I think she's dead, Jim... - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-18-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I think she's dead, Jim...

First off, just in case my sig isn't there, the 'patient' is a '97 OBS F250, 275k mi, 5sp, 4x4. With the exception of an oil leak at the turbo pedestal and some lack of power I attributed to worn rings (she also smoked at the dipstick and when you took the oil cap off), she's run like a champ. Paid $4400 for her back in '08, and since then have only had to replace the fuel and vac pumps, and when the throwout bearing blew up I installed an LuK SMF kit.

So, today...
A hundred miles into what was supposed to be a 700-mile round-trip excursion this morning, I made a fuel stop. Upon pulling away from the pump, she ran like absolute unvarnished hell. Thinking she was low on oil (AGAIN, see aforementioned pedestal leak), I topped her off and started back up again. MASSIVE shaking, loping like she was running on half her cylinders, and absolutely NO power.

After finding a local diesel shop (only a mile away! what are the odds...), I limped her down the road. It was all she could do to maintain 30mph. The shop guys (used to working on big rigs) noted the oil leak at the exhaust (which I explained was from the turbo pedestal), and the now-chugging smoke from the oil filler, and deduced it was a blown piston. I wish it was that simple...

What they missed, I noted: oil in the coolant. Grey and foamy. I asked, "Head gasket?" They said, more likely scored/cracked cylinder. Cue long stream of expletives from my mouth- I'm 100 miles from home in my only tow rig.

My options went from ugly to expensive in a big hurry: one of the guys at the shop had most of a 2001 7.3 he'd sell me for $2000, but there were sufficient differences (primarily the cam) that would make a gut-and-swap a dicey affair, not to mention that the donor had 450k PLUS on it. Other options included a $4500 Jasper short-block, or a $8500 Jasper long-block, not to mention that none of these "options" accounted for shop time and any associated gaskets, wiring, etc. that racked up along the way.

Wanting to cut my losses, I opted for the $500 tow home- hey, at least they brought my trailer, too- and now I'm left with this hulk off to one side. It does run, but I couldn't move it to park it without putting it in 4-lo.

I have no code-reader, no compression gauge, no local shop, and limited hand tools. So, what are my options?

Nick

1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.

1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention...

I did do an oil cooler rebuild back in 2010, and replaced the alt.

I feel like I should mention that I have done engine work before, only on gassers. So it's not like I'm a TOTAL noob, just to diesels, and mostly to the EXPENSE of diesels! The most expensive overhaul I ever did was on my '82 Jeep Scrambler (CJ-8), and from start to finish it only cost $1500. That wouldn't get me much more than the KIT to do the overhaul on a PSD... this diesel stuff is EXPENSIVE!

That said, I really hate the idea of scrapping this truck, or parting it out- it's bone stock, but I think the total is greater than the sum of the parts, if you get what I mean. We get so attached to our rigs... and I just dropped a grand on new tires (Kelly Safari TSRs) a month ago! That, and a farm without a farm truck is just not a farm.

Right now, with the exception of loss of mobility (thank GOD my wife works and I run the farm!), it's not costing me anything but time and effort. I'm going to call around to local parts stores to see if anyone has a diesel compression tester they'd loan out. Once I find a bad cyl, I'll pull the head to ascertain the damage. I'll also see if they have a code reader to find out if it had anything to say before all hell broke loose, although I know for a fact I never saw the CEL.

At the very worst, I'll have a verified cracked cylinder. Can these engines be sleeved? If so, for how much? Better call around to see if there's a good diesel repair shop... and I suppose I'll start selling blood plasma while I'm at it....

Nick

1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.

1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 07:26 AM
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These engines can be sleeved but with 275k on it you will not be able to reuse the pistons to rebuild it (the engine will have to come completely apart to machine it) and they will be expensive. I would do a compression check first like you said. You might be better off in the long run to find a engine out of a wrecked or rusted out truck and swap it in.

Jack
97 F250 Xlt, built E4od, D60 swap, Baby swamps, tunes by Dp
1.0 turbo housing, 203* t-stat, diy 6637, 4" exhaust
Diy intercooled, 6.0 fan, Diy 140v Idm, Isspro Ev gauges
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Would this work for a rebuild kit?

7.3L 7.3 1994-2002 Ford Powerstroke engine rebuild kit | eBay

Has pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, etc.
Thing is, I'd have to take the engine in to a shop to a) see if it could be sleeved, and b) how far out they'd have to bore to hit good metal on the remaining cylinders, because that company sells the pistons and rings in a range of sizes.

Still have yet to check the parts stores for a loaner code reader and compression tester. Is there a particular type of reader I have to get, or will any OBD-II reader "understand" the PSD? Also, is there a FAQ or other writeup about how to do a compression test? Nothing in the Haynes manual (yet, haven't finished looking). I'm assuming it's gotta be done through the glow plug ports.

Nick

1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.

1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Would one of these work?

Diesel engine IH International Navistar T444E Ford 7.3 Powerstroke Will Ship | eBay

Great price, low miles, not too hard a life living in front of an auto tranny... I'd have to use my up-pipes and wiring harness, but the rest should be the same, right?

Nick

1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.

1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 06:14 PM
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The rebuild kit would work the problem is you will not know what oversize piston to get until your engine is tore down and cylinders mic-ed. You need to confirm the cylinder health first and foremost. As for the T444E's I don't know that I would pay that much, you will need to strip it down to a long block (remove turbo, exhaust, front brackets, harness, may even use different injectors, etc) and build it back up with your parts. That engine is about 35hp less than yours that's why I'm thinking different injectors but could be wrong.

Jack
97 F250 Xlt, built E4od, D60 swap, Baby swamps, tunes by Dp
1.0 turbo housing, 203* t-stat, diy 6637, 4" exhaust
Diy intercooled, 6.0 fan, Diy 140v Idm, Isspro Ev gauges
On board air,E-fuel, 5" lift on 35's
320000 miles
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 09:43 PM
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FIRST thing I'd do is a compression test. Contaminated coolant may be fuel, which, IIRC, is an injector cup problem.
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post #8 of 20 Old 05-30-2012, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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I just started another thread with a new question regarding the swappability of engines with different transmissions. May have a line on a donor, but it's in front of the AT, not the ZF-5. Could be a problem?

Nick

1995 F250 XLT 7.3T (on donor '97 engine with 180xxx miles) 4x4 - LuK SMF, Diamond Eye 3" downpipe to 5"straight-pipe exhaust. ZF5 manual trans, Curt hide-away gooseneck hitch, Super Duty suspension conversion.

1997 F250 XLT 7.3T - 2wd E4OD, alloy wheels w/ bald tires, gooseneck hitch, pretty much bone stock. Soon to become a trailer, spare tires, spare parts, and scrap.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-31-2012, 05:28 PM
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When these heui trucks run low on oil, they run like **** and they will shut down when oil is low enough. Are you sure your hpop reservoir is topped off?
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-31-2012, 06:23 PM
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He said he topped off the oil. The HPOP reservoir should have refilled instantly when he started up the truck if the oil was indeed low.
I really doubt you have a cracked cylinder. Anything is possible, however that is unlikely. the contaminated coolant could be a internal leak in your oil cooler or headgasket which are both more likely than a cracked cylinder

1996 F350 4x4 CCLB-- I'll miss her

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There u go Tom. John may not be sexy, but he can tutor you, lol.
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