7.3L powerstroke

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

  1. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    My current truck has a service body on it now, so a tool box is pretty much out of the question. But being able to keep my gear in the cab will be much nicer and not have to lose all my seating space as well. Luckily my truck is parked in my garage at night, I'm mostly worried about when I'm just driving around town. But the extra space is really needed for me.
  2. Moto52

    Moto52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Oh I didn't notice you already have a 6.5 chev diesel. Well I must say you are going to be very impressed with the 7.3, my truck before this one was a 99 chev with the 6.5 diesel and man that motor is gutless couldn't even keep the speed limit going up a 5% grade towing my small trailer. not to mention 2500 dollar injector pumps every 200,000 kms. if you can try to get an 02 or 03 7.3 they have more power then 99-01 7.3s...
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    My 6.5 has been a pretty big money pit and has only been getting bigger. Its a nice truck when its running but after 2009, I spent way too much on that truck....$4000 in repair costs and nearly $3000 in 2008. And the truck only has 134,000 miles on it!!!! I'm at least glad that the repair costs aren't as high on the 6.5 as on the d-max's.

    Have you noticed whether the repair costs are similar between the 6.5 and the 7.3? Not necesarily as much as I spent but just in general repair costs.
  4. Moto52

    Moto52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    yea I had tons of repairs over the years on that chev it had and it had 450,000 kms on it when i got rid of it. well my 7.3 has 350,000kms on it right now and it has only had a set of glow plugs once, 20 bucks each so that is nothing. 1 alternator. 1 hydroboost and master cylinder, brake calipers, 1 front wheel bearing, 4x4 hubs seized so i put manual ones in, 1 set of ball joints, power steering pump cooler, that is honestly everything that has gone wrong with this truck in the last 5 years i've owned it
  5. AtoZ

    AtoZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    My diesel experience goes back to a 1994 7.3 IDI with about 200,000 miles. I put on about 50,000 miles before the repairs were killing me. One tranny - third one for the truck, glow plugs every other day, relay switches, cracked fuel lines, ball joints, water pumps, a/c pump spun a bearing while driving in Chicago - very costly repair, that was about it. It was probably not maintained the best before I got it but it was my first dump truck...

    I must be missing something but unless you have a gas motor in your truck - ANY DIESEL regardless of brand will fail and cost big money to fix. Yes, even Peterbilts break down...

    The 7.3 versus a 6.6 Duramax is no more expensive to fix than a 5.9...

    They all have faults and they are all expensive to maintain and fix. Over the past 16 years of buying vehicles - I seem to have the best luck when I buy new or lower mileage vehicles, that way I know how they are used and know that they are being maintained properly.

    There are basically two rules to follow when buying a used vehicle...

    1) Run the Vin number with a corresponding Ford, GM, Dodge dealer to check for warranty repair history, that will give you an idea if it's been a problem child or has been abused...

    2) I am amazed that more people don't do this - PULL AN OIL SAMPLE AND GET IT ANALYZED!!! This is like bloodwork on your engine. It will tell you any issues that may be happening such as faulty injectors, dirty air, cavitation of liners and overall life left in your engine. Remember there are many other factors that go into the health of your engine other than just the engine itself. I would never buy a vehicle without first getting the oil analyzed...

    Don't drink the 7.3 koolaide like everyone else. I've had several 7.3's over the years and like my 03 6.0 Powerstroke the most. I also own a 5.9 Cummins and a 7.6 DT-466. And previously owned a 6.7 Cummins...

    Find a truck you like - Get it inspected, pull an oil sample and keep looking for the one you like - GM, FORD or DODGE. Don't fall for all this engine crap, buy a truck because you like it... But do yur homework...

    By the way - I'm looking for a 1999 Powerstroke or a 1995 12V, high mileage and rusty preferred. I want a new tinker toy!!!
  6. T-Made

    T-Made LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 91

    I sold my 02 GMC Duramax/Alison with 135k miles. Never had a problem. Changed the batteries out after 4-5 years. My recent purchase was a 07 Chev 3500 Duramax/Alison. My next truck will be a Duramax-- Great service--Great power. Two local Ford mechanics here drive GM's with the DMax.
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Like I have said before, I was going to go with a duramax....actually I thought I was dead set on having the dmax/allison truck, but that has since changed. The 7.3 seems to be a "simpler" engine (like my 6.5) which means that the repair costs on it, even though it is a diesel, will be lower than the repair costs on a dmax. The example my mechanic used was if I had to replace a water pump in a duramax it would be a $1000 repair but that same repair would be about half the cost on my 6.5 or even on a 7.3. So that got me thinking about what would be best for me.

    I'm very picky about what truck I buy, I want it to be something that I am going to be happy with for many years to come. I take everything into consideration....exterior, engine, interior, frame condition, maintenance records (if available), etc. I just want to make sure that this truck will be the right one for me and last me another 7-10 years. I take good care of my truck, so it will be pretty much "babied" the rest of its life.

    I have no doubts that duramax trucks are great trucks, I have seen that first hand. But when it comes down to it, the price range that I am looking in has mostly high mileage trucks. But when I look at the 7.3's, they are within my price range and the miles are 75k less than what I was finding on the d-max's.
  8. Moto52

    Moto52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    you can't compare your 94 7.3 to the newer ones there completely different.. what do you like so much about you 03 6.0 then the 7.3? how many miles do you have on it??
  9. AtoZ

    AtoZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    My 2003 6.0 Powerstroke has about 80,000 miles on it. It's had a few minor issues with it in 2004 & 2004. It had a hot start issue that was resolved with a new PCM update. Several Pcm updates later it runs perfect. The ECM took a crap and shorted out a wiring harness while I was driving with a full load. My Ford dealer replaced the ECM and wiring harness free of charge even though it was out of warranty. That's been it as far as the dreaded 6.0 is concerned. I've had to replace the ball joints with greasable ones at about 50,000 miles. The rear differential was leaking earlier on in life which was taken care of by the dealer. Original tires were replaced at 55,000 miles. The front brakes were replaced with OE rotors and pads in 2007. The rear rotors and pads were replaced in 2008.

    I do however make sure I change both fuel filters twice a year. With the 6.0 regular oil changes are a must, every 4,000 miles or have a bypass oil filter... The 6.0 and 7.3 use a very antiquated HEUI Injection System. Very expensive to repair - thus it needs very clean oil to work properly. Ford no longer uses HEUI Injection they switched to Common Rail a couple years ago... Much better setup...

    My 6.0 never needs to be plugged in in the winter - it fires right up even at 25 below... Much quieter than any of my 7.3. Tons of turbo power right from the start - no lag... This trucks primary duty is to haul topsoil, gravel and limestone boulders. Depending on where I'm going, it hauls approx. 6-7 tons of material. I only load 6 tons when I go on the highway. 7 ton around town. It handles the weight with no issues. When towing, I regularly gross 30,000 lbs. Heck my buddy pulls a D3 dozer with his truck. I need to reiterate that this has the 19.5" tires and bigger brakes than a 3/4 or 1 ton truck - bigger axles also... When I need to haul bigger loads I use the International which will haul 15 ton loads no problem... The 6.0 has better power and a way better tranny than the 7.3, and so far more reliable than all of my 7.3's... The torqshift tranny is hard to beat for a light duty diesel...

    The 6.0 has worked very hard every day for the past 7 years. It hauls on average of 40 tons of material a day. I really work it hard but I also maintain it - that's the difference. If you baby your 6.0 all day you'll probably have EGR problems. Oh I forgot to mention the catalytic converter fell of sometime ago. Too bad...

    Unless you find the end all be all of 7.3's, expect to have repairs when it hits the 150,000 mile mark or sooner. Mine all did. Parts only last so long. If your usin' and abusin' plan on some coin around 100,000 miles... After havin' a 6.0 I'd never buy a 7.3 for a work truck unless it was for recreational use...

    Oh and buy the way - you might want to check with another wrench man before you get more misinformation. A 7.3 Powerstroke 1999-2003 costs about the same to fix as a late model Duramax... Don't be misled, all you have to do is lookup the parts cost. At the end of the day they all cost the same even a Cummins which is a much simpler design than either of Ford's and GM's V-8's. The 7.3 IH Powerstroke is not simpler than a 6.6 Duramax. They are both V-8's and share similar architecture though the 6.6 would get the nod for a better design and better engineering for the common rail technology it uses...
  10. Moto52

    Moto52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    the torqueshift tranny didnt come out until 2005 so i dont know how you think you have on in an 03? it has the 4R100 which is the same tranny i got in my truck.

    I don't think i have the end all be all 7.3 i know of tons of them with alot more miles then i have with no major problems.. but i honestly think you are very very very lucky so far to have no problems that motor.

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