Powerstoke has no power towing - Please help - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-20-2011, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Powerstoke has no power towing - Please help

It's no joke this 7.3 can't tow. Truck is a 2000 Ford Excursion 4x4 7.3 with 198,000 miles. Truck is completely stock with only a 2" lift and 33" tires. Exhaust stock, Intake stock, no tuner, no chip, etc...

Truck was purchased 6 months ago to tow a 10,000lb travel trailer that we are planning on getting this spring/summer. Everyday city driving without a trailer the truck has no issues. Starts up great, sounds good, idles good, basically you can't see anything wrong with the power. Now hook up a trailer and she struggles.

Over the summer it was struggling pulling my 3,000lb popup camper up hills. I knew it had a problem then and took it into the dealer for the CPS and cruise control recall. I asked the dealership to investigate why it was so low on pulling power. Dealership said it had an up-pipe leak and the IPS sensor was leaking oil. I took their word for it and it seemed like a common issue with the 7.3's. I replaced those parts with bellowed up pipes and a new ICP sensor. Part cost total around $600 bucks, a day of labor, and truck still can't pull... I've replaced the fuel filter, checked the turbo by spinning with my hand and checking for play. Everything seems ok. Then I bought a compression tester to see if the engine was tired. Every cylinder checked out between 390-400psi. I checked all the rubber intake boots and intercooler boots and all checked out ok. I can hear the turbo spin up when I give it the gas so I think it is working. I have no gauges to check if it makes boost.

This past week I took my 4,000lb 4 place snowmobile trailer up to the Michigan's UP and I had the truck floored going up hills. Every rolling hill I came up on I-75 this truck had to down shift and I had to put my foot to the floor to get this thing over the hill. After tracking the mileage I got 10.3mpg with 700miles towing the 4000lb trailer. Usual MPG with city driving no trailer is around 14MPG. My old 2007 trailblazer that was replaced with the 7.3 pulled over these hills with no downshift or struggles. These aren't mountains I'm going through, just big rolling hills.

This truck as is can't tow much over 5,000lbs let alone the 10,000 travel trailer camper were planning on purchasing this summer. I am currently hiding this from my wife right now in fear that she's going to give me a hard time about the money and time to fix it. Need to investigate & fix the problem at a minimal cost when she's gone for the weekend.

I know there is something wrong, but I just can't throw money at new parts hoping to fix the problem. I want to truly diagnose what is wrong and fix that. Everyday driving it has plenty of power, but when I hook up the trailer forget it. Can you guys give me any ideas or things to check on? I am a very mechanically capable person just need some trouble shooting guidance.

Thanks and sorry for the long story, just trying to give all the facts up front.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-20-2011, 05:14 PM
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I dont know what "plenty of power" is, but my 7.3 stock can barely get out of its own way. Now, that said, once I used my programmer, WOW! Night and day difference. And thats just with a generic programmer. Custom tunes will get you MUCH MUCH MORE. So if you can afford to get a programmer or chip or the best would be custom tunes, you will notice a HUGE difference while towing. But on the flip side of this, before i found my programmer under the back seat , I used my 7.3 to haul my 5k ish f150 up to the sale spot. I didnt even know it was back there and I had to pull it up to the top of about a 35 degree angle hill (i dunno grades) stop, then pull ahead. Couldnt even tell it was back there. But then again, we are talking the difference between a f250 crew cab 4x4, and your excursion. I dunno if this helps at all. lol I did the best i can


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post #3 of 31 Old 01-20-2011, 06:57 PM
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Wow I've had the same problem for the last 5 years with my 02 f-350 been that way since I bought it with 45000 miles on it. I have a banks six gun have geared it to 4:11 had 3 different mechanics look at it and they say they can't find anything wrong with it. Got boost hpop good. No leaks. It's just gutless with something behind it. Builds high egts on inclines. If u figure out your problem please post the fix cause I'd like to fix mine I had a 2000 model f-250 that pulled great. If all fords pulled like mine then they wouldn't be in business anymore. Please somebody help this guy and me as well I also saw a guy post this same prob recently on powerstroke towing board Help us
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-20-2011, 07:24 PM
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Check all the turbo boots and check the oring in the intake spider. You could have a leak there which is more noticeable with a load.

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post #5 of 31 Old 01-20-2011, 08:10 PM
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something is definately wrong.. yeah, tuners and all are nice. but My dad has a totaly stock 02 7.3 with 150k on it and it hauls a 10k work trailer around like its no big deal, you notice it on steep hills obviously(its montana, they are actually hills). Mine with just intake and straight pipe will tow the same trailer no problem. and I also haul a trailer loaded up with firewood that weights easily 3-4k and the thing honestly doesnt even know its there other then if you try to lug it around and not let the turbo work.

I have had my sled deck and 2 sleds and crap in the bed(2500#) and a 2 place trailer with a sled on it and besides the body roll, i couldnt tell you i had anything behind me and thats pulling a LOT of long hills (1k+ verticle)

IMO, you would need gauges to see if the turbo is doing its thing and getting you the boost your supposed to have. also, to see if your egts are looking right makin sure you ahve all the fuel you got. turbo issues would show up when you load the thing up and want boost.. i would be curious what your hitting. also, 6637 filter is cheap and easy and I know it really helped mine out a bit. and if you dont mind some extra sound, straight pipe the stock exhaust, really wakes em up. not really dealing with the problem, but easy cheap mods that help none the less.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-21-2011, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help so far. My trailblazer has a 4,000lb maximum tow capacity and it can out tow my 7.3. Something is wrong. When we went camping for the first time in the excursion and towed the 3,000lb popup trailer my uncle said wow do you even know it's back there? I didn't have the heart to tell him, but I knew the powerstroke was struggling. I have lost some of my manhood with this truck. You know you buy this huge beast of a diesel and then it can't pull. Makes me feel depressed and taken advantage of. Now to get my manhood back I need to fix this rig and need some help.

Ok so I need to check boost pressure to start. What's next?

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-21-2011, 05:47 AM
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Hope you get it worked out. My ex is a towing beast, hardly ever has to down shift, and runs like a raped ape. It does have a few "goodies" on it though. Do you happen to know anyone near you with a hand held tuner to let you borrow and feel the difference? Do you have guages to see boost level? Sound like a leak some where. Good luck

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post #8 of 31 Old 01-21-2011, 07:08 AM
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Something is definitely wrong. Have you tried adjusting/unplugging your wastegate? Do you have gauges on the truck?

My truck hasn't been stock for a long time, but it isn't a power beast either, and it's never done anything like what you're talking about. Even when towing stock way back when, I never remember thinking, wow, this is awful compared to my F-150...

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post #9 of 31 Old 01-21-2011, 07:12 AM
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please data log your hpo readings......... or at lease find out what psi you are running when driving.

cause right off you make it sound your hpop is worn or something related.

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Last edited by Jarrod B; 01-21-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-21-2011, 08:41 AM
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i agree. get logs. find someone with AE or something. i wonder about HPOP issues.


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