Ford 7.3L Diesel Engine History

In mid 1994, the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel was introduced.

The Power Stroke is an electronically controlled, direct injection engine with a 4.11 in (104 mm) bore and 4.18 in (106 mm) stroke creating a displacement of 444 cu in (7.3 L). It has a 17.5:1 compression ratio, and has a dry weight of approximately 920 lb (420 kg). This engine produced up to 250 hp (190 kW) and 505 lb·ft (685 N·m) of torque in automatic trucks during the last years of production, and 275 hp (205 kW) and 520 lb·ft (705 N·m) of torque in manual trucks.

The 1994.5 to 1996/97 DI Power stroke had “single shot” HEUI (hydraulically actuated electronic unit injection) fuel injectors and ran a 15° high pressure oil pump (HPOP) to create the necessary oil pressure to fire the fuel injectors.

1994.5-1997 trucks used a cam driven fuel pump, whereas the 1999-2003 trucks used a frame rail mounted electric fuel pump. The California trucks in 1996 and 1997 had split shot fuel injectors whereas the rest of the trucks didn’t get split shots until 1999.

In 1999, an air to air intercooler was added to cool the charged air from the turbo making it more dense. The cooler, denser air would increase the horsepower potential of the engine, while also reducing exhaust gas temperatures (EGTs). Eventually, the turbine housing was changed to a .84 A/R housing and a wastegate was added. With larger injectors, the HPOP was advanced to 17° to change fueling characteristics.

The 7.3 L DI Power Stroke was in production until the middle of model year 2003 when it was replaced by the 6.0L. Due to its popularity, nearly 2 million 7.3s were produced from International’s Indianapolis plant.


Ford 6.0L Diesel Engine History

ford 6.0l engine

The 6.0 L engine was introduced midway through the 2003 model year. The 6.0L Powerstroke engine was then used by Ford trucks until 2008. The engine has a 3.74 in (95 mm) bore and 4.13 in (105 mm) stroke creating a displacement of 365 cu in (6.0 L) or 5954 cc. It utilizes a variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler, producing 325 hp (242 kW) and 570 lb·ft (773 N·m) with an 18:1 compression ratio, with fuel cutoff at 4200 rpm, but having a redline of 4500 rpm only attainable with aftermarket performance programming.


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Ford Indicates Move Toward Gas-Efficient Engines Away from Diesel

1954 Ford F-100 Interior Logo

1954 Ford F-100 Interior Logo (Photo credit: JD Hancock)

“More efficient” is the operative phrase when thinking “development” in the car industry. Not surprisingly, Ford motor company is leading the pack in developing lines of high-end gas-efficient engines. Assumedly, research and execution on these innovations is on the rise in answer to an unstable oil market. As crude oil prices have seen a number of volatile sessions, consumers of fuel have felt the pinch.

Because of the race for sustainable and affordable energy, Ford has stepped up manufacturing of gas efficient motors. The most ironic element of this push from Ford is that Ford is perhaps the chief manufacturer of diesel engines in America. This shift in the auto maker’s activity indicates a trend that could slow diesel manufacturing.

Recently, there have arisen a number of movements giving credence for exclusively manufacturing diesel engines. The idea behind this push is that diesel engines are more versatile, can process a number of different fuel types and are noted for superior economical properties. However, these new developments are helping the gas-engine industry close the gap in fuel efficiency between the two.

Although gas engines depend on crude oil, the amount of oil consumption is reduced when engines become more efficient. According to experts, the pull power of gas engines is improving to be comparable to that of diesel engines. These factors have, perhaps, encouraged Ford into recent moves in developing fuel-efficient gasoline engines.

The chief factor in these moves by Ford is most likely pressure from the federal government in regard to fuel efficiency standards. Another factor is the cost of hybridization compared to the cost of converting to diesel. The difference in added costs can exceed $3,500.

Purchase of diesel engines have been on the rise, in spite of the gains for gasoline engines. Part of the influence in that change is the dramatic results in fuel economy of European diesel engines. There are a few auto makers boasting 78 miles per gallon with cars running on diesel fuel.

Ford and GM have a market share in Europe for selling diesel engines. They are quite profitable in doing so. But, both auto makers are claiming growing popularity in fuel efficient gasoline engines. And, all experts agree that diesel engines are too expensive to stem the growth of popularity in fuel-efficient gasoline engines.Thus, the biggest problem is that production of diesel engines is hopelessly uneconomical.

History of the Diesel Engine

50 Diesel Engine 1930s

50 Diesel Engine 1930s (Photo credit: rich701)

In the late nineteenth century, the standard engine was steam-powered, dangerous, and inefficient. Unsatisfied with them, an engineer named Rudolf Diesel set about developing a better engine. His innovative approach was to compress the air in the combustion chamber so much that its temperature rose dramatically, and then inject fuel into the chamber. The high temperature of the compressed air caused the fuel to ignite without the need for a spark plug.

Originally fueled by biodiesel, his first models were so large that they could only be used for industrial applications. By 1910, ocean-going ships and submarines were routinely outfitted with high efficiency diesel engines. It took a number of improvements to the combustion chamber and the injection system before the engines could be significantly reduced in size.

Once these improvements were made there were an explosion of new diesel vehicles. 1922 saw the first diesel powered tractor. In 1923, the first diesel trucks were produced in Berlin. It wasn’t until 1929, though, that an inventor named Clessie Cummins created a diesel powered auto, a Packard. However, as he did not display the car until 1938 credit is sometimes given to Mercedes Benz’s Type 260D, built in 1936.

The stock market crash of 1929 reduced interest in the new engine, however, as consumers everywhere were forced to tighten their belts. In order to stimulate interest, Cummins used diesel cars to set speed and fuel efficiency records. The 1940s and 50s saw the development of air cooling and the turbo diesel engine. However, it was not until the energy crisis of the 1970s that the public truly embraced the fuel-efficient diesel. Today, with skyrocketing fuel prices once again dominating the economy, diesels might become even more important for their ability to burn cheap, sustainable biodiesel fuel.