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Discussion Starter #1
My wife has been wanting to get another truck (sold hers a few years back).
She recently found a clean 1 owner '03 with a manual tranny and about 95,000mi.

I'm a die-hard 7.3 Powerstroke guy. 350,000mi on my '95 with no major issues (once I fixed all the goofy little problems that they are known for).

I know the 6litres had head gasket issues, egr issues, oil cooler issues, turbo issues, and were much harder to work on (no space in the engine compartment) than the OBS 7.3s. That said, if a lower mileage truck like this one were to get head studs, egr blockoff, and an aftermarket oil cooler, would it be reliable? Would it be as reliable as my 7.3?

Please give me your honest opinions, and let me know if there are any other things that I am not thinking of.

Thanks,
Phillip
 

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Discussion Starter #2
She recently found a clean 1 owner '03 with a manual tranny and about 95,000mi.
Tried to edit, but don't see that function. Accidentally wrote "manual transmission", but obviously it's an auto, being a 6.0. Don't think they even came with manual trannys, did they?

Thanks,
Phillip
 

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Tried to edit, but don't see that function. Accidentally wrote "manual transmission", but obviously it's an auto, being a 6.0. Don't think they even came with manual trannys, did they?

Thanks,
Phillip
yea they came in a manual trans. 6 speed i believe. some members have them.

when i was originally looking for a truck i was trying to find a 6.0 but couldn't in my pricerange then i started looking at all the problems and costs and realized i can't to that right now. i got my superduty 7.3 and she is plenty for me and at only $13k for a fully loaded lariat ccsb and i realized this motor will run forever unless i severely mistreat and not take care of it i know it was the better choice.

on edit the story the guy was telling me on the 6.0 truck i was looking at buying wasn't matching up with my research i was doing. he said it was stolen and the wheels and interior were stolen out of it. i googled the VIN and found it at auto auctions with front end damage and hazmat warnings due to punctured radiator type issues. it also wasn't deleted or tuned but it had a lot of miles on it and i knew those things would be coming shortly with me driving it. everything costs more.
 

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I have a 2003 6.0 built in 05/03. I bought it on Craigslist for 5 grand with 103k miles knowing it needed a little work. Did all of the typical fixes, egr delete, all 8 injectors only needed one, checked oil cooler etc.. 60 k later no problems still drive it everyday and a lot quicker than the 7.3, take care of it it will take care of you. Be religious on oil filters, fuel filters, etc.

My buddies rides all original head gaskets, and transmissions.
04 234k Set of injectors at 190k with egr (Drives truck like mustang)
05 180k Set of injectors at 160k egr deleted (Also drives truck like stang)
06 170k Bone stock egr and everything (my dads, drives like a civilized human)

Just my .02 they aren't as bad as people make them out to be.
 

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Everyone I know that has 6.0 has had major problems, except one guy that got his to 250k miles before it blew up. My neighbor bought one for $22k with 65k miles and was bragging to me about it, 2 weeks later it crapped on him, long story short he had to dump another $4000 into it. A builder I work for has one he bought new, hes had that motor rebuilt 3 times by the dealership, that trucks never been right.

On the other hand a little while back there was a craigslist ad for five 6.0 fleet trucks, they were used by the State highway rangers here in Florida. Each one had 800k + miles on it. But who knows what kind of money the state had to put into them over the years to keep them going.

Personally my opinion, based one what ive seen with friends trucks, is to stick with the 7.3.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have only dealt with two of them on a regular basis. Both were '03s...one had all sorts of problems, the other didn't seem to have any.

Of course, the one that had problems had the power bumped up a bit, the one that had no problems was left bone stock.

-Phillip
 

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If she will be daily driving it and the truck wont have a tune on it there's a good chance the truck will be okay. That being said it will be even better with a egr delete and coolant filter. If your going to tow with it or tune it your gona wanna get it 100% bullet proof which will cost you around $4000. And ford used the ZF6 from 99.5-10
 

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"Slap hands slap hands"
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I have a early 03 6.0 excursion and bought it for cheap knowing it had some issues. it was a nightmare for the first year being in the shop several times. after throwing a lot of money at it and replacing all the problematic issues I have had no issues whatsoever and am still into it less then what people are asking for them. I love the truck and it has become a reliable daily driver for me now. I have done everything possible from blue spring kit, 6.4 banjo bolts, upgraded oil cooler, egr delete, cleaned the turbo veins, replaced injectors, flushed the coolant system and had coolant filter installed, repacked the ball bearings on the front being its a 2wd and on and on. I also have a sct programmer and tow a boat regularly in the summer with no issues once I took care of the troubled issues. I have buddies with 7.3 and my truck is much quicker and more powerful then there trucks so it all depends on what you are trying to do and looking for, and most importantly how much you are willing to come to terms with potentially spending to make sure it is a reliable daily driver.
 

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I've run millions of miles (fleet) on the 7.3's. They are a very good workhorse. The 6.0 is more powerful, gets better mileage but a little more tempermental, a hotrod! I love mine.
 

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The 2003's had a very stout EGR cooler. There are not many failures on them according to the Techs. If the engine has been properly maintained (not overheated, not romped on when cold, not overboosted, etc), the head gaskets are probaby not bad. The OEM oil coler isn't that bad either. Get an electronic gauge and see if the oil cooler is getting plugged up (measure EOT-ECT after the engine has warmed up and when travelling 65 mph). If it isn't plugged, then you shouldn't have issues with it.

IMO the main weakness to the 03's is the HPOP, the FICM, fuel pressure, and the ICP sensor (and maybe the water pump). The FICM is a $350 repair - no big deal. Fuel pressure requires a sending unit and gauge, and most likely a $35 spring kit. The ICP sensor is a cheap repair - just a pain. The HPOP has a high likelyhood of failing before 200k miles IMO.

Deleting the EGR system can certainly cure some problems, but if the engine is healthy (ie proper oil and OCIs, proper cooling, proper combustion efficiency, etc) then the EGR system typically performs just fine. In other words, I think EGR problems often times stem from some other root causes.

I wouldn't be afraid of a 2003 if it passed the "typical 6.0L checks".
 

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Smoothcriminal
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Some were good and some were lemons, friend of mine had an 03 didnt have no problems with it, even when he had a SCT on it, that thing would flat out get it, ran good and loved the sound of the cackle when he would get on it once in awhile. I wouldnt be afraid of owning one. As long as you keep up on maintenance and drive it senseible it should be reliable. I would once in awhile take out on the highway though an open it up a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the input everyone. As it turns out, this truck is headed to the auction. Been sold 3 times, and each time came back with new problems. :doh:

-Phillip
 

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Buy it cheap and budget $4000-$6000 for bullet proofing
 
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