7.3 Pre-emptive Preventative Maintenance

BajaSurfRig

Active member
On my last trip south of the border I had a high pressure oil line burst dumping 2/3rds of my oil out on the side of the transpeninsular.

I brought a good amount of spare parts with me (belts, fluids, radiator hoses, fuses, filter, etc.) but not HPO lines and therefore couldn't fix this on the side of the road...)

I got towed from a few hours south of Ensenada over the border, all and all everything went as smoothly as it could but I almost missed work on Monday (broke down on Saturday night).


What is a list of things that could leave me stranded like this on my 1996 7.3 (I base-lined this truck when I bought it two years ago but want to take a second pass at making it as reliable as possible).....

-HPOP ( I have slight leak at the back of it on the rear drain plug and plan on replacing it with a new one in the coming months).
-IPR (I replaced mine recently but may carry a spare in a year or so).
-ICP Sensor (Yes you can unplug it if it goes bad and limp home but mine has oil in it so I am going to go ahead and replace it).
-CPS (I carry a spare in my glove box and installed a fresh one within the last year).
-Waterpump/thermostat (If this goes will it leave me stranded? Is it worth replacing this to be safe for all I know my current one has 238k on it).
-Trans is an E4OD and seems to be doing just fine right now. I am saving for a rebuilt John Woods transmission in the coming years...
-Belt tensioner (Mine seems to be healthy but I think I may replace it just to be safe).
-Starter (I replaced mine within the last year and carry a spare).


What else am I missing?

I want to be able to drive this truck in the middle of nowhere and feel confident that it will get me home.
 

nitro_rat

Observer
Make sure the glow plug system is fresh and maybe carry a spare relay. Don't matter if it runs if you can't start it...
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Cooling system refresh, all the rubber hoses - including fuel filler neck.
I go on a bit about preventative maintenance in my Vortec topic and taking the opportunities to replace adjacent wear items if I'm already doing a majority of the necessary dismantling work for something else. Like knock sensors and firewall heater hose connectors while the intake is off on a vortec motor.

or going after the oil pump pickup tube o-ring when I was already taking the pan off to replace the pan gasket. Only a few more bolts to get to that o-ring, which can severely impact already low oil pressure on high-mileage vortecs.

Same sort of ideas for any vehicle, what are your vehicles common failures and common wear items. As the OP's story reinforces, pick the time you do the work for your own convenience and that of your wallet. Or you'll find yourself incurring all sorts of unplanned inconvenience and expenses.
 

HayStax

Member
The oil cooler is a major PITA. But if it goes you are going nowhere, it‘s a mess!

Cut a couple holes in your wheel well liner and get to the mounting bolts from outside with a long extension. Takes about 30 seconds to replace o rings once it’s off the motor

Lately we are seeing some leaks at the dipstick oil pan junction. Another huge PITA. No easy fix for that one, engine needs to come out

Sounds like you are up on the HPOP stuff

Ive upgraded alternators on all of ours and can’t endorse Caterpillar branded batteries enough
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Cummins uses a simple grid heater. Is it impractical to use two of those for the two banks to replace the glow plugs and be done with it?
I rarely heat mine up in San Diego. Turn the key and that's it.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Can of ether if your glow plug system fails.

Heater isn't a replacement for plugs. Some engines have both. But there is a reason why it's one or the other usually. I would guess that my current diesel has a grid, as it starts and runs perfectly in cold weather. If you disco those, ether is usually safe and effective then.
 

b dkw1

Observer
Highly recommend John for the trans. Replace the flex plate at the same time. Mine cracked about 6 months after I had the trans done.......
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Can of ether if your glow plug system fails.

Heater isn't a replacement for plugs. Some engines have both. But there is a reason why it's one or the other usually. I would guess that my current diesel has a grid, as it starts and runs perfectly in cold weather. If you disco those, ether is usually safe and effective then.
My buddy goes hunting at high altitude in Colorado. The 7.3's would struggle to start in lower teens weather he said. The Cummins had no issues.
The newer Powerstroke's do well he said.
 

b dkw1

Observer
If you have everything working like it should and good batteries a 7.3 will start without assistance down to -10F. Granted it will sound like there are bowling balls rolling around the crank case, but they will do it. If it's going to be below about 15F, I put the block heater on a timer. Makes life so much easier on them.
 

HayStax

Member
@HayStax my dipstick is starting to leak as well...

I am thinking about getting this kit looks pretty straight forward:

That is interesting. I guess it’s okay for the original piece to remain in the pan. Sure would be easier but $300 seems a little steep
 

tookstar154

Observer
Had my seal go about a year ago now. Used this one on my truck. Seems to be holding up well. Figured I'd try this first, and then go with the Driven Diesel if this one doesn't work.

 
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