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  #1  
Old 01-21-2013, 12:05 AM
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Help me decide....

It's been a year now, since I bought my '97 PSD.

To put it bluntly, I am not impressed. I'm not talking about the truck itself, she's a beauty, but I am not convinced that a diesel is necessary for me.
I pull a light travel trailer 5 or 6 times a year, and didn't have too much of a problem with my old F350 gasser.
When I towed with the PSD, I was expecting miracles, but didn't get any...the mileage was slightly better (14 instead of 7), but the pulling-power was negligible...I still went down to 45-50mph on the hills - as I did with the gasser.

I can stand the noise and the smell - those aren't an issue for me - but what is constantly nagging at me is the COST for repairs and standard maintenance. Four GALLONS of oil instead of 5 quarts...Air filter @ $60...Injectors @ $500 and up...I haven't seen a sensor that is less than $60...$40 fuel filters...CPS's that die on a whim...paid $600 to have the fuel bowl replaced last summer...
Heaven forbid I should need a new set of injectors or an HPOP...Oh crap, I still have to check my coolant for dirt and DCA, or whatever!

Other than oil and fuel, I spent maybe $400 for repairs on my F350 in the four years that I owned it! This alone has me wondering if I should go back to a trusty old gasoline engine that I am at least familiar with...or have I been reading too many horror stories on the Internet?

Last edited by Qwazert; 01-21-2013 at 12:09 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:12 AM
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Help me decide....

It seems to me that you may need to shop around. I pay $10-12 for a fuel filter. Yes, oil changes are a little more expensive, but you can extend the oil changes past 3k miles since you aren't using it under heavy duty operations day in and day out. The sensors can be expensive, but not all of them are huge money. Reference, I bought a CPS for a spare from Ford dealer for $23 out the door. Mind you, I have never had a CPS fail. (Knock on wood). But at least when it happens, you know what it is and can change it yourself anywhere if you carry tools and a spare.

When you say fuel mileage is slightly better, the numbers you provide show a 100% gain in fuel mileage towing. That's huge. That's double what you were getting with your gasser. Talking about horror stories, you have a 97 7.3. One of, if not the most, reliable Diesel engines ever made. If you want to talk about expensive and horror stories then go read some of the 6.0 and up threads. Also, take into account most people on forums have issues and are looking for help and not getting on here to sing the praises of their rigs. So don't let all of what you read believe that the same scenario is going to happen to you. I love these trucks and have never been stranded. I was in a tight spot and drove from Georgia to central Florida with a 7.3 running with crap injectors and toasted IDM with bad fuel. Made it home, wash pretty but it didn't let me down.

With your other concern about repair costs , my advice would be to learn to work on it and find it to be enjoyable as a project. Before I got my first diesel I couldn't turn a wrench to save my life. And in the past few years I've learned to work on these and actually fix things. It has saved me money and given me a great sense of pride. Not to mention being able to help some friends and others out when they have their issues.

I know not everyone is the same, and to each their own. This is my opinion only and not meant to be a dig or condescending post in any wAy. But you have one I the best, most reliable, trucks out there. Best of luck in your decision.


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Old 01-21-2013, 04:26 AM
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Re: Help me decide....

Any vehicle should be maintained a lot.most ppl don't get that.
Yes, diesels are expensive. And if you didn't know that, maybe you should have done more research.
Also, you may have issues with the truck performance wise. Maybe not. You might have got the wrong set up for what you need.
it's up to you, but if you can be cheaper and better go back to the gas motor.

I made my Samsung SGH-I997 send this.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:11 AM
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it the power is whats bothering you, the 7.3L didn't exactly have alot of power, i think the 97s had 250HP and 400 something lbs-ft at the crank.. try doing some cheap mods to get more power.. maybe a good tow tune? i mean i haven't really had problems with my 6.0L and its the red headed step child of the powerstroke family! yes maintenece is a pain but you went from 7 MPGs to 14.. thats double the MPGs and what.. 10 or 15% higher fuel cost? which means your saving money on fuel.. the money your spending on maintenance your saving in towing fuel.. and probably fuel in general... i mean this is cheap and will get you slightly better performance:
DIY - IDM mod (Injector Mod) - How to w/ lots of pics

more recommendations:
Inexpensive tricks/mods for 7.3L - TheDieselGarage.com
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:55 AM
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Maybe I should clarify...I put about 4000 miles PER YEAR on this thing, towing a small trailer as mentioned, and some errands...that's it, so the fuel savings are hardly an issue. On a typical outing, I might save $100 over using a gas engine. I normally change the oil 3X a year....at triple the cost, the fuel-savings per year becomes even less of a deal, in my case.
My issue is whether saving $600 a year on fuel with negligible power gains, is worth the cost of potential repairs that can run into the 1000's. I've had it in the shop TWICE now and both times was over $700.

As for the mods...I realize that some of them might be "necessary", but I'm from the school that thinks increasing the output shortens the lifespan. Robbing Peter to pay Paul....so to speak.

When it comes to parts costs, I ALWAYS use the best for my vehicles...synthetic oil, top-quality filters, etc. I can't understand why someone would pay (for instance) $30,000 for a truck and then buy a cheap oil filter in order to save $4. Just like the old commercial used to say "You can pay me now, or pay me later!"
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:15 AM
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Help me decide....

Well post it in the classifieds.


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Old 01-21-2013, 06:38 AM
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If u put 4 thousand miles on it a year and change the oil 3 times a year i bet it expensive.
I change my oil every 5 thousand miles... using full synthetic of course.
I go to changing the oil about once a year if ur only putting 4k a year on it.
Other than that it sounds like from ur first post u already made up ir mind
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:24 AM
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I take mine to ford for the oil change cost me $162 for 3, and I do 3 a year, I get 20 mpg hwy, and 16 city I drive it daily, and use premium filters when I do mine, I take more care of it than I did my gasser f150 and it still is cheaper, try getting a chip, that would greatly up the power, and I have several thousand miles clocked with no ill effect other than a heavy foot, either way good luck, tons of people would be more than happy to trade you straight up gas for diesel
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:35 AM
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Re: Help me decide....

I know maintenance is key, but you can be too excessive with it. I think webster 1500 miles is excessive and totally unnecessary.
Also, just because $700 repair bills were done doesn't mean they were diagnosed or done right. But your gas truck could have repairs done that total thousands of dollars too. Scared to drive it?
I could have a thousand dollar medical bill, but i'm not scared to use me.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:46 AM
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I went through the same dilemma back in 97 when I decided to purchase a diesel. My father in law kept telling me that the added maintenance costs of a diesel alone should tell me to stay with a gas motor. I must say that since 97, I have not has to change any plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor or sensors. I do change oil every 4,000 miles just because. I like you don't drive mine very much either.

He also told me that I don't drive the truck enough for it to make sense to pay the extra entrance fee for a diesel engine. He is probably right on that one but, I now have a truck with an engine known to last at least triple what a gas engine equivalent is expected to live.

All you will need is an aftermarket chip to allow you to see you made the right decision. You will have the power you want, the economy you desire and the reliability you need in one package.
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