7.3L powerstroke

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mowerbrad, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I had been mainly focusing on getting a duramax, but after talking with my mechanic, he was saying that those are very expensive to repair. The example he used was if the water pump needed to be replaced, I'd spend $1000 for the duramax but only $350ish for my 6.5 diesel now. So that started to get me a little nervous about what I would be getting into with a duramax. So now, I'm starting to really consider 7.3L powerstrokes, mainly 2001-2003's (and yes I know not all 2003's have the 7.3 in them).

    I guess now I am trying to figure out a little more about the 7.3 powerstrokes. Are they as expensive to repair as the duramax engines? Do the engines last long, 250,000 miles or more with good maintenance? I'd be looking at ones with 90k-130k for miles on them. I've got to know, are these in general good engines? Anything that I should look for on them or anything that they are notorious for?
  2. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    They are fantastic engines. Ive got 2 now. One with 150k and one with 235k. No issues out of either of them. the big issue was the CPS. But there was a nice recall on them, and they got it fixed. So if you find one, it should have the new one. 02 and 03 7.3's were super reliable and had great power. 01's had tranny issues, but they should be corrected with the miles youre looking at. But yeh its a 300k mile+ engine. Pretty easy to work on also, so repair costs arent as bad as a duramax, or a 6.0 stroke. some will also spring oil leaks later in age, but neither of mine have. so its not guaranteed. Just keep the oil changed every 5-6k and the air filter clean and youll be set! Also fuel filter every 15k.
  3. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 819

    Texan has it right on, I have 3 7.3's, 112k, 125k, and 240k, great trucks. With those miles on a super duty about all you would really need to worry about would be ball joints, it seems like around 100k they need replaced. With an intake, exhaust and a decent chip they will be about as powerful as a 6.0 in my experience. I just let an 03 7.3 with 80k slip through my fingers last week, was messin around getting stuff ready for a snow, fixing a few things etc. and didnt get it bought....still kicking myself over that.
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    Well once I found out how much repairs cost on duramax's, I started to rethink my idea of going with a duramax. I don't want to get myself into a money pit on what would be my "new" truck. And when I look at prices of these trucks, I can get a 2002 ext. cab 4x4 with about 110k on it, for roughly $13k, they are priced much better than the duramax trucks. So I actually think a 7.3 will be my next truck.

    What are you guys getting for MPG's with your's?
  5. SIWEL

    SIWEL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    I have 3 7.3L engines for my company. One has 205, 170, and 70,000 miles. Overall they have been good trucks. Ford does have the reputation of having unreliable transmissions, but the 'newer' 1999-2003 trucks should be more figured out. The 7.3L is def. a 400,000+ motor. I do not plan on getting rid of any of my trucks, no matter the miles, before it is there time. Change the oil every 5,000 miles. Check the oil pan, they have a tendency of rotting out. The motor will most likely outlast the truck with normal PM. Every brand has expensive parts to replace vs. cheap parts. It depends on the truck. The 7.3 is very straight forward and simple compared to the duramaxes. I was a mechanic and have worked on both a lot and chose ford for a reason.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Any diesel engine is expensive to fix doesn't matter which brand. I never did like the idea of aluminum heads on a diesel like the duramax has they seem to work but :confused:

    Chevy trucks can be a maintenance pig when it comes to the front suspension sure the A arm system rides nice but your dealing with a h*ll of alot more moving parts. The older Fords even the newer Fords like the 05 and newer are simple aswell.

    Chevs you have 8 A arm bushings you have 4 ball joints and something like 5 tie rod ends all waiting to cost you big money.

    I prefer Fords myself its all I will own because the trucks themselves are better built and for myself the Ford dealer is the best to deal with when you need OEM parts.

    I own a 6.0 I also prefer the 6.0 over the 7.3 I have had a 7.3 yes it was a decent engine but its no where near the power a 6.0 has. I have had good luck with my 03 6.0 I bought a 06 6.0 and its been good so far.

    Where I live and what your putting your truck through everyday a 7.3 PSD life span is MAX 350,000 kms (218,000 miles) anything after that be lucky your not into a engine rebuild. There are a few around with 400,000kms (249,000 miles) but like I said a few.

    The 6.5 diesels around here usually have a lifespan of 250,000kms (156,000 miles) and 5.9 Cummins 12 valves last about the same as a 7.3 PSD your not going to get much more than 400,000 kilometers out of a 12 valve.

    So anyhow yes the 7.3 is good just make sure you buy a truck has has been looked after and the oil changed at the right intervals.
  7. farmboy1285

    farmboy1285 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 574

    The older the truck the cheaper the parts, I can get a new injector for our 6.9 diesel for like $25 vs god knows what for newer truck. I don't have any experience with the 7.3 PS but I here good things If I even get some of my projects knocked out I would love a 7.3 turbo IDI or a 7.3 PS.
  8. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    My 2000 has got the 4:10 rear end, so it only gets 16 mpg hwy, but tows like a beast. the 96 reb cab LB 2wd will get 21-22 mpg hwy, and my other 7.3's have averaged 19 hwy.
  9. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I'm hoping I will get the 3:73 rear end so I can get the higher MPG's, as that is one of my goals with the new truck.

    I'm pretty used to the repair costs of diesels as I've had my 6.5 for the last 4 years. But I don't want to get into something that is going to be too much more to repair than my 6.5. But yet, I'm hoping I won't have to spend as much as I have been spending on my 6.5. I just don't want to be spending what I would be with a duramax. And I have heard good things about the 7.3L so it seems like a better option.
  10. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    yep, if you find one. Run power sevices through it every 3 or 4 tanks, and that will keep the injectors clean.

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