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1994.5 - 1997 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel  
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:49 PM
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First Time Powerstroke Buyer

Hey all, I Just purchased my first PSD, its a 1996 F250 RWD, ZF5, with 200,536 miles. I have heard that the 7.3 is the best ever built, but is there anything I should immediately do to the truck? The older gentleman who sold it too me just had it serviced. A guy that I associate with, keeps downing the 7.3(He drives a 6.6 Duramax) he says that with the mileage on it the truck is ready to die, the truck has no problems, no smoke on start up, Idles good, drives extremely well, turbo spoils up quick, the truck is bone stock, its just an old farm truck so its a little beat up. Is there any truth to what he is saying, this truck will become my daily driver, so I want to be sure of what I need to do. Thanks in advance.
-Caleb
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:24 PM
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I think that guy you associate with that owns the duramax doesn't know what he's talking about and is being a stupid chevy fanboy.

I'll admit, I like chevy vehicles, I own a 91 Camaro, but I like Fords better and have had better luck with Fords my whole life (between dealing with both Ford and Chevy vehicles.)

If the powerstroke has been decently well maintained, it's NOWHERE close to being dead. I'm new to owning my powerstroke, but my dad had one long ago and it never had any problems. These 7.3s are known to be good to 500k+ mileage easily with proper maintenance, I've even heard of several close to a million mile 7.3s out there.


The biggest things I've read to keeping these 7.3s in good shape is:

- Make sure to change oil regularly (around 5k miles or less) with decent oil like rotella t5 or t6

- Make sure to keep proper coolant levels along with the motorcraft coolant additive for anti cavitation

- Change out your fuel filter regularly and run some good fuel additive to help with the injectors if you suspect the diesel fuel quality isn't top notch in your area (I'm using the walmart 2 stroke oil)


Besides that, I don't think there are any major issues you'll have to worry about. If you can add a coolant filter somewhere, that can help with the life of your water pump and oil cooler, but regular coolant flushing can negate the real need for that.

Some issues you MAY notice around that mileage is:

- Injectors could be getting worn out but they could still be fine

- Exhaust up-pipes to the turbo could be leaking and or warping from use causing leaks

- Potential leaks from oil cooler

If your truck is running well though, you should be fine! I'd just make sure to keep up on oil changes/fuel filter changes.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:36 PM
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Welcome to FTE. About the D-max driver he has never driven or owned a 7.3 to really compare has he? The D-Max is an OK engine but I also has is downs mostly injectors which don't last. And look at my SIG my obs enough said...
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:08 PM
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Welcome to FTE. I'll start by saying the 7.3s are the most reliable diesels ever put in a ford. I love mine. They will last as long as u treat them right.

Now with that being said there are some things/reasons why people with newer diesels would call these junk. They're out dated, it's a fact, the technology in these are nowhere near today's modern diesels. But these last longer then the modern diesels.

Technically, these diesel engines have one of the highest displacement, with the lowest amount of power. 200-230hp out of 7.3L. Not that impressive considering a 6.7 makes 4-450hp. But it'll still be running long after that 6.7 is dead.

It's fueling system is sub-par. I'm having my own issue with this.... Once again old technology.

They didn't come with an intercooler, they have weaker head studs, and weaker rods. But all this kinda comes into play once u put alot of hp to it. Once again out dated technology.

Now here's where the 7.3 shines, it has a very good and consistent reputation of constantly running. Cranking up and towing for decades, and hundreds of thousands of miles. The modern moron could give a crap about longevity or reliability. They want hp, that's all they care about. Bottom line is, if ur willing to give up some hp and not be able to tow 15k down the interstate at 95mph for only 100k miles. And ud like to have a truck that u know will get there, won't have to worry about emission bullcrap, and will consistently get the job done. 7.3 is ur engine.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:22 PM
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Also as far as things to do right away goes. Get a 6637 intake filter, get an egt gauge, get a tranny temp gauge, and get a 2 piece diamond eye 3" downpipe.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:42 PM
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No tranny temp needed on a manual.

EGT is a must if you tow.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
No tranny temp needed on a manual.

EGT is a must if you tow.
Lol sorry your right, I was just saying automatic responses of what to get. Forgot he had a manual.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:29 PM
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Thanks for all the replies, and questions answered. Yes I will be towing a considerable amount with the truck, I recently Sold my 2002 Wrangler TJ, due to the line of work im in, it requires me to pull a gooseneck with 150-200 bales of hay on it. So that's why I purchased the 7.3. As for now it will be gettin new wheels and tires, cold air intake, new exhaust, and gauges. I truly appreciate the help. Hopefully I will be able to put hundreds of thousands of more miles on this old truck. As I was looking at her today, I noticed someone had an extra overload spring installed. So that's an added plus.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z31freakify View Post
Welcome to FTE. About the D-max driver he has never driven or owned a 7.3 to really compare has he? The D-Max is an OK engine but I also has is downs mostly injectors which don't last. And look at my SIG my obs enough said...
He's owned one 7.3, it was a 2002 F350 4 door , Shortbed, 4x4, E40D with 373k miles, that someone had ran the absolute crap out of, so I guess, he is basing his opinion of that truck.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:40 PM
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Despite incorrect facts the connecting rods in these engines are most deff forged type and quite durable. Very often subject to 500+ hp usage.
Head bolts in these engines are good but if copious amounts of boost and fuel are used then head studs are recommended.
In stock configuration neither issue will be anything you will have to worry about.
Check the inlet to turbo orange boot under the bottom. Remove the boot to check. This boot is known to split over time. Riff raff sells a replacement for this obsolete ford part.
Do not use a k&n filter. Do age,sb or affordable 6637 (tymar) unit.
Lots of good info here if you will read,read,read,read.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:04 AM
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Do I need a tuner, will it hurt anything? Should I be concerned about my HPOP, I've been told they are notorious to go out. If so can I change it myself?
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:19 AM
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HPOP don't usually fail often, the IPR might get stuck or orings fail on IPR making you thing the HPOP is gone. You can change yourself too.


There are a few people here with original engine at 400k miles with stock injectors and Stock HPOP.


Get a tuner if you need more HP when towing, but get EGT gauge first
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chill9918 View Post
Do I need a tuner, will it hurt anything? Should I be concerned about my HPOP, I've been told they are notorious to go out. If so can I change it myself?
You are starting to open the expensive box up... once you do it gets really damn expensive really quick! Yes a tuner is a great bump in power, if your towing the stock charger will not properly cool the additional fueL over a long steep grade pull. You'll start to want bigger injectors and the list just goes on from there

Since you are installing gauges, substitute your trans temp pod for a fuel pressure gauge, run a pyro in the manifold (NOT THE Down pipe), and a boost gauge. I'd highly recommend adding an IC before you throw more fuel in with a chip. Once you throw more fuel at it, you'll likely start playing with the turbo next to aid for more air.

In stock form with an intake and exhaust the truck will be very reliable, tow well, but not like a new truck in the HP/TQ department. The biggest thing is it will be reliable!

Regarding the HPOP... they are one of the most reliable bolt ons on the the truck. I have pulled many well over 400k that were still performing well, tired yes, but the customer wanted to go bigger.
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