New member, wanted to give account of 7.3 that won't die
I just joined the forum and figured I would give the story so far of my 99 f250 that has been abused probably most of its life, and still is a daily driver, even after the engine ran away.
Pat yourselves on the back for choosing to own such an indestructable vehicle.
I was cruising craigslist about 10 years ago, and came across a 99 f250 with the 7.3. $2000, 250k on the clock, and stated it was running rough. I have 2 other 7.3's, so figured it might be wise to go snatch it up for a parts truck.
Went to go check it out, and it appeared to have been abused to hell. It wasn't running too rough, maybe felt like one cylinder wasn't hitting. It also had no air filter. Gave $1600 for it, and it drove home ok. Changed the filters, oil, ect, and added jerry rigged air filter (fyi a round air filter out of a Hummer H2 clamps perfectly into the round rubber intake tube where the intake/filter box should be.)
Drove it like this for about five years... the rough running got better, but never fully went away. (my other 7.3's pretty much sit while I use this as a daily driver, 60 miles a day, to try and wear it out, so it can finally be a parts truck.)
5 years ago my girlfriend rear ended someone, breached the radiator, and drove it 5 miles home. I was at work at the time, when I got home I found it was completely out of coolant and expected engine failure. I started it, and sounded good. Got a new radiator, and all was good! Continued driving it.
Shortly after, I was flooring it to merge onto the freeway when it suddenly lost power and kind of "popped". I assumed a turbo air boot blew or something, and drove it back to work with hardly any power.
Upon inspection, I noticed the jerry rigged air filter was out from the intake tube it was clamped in. I got to the turbo, and found a big cotton "puff" in the front intake part of the turbo. Feeling like I was a detective in an episode of "CSI: Dumbass" I concluded that the filter had become dislodged during the prior accident, and stayed like that for a while. Then during my heavy acceleration, it sucked up a pair of cotton gloves that I kept in the plastic box where the original air filter should have been, kept under the hood for checking oil or whatnot.
The turbo was toast, and I found one on Ebay used for $300. Got it installed and let it idle in the garage for a few minutes.
It idled fine, but as soon as I gave it some gas, the engine ran away. Scared me to hell, and I bailed and accepted the fact that this was probably the end of the truck. After probably 10 seconds of the engine racing at what I can assume was maybe 10k rpm, way past redline, it just fizzled out and died. I reluctantly tried to start it again, this time with a second person ready to choke the air intake, and it cranked right up. Gave it gas- fine.
I believe the bad turbo had been dumping oil into the intercooler during my drive to work after the $300 glove incident, and due to lack of airflow, just pooled in the intercooler. After putting on the new turbo, it had enough airflow to suck up the wayward oil, and run away, until the oil in the air system was consumed.
To my amazement, the engine still runs the same as before, and I am still driving it today with almost 350k miles. Still has the same lope, but I have no inclination to spend time and money to fix it.
I did add two drywall screws to the air filter contraption, though.
Thanks for reading!