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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to anyone that gave me some guidance while I was searching. I am hoping I did alright with this choice, although I am pretty terrified.


I was able to get it for $7500 (he was asking 8k)
1996 F-250 xlt with 211k original miles, second owner.
7.3L Powerstroke - She's basically bone stock, which is what I was searching for.
4x4 with auto transmission (was rebuilt at 170k miles, he provided me with receipts.
Engine compartment is pretty clean
Interior is in pretty good shape as well.
Everything seems to work as it should.

The only cons I have found so far:
- small oil leak, need to try and track that down this week.
- frame rust? I attached a photo of it to get your guys opinion as well.. looks like its pretty minimal surface rust, but i've never seen frame rust in my life growing up in Phoenix, so it startled me.
- Gas pedal takes a little bit of pressure before it actually responds, this may just be that i'm not used to driving a giant truck. I currently drive a 2003 tacoma 4x4. I'm sure i'll get used to it.

Other than that, I am pretty happy with her so far...

I've attached some photos. I will take more photos of the interior tonight, but its in really great shape in my opinion.
 

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Hi! DAH7 The truck looks clean the rust appears to be only surface not eaten all the way thru which would worry me. Being in Phx. you should be able to find a local body shop that has an out door lift that can spray rust sealer and protector underneath. I had a local shop up here in Flag do that for my old 75 chevy that I restored. Where do you see the oil at?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi! DAH7 The truck looks clean the rust appears to be only surface not eaten all the way thru which would worry me. Being in Phx. you should be able to find a local body shop that has an out door lift that can spray rust sealer and protector underneath. I had a local shop up here in Flag do that for my old 75 chevy that I restored. Where do you see the oil at?
Mule, thanks buddy! The body is a little beat up and you can tell where its been re painted after some fender benders, but the interior is still in great shape and the motor looked very clean and un disturbed. Having the frame sprayed down sounds like a good idea. Mind if I ask how much that cost you?

The oil leak seems to be coming from the very front of the pan or from the seal behind the lower pulley. I believe that would be the crankshaft pulley, correct? No idea what something like this would cost to repair, but it seems to be a slow leak for now, which is good. I'd like to repair it, but can't afford too much right now since I just purchased the truck...
 

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My local shop had charged me an extra $300 to do underside but also, understand that they had done a complete repaint as well as spray in bed liner so, I'm sure they gave me a reduced rate. Yes, that sounds like crank seal but, very unusual I personally have not met anyone that has had to replace that seal even with mine having almost a million miles it is still dry. Best thing would be to clean the area where you think it is coming from and just watch it. The most common leaks on these trucks are down in the valley under your toilet seat a.k.a the black cover or the engine oil cooler which is on the driverside down by the oil pan and it is cylindrical in shape. Just checking have you checked your last post where I left you my name and number in case you wanted to talk about these trucks?
 

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I would not worry about the rust on the frame. That is basically cosmetic and trying to do some quick spray on sealer over the rust will only cause problems down the road. Your frame will flex and crack most any paint they put on it, moisture will get under the paint and speed the rusting process. It will take another 40 or more years before the rust become a real issue. Go up North to snow/salt country and they would call that frame "like new". I think you got a great deal on the truck. When you get a chance flush the coolant and fluids if not done recently, that is a much better use of your money.
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My local shop had charged me an extra $300 to do underside but also, understand that they had done a complete repaint as well as spray in bed liner so, I'm sure they gave me a reduced rate. Yes, that sounds like crank seal but, very unusual I personally have not met anyone that has had to replace that seal even with mine having almost a million miles it is still dry. Best thing would be to clean the area where you think it is coming from and just watch it. The most common leaks on these trucks are down in the valley under your toilet seat a.k.a the black cover or the engine oil cooler which is on the driverside down by the oil pan and it is cylindrical in shape. Just checking have you checked your last post where I left you my name and number in case you wanted to talk about these trucks?
I suppose the rust is something I could address later. I think locating the oil leak would be a better use of my time and money. Since I just brought the truck home on sunday, I'll wait a few days and see how much oil is actually dripping out of the truck. I changed the oil yesterday with Delo 400 (had no idea how expensive diesel oil changes were!)

I saw you left me your phone number, thanks for doin that, i'm sure i'll give you a call sometime when I have questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would not worry about the rust on the frame. That is basically cosmetic and trying to do some quick spray on sealer over the rust will only cause problems down the road. Your frame will flex and crack most any paint they put on it, moisture will get under the paint and speed the rusting process. It will take another 40 or more years before the rust become a real issue. Go up North to snow/salt country and they would call that frame "like new". I think you got a great deal on the truck. When you get a chance flush the coolant and fluids if not done recently, that is a much better use of your money.
DENNY
do these truck need some sort of additive in the coolant to prevent cavitation? I remember reading something along those lines when I was researching various trucks.

A coolant flush makes sense, what other fluids would you recommend flushing.. they probably haven't been done in 10 years realistically. thanks man!
 

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Yes. Do a search on coolant flush. I would run green coolant and check yearly. Also consider a coolant filter when time and money allows. My trick for finding a leak is to spray down the area with oil eater and wash with hot water from hose if possible. Usually have to do it a few times to figure out how to get it all clean. Once clean check daily with a good light to fine the leak. I have done a front seal, about 6 hours with the right tools if I remember right. I would consider pulling radiator at the same time to make it easier, should be some good u-tube stuff on it.
DENNY
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have heard people mention the term "blow by" alot when talking about diesel motors. I did a quick search and found that one way to test for blow by is to unscrew the oil fill cap all the way and leave it resting in place while the truck idles. So, I did this yesterday after driving home from work, and the cap didn't move a bit. No bouncing around at all, the cap just sat there in place while the truck idled. Did I do this correctly? If so, it sounds like the result was good, correct?

When the oil fill cap is removed completely, a very faint smoke comes out. However, I saw a video that showed what it should look like, and mine matched that almost exactly. I am feeling a little les scared about my purchase now!
 

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You did it correctly. I checked mine about 4 months ago same result no movement on upside down oil cap just a little faint smoke. It sounds like you got a pretty solid motor just keep up on the maintenance. The one thing that I would do unless that you know it has been done is do a full service i.e. change all fluids tranny, diffs, engine oil, coolant. Have you located the possible oil leak yet? themule
 

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You did it correctly. I checked mine about 4 months ago same result no movement on upside down oil cap just a little faint smoke. It sounds like you got a pretty solid motor just keep up on the maintenance. The one thing that I would do unless that you know it has been done is do a full service i.e. change all fluids tranny, diffs, engine oil, coolant. Have you located the possible oil leak yet? themule
Thanks for the confirmation Mule. Its raining pretty good down here right now, so I wont be able to get out and look at it until tomorrow. I'll snap a photo and post it on here.

Another thing that I have noticed after driving it for a couple of days is the gas pedal is a bit strange. For example, when starting off from a complete stop, I have to apply a good bit of pressure to the gas pedal before it starts to react... and sometimes when it does finally get fuel, the RPM's jump a little bit and it takes off kind of quickly... Is this something that is common with these trucks? I don't like to smash on the gas when I drive, and this kind of makes it difficult not to do so.
 

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Yeah, it looks like it snowed up here yesterday but, it was a lot of hail then rain. It could be the (TPS) Throttle position switch acting up which is located on the gas pedal I have read that you can replace just the switch which is riveted on I believe and they say that you have to make sure it gets installed in the exact same position but, I'm not sure. I visited a junk yard that had a 95-97 truck and I pulled the whole gas pedal assembly off which is held in with 2 bolts very easy to remove 3-5min. job I keep it as a spare I gave $15 for it. My switch acted up 5-7 yrs. ago and I went to a local parts store bought a can of electrical contact cleaner pushed in on the switch sprayed it inside worked the switch a few times and sprayed it again and have not had a problem since. I would try that first then if your still not happy you could search ebay or a junk yard for a replacement pedal assy. I'm not sure if they sell them new anymore. Or you can just live with it worst case scenario is if the switch fails you will have no throttle response. I think the surge of power that you are feeling is the turbo kicking in. themule
 

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Yeah, it looks like it snowed up here yesterday but, it was a lot of hail then rain. It could be the (TPS) Throttle position switch acting up which is located on the gas pedal I have read that you can replace just the switch which is riveted on I believe and they say that you have to make sure it gets installed in the exact same position but, I'm not sure. I visited a junk yard that had a 95-97 truck and I pulled the whole gas pedal assembly off which is held in with 2 bolts very easy to remove 3-5min. job I keep it as a spare I gave $15 for it. My switch acted up 5-7 yrs. ago and I went to a local parts store bought a can of electrical contact cleaner pushed in on the switch sprayed it inside worked the switch a few times and sprayed it again and have not had a problem since. I would try that first then if your still not happy you could search ebay or a junk yard for a replacement pedal assy. I'm not sure if they sell them new anymore. Or you can just live with it worst case scenario is if the switch fails you will have no throttle response. I think the surge of power that you are feeling is the turbo kicking in. themule
Mule I don't think its the turbo kicking in, but I certainly could be wrong. The issue does not seem to be with the motor, the issues feels like it's in the pedal assembly itself. Like the sensors are not reading small pedal movements... the sensors are only picking up the throttle after i've pressed it 1/5th of the way down. It's very odd. Perhaps a new pedal assembly would solve it? Maybe the best way to describe it is that it won't allow me to very gently ease on the throttle. I have to press the pedal quite a ways, and then it jumps a bit. There is no in between, its eaither on or off... if that makes sense....
 

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Yeah, it makes sense try spraying contact cleaner 1st before switching out the pedal assy. I just did a search you can buy a new pedal assy. but,they are $400 + I would get one from junk yard before buying it new as long as they don't want the as much as a new one. I bought my spare pedal assy. back in 2009 for like 15-$20 at a junk yard.
 

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I assume that you plan on keeping this truck for a long time. I would recommend investing in an AutoEnginuity with the ford enhanced package which will allow you to fully diagnose any issues with your truck. It can read any codes and clear them as well also, it can read live data so you can see what the sensors are reading as well as oil pressure etc. also, it can do an injector buzz test and cylinder contribution test basically, it can do anything a dealer can do. Just so, you know your local auto part stores cannot read diagnostic codes on these fords only a dealer and or a shop that has the right scanner. The AutoEnginuity will be a great investment about $350 it will save you from throwing money at parts trying to fix a problem. Even if you don't do the work yourself you will at least save the diagnostic fee that shops charge which can be 50-$100. themule
 

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Something that I just read in another post is a bad or failing (CPS) Cam Position Sensor mimicked a faulty Throttle Position Sensor for this guy. If spraying the contact cleaner doesn't help I would try replacing the CPS before the pedal assy. The CPS can cause all kinds of driveability issues as well as a no start. They are inexpensive $30 and a great thing to keep your glove box if you are at all mechanically inclined it is easy to replace 1 bolt holding it and it is located at your crank you will see the plug with 2 or 3 wires I don't remember it's been so long since I have had to replace mine by the way I keep a couple spares.
 

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One note of caution about spraying contact cleaner or brake cleaner.
I had a TPS that had dead spots on a 2002.
After replacement I took the old one apart and inspected it. I posted photos back around March of 2017.

The results of my inspection were that solvents weaken the adhesive which hold the small metallic particles in place which conduct current. They become more easily scraped off and the reason for dead spots is this very thing.

I would discourage spraying any type of solvent internally in the 2002 TPS assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Something that I just read in another post is a bad or failing (CPS) Cam Position Sensor mimicked a faulty Throttle Position Sensor for this guy. If spraying the contact cleaner doesn't help I would try replacing the CPS before the pedal assy. The CPS can cause all kinds of driveability issues as well as a no start. They are inexpensive $30 and a great thing to keep your glove box if you are at all mechanically inclined it is easy to replace 1 bolt holding it and it is located at your crank you will see the plug with 2 or 3 wires I don't remember it's been so long since I have had to replace mine by the way I keep a couple spares.
So I removed the IVS from the pedal assembly and mounted it under the dash. Now I start the truck, click the IVS once with my hand and I'm off. Driveability has improved 10X. I have way more throttle control now and I feel like the tranny is even shifting smoother. I may just leave te thing mounted under the dash... just come up with a more permanent mounting solution, since right now I'm using a binder clip :grin2:

on a side note, I just got through my first tank of fuel and looks like I got about 17-18 mpg... all basically city driving as well. seems decent to me for a truck with this much towing capability!
 
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