School me on 1997 7.3 liters.

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
I am 90% sure I am picking up a 1997 4 door 2wd 7.3 liter ford. Any big things or little things I need to be on the look out for? I am a newbie to them.
 

Jesser04

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville Utah
Powerstoke? Great trucks my dad had one when I was a kid I drove it through high school. Never gave us one problem it was a manual hard starting in the winter if you didn’t plug it in but that was it.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
Built like tanks. Unfortunately ride like one too but everything is definitely heavy duty.

The 4R100 transmission wasn't the greatest but lasted as long as serviced regularly and not beat on too severely.

Only real issues I saw on the engines was the electrical wiring harness for the injectors. The harness runs through the valve covers and they become brittle and break over time.

Mike
 

Caleb

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Supporting Vendor
Location
Riverton
I had a 99 F350 7.3L with the 6-speed. Got rid of it with just shy of 300K miles on it and it never gave me any problems at all. It was a good truck for sure.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
I have a 97 4 door duel rear wheel 4wd, it has been a good truck, defiantly must plug in when it is cold. even with new glow plugs they are hard starters, my cousin had a 96 and lives across the street from me and it was a toss up on whos would start. This reminds me that I need to sell mine.
 

Shawn

Just Hanging Out
Location
Holly Day
I recently bought a 2000 F250 7.3 w/ standard trans. I rebuilt the turbo and put in a wicked wheel, replaced the intake tubs and cooler tubes, removed the valve that runs the high idle, put a BAF in it, a cheap chip, performance exhaust, did the fix on the injectors and put new glow plugs in it, etc. This thing will out pull my 2005 5.9 3500 ram dully, but I do have to watch the EGT's.... 210K when I bought it, great truck!! And yes, part of the reason I like this truck, it rides like a truck :D
 

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
Yes powerstoke. 190k. Brand new rebuilt tranny. Converted from dually to srw. Interior needs a little attention and bed doesn't match cab from conversion but price is right. Sounds like I can't go wrong with it.
 

mbryson

.......a few dollars more
Supporting Member
I recently bought a 2000 F250 7.3 w/ standard trans. I rebuilt the turbo and put in a wicked wheel, replaced the intake tubs and cooler tubes, removed the valve that runs the high idle, put a BAF in it, a cheap chip, performance exhaust, did the fix on the injectors and put new glow plugs in it, etc. This thing will out pull my 2005 5.9 3500 ram dully, but I do have to watch the EGT's.... 210K when I bought it, great truck!! And yes, part of the reason I like this truck, it rides like a truck :D

I'm with Shawn on the value of these trucks. They are good solid trucks. The '99 up trucks have an intercooler. The '97 and older (OBS as commonly known) don't have an intercooler. The "OBS" trucks don't quite pull as well but an intercooler is easily added and it's well documented on how to add one. As @Shawn mentions, they pull very well. The 7.3 is getting a bit of a reputation with the "cool kids" as a slow slug. My early '99 7.3L truck is probably my favorite truck that I've had. They pull heavy loads well and have a great chassis. I have had a '96 and it's still a good truck. Didn't pull quite as hard as the Super Duty but still did the job. I've pulled out of St George with my '99 (Edge with Attitude, BHAF and 5" exhaust) a couple times at 20300 GCVW. Driving by the EGT and was still able to do about 65 mph. That's a hell of a load for a light duty pickup up that grade. I had a similar Dodge as Shawn ('04 555 Cummins) and it would pull the same load a little faster. I could almost hit 70 mph(?) with the Cummins but I liked the Ford chassis much betterer. The "cool kids" that like to roll coal can have their 6.0L and 6.4L Fords. I want nothing to do with those buggers. (that's why I have a 2010 V10 now)

Auto trans (E4OD in the OBS and 4R100 in the Stuper Duty) is a weak spot in the 7.3L. You also have the aforementioned glow plug, wiring harnesses in the valve covers and injectors as weak spots on 7.3L.

If the @thefirstzukman is selling his, I'd take a good hard look at it if I was in the market. My memory is that it was a pretty solid rig. I don't remember if it was an auto or a manual.
 
Last edited:

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
So installed an intercooler and make sure everything else is good. It already has a 3 inch down pipe. Definitely need to get some gauges for it so I know what the EGTs are. What are acceptable EGTs for these?
 

boogie_4wheel

Active Member
There is an additive for the coolant to keep the cavitation in check.

Glow plugs are a pain, pain to install and pain to keep all 8 working longer than a week. Block heater is gold when below freezing.
 

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
There is an additive for the coolant to keep the cavitation in check.

Glow plugs are a pain, pain to install and pain to keep all 8 working longer than a week. Block heater is gold when below freezing.
Lucky for me this truck wont see many freezing temps with it living in Southern Utah.
 

Mouse

Member
There is an additive for the coolant to keep the cavitation in check.
Using an ELC coolant after flushing the block of the old SCA-type means no more additive. And, its good up to 600,000 miles. I've owned a couple of 7.3Ls over the past 15 years (continuously). I've preemptively changed glow plugs at 120,000 miles (not difficult) with motorcraft brand and have never had a failure. The 4r100 in my current truck (02 Superduty) is over 17 years old and has not been rebuilt and is doing just fine (its used to tow the jeep and typically sees GVW at 17K). I have a "6.0" cooler and a John Woods valve body. With a gauge to monitor temps, I have had zero issues.
 
Last edited:

Bart

Registered User
Supporting Member
Location
Arm Utah
I put a lot of miles on my 97 and loved it. You'll still want the coolant additive, no matter what. I put a new glow plug relay on and that helped with cold winter starts, the same as my 99, and 01. I did a down pipe conversion from the turbo to the exhaust which helped with power.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
The SCA additives on these engines isn't quite as critical as a sleeved engine. The parent bore cyl. walls are thicker and the casting reacts differently than a steel liner. That being said, you still don't want to neglect the cooling system but there isn't the need to monitor it so closely as a sleeved engine and as long as you replace the coolant at recommended intervals you will be fine because they also don't have quite the compression that the bigger OTR engines have either.

My BIL's 7.3 is going on 200k and I keep a pretty good eye on it for him but it is pretty much a rock solid vehicle.

Most of the Fords come with GO-5 which is the same coolant they run in their gasoline engines, HOAC (Hybrid Organic Acid Technology) coolant. Similar with the Durumax's which runs plain old Dexcool, nothing special, just an OAT (Organic Acid Technology) coolant. Now you can replace with a good quality ELC which is a good thing in my opinion but keeping the system clean and uncontaminated is more of a concern.

In my sleeved Cummins engine (ISL) I do run the ELC and converted my SCA (Supplemental Coolant Additive) inducing filter over to a standard coolant filter. I still check it and monitor it for levels but after owning SCA engines for the past 20+ years now I can attest that it is so much nicer to not have to deal with adding SCA occasionally.

Mike
 

4x4_Welder

Well-Known Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
Most of it's been covered already, but make sure you only use Motorcraft Beru glow plugs, other brands like to swell and get stuck in the head.
Delo 10w30XLE oil will help with cold starts and any cackling from sticking injectors.
A good non silicate coolant is a must for any diesel, really. Most of the universal type coolants are good for this.
Keep an eye on the fuel lift pump in the valley, they like to start leaking without much warning, and also clean off the FPR screen in the fuel bowl. Those never get cleaned, and get plugged with filter lint causing the injectors to starve and fail.
Low fuel pressure will crack the injector check plates and cause lots of problems.
 

Toad

Well-Known Member
Location
Millville(logan)
I had a 1996 F250 crew cab short box. The truck was gorgeous. I will miss that truck. I had a Hypermax intercooler, Full Force 160/0 injectors with gear head tunes and the truck was fun. It pulled hard. I had to drive it by the egts but it was great.
 
Top