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Thread: 7.3 idi vs 7.3 Powerstroke

  1. #1
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    Default 7.3 idi vs 7.3 Powerstroke

    Okay, so I have been searching for a clean Dodge Cummins truck of the 92-96 vintage. Lots around, but most seem rough. I am expanding my parameters to include 94-96 F350s as well. I currently drive a 92 F350 with a 460. I have owned a 96 F350 with the powerstroke before. The main question is, is the 7.3 idi (94) engine any more reliable than the powerstroke? I know there were block cavitation issues, but there is no hpop etc to worry about. The power difference is only about 20 hp from 94 idi to 94.5-96 ps. What to do?
    Thanks for the help guys. I know I could go to powerstrokes.com etc, but want input from expo type people, not tractor pull folk!

  2. #2
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    I am unsure as to the engine difference but one thing i do have experience with is the front suspension weight handling capabilities. My dad had to 95 and spent a lot of money having the suspension fixed because the engine weight. once it was fixed it was golden though. I drove that thing more than my dad did. I should add that his was a F250. My old Ag teacher has a 94 idi and it is still on the road. unsure of any problems he may have had and IMO as long as it was not the 6.9 garbage all is good
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  3. #3
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    I have a 6.9 and take offense to the GARBAGE comment...she's a beast..just needed a little turbo love to get there...

    the IDI is easier to work on...more durable in the long run and easier to run alternative fuels in...

    the powerstroke will make power FASTER and has many upgrades that make it superior to the IDI.. and the hpop isnt a big deal if you know how to take care of it...

    given the choice...I would get the powerstroke...I have the IDI..love her..but the stroke is more fuel efficent and a better platform in my opinion...

    if you want something thats equivelant to an old tractor as far as reliablity and ease to work on...but is also like an old tractor with out-dated tech and antiquated feel...get the IDI...

    you want something more modern and reilabe/buildable...get the powerstroke...

    both will give you 300K no problems!

    but like I said...I LOVE my IDI...and when if the engine goes...I would more than likey replace it with an IDI...but I HAVE looked at many newer trucks in the last year..and its always been the powerstroke 7.3 that gets me excited...the 6.0 and the 6.4 are bastard turds that killed fords diesel repuatation...


    for INFO on the ford...goto www.oilburners.net they are the BEST site on the net for the ford IDI and powerstrokes..
    Current rig

    2006 F150 4.6L crew cab 4x4 XLT..


    Old rigs.
    85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
    6.9L of TURBO'D Internatonal Harvester...its kinda like a hot girl with an STD...you wanna get into it...but yer scared what it'll do to ya!!!

    2010 Toyota Tundra SR5 doublecab 5.7 4x4 Scamper hauler
    2002 Ford Explorer 7pass 4.6L 4x4 family rig.

  4. #4
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    What to do is really very simple. Keep the truck you have, sell the motor, and do the Cummins conversion.

    I own an IDI and while I do not believe it to be any more or less reliable than a powerstroke, it is atleast much cheaper and easier to repair.

  5. #5
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    While I don't have any input on the IDI, I own a 7.3 PSD. I have nearly 200k on it with no problems, and love it. I agree with Wander that the PSD is a better "build" platform as there is an extensive amount of aftermarket part for that motor. FYI, I get about 19mpgs on the Freeway cruising at 67mph, about 14-15 around town.
    Good luck on the decision, and keep us posted!
    The Rig: Early 1999 Ford F-250 7.3L CC 4x4 (Build Date-02/98) - 217,xxx miles
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  6. #6
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    You could really go either way, as noted. I've had 2 7.3PSDs(one OBS, and one S/D), and a 90 IDI.

    Reliability... well, other than the lift pump issues I had on the IDI, and sometimes is a miserable bugger to start in cool to cold weather. But, probably needed Glow plugs... anyway, they were all good motors. Once I have this damn injection pump rebuilt(1200+), I will have more money in repair parts into this 12v Cummins, than any of those trucks combined....

    Take it with a grain of salt.....

    The advantage with a PSD, is the ability to add more fuel, and keep the EGTs down..... The IDI doesnt have a turbo typically(I konw the 94 had it as an option, and ATS offered it aftermarket), so, adding fuel, requires constant monitoring of your Pyro.....
    98 Rodeo
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darwin View Post
    What to do is really very simple. Keep the truck you have, sell the motor, and do the Cummins conversion. .
    This was the original plan, however, the fact that I can get $8000 for my gasser and buy a PSD or IDI 7.3 for $4000-$4500 in same shape... ( Where I live a rust free crewcab is like gold... And I know where and how to get a steal on trucks). Anyhow, I am going to be further ahead to sell, and then buy a new one. I also no longer need a crewcab which helps the bargain buying power. I found a 96 that is identical other than color to the one I bought new in 96. I have always regretted selling mine. This might be my second chance!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLO_F-250 View Post
    While I don't have any input on the IDI, I own a 7.3 PSD. I have nearly 200k on it with no problems, and love it. I agree with Wander that the PSD is a better "build" platform as there is an extensive amount of aftermarket part for that motor. FYI, I get about 19mpgs on the Freeway cruising at 67mph, about 14-15 around town.
    Good luck on the decision, and keep us posted!
    I look forward to the 19+ mpg highway! My wife and I spend as much time as we can in SLO and Pismo! Gotta love Giuseppe's wood oven pizza!!!! We drive 3 days for that pizza whenever possible!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasespeed View Post
    sometimes is a miserable bugger to start in cool to cold weather. But, probably needed Glow plugs... anyway, they were all good motors.
    I have a 6.9 IDI in my rig, and it will start without the block heater and without any issues in 10 degree F weather. It might start colder, but I've never tried. If the engine is in good shape and has all of the standard wearable items addressed, the IDI motors are extremely reliable. I take great comfort in the fact that I literally have three wires going to the engine. 1 for glow plugs, 1 for fuel cut-off solenoid, and 1 for the coolant temperature sensor. That is it! Everything else is mechanical, and if you have a knowledge of diesels, all issues can be quite easily diagnosed and sometimes repaired with limited tools in the field. I have no experience with PSD's and can't comment on that aspect of your question.

    Spence
    1986 Ford E350 4x4 Quadravan Camper "Boomer"
    The Boomer Build Thread

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by redthies View Post
    This was the original plan, however, the fact that I can get $8000 for my gasser and buy a PSD or IDI 7.3 for $4000-$4500 in same shape... ( Where I live a rust free crewcab is like gold... And I know where and how to get a steal on trucks). Anyhow, I am going to be further ahead to sell, and then buy a new one. I also no longer need a crewcab which helps the bargain buying power. I found a 96 that is identical other than color to the one I bought new in 96. I have always regretted selling mine. This might be my second chance!

    DO IT!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by spencyg View Post
    I have a 6.9 IDI in my rig, and it will start without the block heater and without any issues in 10 degree F weather. It might start colder, but I've never tried. If the engine is in good shape and has all of the standard wearable items addressed, the IDI motors are extremely reliable. I take great comfort in the fact that I literally have three wires going to the engine. 1 for glow plugs, 1 for fuel cut-off solenoid, and 1 for the coolant temperature sensor. That is it! Everything else is mechanical, and if you have a knowledge of diesels, all issues can be quite easily diagnosed and sometimes repaired with limited tools in the field. I have no experience with PSD's and can't comment on that aspect of your question.

    Spence
    gotta love an engine that you can keep running with a shoelace on the fuel valve!! (dunno if the IDI's are like that..but the industrial equipment motors Ive seen will run with just the valve tied open!)
    Current rig

    2006 F150 4.6L crew cab 4x4 XLT..


    Old rigs.
    85 E250 Turbo 6.9 vegiburner
    6.9L of TURBO'D Internatonal Harvester...its kinda like a hot girl with an STD...you wanna get into it...but yer scared what it'll do to ya!!!

    2010 Toyota Tundra SR5 doublecab 5.7 4x4 Scamper hauler
    2002 Ford Explorer 7pass 4.6L 4x4 family rig.

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