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Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

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Old 12-13-2004, 06:26:31 PM
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Default OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Sorry for this OT question, but I'm sure that a lot of you here have experience with Ford Trucks, and I need some help.

I am looking to replace my gas-powered F150, possibly with a Diesel powered truck. My local Ford dealer has a 2003 F350 XL (work truck) 4x2 6 speed that got lost in inventory, so it's still new, with only 11.5 mi on the odometer. I'm interested in the truck - the sticker is $30,400, and he's come down to $22,000, which he says is his absolute bottom line. I've driven the truck, and it's got GOBS of torque, and seems to run very well. Some internet research showed that the Powerstroke diesel had some problems, mainly rough idling and diesel leaking into the crankcase oil, and a few instances of vehicle buybacks by Ford due to blown engines, chronic problems, etc. Some of these trucks were recalled for computer reprogramming as well. Overall, though, there seem to be thousands of satisfied customers.

Does anyone here have experience, good or bad, with the '03 F350 with a Powerstroke diesel? Please let me know, as I would like to make an intelligent decision as to wether I should give up my F150 for the F350.


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Old 12-13-2004, 09:25:12 PM
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Chris, Since it's a new truck it will still have a new warranty. The 7.3 was a tough engine, and one of the best. I have pulled gobs of weight with one. Have the dealer install any computer upgrades before you drive it off the lot. I would like a better reason as to why an 03 is still on the lot. The price is cheap, real cheap! I have several friends with 03 fords and they like them,( almost as much as they like my 03 Duramax flat bed),
Old 12-13-2004, 10:08:00 PM
Randy L Peterson Randy L Peterson is offline
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Is it a 6.0 or a 7.3 powerstroke. The 6.0's had the Idle problems Most of which are fixed with the latest and greatest in computor programs.. Just requires flashing the Computor's with the WDS Fords Scan tool. The first ones did have some Injector problems, A titaniam coating on a plunger would flake and then the Injector will leak externally and into the engine oil. This has not hurt any of the engines that I have worked on. Have Had 2 with the leaking internal Injectors. Usually requires figuring out which injector is leaking by using dye and if it has gone too long Ford Recomends replacing the Turbo Charger.. But You should get a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty on the diesel engine so All the little things should be covered. But over all they have been pretty decent.. I guess I would Make sure the Vehicle has the Latest Calibration for the computors and watch the oil level often first couple of oil Changes. and Ask that they put the new updated dip stick in. Old one has a black end that you cant read the new one is white and easier to read. If you buy it ENJOY
Randy L Peterson
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IN Getting Cold South Dakota
Old 12-13-2004, 11:04:34 PM
Simple_serf Simple_serf is offline
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Thing that bugs me most about the 6.0 and the 7.3, is that they are good motors in IH (I know, I know...Navistar) trucks, but when Ford got ahold of them...well, you know what happened. I am not bashing ford, I just find it interesting (I drive a ranger and love it). I am also an IH truck fan, and like Dodge trucks with the cummins too. (Seen one pullin 35K's now on it's 4th trans ).

The simple serf
Old 12-14-2004, 04:18:54 AM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

I shamelessly admit to being brand loyal, but the cummins engine has about one half the wearing parts, and is about twice as beefy. If you're planning on keeping it forever I would say it would potentially give you less problems. Check out the difference between an inline six and a vee eight. Sixes are just inherently less problematic, and the problems show up quicker the more power you are making. Kevin
Old 12-14-2004, 11:13:39 AM
ronm ronm is offline
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

That might apply to the older 2-valve Cummins, but the new 4-valve heads are a different story entirely. My engine machinist buddy was roundly cussing one of them the other day...his opinion was that Cummins had a good engine, but really shafted the customer on the 4-valves, for the sake of being able to advertise having "24 valves"...stamped steel bridges & rocker arms, tiny metric-sized valve stems & guides that his existing eqipment wouldn't work on, you name it & he didn't like it-& this guy has run a machine shop for about 40 yrs...
Old 12-14-2004, 01:47:19 PM
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

The Cummins, Duramax,and 7.3 Power Stroke were all good engines. You can buy after market chips, intakes,and exhaust systems to boost the torque 100ftlbs or more. But, when you tweak one out like that it creates more internal stress,and if you work them hard, like I do, it would probably affect the durability of the engine. The problem is that the Big 3 has started doing this. Ford has gone to a smaller engine with more torque, Dodge has gone to cheeper hardware and multi everything,and GM has already changed the intake and progam on the Duramax. Just so each one can claim more torque. If anyone needs more than 500ftlbs, you're pulling too much anyway. Tony
Old 12-16-2004, 01:10:44 PM
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Here's another old fuddy-duddies opinion,
I have had a 6.9L Ford 250 for about 12 years and its been as near bullet proof as anything I ever owned. I just bought a '97 F-450 PSD and gave over half what your guy is asking and it had 80K miles. The only thing you will ever regret is not having gone to a truck sooner. Sure Dodge and Chevy make trucks also but try to find one for the price you quoted. Really seems funny it got lost though. I'd really question that thoroughly. This size truck is made to use, the smaller ones to act like cars. enjoy U J Hale
Old 12-17-2004, 10:15:07 AM
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Here in farm country the Powerstrokes are very popular. Iv'e put 40,000 miles on mine sure have enjoyed its power, torque, and economy. I had a buddy who got wild with an aftermarket computer chip and exhaust modifications. He can light up the tires at 45 mph. I wouldn't need all that!
Old 12-17-2004, 08:14:10 PM
Motomowers Motomowers is offline
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

Chris, I would say go with a Duramax. My boss just bought a new F350 6.0 PSD and has had the cruise stop working and airbag lights come on and also has tire wearing problems. A fellow employee just bought a brand new F350 last week with the PSD and its having trouble starting with the glow plug circuit and his water pump is leaking. The owners wife bought an Expedition 1 month ago and had her air bag light come on and the low tire pressure sensor keeps telling her that tires are low when they're fine. My experiance with Ford is they are an electrical hassle. My 2 Dodge diesels gave me nothing but grief except the engines,of course they were used but only had around 50,000 miles. I also bought new a 1982 Chevy C-10 6.2 diesel that in 6 months time blew a head gasket,lost a heater core and a lock up torque converter. I traded it in on a 1983 Mazda B2200 diesel with a Perkins designed engine and drove it 15 years and 579,000 miles on its original engine before it rusted in half. As for the cowboys out there with their big huge trucks knocking the small ones. 1- I dont need a full sized truck.2-I need better than 17 MPG 3-I need reliability when the warranty runs out. A friend had a 1997 F350 4X4 PSD and after 4 years and 80,000 miles he had the injector pump replaced,water pump, front end rebuilt TWICE,factory rebuilt auto trans,ring gear plate cracked.He traded it in on a new Nissan Frontier 4X4 quad cab and loves it. I would never buy one of these big diesel trucks new because they are way over priced and have their share of lots of small problems which they shouldnt for that kind of money. A point a lot of guys are missing here is the fact that the truck is a diesel and 4X2. Trust me it will be a pig in snow,diesel torque or not the back end will slide all over unless you put about 300lbs in back.If you go diesel go 4X4 for winter. I would like to see the Cummins in the Chevy because its a good combo. Dont get diesel with auto because the trans will explode long before its time if really worked. Hope I shed some light with my experiances.

Btw no word yet on the Foos.
Old 12-20-2004, 01:42:28 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is online now
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Default Re: OT - Need advice on an '03 Ford F350 diesel

One more thing to check before you sign on the dotted line - check with CAR-FAX ! It uses the VIN, and can tell you if there were any reported problems on the vehicle. Good luck, and let us know how you make out!
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