1988 F350 Dually 7.3L IDI - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
7.3L IDI (Non-Powerstroke) Diesels Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:10 AM
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1988 F350 Dually 7.3L IDI

I found a 1988 F350 DRW 2WD with a 7.3L IDI and a 4spd w/OD manual tranny. The truck has 33,000 miles on it and has spent life as a rarely used pickup truck...it has an 8' typical bed...not a flatbed etc. Its an XLT and the interior is as it should be at 33K miles. Very nice running, clean original truck.

All I remember of 7.3L IDI non-turbos are from "back in the day" when our local ambulances had 7.3 non-turbos. They always ran great and never failed (unlike the 6.0L units) but kinda lacked power in an E350 DRW Type III box ambulance. I remember the 460 V8 van units were considered dragsters compared to the 7.3L trucks.

However...I'm interested in installing an aluminum flatbed on it and just having it as a daily driver with decent fuel economy, reliability, and the ability to pull a trailer or haul something (like my 2000 LB diesel lawnmower) without much trouble.

I know its not a "modern" powerhouse...but its diesel...and as far as I know its a reliable diesel...like they used to be.

Any worries or known immediate things that come to mind? IE: Should I be wary of head gaskets, or intake leaks or ??? Or just drive it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:46 AM
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88 7.3 reply;

Hi Neil,

Sounds like a good deal.

I had/have a 88 F350 w/ the 7.3 IDI and a auto trans. Put over 250K miles with no probs. For your intended use, I would go for it.

I lost/blew the 7.3 in go and stop So Calif freeway traffic due to radiatior split seam and resultant overheat before I could exit. So my prob was not the motor, but my lack of attention to the gauges rather than the fast lane,?, traffic.

Bottom line; it will start up and run with out any probs providing you maintain it. No computer or electronic glitches to worry about.

hotrod/Paul
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:55 AM
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They had issues with cracked heads in the earlier years due to a casting problem.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:57 AM
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YEP, some do, and some wont...

Quote:
Originally Posted by late_99_PSD View Post
They had issues with cracked heads in the earlier years due to a casting problem.
I am not well versed in specific areas of 'QUOTE' problems. As such I offered my two bits worth of user results.

I offer a few comments based on my experience with a '85 6.9 as well as the '88 7.3 motor. Combined mileage for the two is over 300,000 miles. I towed my 40' 3 axle Chaparral goose neck trailer loaded with race car, spare motor, parts, tools, nitromethane and alcohol with a combined gross vehicle weight of just over 22,000 lbs all over the So Western US. Yes it was 'slow' going over the Grapevine, Cajon Pass, and even the Rockies. I always geared down and kept the RPM's at 2800 to 3000. Yes I blew black smoke at times.

I did not add any HP increasing tricks like turbo, propane, water, nitrous, play with injection timing, after market air filters, exhaust, or whatever. What I did do was remove the big stock muffler, cut open the top, gutted it, and put a straight pipe though it. It looked stock unless you actually felt up on top of it for the welding. I did not have any motor problems in transit to and from with the heavy truck-trailer combo.

That is not to say that there were/are some bad castings that appeared at random. So like saying: "you could catch a cold if you go out of the house", chances are prob pretty slim as the miscast have prob already joined the myriad of Chev's in the scrap yard.

Finally I am off my soap box and off to McDee's for some of their fifty cent 'senior' priced coffee. So like the lady,?, sez; you spends your money and you makes your choice, I'd go for it, you????
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrodracer View Post
as the miscast have prob already joined the myriad of Chev's in the scrap yard.
Yeah, most of the truck that had issues would mostlikely have been fixed by now, just something to keep in mind.
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