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Old 12-14-2021, 11:13 PM
unfinished unfinished is offline
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Default Refreshing a high mileage 7.3 powerstroke

Anybody else running 7.3 with high mileage?

So I have an old 2000 Ford F250 sitting at 350K miles. I have had for 4 yrs and put 110K miles, mostly in first 2 yrs. It is an XL work truck with a 6 speed manual transmission. I like the truck and will keep it as a secondary vehicle. It was southern truck and only gotten a tiny bit of rust from Ohio, which i am going to address by patching and treating the frame with fluid film. I use it for occasional towing 5-10K pounds and as a weekend errand truck. It runs pretty well and only problems I have had were self inflicted with defective auto parts.

At this point I want to do a engine refresh to restore original stock-ish performance. All-in i want to spend approx $3000 or less. (Yeah...i could go buy Cummins 6BT and swap it in too, but i need to meet emissions for next 3 years here, once truck is 25yrs old then no more emissions testing)

Issues exhibited: poor starting in cold (glow plugs replaced 2yrs ago), like less than 30F outside, EBPV cycling while driving the truck before operating temp, a little laggy under 2200 rpm, fuel mileage is a little down, but otherwise runs pretty well.

Questions I have:
1) Turbo - what is the lifespan for turbo? Cost effective options for rebuild? Billet wheel? or spend on kc 300x turbo? Big range in price. Be nice to have faster spool, but maybe rebuilt stock with billet wheel is ok enough. Like to be under $500 for the turbo, but if the kc 300x makes much more sense, then i can drop $1150 for that.
2) HPOP - what is the lifespan for the pump? just keep running it until i have issues?
3) HPOP lines, should these be addressed now? engine valley has some oil, not dripping but it is coated.
4) IPR and any other components to do now (o-rings, boots?) while top of engine is pulled apart? I usually do not change parts unless they break.
5) Exhaust? I'm still running the OEM stainless exhaust, which just has a muffler. The truck did not come from factory with a cat.




Shopping List:

-Original injectors getting rebuilt by rosewood diesel (already in progress), This is stock rebuild, keeping it split shot instead of converting to single shot. This is about $1200. Original injectors had approx 300K miles, and I currently have some used injectors in the truck right now, which are getting worn out too with poor starting.

-New tuner, the truck came with a hypertech tuner and I've been running it at the lowest performance tune. But I understand it is junk and much better ones are available now. Looking the PHP Hydra at $350. Dont want any smoke, just a little pep in the step and mpg. A high idle setting would be useful too.

-Bellowed up-pipes, i have some cheapo bellowed ones already on it, but I think there is an exhaust leak that i will investigate when i dig in.
-Pedestal without EBPV and turbo housing without EBPV


Any thoughts or comments?

Last edited by unfinished; 12-14-2021 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 12-15-2021, 02:24 AM
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JohnBoy JohnBoy is offline
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If there's nothing specifically wrong with your turbo then I don't see how replacing it with a 500 dollar one will be any improvement, the original will possibly last longer.

Personally for a diesel of that age/miles without knowing any specifics I'd be pulling the manifolds and looking at soot levels, if bad pull the head/s and decoke the ports. Divert the breather to a catch can and get the pump/injectors overhauled.

Consider replacing battery leads, maybe recon the starter or replace with a high speed one if available. See what's left in the kitty after that lot for tuning, but done right I doubt there will be much
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:43 AM
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When you shop for a tuner you probably want to weigh the cost/benefit on how much improvement it is getting by controlling the tranny. Many of the tuners advertise changing shift points, line pressure and what not and you won't get any of those benefits with the 6 speed (you are better off with it though!)

I haven't worked on a 7.3 since my dad got rid of his in 2009 so I'm a bit out of the loop on them and what is available now. I know that the glow plug relay goes bad as often as the glow plugs and it is worth testing it and replacing if necessary.

I think the HPOP life depends greatly on how the truck was maintained over its lifetime. It used to be a thing to put a "big oil" set up on these motors which encompassed everything from larger HPOP's to installing tandem pumps(I don't know the particulars on how tandem works) so I would say that the HPOP is considered a weak link when you are trying to make power, but I don't know how far above stock you have to go before it is the problem, especially if you are staying with stock size injectors.

My IPR experience is with 6.0 powerstrokes but I think they follow the same principle. Their main method of failure is getting plugged up with trash you stir up when working on the oil sump for the hpop.
I bought a back up IPR and socket to keep in my glovebox after changing my injectors and oil cooler on my 6.0. I did my best to keep things very clean and never ended up needing it. The 6.0 IPR was mounted behind the turbo and could be changed without having the top of the engine opened up so it actually made more sense to do the other work and then change it later if necessary than to put the new one in and have it be the one to get plugged up.

Not apples to apples because my turbo was a VGT, but when the unison ring went out on my truck I looked at rebuilding the turbo and the parts to do it cost more than half of what a new OEM turbo cost ( I did catch a sale, but for $850 shipped and no core charge I put the new one in and didn't think twice)

If I remember right 2000 would have been one of the first years to get an intercooler, and they routed the crank case vent into an intercooler pipe which can lead to oil buildup inside of it (re routing this can get you in trouble on emmissions checks though). It will always have some oil in it but a large amount of oil can be a problem. I have heard of guys installing drain valves in the bottom of the intercooler. I don't know if there's a good way to clean one or not.
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Old 12-15-2021, 10:28 AM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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I have a 2000 F-350/7.3/4R100 300k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfinished View Post
which i am going to address by patching and treating the frame with fluid film.

Issues exhibited: poor starting in cold (glow plugs replaced 2yrs ago), like less than 30F outside,

Questions I have:
1) Turbo - what is the lifespan for turbo? Cost effective options for rebuild? Billet wheel? or spend on kc 300x turbo? Big range in price. Be nice to have faster spool, but maybe rebuilt stock with billet wheel is ok enough. Like to be under $500 for the turbo, but if the kc 300x makes much more sense, then i can drop $1150 for that.
2) HPOP - what is the lifespan for the pump? just keep running it until i have issues?
3) HPOP lines, should these be addressed now? engine valley has some oil, not dripping but it is coated.
4) IPR and any other components to do now (o-rings, boots?) while top of engine is pulled apart? I usually do not change parts unless they break.
5) Exhaust? I'm still running the OEM stainless exhaust, which just has a muffler. The truck did not come from factory with a cat.
For your frame FluidFilm is not a good choice, it will wear off quickly, I use FF for a lot of things, under body is not one of them.

This is a much better option.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For the cold temp starting check the intake air preheater. Unless you Glow plugs were bad they are not the problem. Glow plugs either work or they don't. You can check them with an ohm meter.

1. If the old turbo ain't broke why waste money on a new one. Mine is at 300k and still provided boost in spec. If you want to wast $1150 just send me a check, I'll put it to better use.

2-4, where is the oil coming from I bet it is a gasket more then the HPOP lines or system. Is it worth the effort? This is a back up truck.

5. Stainless exhaust on diesels last a long long time. Don't touch it.

Also IMO, tuners are silly if you are using it as a work truck, I know a couple
of local friends, who jack up the HP and they were always under there truck
fixing broke shit. They have all since reverted back to stock tune, why
because shit don't break. That all happened about the time they had kids.

Shit is expensive.
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Old 12-15-2021, 11:40 AM
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greywynd greywynd is offline
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The last Cummins I had was ‘tuned’. Added 25 hp at the setting I was at, adjusted the shift points a little, and wrote out the deleted emissions equipment. Other than a u-joint that seized up, no driveline issues in 350K kilometers.

Other than for specific reasons (like weight reduction of un-needed emissions equipment), I don’t want a ‘tuned’ truck.


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Old 12-15-2021, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
Other than for specific reasons (like weight reduction of un-needed emissions equipment), I don’t want a ‘tuned’ truck.

And it's why I want to keep my 7.3 running as long as I can...
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:17 PM
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I have Bullydog tuner, and I leave it at 25 hp increase, which is good for most things. When I have 6-7 tons on my trailer, I push it up to 450 hp and it eats hills for breakfast. Then it gets turned down for normal again. I have taken long trips with no trailer as an experiment with it turned up to bust, and it has had no effect on the mileage. But I don't drive like a raped ape normally.
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Old 12-15-2021, 05:44 PM
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I have a 1999 F350 Dually flatbed 4x4reg cab. 7.3 PS 6 speed
Last summer the ICP went bad. I also had an injector that had a cold miss, but then wouldn't clear up fast, or sometimes at all.

I changed the following:
ICP, CPS just because, IPR, stock reman injectors from Thoroughbred Diesel in KY for about $200 EA
Updated injector wiring harnesses, all new glow plugs
Clutch master and slave assy

It starts, runs and drives much better. Bone stock. I can't afford to replace it yet and really don't want to have any more electronics than I have.
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:26 PM
unfinished unfinished is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah I want to keep this truck for long time, it basically has no emissions to speak of, no cat, no egr, no def, etc... And have 1/10 of money in it vs new diesel work truck. And it has manual transmission which I love.


Trying to address everyone's comments:

Regarding injectors: last time when "really cold" in the high 20s F, it took 3-4 tries starting, and truck had some "romps" but smoothed out. Exhaust was rich with white fuel smoke. I know GPs are helping, because there is zero chance of starting without cycling them. 2 yrs ago, I went through this with the original injectors at around 300K miles except it was at 50F when it became really hard to start, I put some used injectors (and new GPs, had 3 bad) and what a difference in start, could start in 0F without much effort. But now the used injectors are showing the same hard start symptoms. I rarely use the block heater, yes it works and does help, but never park close enough to an outlet.

Regarding coking of ports: I don't think these 7.3 are known for coking. With electronic direct injection these run fairly clean (particulate-wise, not emissions-wise).

Regarding the turbo: It still makes boost, although without gauges I don't know if it is in spec. I should rig up some data logging with the OBD scanner, either on the laptop or phone. I just figured there has to be some wear, is shaft endplay and checking for impeller blade damage all you can do without disassembly? The lagginess could also be boost leaks or exhaust leaks or just the worn out injectors. When I first purchased the truck, I tightened up the clamps on the boots on the intercooler piping, and that was definitely a noticeable increase in engine performance and mpg. Bellowed uppipes was also another noticeable increase.

Regarding the HPOP: yeah I was not looking to get crazy, just a stock replacement or equivalent aftermarket. Just wondering if the HPOP is near end of typical service life, of course that depends on the oil quality over its life. I should also data log this and I guess if its making the needed PSI for the engine load, then no need to mess with it.

Regarding tuner: I think a light tune is fine, with a reasonable HP where it is not necessary to monitor EGT under towing or heavy load. I can only assume previous owner had a tuner on truck for most of its life. Just looking for a little more responsiveness and mpg. Best i have gotten with this truck is 19-20 mpg on long trips, usually sit at 17-18 in typical use. At moment though, its been getting about 14-15 mpg over last several tanks, but driving habits have changed a lot over last few years. Has 3.73 gears and 285/75/16 tires.

Regarding exhaust: I'll keep the stock one, i think it is 3" inch diameter. At least it doesn't have the squashed downpipe like the OBS ford trucks.

Regarding Fluid film: Well I already bought a couple gallons, some black tinted and some original color, sitting here on the workbench. I'll at least try it and see if it washes off. Does the transtar stuff come in gallon size? $20 for a spray can is bit much. The other option is doing some homemade waxy oil type stuff, with the toilet bowl wax ring, some grease, kerosene or hydraulic oil, whatever your favorite recipe calls for.

Regarding oil leaks: I have not dug too deeply as to where it is coming from. When i have the intercooler pipes off, I'll wash out the engine valley and keep an eye on it. I've replaced the orings on the turbo pedestal. But could be from ebpv pushrod too, lots of sources.

Regarding other stuff: I've never changed the CPS, ICP, IPR, or the under valve cover harnesses since I've had it. 2yrs ago, there were 3 bad GPs, I replaced all 8 with new Berus.

Just got text today, injectors are done. Got to pick them up in the next couple days. I'll change out the injectors and check the GP's first. Got to avoid changing a bunch of stuff all at once.
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:39 PM
unfinished unfinished is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
I have a 2000 F-350/7.3/4R100 300k.

If you want to wast $1150 just send me a check, I'll put it to better use.


Ha, what do you have in mind?
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