Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Goodyear, AZ
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I have a 2000 and a 2003 7.3 and 6.0. My 6.0 has been very good to me 80K and never once been in the shop. I'm a stickler when it comes to maintance. That may have something to do with it. My 7.3 has 225K and also not been to the shop or had any tranny issues, again maintance is key. I personally love the 7.3 and have decided if anything had to go it would be the 6.0. Wise choice on the solid axle. You being a jeep guy you know how simple the entire setup is to work on. A few things I would look for when test driving or just plain looking are.
See how easy it starts, if a diesel is low on compression it will have a hard time starting.
Look for leaks undernieth, so many people get cought up in the excitement of a new rig they forget the simple things to look at.
drive it, see how it track, and maybe have someone follow you to see if there is any dog tracking. Look at the steering link and make sure it's not worn out.
Jack it up!! One failer know to these trucks are the balljoints.
A few tricks I do to check the engines life is to warm the engine to operating temp, unscrew the oil fill and see how much blow by comes out. You will always have some, but much more than what a cigarett would put out may be excssive. Something else I do is to take the air cleaner lid off while the engine is running, put your hand into the lid where the tube comes in. Diesel suck 90% more air than a gas engine does, so you should feel the suction trying to pull your hand to the hose like a vacuum. If you can barley feel any suction you have a warn engine.
Last and most important, try try try to get some service records and an oasis report. Good luck, there are plenty of great 7.3 left out there so take your time, don't be in a hurry and you will come out on top.