Need advice on 2003 7.3 powerstroke Im considering
Ive been looking for a new work truck recently and came across a 2003 F350 7.3powerstroke.
Its a bit of a project, it runs and drives but has a few issues Id like some insight on.
The truck has 200k on it and has a chip in it with 3 settings. Its at a dealership that I maintain (landscaping) and the guy will give me a pretty good deal on it, $2000.
Heres the issues. Apparently when under heavy load such as pulling a trailer or accelerating hard when you let off the gas the engine will start to lope and then eventually recover. I havent personally experienced this symptom as I only briefly drove the truck around the lot.
I talked to the previous owner and he stated that it has always done this and he didnt know why. Having not experienced it myself I cant explain better than that but it worried me a bit. What would cause something like that?
The other issue is the reccurant water light being on, Im assuming this means the fuel system is letting water in somehow.
I went back awhile ago to test drive it around some more and it died on me in the lot, the empty light was on though so its possible it simply ran out of fuel. It belched white smoke and then died. Im never owned a diesel before so Im not sure what they do when they run empty. I wasnt able to get it restarted.
The previous owner plowed with it and recently changed the transmission, he said it shifts a little hard into 2nd gear and has done so for the past 15k miles with no change. Is this something I should be concerned about?
Other than this stuff its in pretty decent shape, it felt like it had alot of power the first time I drove it. The frame is immaculate and it has a pretty nice flatbead framed up on it with heavy steel.
Just looking for some advice from anyone who has owned or owns one of these trucks. What should I be wary of? What do you make of the loping issue?
Sufficient fuel delivery should be confirmed then DTCs should be retrieved using a PSD capable scanner (not a parts store scanner they don't work on these trucks). With the proper diagnostics available there is nothing on that truck that can't be figured out on this forum.
Lots of stuff it could be but for $2K I would probably jump on it right away and ask questions later.
"When I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself" George Thorogood, 1985
This might not be a dependable work truck at first. If the WIF light keeps coming on, it could be anything from a bad sensor to needing a cup job (pain in the butt, but not expensive). Injectors are no less than $1000 (if needed), an oil change (non-synthetic oil) is $80 every 3000 miles, a tank of fuel easily tops $100, decent tires are $1000, it cost me $1000 for the parts to fix all my intake/exhaust leaks, any one of the many sensors in there can top $100, and you will likely need a proper scan tool - just to find out how healthy the truck is (factor about $400).
I doubt the dealership is cutting a 7.3L loose for $2000 without good reason, depending on your area and their relationship with you. Texas seems to have good prices on these, but Washington has prices in the $18,000 range for a good working truck under 200,000 miles. In my experience, a relatively rust-free 7.3L Superduty with reasonable miles on the odometer can bring at least $8000 just about anywhere in the country - but the flatbed turns my crystal ball into a shaken snow globe.
Without knowing the specifics of the truck, if you can afford to invest as much as another $6000 into the truck (over time) you can fix the truck up pretty nice. If you take a $2000 diesel with real problems and try to limit your maintenance fund to a few hundred dollars, you might be over your head. These trucks cost money to operate, but they can make money for you - if you use them for heavy work. If you have the means to own a very fun truck, this is a candidate.
That chip in the truck is likely causing the weird idle after driving. Step one would be to pull it, step two would be to get a scan tool and use the forum to help you analyze the truck, step three would be to get the truck to 100% operational - then step four would be to consider that chip again.
The 7.3L "Brotherhood" can advise you every step of the way, many of us have deep experience with the truck. That said, it's your wallet, time, and tools that will be put to use... so you have to decide if this is a hobby you want to "pick up".
A $2000 truck can cost you another $5k if you don't know what you're looking at. $2000 is dirt cheap for a 7.3 with a new transmission with 15k on it. Theres most likely a reason for it... Just saying
__________________ SOLD-2001, F250, 8''Lift, 38s, Gauges, 6637w/RRCover&ColdAirBox, CCVMod, ITPBoostAnnhilator, PolishedIntake, WarnHubs, AIHDelete, VanTurbo, PlenumReforincementInserts, 4''S.S.StraightPipe, FoilDelete, TuggerKit, CustomLadderBars(IBuilt), 4R100HD, DpTuner, TrainHorn, OnboardTankandPump, HutchAndHarpoonMod, 50CentMod... Some other stuff.... Driving a Cummins now... 576.8 HP and 1138.1 TQ, still here to help when I can
Personally, I'd be all over it - but I do my own work. If I had to pay somebody & wait for them to maintain my truck, I wouldn't have it. $2,000 for a running/driving diesel anything is as rare as hen's teeth. Wore out diesel lawn mowers sell for more than that! If nothing else, buy it & part it out to the forum members
The stumble after WOT is typical for a weak HPOP. Or a bad IPC on default value. WIF light is prolly just that, water in the fuel bowl. Flip the yellow lever on the back of the bowl to drain.
I'm not seeing any red flags here. Seems like that dealer likes you. You can get help to fix most everything on that truck here at FTE, but even so I might throw him a bone and let him fix a few things when they come up.
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