1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Brand new to the fourm...Have a question

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Shamoke, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Shamoke

    Shamoke Registered User

    Posts:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    So I'm thinking of buying an older Ford F-350 with a 7.3 IDI engine in it with 138,000 miles. I've been reading that it is a solid engine and the truck is in really good shape for it's age, it's a 1988 model. I have read that this is the first year for this engine and that it has no electronics on it and that's what I'm looking for, an old school truck that will run forever. My question is though, will this truck have enough power to pull some equipment around my local area? The equipment I have weights about 14,000 without the trailer. So probably around 17,000 with a trailer, I'm guessing here about the trailer weight as I do not own one yet. The truck hae been well taken care of and I'm really interested in it but I know that it is not as powerful as the Power-stroke engines that came out in mid 1994. What do you guys think?

    I forgot to add that I'm driving 100 miles to look at this pickup tomorrow and I'd like some advice of things to look for with this engine. I'm new to diesel engines so any advice will be welcome. It's a 5 speed manual transmission if that helps any.
     
    420Bullnose and saburai like this.
  2. 79GLIDE

    79GLIDE Full Access Member

    Posts:
    142
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha
    Welcome to the forum. Define "local area." Does it have a C6 or 5 speed? You won't win any races. I've pulled a variety of trailers long distances with mine, '88 F350 CC Dually ZF5. I don't get in a hurry.
     
    saburai likes this.
  3. Shamoke

    Shamoke Registered User

    Posts:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    It's listed as having a ZF-5 Speed Manual Transmission. I'm not going to try to race I just want to be able to haul. local area would be no more than 40 miles in any direction. And it is a dually.
     
  4. 79GLIDE

    79GLIDE Full Access Member

    Posts:
    142
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha
    I'd do it. SE MO hills can be a bear, but with the 5 speed you should be good to go. The pic in my sig is my 1990 F250 7.3NA E4OD 4X4 pulling 3 horse slant with small living quarters and tack rack. Omaha to Eminence and back, no sweat.
     
    420Bullnose and saburai like this.
  5. Shamoke

    Shamoke Registered User

    Posts:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    So I'm feeling a bit more confident in the ability of this truck thanks to your replies, thank you. Any advice on what I should look for on the engine when I see it tomorrow? Any special quirks that these engines have?
     
  6. lotzagoodstuff

    lotzagoodstuff Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Posts:
    2,150
    Likes Received:
    138
    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    Maple Valley, WA
    I would call and tell the owner you want it cold to start it when you get there. I think you can tell a lot more starting one cold than hot, specifically the glow plug circuit, fuel system and starter/batteries.

    Do some quick reading for details on what you should see when you turn the key, but I'd say you should see the wait to start light go on, stay lit for 8-9 seconds, go out while hearing some audible clicking sounds from the relay controlling the glow plug circuit. After that a twist of the key should light the engine without touching the throttle. If it idles smoothly without much shaking, I would say you could state that the injectors and timing are decent.

    Again, once the engine is warm, you won't be able to see clearly how it cold starts.

    Do some reading in the IDI forums, but that truck should pull what you want to pull within 40 miles, you just need to be patient as it won't pull like a new one ton.

    Good luck
     
    Exhumis and saburai like this.
  7. Shamoke

    Shamoke Registered User

    Posts:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Thank you very much for the info, it will help. I've seen videos about newer Powerstroke engines and testing for blow-by by loosening the oil filler cap and watching to see if it dances. Would that be a thing with the older 7.3's?
     
  8. 79GLIDE

    79GLIDE Full Access Member

    Posts:
    142
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Omaha
    I'm probably in the 20th to 30th percentile when it comes to overall knowledge here, so expect more expert opinions than mine. The glow plug relay is a primary concern, and should be maintained, including quality glow plugs. Probably going to be 90 degrees down there tomorrow, and if the seller has had it running before you get there, you'll probably have to do some checking of the condition of that system later. Look closely at and between the injectors for evidence of leaks on the return lines, return line caps, etc. Return line kits are available and inexpensive. The front tank(unless it's been replaced) almost always develops a leak from rust under the front support cover. I'd take a look underneath to check for evidence there. The so-called shower heads on the pickup tubes in the tanks tend to drop off, reducing the useable fuel capacity to around 12-14 gallons before you're pulling air into the lines, especially in the hills. I try not to let my rear tank get below 1/4 on the gauge. The vent tubes, if not modified, tend to force slow tank filling at the pump. I've got 4 IDI's that are slow fillers. For some reason, on my trucks, nobody ever thought to replace the fuel hose between the metal fuel line on the frame and the lift pump(front passenger side of engine block), and they have all been cracked or rotted allowing air into entrainment or complete loss of fuel pressure. All of these issues are relatively easy to maintain, modify or address. The vacuum source for the brake booster is supplied by a belt driven vacuum pump on the alternator side. Belt maintenance is must, as with any vehicle. The rest is basic maintenance to me.
     
    saburai and Shamoke like this.
  9. Philip1

    Philip1 Registered User

    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Location:
    Nevada
    These engines from the factory have a lot of blow by something to do with a large ring gap designed into the engine for emission controls.
     
    420Bullnose and saburai like this.
  10. Shamoke

    Shamoke Registered User

    Posts:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Thank you very much. Now I can be a bit more thorough when I inspect this truck. Much obliged to you guys.
     
  11. Cubey

    Cubey Full Access Member

    Posts:
    1,146
    Likes Received:
    220
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Location:
    USA
    My F250 (100k+? 200k+? Damn 5 digit odometer) doesn't show smoke out of the oil filler but it burns much more oil than my probably 71k original miles E350 RV. It's still within "normal" consumption but it definitely uses a lot more.
     
    Jason1377 and saburai like this.
  12. frankenwrench

    frankenwrench overkill is under rated!

    Posts:
    394
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Weatherford tx
    Check that oil cooler and check for sca or elc in the radiator. U can pick up test strips in the parts store. If it has one or the other than someone has taken care of the cooling system. These trucks require it. Cavitation is a bear. Oil cooler isn't that bad to reseal pocket wise but it's a pain clearing the oil out of the coolant. My first time dealing with this I changed the head gaskets not knowing any better and spent 130 bucks more than I had to. Just to keep getting oil in the water. Aside from that and ensuring a healthy fuel system as mentioned above as well as the glow plugs and wiring to them, not much to these old blocks. Oh! And don't forget to check the battery cables. They don't like to start spinning slow. Lastly, if it still has the mechanical pump bolted to the block under the vaccume pump(assuming it's still on the v belt pull system) check that for leaking fuel/oil. Had a busted diaphragm on mine and a bit of diesel made it's way into the block. Cought it pretty quick on mine so no harm. But something to look at if your driving it back home. As far as what it can haul, I have easily carried 23,000 on a regular basis. It's slow under a good load getting up to speed, but then I added a turbo and it helped alot. Just change my oil a bit more often now that I know it can do it. Lol.
     
    saburai likes this.
  13. saburai

    saburai Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Posts:
    1,618
    Likes Received:
    636
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    Bokeelia Florida/Catskill mountains NY
    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search! I spent weeks reading and researching, mostly right here. This is a great and helpful community with a very knowledgeable bunch of fanatics - err, I ment to say folks... I spent a few months shopping Craigslist before I bought Diego, the second truck in my Sig line, he's for sale now, but probably too much of a drive for you to come get :) in regards to the truck you're going to be looking at today - there were two things that I didn't see mentioned. The odometer on the brick nose trucks rolls over at 100,000 so more than likely unless the seller has documentation to backup the low milage you can add 100k. That's not necessarily a bad thing as these engines are very robust. However, generally speaking the injection pump and injectors have a service life of around 150k. Also in regards to the cold start test, there's a high idle/cold start solenoid that's powered when the key is turned on. So in addition to waiting for the glowplugs to cycle, you also need to press the accelerator pedal to the floor and release it after energizing the circuit. This assures that the throttle is cracked enough to keep it running until the engine comes up to temperature. Good luck with your search!
     
    frankenwrench likes this.
  14. frankenwrench

    frankenwrench overkill is under rated!

    Posts:
    394
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Weatherford tx
    Kinda hope he gets the truck if it's a good runner. Been impressed with mine for the past 4 years or so.
     
    saburai likes this.
  15. Randy Bush

    Randy Bush Full Access Member

    Posts:
    394
    Likes Received:
    206
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Location:
    Great Falls, Mt
    I have a 1993 dually with factory turbo ZF5 wide ratio 4.10. I pull an equipment trailer behind with 18k -20k. Little slow on the hills , but running down the highway pulls as fast as I want to go.
     
    420Bullnose likes this.

Share This Page