The Diesel Stop banner

21 - 34 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I have a 1996 Passenger Van with the 7.3 Diesel. Its been an awesome vehicle, but with 304,000 miles the body is just getting too rusty so I bought a 1996 F250HD 7.3 Regular Cab w/8 foot box. My new 1996 diesel truck has 125,000 and it is rust free. I bought it out of Atlanta, Georgia. My son and I drove down and brought it back. My trip (one way) was about 10 hours so I know what you are about to go through and I can give you some pointers.

Fresh fluids are good as are new oil and fuel filters. You could even skip the fuel filter if you wanted to. If the fuel filter were old and were to clog it would cut down your fuel flow and top speed. An idiot light will come on and warn you about the clogged filter. Its not hard to change one out on the road at an auto parts store parking lot if you had too. But if its at a Ford Dealer now have them freshen all the filters and fluids before you take it. Double check their work. Don't just take their word for it. If you change the oil and filter is changed it takes 14 quarts of oil to refill it.

Have a Cell Phone and charger. I have an Apple iPhone. It has a great GPS. It will tell me how far my trip will be. It can find me an auto parts store, the next gas station w/diesel, a restaurant, or a motel to bed down at as long as it has power. So a plugin phone charger and cord are necessary.

Diesel Fords are meant to carry heavy loads. They will normally will have heavy duty (Load range E) tires, assuming a previous owner didn't change to some cheaper tires. These tires may take 60-80 psi as their regular pressure. Get a tire pressure gauge that can read these higher pressures. Most tire pressure gauges don't. Check all your tire pressures and yes, make sure it has a spare and the spare isn't flat.

Take a small flash light. If you have to check something on the truck or find something under the seat at night a flash light is a big help.

Before leaving Minn. buy a "one" spare gallon of engine oil and keep it with you. 7.3 engine oil is 15W-40. Mobil Delvac is quality oil and usually the cheapest. I don't spend extra $$$ for deluxe oil like Mobil 1. For best prices Diesel oil can come from an auto parts store or even Walmart. Some people like Shell Rotella, I normally go with the Mobil Delvac.

Make sure you have good/new wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid.

Make sure you have good batteries. Auto parts stores will check your batteries for free and will tell you what shape they are in. It is possible to have one good battery and one weak battery and not know it. Make sure you are running with two good batteries for your trip. You don't want to spend an over-night somewhere and then find out your vehicle won't start.

Make sure all the headlights and turn signals and flashers all work before you leave.

Grab a small cooler in Minn. so you can have something cool to drink and easy to grab during your trip. One small enough to sit on the seat next to you.

Have chewing gum with you. It can help keep you awake on a long drive.

Comfortable shoes/clothes for driving.

Make sure you have a good working radio for tunes! Long drives are difficult if you don't have some good tunes. My 1996 had a bad radio. It didn't work. It was a long drive home.

Does your vehicle have good, working, and charged A/C system? Doers the heater work? You'll want to know that before hitting the road.

Check or have the Serpentine belt checked. Its possible its still on the original. Whether it does or it doesn't it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a new one put on and keep the old one as a spare. In a Duralast brand the belt part number is 1190K8. The belt routing is a little hard to figure out without the diagram. I keep a copy of the belt # and the routing in my van as reference.

From my 300,000 plus mile van I know that at some point, sooner of later the bearings in the tensioner pulley and the two idler pulleys will let go. Usually in the post 150,000 mike range. I don't think you'll need spares for your trip, but it would not be a bad idea to obtain these parts as spares in advance. My van has also ate a vacuum pump and one leaking water pump too. I wouldn't get a water pump in advance, but the idler pulleys are good to have in advance.
The tensioner and pulley assembly are unique to the 7.3 engine. It might be cheaper, but it is not easy to order it "correctly" on-line because many online sellers don't know what's correct. If you hear a squeaking pulley, bearing, and or belt noises don't ignore them. Something's not right and its going to break or let go sooner or later.

I've become a big fan of the 7.3L Navistar turbo diesel. That's why I bought another one. I love the utility my passenger van has brought me, but working on the top of the engine in the van is a pain in the butt. The engines in the pre-1998 pick-ups has easy access. I look forward in keeping my new 1996 7.3 Diesel for a long time.

Good luck with your new truck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Thank you all for the time you all have taken out to share your experiences and advice all of this has given me a better and more confident approach on this trip will keep you all informed as to our trip very very grateful thanks again I am looking forward leaving tonight for the airport at 2 am will pick up all the necessities once I get there in Minnesota before we hit the road
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Dayco brand belt part number is 5081190. I also put a fuel system cleaner in too for my trip. POWER SERVICE Diesel Kleen + Cetane Boost was what I used. I don't know if it needed it, but it can't hurt.

Jack and spare was mentioned. In the 1992-1997 Ford pick-up the jack is under the hood.
The lug wrench and the jack is in the passenger side fender and the jack handle clips-in over the top of the Radiator.

A can of Starter Fluid is good to have as an emergency back-up.

One caution on the dual tanks. The dual tanks are nice to have. I believe one is 19 gal and the other 18 gal. On older trucks either fuel tank could have level reading issues. A tank may read 1/4 full but not really be 1/4 full. Your tank might run dry showing 1/8 still in it. You could run one tank dry to E and then be running on the second one and run out of fuel on the second with the gage still showing 1/8 or something.

Just warning you that till you know what is really Empty is you just might want to be aware of a possible issue. Plus you don't really know what kind of debris, junk, or rust is inside a used tank. You never know what might clog the inlet screen. As you empty a tank with your gauge is below 1/4 be ready so switch over to the other tank quickly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,063 Posts
Also unlike a gas vehicle do not run a tank dry and then switch over. I did it by accident one time when I was doing 80 mph and it still took me a good amount of time before I was getting fuel back to the injectors to start pick up speed again.

I'd drive on the top half of each tank for a few tanks full to find out the mpg that you might be getting before trying to stretch it.

On my truck the rear tank will come off of full as I pull out of the service station and the gauge will drop like a rock, but I can go 150 or so miles once it hits the E on the gauge. On the front tank it will run forever on full but when it is nearing the big E you better have fuel in the other tank or be near a station to fill up at.

While the tanks are usually 18 gallons rear and 19 gallons front I can put 21 into the front and 20 in the rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Thanks good to know that I thought I will run one till empty then go to the next I will watch that now
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,063 Posts
There are little things about the tanks that kind of sneak up on you with a older truck.

One is the fuel pick up in the tank. As they age they turn brittle and end up breaking apart and you will start sucking air at around 1/4 of a tank, that along with a possible line that may be cracked that is fine on a 3/4's of a tank of fuel but sucks air afterwards.

And if you don't know the truck will have a mechanical fuel pump that sits almost under the turbo. They didn't go to electric fuel on the 7.3 engine until the 99 model year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Wow thanks How about any fuel lines under the turbo that need to be looked at luckily it is at a ford dealer should I have them do any specific work on it before heading out I can stay another day there if need be should I have them put a scan on it an oil change and filter was done and I think a drive test was done should a trans service be done
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,063 Posts
I'm not a automatic transmission person but from what I have seen a flush or a drain and refill at times can be a bad thing to do. This all depends on what kind of service that the transmission has seen in it's lifetime.

I would check the fluid when you do your inspection and if it looks bad or smells burnt then talk to the dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
Thanks all I got to the dealer checked out big blue (F-350 7.3 Dually ) all ready for me took a look at all fluids trans Oil and Engine oil had been replaced engine sounded excellent no leaks anywhere kicked the tires and they filled up one tank for me signed the docs and headed out west on 90 and then south on 35 filled up both tanks and was cruising 60-65 got a bit passed Des Moines Iowa and pulled into a rest area and slept a few hours Left yesterday morning headed down 35 both tanks were working good ran them down to quarter tank both and filled up again and hit the highway got on the Kansas state turnpike and got a little more comfortable got the pace upto 75 sometimes 80 was getting a bit warm so I turned the a/c on and after a few minutes noticed the temp gauge go up to the first line of the N of normal so I turned the a/c off soon after the pay booth for the toll arrived I came to a complete stop and paid and went to take off and it felt like it was in neutral not going any where I put in park then 1 and 2 nothing turned the overdrive of and on and nothing threw a couple small revs and suddenly felt like it engaged from there on I have been cruising 60 sometimes 65 heading towards Oklahoma City running good trans seems like shifting early from 3rd to overdrive when I leave after a fill up temperature has stayed low below the N stayed the night in bard just after entering New Mexico and left this morning after seeing a car museum in bard at the russel truck stop and left we are presently on 40 running through New Mexico about 130 miles east of albuquerqe heading west I have put my son behind the wheel and we are keeping it between 60-65 checked the mileage I don’t know if I made a mistake but it is giving me 19.5 mpg hard to believe anyways we are babying it just to make sure we get home god willing we will , overall I love big blue (name we decided for her)though it has a little rust in bed floor after removing the fifth wheel plates will have to address that later with some rust to the chassis and underneath out of the blue 5 obs trucks fully restored 71-73 apprx passed us on 40 with Texas plates this morning close to tacumkari New Mexico was a pleasing sight to see anyways thanks to all of your advice I am on my way will follow up when I reach home thanks again
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,063 Posts
Glad to hear that things are going good.

The automatics in these trucks are the weak link in them. The engine is as close to a bullet proof engine as there is out there, but then there is the transmission.

On the gauge it sounds like they still have the 195 degree thermostat one in it. When I had the stock the thermostat it would run right around the low side of the N in normal. Since I put in a 203 degree one and it now sits around the R and M, so with yours coming up some I would say that you are fine.

Running wise, these trucks get the best mileage at around 2000 rpm's and below. But the engine will take running the rpm's all the way up to the red line around 3400 rpm's where the governor will kick in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
You checked the trans fluid level since you have been on the road right? Ford dealer probably just did a quick change and never followed up with a recheck after being ran.
MPGs sound good, probably a 3.55 rear with near stock size tires. The door tag will tell you, just google the code.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Thanks all I got to the dealer checked out big blue (F-350 7.3 Dually ) all ready for me took a look at all fluids trans Oil and Engine oil had been replaced engine sounded excellent no leaks anywhere kicked the tires and they filled up one tank for me signed the docs and headed out west on 90 and then south on 35 filled up both tanks and was cruising 60-65 got a bit passed Des Moines Iowa and pulled into a rest area and slept a few hours Left yesterday morning headed down 35 both tanks were working good ran them down to quarter tank both and filled up again and hit the highway got on the Kansas state turnpike and got a little more comfortable got the pace upto 75 sometimes 80 was getting a bit warm so I turned the a/c on and after a few minutes noticed the temp gauge go up to the first line of the N of normal so I turned the a/c off soon after the pay booth for the toll arrived I came to a complete stop and paid and went to take off and it felt like it was in neutral not going any where I put in park then 1 and 2 nothing turned the overdrive of and on and nothing threw a couple small revs and suddenly felt like it engaged from there on I have been cruising 60 sometimes 65 heading towards Oklahoma City running good trans seems like shifting early from 3rd to overdrive when I leave after a fill up temperature has stayed low below the N stayed the night in bard just after entering New Mexico and left this morning after seeing a car museum in bard at the russel truck stop and left we are presently on 40 running through New Mexico about 130 miles east of albuquerqe heading west I have put my son behind the wheel and we are keeping it between 60-65 checked the mileage I don’t know if I made a mistake but it is giving me 19.5 mpg hard to believe anyways we are babying it just to make sure we get home god willing we will , overall I love big blue (name we decided for her)though it has a little rust in bed floor after removing the fifth wheel plates will have to address that later with some rust to the chassis and underneath out of the blue 5 obs trucks fully restored 71-73 apprx passed us on 40 with Texas plates this morning close to tacumkari New Mexico was a pleasing sight to see anyways thanks to all of your advice I am on my way will follow up when I reach home thanks again
Hey, Parobspsd If you have any problems close to Flagstaff, Az you can give me a call 928-600-4578 my name is Mike if I don't answer just leave a message as I won't recognize the number. I do have a scanner that will read the codes on our trucks and I also, have a great mobile mechanic that knows our trucks as he is the one who helped install my new motor. Good Luck! Mike
 
21 - 34 of 34 Posts
Top