Originally Posted by bemerritt
Wow, thanks for making me stay up too late looking into that. Truly a wealth of information you have provided and sounds exactly like my problem.
Still researching, but my local Ford place wants $400 just to drop the tank and clean the existing screen, so thats a no go. Either going to do it myself or hope the people installing the bigger tank are game for it.
It does seem liek some of the kits say that they do not work on the E-Series. Also, the FRX from Riffraff says it works on 99 and up. I am a 98, any idea what changed or prompts that claim?
EDIT: After further research, 98 is a 99. Or at least an early 99. Hence the gap between 97 and 99 when looking at the splits.
Wasn't my intention to worry you, just inform you. Look, here's what human instinct causes to happen when we break down. First we look all around because we're all fixers. Then we get frustrated because we can't figure out something we've never seriously worked on previously. Then we post a question so all the other fixers can chime in with what the problem was last week on their future ex-brother in law's van. So we google all of their worst case scenarios and we feel the same as when we google a minor health problem, right? Then we just want to buy all the highest quality parts that could make it through WW3, so we don't have to feel like a horseless cowboy ever again! I get it, but it makes no sense. Especially on a diesel, throwing all kinds of parts and sensors at the problem will leave you broke fast.
Don't get down about E99 vs. 99+. They each have advantages. Here's some good news about your 7.3, yours has forged rods and the later ones only came stock with PMR's (Powdered Metal Rods). Yours can handle extreme power easily with no worries of breakage. That should make you feel a-little better!
Now, I re-read your first post. Your van drives along o.k., then when you hit the hill it really struggles.
Here's how a mechanic reads that same sentence: 1) Starts, runs, drives, normal under NO real load. (Starts to climb hill) Under load - engine falls on it's face. 2) Failing under load suggests low fuel pressure condition. 3) I need to test fuel pressure under load to verify how low it is dropping. 4) There is no Step 4 until Step 3 is completed.
Diagnostics is the key here! There is probably a highly experienced diesel tech (not the usual dealership gas engine parts changer) right in your area that has a guage adapter for your engine sitting right in his toolbox next to a high quality FP gauge, etc. I recommend at least paying him for diagnostics and then go from there. It will be way cheaper than running around for 1/2 day and spending $200-$250 on something you may never need again.
Above someone mentioned the FPR. It's not likely in this case. What he's referring to that is a common problem, is the tin nut on back of the FPR can work loose and your engine will run crappy (almost all the time) until you tighten it. Or if the sensor goes bad, your engine will run crappy almost all of the time! Not what you described. The hill is the dead give away here!
The Early 99's have 2 inch intake plenums and 4 bolts on the turbo compressor cover, and no AIH(air intake heater) in the spyder. The turbo pedistal is much shorter than the later raised ones. These are the main reasons that aftermarket parts for 99+ don't always fit. There's just as much poor advice on the internet as solid advice, but you can bet on real experience every time. That's the only reason I recommended that for diagnostics purposes. Cheers!