«Previous    Next»
Working With Diesels In Ford Pickups
"In recent issues, I've noticed comments by farmers disappointed with the performance of the 7.3 liter diesel engines in their Ford pickups. As a diesel mechanic who works on these engines every day, I'd like to offer some advice on how to extend the service life of these engines. If you follow these suggestions, it's quite possible to get as much as 400,000 miles out of them with only minor maintenance," says Doug McKenzie, Stony Plain, Alberta.
"The 7.3 diesel is actually a gas engine which International redesigned. Other companies have done that, too (for example, the Cat 3208). It's just something you should be aware of in looking for a way to extend the service life.
"These engines should not be idled for more than 3 minutes due to low oil supply at the top of the engine that can cause valve and ring problems. The solution is to remove the electric solenoid on the side of the injection pump which has a 1/2-in. stroke, and install a new one with a 3/4-in. stroke. Then install a dash-mounted toggle switch which you can then use to bump up idle speed to 1,350 rpm's.
"Another common problem is coolant leaking into the oil. This results from tiny pinholes caused by erosion to the cylinder walls. The solution is to add an anti-corrosion additive to the radiator and test coolant on a regular basis. Never use just water.
"These engines are also prone to cracking heads. The solution is to idle the engines for two minutes before shut down. Also, you should never lug these engines. They achieve maximum torque at the top of the rpm scale and should never be run below 2,000 rpm when pulling a load.
"These engines do not stand up well to turbo charging.
"One common misunderstanding about this engine is that very rarely do the injectors used on this engine cause problems. Thousands of injectors are changed for no other reason than that the shop working on them didn't understand that these injectors dump fuel, rather than spray.
"Oil pan heaters and coolant heaters are a must in cold weather.
"A certain amount of oil consumption is normal in these engines. A quart per 1,000 miles is quite acceptable. Oil filters and air filters must be serviced regularly and a better-than-average quality filter must be used."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Doug McKenzie, Box 2657, Stony Plain, Alberta T7Z 1Y2 Canada.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6