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Old 05-27-2012, 02:17 PM
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Oil leaking and Diesel in Antifreeze

Hey guys...I'm having some trouble figuring out what's wrong with my '03 Excursion. It started leaking oil really bad and I noticed that same day I kept smelling diesel after I had filled up. Started looking into it and it seems the oil is leaking from the top of the engine somewhere. We inspected the turbo and it's fine. We removed the intercooler and found no oil. Then we noticed that there was about an 3/4" of diesel floating in the top of the antifreeze resevoir. It doesn't seem to be a problem with the head gaskets which I know is the first thing to blame.

My truck has about 150,000 miles on it...not sure exactly how much since it's lifted with 37's. The only past history worth sharing is I had a problem with the one valve cover gasket and the #7 injector and had it all replaced over a year ago and haven't had any problems since.

Not really sure what the problem is or where to start...anyone have this problem or any suggestions?

Thanks so much.

Last edited by truckerkate; 05-27-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:08 PM
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Fuel in the coolant on a 7.3 is almost always caused by a cracked injector cup in the cylinder head. Unfortunately about the only way to find this is to pull all the injectors and pressure test the coolant system and look for the leaking cup.

Where is the oil leak at? Front, back, left, right? How much is it dripping? Most oil leaks on a 7.3 can be traced back to something leaking in the valley of the engine.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:14 PM
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Most oil leaks in the valley can be traced back to the high pressure oil system. The HPOP fittings are notorious for leaking. You can normally just replace the o-rings though. You will need to clean out the valley and run it and try and narrow down where it's leaking from.

Sound like you have 2 different issues going on though. The fuel in the coolant is going to be the most PITA one. The injectors cups aren't hateful, but the labor to find out which one is leaking can be expensive. You can replace the injector cups in cab without pulling the heads but it requires those expensive "special tools"!
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:56 PM
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Do you know which specialized tool we need? My husband said he's heard about both problems, with the injector cups and the high pressure oil fittings...I guess we were hoping maybe there was an easier answer lol. Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate it!
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:20 AM
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Here's a link to the injector cup tool you would need. This is about the usual price for the tools.

Web Store -

They also sell the injector cups as well, but you will need to pull it down and see if you have the brass or the stainless steel cups first.

Web Store -

I'm not sure if I'd go ahead and do all 8 while you have it apart, or just do the one you find leaking. Injector cups will crack randomly but it's not a super common problem. If it was mine I'd probably just do the one that I found cracked.

Since the tool is so expensive you might try and see if you could borrow one, or if a machine shop would be willing to come out and do it for you. I know one of the local machine shops around here will come out and do it on site for you. Might be worth making some phone calls before you start tearing it down.

I'd try and get the cups done rather soon, mostly because the longer the diesel stays in the system the more it's going to start swelling all the rubber components like all your coolant hoses.

What part of NJ are you guys in?
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the info. Fortunately/unfortunately I actually want to sell my Excursion so my husband can get a 2011 F450 so I'll probably just fix the one that's leaking. I'll definitely ask around and see if we can borrow the tool from someone, most of our friends have diesel trucks so someone should have it. If not, it'll probably be a good tool to have. We're not far from Newark NJ...not the greatest reference but most people know where Newark is. We are planning on tearing it down today...definitely don't want to let it sit long and it's so nice out today, might as well be outside enjoying the weather right!?

Thanks again for your help! If all goes well, I'll be posting the Ex for sale sortly after we get this all fixed.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, I'd definitely do just the one. Most dealers have the tool. Maybe one of them will let you borrow/rent the tool. An International dealer should have one as well, but you have to ask for the tool for a T444. We had the tools when I worked at the International dealer. Hopefully it's one of the front cylinders because the back ones can be a PITA to get to.

Oh man, selling the Ex.? I just bought one recently. They're getting harder and harder to come by. I really wanted a 6.0 Ex but couldn't find one so I wound up with an 02 7.3. I know most people would rather have the 7.3 but I like a 6.0 better. Probably helps that I work on them almost every day though!
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