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Old 07-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
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2000 f-550 7.3 psd

Hi all! I'm a newbie when it comes to diesels and 5th wheels. DW & I have decided to get both. We are looking at a 2000 F-550 7.3 liter PSD. 171K miles. Tranny has been replaced within the last year ( there is documentation). The truck has an all aluminum hauler bed with 5th wheel hitch, etc.
I will have it checked out by a diesel mechanic.
I understand that the 7.3 is actually a Navistar engine. Is this true?
Does the mileage seem high, low or average for this age truck?
Asking price is $17,700. Does this seem to be in the right ballpark?
I realize it's hard to give advice without pictures, etc.
But I'll ask anyway. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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All sounds about right to me. We have a 2000 F350 Super Duty with almost 200,000 miles and it runs great and we use it with our Montana 3750 5th wheel. I do have a Super chip programer and use it when pulling the 5th wheel and change it back to eco when not pulling the 5th wheel.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamrockken View Post
... We are looking at a 2000 F-550 7.3 liter PSD. 171K miles. Tranny has been replaced within the last year ( there is documentation). ...I understand that the 7.3 is actually a Navistar engine. Is this true?
Yes, the 7.3L was produced by International Truck and Engine division of Navistar in their engine plant in Indianapolis. International also used it in their medium-duty trucks, but they called it the 444 CID instead of the 7.3L. (444 cubic inches = 7.3L).

The weak spot in the drivetrain is the 4R100 tranny. If you want it to live, then you need to install a tranny temp gauge with the sender in the test port on the driver's side of the tranny. Be sure the gauge has the bottom peg at 100. NEVER allow the tranny temp to exceed 225 unless you can see the top of the pass right ahead of you. Change the ATF every 30,000 miles using Mobil 1 ATF or other synthetic ATF rated MERCON Plus. If you see over 210 more than once in a blue moon, then replace the oil-to-air (OTA) tranny cooler (heat exchanger) with the 28-row cooler from a later model SuperDuty that had the 6.0L engine.

The 7.3L has a reputation as being an excellent engine. I bought a new one and put 197,000 miles on it before I sold it. It was still running like a new one when I sold it. Ford said the expected life with normal (awful) maintenance was 250,000 miles. But folks that take care of them and change the oil per used oil analysis (UOA) reports claim at least 400,000 miles, and many way up there over 750,000 miles.

Quote:
Does the mileage seem high, low or average for this age truck?
Low. Mine had 197,000 miles at 12 years old, or 16,500 miles per year. An F-550 used mainly for RV towing would probably average 15k per year, so around 210,000 by now.

Quote:
Asking price is $17,700. Does this seem to be in the right ballpark?
Sounds like the top of the market unless it has Lariat trim and the previous owner kept detailed records of every dime spent on the truck since it rolled off the assembly line. Every oil change, every ATF change, every coolant change, tires, brakes, etc.

You didn't ask but I'll tell you anyhow. If you want to "wake up" that engine to have a great towing machine with no reduction in the longevity or reliability of the truck, then you need the following mods (unless it already has some of them).

First is gauges. We've already mentioned the tranny temp gauge. Next is a pyrometer (gauge for exhaust gas temp or EGT), with the thermocouple (sender) installed before the turbo (pre-turbo). Then never allow more than 1,250 pre-turbo EGT. Control EGT with your right foot, the same way you control speed. By modulating the go pedal, you can maintain EGT at 1,200 to 1,250 as you drag a heavy trailer up a mountain pass

Next is exhaust. You want a turbo-back 4" performance free-flow exhaust system with a straight-thru performance muffler. MBRP and Magnaflow are good brands.

Next is intake. You want a Ford Severe-Duty Air Induction System (AIS). Donaldson made them for Ford for use in the middle east during Desert Storm. Ford sold them to us civilians from their parts department for years, but no longer. You can still find some at diesel performance suppliers, like this one:
Ford AIS Severe Duty Intake System 98.5-03 7.3L Powerstroke FA-1759

Then AFTER you have gauges, intake and exhaust, it's time to add a towing tune. My choice was a DP-Tuner 80-tow tune for towing my 8,000-pound 5er. But for an F-550 towing a heavier trailer, you probably need 60 tow or maybe even 40-tow. Call DP-Tuner and ask them what they suggest for your F-550 7.3L.
Diesel tuning products for Ford PowerStroke
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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Smokey,
Thanks for the detailed info. The truck is the XLT LARIAT. I don't have the tranny number, but the tranny temp gauge is there. The information I am getting says 2 owner truck with books and papers for everything. Western hauler aluminum bed with boxes and 5th hitch plus front and rear receiver hitches. 19.5 tires with 2012 mfg dates.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
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The truck is the XLT LARIAT.
No such thing. It's either an XLT or Lariat. The XLT has cloth seats and the Lariat has leather seats. The Lariat also has several nice additions, such as a computer in the overhead console over the windshield. Mine was an XLT, but I often wished I had spent the money for the Lariat, mainly to have that computer.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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I was wrong about the XLT LARIAT. It appears neither plates are on this truck. It does have power everything and leather seats, but no computer as you mentioned.
I'm hoping to get my mechanic out to check it out tomorrow.
Did not seen EGT gauge, but I can see how important that could be. I'm familiar with the concept of monitoring exhaust temps in the boating world.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:19 PM   #7
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Did not seen EGT gauge, but I can see how important that could be.
Ford did not include a pyrometer in the trucks with 7.3L diesel engine. With most stock tunes, you cannot get up over 1,250 pre-turbo EGT. So the penny pinchers at Ford decided to omit the pyrometer.

However, if you add even a little bit of power/torque to the engine with a towing tune, the EGT can get up above the redline in a heartbeat. So if you don't add a towing tune, you don't really need an aftermarket pyrometer. But my 80-tow DP-Tuner tune required me to drive by the pyrometer. I could take most 6% to 7% highway grades at 55 to 60 MPH in third gear, but not my normal 62 MPH cruising speed when towing. And on some 8% to 9% grades out west, I had to slow down to 50 MPH to maintain the EGT between 1,200 and 1,250
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:27 PM   #8
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I bought a 2000 F550 Lariat with hauler bed for $20500 3 years ago. Thought it was a good deal then and think it is a great deal now. Had only 82000 miles at purchase, now has 147000. Still going strong with no problems. Another advantage to the year and engine is no smog equipment to be concerned about. It has the ER40D transmission which was really weak and soft shifting. What I did was this;
1. Put in a Banks Stinger kit. If provides better air flow, swapped out turbo for more boost (though not excessive), a chip for increased HP and torque (again not excessive), and the 4" clean exhaust.
2. Put in the Banks Trans Command product. It firms up the shift points (so it now shifts like a truck) and changes the torque converter lock up and stall points. Makes for a much better towing transmission.
3. Of course I also put in the necessary gauges of trans. temp, EGT and boost.
I tow a #19000 pound fifth wheel and have had no problems to date. Have pulled across the Rockies and elsewhere without incident. Like 'SmokeyWren' drive it like you care about it using the gauges. Be strict on keeping the necessary maintenance schedule.
Only thing I disagree with him on is the overhead computer. Not that big a deal to me. Glad to have it but wouldn't pay extra to get it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:47 PM   #9
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What is the fuel mileage on this kind of set-up...hauling and not hauling?
Thanks
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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Love my 7.3. I think my speedometer will turn over at 1 mil. Keep your oil changed is my best advice. Plan on keeping this truck forever. I get about 17 driving around Spring Hill. About 22-23 on the road. I have all the shop manuals.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #11
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SmokeyWren, Hurricane993, jablair and greystroke, thanks for the info and tips.
Once we close on the truck, we will post some pics.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #12
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Shamrockken: You've received good advice. I've been a fan of SmokeyWren on TheDieselStop.com for years, and he's someone that really knows what he's talking about.

You sir have found a truly rare vehicle in a F550 with nice trim. The vast majority of F550's were sold to power companies and construction companies in standard trim with 6 speed manual transmissions. They're essentially short medium duty trucks--with few parts shared with a F350.

I bought my 03 F250 new 12 years ago, and I've only got 117K miles. I've been running D-P's 80 hp econo ECU flash, and my 7.3 runs great. I'm finally getting around to buying my fifth wheel, and I'm past due on mods. I have a TruCool auxiliary tranny cooler to install, and I've ordered D-P's tuner with a 60 hp tow program. (Their tunes include a John Woods custom tranny program.) I'm installing an air suspension on the rear and B&W fifth wheel hitch too.

You should take your F550 to a good truck alignment shop and have your suspension and brakes thoroughly inspected. They need to be at 100% on any tow vehicle. I'm a believer in Hawk brand brakes for any SuperDuty.

The cheapest set of Autometer gauges with the pillar mount is on Amazon.com: Autometer 7072 kit $309, and Autometer 3223 Boost Line Kit $9


Good luck to you on your purchase.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:46 PM   #13
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The time for wondering is over! Now it is time for discovery! DW & I bought the 2000 F550 we were asking about. We will pick the truck up on Monday (stupid insurance requirements).
We also purchased a 2007 Keystone Laredo 29RL. Single slide 5er. We really like the floor plan. We looked at a Glendale Titanium with 2 slides. There were several things we liked about it, but the Laredo floor plan had so much more flexibility.
The dealer is keeping the 5er for us for a couple of weeks while we have a second drive put in to allow us to back the rig into the back yard.

We will post pics soon. We thank all who posted with suggestions and helpful hints on both vehicles!
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:20 AM   #14
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PICTURES!!!! HAHA sounds like a great combo!
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