Ford’s 7.3-liter Power Stroke diesel engine is legendary. Available on 1999 to 2003 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks, it has been known to last over 500,000 without major issues. But as these engines rack up the miles, there are common problems owners have with them. Hey, nothing lasts forever. Some of these problems are to be expected once you get into the 200,000 or 300,000 mile club.
The good news is that some of these 7.3 Power Stroke problems can be handled by DIY owners. And because of that, some components need to be replaced regardless of whether they’re malfunctioning if you’ve got a Saturday off on your hands. In general, with proper maintenance, your 7.3 should run for another 100,000 miles or more.
7.3 Power stroke cam position sensor
The Cam Position Sensor or CMP is probably the most common problem with older 7.3 liter diesel engines. But the good news is that they are cheap and easy to replace, just don’t buy gipo sensors. Get a genuine Ford replacement. When a CMP fails, the engine will not start.
To determine if your problem is the CMP, see if the tach moves when you start the engine. If it does, then your CMP is working. If not, replace it. And they’re cheap enough that you can buy a replacement and keep it in your truck just in case.
Injector pressure regulating valve
A common problem is with the injection pressure regulating valve or IPR. These solenoid valves regulate the oil pressure going to the fuel injectors in a HEUI system. They tailor the sprays of individual injectors based on the needs of the engine.
The stamps can become damaged or worn, causing them to stick. Sensors that monitor pressure can also wear out, and exposed wires leading to it can sometimes be damaged. However, they are easy to replace, since they are located in the valley of the high-pressure oil pump. Nevertheless, diesel IC warns not to use thread sealant because there is a hole in the threads that must remain open.
injector driver module
The easily accessible Injector Driver Module or IDM is located on the driver’s side fender of Super Duty. The Power Stroke IDM is what turns the injectors on and off. It gets its commands from the powertrain control module, or PCM.
The main problem is that over the years the water can contaminate it, causing breakdowns. They cause rough operation and sometimes a no start situation. There are shops all over the country that can rebuild them and also improve them.
7.3 Wire harness connectors under power stroke valve cover
UVCH connectors usually loosen or start to short out. This can make the engine timing appear to have slipped and in some cases lead to sputtering. Once the valve cover is removed, look to see if the wires have any loose or burned connectors. If you remove the valve covers, replace the gasket. You can usually get valve cover kits that include the connectors.
Blockages in the fuel filter
Another common problem that is easy and inexpensive to fix. It usually manifests itself as a loss of power or a hard start. The filter must be replaced periodically.
Injector Control Pressure Sensor
The ICP sensor controls the pressure needed to move fuel to the engine. Oil in the sensor can cause stalling, rough idle, or sputtering. An easy way to determine if your ICP sensor is failing is to unplug it. If the problems are gone, then replace them. Either way, be sure to plug it back in after testing.
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