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Old 04-29-2014, 10:09 PM   #1
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2002 F-250 7.3L diesel.. good, bad, ugly

My buddy in havlock nc, a retired marine, has a 2002 F-250 diesel 7.3L and was telling me he did not know anything about them before he got this one.

come to find out the 2000-03.25 7.3L model was some of the best diesel motors ford every put in Pickups..

i have heard/read horror stories about the 6.0L engine i think they made the switch to in second quarter of 2003 according to wiki.

SO i am now looking at this as a good TV and was looking for input on them. My friends is a 4 door version and he was saying it a bear to park and drive around in parking lots due to length.

any advise and comments especially on fuel mileage welcome.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:03 PM   #2
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Big trucks need big spaces to maneuver. If you have good depth perception and a sense of size, you can park closer to the store but otherwise you'll be using the far end of the lot. I have a crew cab 2500 4x4 which is about about the same size, plus years of commercial driving experience, so i don't mind the extra effort on the few occasions I'm in congested areas and have to thread the needle so to speak. However, if its your daily driver in addition to TV, then it can be a real hassle.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:53 PM   #3
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I had that exact truck from 2002 to 2007, sold it with 182,xxx miles. It was a very good truck. The only weak spot is the auto tranny, which needs help. The torque converter is not HD enough to take the torque from that engine. Also, the 4R100 tranny needs to have upgraded parts like from www.suncoastconverters.com along with their converter. Once that is done, you will have little issues with the 7.3, except as mentioned, a 40 acre field to turn it around. Just plan on getting your exercise from parking in the back of the parking lot at wallyworld. The 7.3 diesels are in high demand and very popular, still.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:54 AM   #4
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Agree with first two posts. Great TV. Have yet to get it to the point of breathing hard. On tranny #2 after 112,000 miles and $4,000. Sal
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:20 AM   #5
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I have a 96... it will be For Sale... after I die... maybe. Mine has 148,000 on it. Agree that the automatic tranny needs beefing up. Mine is overdue for a rebuild, just haven't gotten to it yet. Yup need 40 acres to turn around in, but that is true of most of the larger pickups. Want handling get a Fiat 500, want a truck that will pull anything and everything get a 7.3l PSD. I would stay completely away from the 6.0. The 6.7 seems to be getting decent reviews, but they are newer and pricier.

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Old 04-30-2014, 06:07 AM   #6
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Perhaps worth mentioning that a more nimble truck can come in really useful in State or, here in Canada, Provincial Parks where there's lots of trees in the campgrounds.

I've been in a couple of situations where I managed to back the trailer in with inches to spare - by then off course, we've got a 34'. If that's not on the agenda, then no worries.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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Have a 2000 F-350, 7.3 diesel crew cab dually pulling a 34' AS and am 58' long when hooked up. At Wally World we always park truck on the outside edge away from parking congestion along with other big trucks. In ten years of full timing had very few places we couldn't get into. When going to a restaurant, always looked for a straight in parking place where we wouldn't get 'pinched' in by others parking around us. Otherwise, we'd park well away from congestion and get exercise by walking.

When towing, we averaged 12.5 mpg and rig weighed in at over eight tons. Have not had any tranny problems but have replaced turbo several times in 189,000. Great truck.

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Old 04-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #8
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In reading in other forums it seems the 4r100 trans is the weak link. I found this place that sell/installs a HD trans for this engine. Sorta like the guys pappy was referring to but they do a complete build and can install.

E4OD, 4R100 Transmission from PATC, E4OD, 4R100 these guys have built a HD trans and you can get HD torque converter as well. Seem to address the weakness of the stock trans.

Was wondering about turbo.. have read the stock one are good for some 150K miles?.. Is there a good place to get a better one or just go back with stock rebuilt version.

I know just from reading the 6.0L are to stay away from unless they had gotten the 10K up grade most need at some point.. I know there will be the 6.0 owners who never had a problem but that seem to be the exception rather than the norm like with the 7.3L

Love to hear of the MPG on this unit from guys like oldtimer.. 12.5 pulling a 34 footer with a F-350 is most likely 2.5 higher than a 6L gasser i am guessing..

What is the avg unloaded MPG? i read stuff that says 19-22 for some guys..

That is not bad number for something that is a beast

I see units online with 150k to 290K miles going for 16K or less.. did see two with less than 89K going for closer to 25K.. was thinking that was to high for my budget..

ps looking for a good unit call me.. or pm.. can travel

PSS.. are most of you guys 2x4 or 4x4.. most seem to be 4x4 for sale.. any issues with front end on 4x4??
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:30 AM   #9
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I get 13 mpg towing a 27' AS and around 19-20 solo. 2000 F-250 2x2. Sal
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:10 PM   #10
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carl, I bought an updated turbo housing from Gale Banks Engineering... it is still sitting in the box at the house, haven't had time to do anything with it yet. When I talked to the guys at GB their recommendations for what I was doing was the updated turbo housing, 6" big bore exhaust (ditch the cat?), exhaust brake and a new breather.

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Old 04-30-2014, 01:22 PM   #11
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Once you start trying to "improve" the 7.3, it hardly never stops. Once you change one thing, you will need to improve something else. About the only thing you need to change on the turbo is adding a "wicked wheel" to remove the turbo flutter at about 2000 rpm's. You can get your turbo rebuilt and balanced for a reasonable price and have the wicked wheel installed at the same time. Banks equipment has been hit & miss on 7.3's and once you start using Banks, you'll have to use all Banks mods. The majority of 7.3 users don't install any Banks equipment, more and better options out there.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
carl, I bought an updated turbo housing from Gale Banks Engineering... it is still sitting in the box at the house, haven't had time to do anything with it yet. When I talked to the guys at GB their recommendations for what I was doing was the updated turbo housing, 6" big bore exhaust (ditch the cat?), exhaust brake and a new breather.

Aaron
so what kinda price tag that have.. I see the turbo housing but no prices..

Banks Power Quick-Turbo Assembly #24457
i found this on another site. do you have to replace the compressor wheel as well.. This will allow the turbo to last longer is that the plan or for more power and better MPG.? I guess with a new exhaust the power is better not back to the transmission issue.. how much is too much for the stock trans.

I can see this race to the top for these guys but how much do you get back with the money spent.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:11 PM   #13
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If you really want to upgrade your 7.3, ITP in Phoenix is the best I ever ran into. His 7.3 mods are way better than Banks products and he can assist you in a "gradual" improvement of your 7.3.


Strictly Diesel - Diesel Performance Parts
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #14
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I run a 96 F250 extended cab with 156k and have had no problems other than routine maintenance. Considering I paid 6k for it I'm not complaining. I put a carpet kit and leather seats in it and it does what a 50k dura max does in plenty of comfort and reliability. I get about 15 mpg on flat ground keeping it at 63-64.
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