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Old 01-20-2017, 01:23 PM   #1
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Need help refreshing a 7.3l

Hi all,

So I have a 1996 ford e350 with the 7.3l OBS and 210k miles. Van overall runs good but I fairly recently had a shop replace the fuel pump and IPR after accidentally running out of gas and not being able to get it running again. Van ran great after for about 3 months then one morning it was 0 degrees out the van started up fine for 10 seconds then shut off and would not restart. a few days later it still wasn't able to start and it was 50 degrees out so I tried to shoot a little starting fluid and didn't think I used much but it blew up my air intake and its busted up now (I feel like an idiot and wont be trying that again). So now I am trying to decide if I want to get it towed to a shop and fix it as is or just decide to tear into it myself and bulletproof it since it could use a good refreshing anyways with the sort of miles it has. Everything is original and its new to me, i have only put a couple thousand miles on it.

Here is what I am considering if I actually decide to try or can even afford it:

1) New or rebuilt injectors (nothing crazy but probably about 130cc to upgrade from the 90 that my stock OBS has).
2) 4" exhaust (any recommondations, there aren't many options I can find for my 96 with the OBS, easier to find the 99-03)
3) New intake since I destroyed mine and I would also like to delete the resonator box, any easy way to plug the hole? Also does anyone sell a premade aftermarket intake that works for our vans? Again I have had no luck finding much besides custom built and I don't have a welder.
4) New glow plugs obviously as that may be part of my current issue
5) fuel bowl delete with a kit from Strictly Diesel, I can only find this kit that is made for the F250, there is no E series kit I can find and I was hoping I could make this work https://www.strictlydiesel.com/p-343...el-system.aspx
Has anyone tried to make this work for a van, it seems pretty complete. If there are any other options or ideas I would love to hear that too.
6) Oil crossover
7) New HPOP to replace mine that is the old 15 degree. ( I was told it was throwing codes anyway when I had the other work done and they wanted to replace it all then but I passed)
8) Possibly a tuner to get a little more power and gas mileage.
9) Any guages or anything that should be added or used?

My ultimate goal is to be as reliable as possible and fuel efficiency ( I currently get about 13 to 13.5 average and I think (hope) it can be closer to 16 on the highway even with my high top)

I in no way am a master mechanic and know very little about diesel engines so I would appreciate any input or guidance on what to do (or not do) what parts to get, etc. I plan on keeping my van for along time otherwise I wouldn't consider all of this. It was running fine before this last issue so maybe im going overboard and can just get it running again but alot of these things I would like to address at least eventually if not all at once.

Lastly I have heard the injectors can be replaced from inside without dropping the engine but have heard others say they had too, I am hoping the front seats can just be removed and it can be done like that, otherwise I defiantly can't do it myself. A local shop quoted $670 in labor just for injectors, with my long list it could add up quickly so I am hoping I could try it myself.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
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Do it yourself. To have a barely capable diesel mechanic here in Denver do that kind of work would cost a stupid amount of money. Diesel shops prey upon people who buy a diesel and then are too scared to work on it.
IMO DO NOT go cheap on injectors. Get quality factory new/rebuilt.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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No suggestions from any 7.3 guru's?????
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
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1-130 injectors will require a larger hp oil pump and tuning for your PCM...make sure it is not a DPC-315 because no one can write tune for it
2-you do not need a 4" exhaust, you already have 3.5". You are not going to push 500hp. Remove the cat with a straight pipe
3-take a 2" pvc cap and turn down the end to 2.25" and plug off where the res box was
there is one guy that is making an filter for the 7.3 but it is not needed with only 350hp
4-yes and purchase new FORD valve covers nd upgrade your solenoid
5-if you are having a problem with the fuel bowl then replace it but if not having a problem leave it alone. It will handle the power
6-yes
7-Adrenalin pump with 130's
8-This depends on your PCM
9-You can use a bluetooth OBD-II reader with "Torque app"
10- after you install the new power you will need a new tranny soon
my setup is just what you are trying to do. I get 18-20 mpg with 588,000 miles. Since I have DPC-315 PCM my 130's work like stock 90's
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip on the PCM hogasm, are all 96 years (or OBS in general) a DPC-315? Where do I check to see what I have?

I think my fuel bowl is fine but deleting it would just simplify things and eliminate the dead head problem to injector #8 I've heard. I don't think anyone makes a fuel crossover for the OBS as that would be cheaper. Maybe it's not worth the $1200 premium, I wouldn't mind saving the money.....?

I probably don't need a 4" exhaust but many people seem to swear that's the best improvement they made and for only 275 bucks shipped, my 20 year old rusted exhaust isn't worth trying to save. Has anyone painted their exhaust with high temp paint before install to help with salt? I recently moved to SLC Utah from AZ and am learning Salt sucks.

Do you happen to have the contact info for the guy that makes air intakes? Mine is destroyed so might as well get an aftermarket for a little more airflow for better or worse since there are mixed opinions or I'll have to try and track down a stock unit.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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"blew up the intake" with starting fluid...

I'm no 7.3 guru, but if it were me I'd get it up and running first, making sure I didn't hurt the turbo, bend a rod or some other non-sense.

I'd also jump on some of the Ford Diesel forums and poke around to see what type of damage is most common after have an ether intake backfire.

I agree with the 'do it yourself' statement and shops preying on customers who are afraid to do the work themselves. On the other hand though, I've found that most shops wont work on a van, if they have a choice. And I know why; Everything on my 7.3 van is time consuming, nothing is easy to get at, the top of the engine has 47 failure points that all leak oil into the valley, and dribble oil onto everything. Do you think the shop's Master Mechanic wants to work on that? Not a chance, he can't beat flat rate and make the $$$. They give it to the young enthusiastic guy, long on patients and Harry Hoodini limb flexibility, but short on trouble shooting experience. So they 'throw parts at it' until the problem is fixed, or I just go away. Sad, but them's the facts! My local shops are $110/hr, no matter which mechanic works on it, so everything you can do yourself, so long as you're careful, is money better used for van adventures!
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesisnight View Post
I tried to shoot a little starting fluid and didn't think I used much but it blew up my air intake and its busted up now (I feel like an idiot and wont be trying that again).
I feel your pain. Air cooled Porsche's are known for doing this without starting fluid. It is so common that there is a spring loaded over pressure valve you can install in the intake that opens upon a backfire, saving the box. I just wish I had known that before I blew up mine. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but in the end you will know far more about your engine and be better prepared to troubleshoot it on the road.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:48 AM   #8
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So I finally started tearing into this project now that it's warming up here and it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Once I figured out how to get the turbo off it was pretty smooth sailing. I got the fuel pump and fuel bowl out and started cleaning out the 20 years of grease and grime in the valley. Just waiting on a HPOP tool and then I'll get that out, and get to work fixing everything up. Plan is to add a terminator HPOP with new stainless lines, rebuild fuel bowl even though it's not leaking while it's out, I alread have a new fuel pump, add oil crossover, new stock injectors as preventative maintenance while it's apart, new glow plugs and wireing, EBPV delete pedestal as that was leaking and almost costs as much to rebuild as replace/delete, high flow banjo bolts, 4" exhaust, and custom intake I'll be making. Was going to upgrade turbo wheel with the one Riffraffdiesel sells but decided I don't want to open it up or mess with it right now.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesisnight View Post
new stock injectors as preventative maintenance while it's apart, new glow plugs and wireing, EBPV delete pedestal as that was leaking and almost costs as much to rebuild as replace/delete, high flow banjo bolts....
I'm told that getting the injectors out (in one piece, without disassembling the injector itself) and back in, on our years van is tough. One guy mentioned removing an engine mount to get the 7.3 lower and tipped, so he could get them out.

You've got an ambitious project there, keep posting, add pics!
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
I'm told that getting the injectors out (in one piece, without disassembling the injector itself) and back in, on our years van is tough. One guy mentioned removing an engine mount to get the 7.3 lower and tipped, so he could get them out.

You've got an ambitious project there, keep posting, add pics!

Yes this is all true, there are several ways people have done Injectors that I have read about. Some lift the body (almost impossible with a full camper conversion and tons of things going through the floor), Some tilt the and drop the engine (also a ton of work and very difficult with all the extra crap in my engine bay to mess up and taking up room like my starcool AC). That leaves the third and easiest option, really I have read that there is only issues with the #3 injector and some people can't get to the #5 as well.
I have been told you can remove the #3 injector by taking the solenoid on top off. It's really simple, just 4 screws on top. There is nothing you can really mess up under there, its just a plate resting on an injector. It can then be removed separately and then reinstalled the same way with a fresh new injector. So that will be my method once I get them in the mail any day now.
I am in no way a very good mechanic (have never owned or worked on a diesel) and felt pretty daunted by all of this, but once I started tearing into it I am very glad I did it myself and feel much more comfortable and knowledgeable about my van and how things are working in there. Plus I can take the time to get everything cleaned up and make sure its done right as I am in no hurry.
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