is 7.3L good or bad daily driver - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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is 7.3L good or bad daily driver

hi everyone im new here nice to meet you all. for the longest time i been trolling around and looking up info on powerstrokes. i really wanted a Diesel truck since for ever and im in the market for a new vehicle. currently own a f150 and within the next few days im going out to see a 2003 7.3L what are some things to look out for and is that a good year? also can this be a good daily driver currently i drive between 250-300 miles a week going to school and work. i say 200 is highway miles. im not too worried on price of fuel my f150 has a small v8 4.6L i manage to get betwen 12-15 mpg what can i expect with a 7.3L. sorry for all these question i apologize in advance and thank you for taking the time to read.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave_73 View Post
hi everyone im new here nice to meet you all. for the longest time i been trolling around and looking up info on powerstrokes. i really wanted a Diesel truck since for ever and im in the market for a new vehicle. currently own a f150 and within the next few days im going out to see a 2003 7.3L what are some things to look out for and is that a good year? also can this be a good daily driver currently i drive between 250-300 miles a week going to school and work. i say 200 is highway miles. im not too worried on price of fuel my f150 has a small v8 4.6L i manage to get betwen 12-15 mpg what can i expect with a 7.3L. sorry for all these question i apologize in advance and thank you for taking the time to read.
Well things to look for is how well maintained by the previous owner was the truck. if they took care of it the 7.3l can run forever and thats the last year they made the 7.3 before all the emissions crap so thats probably the best year to get of all super duties. Look for what kind of mods they have, (i.e. intake, exhaust, tunes). Personally i have always looked at how well someone takes care of their interior as an indicator of how they took care of the engine because if they dont care about the place they see and sit in everyday why would they care how they engine was.

As for a dd its very possible, if it has/you get good tunes, turbo back exhaust, and a good intake(not k&n crap) you could probably get the same if not better mpgs than your f150 somewhere around 18 avg id say pending what size tires/lift it has.

Other than fuel prices what you need to think about is maintenance costs. These diesel trucks are way more expensive to maintain than a gasser. Oil change alone is damn near 100 bucks depending on what oil you get and you must change the oil regularly in a diesel. Regular maintenance is HUGE on a diesel. Unlike a gasser if you dont change the fluids when your supposed to oh well it will probably be fine, with a diesel its paramount to not miss intervals.

One more thing...research research research. Powerstroke.org will become your best friend. you need to look into everything you do before you do it because if you screw things up its very expensive to fix stuff.

As for what to expect from a 7.3...you could pull a house down with these beasts and they will treat you just as good as you treat it. Good luck with your search and

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 09:42 PM
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Are you the type to properly maintain and love a vehicle? They are great daily drivers for the people that take the time to understand them and take care of them.
Expect 15 mpg, then if its better you'll be pleasantly surprised and if its worse you wont be to sad. People seem to get between 11 and 20 MPG. I get 15, mostly suburban around town type roads.

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post #4 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 09:56 PM
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the 2003 7.3 was the last of the 7.3 they are fine for a daily driver. before you start the truck lift the hood and take off the oil fill cap and start the truck. try and do a cold start on the truck watch for blow-by excessive smoke coming from the oil fill hole. crawl under the truck and check the oil pan for rust the oil pans on the 7.3 are known to rust out the only way to fix is to pull the engine. check the antifreeze and make sure there is no oil in it and check the oil and make sure there is no antifreeze in it the oil cooler are known to go bad on the 7.3. the 7.3 is a very reliable engine and you should get around 16 miles per gallon depending on how heavy your right foot is lol.


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post #5 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone for your replys. i have some knowledge on maintenance. i always did my maintenance on my 150 and i am very aware of the oil change situation with high pressure oil and injection system. also know its much more expensive than a gasser repair. i found a truck with under 140k miles from the pictures it looks to be in really nice shape. one thing i did notice that kinda caught my eye was it had a bed liner that looks new. do you think maybe they can be hiding a 5th wheel or goose neck hitch mounts?
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-07-2013, 10:18 PM
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Honestly, so what if they are? These trucks were made to tow things. I wouldn't balk at 140K because of a hitch mount. Now, if they're hold metal in place with the bed liner, that's different. Get underneath it and look. If it's chopped, you'll know. It's it's replaced right, you'll know... Check the normal stuff, check front end parts, make sure everything is tight. If it looks, sounds, and has no performance (but no smoke) then it's solid. If it has the go of a 4cyl, but smokes like a tire fire, the turbo is shot. Pull the intake housing and check the turbo fins just to be sure. If I got 15mpg on the freeway, I would be happy. That means it's a great candidate for a chip. You will not get decent mileage until you chip it. You will be sadly unimpressed compared to your F150. I went from 5.4 to the 7.3. Once I threw on a PHP chip the mileage was awesome. It put my 5.4 to shame, and does so ~1.5 ton heavier.

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post #7 of 16 Old 04-08-2013, 04:19 AM
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Do you NEED a diesel or just want one?

If you just want one, then I say they make a terrible daily driver. They ride like crap, cold mornings you have to plan ahead, fuel and parts are very expensive, oil changes are $100, parking them sucks, etc.

I too, had an F-150 with the 4.6. It was the best vehicle I've ever owned and never needed ANY repairs, other than standard wear items (oil, plugs, brakes, etc). Yes, fuel mileage in the F-250 is better, but I bet if I would have slowed down in the F-150 I could have gotten the same or better. My "ultra" reliable 7.3 has require many more replacement parts. You said you drive 300 miles per week... that will cost you around $80 in diesel alone right now. My beater/DD Crown Vic does it in half of that, around $40-44.

As for the new bedliner, it probably means the dealer is hiding a hitch in the bed. While it isn't a total turnoff, I'd want to know what were the old owners towing, and what else is the dealer trying to hide?

Don't get me wrong, I friggin love my truck and it isn't ever going anywhere... but you just have to be ready for them.

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post #8 of 16 Old 04-08-2013, 04:57 AM
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i'd go for a 7.3L with only 140K on it... they're reliable as hell and 140K isn't anything.. I've never had anyone hide a hitch on me, infact the dealer boasted it had a gooseneck preinstalled.. the only thing i'd be worried about is hiding a rusty bed with the bed liner.. chip it.. do the DIY 6637 intake and some exhaust.. you'll get good mileage and power and still have a reliable truck

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post #9 of 16 Old 04-08-2013, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaairman View Post
Do you NEED a diesel or just want one?

If you just want one, then I say they make a terrible daily driver. They ride like crap, cold mornings you have to plan ahead, fuel and parts are very expensive, oil changes are $100, parking them sucks, etc.

I too, had an F-150 with the 4.6. It was the best vehicle I've ever owned and never needed ANY repairs, other than standard wear items (oil, plugs, brakes, etc). Yes, fuel mileage in the F-250 is better, but I bet if I would have slowed down in the F-150 I could have gotten the same or better. My "ultra" reliable 7.3 has require many more replacement parts. You said you drive 300 miles per week... that will cost you around $80 in diesel alone right now. My beater/DD Crown Vic does it in half of that, around $40-44.

As for the new bedliner, it probably means the dealer is hiding a hitch in the bed. While it isn't a total turnoff, I'd want to know what were the old owners towing, and what else is the dealer trying to hide?

Don't get me wrong, I friggin love my truck and it isn't ever going anywhere... but you just have to be ready for them.
for the most part i just want one lol. i can deal with cold mornings and 80 bucks does not sound that bad i currently in my 150 go through the same in gas. one of my buddies has one but his is alot bigger crew cab and 8ft bed, the one im going to look at is a super cab short box.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-08-2013, 06:31 AM
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I'll concur with what everyone else has said... I cruise around 70 on the interstate here (keeping the rpm's around 2000) and I get a solid 17 mpg... If you can do the maintenance yourself it significantly cuts costs... look for oil and filters when they come on sale and snatch it up... I put about 300 miles on a week as well and I love it... as for a daily driver... Parking SUCKS (depending on your wheelbase), get good at backing into spots, drive through experiences can get old as well... I drop about $130 in fuel every two weeks, but to me it's worth it... and when I do pull, I never regret owning the 7.3...

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