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7.3 idi F350 for towing small fifth wheel


7.3 idi F350 for towing small fifth wheel

Old 08-05-2018, 10:08 AM
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In addition, tools like Torque Pro and Forscan can be bought for $5 each. An old smartphone or a $50 tablet is a great tool to use to monitor things if you feel the need. I run Torque Pro on an old smartphone and am going to get Forscan for it as well soon.

These trucks have been working hard since they came out 20+ years ago. As long as you maintain them, it is not uncommon for a 7.3 to go 500K - 750K miles and even some on the forum are up at 1,000,000 miles.

Injectors, if you want NEW stock injectors, they are $1500 for the set and can be changed out in a few hours if you know how, or a day if you don't with nothing more than a common tool kit and tool rental from RiffRaff, Rosewood, etc...

The biggest problem with these old trucks is the parts around the engine. Although, I just replaced a ball joint on the track bar for $35 because the boot was starting to get torn up.

No DEF required, get near 20 MPG's if running well, 13 MPG's towing and I take the $500 or more a month from the payments to the bank that I am not making and have fun and live life with my family.

Collect experiences and make memories... Not collect things and make money...
Old 08-12-2018, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sous View Post
That is because you bought a 6.0... I have $15K total into my truck including tires, purchase and fluid changes when I first bought it. The truck runs like a top, and will be even better when I get the Borg Warner SX-E turbo installed, which is included in the $15K price tag. There is no comparison between the 20 year old trucks and the trucks of today. But, there is also no comparison in the prices either.

My dinosaur of a truck travels the country and I can have a normal volume conversation with the passenger. To each their own, but there is no way anyone can say a $500 a month payment on a newer truck is cheaper than a well maintained 20 year old truck. Not a chance...

OP, do what your heart tells you to do. At least if you get an older truck you will be able to pocket the $500 a month payment you would be making with a new truck. Silly how much these things are costing now adays...
I agree, hang on to that old gal, old iron is best, unfortunately up here in the salt /rust belt they just donít last that long, especially the dodges, my dodge pos rusted out in 5 yrs, the Fords last 3 times as long but still eventually succumb. I hope to get a long life out of this aluminum body F350.
Old 08-12-2018, 05:04 PM
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I've towed a lot with my 7.3idi. Also a 5.4 gas truck . The 5.4 was much better.
Old 08-12-2018, 08:59 PM
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Please don't waste your time or money on an ID I Ford/International motor. I plowed snow with one for years, and down low the torque was more than plenty. Pulling a trailer at highway speeds would be a disappointment if not a disaster. The only good thing about that simple design is that it would run 50% gasoline if necessary. Check the owners manual. The idea of adding a turbo to that manifold is not worth the engineeding or effort. Imo, simply purchase a 1997 to 2002 7.3 and all it a day​​​.
Old 09-10-2018, 12:27 PM
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I'm the second owner of my 99 F350, which I purchased in March of 2003 off of an older couple that took great care of it. That was the same year my younger son was born.

I have kept meticulous records of maintenance since purchase and when something breaks I typically upgrade and not just replace. I've never had a major repair. It had a new transmission put in right before I bought it at just under 60k miles and it's still going strong. My 7.3 has the original injectors, and the original turbo. You can see which mods I've done in my signature. It left me on the side of the road only one time more than ten years ago when the fuel pump in it died. Luckily I was five minutes from work and a buddy towed me within 15 minutes of sitting there.

Now that I've given some background showing how reliable mine has been (if properly maintained), allow me to give thoughts on your situation. I think a 7.3 liter is an inexpensive and dependable way to go. Get one with a turbo just to have decent power. I've full timed for a few years with a 12K fifth wheel which I typically had packed to the gills at 16K. I drove slow, and didn't really move it a lot. I'm not looking to get into a debate on legalities if there was an accident, etc. when exceeding GCWR (which I would never recommend) but want to point out my truck handled it fine. It stopped fine and had plenty of power (for me). I took it to the TN mountains, and from FL to CA and back while serving in the military. I didn't travel any huge mountains like CO, etc. Now that my injectors have over 200k miles on them, I may upgrade in the next few years. I plan to retire in 2-3 years, buy another fifth wheel RV and live the dream! I actually need to do some cosmetic stuff, like have the seats recovered, and perhaps install air bags, and a navigation screen. I'd rather spend that cash than pay $70-80K for a new F350/450. -Sous, those payments would be much more than $500 without a lot down!!

Since you are only looking to tow much less than I have, I wouldn't bat an eye buying an older 7.3. See if you can get maintenance records when you start shopping, look it over really well, etc.

I hope this helps you to make the decision that is right for you.
Old 09-13-2018, 11:36 PM
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@Josh Ross - he isnt talking about a 7.3 PowerStroke - he's talking about a 7.3 IDI- different engine, way less power.

Originally Posted by williet34 View Post
I am fully aware of the fact they they won’t match the towing speed or strength of the newer PSDs, but I would rather give up a little performance in favor of the smaller price tag and maintenance.


Give up a A LITTLE performance? LOL! Peak Horsepower 190Hp, peak torque 388ft lbs. My guess is my 6.7 power stroke makes more power at idle. Don't forget the 4 speed transmission, fairly miserable NVH insulation, and spaghetti frames those OBS trucks have. Added bonus - twin traction beam on the 4x4's - a excellent lesson how NOT to build a front axle! you'll be endlessly amused by the constant steering corrections just to maintain a straight line.

I would take a (semi) modern gas engine truck over an OBS IDI any day of the week. More torque, More HP, vastly better frames, axles, steering, cooling, brakes, NVH, and will be much more pleasurable to use. Another bonus - somewhere in the late 90's Ford figured out how to build a power steering pump - so you won't have to do the constant PS pump replacements the OBS trucks always required...

I don't mean to rain on your parade - but my best buddy's family has a bunch of Ford OBS trucks and they are pretty miserable when compared to today's vehicles. There is just no comparison. Throw in towing? no way.

I also read this tidbit online (though I have no practical experience turbocharging an IDI, clearly)

Modern electronically controlled diesel engines are relatively easy to modify for significant performance increases. The IDI engines are limited in aftermarket support and there are few options available to improve performance. To squeeze the most out of a Ford IDI, the following modifications are common:

Turbocharging - Aftermarket turbocharger kits are available for both the 6.9L and 7.3L IDI. Turbocharger systems designed for direct injection engines cannot be easily adapted, since the IDI has a high compression ratio and maximum boost needs to reflect the operational characteristics specific to an IDI. When retrofitting an IDI with a turbocharger, there are companies that manufacturer injectors and injection pumps designed to work efficiently with these systems. Performance injectors and injection pump upgrades are not available for naturally aspirated IDI engines. Airflow needs to be increased for these engines to accept fuel system upgrades without EGT (exhaust gas temperature) concerns.

Turning up the injection pump - The Stanadyne injection pump found on the 6.9L and 7.3L IDI can be turned up to flow more fuel. When done in moderation, owners will notice a moderate performance increase with minimal reliability concerns. For safety reasons, a pyrometer is recommended when turning up the injection pump. A pyro will also help you find the "sweet spot", where performance is maximized while maintaining reasonable exhaust gas temperatures under load.

Removing the soup bowl - From the factory, most 6.9L and 7.3L IDI engines have a restrictive bowl attached to the bottom of the air cleaner lid. The purpose of this "soup bowl" (as it is commonly referred to) is to reduce intake noise. It can be cut off and removed to marginally increase airflow to the engine, though a noticeable amount of intake noise will be present.

Free flowing exhaust - A custom exhaust system for an IDI will provide noticeable performance increases. The availability of pre-formed kits is limited, but having an exhaust shop fabricate a complete exhaust system with a straight through muffler is a viable option.

Old 09-14-2018, 09:26 PM
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The F350 4x4s had the Dana 60 straight axle that is arguably the strongest front axle ever offered from the factory. The F250 4x4s had the ttb axle.

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