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Old 04-28-2012, 06:12 PM
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Confessions of a Diesel Mechanic

At the ripe old age of 30 i finally bought my first Diesel truck. It is a 2001 F250 Crew Cab Short Box. I spent 2 years in Diesel Mechanics schools, and many years and hours wrenching in the past 10 years. (not on Diesels) When I started looking into these forums I was overwhelmed with all the different opinions and mod options. Honestly, it is quite humbling finding out how little I know about these 7.3's. Which is why I'm here.... hoping for some help. Beginner questions:

1. I'm pretty sure this truck has an aftermarket exhaust. Its 4 inches at the rear. What exactly does this add to the engines performance?

2. I know it was used for towing by the previous owner, hence the B&W turnover and added pyro, tranny temp and turbo boost gauges. I pulled the PCM cover and didn't see a physical Chip added to the back. Does this mean there is no performance programming?

3. How can I tell if my Turbo is an aftermarket performance turbo?


4. The Air filter was a very dirty drop in K&N filter. I took it out and put in a regular one from my local parts store. Should I consider cleaning and reinstalling the K&N? Also the Airbox/battery cover is cut away rendering the intake tube that goes to the front grill useless. Should I try to find a new cover or just leave it as is?

5. Besides Changing oil and fuel filter, what else should I check? I know nothing of the history of this motor. 222000 miles.

6. I hate to even mention it, but I'd like to have a general idea of what I should be getting for mileage. It is an automatic with 3.73's. Will the bigger pipes help or hurt my mileage? How much is a tuner chip to help with mileage? suggestions? I don't need a ton of power, ( Then Why did I buy a Diesel? Because they are fun)

Thanks for any tips or help. Remember you are helping a diesel mechanic with a wounded ego.
Thanks agian
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:23 PM
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Howdy, and welcome to the ORG.

I'll try to answer a couple of your questions, as best I can. I own a 6.0L and my father-in-law has a 7.3L.

1) A 4" exhaust is all these trucks need exhaust wise. It will give you all the EGT drop you'll see in the aftermarket exhaust department.

2) The Pyro, Trans Temp, and Boost gauges are great for those looking to tow confidently with the 7.3L. Programming may still have been accomplished with an Edge Tuner, or Banks. Something that hooks up to the electronics under the hood, and intercepts and monitors the signals.

3) Can't answer, post a pic of yours, and someone here can ID it.

4) Trash the K&N. Inspect your turbo for any erosion, dirt, or play. As for filters, you have two options a DIY mod that is listed here alot is the 6670, or a retrofit of the Donaldson filter in the 6.0L. (If your truck sees a lot of dusty roads/conditions, go with the Donaldson for the health of the turbo).

5) Maintenance is about the only thing that the 7.3L asks of its owner.

6) Tunes will help with mileage a bit, but you don't need to go overboard with it. I've seen 18-20 mpgs out of a 7.3L in the right conditions. Which transmission the 4R100 or the ZF6?

There will be others who may fill in any blanks.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckraker View Post
At the ripe old age of 30 i finally bought my first Diesel truck. It is a 2001 F250 Crew Cab Short Box. I spent 2 years in Diesel Mechanics schools, and many years and hours wrenching in the past 10 years. (not on Diesels) When I started looking into these forums I was overwhelmed with all the different opinions and mod options. Honestly, it is quite humbling finding out how little I know about these 7.3's. Which is why I'm here.... hoping for some help. Beginner questions:

1. I'm pretty sure this truck has an aftermarket exhaust. Its 4 inches at the rear. What exactly does this add to the engines performance?

It allows the motor to get rid of exhaust quicker than factory. Unlike gas engines, diesels need as little back pressure as possible. This allows for quicker turbo spool up times.

2. I know it was used for towing by the previous owner, hence the B&W turnover and added pyro, tranny temp and turbo boost gauges. I pulled the PCM cover and didn't see a physical Chip added to the back. Does this mean there is no performance programming?

Where is the EGT probe located? Hopefully in the driver's side manifold.
No chip means no chip. It's rare for a 7.3 to be programmed, but is possible. Someone could have done the "10k" mod which adds a resistor to the ICP sensor on the driver's side valve cover.


3. How can I tell if my Turbo is an aftermarket performance turbo?

For an 01, the compressor housing should have a 3" inlet, and a certain compressor wheel. I'm not sure of the compressor housing size.
The exhaust housing is either a 1.0A/R or .84. I can never remember.


4. The Air filter was a very dirty drop in K&N filter. I took it out and put in a regular one from my local parts store. Should I consider cleaning and reinstalling the K&N? Also the Airbox/battery cover is cut away rendering the intake tube that goes to the front grill useless. Should I try to find a new cover or just leave it as is?

Look up the DIY/Tymar intake. Most popular, and cheapest intake option.
I have my intake tube to the grill partially still there. Mainly the bottom and sides of it. Also, look up the zoodad mod. It opens up airflow at the beginning of that intake tube pre filter.


5. Besides Changing oil and fuel filter, what else should I check? I know nothing of the history of this motor. 222000 miles.

7.3s are pretty forgiving when it comes to maintenance. Oil leaks are common though. There is a thread detailing common oil leaks, but it's really not that bad.

6. I hate to even mention it, but I'd like to have a general idea of what I should be getting for mileage. It is an automatic with 3.73's. Will the bigger pipes help or hurt my mileage? How much is a tuner chip to help with mileage? suggestions? I don't need a ton of power, ( Then Why did I buy a Diesel? Because they are fun) <---- I like you

With my truck in my signature, I can get 17 or so out of it. That's keeping the RPMs below 2k as much as I could.
That one being a little lighter I'm sure might get a mile better than mine. But some trucks just get terrible for some reasons: bad sensors, sticking brakes, etc.
A chip can get better mileage, but that depends on how you drive


Thanks for any tips or help. Remember you are helping a diesel mechanic with a wounded ego.
Thanks agian

Glad to have you. Replied in red.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:07 PM
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Pictures of the intake and turbo

Following up on your questions....... It has the automatic transmission. The door doesn't say 4R100 it actually says E4OD which I'm assuming means the same transmission.

I posted a picture of the turbo--not sure it that help determine anything about it's identity.

The EGT Probe appears to be on the drivers side, but it's not actually in the manifold its down the pipe a few inches.

The aftermarket gauges and the aftermarket intake (with missing parts) that you see in the picture all have Western Diesel Performance stickers on them which is what makes me wonder if there is a program on this thing? I looked at the ICP and I don't see any added resistors, so maybe I'm stock.

Any predictions on fuel mileage after the new info?

Also how often should I be changing my fuel filter?

And what do you all think of my intake?


Also-- I towed my fifth wheel and utility trailer down the highway yesterday for a test run. What is the weight limit that you would dare pull before you turn off your OD. And what is a safe RPM to run this motor at for Hours at at time? 3000???
Thanks for all the help--- I'll post more pics at your request.

One more thing--- this things starts great cold, but when it's up to temp I usually have to let it crank a little longer for it to start....Normal???? or beginning of a problem?
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Last edited by ckraker; 04-28-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2012, 04:48 AM
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Could you show us the place where you're seeing the trans numbers? I've never seen where you're talking about. But when they went from the Old Body Style to the Super Duty's, they went to a 4R100.
The compressor housing is stock. Not sure about the compressor wheel or turbine housing. The turbine housing will say what the A/R is.
As long as the EGT probe is before the turbo near the manifold, you're good.

Mileage probably won't be much different. Usually around 15-16 is a decent average.

I do my FF every 15k, more if I'm towing a lot and sending a lot of fuel through there.

Intake looks fine, that's how mine is. The stock air box is known for breaking and letting dirt in behind the filter.

As long as your trans isn't constantly hunting gears, run whatever you like. I keep my OD on unless I'll be running too slow and out of the power band for what weight I'm pulling.
And as long as you're not red-lining, you'll be fine. Never really heard of anything bad running high RPMs for a long time. Just watch your EGTs and trans temp of course.
If it starts longer hot, there may be an issue with the HEUI system.
How HEUI works and best to convert
Not to make you feel dumber, but read that It's the best explanation I've found for how our trucks run the injectors.
So, once your oil is hot, it's thinner. Usually 6.0s have an issue with small High Pressure Oil system leaks and no/long starts when hot since the oil is thin. There might be a leak externally or internally. I'd try an oil change first if it's about time. Every 5k, maybe 6.5k max unless you do a UOA.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Could you show us the place where you're seeing the trans numbers? I've never seen where you're talking about. But when they went from the Old Body Style to the Super Duty's, they went to a 4R100.
Now I feel even a little dumber..Ha

I just went to take a picture of my door tag, turns out there is not Transmission number on there. Guess I was seeing things. I'll just assume I have the 4R100 considering my year and the fact that it is an automatic.

Thanks everyone for all the help. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me more often.

So far my MPG rough estimate is at about 9 MPG, which makes me sick. (that is me assuming that the first quarter tank I burned was approximately 6 gallons of fuel. I figured this just by looking at my fuel gauge, so hopefully I'll get better calculations when I have more solid numbers.)
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:06 AM
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Get the solid numbers, that 7.3 shouldn't be that low unless you spend some time idling.

The E40D misunderstanding had me concerned, the 4R100 is the better transmission - couple of key things there is a 6.0L trans-cooler upgrade and BTS valve body.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:32 AM
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Yea don't even try going by the fuel gauge or the trip computer.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:23 PM
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Sad new 7.3 owner

Hey I got some numbers. Looks like my first 134 miles averaged a disappointing 12 MPG. Would be much much happier if I could find something to get me to the 15-16 that you say is a good average.

Before I bought this truck I asked many people what I could expect to get and the numbers varied a ton. The worst thing is that nobody (not even my local powerstroke genius) could tell me what makes one get better than another. I just hoped that mine would be at least average, not at the lowest number possible.

Any tips?? Please? I was even taking it easy on the throttle.

Fuel filter?
Air Filter?
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:34 PM
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Welcome to the org and the 7.3 MONSTER
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