The Type of Oil to Use for a 7.3L Powerstroke

When it comes to a Powerstroke engine, there are several oil requirements that must be met. If you have a vehicle that is a model 1999 to 2003, you will benefit greatly from this information. Each of these models should have a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel engine.

When the time comes to change your oil, you may wonder about the price. If you have a high-performance vehicle, chances are that your final cost will be on the expensive side. You could be paying anywhere from $50 or more to have your oil changed at any given service station. You will usually receive at least four gallons of oil and maybe have a quart to spare.

As far as the type of oil that needs to be used, Motorcraft is the number one choice. This type of oil should be used for severe to nomal instances. Motorcraft or the equivalent can be used in this instance. There are certain precautions that you need to be aware of when it comes to using oil in this situation. Oil that is only labled with:

  • CE
  • CF-4
  • SG
  • SH
  • CG-4

should avoid being used. Make sure that you keep this information in mind because using such products could cause extensive damage to your engine. A lot of people have chosen to use Shell Rotella 5W40, which is synthetic motor oil. This oil is great to use during any time of the year, but is especially great when the cold months roll around due to the starting advantages.

The 7.3L Powerstroke engine is one that requires at least 15 quarts of oil to change it properly. Two quarts will remain in the filter and thirteen quarts will be for the crank case. When you are purchasing oil for this type of engine, you need to be aware of the severe and normal usage instances.

As far as normal instances are concerned, you will not be doing any extensive driving or hauling. This means that you will need to change your oil every 5,000 miles. If you operate your vehicle under severe circumstances, which includes:

English: Line art drawing of a diesel engine.

English: Line art drawing of a diesel engine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • towing a trailer
  • extended idling
  • operate in extreme dust conditions

this means that your oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.

Replace Ford 6.0L 04-09 Injector

Cut away diagram of a fairly basic fuel inject...

Cut away diagram of a fairly basic fuel injector for the fuel injection article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is very simple to replace an injector on your Ford 6.0L engine. First, you should gather the necessary tools. You’ll need an Injector Release Tool, that can be found at any Ford dealership and most auto supply stores. You’ll need a High-Pressure Supply Tube Remover, also available from dealerships and most auto parts stores. You may also wish to have some 15W40 motor oil on hand, as well as some brake cleaner.

After you gather the supplies, it’s time to get to work. Start by removing the valve cover from your engine. This is a quick and easy process, and simply involves loosening a few bolts. Then you need to disconnect the electrical connector for the actual fuel injector. Following that,you need to loosen the crankcase-to-head tube assembly, then position the crankcase-to-head tube and separate the tube. Once this is done, allow the lower section to go back down.Then remove the bolts and the high-pressure oil rail. Then you can remove the crankcase-to-head tube and inspect the D-ring seals for any type of damage. If you notice any damage, you should replace the crankcase-to-head tube.You should also remove the port plug from the high-pressure oil rail and inspect theO-ring seals for damage. Again, if you notice any damage, replace the port plug.

After these steps are complete, it’s time to remove the injector itself.Using the Injector Release Tool, push the fuel injector electrical connector out of the rocker arm carrier. Then insert clean shop towels in the oil drain holes adjacent to each glow plug. Then you can loosen the bolt and remove the bolt and fuel injector hold-down assembly and the fuel injector itself.

A few notes to keep in mind when doing this project: When you are completing this job, you should always ensure that you NEVER remove the oil rail end plugs or acoustic wave attenuator port fittings, as service parts are not available to support these components.You should also never use air tools, as they can damage the components that you are dealing with. And make sure you account for all snap rings and replace them properly when putting the engine back together. Missing snap rings can cause irreparable engine damage. In addition, if you find engine coolant in the combustion chambers, it may be necessary to install a new injector sleeve.

IDM Explained

Jeep 2.5 Liter, four-cylinder engine, chromed....

Jeep 2.5 Liter, four-cylinder engine, chromed. This picture of the display engine shows part of the fuel injection system (with MPFI). The fuel rail is connected to the injectors that are mounted just above the intake manifold. This engine was developed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) and continued to be manufactured by Chrysler. All were built in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A driver supplies the proper voltage to the solenoids on the fuel injectors of a Ford Powerstroke Engine. The 7.3 Ford Powerstroke Diesel uses an Injector Drive Module (IDM). The voltage provided by the IDM is critical to the performance of the fuel injectors, and therefore, the engine itself.

You should be aware that the 6.0 Ford Powerstroke diesel utilizes an Injector Control Module (ICM).

Prior to 1999, these engines used a 110 volt driver. The 1999 and newer engines utilize a 120 volt injector drive module. This voltage is crucial to the performance of the fuel injectors, and thus, the engine itself. The part may interchangeably be called a Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM).

You can reach the IDM through the driver’s side fender. You will need to remove the fender liner to get to the IDM. Due to its location in the wheel well corrosion is oftentimes a problem. You should check the connections for any corrosion at this time.

Problems resulting from a defective IDM producing low voltage can be challenging to pin down. The engine may still run, but not run well with low voltage. When the voltage reaches a minimum, the engine will stop.

You may check the output voltage on the ICM by removing the bolts on the cover. Once the cover is off, use the screw under the cover as the positive. When checking the IDM it is also a good opportunity to check for corrosion in and around the IDM, its connections and at the wiring harness. To check the condition of the harness, pull on it slightly while the engine is running. If you notice a change in the engine’s operation when you tug, it is likely there is a problem with the harness. The only fix for a bad harness is to replace it.

Mighty Ford Powerstroke Parts

Ford 99' F350 7.3L Turbo Diesel

Ford 99′ F350 7.3L Turbo Diesel (Photo credit: Highway of Life)

The Ford Powerstroke Diesel has been a highly popular truck. A lot have been produced and sold. Ford Powerstroke parts enhance its performance  and lengthen its life.

Think of your Ford vehicle as a winning athlete. Certain power drinks and powders that provide essential amino acids and proteins can enhance muscles for a powerful athletic event or workout. Genuine Ford Powerstroke parts like the fuel injector, high pressure oil pump and glow plug are important to keep your Powerstroke Diesel in the very best running condition.

Designed by Caterpillar, the Ford Powerstroke fuel injector system functions with hydraulic oil pressure from a high pressure oil pump. A high-tech design sends signals to an injection control pressure regulator, forcing it to open or close. This action regulates the volume of pressure of oil sent to the oil galleries. The fuel lift pump, fuel injector and the Ford Fuel Injector Control Module work together to provide smoother, more efficient combustion.

Ford’s high pressure oil pump is an integral part of the High Pressure Oil Control system that actuates the HEUI fuel injectors. It works along with a high pressure oil reservoir, sensors, regulators, high pressure hoses and oil rails in the cylinder heads.

Powerstroke glow plugs are like spark plugs on steroids. They provide a powerful spark that ignites fuel and air in the combustion chambers. Over time, age, heat, gasoline and oil contribute to their wear. Keep them changed every 30,000 miles for optimal performance and fuel economy.

The mighty Ford Powerstroke depends on the hi-tech fuel injector system, high pressure oil pump and glow plugs to run a good long race.

Identify and Fix and HPOP Leak

1961 Ford H-Series trucks

1961 Ford H-Series trucks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A standard oil pump leak is not much to worry about until a half quart of oil has to go in every other day. With a high pressure oil pump leak, you don’t have that option to wait because the amount of pressure required to keep up with the engine lubrication process can’t slow down or it could ruin the entire engine. Most Ford trucks that run on diesel fuel will require at least one high pressure oil pump fix during the life time of the truck.

Ford may recommend that you buy their leak fix kit because it’s their truck, but for experienced mechanics, this is the worst suggestion. Ford only sells you three O-rings and instructions and you have to buy the hoses and plugs separate. That alone will cost you more than four hundred dollars to fix if you buy all the kits and parts from Ford.

Seasoned mechanics and do-it-yourselvers suggest that since most of the engine parts Ford puts in their trucks are foreign built anyway, buying a foreign HPOP kit is a much better deal. You still have to buy the hoses separate, but for one third of what Ford Motor Company charges. The actual pump repair kit here comes with three O-rings, a standard plug and a plug with extended threads and the instructions. It’s twice the price of the three O-rings kit that Ford will sell you, but the additional parts are something you would have to buy anyway. Again, Ford charges even more for that.

The whole procedure works the same if you were planning on replacing the HPOP itself. If you’re at least familiar with how this works, then once you have removed the HPOP itself and inspected it, you can turn out the contents of your kit and get to work on the area where the leak seems to be springing from. You can test the new parts for leaks with air, but that’s another job for another time. Make sure the old oil is cleared away from the area of the suspected leak so if new oil leaks you can see the trouble spot. Reconnect the pump to the engine and start it to get oil going through. (Don’t forget the oil; this is a step in “replacing the HPOP”). If you don’t notice any more leaks, good job! You did it!

How to Install an ICP Sensor


Truck (Photo credit: – jre -)

Early style ICP sensors have become a hot topic lately as many older models have found themselves in need of a replacement. Installing new sensors is not too difficult and should only take 1.5-2 hours using this guide. 

First you’ll need a 5C3Z-12224-A connector, and a SC3Z-9F838-EA Sensor, and basic tools, it’s best to buy these new in box so you know they work. 

After you have the parts you need, you’ll need to determine what part you need to remove from your vehicle in order to gain access to the sensor. In most common applications this includes the air filter, degas jug, rear studs on the manifold for the intake, and possibly the FICM. After those are safely removed and placed out of the way you’ll have an exposed ICP sensor. 

Using a right angle pick of sufficient length you need to first remove the ICP sensors connector. Pull it out of the way so you have room to work around it. Then using an extension like the 1 1/16th crowfoot and possibly a swivel and tongs, you can remove the old sensor right by where the rear intake stud for the manifold used to be. This part can be tricky because the old sensor and wires may be very slick with old oil. 

After that you’re ready to install your new ICP replacement sensor. You want to install it just the way the other one was inside the housing, but this time be sure to install your connector wires as close to the sensor as possible. You’ll need to trim them up so no loose wires can make contact with any other hot parts of the engine, trimming your replacement wires the same length as your older ones could work perfectly, or you might need to make some slight adjustments. 

How to Replace your Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Injector for Engines before 2003

English: Common rail fuel injection injector f...

English: Common rail fuel injection injector from Deutz 7.2 Litre diesel engine for Volvo FE/FL range (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most Ford Power Stroke Diesel engines have fuel injectors which are the primary fuel delivery system for your vehicle. If you experience any problems, you can replace the existing fuel injector with the remanufactured Bostech DE002 fuel injectors. These injectors where made specifically for 6.0L Power Stroke Engines made before September 2003 for 2003-2004 Ford vehicle models F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550 as well as for the Ford Excursion. 

Removing The Old Fuel Injector Before starting on this project, you will need three special tools: quick disconnect tool (303-625), quick release coupling – disconnect tool (303-755), and the injector connector – release tool (303-1115). Never use air tools to remove the Ford’s fuel injectors. This can cause the injector clip to dislodge and fall into the oil drain hole. 

You should also have shop towels and clean engine oil ready. Check your Ford owner’s manual to ensure these steps can be performed on your particular vehicle. 

  • Step #1: Remove the valve cover and disconnect the electrical connector on the fuel injector. 
  • Step #2: Using the quick release coupling-disconnect tool (303-755), place the tool on the supply line for the high pressure oil rail. Disconnect the line. 
  • Step #3: Remove the bolts to the high pressure oil rail and carefully lift the rail away. You do not need to drain the fuel rail. 
  • Step #4: Use the quick disconnect tool (303-625) to disconnect the other end of the high pressure oil supply line. Remove the line. 
  • Step #5: Use the injector connector-release tool (303-1115) to push against the electrical connector of the fuel injector until it is out of the rocker arm carrier. 
  • Step #6: Place the clean shop towels into the drain holes next to each glow plug. Remove the fuel injector assembly. 
  • Step #7: Take off the fuel injector by removing the bolt and the hold-down. Install New Fuel Injector

Before installing the new fuel injector, ensure you have all new O-rings and a copper washer. Inspect the fuel injector for damage. If the oil inlet D-ring shows signs of damage, you will need to have a new fuel injector. 

  • Step #1: Place on the new copper washer and O-rings to the fuel injector. Lubricate the O-rings and injector with the clean engine oil.
  • Step #2: Install the fuel injector in place as you tighten the bolt and hold-down.
  • Step #3: Take out the shop towels from the drain holes and place the fuel injector’s electrical connector back into the rocker arm carrier.
  • Step #4: Lubricate the top of the fuel injector’s O-rings with the clean engine oil.
  • Step #5: Place the high pressure oil rail back inside as you hand-tighten each bolt.
  • Step #6: Use the quick release-coupling tool to tighten the bolts. Tighten two of the bolts on the one side and one bolt on the other side. Then alternate from one side to the other to tighten the last of the bolts.
  • Step #7: Reconnect the high pressure oil line and the fuel injector’s electrical connector. Install the valve cover to finish the installation.

How to Clean an EGR Cooler

Hydraulic EGR valve open

Hydraulic EGR valve open (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The EGR cooler is one of several problems encountered on diesel engines, especially the Ford 6.0 liter. Diesel engines, unlike gas engines, produce an enormous amount of soot through engine combustion.

EGR Cooler Function 

Diesel engines provide superior fuel economy and longevity when compared to gas engines, but do require more service. The EGR or exhaust gas recirculation valve and cooler direct a small amount of spent exhaust gas from the exhaust system back into the engine cylinders to reduce cylinder head temperatures.

High combustion temperatures cause oxides of nitrogen (NOX) to form and expel into the atmosphere. NOX are harmful to the environment and add to the greenhouse effect. The spent exhaust gas temperature is lower than the combustion temperature and therefore, when introduced into the cylinder at the time of combustion, lowers the combustion temperature and prevents the formation of NOX.

EGR Cooler Description 

The EGR cooler is a long cylinder on the passenger-side cylinder head. There is a metal pipe extending from the exhaust manifold to the cooler from which it picks up the exhaust gas. A computer operated EGR valve opens and closes to regulate the amount of exhaust gas entering the intake manifold.

The inside of the EGR cooler has a radiator core similar to the large engine coolant radiator in the front of the truck. Coolant passes through the oil cooler near the oil filter to cool the oil enters the EGR cooler and then returns to the radiator. Exhaust gas passes over and around the radiator core in the cooler that lowers the temperature of the exhaust gas. The exhaust gas temperature must be lower than the combustion temperature to be effective in reducing combustion temperatures. When the exhaust enters the cooler it is around 1500-degrees.

The designing of the cooler radiator element is the problem and remains unsolved satisfactorily. The holes in the core are to small and collect carbon from the exhaust, sand from the casting process in production of the engine and scale from the coolant. If that is not enough, it can not withstand 1500-degree heat continuously. They always fail-its just a matter of time.

Consequences of Cooler Failures 

A crack developing in the EGR cooler core is common. The exhaust gas pressure within the cooler averages as much as 50-PSI. Exhaust gas enters the coolant system through the crack and raises the temperature of the coolant and the oil. Radiators are designed to hold 12 too 17-PSI, so the extra pressure blows the coolant out of the radiator through the overflow tank.

This results in the engine overheating causing a head gasket failure, cracks in the valve seats and the overheated oil causes havoc with the bearings. The increased temperature of the coolant causes the coolant to transform to sludge and further blocks the cooler, and worse, the oil cooler preventing oil flow. It’s an absolute domino effect with catastrophic results.

If coolant from the cooler core enters the intake in sufficient quantity, it will enter the cylinders. Coolant is not compressible and will cause a bent rod or broken piston.

Cleaning the EGR Cooler 

There are kits at your local auto parts stores that contain three types of cleaners. They are designed to be sprayed into the intake manifold to rid it of coking, a radiator flush to clean the EGR cooler and a can of injector cleaner to be poured into the fuel tank. Accomplish this every 15,000 miles.

Given the inevitable, this may or may not extend the useful life of the cooler slightly. The best procedure is to purchase an after-market cooler that is bullet-proof. Instead of a heater core construction, it uses pipes with large openings on the inside of the cooler. They will not crack or block up. You can easily replace the cooler on your own with very little experience in two or three hours with common tools.


Read articles on the 6.0 liter engine and perform the proper preventative maintenance in a timely manner using the proper oil and filters. Replace the EGR cooler with the upgrade and use the cleaning kits regularly to remove the coke from the intake manifold and the engine will run trouble free much longer. All of the above EGR cooler failures are over $3000 to repair at the Dealer.

HPOP for Powerstroke

English: Line art drawing of a diesel engine.

English: Line art drawing of a diesel engine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HPOP, or high pressure oil pump(s) , are extremely important for Ford Powerstroke engines. In order for Ford to increase the level of horsepower and work engine capacity in the standard diesel engine, they had to make certain modifications in design, which includes the oil pump. The combustion section of the engine is working overtime in these trucks, and the parts all have to be well lubricated and move freely without major friction overheating the engine.

That’s where the HPOP comes in. These pumps push more oil in where it’s needed and a little more often because of the nature of the workhorse engines. HPOP’s tend to wear out a little faster too, and have to be checked regularly to make sure they are not the cause of any fuel inefficiency in the truck. Malfunctions with the HPOP will result in the “check engine” light going on, an overheated engine from not enough oil getting to the camshaft, bearings, and sliding pistons, and a constant need for refills on gas, even though gas isn’t the source of the problem.

The HPOP works in overtime when the truck is hauling very heavy loads or pulling loads up a steep incline. This is when drivers tend to gun the engine for all its worth in an attempt to gain traction or forward momentum. The engine’s needs for oil and lubrication increase dramatically during these times, and if the HPOP isn’t working to its fullest capacity the driver can actually wreck the engine. If the problems with the HPOP are bad enough, e.g., leaks, decreased pressure, etc., then you can completely destroy the engine with a single heavy load up an incline.

If you have a Ford Powerstroke engine, save yourself a lot of grief and check the HPOP regularly.

Remove an EGR Cooler with Gasket Set

MTU-Motor 12V 1600 C

MTU-Motor 12V 1600 C (Photo credit: Tognum: MTU & MTU Onsite Energy)

The EGR cooler on a diesel can be a problem if not serviced on a regular basis. The EGR on your truck serves one purpose, to reduce the production on nitrous oxide that forms in an engine’s cylinders at high temperatures.

To accomplish this, the EGR scavenges a small amount of burnt exhaust gas and directs it back into the engine. This has the effect of lowering the temperatures in the cylinder, below the point that nitrous oxide forms.

Diesels produce a large amount of soot, unlike a gasoline engine. This soot has a tendency to build up on the EGR pintle, in the EGR cooler and the intake manifold. The result is reduced air flow and a EGR pintle that fails to close allowing a continuous flow of exhaust gas into the engine.

The exhaust gas redirected by the EGR is extremely hot and is ineffective in cooling the cylinder temperatures without being cooled. To correct this situation a EGR cooler is installed between the exhaust and intake manifold.

Engine coolant directed through passages in the cooler surround and cools the passing exhaust gas before it enters the intake manifold.

The exhaust gas passing through the cooler is at a much higher temperature and super-heats the small amount of coolant passing through. The coolant then passes from EGR cooler to the oil cooler where once again it is used to cool the oil in the same manner.

The high temperatures produced by the exhaust gas reacts on the engine coolant over time and causes it to gel. The gel plugs the passages in the cooler allowing less coolant to pass. The reduced flow of coolant is now subject to the high temperatures from the EGR flow resulting in higher than normal pressure in the coolant system.

The more the cooler becomes plugged the higher the pressure resulting in a rupture of the EGR cooler. A rupture allows engine coolant to enter the cooling system and the intake manifold as well. Engine coolant is not compressible and if not corrected will cause a blown head gasket, among other problems. This can get quite pricey if left unattended for any length of time.

Remove the intake manifold, EGR cooler and the EGR. Replace the EGR cooler and clean all the soot from the intake manifold and EGR before reinstalling them. The EGR cooler gasket kit makes it possible to replace all the studs, gaskets and seals necessary in this repair. Given the severity of a failed cooler, do not reuse any seals or gaskets once removed.