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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I are into tractor pulling. We have a gooseneck which hauls 2 tractors at once. Total trailer weight is somewhere around 12000 lbs. Early last year a buddy of mine needed his trailer and tractor hauled to the pulls. He was very impressed with how my diesel pulled compared to his gas chevy 3500 with a puny 350.

He called me up last night asking what I thought of a truck his co-worker was selling. He said it was a 1993 powerstroke 7.3. I said well for one, its not a powerstroke as that didnt come out till 1994. I had two things to say about the IDI. 1. Its going to be a DOG. Non turbo and indirect injection. 2. I hear they are reliable.
Anything else I should clue him in on? His trailers could potentially get up to 10,000 lbs but right now they are as much as 8000. He insisted he doesnt care if its slow, as long as it will pull it and be reliable.
 

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Cummins Nut
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The wife and I are into tractor pulling. We have a gooseneck which hauls 2 tractors at once. Total trailer weight is somewhere around 12000 lbs. Early last year a buddy of mine needed his trailer and tractor hauled to the pulls. He was very impressed with how my diesel pulled compared to his gas chevy 3500 with a puny 350.

He called me up last night asking what I thought of a truck his co-worker was selling. He said it was a 1993 powerstroke 7.3. I said well for one, its not a powerstroke as that didnt come out till 1994. I had two things to say about the IDI. 1. Its going to be a DOG. Non turbo and indirect injection. 2. I hear they are reliable.
Anything else I should clue him in on? His trailers could potentially get up to 10,000 lbs but right now they are as much as 8000. He insisted he doesnt care if its slow, as long as it will pull it and be reliable.
Iirc, the 93's had the factory option of coming with a turbo. They are reliable but most call them good farm trucks. They start when you need them to, but don't expect it to pull a ton of weight and definitely not quickly. A buddy of mine owned one for a while and it was a decent truck. Nothing impressive about it, but it started and ran with almost no maintenance. It was non turboed, and it sucked. Unless he is dead set on it, I would try my best to convince him to go with a turbocharged diesel.
 

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I did try. This one is a non turboed unit. I would not buy it myself. Even the older 7.3 PSD's werent that impressive.
Sounds like your typical 350 gas guy. Diesels are totally different. He won't do a swap either. Let him buy it and find out the hard way. I had an OBS 7.3 and it wasn't bad, but sure wasn't a cummins.
 

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Renaissance Redneck BCVP
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The IDI 7.3s are good motors, but not rockets. ATS made a good turbo kit for them. The OBS Fords are very well put together trucks. I wouldn't try to talk him out of the truck, as much as explain to him that he will likely want to add a turbo, or swap a 12v into it before too long.

Is it a 5 speed or auto? Stick will be a ZF5, auto should be an E4OD. ZFs are bulletproof, aside from the dual mass flywheel used with them, and E4ODs are a good trans if built correctly. The only real issue with the IDI 7.3s is "porosity" or "block worm" which occurs if antifreeze with incorrect alkalinity was used over long periods. If this is the case, you end up having to sleeve cylinders. Or, do the smart thing and 12v it!
 

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they are pretty dependable as stated above they are a dog. I had a 6.9 if its like it he better buy a good supply of starting fluid. if its a 5sp check the clutch pivet under the dash they are known to cause trouble.
 

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I had a '91 F350, idi with E4OD. Zero complaints. It was a better driver than my current 12v, and saw duty as a service truck in our excavation company for 7 years & 80k miles. The problem came in winter, when I'd smoke a trans every year while plowing snow. Thank goodness for factory warranties.

The last trans went in 96. The replacement had all the factory updates at the time. It also got a Banks TransCommand wired in... Lasted 10 years.

I sold it for a '97 F350 PSD with a ZF5. Miss that one...


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It is a 93 with 80000 miles and an automatic. He claims the previous owner says the trans has just been rebuilt.
According to him, it only needs new fenders, otherwise its straight. Its 4x4, has a dump body on it and comes with a plow. The guy wants $3800 for it, which is a tad high for me.
It would be a vast improvement from what his tow rig is now, which is a joke :hehe:
He's currently got a 1991 Chevy 3500 TBI 350, dually standard cab flat bed 2wd automatic with almost 300,000 miles on the original engine/trans. He claims when he pulls his trailer unloaded it severly dogs it down. Loaded up(8000lbs) on most hills he downshifts to first gear floors it, and can get out and walk. Thats how slow it is. I cant help but giggle every time I talk about that. It's amazing it itself, that he even makes it to pulls.
 

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From my experience with IDI's, they're one of the most reliable motors I've experienced. When I started driving I bought a 1986 f250 off a buddies grandpa that he had owned sense new. It had the 6.9 in it, and as far as I know had zero engine maintenance aside from an annual oil change and fuel filter.. that being said, it was the most reliable vehicle I have owned to this day. Never had any issues with it except for a small electrical issue.
Power wise, I think they were rated for around 150hp new.. they are very under powered, but with a 5spd and 4.10 gears they'll pull almost any amount of weight you put behind them, just probably not over 55mph. And it may take 5 miles to get going that fast.

For what its worth, one of my friends has 3 OBS fords thst are IDI powered that he messes with all the time, from talking to him the highest hp idi on record right now only makes about 350hp. He has a project motor that he is trying to put an 8cyl inline pump on and is shooting for 800+hp out of it. Apparently hypermax had an inline pumped IDI in the early 90's that was rumored upwards of 1100hp.
Im not sure how much of this is true... this guy is a little out there, and dumps way more money into those motors than I would.. but when it comes to idi's, hes usually right about them from what ive seen..

Send your buddy to oilburners.net . All kinds of good IDI info on that site.

Typos courtesy of autoguide
 

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oilburners and FTE both have great IDI sections. and like everyone has said, these engines are reliable easy to work on and inexpensive. but lack power.

Also someone said to buy starter fluid DO NOT use starter fluid on an IDI. the fluid will denonate on contact with the Glowplugs in the fuel cup (look up how an IDI works if you dont know what i'm talking about) this can pop out the cup and cause massive damage to the piston/block/head if done enough. 9/10 poor starting on an IDI is due to leaking fuel return lines. take ten minute and ten bucks to fix.
 

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just pull the wire from the glow plug relay and starting fluid will be fine.
 

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Well yeah or you could just take the ten mins fix the problem and have a properly working truck... But to each his own if wasting money buying tons of starting fluid is easier by all means have at it lol


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Renaissance Redneck BCVP
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There's a few guys here talking about 6.9s like they are interchangeable with idi 7.3s. Not so. 6.9s offer 4 cylinder performance with V8 fuel economy, while 7.3s are more like V6 vs V6. As I said before, get an ATS turbo kit and it will be just fine. Lose the plow and dump box to save a bunch of weight, and maybe make enough cash from them to buy that turbo?
 
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