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Discussion Starter #1
There is a 1997 Ford F250 With the 7.3 at a dealership in town. Theyre asking 4k for it, which is 4600 under bluebook. Miles reflect it. Have not seen it or driven it yet but I have a few pictures.

So I am told it runs and drives good. A mechanical friend of mine said it will probably just need rings if it hasnt been done yet, but its a million mile engine. Which I know but I do know is that bearings and seals wear out just like any other vehicle no matter how long the engine can run which is a little concerning.

So at 300k is there anything else about the engine or the truck even to worry about? Obviously general wear and tare. But diesel-wise since im a diesel newb. What are specific things to look for. Ive searched and ive read about white and blue smoke at startup or take off and how injectors are going bad by just staying open so there is alot of smoke and it fels gutless. What else?








On a side know another diesel friend of mine told me this is one of the most desirable engines to have because the blocks are different or something and theyre just incredibly tough. Can I get something a bit more specific?
 

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the 99.5 to 2001 were the most desirable 7.3 after that they went away from the forged connecting rods. my 2 cents. check for blowby, look up the air intake tube towards the engine/turbo and check for grit or dirt,this will give some information on a dusted engine, start the engine cold and see how bad it smokes and what color the smoke is and how rough does it idle when first started cold. 4 thousand might be allot of money to somone but just the transmission will run that to rebuild and injectors will be about that installed if needed, a turbo will be about 1500 bucks ect. the 7.3 is a good motor but how well was it taken care of before you are buying it. if someone who had it before you wasn't up on the maintenance side you can spend another 4 thousand right quick. Thankx sorry for the long post.
 

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When you say dusted engine do you mean an engine ran in a really dusty environment? I get the feeling this was a farm truck so thats a very strong possibility. Stay away?
 

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no a dusted engine means someone did not do the maintenance correctly and the air filter wasn't installed correctly or a hole in it and allot of dust and junk got sucked into the intake and through the engine, this will wear out the pistons and score walls and cause excessive blowby and lower compression, hard starting ect. my old truck had over 250 k miles and had no issues yet, although somewhere around the 200k mark new injectors are probably a good investment.
 

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I bought mine with 312K for 5K. Like they said, check the blowy. A good test is to take the fill cap off and cover the hole with it, if it blows it off there's a problem, if it kinda rattles/vibes off your ok.

Prob gonna have to rebuild the oil cooler, dipstick gaskets, etc.

Make sure the trans doesn't shift funky tho..
 

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<<419k on mine only major problem i have delt with is bad injector cups and a worn out turbo... i believe someone replaced the injectors before i got it
 

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Very interesting. K5383, what am I taking the fill cap off of???
the oil fill cap. you should be able to take the cap off, set it over the hole you unscrewed the cap from and have it not blow off. it might rattle off, that is ok but if it blows off there's engine problems.
 

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I agree with the oil cap test. Just be sure to check it over completely. As soon as I bought my truck I had to replace the turbo and injectors, then the trans went out. Spent $5000 on a $3000 "deal" Needless to say the truck was not well taken care of. Now it's all fixed up and runs great, but I could have a lot nicer truck for what I have spent.

My dads truck has almost 300k he bought it new and took care of it. it runs great with the original injectors and turbo.

Bottom line maintenance is very important with these trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info and the link. I will watch it tomorrow im just trying to make a post before I go to sleep.

Anyways we get there and look at the truck, its a well used truck but lots of life left , I think? Engine looks like it runs very cool. Around the N on the normal on the gauge. EGTs are anywhere from 600 to 1100 depending how into it you get. Gear selector is well used and loose, sometimes it must vibrate just right and it shifts itsself out of overdrive. The only thing I could do to fix it is hold the gear selector up tight so it didnt slop or droop down and it wouldnt kick OD off. Must be a short in the button or the lever or something. Very odd.

Exhaust goes from 3" down tube to 5" pipe to dual 6" stacks, not even a true dual which kinda sucks but its fine. I was told by a friend that it should be no larger than a 4" before the stacks or else you loose performance.

Transmission supposedly rebuild with oversized torque converter and heavy duty shift forks 18,000 miles (about a year) ago. Im not 100% convinced as they have not provided any paperwork yet . Last transmission I was using that shifted that hard, went out. On the same token another friend who has a 1999 F-350 Dually had his transmission rebuild by the same shop that claimed to build this one and his truck shifts just as hard if not worse. Not sure what to think here.

Turbo doesnt seem to kick on or open up or whatever when it seemingly should. My buddy said it was probably programmed incorrectly or with low boost over the entire RPM range so its a steady increase in power instead of a hard kick in one spot or something of the sort. Boost guage on the pillar also did not work. Could be not working or sign of a bad turbo im not sure?? Also there seems to be an exhaust leak behind the turbo in the down pipe area. Probably a clamp or something stupid. At idle you can smell it in the cab and on cold start you can see a little smoke from that area with the hood open.

Engine runs great, starts great, drives great. Im really happy with it overall for the price and knowing what I will be using it for. I would by it buy this blowby looks like a deal breaker for me. Looks as bad as my BB 460 truck that has a broken ring.



Ill take a better video in the morning. Also am going to check the air box and all that to check for signs of dusting. Can also take good pictures of the engine bay, although its really clean and looks great for the miles. Good cleaning job or just that good of an engine I dont know.

This was definitly a farm truck because there is alot of dust inside (behind the clear plastic in with the needles) of the gauge cluster. Around here that is just an automatic sign that its a farmers truck.
 

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single exhaust to dual is the norm for diesels because there is only one output of the turbo, exhaust leak at the back of the engine is a PITA but usually not too expensive to fix if you do it yourself, it is usually a small modification to the clamp ring and a new exhaust dohnut, as for the blowby. Some is always going to be there,if it blows the cap off that is too much otherwise you will have to take a guess. checking the turbo intake fins and the intake tube for excassive dirt stuck to the oil film will usually give a good indication of dusting. Turbo fins should be fairly sharp with very defined edges, any amount of rounded of edges or corners means dirt has been going through. my 2 cents for now, somebody else with info.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the help but I am not getting it. It has some frame damage and dog tracks to the left down the road.
 
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