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Old 04-21-2012, 10:26 PM   #15
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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As far as having a turbo, look at practically every semi-truck on the road these days. ALL of them have (and have had) turbos. With the turbocharger now having oil pumped to the bearings, as well as a coolant cooling line, a turbo will go far.
I've owned 5 different turbo cars over the past 27 years, and never had a turbo failure on any of them.
Will say this, if you're out drag racing with a turbo'd engine, be sure to sit for a minute or two after your 'race' to let the turbo 'spin-down' before shutting off engine.
Oh, change that oil per manufacturer's guidelines.
Thanks, Derek

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Old 04-21-2012, 10:39 PM   #16
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1982 34' Limited
Brunswick , Georgia
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Ihad a 2000 f250 crew cab 4x4 with the 7.3. Great truck, the only issue I had with mine was the Gem module going bad and the dealer frying the fuse box trying to replace it.
If you have someone else change the oil for you, always double check the levels when they are finished. The 7.3 takes 16qts, the newer models don't take as much and sometimes it gets missed. Also change the fuel filters regularly. They are right on top and easy to get to.

1982 34' Limited
2000 Excursion V10 4x4
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:57 PM   #17
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
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We have the 1996 7.3 powerstroke... great motor, runs well. Just put a new water pump on it after 176K miles. Make sure your transmission cooler is large enough if you pull in steep mountains; our 1996 was somewhat undersize. A tranmission temp gage is always a good idea.

If it has been reasonably maintained, you really cannot go wrong w/ one of these.

- Bart
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:21 AM   #18
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1981 27' Excella II
mays landing , South Jersey
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We have a 2000 7.3 F250. Agree with Barts. The Achilles heel is the tranny in my opinion, But still a great truck. Sal.
Sal & Nora
Let us live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
AIR 42483
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:52 PM   #19
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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In about thirty years of Ford offering light duty trucks with diesel engines, the 7.3L Powerstroke -- over only a few model years -- is the single time they got it right. Tons of info on Powerstroke Nation and other Ford forums about best maintenance practice, problem diagnosis, and correcting weak points. All of which is worth many, many hours of time to find . . some board consensus opinions are worth getting past for genuinely useful information.

The HEUI injectors are worth learning about.

For example, the headlamp housings are likely kaput (gone opaque). There is a very nice upgrade to more advanced later model housings worth pursuing (and doing relay-driven lamps, too). Etc.

B50 life on a IH-sourced FORD is 7500-hrs or about 250k miles.

An extended cab long bed ought to be great for towing. A close-fit, cab height LEER bed topper would look great and add about 170 c/f of storage without subtracting too much from mpg.

See 2Airishumans thread on Ford mirror upgrade addition (as well as anything else he wrote or noted about this truck brand; some very good insights even though later models. Especially on hitch rigging and springs).

If there is interest in improving mpg, then posts & threads by Big Dave on Powerstrokenation or Ecomodder should be followed up. Understanding the role of axle gearing (tire height) and aero qualities will make that Ferd its' best with an A/S behind it. (See especially his posts and the threads of others about Aerolid bed toppers where double digit mpg percentage increases can be found).

Take that dude out and scale it with driver and full fuel for an adjusted "empty" weight.

Good luck

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:41 AM   #20
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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It is pretty common for transmissions to go out around 100k if the truck is used a lot for towing. The torque from that motor tends to put a hurting on the transmissions. I would have the trans checked out and have the fluid checked. It never hurts to have a good transmission temp gage and bigger oil cooler if needed. I use a Scanguage II for monitoring all kinds of stuff. Torque converter slip ratio is good because it tells you when the coverter is locked. When it is not locked you can overheat the trans real fast.

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Old 04-23-2012, 06:49 AM   #21
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Turbos have been used on large trucks for decades. Turbos got a bad name in the 80's when they were first put on cars. A lot of them were not water cooled and consumers did not know how to take care of them and let the turbo cool a little before shutting them off. Many of them were cheaply made as well. Also you take a 4 cylinder engine and double the HP then things are going to break. Engines that are designed form the bottom up for a turbo are just as reliable as anything else. It is not uncommon to get several hundred k out of the early powerstrokes.

Use synthetic oil because it makes the turbo last longer and the rest of the engine as well.


Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
And that's part of the question. I'm not a diesel guy either. Never owned one, but have driven a few courtesy of Uncle Sam. I'm curious of the members here that may own/have owned this era truck what they are like mechanically. One thing that bothers me is that this one is turbo charged. How reliable are these critters? Legend has it that diesels last for hundreds of thousands of miles. What about those built in this time?

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #22
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1974 25' Tradewind
Ann Arbor , Michigan
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My 94 F250 rusted out at the rear spring perches, my bolt in Ford hitch, and brake lines on the inside frame rails under the cab. Much other rust as well, but not as critical as those. Took about 12 years in Michigan. The truck you show isn't rusty from my perspective!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:34 PM   #23
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
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I have been looking also. The more I look the more confused I get and the louder Adrienne's voice gets with the word NO!

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #24
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1972 27' Overlander
Penokee , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Turbos,,, if one allows them to have a cool down moment after a hard pull,, will last almost 2 engine life's.. That is to say to just pull off the road after a hard pull and not let them idle a few minutes to cool down will bake the oil inside and apply too much heat to the oil seals..

From the photos,, like they said above,, check out the trans condition and if the price is right I would jump all over it..

The best trick on any auto trans,, if they are constantly searching for a gear to run in,, just pull it back a notch and let them run in that gear till the hills settle down or conditions change.. That gear hunting between direct and overdrive is hard on them..


2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

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