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2002 F-350 7.3 PowerStroke Purchasing Advice
After 213,000 hard miles I finally managed to kill my 1993 Dodge 5.9 Cummins!
While the engine still runs like it did when new, the W250 chassis and drivetrain are falling apart (literally in many places). So it's time for a ground up rebuild.
I guess that's what I get for using it to regularly tow 16,000 lbs in hilly terrain, and for not cleaning the underside often enough to remove the crud acquired from almost daily use working in wet and muddy fields & woods.
So, I need another diesel capable of regularly towing 16,000 lbs. to use while my Dodge is being rejuvenated and enhanced.
I've found a 2002 F-350 4x4 Crew Cab (single rear wheel) 7.3L with the 6 spd manual, a PTO, manual hubs, 3.73:1 axles, and a 10 ft steel flatbed.
This truck has had a boost gauge and pyrometer fitted.
This truck has 214,000 (largely) highway miles on it, and the owner claims to have receipts for replacing the following this year:
Rotors & pads (front & rear)
Upper ball joints
Rear axle bearings (which ones I'm not exactly sure of)
14,000 lb Class V receiver
The truck has a current DOT inspection (valid till April 2011).
The owner has also told me that an engine diagnostic test indicated that:
The exhaust gaskets on the turbo inlet pipes will need replacing soon.
The 'o' ring on the turbo pedestal will need replacing soon.
Injectors for cyls' #6 & #8 are beginning to weaken.
While I’m not a fan of complex electronics in vehicles that will spend large parts of their lives operating in wet and muddy off-road conditions (as all my vehicles do) on an almost daily basis, to get the towing capacity I need (or more importantly the stopping power I desire), I seem to have little choice but to buy a post 2000 1 ton with 4 wheel disc brakes.
Also, if I keep to 16" wheels, I can use Michelin XL radials that are rated at 5,000 lbs. each (@ 55 mph). The only remotely capable American AT type tire I’ve found is the Goodyear G171 LT (a 19.5" tire rated at only 3,525 lbs. @ 75 mph). But since the Michelin is 2" larger in diameter, and much better off-road, I’d rather use it.
So I guess that a 2002 era F-350 would have about the largest disc brakes that can be fitted inside 16" wheels. Is this correct?
And since my trucks work off-road (where having dual rear wheels is a liability) almost daily, I compensate for the lower SRW load capacity by using an independent axle, fully braked ‘tow dolly’ when pulling a 16,000 lb trailer.
Since not very much of the trailer weight gets transferred into the rear suspension while using a 'tow dolly', I don’t have to worry about load distribution/equalizing hitches/etc.
If you’ve never used one of these ‘tow dollies’ you simply don’t know what you are missing! The only thing better is a ‘wagon’ type trailer with a turntable front axle. I have one from Europe rated at 12,000 lbs that has a 3-way tipping system. Pull up alongside a building and dump sideways (left or right) right against the foundation. Absolutely brilliant!
I would most likely add 3-way tipping capability to the F-350 flat bed, as well as a full length (ie. bumper to bumper mounted) roof rack for hauling very long joists/steel sections.
So; with an asking price of $6500 is this F-350 worth considering? If the price is too high, what would a reasonable counter offer be?
While a crew cab isn't absolutely essential, I have no interest in any 'temporary' replacement truck that doesn't at least have an 'extended’ cab.
I've never owned a Ford pickup. Nor have I owned any pickup other than my Dodge (which I bought to get the highly regarded Cummins engine). My main 4x4's are Mercedes Unimogs (I have 3: 2 in Europe and one in America).
So; I know very little about 'Detroit iron'. Is there anything in particular I should be concerned about regarding a 2002 F-350? Are they any more/less capable/reliable than their Chevy/GMC/Dodge counterparts?
I would much rather have automatic locking hubs. Can the manual hubs be replaced with auto locking hubs fairly easily? Or is this a task that requires a significant number of parts to be exchanged/installed in the axles?
I would also want to fit the largest diameter anti sway bars available on both axles. I gather that Ford offered a rear bar with the 'camper' package and with the DRW models. Are these the same item? Are there larger front and rear aftermarket bars for the 2002 F-350?
An exhaust bake will (or should at least) help this vehicle to better cope with 16,000 lb loads on steep grades. Do any brands work particularly well with the 7.3L PSD, or are all the major brands nearly identical in performance?
Since this vehicle has a manual transmission, and I often have to start heavy loads on steep hills, would I benefit from a better (ie. material wise, larger diameter, or dual plate) clutch? Any preferred, or better regarded brands?
I'm not interested in 'hot rodding' this truck. Most of my daily use is off the road on fairly steep hillsides hauling building materials, dirt, and tools.
Low speed power is what I want, along with the ability to tow my excavator (12,800 lbs) around on a 2,800 lb 6 wheeled extending tongue trailer.
Any advice or guidance about this era Ford truck would be appreciated. I would like to thank anyone in advance for taking the time to respond.
Best regards, Steve