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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
**Pictures are not from actual truck.

Truck - 2001 F350 7.3 automatic 150k miles. Very, very nice condition no rust, rot, dents, few scratches, frame & chassis almost perfect minus a few spot here and there, interior very clean, one owner well kept truck, clean car fax, etc etc $14,000 from dealer. Truck was used to haul a 5th wheel horse trailer as hobby. Everything is tight, drives exceptionally well.

My Ford background - Recently sold my 1993 7.3idi 5 spd, owned numerous fullsize OBS Ford gas job automatics, worked in landscaping & tree service driving/fixing numerous OBS Powerstrokes.

My concerns - The trucks transmission shifted smooth, but the transmission selector on the dash was very sloppy. The truck would be in park, but the arrow was 1/2 way between P and R. In drive it was 1/2 way between D and 2, etc, etc. Dealer said there are tubes that wear out and stretch, but its normal and not a problem. Both my OBS gas jobs were plow trucks, had E40D trannys, I was 16 and 18 when owned them, and they were never sloppy like that when selecting gears. Even after the burnouts, plowing, offroading, etc etc... The OBS Powerstrokes at work had some play, not too bad, and they were worked work trucks. Eventually the one mason dump had to be rebuilt. Automatics in diesels have always scared me, but this is a nice truck and I'm getting older so wanted to check it out. The dealer claimed this is normal wear and tear and can be "tightened up" which he would do for the full price amount. Thoughts on this?

Next concern, the motor and trans were for the most part, dry of oil, except for a few spots. The turbo intake had some oil and grease on the piping and couplers, but the rest of the motor was clean. Is that normal? Is that from crank case venting?


Under the truck, the oil pan, starter, filter, and most everything else was dry. There are two metal lines that run along the passenger side of the trans, just under the starter, that had oil on them. Then, behind the oil pan, there is a separate pan or cover that has a slit or notch in it that had a bead of oil hanging off it. Not covered like in picture. Is this from crank case venting or anything like that? The truck has been sitting in same spot at dealer for some time (I work near by) and there aren't any oil spots under it on pavement. I checked oil and it wasn't low.



___________________________________TWO LINES IN QUESTION^^^^

Final concern, the truck hadn't started yet today, but fired up on second attempt at 36 degrees, 17 this am. Some white smoke, not grey or black, came out for first few seconds and cleared up. I let engine get up to temp before taking test ride. No smoke at all. Ran great. Came back and shut down. Went to restart and it turned over for 3-4 seconds before firing. Same thing happened 2 more times 10 minutes later. My 7.3 fired immediately each and every time when up to temp. Is this normal?

I appreciate any info or advice. Thanks, Glenn
 

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Homie,

My best friend from childhood...who is a self-made, "filthy rich" man today has this to say about buying vehicles:

"If you are not embarrassed by your first offer then it is not low enough!"

-----------

I would take it to a shop and have them give it a thorough inspection including checking for Codes and compression. These are great trucks if they were well maintained and had frequent oil changes but rebuilt engines and transmissions are very very expensive.

I have never seen a dealer offer any service records from previous owner and thats the kind of assurance you want when spending hard-earned dollars.

I commend you on finding this forum and doing your homework as you have.

Good luck

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am most concerned with that transmission. The truck was bought at a Ford dealer, serviced there with at least 3 records I've seen, and then traded back in at same dealer. It is very, very well kept and reasonably priced. What it comes down to is the fact that it had towed 5th wheels and now the trans selector is quite worn. My plow trucks were never like that. I put a lot of time and money into my 7.3 idi and have noooo problem doing repairs on motor, suspension and drivetrain stuff, but trannys are way out of my capabilities.

What I would like to know is if the sloppy trans selector is a problem within the column or a problem in the transmission itself? Like I said, it drove fine. Shifted very nicely. I even manually shifted it and it was fine.
 

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If it's like my 2000 was (and probably my 03) it has the tubes in the steering column attached to the shift lever. Mine got sloppy and eventually broke (with a pissed off shift to Park). I would imagine it to be a problem more on short trip trucks or maybe plow trucks with constant "Rev to Drive and back again" shifting. The tubes are a pain to replace but it beats having to reach up under the dash to shift. If they will fix it, make them, but it shouldn't have any effect on the functioning of the trans.
 

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What it comes down to is the fact that it had towed 5th wheels and now the trans selector is quite worn.

What I would like to know is if the sloppy trans selector is a problem within the column or a problem in the transmission itself? Like I said, it drove fine. Shifted very nicely. I even manually shifted it and it was fine.
Often a problem with the column from my experience--not to say the Trans could have unrelated issues.

Does it have any after-market gauges?

Here in CO that truck as described and only 150K miles would be priced at $18K at a dealer. Still worth bargaining because there are always unknown (and often costly) surprises with any used vehicle IMO.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It does not have any aftermarket gauges or anything performance for that matter, less a K&N filter and a new basic exhaust, not MBRP or anything like that. But that's what I want. I will never buy a truck that has been molested further than intake and exhaust. It was also adult owned which makes me feel better.

Now, what about the oil on the those lines below starter and the oil dripping out of that opening near oil pan? Refer to pictures above that I found online. Not actual pics of truck, but they look the same as truck in question. So, it is either normal or a common problem.
 

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It does not have any aftermarket gauges or anything performance for that matter, less a K&N filter and a new basic exhaust, not MBRP or anything like that. But that's what I want. I will never buy a truck that has been molested further than intake and exhaust. It was also adult owned which makes me feel better.

Now, what about the oil on the those lines below starter and the oil dripping out of that opening near oil pan? Refer to pictures above that I found online. Not actual pics of truck, but they look the same as truck in question. So, it is either normal or a common problem.
Aftermarket gauges might have helped you see things like Trans Fluid Temp is all. If the truck was used for towing then a gauge for TFT and EGT would have helped the previous owner avoid some concerns that could linger today.

As you probably are aware...guys are avoiding K&N filters on their 7.3.

The oil dripping out of that hole on the cover is possibly diesel/oil mix. It is not uncommon for leaks with the fuel filter housing o-rings or oil leaking from the EBPV and/or the turbo boots and these fluids drain first into the engine valley and then drip down the rear of the engine. That could be what your leaks are but its not definitive.

Some guys who know alot more than me should provide more thorough responses soon.

You got that new truck excitement in your belly right now ?:lol:
.
 

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The sloppy shift lever is easily checked: There are two bolts down on the steering column (you have to kind of lay on the break pedal with your head, looking towards the steering wheel) where the shift lever connects to the shift cable assembly. These two bolts like to come loose. It then looks like the shift lever is sloppy and has a lot of play. Easy fix if this is the issue.
The lines you are describing are the transmission cooler lines: from the tranny to the cooler in the front and back.
The one thing you have not mentioned, but what looks more questionable to me is actually that you can see the flywheel open right there. Did you take off a cover there? You should not be able to see the flywheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The sloppy shift lever is easily checked: There are two bolts down on the steering column (you have to kind of lay on the break pedal with your head, looking towards the steering wheel) where the shift lever connects to the shift cable assembly. These two bolts like to come loose. It then looks like the shift lever is sloppy and has a lot of play. Easy fix if this is the issue.
The lines you are describing are the transmission cooler lines: from the tranny to the cooler in the front and back.
The one thing you have not mentioned, but what looks more questionable to me is actually that you can see the flywheel open right there. Did you take off a cover there? You should not be able to see the flywheel.
The pictures were found online I used for reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Now, what about the fact that after I shut the truck off, I went to restart it a few minutes later and it turned over for 3-4 seconds. I thought that was a long time for a truck that was up to temp. My idi used to fire instantly I touched the key when it was warm. Once I noticed that happened, I tested it a few more times within a few minute interval and it kept doing it. No smoke or anything abnormal other than that. Is that normal for these trucks? I know they take a lot to get going, but could it also be a factor of it losing fuel pressure or something? An injector going bad or injection pump, oil pump? Fuel pump? Something leaking down somewhere? Only reason I ask is because I have a GMC 1500 that was having problem starting on cold mornings. I put a pressure gauge on it and it slowly dropped. Over night all the fuel pressure dropped to nothing, making it very difficult to start. It was the injectors bleeding off. I just don't want to buy a truck that may have problems in the near future when they could be avoided.

Thanks for all the help so far.
 

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My 2000 7.3 starts quickly whether it is cold or hot...for reference.

Does it also turn over slowly when cold?

Does it feel like the starting system is sluggish? How old are the batteries? Is there corrosion present at the posts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My 2000 7.3 starts quickly whether it is cold or hot...for reference.

Does it also turn over slowly when cold?

Does it feel like the starting system is sluggish? How old are the batteries? Is there corrosion present at the posts?

Well the truck is on a dealer lot and the day I looked at it it was 34 degrees and 17 that morning, but i started up second attempt. I don't know how old the batteries are. I didn't notice corrosion. Its not sluggish its a nice lively start. No strain or anything. It just took a few seconds to fire.
 

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Could be under powered batteries, a poor connection, or even just needing an oil change and lighter weight oil...
Sounds like a good find to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Could be under powered batteries, a poor connection, or even just needing an oil change and lighter weight oil...
Sounds like a good find to me!
The truck was warm up to temp so the oil wouldn't have made a difference. It could be the batteries, but it doesn't sound like they're struggling at all. Everything is so clean under the hood and well kept, I doubt it is a poor connection.

To me it seems like it could be a fuel problem, or a glow plug problem. If a glow plug or two are bad, will that cause hard start even after the motor is up to temp and the wait to start cycles through?
 

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The truck was warm up to temp so the oil wouldn't have made a difference. It could be the batteries, but it doesn't sound like they're struggling at all. Everything is so clean under the hood and well kept, I doubt it is a poor connection.

To me it seems like it could be a fuel problem, or a glow plug problem. If a glow plug or two are bad, will that cause hard start even after the motor is up to temp and the wait to start cycles through?
If the motor is at full operating temp then the GP system should not activate.

At cold start, if GPs are burned out then it is common to see white smoke at the tailpipe. This condition should stop as the engine warms up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After doing some research I've read a lot about injection pumps failing and causing hard or no start situations when the truck is hot. Only, after waiting 45 minutes for it to cool down or dumping cold water on it would it start. Could this be a sign of the ip going bad?
 

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That kind of diagnosis is above my pay grade.

Hopefully someone else can chime in.

Meanwhile, are you sure the truck has not been sold??
 

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After doing some research I've read a lot about injection pumps failing and causing hard or no start situations when the truck is hot. Only, after waiting 45 minutes for it to cool down or dumping cold water on it would it start. Could this be a sign of the ip going bad?

That only applies to IDI engines. Your talking about a Powerstroke, that year doesn't have an IP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That kind of diagnosis is above my pay grade.

Hopefully someone else can chime in.

Meanwhile, are you sure the truck has not been sold??
Its still there. Another concern of mine. Why is it still there. I might just pass on it. Too many unknowns.

That only applies to IDI engines. Your talking about a Powerstroke, that year doesn't have an IP.
Yes you're right.
 
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