97 Powerstroke... deal or no deal? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:22 AM
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97 Powerstroke... deal or no deal?

Hey everyone... lately I found myself in the market for a tow rig. I tow my Jeep to an offroad park a few times a year on an open trailer and the GMC Envoy my dad owns just doesn't cut it.

My search lead me to a '96 extra cab that needs some work. I met the owner today and looked the truck over, it's in pretty good shape structurally. The truck is an automatic and has 150K miles on it. The biggest issue the truck has are stuck glow plugs. The owner went to change them about a year ago and broke at least one electrode off while the other he tried to move wouldn't completely come out. The owner tried removing the plugs today but didn't have any luck. He was originally asking for $3900 but said that he would take $3k without replacing the glow plugs. He even tried running the engine to blow the broken one out but he didn't have any luck. The truck runs well otherwise. I did some searching on this site and I think that I would have to pull the heads to drill the plugs out.

With that said, I personally have no experience with diesel engines. I have pulled a handful of gas engines and played around with bolt on performance modifications, but that is where my expertise ends.

So I guess my questions are: how far in over my head will I be getting myself? Are there any step by step tech articles that address how to remove and install the heads? Is the vehicle worth the price in it's current condition?

Thanks for the help,
Adam
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:33 AM
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Am I correct in my assumption that once the tip is stuck and you can't get vice grips on the electrode you need to pull the head??

Does anyone have any input? I figured at least $1k in gaskets and machine work if I did it all myself...

I need to call the guy today with a decision.

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:57 AM
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bump bump bump
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:32 AM
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I think its worth it but idk.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:56 AM
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Do the heads normally warp on these at all? I guess I'm concerned that once I get the head off and send it to the machine shop to check for trueness that they will say it's warped beyond repair (my understanding is that there isn't a lot of leeway when it comes to cutting them down)

I'm not too worried about the time involved.. but I don't want this seemingly decent deal to burn me in the end because it will take 3-4k to get it back to running order.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:50 AM
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I talked to a diesel mechanic and he said that he wouldn't even bother messing with machine work on the heads since they are iron not aluminum. This same mechanic seems to think that the heads can come out without pulling the engine, he said worst case you would have to pull a cab mount....

Any advice?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:40 AM
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i think you would be fine. you never can tell what your going to find in an engine. but generally these are pretty solid. as far as i know the heads dont really warp, pulling them off to get the glows out can be done without pulling the motor (im fairly sure). but since the glow electrode got stuck i would consider any possible head/valve damage as well as wall scores. to avoid this use motorcraft glows.

it sounds like a good deal but that could change if there is any internal damage due to the broken glow. but again, i dont think the heads are too har dto pull, just time cosuming, ill let others verify this though.

with your knowledge of gas engines, making your way around a PSD wont be hard, espicially with a resource like this site.

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:31 PM
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I'm not really worried about the cylinder walls being scored or the valves being hurt. I think it's just a standard case of over enthusiasm and lack of knowledge by the current owner. I would never have known about this problem if it wasn't for his mis-hap or this particular forum.

The more research I do, the more promising removing the head without removing the engine becomes. I have access to a garage with a chain hoist so lifting them, even with the exhaust manifolds attached shouldn't be a major problem.

I think I will call the owner and set up a test drive... I will also go armed with some of those strips that measure the amount of that "anti cavitation" stuff is in the existing cooling system.

I appreciate everyone's advice and I hope more people chime in with their opinions

Thanks,
Adam
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:37 PM
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good luck, i hope you end up with a really nice psd! again motorcraft glows only!
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:40 PM
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7.3 heads can be removed without pullin the engine, or the cab. Bank on that.

I think in order to get studs in a OBS though, you may have to place a jack under the motor and loosen the motor mounts a little. But again, I'm not sure if you'll have to go that far.

While you're in there, replace the uppipe gaskets, with a brass gasket, $85. FWIW, I think the uppipes will be the worst part of pullin the heads.
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