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Old 12-03-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
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"Complete oil change" they said, "It's easy" they said

The 7.3 Diesel has a High Pressure Oil pump (HPOP), that generates up to 3000psi engine oil, to help fire the fuel injectors. This little guy is a very precision piece that requires clean oil to function properly. Every time I do an oil change on my 7.3, it just seems to run better, which probably has to do with fresh oil circulating in the injector and HPOP loop.






Watching Bil Hewitt's youtube channel about a 'complete' oil change on the 7.3, he points out that the HPOP shares oil with the rest of the engine 'over time', but really needs to have is reservoir oil changed at regular intervals, ideally every 5000 miles along with the crankcase oil and filter.


There's a small plug, and you need a pump to suck the old oil out. Hmmm... who knew? It's a pain to get at in the van, but I figured I'd tackle it Saturday morning, it should take me 2hrs tops, right?





I decide to use the cheap little plastic pump that I have for pump gear lube into differentials and transfer cases.


It starts to mist, then sprinkle, then rain...



That's when the straw fell off the pump, disappearing into the depths of oil reservoir


My day went from 'not bad' to awful in a instant.


I took all the bolts out to loosen the cover, the high pressure sensor and steel fitting that's all but impossible to get at, and only after taking out the interior engine cover. At least I'm out of the rain, if only for a moment. Instead of the HPOP oil reservoir top cover coming loose when I prying on it, the entire reservoir came loose from the timing cover, disturbing the base seal and puking a quart of oil onto my serpentine belt and down the front of the engine.

Luckily the Ford dealer had the base seal/gasket in stock (which had been leaking down the front of the engine, anyhow). I rent the serpentine belt tensioner tool from O'Riely's. Brand new in the case, too, which broke at the weld with my gentile use. Must have been a brittle weld.


At this point, I changed my mindset from 'quick oil change' to 'In for a nickle, in for a dollar' mindset.






I decide to change the now semi-exposed fuel bowl filter. I re-tap two turns deeper, one of the the steel high pressure fittings, which had been leaking a at the sender, while I was at it. I taped up a section of wiring harness, where the plastic covering had gotten brittle with time. I found the steel bracket that holds the cast aluminum resonator, was broken, allowing the resonator to flop around an rattle. Yep, I removed it and welded it back together with a stiffener. and welded the rented tool back together, hitting both with satin black rattle can paint. I re-sealed the breather box, that's on top of the driver's side valve cover, with new o-rings, while I was at it. The 'wisp of escaping vapor', was now gone.



10 hours and a sore back later, the oil was changed, I have 3 fewer minor oil leaks, one less rattle (it's a 7.3, I'll never notice), and fresh, clean oil in the HPOP reservoir
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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YIKES! Sounds like you were just one broken bolt away from an additional two day project, congratulations...........
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:09 PM   #3
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This sounds like alot of my experiences when doing the "this shouldn't take long" projects. Glad you got it figured out!
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:15 PM   #4
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At least you didn't do what a guy I worked with did. He used the wrong filter on his F-250(at that time there were only two that Ford approved) and that high pressure collapsed the filter and he burned up his engine. It was a new truck but since the filter wasn't one approved by Ford he had to pay for out of his own pocket. That was over twenty years ago but your day went a lot better than his did, if that's any consolation.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:38 PM   #5
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A real accomplishment! definitely a better man than myself - I would have called AAA after the first snafu, had it towed to the Dealer, then had a couple beers to fuel some liquid courage before informing my wife of our obligation to pay for said repairs.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:40 PM   #6
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At least you didn't do what a guy I worked with did. He used the wrong filter on his F-250(at that time there were only two that Ford approved) and that high pressure collapsed the filter and he burned up his engine. It was a new truck but since the filter wasn't one approved by Ford he had to pay for out of his own pocket. That was over twenty years ago but your day went a lot better than his did, if that's any consolation.

No kidding... about the time the reservoir popped loose and dumped it's contents, the first two auto parts stores were zero help with the seal, the 'closed sign' was up on the dealer parts department, is where I stopped... had another cup of coffee, and took a few very deep breaths. I got one of the guys to open the parts department. When I got back home, I started working at half speed, slow, and methodical, "It takes as long as it takes to do everything right" mindset. I even carefully washed the used belt with soap and water. Before someone (likely me) got hurt, LOL!


arctictraveller you are exactly right, the way my day had been going, I was indeed one broken off bolt away from this job being completely fubar.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:52 PM   #7
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So, now that that's over, how do you feel about changing the oil the HPOP?

I never have. I figure nearly four gallons of new oil, I can live with one quart carrying over from the last batch.


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Old 12-03-2018, 04:40 PM   #8
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So, now that that's over, how do you feel about changing the oil the HPOP?

I never have. I figure nearly four gallons of new oil, I can live with one quart carrying over from the last batch.
Herb

Funny you should mention that Herb. I started pumping, then spilled out some of the blackest, nastiest, stinkiest oil I had ever seen or smelled.



I didn't take the time to fully understand how the system works, but suffice it
say some of that oil in the bottom of the reservoir likely dated back to the Bill Clinton administration.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:37 PM   #9
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Funny you should mention that Herb. I started pumping, then spilled out some of the blackest, nastiest, stinkiest oil I had ever seen or smelled...
Interesting. BTW, did you remember to remove the straw?


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Old 12-04-2018, 05:05 AM   #10
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Can't remember the number of times I've also started on something totally convinced it would be a quick and easy thing---only to have much the same foul ups time after time while in process. Other than being annoying as hell its comical only because I refuse to cry over such things.

Glad its all sorted out now---seems prudent to change all the oil in the engine system if its possible. I know I'd do the same if I owned a diesel engine.

FWIW I bought this serpentine belt tool: https://www.ebay.com/itm/GearWrench-...item1eef476455 I had a usable tool from Schley but a bit cumbersome and not nearly as complete as the Gear Wrench tool. Better yet its comes in the plastic case that's so compact it'll fit in small spaces out of the way waiting for its next use.

For those of us who like to travel prepared along with carrying an extra serpentine belt taking this sort of tool too makes good sense.
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