. It runs great. I have never owned a diesel vehicle and hope you could help me with general maintenance and things to watch out for. I do have a couple of issues maybe someone can address (or route me to the appropriate forum):

1) power steering seems like it doesn't have enough ps fluid. When I am on the road it is fine, but when I am parking it "jerks" and makes that "squeeky" noise. I check the ps dip stick and it is full.

2) there is a "clunking" sound when I turn to get in or out of my driveway. This doesn't happen over speed bumps or potholes. Most noticeable turning left but occurs turning both ways. Could this be related to the 6 inch lift?

3) since this is a 1990, what should I be doing (if anything) about using ULSD fuel?

4) this truck came with 16.5 inch rims. Is there anything really good about these?

5) any suggestions for fixing/retrofitting the R-12 A/C

Any other suggestions or comments would be most welcome.

Thanks..

Aloha!
1990 F250 XLT Lariat 7.3 auto 4x2
Reg cab 8ft bed
160,000 miles
All Stock!

Last edited by DexInHawaii; 02-18-2011 at 03:28 AM.
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post #2 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 04:12 AM
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Welcome to TDS .......

Look at the belt(s) for cracks and shined up, an indication of them being old. The adjustment may be too loose also.
That is a tall lift so check for binding of steering components, raise wheels off the ground and wiggle the wheels checking for wheel bearing looseness.
ULSD is best lubricated with a diesel fuel additive, Power Service, Stanadyne, FTTP, Hayes Diesel Treat and there are a number of others. If you have a Navistar/IH dealer they will have it or even WallyMart......
Use diesel rated engine oil only, Shell Rotella 15/40 or Delo ?
Oil filters.. you can use the PSD sized filter FL1995 and add 1 qt to the oil level it has better filtration medium. Use quality oil and fuel filters either IH/Navistar (Fleetguard) or WIX/NAPA. NOTE: installation of oil and fuel filters requires extra torqueing to seal them correctly just read the info on the filter(s) or leaking can occur.

Good reading: Ford diesel 6.9 7.3 IDI

Again welcome and if you have problems ......ask here for assistance anytime, do read over the many years of posts and do searching for fixes before parting with money. If you can get an Owners Manual for your truck and the Diesel suppliment they have all you require regarding lubrication and schedules. Keep your eyes open for Shop Manuals too......

Pete




93 F250 7.3 IDI S/C XLT 4X4 E40D 3.55LS, Captains chairs, Tutone Mocha, Leer 48" Hiboy cap, FR & RR hitches, full DeeZee running boards. Factory ordered/delivered Jan 93

Toys: 2006 37' Triple E Embassy coach (powered by Cummins), 18' Sylvan Pro Fish with Mariner motors.

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post #3 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexInHawaii View Post
1) power steering seems like it doesn't have enough ps fluid. When I am on the road it is fine, but when I am parking it "jerks" and makes that "squeeky" noise. I check the ps dip stick and it is full.
Check all the ball joints in the steering system. Any leaks? Any visible damage to the steering gear?

Quote:
2) there is a "clunking" sound when I turn to get in or out of my driveway. This doesn't happen over speed bumps or potholes. Most noticeable turning left but occurs turning both ways. Could this be related to the 6 inch lift?
Check your shackles. Could also be firewall oilcanning, there is a bracket to fix it. That happens most in trucks with manual trans though.

Quote:
3) since this is a 1990, what should I be doing (if anything) about using ULSD fuel?
Use an additive. Most popular here is Power Service Diesel Kleen.

Quote:
4) this truck came with 16.5 inch rims. Is there anything really good about these?
Only if you have a good, cheap, reliable source of used military tires. Otherwise it's just a good way to spend more on rubber. 16.5s are way more expensive than 16s.

Quote:
5) any suggestions for fixing/retrofitting the R-12 A/C
A proper retrofit includes dismounting the compressor and receiver/dryer, flushing condenser and evaporator, installation of new service fittings over the old ones and a new dryer as well as reinstallation of the compressor, a pressure test, a vacuum test, and a refill with the new refrigerant. In this process you also add lubricant to the system, I like castrol synthetic.

1992 F250 XLT 4x4 Super Cab 7.3 IDI E40D 3.55 ATS 088 4"R.C 360k
1982 MBZ 300SD W126 California model w/Sunroof, no EGR
1997 Audi A8 Quattro 225k Warm/Cold packages
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post #4 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 01:24 AM
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HEY DEX
WELCOME,SEEMS LIKE PETE GOT YOU COVERED... GOOD JOB PETE.. IF YOU CAN POST SOME PICS OF THAT BIG BABE WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE, LIKE TO SEE WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE WITH THAT LIFT... ENJOY THE SITE ITS A GREAT PLACE...

1990
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F350 XLT Lariat 4x4 Crew Cab, 8' Bed, 7.3L IDI- E40D rebuilt 7/29/12 with shift kit and Pro Torque Conv,Tru Cool Low Drop Aux Trans Cooler-Rodney Red Custom Fit Aluminum Rad- Dana 60, Sterling 10.25 Rear, Mickey Thompson Classic II Pro Comp A/T 315x75 load D,Bilsteins 4600's x4, Manf. on 5/90 at
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Truck was purchased from Good Guys Auto Sales in Olympia,WA. 5 of 2010
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post #5 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 06:55 AM
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LTG, use small letters please.

Regards,

Paul - Pocono Mtns. USA
02 E350 15 Passenger Cream Puff, 92,000 Miles, 5.4L Gasser

'90 E350 7.3L Ex-Ambulance High Top 420K Miles, No Turbo, Stock Stock stock, No ELC! (Extended Life Coolant) & 10 Oz. Bars Stop Leak. 10 wonderful cool years using Freeze12 without any AC system modifications. Retired with blown trans.


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post #6 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:32 AM
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LTG, use small letters please.
Y WHATS UP WITH ANTI CAPS

1990
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F350 XLT Lariat 4x4 Crew Cab, 8' Bed, 7.3L IDI- E40D rebuilt 7/29/12 with shift kit and Pro Torque Conv,Tru Cool Low Drop Aux Trans Cooler-Rodney Red Custom Fit Aluminum Rad- Dana 60, Sterling 10.25 Rear, Mickey Thompson Classic II Pro Comp A/T 315x75 load D,Bilsteins 4600's x4, Manf. on 5/90 at
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Truck was purchased from Good Guys Auto Sales in Olympia,WA. 5 of 2010
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post #7 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:55 AM
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it's an internet courtesy.

Plus, I've noticed your long posts tend to not include punctuation or spacing. They are VERY hard to read the way you post them

consider adding periods. And spaces. Thanks
gab16 likes this.

'91 F-250 7.3idi XLT Lariat Supercab
Non-Turbo, Bone Stock
E4OD 4x2 4.10 non-posi
6 full digit mechanical odometer (7 slots)
155,000 miles (250,000km)
still Minty Fresh-ish

Sold my old 90 reg cab @340,000 miles (550,000km)
Still running I'm sure...
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post #8 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 06:31 PM
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im redueing my truck its a 1990 f250 supercab 4x4 im wanting to put a new bed tires rimsa and a a exelust
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post #9 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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one with any lift suspension components and steering componnts wear fast
check the max turn screws i got a front hitch and my tires rub it and cause that so youre tires may be contacting springs or something
i use lucas every tank its cheap and seems to give a cetene boost which i havnt seen with other products
16.5s suck for selection or price but you got ex millitary tires from 100 dollar man
and you got all the large sizes ex. the tire may not be availble as a 48 16 but it will be avaible as 48 16.5 so with the huge lift see what tires you want if youre staying under 40 and want to go to 16 keep the 16.5 rims so you always have the option under 40 theres plenty in a 16 rim still
set youre self up a matience schedule to get everything up to shape thats not and expect replacements
also carry extra oil and a fuel filter with you and all the tools to change the filter one day youre gonna be thankfull i use baldwin filters personally for fuel
90 should be the c6 tranny 3 speed no od thats a good tranny to have no elec tronic control in youre truck at all
best upgrade is a turbo hands down
hope i gave you some info
and enjoy that lifted ttb id double check the torque on every bolt some people just shouldnt have vehicles and lots of them put lifts on

88 f250 96 bed 95 front clip western mirrors and big ole bumper.

7.3 idi t70, 3g, g31,

other mods, oba, warn winch, big steel goodies including a headache rack etc.

check out my site at
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post #10 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Aloha All!

Thank you for all your input. I haven't had a chance to look into many of your recommendations yet.

tires for the 16.5 inch rims would be around $300 each mounted. I have to check on military sources. We definitely have lots of military vehicles around here.

I did call an A/C guy and he said to do it right would cost $2-$4K! I will keep the window down and rely on the Hawaiian Breeze!

I read an article on diesel lubricity. Seems to indicate using 2% Biodiesel with ULSD. So without thinking, I put in 2 gallons of Bio and filled up with ULSD. I actually increased my mpg to 17.5 from 16.3. I have been driving this truck for about a month now. I might be cleaning out old fuel deposits and old fuel. Going to add some Lucas fuel additive to see what happens.

No pics yet. I will post as soon as I can.

I am thinking about lowering the lift.

Going to try out my LoadHandler tomorrow if the weather permits.

Mahalo

Aloha!
1990 F250 XLT Lariat 7.3 auto 4x2
Reg cab 8ft bed
160,000 miles
All Stock!
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post #11 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 03:53 AM
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You should be able to do your own A/C retrofit under $200 complete. You can do everything but put it under vacuum with typical tools.

1992 F250 XLT 4x4 Super Cab 7.3 IDI E40D 3.55 ATS 088 4"R.C 360k
1982 MBZ 300SD W126 California model w/Sunroof, no EGR
1997 Audi A8 Quattro 225k Warm/Cold packages
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post #12 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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You should be able to do your own A/C retrofit under $200 complete. You can do everything but put it under vacuum with typical tools.
How would I do that? Is there a post or website that you could route me to show me the way?

Aloha!
1990 F250 XLT Lariat 7.3 auto 4x2
Reg cab 8ft bed
160,000 miles
All Stock!
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post #13 of 100 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 06:27 AM
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In short you drain the compressor and flush the evap and condenser, which can be done with alcohol and compressed air. Then you put it all back together, replacing the dryer. The tricky part is getting it under vacuum, if you have a good compressor you can use the air-driven vac pumps, they are good enough but take a long time to make good vac. When it all goes back together you replace every O-ring you disturbed and the metering tube too. You attach fittings to your original service ports to convert them to the new connector, sometimes removing the old shrader valves. You fill the compressor with the new oil (I like Castrol synthetic A/C lubricant) and reassemble the system, put it under vac, then refill it with the specified amount of refrigerant. The little cans go in a warm water bath to get them to completely unfill themselves. Don't run the system to draw in more until you can't get anything else out of the cans, if then.

You want a manual, preferably the factory book, to do this if you find it confusing. It will have step by step instructions.

Whatever you do, you MUST replace the dryer, you MUST remove and drain the compressor, and you MUST NOT use the compressor to draw in the refrigerant from empty. All modern A/C systems use a sumpless compressor and lubricant is distributed only by refrigerant.

1992 F250 XLT 4x4 Super Cab 7.3 IDI E40D 3.55 ATS 088 4"R.C 360k
1982 MBZ 300SD W126 California model w/Sunroof, no EGR
1997 Audi A8 Quattro 225k Warm/Cold packages
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post #14 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Power steering leaks

Aloha all,

Its been two years since my last post. Just recently found my logon and password!

I have a small puddle of power steering fluid under the truck. Being the expert technician that I am, I replace the p/s pump, high pressure line, and return line. Started it up and...you guessed it, brand new ATF F fluid making a puddle under the truck. I checked all connections for leaks and can't find any. Checked connection to high pressure line at the gear box and at the pump, low pressure line to pump and cooling coil. Leak is not from the area of the Pitman Arm. Can I conclude that the leak is from the gear box? Does this mean I need to replace it? I would like to actually see the leak before I attempt to change the gear box. Also, there is a lot of crud in the area. Is it OK to Pressure Spray this area...the gear box in particular.

Since my last post, I have replaced the Batteries, Alternator, Vacuum pump, Fuel filter housing, 2 tires. Getting ready to replace IP, glow plugs, injectors!

Still drive this truck daily.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Also, is this the appropriate place to post this message?

Aloha!
1990 F250 XLT Lariat 7.3 auto 4x2
Reg cab 8ft bed
160,000 miles
All Stock!
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post #15 of 100 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 08:57 PM
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You can pressure spray the area, but you do risk getting water into the system if it's leaking.

There's nothing wrong with continuing an old thread. It floats up to the top and we see it.

1992 F250 XLT 4x4 Super Cab 7.3 IDI E40D 3.55 ATS 088 4"R.C 360k
1982 MBZ 300SD W126 California model w/Sunroof, no EGR
1997 Audi A8 Quattro 225k Warm/Cold packages
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