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1999 Ford 7.3

Old 06-07-2019, 02:04 PM
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Default 1999 Ford 7.3

Is it all that it's cracked up to be?

If I were to go look at one, what should I look for? I've never owned diesel, but a friend's dad is thinking about selling. Maybe "acquaintance" is a better description. I've been thinking about picking up a truck just to have for occasional use.

He's asking about 60% of NADA, interior looks decent, body looks good other than hood and roof paint, which is shot.

I don't need pretty. I need reliable. I don't want another vehicle to fix.

SO...... Everyone seems to love the 7.3.

What's your experience? What will I want/need to fix or improve?
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:46 PM
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It’s 20 years old. There’s a lot of rubber hoses, sensors, transmission(cooler), fuel tank filters/cleanup, suspension, etc. Anything addressed on it or is it the same as when it was purchased? Original turbo/leaky up pipes. Is it an early 99(there’s a difference w early and late 99-2003. It’s a dog without some performance upgrades.
i have poured quite a few dollars in my 2002 to make it right and most everything you can fix on your own. Just don’t be under the illusion that it’s “bulletproof” and will never have any problems. All that being said I don’t think i will be getting rid of my Excursion anytime soon w 260k on the clock.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:34 PM
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I expect to put some $$ in to it. An older guy owns it since new and he doesn't strike me as the preventive maintenance type of guy, but I won't know until I ask for records. If it cost me ~$2500 I would be OK with that, considering what I think I can get it for.

I'm just wondering what types of things I should look for. I've read something about issues with the auto tranny? Also wiring harnesses under the valve covers?

During a test drive what should I look for as far as smoke color on start up, while driving, and when I punch it?
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:56 PM
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Just check for blowby at idle, there should be no pressure at tbe fill cap. If no warning lights, and it runs and shifts strong, snatch it. Nothing to fix on them, they are workhorses
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:14 PM
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I bought mine new in '99, daily driver, tow vehicle for 13 years. Around 230K miles. ZERO PROBLEMS. Still miss that one.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:17 PM
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The truck will rust away before the engine fails. I will never sell my 2002.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by unobtanium View Post
Just check for blowby at idle, there should be no pressure at tbe fill cap. If no warning lights, and it runs and shifts strong, snatch it. Nothing to fix on them, they are workhorses
How do I check for that? Just put my hand over it and feel for pressure?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
How do I check for that? Just put my hand over it and feel for pressure?
Everyone here screams about getting a survey on a boat, spend $150.00 and take it to a good diesel shop! The are great engines, but nothing is perfect. My son has 470,000 miles on a 7.3 dually crew cab 4X4, runs great!
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by N747JB View Post

Everyone here screams about getting a survey on a boat, spend $150.00 and take it to a good diesel shop! The are great engines, but nothing is perfect. My son has 470,000 miles on a 7.3 dually crew cab 4X4, runs great!
^^Truth^^

Now I need to find a good diesel shop near me.....

Would it be stupid to bring it to the local Ford dealer for a check?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
^^Truth^^

Now I need to find a good diesel shop near me.....

Would it be stupid to bring it to the local Ford dealer for a check?
We do it occasionally, not a big part of our business, the problem may be getting into a Ford dealership, we are backed up on trucks, especially diesels, for 5-7 days right now. Vacation season kills shops!
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
I expect to put some $$ in to it. An older guy owns it since new and he doesn't strike me as the preventive maintenance type of guy, but I won't know until I ask for records. If it cost me ~$2500 I would be OK with that, considering what I think I can get it for.

I'm just wondering what types of things I should look for. I've read something about issues with the auto tranny? Also wiring harnesses under the valve covers?

During a test drive what should I look for as far as smoke color on start up, while driving, and when I punch it?
Looks like you are preparing to look a gift horse in the mouth, for $2500.00 I would buy it unseen, if it does not work out it will not be difficult to get your money back.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Reel 007 View Post
Looks like you are preparing to look a gift horse in the mouth, for $2500.00 I would buy it unseen, if it does not work out it will not be difficult to get your money back.
You misunderstood. I think I can get it for around $5k. Book is around $9k, so I wouldn't mind putting another $2500 above purchase price to make it solid.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:39 PM
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I owned one for about 10 years. The engines are good, it’s the automatic transmissions that suck. I went through 2 in just under 200,000 miles.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:39 PM
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Check the fuel filter located under the cowling. Dump the yellow switch on the back of the housing to check for water. Check the rear seal, most have a small leak. Those trucks eat brakes. Make sure the camshaft alignment sensor was replaced under the recall. Check the fan at the H2O pump for wobble, could signify a new pump soon.

Very reliable engines. Wish I’d never sold mine, been swapping trucks ever since.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by twollman View Post
I owned one for about 10 years. The engines are good, it’s the automatic transmissions that suck. I went through 2 in just under 200,000 miles.

Yep. Seen that online, too. What's a trans cost? Any way to upgrade/strengthen it?


Originally Posted by saltydog235 View Post
Check the fuel filter located under the cowling. Dump the yellow switch on the back of the housing to check for water. Check the rear seal, most have a small leak. Those trucks eat brakes. Make sure the camshaft alignment sensor was replaced under the recall. Check the fan at the H2O pump for wobble, could signify a new pump soon.

Very reliable engines. Wish I’d never sold mine, been swapping trucks ever since.
Great info!! Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:08 PM
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Buy it, just bought a 99 f250 6 speed, good tuner, exhaust Bhaf and it will outlast you.

Last edited by Hemi_Hammer; 06-07-2019 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:00 PM
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A ford hd trans can be had with converter for under 2k
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
^^Truth^^

Now I need to find a good diesel shop near me.....

Would it be stupid to bring it to the local Ford dealer for a check?
Yes... these engines are 17 years old... Ford doesn't train the techs for them anymore... hell, most techs were in grammar school when they stopped making them.

Very easy to work on.. You need to jump over to one of the PSD forums and search away.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HeadHunt View Post
Yes... these engines are 17 years old... Ford doesn't train the techs for them anymore... hell, most techs were in grammar school when they stopped making them.

Very easy to work on.. You need to jump over to one of the PSD forums and search away.
Point taken. 20 year old engine.

PSD forum??? I'm assuming "Psomething Ssomething DIESEL"??

(I know I got the diesel part right at least!)
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
Point taken. 20 year old engine.

PSD forum??? I'm assuming "Psomething Ssomething DIESEL"??

(I know I got the diesel part right at least!)
Power Stroke.
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