Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Nov 2007
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3 cars on a lowboy is a hell of a load, you'll probably want a dually and may want to consider the F450 or F550. What else will the truck be used for? So long as you get a truck that has been cared for in the past it should provide many miles and years of reliable service. 150k is considered "just broke in" by a lot of folks. Get as much history on the rig as you can- was the oil changed regularly, any mechanical problems, etc. Also take the VIN and get an OASIS report- OASIS is Ford's database for tracking any and all work done on a rig by a Ford dealership and can have some helpful info.
Since you are new to PSD's it would be a good idea to take someone who is familiar with them along when you are shopping so that they can help identify what is normal and what is not as far as engine noise, throttle response, etc. Remember, these are big azz heavy trucks and in stock form they won't respond to the go pedal like a gasser.
Some of the most important things to check when buying used:
Look at the air intake. Signs of dust past the filter is not a good thing. The stock air box is notorious for not sealing well, and the dust and crap that gets through can damage the turbo and engine
Take a flash light and look in the engine valley (big gap between the heads) for puddles of fuel or oil. Also check for oil dripping from the rear of the engine or the transmission inspection panel if its an auto. There are a few common places for oil to leak that are an easy fix, but if they are leaking it may be a sign that the rig hasn't been cared for too well.
If you can, pull the intake and inspect the turbo for play. With the intake off and engine cold, reach in and grab the nut on the compressor wheel and try to wiggle it. A little side to side play is normal, ANY in and out play is a sign that the turbo is on its way out. Also check to make sure the fins on the compressor wheel are straight and smooth.
Look at the degas bottle (radiator overflow) and make sure there isn't any oil or fuel in the coolant (oil or fuel should separate out from the coolant and be quite apparent). This is a sign of a cracked injector cup or more expensive problems.
As far as maintenance goes, I don't think the day to day standard maintenance (oil changes etc) costs any more than a gasser. But there are a lot of expensive parts and sensors that can fail on a PSD- injectors, ICP, IPR, HPOP, turbo etc.
Since you plan to use the truck to haul a good sized load, be prepared up front to spend some extra $ for a good transmission cooler. The stock cooler from a 6.0 truck is the preferred one to have- it basically bolts right in and is HUGE. It would also be a good idea to get a good set of gauges to help monitor things- exhaust temp and trans temp at a MINIMUM. Boost is a good one to have also... most of us with autos get boost/trans/exhaust temp and the handshaker crowd just gets boost and exhaust temp. There are way more options if you want to add more down the road.
I've probably overwhelmed you with all that info... good luck with the hunt, don't be afraid to ask questions, and welcome to the site!
97 F350 CCLB 4x4 PSD