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Discussion Starter #1
Not my first Ford, but first diesel. Seller is second owner and was his daily driver. He says first owner used it to commute 60 mins on highway daily. Has 211K miles. Needs tie rods and there is a small radiator leak, he suspects hoses. After purchase I plan on having local 4wheel shop replace tie rods and do alignment. Will have them look at leak as well if not too pricey.

I've researched enough to know that oil leaks are bad, rough idling is bad, off-color smoke is bad. What are some easy things to spot that will tell me to walk away from this deal?

Price was right so I have room for some repairs, but nothing major/catastrophic.

New 35" on 18s
New 4" lift
Cold Air Intake
4" Exhaust
Diablo Programmer that was set to "economy" by first owner

If it runs solid will probably buy it. Any help on what to look for is appreciated.

Thanks,
:ford:
 

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7.3 is pretty bulletproof. I really miss the ones I had. With the tire combination, I'd want to know when the clutch was replaced. If you can be there on a cold, cold day and see how it cold-starts because my biggest headache was glow-plugs/glow-plug relay & harness. Never did fix it, just got used to using block-heater anytime it got below 30F, but not all are that bad.

I also never believe that the previous owner only set the tuner to "economy" mode. Too much fun with power tunes not to play every now and then, especially the way that truck is set up.

Run it hard when you test drive to see what it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He says first owner was a 60 yr old and did everything except for the lift. I agree though, why do the mods if you're after "economy" performance.

He doesn't want me to take it on the highway because of the tie rods. For sure passenger side coupler is worn/bad.

I'll feel out the clutch and observe the start, but the engine will probably be already warmed up a bit when we meet.

I think I got a great deal and hoping it doesn't go lemon on me.

I've got some heavy machinery to tow next month and got a lot of landscaping work to haul around this summer.

Another question. Are 35s on 18s the proper plus-sizing from stock tire/wheel setup? I'm concerned about speed variations and also MPG.

Thanks for the reply
 

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The tires are a bit big for my taste but there are more that like 'em these days than there are like me. My only concern when running tires that big and towing heavy equipment is that you could run high exhaust temps, even in the "economy" mode of the tuner. The tuner should have a "tow" program that will help safeguard the engine. If it has an EGT gauge you can watch while towing and control your shifts/RPMs to prevent high EGT. If it doesn't have the gauge, just don't lug the motor while towing...grab a lower gear and keep the RPMs up. Tuned 7.3s are a bit like tractors, they blow black smoke when lugging or over-fueling. I'm not familiar with the Diablo, but I'm assuming that it has the tire-size programming to correct your speedo. As for MPG...it is a big truck, it'll probably get 14-16 whether you are running downhill or dragging a boat anchor uphill.

Since you are a truck guy, don't forget to look at the fluids. Black oil in a diesel is standard, even after 20 miles on an oil change. If it looks milky, same as a gasser...probably has coolant in it ($$$).

Not impossible to fail, but 7.3 is a pretty safe bet. Good luck and have fun.
 

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Is it a auto or a stick? I personally wouldnt play with a stock auto to hard unless it was custom tuned

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Discussion Starter #6
6 speed manual.

Appreciate the replies. Looking forward to coming on here and reading up on what I can to learn more from you guys. I plan to do what servicing I can myself, with the tools I have. Anything complicated that requires specialized tools will be taken to local shop.

I shopped around for half a year to find this truck.

Thanks everyone

:ford:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Will check for blow by tomorrow. Got truck home. Went in for closer inspection since I couldn't get to much of the engine compartment without a step ladder. The air filter was dirty, removed for cleaning and saw O2 sensor hanging loose. Cleaned filter and replaced sensor.
The sensor hole is at least 1/2 inch, debris could have easily got sucked in. What can I check/do to avoid future problems from this?
 
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