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Old 03-23-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
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Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

I went to look at an E350 with a 7.3 yesterday. The first thing I did was look under the van and it was pretty wet underneath. There was quite a bit of buildup along the drivers side of the block and down to the oil filter area. The oil pan and trans pan was wet as well. The van had been parked for a couple weeks and there was a wet spot on the ground as well. I initially thought it must be an oil leak but after some research, I think it might be some o rings that need to be replaced throughout various parts of the motor. I took some pics hoping someone could verify that it was either a fuel or oil leak.

Also, when I took it for a drive, there was a "wah wah" noise as I came to a stop. It would make that sound every time I slowed down. If I stayed steady at the same speed (around 15mph), it would constantly make the noise. Sounded like it came from the front passenger wheel area but I don't know if it could maybe be coming from the trans. Its an 01 with 190k miles on the original tranny.

Not sure how much o ring replacements would cost (parts and labor), but do you think its a van to walk away from? I like it because its a black extended van with the 7.3. If I can get a decent enough deal on it, I wouldnt mind putting the money towards replacing the o rings. The motor ran very smooth although it did seem a little under powered. There was no smoke on a cold start up and no blow by when I took off the oil filler cap.

Video of the sound












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Old 03-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

Pretty much all 7.3L's leak.

Fuel bowl o-rings generally need R&R every 5-8 years.

190K on that transmission behind the diesel means its probably on borrowed time. Factor a reman in your budget so you won't be disappointed, and if it keeps going then chalk it up up good luck!

Engine main seal and oil pans are also possible "seap" points. Some Bars-Leak "Engine Main Stop Leak" additive work surprisingly well, and at $12 its a lot cheaper than dropping the pan. Engine main seal can be replaced easily while the transmission is out.

The "wah-wah" noise could be bearing noise. If you downshift manually into 1st, and the pitch doesn't change, it's probably not the transmission.

The 7.3L is not exactly a powerhouse. With only 215 HP, and lack of variable-vane turbo, turbo lag is prevalent. Using the throttle like an ON-OFF switch can be expected on a 7.3L in a heavy rig.

The good news is... It's pretty easy to add more power, and if its well taken care of it will last a long time:
[youtube:hd2cw0q6]
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

Carringb,

Do you think the amount of leakage is in the "normal" category or do you think its something that needs to be addressed? I'll call a local diesel shop tomorrow and see what it would cost to replace the usual o rings.

I thought these had 300hp, but if they have 215, then the power was probably on par.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

I'm not sure, but I don't think the van 7.3L's got any kind of intercooler. The trucks and Excursions have more room so they got an intercooler which helps a lot with the power.


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Old 03-23-2014, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
I'm not sure, but I don't think the van 7.3L's got any kind of intercooler. The trucks and Excursions have more room so they got an intercooler which helps a lot with the power.


Herb
Yeah, from what I've read none of the 7.3 vans got an intercooler. Seems like people are getting custom "tow" tunes that good gas mileage and increasing power. If I got a 7.3, I wouldn't want more than a tow tune either.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

The pics look like any other 7.3L I've seen with that many miles. Keep in mind that oil and diesel don't evaporate, so you're looking a lifetime of accumulation if its never been stream cleaned.

300 HP was F-series spec only. As mentioned, the big difference is the lack of intercooler. Some guys use DP-Tuner for mild tow-tunes, but you can't go too far without causing the EGTs to shoot up. Free flow exhaust will help a little, but for lots of power, either a air-water intercooler or a methanol injection system is needed to control the EGTs. There just isn't space for an intercooler, other than sticking an import-tuner universal intercooler behind the bumper. There is probably enough space to add one with the '08+ front clip, but I haven't seen anyone actually do it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

PS - Here's some more 7.3L inspiration!
[youtube:3bi430zs]
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

I dont need more motivation to get a 7.3! I want the van, I'm just trying to figure out if this particular one is a good one. Leaks scare me, but a couple people now have said that pretty much all 7.3's leak a little.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
I dont need more motivation to get a 7.3! I want the van, I'm just trying to figure out if this particular one is a good one. Leaks scare me, but a couple people now have said that pretty much all 7.3's leak a little.
Leak and make a lot of noise!
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Buying 7.3 E350 but has leaks...

The splatters on the oil filter are interesting. Not sure what would cause that.
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