E-350 Powerstroke for moto van - yay or nay?

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6/19/2019 10:38 AM

Hey folks, been searching for a moto van for the last few weeks. Came across a 2000 E-350 7.3 w/233k miles which is pretty much the only diesel I can find in my price range within a reasonable distance. I got him down to $3500 but I'm still not sure it's worth it with the issues it has:

-rear door handles don't work/cables broken

-cracked windshield

-parking brake doesn't work

-shifter feels loose/indicator misaligned

-steering wheel misaligned

-oil/dirt residue buildup on front of oil pan (pan gasket or main seal?)

Body is 5/10, tires are decent, no major frame rust, seats are good, tranny seemed to shift fine.

I don't think I would have any problem fixing the door handles, parking brake, and shifter myself as I am pretty mechanically inclined but would probably have a shop do the alignment. Eventually I could get the oil leak taken care of when I could get it to my diesel mechanic friend a few hours away (it's not dripping level leaking but there is a grungy buildup).

Thoughts? Is this a reasonable price to pay?

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6/19/2019 10:41 AM

All easy stuff to fix. If the engine/trans/axle are in good shape, and nothing more than surface rust I'd say it's a deal.
Less than $1k in repairs. Do a mild build out for a moto van and you're less than $6k all in.

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6/19/2019 11:20 AM

Have you had a Diesel before?

If you have then you should already know the path you're going down

If you have not to get ready to spend lots of money, time and headaches with old mileage diesel. Especially ford.

I had a 7.3 F350 Diesel with 180k miles. Probably spent 4k on it and I did my own work. Parts are a lot more expensive than their gas counterparts.

Now to the van cosmetic and body stuff is easily repairable. The oil pan ohhh how I hate that fucking thing. These 7.3 Navistar engines are known for having a leaky oil pan. The pan itself is super cheap like 120 bucks. Problem is the engine has to be lifted to be able to remove this fucker. (or go the ratchet way and cut the cross member and weld it back up. I mean you are looking at taking apart all the parts that dress the engine fan, transmission, and engine mounts to be able to lift it at least 5 inches to pull the oil pan off and put the new one on. Transmissions are fairly good on these trucks if they have been driven like a normal person.
They blow crank sensors a lot, and 7.3 have electrical issues because wires are routed near hot areas and tend to short out which will make you break your head.
Working on the vans are a lot harder than on the trucks because space is more limited.

Shocks, rotors, and calipers are trash in any older ford. Be ready to change those.
If you get her running right and make her clean you will have one hell of a van and one that won't lose its value. Everybody loves these engines, after the 7.3 you have the 6.0 (6Blow) and you want to stay far FAR away from these.

Price for a decent 7.3 truck goes around 6k in my area. 3,500 could be a good deal or a bad deal. The best thing to do is go with your homie who is a diesel mechanic and have him inspect that vehicle with a microscope.

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Damn!

6/19/2019 11:27 AM

I’m on my second van with the 7.3. I sold the first one with 460000 miles. Still ran great with minimal issues for the 300000 I drove it. Upgraded to a newer 7.3 with less miles.

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6/19/2019 4:41 PM

Thanks for the info fellas. I'm gonna see if I can find a local diesel mechanic to come look at it with me. Looked at it again today and my biggest concern is the leakage. Sounds like if the oil pan needs replaced it's just not worth the hassle and money.
Other van option: old news van, gasser with 200k on the clock but could be really cool. Has a non-working Onan generator and compressor (I'm sure I could get them running), ac, heater, lights, and it's extended. Would be great for a weekend at the track!

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6/19/2019 5:12 PM

I'd take it with 233k no problem, my '97 has 340k and runs like a champ.

I had loose shifter/misaligned gear indicator for a while, had to pull the shifter up for it to start sometimes. one day I came home and tried to turn the key off and the bastard just kept running. I eventually pulled the fuses one at a time till she died. The shifter and ignition have plastic gears inside that are known to wear and eventually break(per mechanic) and after they pulled the steering wheel and column to replace it all it worked like new again but wasn't cheap!

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6/19/2019 5:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2019 5:49 PM

A 7.3 w/ 233k for $3500 is a great deal, I’d buy that any day of the week (as long as it isn’t absolutely hammered). On the flip side, I wouldn’t be nearly as excited for a gas motor with 200k. If choosing between those two, it’s a no brainer in my mind.

My dad and I both have owned several 7.3s over the years... our favorite vehicles ever. Honestly, they all leak a little, and the bottom of the oil pan is almost always wet with oil on any of them you look underneath. If it isn’t dumping oil, I wouldn’t worry about it. 7.3s are easy to work on, and there’s a lot of them on the road... so parts are available anywhere. Can’t go wrong.

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6/19/2019 5:50 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/19/2019 5:51 PM

You guys ever have issues with cracked injector cups on your 7.3? I bought an 02 excursion hoping to drive it forever but it’s run was ended early when a cracked injector cup ruined number 8 injector resulting in hydrolocking, thrown rods and a shattered block on the I17. It was spectacular however! RIP

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6/19/2019 9:10 PM

ridinbeast932 wrote:

Hey folks, been searching for a moto van for the last few weeks. Came across a 2000 E-350 7.3 w/233k miles which is pretty ...more

Dude, check the brakes and rotors, they are always trashed, ball joints also....

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6/19/2019 9:19 PM

7.3 is the best diesel motor ever made. As long as everything else checks out at least you won't have to worry about breaking down. That motor is a beast.

But yes, check ball joints and steering linkage. It's a minimal price to pay, but Fords are know for the "death wobble".

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6/19/2019 10:00 PM

kdizzle_rider wrote:

You guys ever have issues with cracked injector cups on your 7.3? I bought an 02 excursion hoping to drive it forever but it’s ...more

Yup had a cracked injector cup on my '98 E-350 7.3 diesel. Luckily had a mechanic buddy who replaced all cups and injectors just to be safe. That was at 300k. Now has almost 400k and runs great. Even with that issue it's still the best vehicle I've ever owned.

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6/19/2019 10:28 PM

Mine has 340k on it, pops has had three trucks with them all over 250k...phenomenal engines.

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6/20/2019 6:37 AM

They’re solid engines, swapped one into a truck years ago that had 220k miles. Block, crank, bearings, everything was within new spec. The oil leak is probably not the pan gasket but the front main, or the CPS are pretty common for oil leaks on the front side.

I recommend running TCW3 2 stroke oil in your fuel as well, good lubricity for the fuel system. They can be tuned to be a little bit better and enjoyable to drive but without spending a large amount of money they’re pretty slow, but reliable. Oil is very crucial on these engines in particular so keep up on that and for the cost of a fuel filter, do it every change.

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Mantis Toboggan, M.D

6/20/2019 7:26 AM

You can find cheap ford vans all day without those issues. You might be making it harder than it has to be.

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6/20/2019 7:31 AM

The motor is worth $3500.

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6/20/2019 7:42 AM

VetMX.com wrote:

The motor is worth $3500.

That might be a bit high, I sold one a few months ago for 2k with 160k miles on her.

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Mantis Toboggan, M.D

6/20/2019 8:03 AM

Pass

Unless it's already built as a motovan and that's why you're after it, then maybe.

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6/20/2019 8:11 AM

ob wrote:

You can find cheap ford vans all day without those issues. You might be making it harder than it has to be.

Plenty of gassers but can't find a 7.3 to save my life.

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6/20/2019 8:42 AM

I always heard those motors were legendary, in a good way? Where's that angry diesel mechanic 500 Guy?! laughing laughing laughing

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6/20/2019 9:29 AM

i have a 7.3 with 220k on it....great running motor. motor will last 3 lives of the body its within....

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6/20/2019 10:12 AM

VetMX.com wrote:

The motor is worth $3500.

Dimblewambie wrote:

That might be a bit high, I sold one a few months ago for 2k with 160k miles on her.

I just sold a 2002 e-350 7.3. With 160 miles for 3200$ cdn, it was owned by the government and was maintained flawlessly until the day I bought it. Can’t comment on how good it was because I had it only 6 months, but it was good on fuel .

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6/20/2019 12:08 PM

dean122 wrote:

7.3 is the best diesel motor ever made. As long as everything else checks out at least you won't have to worry about breaking ...more

Well, best motor after the 12 valve 5.9 Cummins. Those things were incredible. I can’t remember the year, but around 98-99 the 7.3’s had forged cranks and rods. Super tuneable.

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6/20/2019 12:29 PM

dean122 wrote:

7.3 is the best diesel motor ever made. As long as everything else checks out at least you won't have to worry about breaking ...more

downard254 wrote:

Well, best motor after the 12 valve 5.9 Cummins. Those things were incredible. I can’t remember the year, but around 98-99 the ...more

Almost done swapping a 12 valve into my 95 F350, lol. Yeah the early 7.3s up until 01ish had forged rods, the later PMRs had a rough limit of 400ish HP before they decided to stick their head out a newly formed window.

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Mantis Toboggan, M.D

6/21/2019 10:06 AM

I ended up coming across another one on FB marketplace yesterday afternoon that had just been listed. Went and checked it out and it's in way better shape. Paid $3500. Needs a ps pump and a few minor things but I think it was a good buy. Best part? It was listed as having 268k on it but as I'm driving home I realized it only had 223k!

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