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Old 12-06-2009, 08:37 AM
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New 03 Powerstroke Owner

Just picked up an 03 Single cab Fx4 F-350 with the 7.3 Powerstroke. This is my first diesel truck. It has 127k miles on it. I got a few questions. It has a service sticker that says next service due Jan 2010. What needs to happen for the service? I'd like to do it myself. I'm used to gas motors so not to sure what happens for a diesel service. Now, I've used diesel equipment before, and if you ran it out of fuel you have to bleed the system to get it to start again. I dont plan to run it out of fuel, but I would like to know where that bleeding point is. I plan to straight pipe the truck by cutting the muffler off and welding a pipe in its place. It has a cat converter doesnt it? After I drive the truck I like to let it idle for a few mins. Is there a rule to follow about cool down time? What exactly happens when you turn the key and let it sit til the beeping stops? Glow plugs right? I think thats about it for questions. Appreciate any feedback.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:08 AM
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I drive "big rigs" now - so I am not quite familiar with pickup truck diesels......but can give you a few basic pointers.

I did own a straight truck with a non-turbo 7.3L diesel, and had it for ten years. I drove it every day for a short-haul delivery truck. It was a 1993 International (which is where Ford gets their Powerstroke engines), and it was rated for carrying five tons of cargo. Noisy, slow and smelly.....but it got the job done.

First, be sure to change your fuel filter(s) every time you change the oil. This, to me, is cheap insurance and will only cost a few extra bucks. Not doing so could be like taking a shower and putting on dirty underwear, sir.


Second, be sure that your dual batteries are up to snuff. I recommend the ones with 950CCA - rather than the factory ones that might be 650CCA (but in the same size housing). Along with that, find out when (or even "if") the glow plugs have been replaced. With my 1993 non-turbo 7.3L, I replaced them just ONCE after six years and they had four years on the replacements when I sold the truck in 2003.


When you go to cold-start the truck, turn the key to the "ON" position and cycle the glow plugs twice before you crank the starter. (This procedure never failed me, and the mechanic at Navistar said it helps the glow plugs last longer.) Get it good and hot in there, as diesel fuel has a much, much higher "flashpoint" than does gasoline.

After it cranks over, let it idle for a few minutes before you take off. When you do get going, avoid getting down on it or rapid acceleration until the temperature gauge begins to move (thermostat opens). Conversely, let it idle a minute or two before you shut it off after a hard or long drive. Supposedly, this helps the turbo cool down better (but I never had a turbo on my old 7.3L).

With our big rigs at work, we always let them cool down a minute or two before shutting them down. Even though I don't own the trucks (company driver now), I do my best to take care of the boss man's equipment.

Finally, whatever your maintenance interval is, change your oil and filter a bit more often. If you only have < 200k on a 7.3L, it will just barely be broken in if you take good care of it. It is not rare to see them with > 400k on them.


Oh, don't forget to get fuel at a station where they sell a lot of diesel fuel. You don't want to get water in it....and you should also try to find a station where they "climatize" the fuel by adding anti-gel solvents ---- especially if you live in a very cold climate. Some people add "Diesel Kleen" or other stuff, but I would not put too much stock into one particular product. I would use Marvel Mystery Oil every couple months - 1/2 quart in the crankcase and 1/2 quart in the fuel tank; but don't really know whether or not it helped.

Good luck with your truck!!!!


P.S. Your 2003 diesel should not have a catalytic converter, but there might be a resonator or muffler down there. Think twice before you remove it, though, as you may run afoul of state or local laws by taking it off. There will also be more noise, and we know you don't want louder exhaust. { Snicker! }

Last edited by JK23112; 12-06-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:01 PM
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Its straight piped now, sounds great under accel. and cruising it is actually quieter than it was with the muffler. Thanks for the info so far.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh99 View Post
Just picked up an 03 Single cab Fx4 F-350 with the 7.3 Powerstroke. This is my first diesel truck. It has 127k miles on it. I got a few questions. It has a service sticker that says next service due Jan 2010. What needs to happen for the service? I'd like to do it myself. I'm used to gas motors so not to sure what happens for a diesel service. Now, I've used diesel equipment before, and if you ran it out of fuel you have to bleed the system to get it to start again. I dont plan to run it out of fuel, but I would like to know where that bleeding point is. I plan to straight pipe the truck by cutting the muffler off and welding a pipe in its place. It has a cat converter doesnt it? After I drive the truck I like to let it idle for a few mins. Is there a rule to follow about cool down time? What exactly happens when you turn the key and let it sit til the beeping stops? Glow plugs right? I think thats about it for questions. Appreciate any feedback.
Welcome to being the proud owner of the best engine ever made that will last forever, if you take care of it.

Well to start with change the oil! Every 5000 miles. the fuel filter should be changed every 10000 miles. And im sure you are used to greasing the front end.
Make sure you run good clean diesel and add some Lucas too, about every other tank or so.

When you turn the key on let the glow plugs warm till the "Wait To START" light goeas off, it will aid in cranking.

There is no need to let it cool down unless you have been driveing the hell out of it or have a really powerful chip.

The strait sounds great and helps with milage, may keep EGT's down too.

Hope this helps, I have been driving a Powerstoke or many miles.
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