Are you talking about the ball and spring in the oil filter housing? There are actually two in most motors. One is for an oil filter bypass and the other for oil pressure regulation. If the oil pressure regulator is broken, a significant amount of oil is pushed straight back into the pan bypassing bearings, oil cooler, cooling jets, etc. that can cause an overheating situation as well as destroy your engine. Good thing about the 7.3 and 6.0 powerstroke is they won’t run without oil pressure. If the regulator is frozen, you can damage the pump although I suspect our pumps are strong enough to handle it.