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Give me the low down on Ford diesels 95-2003

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by jmbones, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. jmbones

    jmbones Senior Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 242

    I may be in the market for a late 90's or early '00's Ford F350/450 diesel dump truck. I know nothing about the motors or the trucks for that matter. What is the good, bad and ugly about the 7.3 and 6.0's?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  2. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Stay away from the 6.0s and find a 7.3.
  3. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    The good, bad and the ugly huh... There are guys here that like both and guys that hate both. I like the 7.3 over all. I have had 2 and had good luck with both. They dont go without problems tho. Oil pan rot, turbo pedistal seals, leaky fuel bowl seals, IDM (injector driver modules) and the list im sure could go on. I work on 6.0s during the days and you will find issues with those also. EGR issues, turbo issues, injector issues, IPR (injector pressure regulator) issues and again, the list im sure can go on.
    If I were buying, I agree with the post above, look for a 7.3 and don't be afraid of buying one with a couple hundred thousand miles on it. I have a sub who has one with almost 400k and it still runs out real good.
    No matter what you get, the key is to work them hard (not just driving them empty around town) and keep up on the maintenance. Hope that helps, Dave
  4. jmbones

    jmbones Senior Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 242

    Thanks... I spotted what is listed as an '03 F450 4x4 6.0 with 90,000 miles for $13,000. Looks excellent but that's only a picture. I won't be plowing with it, I just need a hauler for now. Here is the description:

    2003 Ford F 450 Dump Truck
    6.0L Turbo diesel
    90 K Miles
    Air Conditioning
    Power Windows/Locks
    Power Mirrors
    15,000 GVWR
    Electric Dump
    Class 4 Hitch
    Electric Brakes

    Is that price too good to be true?
  5. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    No, 7.3's seem to sell and blue book for more because so many people are afraid of the 6.0. I would be a little scared of that truck too because of its lower miles. It probibly sat alot and probibly was not really worked. I personally would keep looking for a 7.3
  6. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    I personally love the 6.0 and believe you can certainly find a nice running 6.0 that will run fine for years and miles to come. That said, the 7.3 is just an all around better (in reliability terms) Diesel. Stock its a slug off the line and needs RPM's to spool, but it tows nicely. Put a chip in it and its a completely different truck, spooling almost instantly and gets out of its own way.

    A lot of 7.3's are going for more money due to the costly repairs of the 6.0 or upgrades to the 6.0 to "bulletproof" it. Studs & headgaskets, EGR Delete, Tune, etc. run upwards of $4,000 but it'll run like a bat out of h*ll and be reliable.

    A 7.3 can be purchased and with regular oil changes will run forever. Sure a CPS may go but most guys keep a spare and can replace it in a few minutes. The other leaking issues won't cause the truck to die or cost much to fix. I've had mine since March and I love this thing.
  7. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    6.0s run great, when they run. Definately a more troublesome engine. I've got 6 of them at work.
    2- 05's: 1 has had -high pressure oil leak, new high pressure oil pump, new stc fitting, and new egr valve, egr cooler, oil cooler
    The other has had- egr valve, egr cooler and oil cooler
    Both units had right around 170 k before any egr issues.
    2- 08's: One unit got a new ficm around 110k and the other needed a new turbo around 60k
    2- 09's: One currently has 96k and the other around 50 k and no issues yet

    Our 7.3's have had issues but nothing major. Of the last three we have, two are 02's and on an 03. One 02 has 230k, and the other 280k. One needed a fuel return line and the other a fuel supply line going to the filter.
    The 03 has just over 200k and had its first issue a couple weeks ago, a blown high pressure oil line. Which was a $100 part and about 45 min of my time, well... plus the 11 qts of oil it pumped out! lol

    Some guys will tell you a 7.3 is the only way to go, others will tell you for the price difference you can bulletproof a 6.0. Its gonna be up to you to decide. Most of our units come in pairs, literally ONE vin number apart, and each will have completely different engine issues. Luck of the draw! Good luck!
  8. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    You sure these are 6.0's?

    Cuz Furd stopped using the 6.0 in '07.

    Unless they continued in vans?
  9. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    It Continued in vans
  10. tattood_1

    tattood_1 Member
    Messages: 98

    I have a 95 7.3 and love it. Has 240k on it and hasnt missed a beat in the little over a year that I have had it. Dont know too much about the 6.0 other than what I have read.
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I drive private ambulances. Have for the last 34 years. Mostly FORDS. I have driven ALL the FORD diesels for many / many thousands of miles. I love the 6.0 ! It's a drivers engine / transmission - when it runs right. They break down way too much. The injectors $3,000 for you to repair. If Ford does it $5,000. EGR has issues all the time. Head gasket / studs. Come on! A $7,500 engine option and you have to pay over and over to run it? I have rode in a tow truck way too much with them!

    Never had many 7.3 diesels die under me! In ten years, had one upper oil leak and 3 cam sensors go bad. Thats like 200,000 miles I drove. Only had the oil leak towed and that was because I insisted, it gets towed. Don't pop a good engine.

    Never had a problem with the 6.8. A buddy put 450,000 on one. A dump truck killed it, when it T-Boned the van!
  12. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    The problem is, this does not really bulletproof the engine. It eliminates some of the more expensive issues with the engine.

    It does not solve injector issues. Or STC issues. Or any one of the stupid sensors that will not allow HP oil to build allowing the truck to start. Or wiping out the FICM because of injector issues.

    I have\had 3. None of them have had EGR, head gasket or head "lifting" issues. They have all had injector issues. Oil is changed at 5000 miles. Fuel filters the same time.

    Spending $4K to make an engine "bulletproof" is idiotic in my opinion when there are engines available that don't need an extra $4k to make them work and not leave one stranded.
  13. Holland

    Holland Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I get asked this alot. Guess this time i forgot to mention that these are in fact all e-series. Ford ran the 6.0 through the 2010 model year in the E series. Starting 2011 the only options are gas, 5.4 or 6.8. Our three 2012's are all 6.8s.

    Thumbs Up

    You and I always seem to agree on these. I love the 6.0 til it breaks. They have good power, are responsive, and i personally love the way they sound! (and im a gm guy!) But it seems like theres always something wrong with one of them! And its never a cheap breakdown...

    Cant really say too much bad about the 6.8. I mean they've had a few issues, one 08 blew a plug out of the head around 100k and the other 08 just got a fuel pump and fuel pump module at around 120k. Other than that we have had good luck, but of the 5 6.8s we have three are 2012's and the 2008's are only around 140k right now. time will tell.

    Injectors are probably the only thing I have NEVER had an issue with around here.
  14. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    If I had a 6.0 in a pickup I would have to hide the keys from my wife! That's how good they run, when they are running well. Even a Female would love driving one! I like the V10 too. But you pass few gas stations if you drive it much.
  15. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218


    Why do you say to run the diesel's hard .... and what about the 6.7 in my 2011 F250... does that need to be run hard. I drive like a little old lady ...LOL
  16. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Every time we have a warranty issue, espicially EGR, were told that we are not working them hard enough. They tell me the issue (besides even having an egr system) is that the build up in the egr system is not hard and that is a good indication of not building enough heat in the engine. Running our 6.0s in D and not OD has help some with that issue. Unfortunitly, we hardly ever "work" our diesels and have had to deal with the EGR systems. As far as the 6.7 goes, I dont have any experiance with them, but being a diesel, you know it was designed to work. Unless times have changed, I have always been told, the harder you work a diesel, the better they run. And for the 6.0, I would say that is true...
  17. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Thank you for the info
  18. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    if you want a proven tough as nails ford diesel, there is one on craigs list with 1,389,050 miles on the original engine for sale for $3,000.
    all it needs is a trans.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  19. jmbones

    jmbones Senior Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 242

    What do you guys think about a '95 7.3l with 78k. Central hydraulics, dump, power angle plow. With new:

    Exhaust Manifolds
    Rear Springs and hangers
    Ball Joints
    Tie Rods
    Glow Plugs
    Glow Plug Controller and Harness

  20. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    That looks in real nice shape for the year, heck its just in nice shape regardless of the year.