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Author Topic: 7.3L Turbo Diesel Engine Life
Phil Mather Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: Detroit
Car #: 06
Year : 1990
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I did a quick search, but didn't see anything really pop up. What is the life expectancy of a Ford/International 7.3L Turbo Diesel. I'm looking at an E350 with one that has about 200K hwy miles, fleet maintained. I know diesels are known for long lives, but not so sure about turbos. Thanks for the help!

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Phil

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haasfogle Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
counting blue cars

Region: Houston
Car #: 51
Year : 91
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the traffic manager at my office has a long commute to work and his 97 F350 shows near 460K on the odo. he also tows a big RV camping trailer with it.
no engine work or turbo work (he did buy it new)ever done but one clutch and one headlight bulb other than scheduled maint. thats the reason i didnt hesitate to buy an F350 that shows 150K on it.....
am getting better fuel mileage with it than i did my mazda B4000!
haas

Bernard Verified Driver
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Region: CSCC
Car #: 57
Year : 1991
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One of my former neighbors is a Ford man. He delivers machines to dairies all over the country. He has a totally abused, beaten the shit out of it '97 F250 with 430K (never been openened). He also has a 2001 and a 2004 (the later one has the 6.0) and never had any trouble with them. If I wasn't such a MoPar and Cummins enthusiast, I would buy a 7.3-powered Ford Van in a heartbeat.
If your turbo needs new bearings, (about every 200K - 300K miles), Turbo City can rebuild that thing for about $300 in 24 hours.

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Bernard
World's Tallest Ex SM Pilot

Phil Mather Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: Detroit
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Year : 1990
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Excellent...thanks for the info guys! [thumbsup]

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Phil

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John the Impaler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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It's probably had at least one transmission by now (diesel engines shake the crap out of auto transmissions). Try and find out how recently it was...

Buy a good stereo for it. I ran an E350 diesel 7.3PSD van as a tow vehicle for 100K+ miles, and the penalty you pay for having the engine right below your right knee is NOISE. I loved the van, but didn't miss the clatter when I got a dually.

Chronic thing on 7.3 diesels:

CPS sensor (crank position) - if the engine just randomly quits, but will refire immediately, replace the CPS (all you need is a 10mm wrench...its on the front of the block). Get it from an International dealer (~$95) rather than a Ford dealer (~$180).

cboehly Verified Driver
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Region: FLR
Car #: 78
Year : 1992
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Check out dieselforums.com. If they don't know it, nobody knows, including the dealer.

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Charlie Boehly

kevin 22 Verified Driver
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Region: NYR
Car #: 22
Year : 1991
Posts: 270
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(2002 f350) I have 73,000 on my engine and so far have had to replace the valve cover twice, 3 injectors & the manifold gasket. The biggest problem I have is every 12k I need a full brake job, Pads, rotors are cracked and we repalce the calipers because the rotors are so bad that we figure the heat has probably taken its toll on the calipers as well.
My other truck (1999 f350) has 71,000 miles, that truck is a manual trans. that truck has needed the Crank sensor, clutch master cylinder, & an annoying platic clip that holds the clutch cable to the pedal has broken several times. This truck is easier on brakes,

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Kevin Anderson

jigou Verified Driver
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Region: Des Moines Valley
Car #: 59
Year : 1991
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Kevin, can you fill us in on what you're pulling with those trucks - particularly the '02 that has had the brake issues?

I've kicked around moving back a year or two on truck to get a "bigger" trailer, and '02 350s were high on the list.....

Jarrod

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kevin 22 Verified Driver
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Region: NYR
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Year : 1991
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I have a boat I keep on the trailer, it weighs around 5k lbs. I pull that a dozen times a year. You don't even feel that trailer. Maybe anothe dozen times I pull a "Bobcat" trailer. that trailer and equipment weighs 7-8k lbs. The big trailer is my car hauler which also gets pulled about 12 times a year. it weighs 10-11k lbs.

To be honest, I am hard on the brakes. But I know another guy that is changing brakes around the same time. I don't think the trailers are the reason for my brake problem. they all have brakes. The truck is a crew cab diesel, must weigh 7000 lbs. I drive a ton of miles a day all local, stopping by different jobs we have going on, I am always running late so driving a little faster (harder). The truck is a monster for pulling trailers, I would recommend it. I could drag any of my trailers at highway speed even if they had cement blocks for wheels. I would get the F350 over the F250 though. The bigger brakes are worth it. Over the years there have been times when the trailer brakes have stopped working, Bad connection, broken harness, blown fuse, etc.
The truck can stop it no problem. The brakes are great but they don't dissapate heat very well if used hard day to day. Result is glazed cracked rotors, frozen calipers, etc.

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Kevin Anderson

Mark Radelow Verified Driver
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Region: Southern California
Car #: 76
Year : 1990
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I have a 99 F250 Crew Cab 4x4 Diesel. The truck has 160,000 miles on it. I bought it at 155,000 miles and have had no problems whatsoever with it. Speaking with the previous owner who was the original owner he too had no problems.

All I can say about my truck is that I love it to death and find myself driving it more than my M3 sometimes... HAHAHA

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Mark Radelow
1999 Ford F-250 Powerstroke 4x4 (Tow Vehicle)
1998 BMW ///M3 (Daily Driver)
1990 Spec Miata #76 (Race Car)
http://www.radspeedracing.com

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Region: NWR, OR
Car #: 30
Year : 1992
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Do these trucks (especially the VANS) typically have automatics?

jim

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Just a clown

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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I saw a statistic when looking for my truck, where Dodge sold the highest percentage of manual trans diesels, and it was around 8%.

Can't say I've seen or heard of a manual trans diesel van FWIW.

Greg

Bernard Verified Driver
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Region: CSCC
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Year : 1991
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Sorry about your brake problems, Ford guys. I have not needed brakes on my Dodge in the past 60K miles. We've been checking frequently, expecting that the brakes need to be done, sometime, but nope. Still good, plenty of meat, actually.

I, too, love my truck to death. I probably keep it forever and actually drove it several days last week to work, left the Mercedes in the garage. It's so comfy and so much fun to drive. I added a rubber duck on the antenna mast and when I don't go racing, I have a hail bail and a fork on the bed. Of course, I also wear my farmer's cap . . .

Next thing to add: hand-painted signs on the door reading: Leroy's Egg Farm

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Bernard
World's Tallest Ex SM Pilot

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Region: NWR, OR
Car #: 30
Year : 1992
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Thanks Greg, that pretty much answered it. So back to The Impaler's assertion, that auto transmissions are a problem area with diesels. Has that been true for the rest of you?

jim

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Just a clown

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

Region: Lone Star
Year : 1990
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Jim, are you shopping for a tow vehicle?

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

TSouth Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: Cincinnati
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2000 F350 Crewcab Dually diesel automatic; no brake problems to date, no transmission problems to date, but had to replace the outer tie rod ends and ball joints at about 50k miles. The current mileage is 70k. I've never heard of anyone having brake problems on these trucks until Kevin. It may need glow plugs soon, as it was hard to start in cold weather last winter.

At this point, I'd wholeheartedly endorse a 7.3l Diesel F350.

Bernard Verified Driver
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Region: CSCC
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Year : 1991
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1992 Dodge 3/4-ton, 2WD, Automatic.

No brake problems, no automatic problems, no tie rod problems. No problems at all.
Still the first glow plugs since new.
168K miles now.
21 mpg empty; 18.5-19.5 mpg with loaded trailer.

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Bernard
World's Tallest Ex SM Pilot

Mark Radelow Verified Driver
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Region: Southern California
Car #: 76
Year : 1990
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Should add:

1. No abnormal brake wear on my truck either.

2. The F250/F350 is known to have a "weaker" transmission setup. 1999 and 2000 trucks are noted to have loud torque converters (my rattles like a sumofabitch) but that doesn't affect its performance. The transmissions are known to fail if they do a lot of hard towing. Easily fixable with an upgraded transmission for $3000 - $5000 that you never have to worry about.

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Mark Radelow
1999 Ford F-250 Powerstroke 4x4 (Tow Vehicle)
1998 BMW ///M3 (Daily Driver)
1990 Spec Miata #76 (Race Car)
http://www.radspeedracing.com

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Region: NWR, OR
Car #: 30
Year : 1992
Posts: 8523
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I'd love to, Antonio, but I can't until they make one that will tow my double-wide to the track. Just trying to understand the towing situation, in case my own situation changes.

jim

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Just a clown

Patrick Fanning Verified Driver
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Region: NNJ
Car #: 04
Year : 1990
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We have a 2000 F350, 135k, brakes go early if the trailer brakes are not working correctly .. seems to always be the case for us. We do have the Banks turbo kit and trans reprogramming kit. Both produce better milage. I'm told that the turbo will need parts at 200k. Important to let the turbo cool before shutting done the thing.

Love the truck, can not even tell the 7-8k trailer is back there. Empty can drag race any BMW .. and win.

Jonathan Christian Verified Driver
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Region: south pacific
Car #: 31
Year : 91
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f350 dually towing 28k (no its not a typo) used this for about 2 seasons and had to replace the glow plug once and a fuel injector once. Brakes had to be done twice, both times cooked comming down the grape vine(big hill in socal heading to buttonwillow)diff once, installed a exhaust brake and wokred good for this season. This truck has 180k miles on it and still runs like new. We just bought a new F550 (50k miles) to tow our 28k rig, same 7L engine just bigger diff/frame/brakes than the F350. We put the 350 through hell and it still runs strong at 170k miles!

Phil Mather Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: Detroit
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Year : 1990
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Thanks for all the replies. This helps a ton.

Now, let me ask a slightly different questions: I've also found a fleet maintained 1993 E-350 non-turbo diesel w/ 30,000 miles. What can go wrong with the engine and chassis from not being driven enough? I know the rubber parts don't like sitting. But what else could happen? Thanks!

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Phil

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jigou Verified Driver
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Region: Des Moines Valley
Car #: 59
Year : 1991
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Non-turbo? Stay away - your Miata might have more power. [Wink]

Jarrod

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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Region: NWR, OR
Car #: 30
Year : 1992
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Hey, some of us DO tow with the Miata! [Razz]

jim

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Just a clown

Wreckerboy Verified Driver
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Region: WDC
Car #: SSM 53 "Lola"
Year : 1990
Posts: 464
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Another good source for FoMoCo truck information is http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/index.php

Beware the inherently pro-Ford bias (I think these guys bleed Ford blue), but the information is generally good. It seems they hate the newer 6.0, but love the older the 7.3, both turbo and non-turbo versions.

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Rob Myles
Hero To The Momentum Impaired

Greg Amy Verified Driver
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Year : 1994
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quote:
Originally posted by FormulaHomer:
I've also found a fleet maintained 1993 E-350 non-turbo diesel w/ 30,000 miles. What can go wrong with the engine and chassis from not being driven enough?

I had one of these, and they're very good trucks. Yup, they have less torque than the turbos (rated at 185hp/360tq versus 215/425 for the 1999-2003 PSD), but they are MORE than adequate for pulling an open trailer with a Miata on it; they have excellent low-end grunt. I pulled my ITA car on an open 15' trailer all over the place with it (even to Road Atlanta and back) with no problems; the primary reason I sold it was because I bought an enclosed trailer.

Even better, those engines are DIRT SIMPLE to work on. No computers, no electronics, basically a single wire to the pump to open the shutoff solenoid (which can be wired directly to a battery to get you home if required.) Uses a hydromechanical injection pump, hydromechanical injectors, time it with a wrench and your ear. Dead nuts reliable.

At 30k miles it should be in good shape, even after 10+ years. The problems with these engines tend to be that they wear out the pump, injectors, and glow plugs after 100-125k miles; as long as this truck was kept with good clean fuel you won't have a problem with it. Evne if you did, replacement parts (pump, injectors, glow plugs) and relatively cheap. Here's your best resource on the truck:

http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=73idi1

When it's time to step up the power you can simply bolt-on a turbocharger (Banks, ATS, Hypermax, parts from a junkyard) and go; no major changes other than connections to your exhaust system needed. I chose not to do that because I wanted a passenger versus a cargo van, but if I had had a passenger van it would have been a no-brainer.

If that truck is available at a good price, you really can't go wrong with it. - GA

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2006 ITA ARRC Champions!
2006 ITA NARRC Champions
2006 ITA NERRC Champions


Fred Cocca Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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2000 Ford E450 7.3l turbodiesel user here; no complaints. Seeking discount source for engine battery, stock air filter and a maybe aftermarket Velvac 2020 mirrors. Passing snow plow relieved me of driver side mirror [Mad] .

Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Racing to Cure ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Region: WDCR
Car #: 56 "Earl"
Year : 1990, 1999 soon to be SM
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Insomnia Fred?

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fishguyaz
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Year : 99
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since this thread had been resurected from the dead, i will comment since i just went through this decision process.
dont get the ford 6.0L deisel, or the new 6.4L. the 6.4 gets bad milage, and the 6.0L was phased out for a reason. they have issues.
look at the prices of the 7.3L, they are older, but in demand for a reason.
i was going to pull the trigger on a ford 7.3L, and then ended up going for a dodge 5.9 turbo diesel 3500 crewcab.
its just a sixbanger tractor motor, but damn can it pull, and it gets excellent mileage.
no regrets. i moved out of a chevy 454 gasser that i was lucky to be getting 7.5 MPG towing my stuff.
I am now double that, and can pass on the freeway with ease, and go as fast as i want/need to.
now i just need to drive it 100,000 miles to break even on the cost of buying it vs the savings in fuel [Smile] .

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Josh Pitt
AZ Region

jbenoit28 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I agree the 7.3L was a great engine but my 6.0L was getting 12.5MPG towing a 28' enclosed with two Miata's. The 6.0L is known for issues but they are pretty well known and there are fixes for them that will solve 90% of the issues. I can't wait to sample the new Ford built 6.7L....735lbs of torque sounds just about right.

Joe

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G. Davis Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: WDC
Car #: 03
Year : 1991
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They are just starting to hit the dealers...

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Glenn Davis

Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Racing to Cure ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Region: WDCR
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Meh, They all have their issues. Newer Fords have EGR issues that cause the head to go pop, GM has injector issues that causes your wallet to go pop, Dodge has transmission issues that cause your temper to go pop (on the side of the road). GM offered us a 7 year 200K mi. warranty on the injectors (good for them and me).

Best truck: GMC Dually with a Cummins, Allison trans and a Ford rear. Someone build that and I will drive it for 500k miles.....

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jbenoit28 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Ford did the same on my 6.0L. 200K miles for the engine. I grabbed the extended on my Excursion when I got it with 92K miles. Covers nearly bumper to bumper and I've already had two small fixes done under it that nearly paid for it.

Alan - Don't forget the tires on the Ford too, they catch less nails and rebar than you Gubment Motors rig you drive.

Joe

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Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Racing to Cure ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Region: WDCR
Car #: 56 "Earl"
Year : 1990, 1999 soon to be SM
Posts: 2947
Status: Offline
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That was the trailer, you roadside rebar thrower you....

The thing is: Your warranty was not from Ford, you paid extra for it. Ford still refuses to warranty a known EGR issue that causes the heads to go.

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G. Davis Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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6 bolt heads on the new motor thank god...

We'll see what goes bang during the first year.

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Glenn Davis

jbenoit28 Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Ford put the 200K warranty on the internal engine parts. The warranty that I got is not by them but goes above and beyond it. You are right, they fixed the EGR on mine with the exact same faulty part even though there is a known solution for it on every Diesel board you visit. Kind of stupid.

6 Bolts is a great thing. I hope Ford applies all that they learned from the outsourced engines and doesn't repeat those mistakes on their own engine.

Joe

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