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View Full Version : 1986 Ford F250 diesel?? Good or Bad??


Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-15-2008, 10:03 PM
Im currently looking at a 86 f 250 diesel its the 7.3 International motor. Im personally not a ford guy but this deal is too good to pass i think!! The truck needs bushings were the shocks mount to and other than that it has 300,000 miles on it. I know diesels last forever but that kinda scares me considering i need the truck to be reliable. As of right now im pulling my trailers with my 92 toyoyta 4runner. He's asking 1,500 OBO. any help would be appreciated. Also if any of yall have had to get this exact motor rebuilt could you give me a rough estimate thanks..

kubotab7200
03-15-2008, 10:21 PM
the 7.3 ltr is a good diesel my dad has had one for 16 years and its given him little trouble its an 88 f 450 super duty, it has the striaght front end instead of the twin ibeam pos. i hope u live somewhere that warm cuz if its under 50 degrees outside better plug it in and keep an extra starter with you youll need it sooner or later. are u sure thaT 86 has the 7.3 or is it the 6.9 if its the 6.9 id stay away from it, but for 1500 it may be a decent deal. if it was me i would get a chevrolet ive owned those ever since i got tired of workin on my fords. ive driven the same gmc truck for five years and it has 250000 miles on it and has given me very little trouble unlike the fords i had.
hope this helps.

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-15-2008, 10:28 PM
Thanks i appreciate the info. yea im a chevy guy myself i just saw this and thought it might be a good deal. Im positive its the 7.3 international motor. And it stays fairly warm around here. I just can't find any good deals on chevys. Ive looked in trading post, newspaper,online i don't know??

Mowingman
03-15-2008, 10:33 PM
Someone has replaced the engine, if it is the 7.3IDI. The 7.3 was not available until 1988.
That truck should have the 6.9 in it.

kubotab7200
03-15-2008, 10:33 PM
come 2 oklahoma thier a dime a dozen around here but like u said good deals on chevys arent common, i guess gm is like good equiptment u gota pay the money for it. when ever i washed my hands of ford my blood pressure has been normal and my tools are only used to change blades or oil not fix my ford every week.

kubotab7200
03-15-2008, 10:35 PM
Someone has replaced the engine, if it is the 7.3IDI. The 7.3 was not available until 1988.
That truck should have the 6.9 in it.

ur right some one had to have changed that engine

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-15-2008, 10:52 PM
I apologize for the incorrect info. It is infact a 88 but with that being said does this deal sound reasonable or should i look elsewhere?? what about the mileage on it?

TXNSLighting
03-15-2008, 11:10 PM
id say it sounds good for 1500 bucks. id buy it. do you have pictures? glad you cleared up the year.

stroker51
03-15-2008, 11:14 PM
Is it 4x4, auto or 5 speed? 300K is a lot of miles on any pickup, but I know of quite a few 7.3 IDI's that are over 400K. The biggest killer of those trucks is cavitation. you might want to try to find out what kind of maintenance the previous owner (s) gave to the coolant. I have a 1989 f450 super duty with that motor, it won't win any races, but it will haul 5 tons no problem, just not real fast.

kubotab7200
03-15-2008, 11:24 PM
ya those old 7.3s are slow but they will sure move a load that one we got has the five speed, 75 mph is as fast as it will go that 513 rear end dont allow much speed but man that thing will pull. weve had 14 tons behind it and would do 70 with that load, dont know if it will do it know its been a few years.

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-15-2008, 11:43 PM
The truck is a 5 speed, he said it has a pto switch which i can swap over easily for a hydraulic dump. and i will ask tomorrow about the maintenance on the coolant system. If it needs a little money into i think its gona be a good investment. Stoker im not quite sure what u mean by the biggest killer is cavitation?? Do u mean as far as the cooling system fans,radiator,flush, head gaskets? And i will try to get pics up tommorow aswell. thanks again guys.

kubotab7200
03-15-2008, 11:52 PM
good luck hope u dont have a bad experiance with fords like i did, i think that one the old man has is a good truck but it has had an easy life, hell its an 88 and still looks brand new. but if u dont get it it look into gm those trucks will take alot more abuse than a ford will (trust me i learned the hard way) but if u gota work on it just thank god its not 6.0 or 6.4 diesel, that 7.3 would actually be worth fixin.

JOHNS MOWING SERVICE
NEWKIRK OKLAHOMA

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-16-2008, 12:01 AM
Im having mix decisions on it cause i know that diesels are way more expensive to fix than gas. And also with the gas prices now i dont know if its worth it. Like i said before im a chevy guy i just saw this as a good deal and wanted yalls opinion with it. I just dont know what to do? Id really like a 1500 or 2500 but cant find one for the right price im willing to pay. And i dont want to keep driving my 4runner anymore its already taken a beating pulling the trailer with the z and the w/b.

grasshopperslawn
03-16-2008, 12:07 AM
Im currently looking at a 86 f 250 diesel its the 7.3 International motor. Im personally not a ford guy but this deal is too good to pass i think!! The truck needs bushings were the shocks mount to and other than that it has 300,000 miles on it. I know diesels last forever but that kinda scares me considering i need the truck to be reliable. As of right now im pulling my trailers with my 92 toyoyta 4runner. He's asking 1,500 OBO. any help would be appreciated. Also if any of yall have had to get this exact motor rebuilt could you give me a rough estimate thanks..

I have a 1997 f250 7.3 with 372000 miles on it

kubotab7200
03-16-2008, 12:07 AM
ya diesels are expensive to fix im thinkin of writing a book on the the problems i had with i dodge truck i had, that was a huge piece of shitt. i like the cummins diesel but that one was a lemon

kubotab7200
03-16-2008, 12:08 AM
I have a 1997 f250 7.3 with 372000 miles on it

thats alota miles for a ford you got the good outa that one

nosparkplugs
03-16-2008, 12:17 AM
My 02 F-350 7.3L was a strong diesel, but i did have (HEUI) hydraulic electronic Unit injection system injector related problems (rough Idle), cam position sensor failure, dead truck/ bad batteries 7.3 will not start with weak batteries powerstroke and Duramax have glow plugs. The 7.3 is the most dependable of the V8 diesels, but the Powerstroke/CAT HEUI requires clean oil to run the injectors. I would purchase if? when the engine is running you then take the oil fill cap off, if the air is free of visible oil vapor it's a deal, any oil vapor signs of "blow-by". I would keep the Gas burner for back-up until you feel the diesel is reliable. Gosh the Diesel haters recommending a diesel, "the pot calling the kettle black"

J&J Customs
03-16-2008, 12:27 AM
myself i love diesel trucks but being in the landscape business that means you probably drive quite a way some days and with diesel coming up to around 4.10 here in arkansas you might want to stick with a gas truck plus 300,000 miles is quite a bit on anything i work for a trucking company and we lay our old city trucks to rest at around 300,000 to 350,000 so i wouldnt get it but hey if you know your way around a diesel engine or someone that does go for it

newtostone
03-16-2008, 02:35 AM
Just trying to help you out. but i have found that older trucks; i had a 87 F350 6.9 and it was great when it worked. but something at that age no matter how well it runs is going to have rust and other things random little things that shouldnt be a big deal turn into problems just because of the age and condition. nothings worse than having a busy day and at 10am the truck breaks down. But i am also aware that everyone has to start from somewhere, and if this is the best you can do at the time and the trucks in good shape go for it, just dont be afraid to get your hands dirty. i know i wouldnt be where i am today without having those fun times under my truck or working on an old broken mower. oh and with fuel being where it is that truck wont make you smile anytime soon. I was getting about 8mpg

Mowingman
03-16-2008, 08:26 AM
I think that is a good price. I just bought an 88, Ford F350 flatbed and gave $2900.00 for it. Mine only has 92,000 miles on it though. Your truck should be good for another 100,000 miles if it has had at least a reasonable amount of maint.
If it fires right up in cold, damp weather, that is a clue that the engine is still pretty tight with good compression. Do not be worried if it takes two preheat cycles on the ign. switch to get it going. That is normal in cold weather on these trucks.
If you buy it, plan on spending another $500.00 - $1000.00 on fixing little odds and ends that you WILL FIND it needs. Remember, it is 20 years old, but can still have many good years left in it. I really like the 7.3 engines.

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-16-2008, 10:39 AM
Thanks again guys i will let yall know what i decide to do.

tnmtn
03-16-2008, 10:59 AM
stroker had good advice. the 6.9/7.3 idi's have made a believer out of me. i am a chevy guy as well. at the price asked i would jump all over it. whether this is a steal will depende on your expectations. as someone said it is a 20 year old truck. what i have found is that the idi is cheap to maintain and parts are very reasonable when i have to buy them. worst case scenario for you is if you need to change out the engine at some point soon. check promar and other remanufactured engines and i think you will be suprised how much a replacement will be. not near the price of a new truck. check some of the ford diesel forums like www.oilburners.com and get more info on cavitation. might send an oil sample into blackstone if you have time. like was said earlier, you won't win any races but the truck will work hard and steady.
good luck

stroker51
03-16-2008, 12:35 PM
Ya, check out www.dieselstop.com or the oilburners site, they can tell you a lot more about cavitation than I can, some of them might overwhelm/scare you, I know that's how i was when i was on there before I bought my 1st powerstroke, you see all these things that everybody has go wrong with their trucks, as they are all asking for help/advice, but the fact of the matter is is that you may have 2 or 3 of whatever problems you read about on those forums the whole time you have the truck, you won't experience all of them. The only downside to a diesel as far as i'm concerned is the fuel cost right now, that's why i'm building a bio diesel distillery, keep my fuel cost down:clapping: Those old IDI's don't cost much more to fix than a gasser, especially if you can do very minimal work yourself, all the basic stuff just bolts to the block, they are a real simple engine.

J&R Landscaping
03-16-2008, 04:54 PM
Someone has replaced the engine, if it is the 7.3IDI. The 7.3 was not available until 1988.
That truck should have the 6.9 in it.

Since it is the 7.3, I would go for it. Thats a great motor. Check out www.fordtrucks.com/froums they have all the answers on fords and ford diesels and such...

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-16-2008, 06:16 PM
I just got back from test driving it it pulled straight, i looked everywhere for rust none that ive seen. It did have a litte oil from the valve cover gaskets, and he said there is about a nickel size drop from the rear main seal every now and then. He also said the slave cylinder is getting a little weak. As far as i know he has not put any anticavitaion additive in the coolant just regular fluids. The problem im having is the odometer reads 185,560 but he said it has 285,xxx and he didn't say anything about having the odometer replaced. So with the little more info i have given what do yall think about it should i go for it or wait and find something else? the lowest he will go is 1,300.

kubotab7200
03-16-2008, 06:23 PM
i would go ahead and by it, if it turns out to be a pile of junk u could always part it out

tnmtn
03-16-2008, 06:39 PM
i would make a list of everything you are nervous about and figure the replacement cost. if it would still be a good buy after adding the repairs then jump on it. under 10 and you could have a diesel with a reman engine and some frint end work. that doesn't seem bad for a truck at that point that would be good for a few 100,000 miles.
good luck,

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-16-2008, 07:33 PM
thanks again guys decisions,decisions..

hosejockey2002
03-16-2008, 10:09 PM
If it's 1300 and it runs and drives OK then by all means go for it. Back in the day those IDI 6.9s and 7.3s didn't have gobs of power like todays diesels but they got better mileage. They are not turbocharged so at higher altitudes they might lose a lot of power and dump out the black smoke. Keep in mind they have virtually nothing in common with the newer 7.3 PSD except the engine configuration and size. They only burn about half the fuel of the carbuerated '86 460 and probably pull almost as well. Today's new diesels have twice the horsepower but with all the new emission stuff they are a lot more thirsty.

topsites
03-17-2008, 02:16 AM
What do you mean by good deal?
The price is right, but a steal it isn't.
It's not a rip-off, I am aware most cars are, but a spring chicken she ain't.

There's no blue book on vehicles this old, but as a rule if they'll pass inspection then it's 1,000 for a gas, 1500 for diesel, 3/4 tons...
Translation: It's near the bottom of the barrel, whoever buys it more than likely will drive it to the junkyard one day, eventually that's where it's going, one more owner is what the seller figures. The truck is 22 years old, it has seen better days, I'm sure it's not a total piece of crap or it wouldn't sell, but with 300,000 miles it's had its share of wear and tear. Maybe that's not so bad for a Diesel, but the age and the miles wear on everything else, too...

Now I buy more than a few that I end up driving to the junkyard myself too, but I usually start out in the 2-3 maybe 4-5 thousand dollar range, then they tend to last a little longer than 1-2 years. If you do buy it plan on driving it real nice and easy. The easier you drive it, the more you'll get every last mile out of it.

If you're short on cash and you need a truck to run your business and you need it now, then get it.
Otherwise I'd wait for something better to come along (but if you need a truck I wouldn't wait).
Kind of reminds me of my first one, a 28-year old F-250 gas, 1,000 dollars.
Lasted a year, what can I say?
But in that sense it's worth it, otherwise no.

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-17-2008, 08:36 AM
The reason im looking for a truck is because i dont wana mess my 4runner by pulling my trailers. I guess i could wait and and save up some more and find a better deal but i just dont wana keep towing the the toyota and this truck could tow just about anything im gona take a final look at it again and see what goes from there.

DLCS
03-17-2008, 08:39 AM
I had a '89 7.3 with a automatic and it was the bigest piece of crap that i have ever owned. Mine had less than a 150,000 on it and it needed rebuilt. Body was in good shape but the drive train was worn out. I sold it for $1200 two years ago. i wouldn't buy it.