I'm also in the market for one of the 99-02 7.3L's to pull our camping trailer with. I have a friend who works at a local Ford dealership that has offered to look over any truck I'm looking at purchasing, but I kind of like to dive head first and get my own hands dirty while I'm looking.
I don't really know anything about diesel engines or this year of trucks. I have an 07 F150 5.4L that I've come to know fairly well, but that's about it.
What kinds of things should I look out for?
Was any year that they made the 7.3's better than others?
Was the Powerstroke in all the Turbe Diesel Engines in those years or were there non Powerstroke versions of the 7.3 put out?
What about Transmissions? How long do they typically last?
What are some of the knowns for these trucks to commonly fail or go out?
How many miles is too many?
Sorry for the laundry list, just want to be prepared.
1) Have ford pull an oasis report for each vehical and review it
2) Look to see how clean the engine is, oil in the valley and so on
3) Rearend, make sure the seal is good and isn't leaking
4) Glow plugs and the relay for them
5) The OBS powerstrokes had 15* oil pumps while the 99.5+ powerstrokes had 17* oil pumps
6) Unless your looking for a 1994 and earlier truck they are all powerstrokes
7) Auto trans can usually last about 150 or so, depending on how well you build it up, and if you just put OEM parts back in it and start adding power to the engine it wont last near as long
8) We have about 8 powerstrokes at work and they all have between 500-145,000 miles(i work for govn't so we dont keep our trucks more then 12 years usually) But its not uncommon to see 7.3 powerstrokes roll over 600k. Several members here have some with well over 500k and another one has a powerstroke that just rolled over a million without a rebuild or anything
you can usually get an idea of how well the truck was taken care of by looking at it, if its a clean and well maintained you can most likely execpt a long life out of it