Preparing for the 7.3 to 6.9 Swap on my IDI Van - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



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Preparing for the 7.3 to 6.9 Swap on my IDI Van

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Old 12-31-2016, 09:30 PM
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Question Preparing for the 7.3 to 6.9 Swap on my IDI Van

Because my oil-in-coolant issue is still happening, I'm beginning the prep to remove my 1988 7.3 and install my spare 6.9 (from a 1984 E350 van) from the garage into my van. I have changed my oil cooler three times, replaced my oil cooler headers, replaced my heads, HG, and pretty much everything else. The only thing left is a cracked block somewhere. So I'm pulling it.

My buddy wants me to put head studs on the 6.9 while I got it on the stand. I'm hoping to toss lots of stuff from my 7.3 onto the 6.9, but he's a little worried it'll be too much for the 6.9. I plan to put my R&D IP from the 7.3 on the 6.9. Also, the 6.9 has the banks turbo, but due to time and my C6 deep sump obstructing the path, I want to reuse my Hypermax turbo for the moment, so that I don't have to fab up some custom up- and down-pipes to get round the van's tranny. Also, I plan to roll with my e-pump from the 7.3, instead of the 6.9 lift pump.

Anyone think I will have problems rolling with the R&D IP, Hypermax Turbo, and e-pump with the 6.9 without head studs?

The goal is to run the 6.9 for a half year (maybe 20,000 miles) until I can find a 7.3 short block to replace my current 7.3. Anyone know where I can buy a rebuilt 7.3 short block? I called a place that claimed to have rebuilt 7.3 engines, but they couldn't tell me if they could sell me a short block.

Also, I want to try to do a compression test on the 6.9 while I still got it on the stand. Anyone know where I can get a kit for that? My friend says there is some kind of compression tester from Harbor Freight, but I am very hesitant to buy anything from those *******s.

Lastly, I know I posted this before, but I just wanted to repost it just in case, but I want to use the 7.3 GP's + wiring harness + glowplug relay on the 6.9 once it is installed in the van. Any problems with that? I remember it wasn't too big of a deal, since the engines are basically the same except for the displacement and the rocker arms.

Are the motor mounts the same for the '84 6.9 and the '88 7.3?

I think that's the questions for now.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:17 AM
jayro88 jayro88 is offline
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Glad to hear you are getting the van back up and going.

From what I have read, stock HG are usually good into the 12 or maybe 15psi range. How much boost were you seeing out of the Hypermax kit? Also, if the 6.9 is temporary, I would not waste the $ on head studs......unless this really might be a permanent temporary. Since 99% of the stuff would swap over from your 7.3 to your 6.9, what is your reasoning for not making the 6.9 permanent? In NA form the 7.3 has a little more power, but with boost I doubt there would be a big difference between the 2.

Either way, take pics and post them. I will be interested to hear how pulling the motor goes.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:35 AM
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The 6.9 is pretty beat down. unknown mileage. It's my "spare" engine, so it was meant to be just for occasions like this if something like a oil-in-coolant or cavitation or catastrophic issue occurred on my 7.3. So ideally, i want it to be in there for a few months until i can rebuild or replace the short block.

I'll photograph everything as usual. I really would like to try out the banks kit to see the difference, but my c6 deep sump interferes.

My hypermax never exceeded 11psi, so should be good with the stock HG. And now that I look at it, spending $450-700 on 6.9 head studs is a rather expensive venture for a temporary engine.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genscripter View Post
The 6.9 is pretty beat down. unknown mileage. It's my "spare" engine, so it was meant to be just for occasions like this if something like a oil-in-coolant or cavitation or catastrophic issue occurred on my 7.3. So ideally, i want it to be in there for a few months until i can rebuild or replace the short block.

I'll photograph everything as usual. I really would like to try out the banks kit to see the difference, but my c6 deep sump interferes.

My hypermax never exceeded 11psi, so should be good with the stock HG. And now that I look at it, spending $450-700 on 6.9 head studs is a rather expensive venture for a temporary engine.
Definitely. I wouldn't see any issue with 11psi on stock head gaskets. I would only do the studs if I was rebuilding it for something permanent.

Your oil in the coolant issue is pretty weird. Kinda stinks that all the work you put in to it didn't resolve the issue. On the bright side you will end up with a motor ready for another 400k miles.

I have some worked planned for mine over the summer. Probably hit you up for some pics of items you relocated things to.....GP controller/harness, fuel filter, etc etc.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:52 PM
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I'm pulling the engine tomorrow. Any last suggestions for me?
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:06 PM
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Do good.....

I would be interested to hear about how the engine pull goes.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:33 AM
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Got the 6.9 cleaned up and have the IP, Injectors, and prepped the engine.

Then we pulled the bumper, radiator, condensor, tranny cooler, and other stuff off the 7.3 in the van. Gunna pull the IP and other stuff. Already disconnected the torque converter and tranny stuff.

Now it's raining (figures) here in LA so we are grudgingly heading out this morning to pull the 7.3 in a hour or so.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:25 AM
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Got the 7.3 out ok. Dinged up the valve cover a bit. Didn't jack up the body off the frame like last time, but we did pull the IP and injectors so that afforded us a little more clearance from the roof.

The 7.3 is chilling on the garage floor as we transfered over a bunch of parts on the 6.9 on the stand.

Rock Auto f'ed up one of our motor mounts, but luckily an Autozoo had a cheapo in stock. Both though had mounting holes that were too small, so I had to bore them out some more.

Got the 6.9 all ready to toss in the van tomorrow morning. Hoping it'll go smoothly.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:17 PM
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Hope all goes well. Your moving pretty quick.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:37 AM
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Got the 6.9 in. It went a lot better than expected. Even mating the tranny to the block wasn't too bad.

Reinstalled the IP and injectors and rest of the stuff. They turbo is pretty much fully installed. Put the PS pump and vac pump back on. Hoping to have the radiator and tranny cool put in so we can see if it'll run ok. Then we can time it.

One thing that was weird, when I put the IP back on, it didn't mate to the gear housing well. It took a decent amount of snugging with the IP nuts to get them to seat well. The 12-point nuts on the inside of the gear housing went in easy, but securing the IP was odd. hope i didn't F something up.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genscripter View Post
Got the 6.9 in.

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One thing that was weird, when I put the IP back on, it didn't mate to the gear housing well. It took a decent amount of snugging with the IP nuts to get them to seat well. The 12-point nuts on the inside of the gear housing went in easy, but securing the IP was odd. hope i didn't F something up.
I've never done this job before, only read about it and watched videos but I saw this last night and it concerned me. It doesn't sound right.

I was hoping someone would have posted advice by now but most people have a work schedule so probably later today you'll get some replies.

I would have stopped and backed up until I knew exactly why it wasn't fitting up exactly right and basically started over again with the alignment, first making sure that the internal mating surfaces and key were clean.

It seems to me that if there is any misalignment of the pump (whatever the cause) it would damage the pump.

For that reason I'd personally be starting that job over again.

Aside from that I'm impressed with the amount of work you are accomplishing.

In the end I'm curious to know exactly what was causing the oil 'leak' problem in the 7.3L, ie: if it was excessive cavitation pitting, if and when you ever decide to investigate that further.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:58 AM
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Put all the pieces back together. Fired up the e-pump and used my custom bleeder to purge the air out of the fuel lines. Tried to start it three times, but nothing worked. Cracked 4 injector lines, and got plenty of fuel. Capped them and it fired right up.

Wanted to check the timing right away with my brand new timing gun and ferret meter, but the fan and water pump wobbled so bad that we immediately shut down the van and headed to NAPA for a replacement water pump. The play didn't seem too bad when the engine was on the stand, but I guess once it was spinning, it got really bad.

Had to pull the radiator again and all the accessories again. Lucky for us, we had already rented the fan clutch kit just in case something like this happened. Pulled the fan clutch, pulley, and old waterpump. Cleaned the block and chased the threads. INstalled the new water pump and permatexed the top and bottom two bolts.

Put it all back together again. It fired up. Only two injector return seals have a few drips, so I'll need to get a few new o-rings. Idles great.

Warmed it up and ran a timing check at 2000 RPM's. When I installed the IP, I guessed the location from my experience timing my other engine . Turns out my first guess put it at 9 degrees already. Pretty tight. I'll do more timing checks over the next few weeks.

I guess my fear over the IP sizing weird was unfounded. It ran fine.

We just finished putting the front cross member, grill, Warn winch and bumper and other body stuff back on.

Never found out the cause of my oil leak in the 7.3. My current theory is the block was cracked. I've replaced everything else so there wasn't much else to blame.

Regardless, I'm currently shopping for a 7.3 short block so I can rebuild my current "spare" 7.3 occupying my garage.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:14 AM
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Plan to do the first test drive tomorrow morning.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:59 PM
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Sounds like it went pretty well. Glad you got it running and back together.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:15 AM
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Took the van out for a few drives. The fuel is turned up way too much. We were getting decent boost, but the smoke was out of control. We turned it down one flat, but even after that, it's still blowing black. I'll turn it down another flat.

Something weird though... When I idle in park, the smoke is clear. But when I'm stopped at a stoplight (in Drive), it smokes white. Not really sure what is going on.

Aside from the black smoke when I give it decent amount of throttle and the light white smoke when stopped in traffic, it's running pretty well. Two of the injector seals have small diesel leaks, so I'll need to pick up some new return seals. Maybe that's contributing to my white smoke.

I'll turn the fuel screw down another flat, do the timing once again, and see if that cures the black smoke.

We've also started another project: doing the kingpins. Freakin' sucks. Had to call it a night after we got the first side almost done.
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