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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Check the sig - ordered it new and have enjoyed pretty much trouble free operation for the last 16 years of 90% mountain driving. I love this truck BUT...


Stealer has maintained the truck pretty much since new and has declared the motor dead. Compression is +/- 250 all around and cold performance over the last couple of years has sucked. They want to sell me a new motor for the paltry sum of $13,000 or so. I could be wrong but kbb.com says the truck is worth $8k on a good day.


I'm looking for suggestions - did I say I love the truck?


If (big if) I were to fix the truck, it's time for u joints, rotors all around and paint so lets guess the cost of a restoration would end up around 20k. While the Stealer had the truck, they gave me a new 6.7 crew cab XLT for 5 days - really nice truck, can't afford it.


Thanks
 

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Why don't you call a local machine shop and get a price on a rebuild. Pulling the motor is not rocket science. I'm guessing you could get a good rebuild for about 20% of what the dealer quoted you. Honestly, you could probably get by with rings and bearings and a valve job. Probably could squeak another 100K+ doing just that and you should be able to accomplish that for less than a grand.
 

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I was kind of in the same boat a few years back. My 99 F350 was getting close to 300,000. It was running fine and had new injectors but all the little stuff that takes time or money to fix was going to start to be a issue. Fine for a local beater but I wanted a good long haul rig. So I bit the bullet at found a 99 DRW with 56,000 miles on it. Paid 25,000 for it (car dealer) without even driving it. I have put some time and money in it with all the basic stuff (injector 0-rings, batteries, alternator, 6 liter tranny cooler, fuel system upgrades, EBPV delete, air bags, ect) Few grand in parts and labor. The big ticket was 13 tires and 6 rims (summer and studded snow tires, spare) But I now have a truck that should last for another 250.000 that I can still work on myself. It did take me 1 1/2 years of looking to find the truck I wanted with Manual transfer case and the low millage. They are out there if you look and are willing to travel to get them.
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks RT and Denny - The big challenge for me these days is finding a reputable machine shop in the Denver area. My two experiences with independents with this truck have not gone well. I'm retired now and have limited income so purchasing a used truck and upgrading really isn't on the menu.
 

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Hi, coslatrat I find it hard to believe that the engine is dead at 395,000mi especially, since you have owned it from new are you having problems with it is that why you had it checked is it knocking making unusual noises low on power. Anything is possible but, I would have a second opinion from another well trusted shop. I bought my truck back in 05' from original owner with 102,000 mi. and I currently have 989,xxx mi. all the miles I put on mine were hauling 30-40' travel trailers, fifth wheels and horse trailers as well as cargo trailers all over the lower 48 states. All though I took my truck off the road hauling commercially because, I got a local job to be close to home I still drive my truck out of state hauling my personal fifth wheel. I'm not afraid to get in and drive my truck anywhere I personally would take my truck over any new truck out there. I just can't see paying 40-50,000 + for a new truck especially with all the EPA regs. I was able to purchase a complete genuine factory motor with 50,xxx mi. back in 08' for $3000 plug n play. I'm still waiting for my engine to die to install the new to me engine I know they are the most popular engines out there but, I bet you can find a low mileage good motor pretty reasonable. My mechanic quoted me $8-900 to install my new engine. Good Luck! themule67
 

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I'd look into the used engine route as well. When mine died of a cracked cylinder wall, the shop I had it at recommended a Ford rebuilt engine for $9500 plus a couple grand for install (hey, it's Alaska - we invented the Alaska gouge). I found a used engine with about 10k miles less than mine had on it at the time for $3k and had them install it. Sold the remnants of my engine for way more than the yard's $500 core charge. It's been around 100k mi since the re-engine, and it's still going strong.
A neighbor just bought a nice looking 2000 with 100k on it. Lower mileage 7.3L rigs are out there, like Denny says, especially if you aren't picky and want a 6-speed.
 

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Just thinking out loud, wouldnt a compression test at 5500 ft elevation yield lower numbers than sea level... Maybe 250 at elevation isn’t that bad.
 

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Just thinking out loud, wouldnt a compression test at 5500 ft elevation yield lower numbers than sea level... Maybe 250 at elevation isn’t that bad.
Wouldn't make that much difference. Intake pressure would be ~2.5 psi less than at sea level. An engine testing 400 psi at sea level will read about 341 psi. So adjusting for the OP's test to sea level would be 293 psi. Not terrible, but the starting difficulty at altitude sure indicates the engine is on it's last legs. Maybe moving to sea level would prolong it's life for a few years. :winking:
 

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Where are you actually at in Colorado other than at 7500'?

There are good shops out there, it is just knowing where you are located at to send you in their direction.
 

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I bought my truck back in 05' from original owner with 102,000 mi. and I currently have 989,xxx mi. all the miles I put on mine were hauling 30-40' travel trailers, fifth wheels and horse trailers as well as cargo trailers all over the lower 48 states. themule67[/QUOTE]

Pretty impressive.
 

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Thanks RT and Denny - The big challenge for me these days is finding a reputable machine shop in the Denver area. My two experiences with independents with this truck have not gone well. I'm retired now and have limited income so purchasing a used truck and upgrading really isn't on the menu.
The Front Range is full of 7.3’s.
I have purchased 2 for around the $10,000 price with 150K miles that were in VGC in recent years.

Neither required much additional investment. I prefer them over the new Powerstrokes because I can maintain them myself. Perhaps that would be an option?
 

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I'm from the pre-Powerstroke era, but a diesel is a diesel. Hard starting, cold or hot can be due to many causes other than claiming it's due to a worn out engine. Another thing to bear in mind, I don't know which year it started, but the later Powerstrokes require removing the entire cab assembly in order to do much more than check the oil or remove the alternator when it comes to working on the engine. When that info came out, I figured it was typical forum B.S. but if you check with reliable sources it's true. Or look under the hood of a new P.S. :)
 

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You don't "have to." Its much easier/faster to remove it.

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Wait a minute. Why does everyone think the engine is toasted? Gas expansion with heat comes to play here. At sea level a compression of 350 PSI divided by the heat of expansion from air (Aprox 1.4) divided by the atmospheric pressure gives us a compression ratio of 17:1. The 7.3L has a compression ratio of 17.5:1 so the numbers are close. Move this baby to 7500 feet ASL and the numbers 250/1.4/17.5=10.2 atmospheric so the numbers are again close. Consider the fact that on a standard day the atmospheric pressure at 7500 feet is around 11.1 psi.

So we plug in 11.1*17.5*1.4=271 PSI. So a 250 PSI compression check at 7500 may be a little low but I don't think the engine is toast. Something else may be amiss; ie. slow cranking speed, etc.

I think the problem may be worn injectors. He states the problem is reduced power when cold. I assume that it runs and has normal power once warmed up. I would not give up on this engine just now. Injectors could be at fault.
 

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You don't "have to." Its much easier/faster to remove it.
No need to remove the cab at all for a 7.3L. I think the cab removal thing started with the 6.0L or may be the 6.4L. I looked under the hood of a 6.4L when they were new and could barely see the engine for all the junk hung on it.

Here's where I got the adjustment for compression check at altitude: Compression Testing if anyone is interested.

I agree with rv6a that there may be something wrong with the injectors. They tend to last about 300-400k miles. Especially with cold oil, reduced armature clearance can cause the solenoid to not be able to open the injector pintle valve. There are shims available the might prolong the life of the injectors. Those can be installed without removing the injectors, just the valve covers and solenoids.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I visited Rockin S last week and have ordered re-man stock injectors, stainless rotors and new pads along with a set of u joints - just waiting for the parts to come in... probably ought to replace the fan clutch while we're at it. Gotta do something, it took 15 minutes to start after leaving it unplugged all day Tuesday in zero temp.

Answering some questions, stealer didn't print out the compression #'s so the first thing we'll do is get real numbers for all cylinders and go from there.

I live W of Denver in the foothills and commute to one side of the EJMT or the other 4 or 5 days a week. The only trailers behind me have had boats attached (2 to 8k #'s).

Plan is to spend next summer in New England racing my sailboat so the truck has to last until then at least - hoping the repairs do the trick. I'll post the compression numbers when I get 'em.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I visited Rockin S last week and have ordered re-man stock injectors, stainless rotors and new pads along with a set of u joints - just waiting for the parts to come in... probably ought to replace the fan clutch while we're at it. Gotta do something, it took 15 minutes to start after leaving it unplugged all day Tuesday in zero temp.
Sounds like GPs & GPR would be a good investment...

Are they stainless rotors or “e-coated” rotors?
 

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I would for sure do gp's while in there, likely uvch as well.

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Count me as one of the people who finds it hard to believe that truck is worn out. If you could drive it to Tucson we have a very good and reputable independent shop here, or maybe do the work yourself if possible. Following along to see how this comes out and betting that there are many more years left in that truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Out of the shop

The truck came out of the shop last Thursday - new LF hub assy, new injectors, new shoes for e-brake, new SSBC stainless steel vented (not drilled) rotors and pads, new spicer U-joints for the rear and a rear diff fluid change along with the Marinco mod (that puts the block heater plug in the bumper) and an empty checkbook.

Cylinder pressures aren't fatal but they aren't all that great either:

#1 - 241; #2 - 222; #3 - 234; #4 - 222; #5 - 220; #6 - 279; #7 - 237; #8 - 210

I still have a roar at 2250 rpm that's probably my fan clutch which has been locked up for a while and will get fixed next time there's money in the checking account. The roar is worst when cold and shakes the whole truck. The white paint is falling off too but it'll have to wait.

GP's and GPR were in good shape - what's a uvch 79jasper?

Thanks to all of you for your advice - truck turned 400,000 last Thursday!!!
 

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