1994 7.3 IDI ownership - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
Zaq
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1994 7.3 IDI ownership

Okay, new guy here so I will be frank in saying I have never owned a diesel before, but I understand how they work and have many friends who work on/maintain them and go figure, they are all "Cummins People." So needless to say all the input I have had has been very biased. I understand VERY WELL that the 5.9 first/second gen dodges are reliable (mostly), get decent mpgs (20's on the hwy), and come factory turbo with torque to spare.

Anyway, I am looking for a truck that won't bleed my dry on fuel and maintenence, will last me as long as I can care for it, will tote at least 1000lb of welding equipment when needed without flinching, doesn't cost a fat mint (under about 5K), and isn't impossible to work on. For the early part of my ownership the truck will be a daily driver (unloaded) on about roughly an hour's commute commute to/from classes per day (85% hwy.)

I am curious about the 7.3 IDIs, they seem relativly availible in my area, parts seem a LOT cheaper than Cummins, and the whole truck is less expensive in general. Here you everyone wants 6-8K for a 250,000 mile 2nd gen dodge. Plus I have always been a Ford guy My main concern is fuel economy, 7.3 is a biggish motor in a biggish truck so it is hard for me to wrap my gasoline-fueled brain around. I understand gearing helps, so does trire selection and PSI, and driving habbits.
Anything to do with the cost of ownership/maintenence of these trucks would be greatly appreciated.

oh, and here is an example of what I am looking at

ford f250 diesel

Your input please and thanks :)

Last edited by Zaq; 07-26-2014 at 02:36 AM. Reason: Examples
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 10:44 AM
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

The old ID's were very good trucks. SLOW but if well looked after lasted long time . I still have an 89 dump F superduty super reliable. They are also very cheap to fix. It is a 20 year old truck so it will have some issues, expect that! overall condition of the truck is the answer its just hard to find a nice ID.. If your pulling 10,000 pounds get a psd hauling a couple thousand no problem. I used to have international 4600 rollback with an Id that hauled 1 ton trucks all the time. It was nice truck I put 400,000 on it before I sold it to a guy who ran it another 200,000 before it was so rusty it had to be put down.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

Oh believe me, I am familiar with the various conditions of "old" trucks. My current DD is a 34 year-old Datsun 720. Which brings me to the question: how "slow" are these trucks? Typically I never go over 60-65, but once a month for about 8 months out of the year I drive to Savannah, Ga (about a 2 hour ride). Would modern interstate speeds (70-75) be asking too much? Or would I just be pissing everyone off choking on the smoke from an overstressed deisel? And I believe '94 is when they started with the optional turbo, which would be desirable if I can find one. If not how easy is it to put an aftermarket turbo on?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

Also I have heard about cavitation in the cylinder walls of these motors, this all seems preventable with the correct use of SCA, I am assuming that any good IDI owner should KNOW what supplimental coolant agent is, so is ther any specific proportion on mixture or ratios for this stuff, like parts of SCA to parts of coolant?
And what can I expect in terms of MPG? Just plain stock form, no add ons or anything funky, just a plain single cab, standard bed, single rear wheel, 3/4 ton, stock size tires.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 07:03 PM
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

Here's my experience on a bigger truck with a worst motor.
Had a Chevy dually with a 6.5 turbo 5 speed manual with 4:10 rear. It would run 85mph all day long & would haul at least a ton of wood pellets in the bed & never even flinch. It got really good mileage too. Probably 15-20 being realistic.


Id look for a f350 4x4 7.3 idi 5 speed & if possible 4:10s That way u got a straight axle & u got ok power & it will feel quicker with a manual.

It's a 7.3 but it doesn't have much power and u can't compare to gas on mileage. It should get decent mpgs with a manual & you control the rpms.

It isn't hard to turbo the older trucks & it will add some power.

First rule first before turning up fuel or anything invest in a Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge. So u don't melt your engine down.



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96 F250 2WD, 286K, Built E4OD, 180cc Injectors, Tony Wildman Tunes, Beans Fuel System, 3in DP - 4in MRBP exhaust, CAI, 4:10LS SCLB, Traction bars,

62 F250 4X4, 223 I6, T98 4 speed, 4:56s RCFS (Reg Cab Flare Side. Factory) 31x10.50x15s, currently on 16in Alcoas
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 01:28 AM
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

My idi was great. Just as reliable as a cummins. As soon as I got mine I drove it to California from Texas. A 5000 mile drive there and back. Had no problems. It had two tanks and drove great. It didn't have the lag the 7.3 di has. It didn't have the torque. But it was a great truck. I turned the fuel up on it and still got 14 mpg. It's a great truck Im upset I ever sold it. Very reliable! Mine was a extended cab 2wd auto with 34" tires.

06 f350 white crew cab dually, 225/100 warrens, barder 68, BTS, Fuel lab setup built by tsd, sct tuned by tsd, ppe up pipes,bd exhaust manifolds, secret dual oil kit ,CTS monitor, a lot more extras

01 f350 red extended cab dually, powermax 38r, BTS, cfm, Afe, 6 inch danahoe, tsd 6 pos, a lot more extras.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 02:35 AM
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

I rebuilt one for friend of mine 2 years ago 91 rclb4x4 f250 4 inch lift sitting on 35x12.5 iirc 3.73 gears may be 3.55 not 100% on that part but swapped in 4r100 with us shift controller. drives it to his lake place on the weekends 3hrs each way all highway brags he gets 17 pulling small trailer with his atv on it...

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

Yeah I can be really picky when it comes to transmssions, every single vehicle I have ever owned has been a manual, to me it just feels weird whenever I have to use someone else's automatic. So really my selection will almost certanly be manual. And I am going to restrain myself and try not to put larger-than-stock tires on it.

As for everyone replying about MPGs, I would be tickled pink if I could get low 20s and as for what I am hearing that sounds possible. Currently my Datsun gets about 16-21mpg, but thats because it has 37" hmmwv tires, 5.29 gears, and about 14"of lift. The thing is freakin' gutless on the hwy though, amazing on the trail, but gutless on the road, 65mph is its absolute top speed, and it takes about a mile down-hill for me to build that up.

SO really as long as an IDI could come close or match fuel economy with my current ride, and not be completely gutless, I would be happy.

Thanks for the responses! if anyone has any info on the SCA stuff I would really appreciate it, I have looked up a few things and 1 pint SCA/DCA to 4 gallons of 50/50 coolant is what I got, sound about right?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

One last important question on these trucks, cost of routine maintenance? A friend of mine at work tells me that he had a 2002 PS 7.3 (different motor I know) and he "wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy" for the sake of maintenance costs.
I am very particular about taking care of my things and if I can't afford to do it right I want to know. I know diesels in general use much more oil than gassers, 10 qt. seems to be the popular number for 7.3s, roughly twice of what I use now.
But how often do you change oil? I have heard 3,000mi 5,000mi AND 6,000mi from different folks.
How about good quality oil filters? Not the ones made of gold, and not the ones made of tin foil, just good ones.

Other than oil changes and coolant SCA ratios, please tell me what I am leaving out for regular maintenance.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: 1994 7.3 IDI ownership

7.3 idi 4door 5speed manual. The best idi ever made

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96 F250 2WD, 286K, Built E4OD, 180cc Injectors, Tony Wildman Tunes, Beans Fuel System, 3in DP - 4in MRBP exhaust, CAI, 4:10LS SCLB, Traction bars,

62 F250 4X4, 223 I6, T98 4 speed, 4:56s RCFS (Reg Cab Flare Side. Factory) 31x10.50x15s, currently on 16in Alcoas
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