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Old 04-22-2009, 02:56 PM
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what to look for

Im going to check out a 99 F250 Powerstroke diesel this evening. The owner says that it smokes on startup, after it warms up its gone. I asked if it was white or blue and allegedly its blue.

What could I be in for. Hes asking $3500.00, so it sounds like a great deal. But I would like to know what to look for. I've never owned a diesel before, but am mechanically inclined.

Any and all help appreciated.

Erik
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:09 PM
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Some smoke on a cold start is normal, especially if the glow plugs or the relay that runs them are faulty. But, that smoke should be white, not blue. Blue smoke means oil, and could mean there are big troubles on the horizon.
Some things to check:
Pull the intake off and check the turbo for play. A small amount of side to side movement is normal (as long as you can't get the wheel to touch the housing) but any in and out play means the turbo is waving bye-bye. Also make sure the blades on the turbine wheel don't look jagged, bent, or otherwise damaged- they should be straight and smooth.
With the engine running (preferrably up to operating temp) remove the oil fill cap and place it upside down over the fill tube. If it gets blown off that is a bad sign, if it just rattles off from the engine vibration you're good.
Take a flashlight and look for wet spots in the engine valley. Ideally there won't be any.
Peek at the coolant overflow bottle and make sure that there is only coolant in there- fuel or oil would be obvious as they would separate from the coolant.
Those are the basics to go over aside from the usual brakes, ball joints, etc. Good luck with it.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:24 PM
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SD covered it really well so make sure you check everything. 3500 is REALLY cheap for a 99. I payed 3g for my regular cab 94 PSD and couldnt be happier
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:34 PM
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I was thinking 3500 was a great deal, as long as no major issues. Owner speaks broken english, so Ill get more info when I check it out myself this evening.

What tools should I bring with me to check out suggestions. Will a slotted and phillips screwdriver, along with a crescent and a flashlight work. Or is there more that is needed. Ive got plenty of hand tools, just dont want to have to roll out the whole box so to speak.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:18 PM
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Ya those tools should cover it. Intake and everything that way can be taken off with a flat-head screwdriver. Anything else you run into wont be too complex without really tearing the thing apart. Also, Since it is a 3/4 ton make sure you look underneath at balljoints, tie rods, etc. If you can, lift up the front end and check for any tire play (side to side, top to bottom) and look to see if the front tires are cupped or worn funny. That is a lot of weight to be on a ****ty setup like the twin-ibeam on these trucks and can mean a lot of hassle if stuff is worn out. Good luck man! Thats an awesome deal if everything looks pretty good.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:23 PM
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I just realized....If you feel like running to wal-mart and grabbing the july issue of Diesel World they have a section specifically dedicated to what to look for when buying a used diesel and the truck used is a 7.3. Its a great write-up with tons of detail and pictures. It would help a lot
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:35 PM
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Thanks Kyle and superduty. Just got back from looking at that POS. Wouldnt start after 40 + min of trying. fuel and other fluids in the valley between the heads. intercooler pipes almost have holes rubbed in them from rubbing on hoses and such. more stop leak in the radiator than most auto parts stores stock. Interior was ripped up and cig burned. Might not have seemed so bad if it would have started and I knew that it needed some work. But I wouldnt know where to start with it.
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:53 AM
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If the rig is that bad off, just keep looking. Even if it had started, I'd be afraid of what kind of "maintenance" it has had in the past.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:02 PM
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there was a serious lack of maintenance. The owner didnt know a lick about it, or at least played dumb very well.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:56 AM
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thanks kylev now i gotta go to the store and find that copy of diesel world since im going to look at a 7.3l myself this weekend
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