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  1. #1
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    School me on Ford Diesel Engines 6.0 vs 6.4 vs 7.3

    I need a truck to put a cab over camper on. Diesel is a must for reasonable mpg's.

    New is not an option and I keep hearing differing opinions on all off the different engines on the older Fords.

    What say you?

  2. #2
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    Everything I have ever read on this subject said to get a 7.3. I was researching them for awhile but never pulled the trigger.

    Reverand Floater has one if I recall correctly.

  3. #3
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    6.0 - Gong show when it came out. Improved over time. 2006 or 2007 with EGR and other shit removed or replaced would be decent.
    6.4 - Same as 6.0 to a lesser degree. Cost to fix the shitty design elements is more than the 6.0.
    7.3 - The benchmark to which all other Powerstrokes are compared. In every category except power.

  4. #4
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    ^^^ What he said.

    The 7.3 is bomber. The 6.0 is not.
    The 6.4 is way better than a 6.0, but it's not the fire-breathing dragon that is the 6.7.

    I know a bit about the 7.3 'Stroke, having owned 2. The aftermarket is still quite strong for even the OBS 94-97 models.

  5. #5
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    7.3. That's it. Don't even think about messing with the others unless you have money to burn. The last year of the 7.3 was half way through 2013. There were incremental improvements over the years (better turbos for instance). The hallmark is buying as far into 2013 as you can while still getting the 7.3 before it switched over. Don't buy older than '94 or '95 (can't recall which off the top of my head).
    "The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled you just become a replica of someone else's mind." Chomsky

    "This system make of us slaves. Without dignity. Without depth. No? With a devil in our pocket. This incredible money in our pocket. This money. This shit. This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside." Jodorowsky

  6. #6
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    7.3 is a solid engine. It has good power and decent fuel economy.
    The 6.0 has some issues. Once it gets the proper modifications it's OK but it's still going to be higher maintenance than the 7.3.
    The 6.4 is an OK engine. It doesn't have the power of the newer 6.7 (or the 7.3/6.0 IMO) but it doesn't have all the issues of the 6.0. One issue it does suffer from is that it is more susceptible to gelling than the other motors in cold weather.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swine View Post
    7.3. That's it. Don't even think about messing with the others unless you have money to burn. The last year of the 7.3 was half way through 2013. There were incremental improvements over the years (better turbos for instance). The hallmark is buying as far into 2013 as you can while still getting the 7.3 before it switched over. Don't buy older than '94 or '95 (can't recall which off the top of my head).
    You mean 2003, not 2013... the 7.3 Powerstroke was last produced in April of 2003.

    My work truck is a '96 F250 7.3 Powerstroke with 430,000 miles and the engine has never been cracked open. I've replaced a lot of parts around the motor - radiator, alternators, starters, etc. but the motor keeps ticking.

    2 years ago I got to 375,000 miles on the '96 and I started looking for a replacement. After a long search I found a '02 7.3 F250 with 78,000 miles on it and bought it for $15k. But I keep driving the old one and will until it dies.

    Like Mazderati said, the '06 and '07 6.0's are good trucks if they've been 'bulletproofed'. Bulletproofing can run you $5 or 6k but you'll have a solid motor when you're done. And the newer trucks have a lot of creature comforts that the old 7.3's lack.

  8. #8
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    Power:
    I had a 96 F250 that got 18 hwy miles per gallon "unloaded" (it carried a 115 gal fuel tank in the bed). Non-intercooled, it made about 300hp with a straight pipe & mild/moderate chip, and 8" Donaldson air filter.
    It would snatch a loaded 36' Keystone Montana down the Big Road @ >85 MPH, and top Grapevine @ 55 mph and Donner wbound towing that load @ 65.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swine View Post
    7.3. That's it. Don't even think about messing with the others unless you have money to burn. The last year of the 7.3 was half way through 2013. There were incremental improvements over the years (better turbos for instance). The hallmark is buying as far into 2013 as you can while still getting the 7.3 before it switched over. Don't buy older than '94 or '95 (can't recall which off the top of my head).
    2003 is the year you were thinking of. The 6.0 doesn't cost much for a reason-it will down the road. For the 7.3, Google forged vs PMR piston rods but either will be fine if you are not looking to mod for huge HP gains.

    Transmissions can be an issue so check that out on any 7.3 you are looking at. If those are your three options, 7.3 without question.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swine View Post
    7.3. That's it. Don't even think about messing with the others unless you have money to burn. The last year of the 7.3 was half way through 2013. There were incremental improvements over the years (better turbos for instance). The hallmark is buying as far into 2013 as you can while still getting the 7.3 before it switched over. Don't buy older than '94 or '95 (can't recall which off the top of my head).
    They switched over to the powerstroke halfway through '94. Before that it was the 7.3 idi motor and the powerstroke is a vast improvement over that slug...

  11. #11
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    Last year I bought a black and gold 2000 7.3 Lariat extended cab all leather and long bed with 80k miles. Ive been told the 2000 was the first year they went with solid front axle. With distinct growl of the 7.3 it seems to have enough power for towing boats trailers etc. It really smoothes out at 70 and become remarkably quiet, I have actually thought the engine had stalled! Does not like cold start under 27 F

    I figure I can keep running and give to my daughter when she starts driving in 10 years

  12. #12
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    Love my 7.3. It is genuinely fun to drive despite being a great lumbering beast of burden. The trick is finding a used one that's really been kept up with because, while we can agree that the 7.3 will run forever, the rest of the truck still requires a good bit of fairly expensive maintenance. And, considering that Ford hasn't put them into their trucks since early '03, there's a lot of heavy duty wear items that need to be replaced in order to keep that great engine turning a set of wheels and tires. But if you can find a good one and you're willing to pay a premium for it, cuz ain't nobody giving these trucks away, then you ought to be rewarded with some very high quality service.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    I need a truck to put a cab over camper on. Diesel is a must for reasonable mpg's.

    I don't know to what degree an older 7.3 would have to face Cali emissions, but the injectors and PCM codes for Cali Powerstrokes are stronger than "49-state emissions" 7.3s. Cali injectors were the bom back in the days before aftermarket injector builders would hop you up for $1200+cores.

    Chips and performance exhausts actually make 7.3s quieter as they help fuel mileage, by advancing the injection timing. They also firm up and speed up shifts in an E4OD or 4R100, which makes them last longer in normal driving. It's also a noticeable improvement over stock.
    Redneck SOP is to pull the cat and muffler, and go 4" (or redneckier) back from there. Except for the turbo whistle, 4" straight pipe with good chip is actually quieter than stock unloaded around town, and much much better for the engine. You might not live in the country though...

    ...

    If you have a Lance, or other deluxe heavy camper, you might want to look into Air Bags to make things nicer. Other than that, any recent diesel pickup was designed with campers in mind, and will do a good job for you.

  14. #14
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    This^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Conundrum View Post
    2003 is the year you were thinking of. The 6.0 doesn't cost much for a reason-it will down the road. For the 7.3, Google forged vs PMR piston rods but either will be fine if you are not looking to mod for huge HP gains.

    Transmissions can be an issue so check that out on any 7.3 you are looking at. If those are your three options, 7.3 without question.

    Yup, clerical error, 2003. And Conundrum is right; don't heavily mod for power if you want longevity. Hell, that engine with slight programming has enough torque for any reasonable person.
    "The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled you just become a replica of someone else's mind." Chomsky

    "This system make of us slaves. Without dignity. Without depth. No? With a devil in our pocket. This incredible money in our pocket. This money. This shit. This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside." Jodorowsky

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpathian View Post
    Last year I bought a black and gold 2000 7.3 Lariat extended cab all leather and long bed with 80k miles. Ive been told the 2000 was the first year they went with solid front axle. With distinct growl of the 7.3 it seems to have enough power for towing boats trailers etc. It really smoothes out at 70 and become remarkably quiet, I have actually thought the engine had stalled! Does not like cold start under 27 F

    I figure I can keep running and give to my daughter when she starts driving in 10 years
    Score. Check glow plug relay. <$20 for replacement, and easy. Get Dr Diesel brand if you need new glow plugs, no Autolites. Also, check fuel bowl heater. Mine was packed up with rock flour from our fine fuel, but I replaced it anyway. http://dieselorings.com

    Old batteries can also keep your starter slow. Slow starters make for hard starts, especially when cold. Hella pull on the batts when cold start with long glow plug lights...

    ebay or Amazon has valve cover gaskets, but you wont necessarily need to replace them if you have to pull the valve covers to get at the glow plugs.. They're thick plastic & reusable and contain the electrical connections to the injectors and glow plugs. PITA bolt behind #8 cylinder, up against the firewall near turbo downpipe=hardest part of pulling 7.3 valve covers.

    Bad injectors can make for "hard start when cold". In summer, run the 2% biodiesel from the place on King Street behind Costco. 2% biodiesel raises lubricity to spec for older 7.3 injectors. In winter, use same biodiesel with Stanadyne, or overdosed PowerService white cap. Raises lubricity to spec for older diesels, and prevents gelling. Keeping fuel lubricity to spec will keep injectors from going south. Plain ULSD is not up to spec for an older 7.3. The 7.3 is a 1/2 million mile engine, but those Cat-designed injectors are designed to go a million plus with good slimy fuel.

    Good luck with that nice truck.
    Last edited by highangle; 09-22-2015 at 11:40 PM.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by highangle View Post
    Redneck SOP is to pull the cat and muffler, and go 4" (or redneckier) back from there. Except for the turbo whistle, 4" straight pipe with good chip is actually quieter than stock unloaded around town, and much much better for the engine. You might not live in the country though...
    Jeebus, the po of my 7.3 replaced the stock exhaust with 4" straight pipes and added a superchips programmer. When it first cranks up in the morning it is offensively loud. At high idle with the EBPV shut it sounds like a jet is preparing for takeoff. The beast doesn't prefer the cold so I plug it in during the cool months, even in the garage, to help a bit with the hard starting and noise. But I live in a nice suburban neighborhood and I'm glad that I don't leave the house very early most mornings because that damned truck is loud enough to wake the dead when I drive up the slight incline to leave my street.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  18. #18
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    Also, because at this point how can you not get a 7.3, replace the thermostat with an aftermarket 203 degree unit. Navistar designed the engine to use it but Ford changed the temp down to 192 because of some water pump upgrades in 96(?). When I did that upgrade the 7.3 ran much better and got an efficiency boost when unloaded.
    "The world is a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled you just become a replica of someone else's mind." Chomsky

    "This system make of us slaves. Without dignity. Without depth. No? With a devil in our pocket. This incredible money in our pocket. This money. This shit. This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside." Jodorowsky

  19. #19
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    Once again the TGR knowledge pool has helped the poor and suffering.

    I think I have enough knowledge to be dangerous.

    I read somewhere that the 6.0 really needs transmission changes to keep the tranny cool?

  20. #20
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    Instead of asking a bunch of dentists on a ski forum (who never ski) why don't you go research/ask questions on one of the ford diesel forums ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    Instead of asking a bunch of dentists on a ski forum (who never ski) why don't you go research/ask questions on one of the ford diesel forums ?
    If your read those forums you will see compelling arguments on all engines, a lot of brand loyalty and bitterness. TGR has smart people from different walks of life and I like the juxtaposition to the guys who have Chevy tattoos on their forearm's opinion.

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with

  22. #22
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    Bummer, I just sold my 7.3 long bed with air bags and a new transmission. I had it to haul a slide in but sold the camper. I guess I'll go back to cleaning teeth and not skiing. Those diesel forums have a lot more bullshit to wade through than here if you can believe that.

  23. #23
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    even dumb hicks know to get a cummins diesel
    Zone Controller

    "He wants to be a pro, bro, not some schmuck." - Hugh Conway

    "DigitalDeath would kick my ass. He has the reach of a polar bear." - Crass3000

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhelihiker View Post
    If your read those forums you will see compelling arguments on all engines, a lot of brand loyalty and bitterness. TGR has smart people from different walks of life and I like the juxtaposition to the guys who have Chevy tattoos on their forearm's opinion.

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with
    how about a smoking deal on a root canal ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiser View Post
    Jeebus, the po of my 7.3 replaced the stock exhaust with 4" straight pipes and added a superchips programmer. When it first cranks up in the morning it is offensively loud. At high idle with the EBPV shut it sounds like a jet is preparing for takeoff. The beast doesn't prefer the cold so I plug it in during the cool months, even in the garage, to help a bit with the hard starting and noise. But I live in a nice suburban neighborhood and I'm glad that I don't leave the house very early most mornings because that damned truck is loud enough to wake the dead when I drive up the slight incline to leave my street.
    1. Truck has a straight pipe, probably aftermarket downpipe too....why did PO spend $1k to do exhaust work yet leave in the Fuel Waster Noise Maker Valve? (Smacks forehead)

    2. Powerstrokes have always been noisy, unfortunately, a lot of that noise comes through the oil pan. Add insulation to the hood, get a grill cover for winter...if you live in cold country and don't plan to tow heavy, remove the entire fan and cut out a radiator cover out of 1/8" ply or HDPE that leaves the tranny cooler exposed if automatic. A flat sheet will wedge in nicely right up against the front of the radiator and stay put without any other attachment.

    3. The block heater in a Powerstroke pulls at least 1000w from the wall socket. An hour a day is 30 extra kilowatt hours/month. Not a lot, but if you live in FAI and don't have a garage, it's going to cost a couple hundred bux/month...

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