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View Full Version : 7.3 Power Stroke Mystery


DrNautica
10-16-2006, 10:53 PM
I have a 2002 Ford Excursion with the 7.3 Power Stroke. Can anyone identify from where this piece of gasket came? I found it floating inside the cooling system reservoir just aft of the radiator. I have an idea but I'd like the opinion of someone who is familier.

Yeah, I know, it's not a boat part, but... It does tow 4 of my 5.

A little more background...

I am EXTREMELY anal about maintenance. I drive this vehicle about 50,000 miles per year (total 216,000 as of tonight.) I perform all maintenance myself and keep detailed records. The oil and filter is changed every 5,000 with Delo 400, trans fluid every 30,000 with Kendall Dexron III/Mercon, coolant drained, flushed and filled with Motorcraft Premium Gold every 50,000. Fuel filter drained every 5,000 and replaced each 15,000. Tires rotated every 5,000. I could go on and on.

The engine developed a miss at about 150,000 and turns out it lost compression on the #3 cylinder. They (Ford) never did give me a reason but it could have been the cleanable air filter I was using until I had the engine replaced at a cost (to me) of about $12,000. So, new engine now with about 65,000 miles (two year unlimited mileage warranty supposedly.)

Here are close up pictures of the gasket piece. There is a "60" molded in the gasket. Again, this was found floating in the coolant reservoir. About 20,000 miles ago I started to notice a slight oily residue inside the coolant tank just at the top of the liquid level.

My guess is a seal from the oil cooler. Does anyone know for sure?

jimmer2880
10-17-2006, 06:27 AM
Not a clue. More of a "bump"

Tom023
10-17-2006, 08:26 AM
Just a guess but it looks like it may have come from inside the reservoir cap.

Workin' 4 Toys
10-17-2006, 09:32 AM
I bet this guy will know, click here to PM (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/member.php?u=3366)

tommcat
10-17-2006, 10:46 AM
is it skipping now? building pressure in the cooling system? anything unusual?

dog paw
10-17-2006, 10:58 AM
You a member @ The diesel stop? might post it there

http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/


I have a 7.3 but I am at a loss as to what it might be. Its a bit small to be a piece of the thermostat O ring

DrNautica
10-17-2006, 11:02 AM
is it skipping now? building pressure in the cooling system? anything unusual?


No, nothing unusual. No coolant loss and no apparent coolant in the oil either.

tommcat
10-17-2006, 11:05 AM
hard to tell from the pics. is it rubber or more of a foam like material?

DrNautica
10-17-2006, 12:53 PM
hard to tell from the pics. is it rubber or more of a foam like material?


It is a black rubber or neoprene type material. Is is pliable and soft.

tommcat
10-17-2006, 01:32 PM
it's impossible to say for sure without it right in front of me but it looks like a piece of the water pump gasket.

did they replace the whole engine or just a head when it started skipping? they gave you no cause for the problem?

i noticed you use the gold coolant. do you put the heavy duty coolant additive in at any point?

DrNautica
10-17-2006, 03:54 PM
it's impossible to say for sure without it right in front of me but it looks like a piece of the water pump gasket.

did they replace the whole engine or just a head when it started skipping? they gave you no cause for the problem?

i noticed you use the gold coolant. do you put the heavy duty coolant additive in at any point?


Tommcat,

This was a complete remanufactured engine from Ford. They claim the original engine lost compression due to excess cylinder wear in the #3 cylinder but that is speculation since it was never torn down (to my knowledge.)

Ford does not recommend coolant additive with the premium gold coolent unless you've heard otherwise. I know that pre-2002 and older Ford/Navistar diesels had coolant issues which required an additive. My 2002 7.3 did not (again, according to Ford.) I have never added any additives to the coolant but I have drained, flushed and refilled with fresh coolant EVERY 50,000 miles.

tommcat
10-17-2006, 04:03 PM
usually the cylinder that goes bad on those is number 5 but it's possible for 3 to go also. it's usually from a condition called "dusting" which is pretty much the turbo turning any small contaminants into a sand blaster.

you should be ok with the gold as long as you change it by 50K. if you need to extend the mileage the additive works well, and is absolutely needed with standard green coolant.

as far as your gasket goes, i'd have to guess water pump by the looks. hard to imagine how it tore away but thats just what it looks like to me.

DrNautica
10-17-2006, 07:44 PM
My Dealer (and good friend owner,) Town & Country Ford in Nashville, has the photos and has sent them off to Ford Technical to see if they can identify it.

I found yet another piece today form the same gasket.

kurtr
10-17-2006, 11:06 PM
Is it possible that the piece is from what ever happened to the engine prior to the reman? It would take a while for it to work its way thru the engine. It would seem that if it was a water pump seal or gasket it would be leaking. To end up in the coolant it would seem that it would have to be some type of seal in related to the coolant. Never had any reason to take my power stroke apart.

6ballsisall
10-17-2006, 11:16 PM
Dr. N. Not trying to threadjack here but I checked out your website. Thats some pretty cool stuff you do! Do you live on Cumberland?

tommcat
10-18-2006, 10:45 AM
I found yet another piece today form the same gasket.a bigger piece that might be easier for me to identify?

tommcat
10-18-2006, 10:46 AM
It would seem that if it was a water pump seal or gasket it would be leaking.
nope, they are easy to damage the seal between passages and not leak externally.

Workin' 4 Toys
10-18-2006, 10:51 AM
Tommcat, does this sound similar to the cavitation issues people have that don't use the additive?

Datdude
10-18-2006, 11:20 AM
You a member @ The diesel stop? might post it there

http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/


I have a 7.3 but I am at a loss as to what it might be. Its a bit small to be a piece of the thermostat O ring


You may also want to try www.ford-trucks.com

It is a website specifically for Ford vehicles. They have a 7.3L forum that helped me often when I had my PSD. I often had responses within seconds:D

dog paw
10-18-2006, 11:33 AM
You may also want to try www.ford-trucks.com

It is a website specifically for Ford vehicles. They have a 7.3L forum that helped me often when I had my PSD. I often had responses within seconds:D


Yes I forgot about that one! I try to stay away from them LOL! Don't need any more $$$ ideas, although a pnumatic starter would be cool;)

I did switch to the Fleetgaurd extended life E Glycol coolant when my water pump went south. No more of that additive worries...

tommcat
10-18-2006, 01:35 PM
Tommcat, does this sound similar to the cavitation issues people have that don't use the additive?That is a serious problem with old coolant or if the additive isnt used. it could have been the cause of his original engine failure but it doesnt sound like it in this case.

tommcat
10-18-2006, 01:37 PM
one other quick note in regards to coolant. any of the red style coolant like dex cool actually damages fords (gas and diesel) gaskets. it destroys the rubber on the gaskets.

DrNautica
10-18-2006, 04:26 PM
Dr. N. Not trying to threadjack here but I checked out your website. Thats some pretty cool stuff you do! Do you live on Cumberland?


jrandol,

Thank you very much for your comments. We work hard at being the best. My Company is based out of Columbus, Ohio, our permanent residence, but we are on Lake Cumberland 2-3 days each week. The bulk of our business is in the Kentucky and Tennessee markets but we have recently installed watermaker systems on several western US lakes including; Lake Oroville, CA, Lake Mead and Lake Powell. We are also on Pickwick Lake, MS.

Were your comments more regarding our website or our watermaker products?

tommcat
11-17-2006, 11:13 AM
Hey Doc, not sure if you got anywhere on your own or not. i looked into it as best i could and i think you have a leak in the oil cooler. they are o-ring sealed and will let oil into the cooliing system if the o-ring fails.
hope this helps

tom

DrNautica
11-17-2006, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Well, even the Ford Engineers couldn't ID this gasket material.

We did find it's source however. It is from the underside of the thermostat. There is a molded in seal on the bottom side of the center of the thermostat (where it opens and closes in the center) and that was it. Now, that doesn't explain the oily residue in the tank.

tommcat
11-17-2006, 02:26 PM
like i said, look at the oil cooler for that problem. i just happened to have 2 of them go in the last few weeks. one was in a 6.0 and the other in a 7.3, both with the same results.

06' X-2 R8R H8R
11-17-2006, 03:10 PM
It looks like a quarter to me. Better check your pockets.