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Ford diesel mechanic and suggestions

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I will be pulling the trigger in the next few weeks on a diesel excursion. I'm looking at several and there are a few nearby that have the options I'm looking for.
I know a lot of people bad mouth the 6.0 but from what I understand if you are willing to put the money into them to bulletproof them they can be excellent engines.
So my questions are, is there anything I should look out for when inspecting them, and are there any good mechanics on the board in west tn that can go over what all needs to be done and talk costs with me?
The one I'm leaning towards right now is a bone stock '04 4x4 3.73 with 100k on it. I know I'll need to do some mods. If my research is right, I'd only have to worry about the head studs if the engine already has a problem - coolant leaks being the biggest symptom. Are there any experts here that can help me out?

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Dude, I'll straight up tell you my personal experience with my 6.0 excursion. IT SUCKED. don't get me wrong, when it ran, man it was a solid motor and strong as hell. I had a lot of work done to the motor, and within 6 months I had major problem. not just small, but big. Injectors went out, $2000. HPOP went out with ICP censor, $2300. Oil rail plug came loose, $450. Stalled on me twice going to school when I lived in MN. 

 

Now, granted, it was a early 07/2003 motor. and in 2005 they fixed some stuff and they were a lot better. so, look for that. anything past 2004. I had 138,000 miles on mine, which isnt that many to say the least for a diesel, and I just couldnt afford every couple weeks to dump thousands back into it to get me to school and back. 

 

Things to do right off the bat: EGR delete, EGR cooler, HEAD STUDS!, possibly a turbo, because those stupid things (at least mine) caused major issues. If you can bulletproof it, it'll be a super solid truck for sure.

 

I LOVED mine when it ran. And I miss it everyday. Seriously, its sad. But it was an amazing truck to say the least. But, the 6.0…. wasn't amazing, to say the least. If you can get a 7.3L DO THAT HANDS DOWN. you'll never regret it. 

 

IMG-20110703-00037_zpsb20e1c46.jpg

 

IMG-20110615-00015_zps7bd10518.jpg[/URL]

 

 

This right here…. that was it. When I said enough is enough. Last picture I ever took of her. 

IMG-20110908-00165_zpsdbd68423.jpg[/URL]

Also, worry about the head studs. no matter what in the 6.0. Don't wait until its to late.

Edited by 173rdABN

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The 7.3's are hard to beat... They are basically a de-rated International Harvester (...now Navistar...) industrial engine... They are big and heavy where it counts... Diesels need a heavy duty lower end (...crank, rods, pistons...)... 

 

Good luck... (...i like the excursions too...)...

leroy

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The best accessory that you can buy for that truck is a bus pass.  Get you a 7.3 and be done with it.  Mine has 410K on it and it's still going strong.

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10- ring. you have 600,000 left before your next oil change. :) cant beat the indestructibility of the 7.3!

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10- ring. you have 600,000 left before your next oil change. :) cant beat the indestructibility of the 7.3!



Only way is with a cummins. Those are rock solid and the lower end makes those ford internals look like child's play

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10- ring. you have 600,000 left before your next oil change. :) cant beat the indestructibility of the 7.3!

That's the sad part.  This is my company truck and my boss has us change the oil about every 40K.  It absolutely kills me to do that.  Still she burns zero oil. 

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I spent 15 years in the dodge parts business. Parts manager at a dodge dealer. Cummings is the way to go. I have had many a customer come in to order suspension parts for their 10 year old Cummings with 400000+ miles on it. These were heavy work trucks in the boring and trenching business. The 24 valve Cummings through the early 2000s had some injection pump issues(change fuel filter regularly) and don't run farm diesel. I have heard great things about the 7.3 ford, but stay away from the 6.0. My FIL whose dad retired from Ford after 52 years and he has a 6.0. Had to have a complete rebuild in the first 2 years. Seems to be a solid truck since then but he doesn't drive it daily. Only uses when he needs a heavy truck.


JTM
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Save yourself a bunch of money and just replace the engine with a cummins.

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Since this board is a gun board, I make the comparison this way.  If you had a choice between a Lorcin or Davis 380, or a Glock 17 or a Sig P226, which would you choose? 

 

I have owned my 7.3 since 2002, still going very strong! 

Edited by Runco
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Cummins makes an awesome engine. It's those Dodge trucks that fall apart around the drivetrain that leaves something to be desired.
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I spent 15 years in the dodge parts business. Parts manager at a dodge dealer. Cummings is the way to go. 

 

If you're going to sing the praises of something, at least spell it correctly. :lol: 

 

When a 6.0 is right, it's an animal. A good running 6.0 can run circles around a 7.3. The problem is finding a good running 6.0. :lol: 

 

Personally, I wouldn't want to own a 6.0. If you did buy it, I wouldn't bother 'bulletproofing' it. I'd stick that money away and when the 6.0 craps out, swap in a 5.9 Cummins. 

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If you're going to sing the praises of something, at least spell it correctly. :lol:

When a 6.0 is right, it's an animal. A good running 6.0 can run circles around a 7.3. The problem is finding a good running 6.0. :lol:

Personally, I wouldn't want to own a 6.0. If you did buy it, I wouldn't bother 'bulletproofing' it. I'd stick that money away and when the 6.0 craps out, swap in a 5.9 Cummins.


Sorry. Auto correct on a stupid phone.


JTM
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I drag raced diesels for a long time. The 6.0 can be a stout motor. But it needs head studs, egr delete, etc to get there. And its still gonna be a 6.0. I ran a Duramax and loved it. 611 rwhp and 1100 lb ft on fuel. That was efi live, intake, lift pump, and exhaust. Trans won't take that beating for long unless you lock it out of overdrive though. If you have to have a Ford go 7.3. A cummins is a better farm and heavy hauler truck and a Duramax is more of a hot rod, especially with EFI live. Thats my truck vs a new Mustang GT in 2010. Beat him by half a second in the 8th mile.

Truckvsstang.jpg

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Thanks for the replies and advise guys. The problem here is that I don't want a truck - I want a diesel 4x4 SUV capable of towing 10k. There's no option but an Excursion. 7.3 Excursions are pretty scarce and when you can find them they have 300k+ and while the motor may still be strong the rest of the vehicle is beat to hell. And since it's a magical 7.3, they think it's still worth 20+ thousand. I can get a 6.0 for a lot less in a lot better shape.
I'm not opposed to the idea of dropping a 12v into it at some point down the road, but I simply don't have the time anymore to do it myself, and I don't want to have to do it first thing.
All of which brings me back to the original questions. Is there a good diesel mechanic on the board, or one used by members of the board, in west tn (preferably near Memphis) who knows these motors who could talk costs, options, and things to look for when buying?

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i got a 2004 6.0 f250 so i know a little about the motor.  yes they have problems, but not all of them. i did the work three years ago on my truck to correct the problems.  the big problems was ford used the wrong coolant in them.  they used the ford gold coolant that is for a gas motor, not diesel.  this caused the problems with the oil cooler and egr cooler.  the head studs are only a problem if you use a tuner and want to hot rod the truck.  go over to the diesel truck sites to read on what to look for and how to fix the problems.  get a scangauge before you buy and use it to get the "delta" reading of the engine oil temp and coolant temp and the "ficm" reading.  the scangauge will give you all the reading you will need to get a overall idea on how well the motor is. the ford diesel sites will show you how to do this and what to look for.  this way you will know how much work you will need to do correct the problems.  if someone tells you that he has done the work ask for receipts.  no receipts, then no work done.  no way to see/tell if the work has been done by looking at the motor.  you can get a 6.0 with low miles for a very low price these days.  it does not take much to correct the problems.  

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I would not buy a 6.0 L and I have personal experience in dealing with them. I drove several work trucks that we're 6.0L and they never saw anything that a 1/2 ton could not have handled. They regularly needed $2000 worth of repairs and Ford technicians would admit that they were terrible engines. The coolant and the cooling system was an issue on all of them. The high pressure oil pump was the next big issue; one truck had $15,000 worth of repairs before it reached 120k miles. To be honest they don't get that great of mileage and they didn't appear to be as powerful as people claim. I didn't drive it much but the V-10 that was bought at a good deal and by mistake was actually an impressive truck that was actually cheaper to keep on the road. Even though it got 11mpg compared to the 6.0l's 17mpg, it was cheaper to keep on the road.

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The best accessory that you can buy for that truck is a bus pass. 

ROFL.

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I cannot honestly think of anything good to say about a 6.0l Diesel after having one in the family. My father had one and it spent more time in the shop than on the road. We got rid of an awesome Dodge diesel to get the sorry p.o.s. too.

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I have an '03 F350 with a 6.0 with a service bed on it. We bought it new in '03, It has 171,000 on it and has always given us good service. We are in the truck and bus repair business and use it for road service calls.

 

Here are a few things I have learned about the 6.0:

 

1. keep oil changed regularly, 7,500 miles, and change fuel filters every other oil change. Use a good diesel rated 15w40 oil, we do not use synthetic in ours just regular dino oil. We currently use Conoco, but have used Texaco, Shell, Mobil, and Pennzoil from our bulk tank over the years.

2. I added a coolant filter like the big trucks have, these engines have casting sand in the cooling system that eats up the water pump and egr cooler, the filter gets it out. We changed the coolant to the red extended life coolant like we use in big trucks. We have never had any cooling system problems. I cut open the first coolant filter we changed out and it was full of black sand.

3. Rev-X Oil additive,https://www.revxoil.com/REV-X_High_Performance_Oil_Additive.aspx, this is like a miracle product for powerstrokes, or any motor. I found about from an older retired mechanic that I know. I don't usually believe in snake oil type products but this is good stuff. I got mine from amazon.

4. Allow for warm up time in cold weather and allow for turbo spool down/ cool down time before shutting it off.

5. Take care of your truck and it will take care of you.

 

Hope this helps you out.

 

Another option for you might be an older suburban with a 6.2L diesel. I used to have 2 of them for company vehicles and we got excellent service out of them, 23mpg on the highway and 18 to 20 around town. Just hard to keep a 700R4 trans going for very long.

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I have an '03 F350 with a 6.0 with a service bed on it. We bought it new in '03, It has 171,000 on it and has always given us good service. We are in the truck and bus repair business and use it for road service calls.

Here are a few things I have learned about the 6.0:

1. keep oil changed regularly, 7,500 miles, and change fuel filters every other oil change. Use a good diesel rated 15w40 oil, we do not use synthetic in ours just regular dino oil. We currently use Conoco, but have used Texaco, Shell, Mobil, and Pennzoil from our bulk tank over the years.
2. I added a coolant filter like the big trucks have, these engines have casting sand in the cooling system that eats up the water pump and egr cooler, the filter gets it out. We changed the coolant to the red extended life coolant like we use in big trucks. We have never had any cooling system problems. I cut open the first coolant filter we changed out and it was full of black sand.
3. Rev-X Oil additive,https://www.revxoil.com/REV-X_High_Performance_Oil_Additive.aspx, this is like a miracle product for powerstrokes, or any motor. I found about from an older retired mechanic that I know. I don't usually believe in snake oil type products but this is good stuff. I got mine from amazon.
4. Allow for warm up time in cold weather and allow for turbo spool down/ cool down time before shutting it off.
5. Take care of your truck and it will take care of you.

Hope this helps you out.

Another option for you might be an older suburban with a 6.2L diesel. I used to have 2 of them for company vehicles and we got excellent service out of them, 23mpg on the highway and 18 to 20 around town. Just hard to keep a 700R4 trans going for very long.



Casting sand? Wow. If it's in the coolant passages, it's darn sure in everything else too. I bet the oil filter clogs up and bypasses within the first 50 miles. Then it spend the next 7450 miles with no oil filtration. Depending on the amount of sand, it might take several filter changes to get the system clean.

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Wow, I have watched the casting process, not on engines but enough to understand what McGarrett is saying saying.  There are just allot of places you don't want sand and that would certainly be one of them.

I could image allot of people not doing what McGarrett said with the filters and the left over sand causing many problems down the road.

 

Also not an expert but I would image that an engine that had been run with that sand just floating around in the coolant for year would probably be beyond just filtering it out to fix.

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