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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 97 F250 for dirt cheap. It has 290K+ miles on it. But I'm going to try and keep it from going to the crusher and instead use it as a tow rig.

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It needs basically everything.

It was being very cold blooded and did not want to start. I did a little searching and went through some of the basic maintenance things to get it to fire up. I did an oil change and put in 5W40 Rotella T6 and a new filter. I changed out the fuel filter as well. I waited for it to be a nice warm day and gave it a try. It managed to catch fire and stay running. But it did feel a bit like it was missing in one cylinder. I ran it for a while and it did smooth out a little.

It does smoke quite a bit. It doesn't smell like coolant. I'm not sure if it's oil or unburned fuel. While I know gas engines well, I'm not really up on diesels. So I'll have to do a little searching and reading to figure out what direction to go. I'm thinking it could be injectors but that's just a SWAG on my part. And I'll probably swap out the glow plugs while I'm in there.


I've found another F250 that was damaged and can supply the front fender, hood, and bumper I need, along with having trailer mirrors on its doors. I also have a Dana 60 from a 92 F350 and I'll be swapping that in this spring. There's no way I'm going to spend a dime on the TTB 50. I need to do a bunch of interior fixes but I could live with it as it is.

So I'm looking forward to bringing this back from near death and giving it another shot at life.
 

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at least you got one that runs!!!
poor Jax started with one that would have been better off in a junkyard.
and brought it back to almost as good as new.
but then again, she proved she ain't quite rite in the head with this project.. 😁
check it out!!
 
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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are any of us quite right in the head?
 

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Well, newer trucks are very expensive and you will be probably spending the same amount of money on them, so I think there is something wrong with you if you like a $500-$1000 month payment and still need to dump 3k into it. I'd take your route with a very low to no payment.

My truck is a 06 bought in '13 for 13k, it has gone up in value to at least 15k
 

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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I like working on projects as much as I like taking my Jeep somewhere to enjoy the trails. So that's what this truck is for now. I have two other running/driving vehicles so it's not like I absolutely need this to be up and running now. So I can be patient.

Even after the oil change and getting some other parts (valve cover gaskets and glow plugs) on the way, I'm still in it under $3K. Injectors will hurt but I don't have to do that until it fits in the budget.

So for me, I have the "down payment" of having bought the truck and getting it running. My "monthly payment" will be just how much budget I can put into the truck each month. I'll start with the "I need to do this" stuff first, like getting it up to snuff so I can get my plates and legally drive it. Then I start with the "I want to do this" stuff.

I'm going to keep it mostly stock/mild power levels. I'm going to be towing at most 7-8K pounds so I don't need 1,000 ft-lbs. A factory-ish 7.3 will tow that over the mountain passes just fine. I may be running slow behind some big rigs on the way up but that's planned into the time budget when I go. I don't need to race the bro-dozers up the grade. I do want to do some upgrades like an intercooler and probably a beefier version of the transmission. Mostly focusing on adding longevity to the truck and making towing easier.
 
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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's pretty solid. A little surface rust but nothing serious.

The front fender and hood are a little messed up but I have a line on good replacement pieces.

203706
 

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mehhhh. that is "character".
 

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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I picked up the parts donor and already have a buyer for the 460/E4OD/Sterling so all of the parts I'm taking off are basically free.
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The question is, do I need the openings on the stock bumper for air flow or will the donor bumper work?
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Ya know, thats a good question. If there is a radiator/heat exchanger right behind where the bumper holes are (or would be), then yea, you want holes, otherwise, I wouldn't sweat it.

The bumpers with the holes look better in my humble opinion though.
 

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1997 F250, 7.3/E4OD/92 F350 D60/Sterling
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got new glow plugs installed today. Checked the solenoid as well. It starts up better. It still has a fair bit of blow by but with 290K on the odometer I'm not entirely surprised.

It still runs like it's got a misfire so my mind goes to injectors.

The turbo seems to be in decent shape. There isn't any play in the shaft and it is quiet when it spins. But there are some dings on the impeller. So I ordered a new impeller and a rebuild kit.

I'm probably going to go back in and pull the injectors to have them checked and/or replaced.

Once it runs better I will drive it for a while before I start the upgrades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was going through the parts truck and found the owner's manual set that was long gone in the other one. Same year model so they're as useful as any owners manual can be.

Mostly, they confirm the actual tow rating of my truck.
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203764
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It was finally nice enough again today so I was able to get out and do some tinkering. I got the injectors out and ready for inspection and possible rebuild/replacement. All 8 of them came out with the copper washers so i got that going for me.

I also got the turbo pulled. The impeller blades are chewed up so I figure a rebuild is in order. It has 290K so probably not a bad idea anyway.

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203848
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I just got the call from the shop and all my injectors tested within spec so there's no problem with them.

It's still sounding like it's got a missfire in one of the cylinders. I'm going to have to dig a little more. I did have my buddy crank the engine around by hand a couple of times and I watched all the rocker arms to make sure they were all doing what they should. I didn't hook up a dial indicator to measure them but they all looked like similar amounts of travel.

So I'm going to do some searching before asking a bunch of noob questions.

I suppose a wiring and/or computer problem could also be possible. I replaced the valve cover gaskets so I have new harnesses at that end. I'll dig through the main engine harness to see if there's anything shady there.

I'll also do a compression test to be sure everything is ok on that front.
 

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I didn't re-read back through the thread, but have you pulled codes to see if something could be contributing? And silly question, but do you have known good fuel?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't re-read back through the thread, but have you pulled codes to see if something could be contributing? And silly question, but do you have known good fuel?
I haven't hooked up a code reader. I'll give that a shot.

And to be honest I have no idea what the fuel is like. I was thinking about draining and refilling the tank. I did swap out the fuel filter and drained it to get any water out. But yeah, it could be very stale.

I'll get the injectors back in and purge the oil that got into the cylinders. Then do a compression test. I'll see about replacing the fuel too. Maybe purge and clean out the lines and the tanks while I'm at it.

I have an FSM now so I can spend a day checking and testing the wiring harness too.
 
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