96 F250 7.3- What to look for? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:51 PM
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96 F250 7.3- What to look for?

Hi all. I'm looking at buying a friend's 1996 F250 XLT Extended Cab Long Box 4x4 with a 7.3 Powerstroke and (probably the best part) a 5 speed manual. Its got 152k miles on it, its in great shape and he wants $6000 for it, I think thats a good deal. I'm gonna go look at it tomorrow and I'm just wondering what should I look for on these trucks? Things that commonly go wrong, how certain things should function, etc. I plan on looking the truck over really good from front to back. Not sure if I'll be able to drive it but I'll see. In case I do, what should I look for while driving? Engine, Trans, Steering, etc. I'm new to these trucks so I'd like to know all about them to make sure I'd be getting a good truck. $6000 is a good chunk of change.

Any info is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:37 PM
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As far as the transmission, find out if it has had any work done. Synchros seem to go out on them.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:15 AM
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Well I went and looked at it. I didn't get a chance to drive it but I did look it over real well. My friend is the 2nd owner, bought it from a used car dealership. The previous owner just used it as a daily driver. No major work done on the engine, trans, or anything. Its got a lot of rust on the frame but it looks like maybe a bit deeper than the surface so it might be fixable. No rot, the rockers, cab and body are in good shape. The paint is coming off a bit above the rear wheel wells and some rust is starting to forum but it looks like its also on the surface only. The engine runs good and smooth, no strange nocks or squeaks or anything. No leaks around the engine or trans (it hadn't been washed either). He recently replaced the starter and glow plugs. The only serious issue is some of the lug nut studs are broken, possibly from having 35s on it (how hard is it to replace the lug studs). The door hinges are worn as the doors drop a little when you open them, but nothing bad.

Overall its a nice truck but its got some abuse and wear but nothing bad. I might offer him $5000 for it. A couple things I found odd was its an XLT but it doesn't have Cruise Control (I can always add that later), an AM/FM radio with no Cassette (again I can add a better one later) and it had the black XL grille. It still has Power Windows & Locks, Tilt, Good heater and A/C and it had the center console and bucket front seats. It even has aftermarket auto locking front hubs! Thats a big plus to me.

I wish I would've gotten some pictures of it. I do have one at home (I'm in school now) on my computer but its from my friend's phone and the quality is not that great.

Last edited by 7.3PowerstrokeLover; 11-07-2011 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:19 AM
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Oh, one thing else. My uncle told me he's heard of a problem with the 1992-1997 Ford Trucks that when they painted them at the factory then didn't put something on the body before painting (forget what he said) and because of that the bodies would rust out really bad and when they introduced the Super Duty in 1999 they started putting that chemical on the body and that fixed the problem.

Is this true?
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:21 AM
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Cant answer your rusting problem... but it is a common opinion that OBS trucks are pretty good with holding off rust.

I would coat the underbody in por15 or rustoleum then undercoat it with rubberized harderner.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:30 AM
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Welcome to the org, check turbo for pitting and shaft play, flip the oil cap over and check for blow by, not sure about rust, but I've never had a problem, I live in the south tho
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:19 AM
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"Pretty good" OBSes are notorious for rust! The paint you're seeing coming off on the bed wheel arches is probably internal rust working its way outward. The extended cabs are known to rust along the bottom edges of the "extended" area behind the doors. The radiator core supports rust, and are specific to the PSDs and aren't cheap.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. It seems like all trucks from the 1990s were notorious for rust, but 2000 and after trucks aren't nearly as bad. I'd love the own a 99-02 Super Duty but I like the OBS a lot better, plus most Super Dutys are still expensive even used. I guess rust is the price I pay for liking the OBS, and living in Michigan

Well if I don't find anything else maybe I'll get back with him. 94-97 Powerstrokes can pretty hard to find with a 5 speed. My buddy said it was a while before he found his

Oh yeah, heres a pic of his. Like I said the quality isn't that great.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:58 PM
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Ford used to put a foam in between the innner and outer bed sides as a sound deadener. OK idea until that foam started collecting water and salt, hence the "typical OBS rust". Looks like a pretty good buy
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:26 PM
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Photo quality is good enough to see that Mr. Salty has already come to visit. Bottom rear corner of fender (that attempt to paint over the rust won't last...), bed wheel arch, and whatever that, er, custom strip is on the bottom of the door. Six large isn't exactly stealing it, but for a 5-speed, if it's been well-maintained, it's a good enough deal. My wife paid $5500 each, one for a '95 RCLB 5-speed with a body actually a little worse than that, 150,000, and a nice Leer topper, and the other was a '95 ECLB 5-speed with a solid but hail-dented body and only 64,000. So you're right in the ball park. Aussies are a bit on the hokey side, esp. being duals on a vehicle that is by definition single exhaust.

BIG question about the tranny - is it on the original clutch and dual-mass flywhee? If so, the clock is ticking on it, and WAY up high on the to-do list would be a new clutch with a single-mass. Clutch surfaces may be fine, but that DMF, if it lets go while underway, can grenade the tranny case. If your buddy's already converted it, then the $6000 is an even better deal.
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