Who Made The 7.3 Liter Diesel Engine?

The diesel world was irrevocably transformed in 1994. Ford Heavy Duty trucks received the 7.3L Powerstroke engine from International Navistar. The performance specifications of the 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel engine were much superior than those of its 6.9L IDI and 7.3L predecessors. It also had substantially higher reliability than the 6.0L Powerstroke engine that came after it. Ford’s 7.3L Powerstroke was a great hit, but what made these trucks so unique? The essential 7.3L Powerstroke engine characteristics and design aspects that continue to make these vehicles so valued today are listed below. We’ll also go over the changes between model years, the 7.3’s history, and tow ratings. Let’s get started!

Is the 7.3 Powerstroke the best engine ever?

The “Legendary 7.3” is the name given to the 7.3 Powerstroke. It is largely regarded as the second most reliable diesel engine ever developed, in addition to being the largest diesel engine ever installed into high-production, consumer-grade trucks. It is without a doubt the most reliable Powerstroke ever made, trailing just the 5.9L Cummins engines produced from 2003 to 2006.

This massive 7.3L diesel was produced from 1994 to 2003 and went through two variants before being phased out in mid-2003 owing to emissions laws and better gas mileage. The addition of a wastegated turbo and an intercooler to the 1999 versions increased power output from 210hp and 425tq to 275hp and 525tq, respectively.

It’s no surprise that Ford ended up producing roughly 2.5 million 7.3 Powerstrokes by the time it was decommissioned, given it was known to be one of the most over-built diesel engines ever.

Is Ford 7.3 diesel a good engine?

“The critical factors for any diesel engine surviving forever are robust, iron parts, conservative power, and low engine speed—and if a 7.3L has been carefully maintained its whole life, 400,000 to 500,000 miles is nearly certain.”

What year was the best 7.3 Powerstroke made?

The short answer is that the 1999 7.3 Liter Power Stroke V-8 was the engine’s final year of operation under outdated assumptions about environmental controls, customer expectations, and general maintenance ease. While the Power Stroke is generally regarded as a superior engine, it had almost a decade of service under its belt by 1999, and any bugs had been ironed out.

The end product was a tough workhorse of an engine that handled nearly every task thrown at it. Plus, it was diesel, which brought with it all of its benefits. The 7.3, on the other hand, had its own set of advantages.

Incredible Longevity

The Power Stroke engine was built with high-quality parts and a straightforward design to generate an engine that won no street races but lasted 400,000 to 500,000 kilometers. To get that kind of mileage, the engine had to be stock and well maintained, but even abused, the 7.3 Power Stroke engine was good for at least 300,000 miles.

Few Emissions Controls

Emissions regulations are good for the environment, but they shorten the life of truck engines. To control NOX emissions, the 7.3 Power Stroke depended on its internal engine computer system. It was also equipped with a catalytic converter. However, that was the end of the emissions control features.

Future Power Stroke engines, on the other hand, had a gas recirculation system that had a number of concerns, including valve troubles, cracked coolers, tainted oil, and early coolant fouling. Diesel particulate filters were added to future versions. Those two adjustments alone almost guaranteed that a vehicle with a 7.3 liter engine would not get very high mpg.

Basic but Reliable

The 7.3 Liter V-8 isn’t going to win any technical or exotic component honors. The 1999 remake was no exception. The 7.3 Power Stroke was unsophisticated in comparison to today’s engines.

The block was gray iron, while the crankshaft was forged steel. Until 2000, the rods were made of forged steel. The pistons were made of aluminum that had been cast. It possessed a standard V-8 engine with one camshaft, two valves, and two pushrod cylinders, as well as simple hydraulic lifters that didn’t need to be calibrated or broken.

The 7.3 was underpowered in comparison to today’s engines, but that was a gift in terms of longevity. It lacked the bells and whistles found in today’s engines. It has a basic and straightforward computing system. All of this added up to a simple engine that just did its job for years.

It Ran Cool

The 7.3’s stress potential was minimized by lowering the horsepower and torque ratings, which also helped to keep exhaust gas cooler. The 7.3 received an air-to-air intercooler in 1999, which further cooled things down.

Cooler Oil Via an External Oil Cooler

In a 7.3, the engine oil had to work extremely hard. The PSI of engine oil was boosted to 3,000 thanks to a high-pressure circuit. Engine oil heated up quickly due to the extreme pressure. The 7.3 had an external air chiller to help with this. The oil was not only cooled by outside air, but the cooler also had large corridors that never became clogged.

Dual Injectors

An injector sequence in a 7.3 Liter V-8 provided an initial setup blast of fuel before the full load was released. This resulted in a hotter, more thorough burn and increased engine output. It was, however, designed in such a way that the plunger only had to work once each combustion event, despite the fact that there were two injections.

The design resulted in a highly reliable fuel injection system with long-lasting injectors, lowering maintenance costs and ensuring consistent performance.

What powerstroke to avoid?

The 6.0L Powerstroke is a well-known engine. Because of the engine’s poor performance, Ford and Powerstroke’s parent company, Navistar, were involved in a lengthy court dispute. Ford said Navistar produced a faulty engine. Ford has ignored unsatisfactory test results for the 6.0L Powerstroke, which could have prevented post-production issues, according to evidence.

As the Powerstroke suffered catastrophic failures, expensive engine replacement warranty claims flooded in. The cab of the vehicle had to be removed for the majority of these repairs. Because to this engine, many owners have lost faith in the brand. A series of recalls affecting this notoriously problematic truck are listed by Consumer Reports.

How long does a 7.3 Turbo last?

Some of you may scoff at this argument, but anyone who has driven a bone-stock 7.3L-equipped ‘94.5-’03 Ford knows how difficult it is to keep up with modern traffic. In Power Stroke guise, the 7.3L was rated at 210hp and 425 lb-ft of torque when it debuted in mid-’94 (the version of the 7.3L that Navistar built for International trucks was coined the T444E and came with different yet similarly-mild power ratings). While that kind of power was on par with or better than what Dodge and GM were producing at the time, you were still looking at 14-second 0-60 times. The basic requirements for any diesel engine to endure forever are robust, iron parts, conservative power, and low engine speed—and if a 7.3L has been adequately maintained throughout its life, 400,000 to 500,000 miles is nearly certain.

How much HP can a 7.3 make?

With a few modifications, Ford’s 7.3-liter V-8 can produce 600 naturally aspirated horsepower. The massive gasoline V-8 found in Ford’s new Super Duty pickups can produce massive amounts of naturally aspirated power—and it fits in a Fox-body Mustang.

Why did Ford stop making the 7.3 diesel?

The 7.3 Powerstroke debuted in 1994, replacing the non-turbo 7.3L IDI (indirect Injection). The Powerstroke was a game-changing development in the automobile industry, as it woke up the previously sluggish and underperforming 3/4-ton Ford pickup, producing significantly more power and exceeding its predecessor. The 7.3 Powerstroke may be a grandpa in terms of power and performance in today’s current diesel terms, but it was a marvel of performance and power in the world of heavy-duty pickups in its day.

So, when did Ford discontinue producing the 7.3L, and why did they do so? The last year of the 7.3 Powerstroke engine was produced until roughly mid-2003, when it was replaced by the 6.0L since it failed to fulfill federal and “great” state of California emissions and noise rules. Despite the fact that it had blazed the way in 1994, the 7.3 was also phased out due to its lack of power in compared to the ever-improving performance of competitor diesels from GM and Chrysler. Unfortunately for Ford (and Navistar International), the newly designed, more emissions-friendly 6.0L Powerstroke would swiftly develop a reputation as one of the most troublesome diesel engines ever built.

Continue reading to learn more about the 7.3 Powerstroke diesel’s 9-year history, troubles, and improvements.

The 7.3L Powerstroke is widely recognized as one of the best and most reliable diesel engines ever made, however even with its stellar reputation, the 7.3 had its share of flaws and issues. The 7.3 has more problems than you might expect, but the beauty of this engine is that most fixes are simple and require just a basic understanding of diesel engines. We’ve compiled a list of the 7.3 engine’s most common difficulties and drawbacks below.

On the 7.3 Powerstroke, wire chafing is fairly prevalent, and the injector wiring harness is particularly notable since it has a tendency to burn the glow plug and injector terminals. This can result in misfires, harsh running, no start, and a variety of other issues. The 42 pin harness, which can rub against the driver’s side valve cover and cause problems similar to the malfunctioning injector harness, is another common location. It’s a fairly simple fix for both of these problems, but it can be challenging because some of the symptoms the truck exhibits may lead you to believe the problem is with your glow plug, injectors, or sensors rather than with the wiring. If sufficient research is not done, this can end up costing much more than necessary. Before leaping to conclusions, it’s always a good idea to do some study on the subject.

CPS (College of Public Safety) (Camshaft Position Sensor)

The CPS is unquestionably one of the most well-known problems with the 7.3L, but it was less common in later model years. When the CPS fails, the truck will not start and, in some situations, will shut down unexpectedly while driving. However, because the tachometer will stop moving when cranking the engine, it is typically very easy to diagnose. It can be quickly and efficiently replaced using basic tools, but it’s a good idea to have an extra one on hand because getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is never a fun moment.

3. Heating Element & Fuel Bowl

I’d prefer to start with the gasoline heating element, which has a tendency to short out, causing a fuse to blow and the truck to not start. This happened to me with my 99 7.3 just last year. I was on an elk hunt and when it was time to load up and leave, I tried to start my truck but it wouldn’t start. When the key was turned, the fuel pump did not turn on, and the tachometer did not move. I assumed it was the CPS because the tac was not moving, but the fuel pump was spanking new, so I knew something else was amiss. To cut a long tale short, after about 20 minutes of searching for a solution, I discovered the blown 20A fuse and replaced it, unplugged the fuel bowl heater, and she started up again as if by magic. It’s a good idea to have a few spare fuses in your truck just in case. If I hadn’t had a new fuse, I would have been in a lot of trouble. Furthermore, the fuel bowl housing is composed of low-cost cast aluminum, which is prone to cracking and leaking fuel into the engine valley. Not only that, but the fuel bowl seals and O-rings are prone to cracking, resulting in leaks. As a result, make sure to look for all of these items.

EBPV (Exhaust Backpressure Valve) failure is a possibility with 7.3s that have a lot of miles on them. The valve will stick in one of two positions, causing the truck to run badly and emitting a loud jet-like exhaust sound. I had this problem with my truck as well, and when it was cold and I tried to accelerate, the truck was extremely sluggish, wouldn’t create boost, and just ran rough all over. When this happens, you may either replace it or, if you don’t have the money, unplug the EBPV when the truck is hot and the valve is open as a temporary workaround. The truck will operate normally now, but it will take a little longer to warm up from a cold start.

These are just a few of the most prevalent 7.3 Powerstroke problems. We are not attempting to discredit the 7.3 because it is a wonderful engine; rather, we wanted to make you aware that it does have a few flaws. As previously stated, the 7.3 was retired due to emissions and noise laws, as well as the fact that it had simply become outmoded in the diesel industry. Diesel engine technology and power had advanced beyond what the 7.3 could properly provide. In comparison to the 2003 7.3L Cummins engine, which produced only 275 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque, the 2003 5.9L Cummins engine produced 305 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. The Powerstroke, as you can see from the comparison of specs, was in desperate need of replacement. With 325 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, the 2003.5 6.0 Powerstroke outperformed the 5.9, putting Ford back on top, at least in terms of power.

The 7.3L was regarded as one of Navistar International’s best diesel engines, and while it is a terrific engine, it does have its own set of issues and limits, as detailed above. It was subsequently phased out due to failure to fulfill emissions and noise standards. I hope you found this material to be useful in your pursuits and that it answered any issues you had. Thank you for reading, and please take a look at some of our other writings regarding the 7.3L Powerstroke.

Is 6.0 or 7.3 engine better?

Was the 7.3L engine genuinely superior? Sure. That assertion, however, is very dependent on what you’re basing your judgment on. The 7.3L is the clear winner in terms of dependability, durability, and simplicity. The 6.0L has it beat when it comes to horsepower, drivability, and passing modern-day emissions rules.

In the end, both engines have advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to figure out which one checks the most boxes in the categories that matter to you.

Can you bulletproof a 7.3 Power Stroke?

Many consider the 7.3L Powerstroke to be unbreakable! Even if the 7.3L is indestructible, lack of regular maintenance and foolish blunders can derail this endurance diesel engine platform.

This video will be extremely helpful if you own a 7.3L or are considering purchasing a used 7.3L. This video will show you how to recognize the telltale indicators of a failing 7.3L Powerstroke engine and what the likely reasons of the failure(s) are.

In this video, I begin by troubleshooting and addressing the engine’s obvious issues. Then we disassemble the motor for an inspection, taking care to point out any problematic parts. I show the engine building and then the rebuilt motor fitted in the truck once we have a game plan in place.

Who makes the most reliable diesel engine?

The 7.3L Powerstroke is still widely regarded as one of the most dependable diesel engines ever produced. With 500 pound-feet of torque and 235 horsepower, it offers enough power for most purposes. With an air-to-air intercooler, oil-based fuelling, and long-lasting internal hard parts, it was built to last. When properly maintained, the Super Duty from 1999 to 2003 may travel much beyond 500,000 miles. If you’re looking for a secondhand 7.3L Powerstroke, you can get a fair deal on one with 150,000 to 250,000 kilometers.