7.3 diesel engine rebuild or replace?

diesel
ford
engines
f250

#1

Have 1990 f-250 7.3 diesel 128,000 left heater unplugged only at 20 degrees plus windchill, tried to start no go flooded, tried 3 times after waiting few minutes each time loaded up, black smoke out exhaust but could not fire. So plugged in heater and waited till next am about 16 hours she fired right up idling fine got out the driveway about 50 ft. and she started blowing steam out the exhaust.Drove 7 miles shut down went inside store came back tried to start locked up not even crank over,waited 60 sec tried again she started and steamed like a locomotive no black smoke,only white, drove home 7 miles let idle few minutes checked radiator, using antifreeze. lots almost all gone plus radiator has had minor leak at top tank at seam for entire time i have had vehicle 5,000 miles of ownership. Oil on dipstick raised 2 quarts higher than full mark no antifreeze or foam on it was at the full mark before this happened. I cold feel the strain on engine. Tested cyls on one bank 2 cyls beside eache other little low came up on compression with squirts of oil. 2 cyls beside each other on other bank low and did not come up with squirts of oil.It was not making any loud knock just normal diesel engine sound when I shut down. I decided not to start to prevent more damage. However my mechanic said he started it and it had a loud or heavy knock.This was about 3 weeks later.Anyhow the truck has sat for about a year now and i want to tear into it wonder if i may be head gaskets went on the steam issue and valves on the 2 cyls that would not come up on compression . AND ANY GOOD SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHICH WAY TO GO TO REPAIR VEHICLE.

THE TRUCK IS IN GOOD SHAPE AND A 4X4 WITH 3;54 GEARS WHICH WAS GETTING 25 MPG BEFORE THEY CHANGED THE DIESEL FUEL A FEW YEARS AGO. THANKS kevinkbitron


#2

I worked on those engines for years…from the 6.9 to the 7.3 IDI and DI and never saw a head gasket failure involving coolant leaks–even from the most heavily used ones (e.g. U-Haul vehicles). They did occasionally seep oil, but never coolant(internally or externally). What has most likely happened is cyclinder cavitation…perforation of the cylinder walls caused by crappy coolant and lack of maintenance thereof. You’d end up sleeving every cyclnder for an overhaul. It would be not at all worth it to do that. Find a used assembly or remanned. I’m guessing they’re about $3000 or so.


#3

You can buy a ten years newer truck for HALF of what it will cost to repair / rebuild yours…


#4

thank you for your thoughts.


#5

You can not buy a 2000 ? ton, 4x4 diesel truck for anywhere near the repair costs of his 90?.

If the frame and body are still solid, this truck is worth fixing. The 7.3 Navistar is a good diesel, and you don?t have all the new problematic emissions control devices that are in place on the newer diesels.