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New sticky for common mods section, truck buyer frequent questions

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Old 08-31-2006, 10:27 PM
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New sticky for common mods section, truck buyer frequent questions

Ok all. This is my stab at streamlining the what to look for when looking at buying a 99-03 PSD truck. I will take the first stab at it and would like all of you to throw in what you think is specific to these vehicles. Some of it may be vehicle nonspecific but useful nonetheless.

My intent is to compile ideas (aka brainstorming) then cut and paste into one item. Can we do this Scott, Dan? Don't want a lengthy thread and I don't feel like doing a forever search. I know how it is searching for things here sometimes.

I will break it down into categories:

1. Visual: Body and rust are obvious items, nonspecific.

A. Engine

1) Check for any obvious fluid leaks, especially the engine valley, tranny weep hole area, and around the turbo and pedestal.

2) Check coolant with strips and find out the record of any changes or water pump replacement based on mileage.

3) If possible, do compression check, and Cylinder contribution test.

4) Inspect turbo inlet side vanes, should be straight and not dusted or jagged. Try to move the shaft in and out and up and down. Any real noticeable movement by hand is bad. Open and inspect air cleaner assembly for an idea of how it was maintained.

5) If possible, have fuel pressure tested at engine to check pump.

6) Check all intake /intercooler boots for residue or leaks and correct before trying to determine engine condition.

7) Look at oil pan for notorious rusting, make sure not beyond repaint type repair.

8) Know whether you're getting forged or PMRs. 99-mid 01 = forged, anything later is possible or for sure PMR. Not an issue until you exceed 400HP.

B. Transmission, driveline and 4x4 system.

1) Look for any obvious leaks.

2) With the system in 2wd, grasp and rotate both front drive axles and ensure they rotate freely. Go to the hubs, ESOF and manual should rotate from lock/auto to free with no problems.

3) Grab rear driveshaft and push up and down along it's length checking for worn u-joints or bearings.

4) Check front and rear differential levels. (An indicator of maintenance) Level should be at or w/in 1/2 inch of check plug.

2. Test drive. If you have never owned a 7.3 PSD, try to get a 7.3 owner to test drive it. I did this with a friend who bought his new. Invaluable evalation because you have no idea. A stock PSD may feel like a slug to the gasser uninitiated but it can pull a house off of it's foundation. So here we go.
A. Drive more than one PSD truck that you are considering. Whether Auto or Stick, it will give you an idea of the overall condition of the one you want to buy. Cost = 0. Learning curve = super high. Dealers have a ready supply.

B. Startup. Turn key and watch wait to start light. The colder it is the longer it will take but should take no longer than 15-20 seconds on even cold days. Start engine. Should crank readily and turn the tach while cranking (although mine does not). Should start within 2-5 seconds of cranking. The colder it is the longer it will take but if longer than 5 seconds there may be a problem. Even in colder weather. If it does not not start easily on the second try, suspect problems, possibly in the glow plugs or GP relays. If it does not crank readily, or seems to drag, suspect batteries first, starter next, then cables.

C. Driving. Check all operational items. Don't be rushed. This is a major investment and you want to get it right. Even small items like the cruise will set you back.

1) Auto tranny: will feel like it takes the throttle to get moving with a stocker. The higher the mileage, the worse this will be. The shift should be smooth but slippy with a stocker. Long to engage. Convertor lockup will be almost imperceptable, but there. Will lock up at about 45 to 60m depending on throttle in OD. Should drop out of OD with input to brake or reduction of speed.

2) Standard: give input

3) Ride: if it is bouncing down the road, you can look to having some problems to take care of. These can be tire balance. Tires, or some unexplained seemingly incurable symptom that you may have to live with which is unacceptable and not common, but does happen. Some say it is an out of balance driveline but there is no universal cure.

4) Exhaust drone. Only happens with aftermarket exhaust due to what I believe is harmonics resonating in the thinner walled aftermarket systems. Not a big solution at present but not a performance issue.

5) Performance. There is no hesitation in the PSD 7.3 when all is in working order. Any hesitation is an indicator of a problem. By design, if all is in order, at throttle tip in, it simply responds. No excuse such as mileage considerations. This = repair bill.

This is my humble stab at the start of a common. Please feel free to chime in with corrections or additions.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:23 AM
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Nice job... I must say you seem to have covered it all. I'd be extremely glad to have all this info as a newbie looking to buy a new truck.
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the post. I am going to look at one today.
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:25 PM
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Great post. Added it to the sticky page up top.
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:58 PM
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Thanks all. But I am sure I've left a lot out. Throw it in there. Plenty of folks smarter than me here.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:35 PM
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The ZF manual transmissions are quite loud. A substantial amount of gear whine or rollover noise in the lowest two gears is normal. There should not be any chatter from the clutch, unless an aftermarket one is employed. Pedal effort on a stock type clutch is moderately firm, but should be smooth. It is a medium duty transmission so there will be some play in the shifter, but if it feels "sloppy" there may be a problem. All gears are synchronized, so they should engage without binding or gear clash noises.
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Old 11-23-2006, 07:31 PM
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Another thing to check is the overall condition of the degas or overflow reservior for the coolant. A truck that has been properly cared for will have a clean tank. Any ring around the tub looking scum or a cloudy bottle is a sign of neglect or even a possible oil into coolant leak. It could also indicate the addtition of stop leak or some other stop gap measure which generally is not the proper repair. Of course the normal aging of plastic will degrade the plastic tank but does not result in scum along the inside.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:05 AM
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Transmission Diode in some 2001 models

Missed this on the original post. Stay away from the 2001 models with an automatic transmission with build dates between 7/27/2000 and 3/23/2001. These have about a 6 month run of a diode in them that is failure prone. Read here for the specifics.

Of course if it has been repaired, and you can verify this, no problem.
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:56 PM
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We had one of our 2000s lose a Fan Clutch. This in turn got the fan into the shroud and the radiator. at the local yards, searching for a used radiator, I found 6 other 2000s with radiators damaged by fan blades. I haven't seen any TSBs on this but it's a problem in SOME circles!
On manual transmissions: the two we have seem to work well, but I never cared for the "feel" of them. To me, when they are fully IN gear, they don't feel like they are by the "throw", or the actual position in the HH pattern. Ive had other drivers make the same comment. Also tends to feel like it wants to "jump out' of third gear. again, this is solely based on MY experience with the 2 we have, and they are over 200K.
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Old 03-24-2007, 05:40 PM
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Smile New puchase 00 7.3 SD SC SB Lariat

I've been using Ebay, Craigslist, AutoTrader and GSA to find a CC or SC Diesel Ford truck. The local dealers had some top notch machines, with low mileage and nice options, but wanted an arm and leg for 99's thru 03's. Anything newer was out of site. I was looking for a cash deal too; dealers don't like it when you flash cash and make an offer. They don't get the finance money, trade in money, volume money, manufacture and rake you over the coals, lock you in, and scare you to death. One fella had at least 20 late models on his lot, and each monster was beautiful. His lowest price was 32k for a low mileage 01 SD CC TD Lariat SRW longbed. Another local guy had sold three late model HD diesels in the last week. I found my deal on Craig's list. Turns out, I paid a little more for one that was in great shape vs one that was a little newer, or had scratches or dents, or needed transported, or a "blind buy" on Ebay. I didn't waste time once I met the private owner and the seemingly optimum situation/conditions the truck was in. I have bought and sold a lot of vehicles, and sometimes you can just tell if the deal is good. Long story short, the piece will be delivered on Monday, and I can finally dump the '05 Tacoma. 00 F250 Super Cab Lariat SB 100k auto. I really didn't care if I had a 6.0 or a 7.3, even though it seemed that most people really preferred the 7.3. I really wanted a 350 for towing, but I think I'll get by with the 250. Thanks the previous post too. I was worried about blow by, and pulled the dipstick while running, and there was some invisible pressure. My test drive, unfortunately was in the rain, so I couldnt stand on the accelerator. The trans was a little clunky, most noticeable after releasing the pedal, and gliding back into the pedal at low speed. Otherwise, my truck is gorgeous, not a scratch, chip or tear. Looking forward to further communications..
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:23 AM
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That clunking you are feeling is probably not the tranny but know as " THE SUPERDUTY CLUNCK". I cant find the link but I am sure some body will give it to you and will give you step by step directions on how to grease the driveshaft splines to lose the clunck.

Hope the truck does good for you, I went the same route and bought a older one. Has worked out well for me.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:26 PM
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awesome thread, had my first test drive today and saw some of the exact same things mentioned here, wish I had a bit more knowledge to check even more of what's mentioned here
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:17 AM
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I must say as a newbie into the diesel world this info is valuable to me. All I know to check before reading this thread was the trans. And basic stuff like leaks.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkknightrider View Post
I must say as a newbie into the diesel world this info is valuable to me. All I know to check before reading this thread was the trans. And basic stuff like leaks.
Welcome to FTE.
Stick aound, we will spend all your money.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:08 PM
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Great idea and post, I did not see anything about checking the fuel filter. You can tell how regular maintenance has been performed if it has been changed and if bad diesel has gotten in lately.
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