2003 7.3...lemon??? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-26-2006, 09:43 AM
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2003 7.3...lemon???

well, I've had this 03 E550 for about 5 months nowand other than the still remaining problems with losing power, I guess it runs OK. Frankly though, I'm thinking I bought a lemon. Its gutless, terrible fuel mileage..(maybe 10.5 MPG downhill, empty and a stiff tail wind), noisy as hell and the SES light comes on all the time, which by past experience scares hell out of me, cause I usually have deliveries on board. I hesitate to take it to a dealer again because I can't afford another wallet raping. It doesn't want to downshift when going up hill (loaded or not), the SES light will come on under a load, then, providing I ease off a bit, will go out after about 3 miles. Frankly, I'm almost ready to put a V10 triton in it and leave it at that. Also...there is an oil leak at the front of the engine that splatters up on the underside of the hood, a very fine mist pattern in line with the front part of the engine, like an occasional high pressure "squirt" that hits the fan blade (very little volume, just a big mess)...could this possibly be coming from the high pressure oil pump? Day Ford wants about 800.00 plus labor to replace it but not sure if thats it or just being sold another part I don't need...suggestions, advice or referral to an honest shop in the western Pa area would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2006, 10:13 AM
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Hey Howard, let's see if some of the guys who know these things can give you a hand - IMO you've got probably one of the best motors you could ask for. The 7.3 is well known as being awesome - lets see what the guys come up with.
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:17 AM
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lets break this down into steps.....

First step is this......have you pulled the code(s) out to see what is turning the SES light on???
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Old 08-27-2006, 07:44 AM
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thanks Marc, I took the truck down to the parts house this morningh, lo and behold...."No codes stored" I guess that could either be a good thing...or a really bad thing, not sure. A couple of points perhaps I should mention here. this is a 20' cutaway, empty weight, with me and a full fuel tank is just over 13200lbs (19000GVWR), auto tranny. the best mileage I seem to get is about 10.5MPG (and thats empty). With Diesel going for on average 25-30 cpg more than regular, seems I should be getting a lot better MPG than I am. However, at least for the moment, I can live with that. My main concern here is (1. the oil leak at the front of the engine. As I see it, and I'm a novice here to the Nth degree, it appears to be an occasional high pressure leak..perhaps from the HP oil pump gasket???. As I mentioned in my earlier post, there seems to be very little volume leaking, but it makes one hell of a mess over the engine front and inside the hood (yet not enough to produce any "drips"). It hasn't "lost power" in quite some time now, but still, when the SES light comes on, I break out in a cold sweat, because that seemed a precurser to losing power...so far over the last 3-4000 miles that hasn't happened (knock on wood). I really need this thing to be trustworthy and dependable as its my "bread and Butter", so when its down, so is my income. IYO should I take it to a dealer and have the thing re-read, or do some codes just correct and clear themselves. This one comes on usually when I'm climbing a somewhat long grade, once "over the top" it goes out, normally within 2.5 to 3 miles. My oil level is still topped out so level here doesn't seem to be the problem. I apologize for being long winded, but information is like a weapon, and the more armed I am when I end up having to take it in for repair, the better off I think I'll be. Just want to make sure I'm not sold parts again that don't need replaced. Again, Thanks much.
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Old 08-27-2006, 02:58 PM
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honestly if your not all that mechanically inclined you may be best taking it to the dealer at this point. In your van the HPOP is set back far enough that i doubt that it is sparying oil on the hood, but i suppose it is possible. the other thing is that if there has been an SES light on, there has to be a code.......i guess the scanner that was used on your truck was unable to read it for some reason....
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:18 PM
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Mine has done the same thing (ses light, not oil leak) since the day I bought it. (2001, 2nd owner @40,000 miles, now has 126,000) It is worst when I'm towing uphill with the cruise on pulling a 20,000 lb toy hauler. Scanner reads nothing, ses resets when engine is shut down and restarted. I get decent mileage (8 towing, 15-18 unloaded) and don't use much oil. Seeing the SES light is scary especially @ 3:00am 100 miles from the nearest city, but it hasn't left me stranded yet. (I suspect overboost is causing it in my case) I guess what i'm trying to say is that you possibly have multiple unrelated problems. You need to fix the oil leak, but that might not stop the SES light.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:24 PM
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holy thread revival batman!! Welcome to the .ORG!
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:30 PM
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hey howardtm,

as far as finding the oil leak, I would clean everything up real good and then stop every few miles and look to get the general idea where that oil is coming from. Not real familiar with the van setup, but can you see the top of the engine? is there oil in the valley? could it be diesel, and not oil?

have you done any mods to the engine?

As far as codes, if you went to a parts place, all the codes were not read. You need to find someone with a good scanner (autoenginuity, snap-on, fords scanner) and that knows how to use it.

I'm thinking the code can be 2 things...

as you mentioned, an overboost code (which can de-fuel the truck and give it that no power feeling - possibly related to the no-power problem??)

a hpop code, your hpop is weak and cannot keep up with the demand from the injectors when all out, and sets a code (but goes away after you let up)

I believe the codes should still be stored, there just soft codes and do not set off the ses light.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue01F250 View Post
holy thread revival batman!! Welcome to the .ORG!
Havent seen this one in a long time
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:10 AM
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yeah..tell me about it. Its all been fixed now..thanks to Scott W down Winston-Salem way. She runs like I think a new one might..LOL But just to update all...the SES light...it had a chip in it, unknown to me at the time which fired that sucka off...no biggie and can be ignored. The "losing power"...crap in the fuel tank plugging up the intake screen. The engine "miss"...injector skip. (Scott had the injector replaced and the rig back runnin' faster than it would have taken me to figure out where to start) The lousy mileage...well, given this beastie, that ain't all too bad (ain't good either but what ya gonna do??) but between Scott and Jody @ DP Tuner, I'm now averaging 11.5...on a good day I will see 12.

Last edited by howardtm; 06-28-2007 at 07:15 AM.
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