Feedback please: 1989 F250, 7.3L IDI Diesel

BlackSheep

baaaaaaaaaad to the bone
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
I am considering a new (to me) rig. It’s an ‘89 F250 4x4 with 180,000 on the non-turbo IDI 7.3L diesel.

I hear the 7.3 is called “the million mile motor” but I’ve not owned a diesel and this would be my first.

Thus, any feedback on this engine or that particular model F250?

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jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
This will not be the new diesels of today. I had a turbo IDI, and even that was pretty week. It will be noisy and stinky. But if you don't have high expectations, you will enjoy it.
 

xjtony

Well-Known Member
Location
Grantsville, Ut
I had a 1990 with a 7.3 that I put an ATS turbo on. Before the turbo it would pull down a house, but couldn't get out of it's own way. It had 400k on it when I got rid of it. The engine was still strong, but the rest of the truck was falling apart. I towed my XJ all across the country with that truck. The truck looks pretty clean from the pictures, but you really have to put a turbo on the IDI to wake it up.
 

Hickey

Premium Member
Supporting Member
I remember a friend of mine towed my CJ5 to Moab in his 94 IDI with a Banks turbo in it. I was kind of blown away at how poorly it pulled Spanish Fork canyon with one fairly stock CJ5 on a trailer. They do get pretty good mpg's empty, and they do last forever.
 

BlackSheep

baaaaaaaaaad to the bone
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
Thanks guys. I’m not really buying exclusively to tow, I just need to have something that I can use if I need to tow. I do need a truck and I’d rather have a 3/4 or 1 ton over a half ton. The “retro” feel of this truck makes me smile and I’d rather have it at 180,000 miles than a 2006 Ram 2500 4x4 diesel with over 300,000 miles (another I was considering) and an asking price almost $2500 more.
 

Rot Box

Diesel and Dust
Location
Smithfield Utah
Been around the IDI block a few times myself. They need a turbo if you want to tow anything more than sticks to the landfill. My last turbo idi was comparable power wise to my current 99 PSD—both five speeds. A non-turbo idi is comparable to a throttle body 351W if that helps.

If it was me I’d add a coolant filter with the appropriate SCA (coolant additives) as the 7.3 was prone to cavitation. That said if it hasn’t died from it yet it might be good to go.

Injector orings…. If you look at them wrong they leak. Super easy fix though. .011 if I remember right 🤔
 

xjtony

Well-Known Member
Location
Grantsville, Ut
@Rot Box is not joking about the O rings. I always carried extra. Easy to fix though. There is also a plastic bushing on the clutch linkage that's prone to breaking. Can be replaced with a little heim joint for the same cost as replacing the plastic part. Overall I enjoyed mine and with the turbo it got over 20mpg around town.
 

Jeepj667

Active Member
I'm on my second IDI. First was an 86 F250 non turbo, auto. Current is an 89 F350 turbo, 5 speed. I bought mine knowing it needed a lot of work, still working on it. Turbo and 5 speed both help with towing. Injection system parts are expensive, but don't cheap out or you'll do it twice. I fought cooling issues on mine for quite a while. The whole system is new now.
 
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