This turned into more of a "talking it out with the keyboard" type post. After typing so much, might as well post it
Hey guys, we've been in the market for a ford excursion about three times over the past couple years, and have been looking again recently. I've always wanted a 7.3 but the ones I'm finding are still ridiculously priced.
If I wait around I might be able to jump on something if it happens to cross my path, but I'm all about scouring the internet. I have access to Oasis reports so I started running everything I could find within a hundred miles or so from my place. I've found a couple 03 - 05 that weren't horrible, and a few that could potentially be a nightmare. I was surprised to see some of the information in the reports about a couple 7.3's I looked up as well.
Anyway, The wife and I went to have a look at one (03) tonight, the Oasis is great IMO. The crankshaft seal was replaced shortly after purchase, recall 03E30 8 years ago, EBP sensor 8 years ago, recall 04S15 7 years ago, AC issues 6 years ago, recall 06E17 6 years ago, and ICP sensor replaced 4 years ago. Very typical stuff to be in one of these, even much better than most of the reports I've seen lately. The Carfax checked out too. 2 owner rig, maintenance done at a local dealership at 90k miles few years ago.
Rig is in pretty good shape inside and out. The engine compartment is very clean, fuel filters been replaced regularly (I was told) along with oil changes, newer tires, and new brakes. There wasn't any mods under the hood, stock exhaust, no extra gauges, I'd be shocked if it ever had a tuner. The guy had the dates of install written in sharpie on the batteries when i asked about them too. He gave me no reason to not believe anything he was saying.
There's a decent sized dent in the pass door (where one of his boys fell into it with a bike), and one above the rear drivers tail light in the pillar, he backed into something high enough to not set off the backup sensors. Don't think the dents will bother me, wife has no issue with them either (we're jeepers and have dents in our junk anyway). The paint appears to have been maintained well, looks like it's been waxed often, not even the typical fading where Ex's get them on the rear deck handle, etc. It looks garage kept, who the hell has a garage big enough for this thing anyway? It's been smoked in, but it's not super strong smelling. The guy has only towed with it occasionally.
I didn't crawl under it tonight because it was dark and rainy, but I intend to tomorrow to check out the crankshaft seal and rear main seal for leaks, along with anything else I can spot. It drove pretty well, steering was a little flighty, it's a bit expected though with over 100k. I'm sure it could use some new ball joints and front end work in the not so distant future.
Been doing a lot of thinking and researching tonight and I'm leaning towards picking it up. I'll see if I can negotiate a little, it looks like it's been paid off recently, but the guy seemed pretty set on his price.
Time to sleep on it for a couple hours, I'll post back tomorrow with an update. If anyone wants to bring up something I forgot to look for or just feel like posting please do! Take it easy.