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Looking for Some Sage Wisdom, 85 F250, 6.9IDI

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Austin Centurion, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Both set ups have their advantages and their disadvantages. It's all in what you want. I've had no issues at all with the V-belts on my truck. In fact, I also prefer them just because if you happen to lose an accessory (such as the A/C compressor locks up) you can remove that one belt and still drive it home with the water pump turning. On the other hand, there's the cool factor of opening the hood of a Bull Nose truck and seeing a serpentine set up. Strictly for looks, I think that the serpentine belt is the only way to go. Everything just looks cleaner under the hood.
     
  2. Austin Centurion

    Austin Centurion Registered User

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    Well, here's the best news so far. The 7.3 is finally here. The awesome driver from R+L Carriers was nice enough to drop this big honkin' thing right into my garage so I could get started tearing it apart. I spent some time working with it last night, got it stripped to a long block, if anyone needs random parts from the 7.3 or 6.9, feel free to ask. The front of the truck is completely stripped and ready for the 6.9 to get pulled. Core support needs some repair work, as I've been unsuccessful in finding a replacement, so I'm hoping my local fab shop and clean up and weld in a new box area for the driver side mount. I also ground down the rivets for the core support mounts and punched them out. I have some new ones, that don't have massive 2 inch holes in them, coming from LMC.

    So far, it looks and "feels" mint. Turns over no problem, my hearing based compression tester tells me there is good compression to be had. Meaning, I pulled the glowplugs, and turned it over with a ratchet and there is some strong "suck" and "blow" noises. I know that's not the scientific way to do it. From everything else I can tell, this was a well maintained engine, just based on the signs of regular maintenance, like a fairly new water pump, fresh green antifreeze in the block, and a full pan of good looking oil. It does have a small rear main leak, but I already have the parts to remedy that. Injectors all look to be in good shape, and the return lines were recently changed. I was a little weirded out by the use of blue silicone where I would normally expect to find black or grey, but I'm guessing whoever was working on this really liked blue, and really lived by the motto of "the bigger the gob, the better the job".

    I still plan to get this thing on the engine stand today or tomorrow, so I can drain the oil in it, and pull the pan to check the bearing condition. I might replace the oil pump while I'm in there as well.

    Also, I need to find a new dipstick and dipstick tube, or at least just a dipstick tube. The wrecking yard that I bought this from was nice enough to break the dipstick tube off at the manifold, but was also nice enough to include the broken half as well as the van style dipstick. So I have no issue with using the van style, just need to get a complete tube. Any help with that would be great as I'm struggling to find the right part number for what I need.
    *Edit* I was finally able to find the right part number thanks to some cross searching on Tasca and Ebay. NOS dipstick tube has been located.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  3. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Go get 'er, Buddy!
     
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  4. stealth13777

    stealth13777 Full Access Member

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    In the past it’s been stated on here that the factory oil pump is better than anything aftermarket. I can’t personally speak to this, but may not be worth a change if it checks out.
     
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  5. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Very true. I've seen that mentioned many times. Boy, when I think back on all of the OEM oil pumps that went into the scrap pile when I was working on these for a living... (again) sigh.
     
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  6. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Not that the aftermarket ones are bad, to my knowledge, just that the OEM ones are better.
     
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  7. Austin Centurion

    Austin Centurion Registered User

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    More progress, engine is on the stand. Both heads off. HAVING A FREAKIN' HOIST IS AMAZING! That and working on this thing out of frame is so much easier, you were all right!

    I pulled all the injectors, keeping them in place by cylinder and I think I found the reason why they thought this thing was knocking and scraped it. Cylinder 3, they didn't use a damn crush washer on the injector. It was the tightest coming out because the injector bore was filler with soot/carbon. :frustrate But, injector tip looks clean and normal compared to the other 7. Some brakeleen, a shop vac, and some rags should clean that right up. I know I've heard that injector issues can sound like rod knock, because one cylinder isn't firing the same. So I'm hoping that is the issue.

    Got my handy dandy overpowered light wand and did some inspection of all the cylinder bores. Every single one looks amazing, except number 8 has a little more wear than the others, but still appears in OK condition. None have ring ridge, except for 8, which has a tiny thing that my fingernail skates over without getting hung up.

    I flipped it over (the last of the antifreeze made its exit, and I can tell they changed the coolant regularly and used some kind of additive. No corrosion and a pale lime/white film is on the interior of the block's coolant passages) and I pulled the pan. I am really impressed so far. Pulled rod cap number 1, hardly any wear. Crank is polished like a mirror and the bearing has no discernible wear on it. I'm talking it looks like the outer layer has hardly been touched. I'm gonna pull the other 7, just to be 100% sure, but at this point, I don't even think I'm going to re-ring this thing, or change bearings.

    Probably going to clean it really good, get some of the sludgy build up out of it, get all the extra silicone goop off, and then replace gaskets and seals. I am going to get new head bolts for it and run a tap through the holes, just because some had some pitting and were a little rusty, luckily they're readily available from RockAuto. Once I have it back together, I'll run some good oil in it for the first 500-1000 miles and then change it again to clean it out. And probably run an oil additive to help this old girl out.

    Again, thank you 1000 times to all the help, knowledge, support, and advice.
     
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  8. Austin Centurion

    Austin Centurion Registered User

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    Progress continues. Little by little.

    The 7.3 is basically back together, fresh rear main seal, new head gaskets, oil pan reinstalled with a proper gasket and some Ultra Black in the correct places (way cleaner than the massive gobs of blue RTV that were used previously). Injectors have new o-rings and crush washers. May still replace them or have them rebuilt, but they should work for now. IP Cover is back on, had to use some Ultra Copper RTV because I didn't have any Ultra Black on hand at the time, but got the IP gear clocked correctly. Coated the bores with some Marvel Mystery oil, to prevent a dry start, and gave the lifters and heads a similar bath in the stuff. She gonna be nice and smokey on the initial startup.

    Used a section of 4x4 and a small sledge to beat the dent out of the bottom of the oil pan, I think it happened when pulled/transported, but I noticed the original drain plug left a little dent in the pickup, so I wanted to be sure there was enough room for the pickup to do its thing. Got that installed last night, so the RTV could have plenty of time to cure.

    All that the engine needs now to be completely together is the intake pan, intake, valve covers, and IP. But I plan to install those once it is installed in the truck.

    Thanks to some parts from RockAuto and LMC, the front tank is getting replaced, it has a leak and it looks like someone tried to patch that with duct tape... Luckily, the diesel helped clean some of the dirt off my driveway.

    I have yet to pull the old engine, haven't had much room while I've been "rebuilding" the 7.3, but once that is out, I'll do the dance of swapping the transmission over.

    Also, I don't know if anyone has ever heard of OBS Ford Decals, but that guy is awesome. I completely cleaned (inside and out), and then wire brushed all the old paint off the valve covers and made them look all fancy with some gloss black high heat paint. Got a 7.3 IDI decal from OBS Ford Decals to complete the look and make the engine look somewhat fresh again. I wish he made a decal set for the core support on my year of truck, because that thing is going off to to get a patch welded in for the drive side body mount, and then I'm going to coat it with some flat black rust reformer.

    Here's what my To Do List looks like right now:

    - Pull Old Engine
    - Swap Transmission (maybe needs new clutch, definitely clutch hydraulics)
    - Get Core Support Fixed
    - Change out the flat tire
    - Replace side tank
    - Install new engine (be sure to install new starter first)
    - Rebuild the front end (wiring, lights, batteries, core support + mounts)
    - Replace the heater core (just to be safe based on the amount of crap in the old cooling system)
    - Fill Oil
    - Fill Coolant (don't forget to bleed + additive)
    - Make sure nothing is puking
    - FIRE THE THING UP and pray it doesn't blow up
     
  9. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I know that you don't want to hear this, but you should pull the oil pan back off and leave the gasket out. It didn't have a gasket from the factory, and still shouldn't have one. Having a gasket in there will cause a leak. Just RTV is the beast way to get them to seal. Don't go overboard with it, but use enough to get a good seal. If you want to remove the oil pan with the engine in the truck, you have to lift it half of the way back out and then you get to practice your yoga moves while trying to remove the oil pump. Plus you also have to pray that you don't drop a bolt or the nut back inside the oil pan while you're trying to reinstall the oil pump. It's easier to just pull the engine all the way back out to change the oil pan.
     
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  10. Austin Centurion

    Austin Centurion Registered User

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    You have a great point, and because I have little faith in cork gaskets, I was sure to give it a light coat of Ultra Black on top and bottom, just to be absolutely sure that it would seal up tight. The gasket is in there more as a binder/filler at this point, just too be sure I didn't have to use too much RTV like the previous guy.

    Me, being the overzealous dummy that I am, just now came to realize that I still have to pull the motor mount brackets off the 6.9 and swap out the ones on the 7.3 because the 7.3 is from a van, thus requiring me to liberate the 6.9 from the frame (happening tomorrow morning, while my roomies are home, the only thing holding it in at this point is gravity) and also requiring me to remove the oil cooler assembly from the 7.3. It's one of those things that I should have done earlier, before dressing the 7.3 all up with its fresh parts, but luckily it is still on the stand (the stand is basically at MAX capacity now so trying to be gentle with it). I also realized (because I actually opened my eyes for once) that the oil cooler mounts to the block different from the truck to the van style. So here's hoping that the van style will work in the truck and not require me to lose my chill.

    I've been having a lot of trouble lately, mentally, because I sit here and doubt myself. I've done all this work, poured all this money into this thing, and a part of me in the back of my brain is just thinking that this thing is never going to work. There are thoughts of getting this whole swap done and it never runs or runs right. Or that it'll just blow up in my face. I don't really have any mechanically inclined friends here in Oklahoma, so it's just me doing all this work and I don't even think I can do it all myself. I really need someone that can weld, to fix the core support at least, and I don't know where to go for that. And this thing still needs brakes, tires, and suspension work to get it to a point where it will go down the road safely. I knew this was going to be a long term project, but that little part in the back of my brain is telling me that I bit off way more than I can chew.
     
  11. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I'd be glad to help if only Edmond and Edmond were closer together.
     
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  12. hacked89

    hacked89 Full Access Member

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    We can help you through any part of these trucks you get stuck on.

    Few tips on large scale projects..
    - Don't get paralyzed by over thinking just do the action that you need to do. It's easy to start on whatever bolt you have to do for the day and then be thinking about the million other things you have to do down the line. And end up wasting an hour thinking
    - again.. Just do it. Little steps at a time.
    - most things look and sound harder than they are
    - you will always have bugs in a large scale project, accept it and don't worry about it.. It will get corrected when we get there.



    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  13. Austin Centurion

    Austin Centurion Registered User

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    Okay, thank you guys for the advice. I really appreciate it. Now that I have all the parts, I've been taking some off days, and then having some hardcore work days. Yesterday was one of those days and I have successfully gotten a lot of work done on this thing.

    Flywheel and Clutch from the 6.9 are moved over to the 7.3. Transmission is back on. I got really lucky, because someone replaced the clutch on the 6.9 relatively recently in its 126k miles. It's a Luk unit, still has plenty of meat on it, so I decided to keep it and not get a new one. Saved some bucks there. Got a new pilot and throwout from Timken, just to be sure those are good. I drained the transmission while I had it out, to make it easier to deal with, and after peaking in some of the holes, the gears and synchros look great. I don't know if it was rebuilt at any point, but I did notice some black or grey RTV around the top cover that looked pretty fresh-ish. I'm going to load it up with new Lucas HD fluid before putting it back in the truck, so I'm not clambering around underneath and eating more rust. I did go around and clean off all the grease zerks with a wire brush, and pushed some new Lucas Xtra HD grease into everything. I also have a new LubeLocker diff gasket and some fresh Lucas HD fluid for the Dana 70.

    I grabbed a new front u-joint, because the front one was most likely original, and kinda fell apart while detaching the driveshaft from the transmission. Eventually I'll replace all of them and the center bearing, but that can wait.

    So, for a complete recap of what has been done to get this thing off the stand (I'll try to work from top to bottom):
    - Injectors have been cleaned up, new o-rings, new crush washers, and new return lines.
    - New glow plugs are in, although I'm waiting on one more, I got a ZD-9 in a ZD-1 package, but didn't notice until I started unwrapping and dropping them in. Glow plug controller is new, meant for a 6.9, but I'm retaining my factory wiring for now as that is still attached to the truck.
    - Valve covers are from the 6.9, I wire wheeled them, sprayed them with high heat primer, and then high heat gloss black. Topped off with sticker from OBS Ford Decals.
    - New oil fill cap, new dipstick and o-ring. Using the 7.3 van style, should be easier to grab the dip stick, and I wasn't able to find a replacement for the truck style. And I moved the oil pressure sensor over from the 6.9, just to be sure it worked with the gauge already in the truck, until I can get an aftermarket gauge.
    - CDR valve is new, same for the valley pan/intake gasket, which was sprayed with Copper Coat to get some good seal-age.
    - Mechanical lift pump is new, DB2 pump is from the 6.9, and the fuel filter is new, and is pre-filled with fresh diesel mixed with Diesel Kleen.
    - Alternator is new, from OBB, here (https://www.obbstartersandalternato...00-dc-f2uz-10346-b-f2uz-10346-brm-p-3521.html) I also have a Painless Wiring 3g conversion kit to get it wired up.
    - Pulleys are from the 6.9, all new belts, and new water pump. Fan clutch is from the 6.9, but I wire wheeled and hit the fan with some Rustoleum flat black.
    - Motor mount brackets are from the 6.9 (7.3 was from an E350), and the oil cooler is also from the 6.9 (Van oil coolers do no clear truck motor mount brackets). And the motor mounts themselves are new. Same for the transmission mount.
    - Exhaust manifolds are off the 6.9, they have been wire wheeled, sprayed with extreme high heat primer, and then extreme high heat flat black. (I figured if it has enough new paint and zinc plated bolts, it'll look a little less crusty.) I sprayed the manifold gaskets with some Copper Coat before installing them with new Grade 8 hardware.
    - Standard Purolator One oil filter, prefilled with a little Marvel Mystery Oil, some Shell Rotella T6, and some Lucas Oil Stabilizer. (Planned to allow the Marvel to clean out some of the old oil from the system, although I've done a good job of that myself. And I think this old girl needs some extra help from the Lucas)
    -Clutch Master and Slave are new from Luk, and I got a braided steel line from Perfection Clutch, not much more than trying to replace that old plastic line.
    - Starter is new, from Power Master, here (https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pwm-9050)

    Here are the pictures:
    https://www.oilburners.net/media/enginefront.827/
    https://www.oilburners.net/media/engine-back.828/
    https://www.oilburners.net/media/engineside.829/

    That's pretty much it for now, I left the power steering pump attached to the truck, although it needs to be replaced. I'm using the air cleaner from 6.9, and I have a new Green Filter to go in it. Now, it's just a matter of getting fluids back in the engine and the transmission, and then dropping them back in the truck. I'm still trying to figure out how to get the core support repaired, it needs some kind of patch panel put in for the driver side mount, and I'm trying to convince my roommate's brother, who's a pretty accomplished young welder, to drive up here and do the job. I told him it doesn't need to be pretty, just needs to work. He said he'd want to make it up pretty if he's doing it, so he'll probably cut out all the rot and build a new section there and on the passenger side. I already have some new body mounts from Energy Suspension, was a much cheaper route compared to going with OEM style from LMC truck (lots of pieces with the OEM style compared to the Energy kit).

    I still can't tell if the drive side coil spring is collapse from age, or if the tower is messed up. Luckily, I found out that the towers are the same across the entire range of F series trucks, and the Bronco, so Jeff's Bronco Graveyard, has new ones and new hardware. When I start to tackle suspension work, I'm planning to get new 2 inch lift coils for the front and 2 inch lift blocks for the rear. That job will also include poly bushing all the way around, new HD rear leaf springs (mine are cracked/missing parts of the leaves), new shocks, and new hardware. I'm not going crazy with the lift because I really don't need it, but would like to run some meatier 33's on and maybe run this thing around some mild offroad trails/jeep roads for kicks and giggles.

    I debated going with a rear disc conversion kit, I found a few available online that allow the use of calipers with built in parking brakes, and GM rotors. But that would require some welding work, and probably wouldn't be too much of noticeable improvement. So I'll just go with rebuilding the drums, getting new rotors and calipers for the front and probably some new stainless hard lines and braided soft lines.

    The game plan for the interior is to completely ditch the original bench seats front and rear. I don't think I'll ever need the rear bench, so I'm probably just going to replace it with a rear shelf for extra storage space. (She'll be the ultimate grocery getter.) It needs a new bench for the front anyway, so I'll probably go through LMC or find a used one. New heat and sound insulation and new carpet would also be a must. The original is pretty nasty and I didn't feel bad cutting it up to pull the transmission cover plate. And I'd like to get a stereo package from Classic Car Stereos. Definitely keeping the CB console from Centurion on the roof though, even if it hasn't worked in decades. I would eventually like to get AC back in this thing, but that's going to mean new condenser, lines, compressor, etc., etc. so it'll be on the back burner. Did just replace the heater core though, so it'll have plenty of hot air for the winter time, if it sees the road during then.

    I'm sorry for the long ass post. Lots going on and lots still swimming around in my brain. Can't wait to hear this old 7.3 roar to life when I get it all loaded into the truck and hooked up finally (honestly might take a hacksaw to the muffler that was installed by the previous owner and just run it straight out the side in front of the rear tire).
     
  14. Philip1

    Philip1 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Bad news, the 6.9 flywheel is different than the 7.3. The way it is balanced is different and will most likely cause a heavy vibration.
     
  15. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    I couldn't tell any difference in vibrations between using my SMF conversion flywheel on a 6.9 or 7.3. I've had it in two 1985 F250s and my 6.9 powered Bronco.
     

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