The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel is regarded as one of the best diesel engines utilized in the light/medium duty market due to unsurpassed reputation reliability, even in the most rugged of operating conditions. During its production, very few 7.3L Power Stroke experienced serious engine problems and the B50 engine life of 350,000 miles proved to be an extremely conservative rating. Though production of the 7.3L Power Stroke ceased in 2003, the engine remains highly sought after in the used diesel truck market.
The 7.3 Liter Power Stroke is similar to the International T444E. The T444E is essentially the same engine as the 7.3 Power Stroke, but the "Power Stroke" name is only designated when the engine is used in Ford trucks. Power output and maximum RPM are the only significant differences between the engines. T444E stands for: Turbocharged 444 cubic inch Electronic (as in electronically controlled).
• The T444E has been made available in applications above 60,000 lb. GVWR, and extremely popular in the medium duty truck market while it was available.
• The 7.3 Liter Power Stroke was ranked in Diesel Power Magazine's top 10 diesel engines ever produced. Over 2 million 7.3 liter Power Strokes are still in operation today.
• Over 2 million 7.3 liter Power Stroke equipped Ford trucks are in operation. That's more than Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge diesel equipped trucks combined.
• Though considered outdated when compared to today's diesel
technology, the 7.3 was considered to be the leader in diesel technology during
the time it was produced.
I consider the 7.3 the most reliable diesel engine ever built. Than you may ask why am rebuilding so many of these engines? In most case the ones I have rebuilt were worn due to poor maintenance mostly air filters, In the last 10 years I have rebuilt and sold 120 engines and out or 120, 118 of them number 8 cylinder was worn out due to dirt and sand entering though the air filter box. The air filter on 99 and up engines was built smaller to make room for the intercooler and the way the inter-cooler is designed 90% of the dirt goes to number 8 cylinder wearing out the block much quicker than the older 7.3. Trucks built between 1994 and 1997 didn't have the intercooler thus the dirt is evenly distributed taking much longer to wear out. But in either case if the air filters are monitored and the oil changed when needed I don't believe this engine would ever wear out! I have seen many 7.3 with over 700,000 miles on them. The first sign of wear can be seen by looking at the turbo blades, if the tips of the compressor wheel are rounded instead of sharp at the outer points of the blade than your turbo is dusted!!! which can only happen if the air filter is plugged or the inlet hose is cracked allowing dirt to enter the system.
Another problem with the 7.3 is the injectors need lubrication and since the most of the sulfur was removed from the new diesel fuel we get, one needs to add an lubrication additive to the fuel. Motorcraft has the best, not only does it lubricate the injectors it also increases the cetane value, thus decreasing the fuel consumption enough to pay for the additive!
Most truck owners are keeping their 7.3 mostly due to the 6.0 and 6.4 newer engines are so unreliable.