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Old 01-18-2012, 12:23 PM
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Do's & Don'ts for 7.3

Hey guys, new to the forum here and also new to the diesel world. I have been doing alot of research on pickups and ended up buying a 2002 F-250 Crew Cab Lariet, very nive truck and only has 100,000, took me a long time to find this one. Any ways to the point of my post. I have read alot on here and was wondering if you guys can give me some advice for a new diesel owner.

Also was wondering if it hurts for it to sit for extended periods of time? im over seas right now and wont be home for a least 4-5 months.

For example i read somewhere that k&n air filters are not good for your truck somthing about dusting. Is this a true statement? DIY seems to be a pretty popular choice. What is DIY?

What oil should i use for oil changes? and Filter.

How often do you change the fuel filters?


Any winter advice? I live i south dakota and it gets pretty cold here, and i know diesel trucks dont care for the cold that much.

I was thinking you guys could give me some general pointers on what to do and what not to do, whatever you can think of basiclly.

Sorry for such a hefty post, i need alot of help to get me going with this pickup, i dont want to got and mess up my truck because of something simple i didnt do. Thanks
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:43 PM
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K&N filters flow more, yes. They do this at the cost of letting bigger particles, dust, through. Turbo blades spinning at 100,000+ rpm like to be left alone.

They DIY intake is a 6637 (part number) filter a few hose clamps and about a 6" long piece of 4" diameter pipe.
I used a 8037 filter and a 4 inch (maybe it was 3") pvc fitting. Cost me $20 vs ~$50 that the 6637 does. The original application for a 8037 is on a GMC 7500 and 8500 truck so I think it flows just fine for our trucks.

I like the Rotella T6 synthetic 5w-40. Not cheap but I go between 5-7.5k on an oil change. I also use the Mobil 1 filter that is designed for the longer change intervals. That being said I know the previous owner of my truck always had Ford do it with the Motorcraft oil and filter. As long as the oil is a diesel rated oil, to each their own.

Fuel filter, as long as the fuel you get is decent, you shouldn't have to worry all that much. I check it every other oil change and if it needs replaced, then I do it. The 7.3s are a lot stronger than say the 6.4s fuel system wise.

As long as your glow plugs are in good shape and the motor itself is healthy you should have no problems in the winter. The relay can/does go bad and the Stancor unit is the upgraded replacement of choice around here. Your truck should have a block heater as well and if you're plugging it in, 3-4 hours is all that is really necessary before you start the truck.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:44 PM
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First, to the ORG!
Second, I'm assuming you're in the military - Thanks for serving.

I'd say if it's going to sit there are a couple of things you can do. Put some anti-gel fuel additive in it, drive it around a bit to let it get into the whole system and then park it and disconnect the batteries -OR- put them on a smart trickle charger. Alternative to that is, if you have someone in SD who could start it and let it run ever now and again, you'd be okay.
K&N. Yeah - As the saying goes...some swear by them, some swear at them. You'll get lots of opinions. I've had one on my truck for several years. I don't seem to having any trouble. Although, my truck is a street truck. I don't off-road, live up a long dirt road, etc. The DIY filter is a large round filter than can be added to the truck's intake. Do a search for Napa 6637 filter. That should tell more about it.
Oil - some say in colder climates you can run a 5-40 oil instead of the normal 15-40 oil. Some say synthetic over dino.
Filters - I'd use the recommended service duration.

Winter advice. The anti-gel stuff (Walmart sells PowerService DieselKleen in a white bottle - It has it in it) If you can, plug in the block heater. May wanna put it on a timer so it's isn't on ALL the time. It's about 1000W.

I'm sure others will chime in too.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:08 PM
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Welcome!

Sitting isn’t the best for them. If you can run it, run it! Some of the issues can be rust in the turbo, oil getting nasty, if outside, you don’t want your oil pan sitting around in the weeds long.

Oil – feel free to run 5/40 Synthetic year round. Some people will say it is too thin – run away quick, they know nothing about oil! At operating temp, it is the same weight as 15/40. I send my 5/40 to the lab ever 5/6k – I have the same amount of shear as motorcraft 15/40. Youre all good year round with synthetic 5/40. I would only run motorcraft, or international filters on your truck. Dieselfiltersonline has them cheap.

For the fuel filters…. Really depends. I get my fuel from a station that has a lot of traffic. The fuel is clean and free of water. I change every 15k. Now If I was filling up from a pump that is sketchy or from the back of a construction truck, I would do it sooner.

Intake – only way to go is the DIY intake. I never did one on my 7.3 but should.

Winter operation – anti gel is good. Opti Lube makes one heck of a product. Cetane, anti gel, and lube increase. Great stuff! Plug it in for 4 hours or so. The sweet spot for all these international motors is right around 4/5 hours. Anything more is a waste. Example = my truck will be at 110* coolant temp when plugged in for 4 hours in 18* weather. When plugged in for 7 hours, coolant is at 110*

You have a diesel truck….drive it, love it, use it, flex its muscles often.


As far as donts. Dont freak out if it isnt running right..... Its a 7.3 More than likley the issue will end up being bad fuel or an ICP!

Last edited by Galaxie; 01-18-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:35 PM
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i run 5-40 synthetic oil year around never have a problem it makes the truck start better in the cold. the 7.3 is a strong motor i would stay away from the k&n filter
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:04 AM
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I run rotella 15-40 for now with 5k intervals. Next change I am switching to synthetic and will go for 7-8k intervals. Always use motorcraft filters, can't go wrong.

I change the fuel filter every 5k.

When my truck sits and its cold out I run the diesel clean anti gelling through it. I upgraded the glow plug relay to the Stancor and plug it in for 3 hours before I start.

Like has aleady been said store it with diesel clean in the tank, batteries on a trickle charger (don't leave them sitting on the floor)
If you can have someone start it for you, realize that its not a quick, run it for two minutes and shut it off. That's hard on the truck. They need to drive it easy to get it to operating temp (gets the moisture out of the engine) before shutting it back down

Sent from my DROID3
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:13 AM
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I've always changed my fuel filter every 2 oil changes since I live in an area with fuel stations that have a lot of diesel traffic. But that's just me.

As far as cold starting, I live in Texas so I'm in no way a cold expert , but when it did get down to 18* in the mornings and I didn't plug in, 2 strong batteries and a good GPR does the trick for me.

As for oil and filters, I run Rotella 5w-40 and a Motorcraft filter. Great results with this combo.

I have no experience whatsoever with the 6637 filter. I have a S&B enclosed intake. Works for me and sounds SWEET.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:51 PM
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I just got my first 7.3 in October 2011, but my father and brother have had five or six 7.3's and they passed their tips on to me. Personally, I just switched my truck over to the synthetic Amsoil 15w40 Heavy Duty/Marine oil because I plan on having this thing for the next 10-15 years...but even if you run the dino oil, constant fluid changes is the key to engine longevity. My brother BEATS his 2002 with 205k miles and runs dino Rotella 15w40...but he changes it every 3,500 miles and his truck still runs like new. They also told me to only trust the Motorcraft oil filters, and change the fuel filter every other oil change. Always keep a spare fuel filter in the truck. As far as intakes, I just bought an S&B intake and straight-piped my truck with a 4" turbo back pipe and the truck seems to breathe a lot better. My next step is a 6.0 trans cooler, and converting the transmission and diffs to Amsoil synthetics. I live in FL so I don't have any cold weather tips for you! Also, I try to fill-up at truck stops whenever possible because they cycle through their diesel frequently, therefor it should have less contaminates.

Last edited by E-Man; 01-19-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:18 PM
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Sounds like you got a pretty solid truck, I am not sure you will have any troubles with your truck and if you do the guys on here will be more than willing to help out. I run a k&n filter and I think it's been great! Dont know the part number, I seen this big giant tube style k&n on the shelf and thought to myself that should fit.. and it did. It flows something serious, i researched the part number when I bought it and it flows considerably more than competitors cold air box/filter. Hope the truck treats you well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:47 AM
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How do you logically explain the synthetic oil mechanism which results in easy start in winter?
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