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Fellas -

Haven't visited in a while; this website has been blocked for several months on my govt computer. For some reason it's not blocked any more.

Anyway, I'm still stuck in Iraq, but not for much longer (14.5 months completed out of a 15 month tour). I sold my 454 3/4 ton Suburban before I left, and just replaced it with a 2003 Excursion Limited - black, leather, 4x4, 7.3 diesel, 45k miles (will be waiting on me when I return). I don't have a pickup, so I will be hauling parts around in this, too. Hope I don't tear it up too much.

This is my first diesel - any tips for a first time owner? Maintenance tips, things to watch out for, etc? I'm assuming that I should buy a chip (programmer?)? Don't know how much more power I'll need, but if it's a few extra MPG, I'm game. Any other inexpensive hp and mileage gains? Different air cleaner (K&N?)? I'm not interested in a 4" exhaust; I'd rather it stayed pretty quiet.

Any Excursion or 7.3 websites?

Thanks,

Scott
 

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Make sure and get a replacement cam position sensor. It is not a matter of if it will go out, but when it will go out. For the tuner it is up to you. There are so many out there.
 

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it all depends on what you want,def get the cam senosr recall done,ive got banks stuff on mine(turbo,exhaust,80 hp chip,trans goodies ect) nothing to radical just extra hp with the reliability.jusy like any thing else,when modifications go up,reliability goes down,if you keep the mods moderate you'll be fine,just follow the owners manual for your services and you'll be fine,on the aftermarket intake and filters you HAVE TO maintain them(clean and re oil )ive seen so many of these filters looked like a dead E.T. just use common sense,congrats by the way.those are damn fine veh.
 

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I had a Superchip in my Excursion. On the highest setting it got about 2mpg more than any other setting or stock. I would see 17 -18 mpg if you drove nice. No other mods were done.
 

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The reason you "have to kill someone" to get the cps replaced is every 7.3 owner on the planet wants theirs done now. They are not all going to fail tommorrow, and you could not imagine all the calls we get and the attitude when we cannot replace theirs today. If you walk into the dealer they will gladly fill out the RO and hand you one, we do anyway.

You dont have to get a chip or programmer, drive the truck first and then if you feel it lacks power we can address that issue. Remember that if you install a chip or programmer you will need to install a modified Accumulator body in the tranny or the clutches will live a short life. Some programmers can alter the line pressure etc, I do not feel this is the proper way to do it.

Aside from replacing the fuel filter, changing the oil, tranny fluid etc these trucks dont need much. I would not put a K & N filter on it, I have seen more engines dusted from that filter than any other on the market. I would update the airbox to the AIS that Ford sells, its a better flowing unit and way better filtration, it wont have all the intake noise that the open element deals have either.

The exhaust, really dont need the mongo sized pipe, but the muffler is the most restrictive part of the system. If you stick a 4 or 5" set up on it with a stright through muffler it will have some noise to it.

All in all just do the filters, fluids etc, drive the truck and theb if you feel you want to change some stuff give me a shout, if anything I can give you some direction in which to go.
 

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I run a 7.3 in my F250 basically same setup. First things to do are general maintenance just to make sure everything is up to snuff and this will give you a once over to make sure the entire vehicle has been maintained properly and all is in good shape. I would even consider sending the oil in for analysis (might wait till your first oil change of you driving it so you KNOW what the oil is.
IF you are going to get a chip for it then the first thing I would do is get a set of gauges before anything else. Next I would get an exhaust system I run a 5" straight pipe on mine, and it's not much if any louder inside the truck but is definitely louder outside and sure spools up the turbo faster. Then get the intake done up. IF you want to spend the money get a AFE stage II, but one that works as well if not better for a LOT less money go to NAPA or fleetfilter.com and get a part number 6637 or 46637 (one is napa part number second is WIX part number) and a piece of 4" exhaust pipe and clamp, take your air box out, that filter fits in place of it and the exhaust pipe connects the filter to the stock intake tube. Works great, turbo spools up faster yet and I just replaced the first filter I had on mine with 50,000 miles on it and cost around $35 VS 250+ for the aftermarket filter boxes like airraid or AFE. If you want a pic of what it looks likke let me know.
Lastly the only chip I would run anymore (had a couple different ones on the truck and this is best by far) is a DP Tuner, Jody had done a ton of work with these and really has them down they are a small company and really know their stuff and you can talk to them and get just exactly the tunes you need. here is a link give em a call and talk to either jody or Diane
http://www.dp-tuner.com/

If you want more upgrades on a 7.3 I have more too
 

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The napa 6637 is a good filter, but the intake noise is terrible, more so on a 99 and up with the wastegate dumping and such. The stock air box is not bad as long as the previous owner did not break the tabs with an ill fitting aftermarket performance or stock type filter. The Factory ford filter does a very good job, just can be a touch restrictive when the motor is turned up.

Again you may be happy with the performance from the truck stock, the 2003 is the best year for power from the factory. Chips will require guages and exhaust as a minimum, tranny mods will also be needed with some turbo mods as well. Sure slapping a chip in will cause no initial problems but it seems the careless kill either the tranny or the turbo, paticularly when towing.

I personally have a 99.5, I have a chip but mainly to make the singleshot injectors act right and move some shift points around for towing etc. I re did my fuel delivery system, some turbo mods, 6.0 intercooler and trans cooler. Tranny was rebuilt with the custom upgrades I put in my units along with a custom converter from UCC. This is a tow rig.

Dp tuner is good stuff, I prefer http://stores.totaldieselperformance.com/StoreFront.bok Tony is a personal friend and we have worked together in setting up both power and transmission programming. I know he does not charge for reburns if later down the road you want something changed on the chip.

www.thediesetop.com is a good site if you overlook the moderation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fellas -

Thanks for the detailed feedback.

I'm not looking for 14 sec quarter miles and would rather not fry the clutches in the tranny, so maybe I'll hold off on the chip/programmer. Just need something that has enough guts to tow through the mtns without too much drama. My 454 was lacking on torque while towing uphill. Don't think I'll have that problem with the 7.3.

Thanks again,

Scott
 

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The link to total diesel I gave you, he has a 99.5 CC dually just like mine, it runs 14.0's lol. I just got through fixing his tranny last week again after he smoked some clutches in it. This was after 2 years of dragstip abuse and towing real heavy.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
richter69 said:
The napa 6637 is a good filter, but the intake noise is terrible, more so on a 99 and up with the wastegate dumping and such. The stock air box is not bad as long as the previous owner did not break the tabs with an ill fitting aftermarket performance or stock type filter. The Factory ford filter does a very good job, just can be a touch restrictive when the motor is turned up.

Again you may be happy with the performance from the truck stock, the 2003 is the best year for power from the factory. Chips will require guages and exhaust as a minimum, tranny mods will also be needed with some turbo mods as well. Sure slapping a chip in will cause no initial problems but it seems the careless kill either the tranny or the turbo, paticularly when towing.

I personally have a 99.5, I have a chip but mainly to make the singleshot injectors act right and move some shift points around for towing etc. I re did my fuel delivery system, some turbo mods, 6.0 intercooler and trans cooler. Tranny was rebuilt with the custom upgrades I put in my units along with a custom converter from UCC. This is a tow rig.

Dp tuner is good stuff, I prefer http://stores.totaldieselperformance.com/StoreFront.bok Tony is a personal friend and we have worked together in setting up both power and transmission programming. I know he does not charge for reburns if later down the road you want something changed on the chip.

www.thediesetop.com is a good site if you overlook the moderation.
Jon - I heard the 2003 was the best year for the 7.3; took a good bit of internet searching before I found a low mileage (45k) with 4WD that doesn't look beat up, wasn't modified (no engine or suspension mods), and was reasonably priced. Steered clear of the 6.0 b/c not many folks have good things to say about them.

Scott
 

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One thing to note since what your looking for is a towing truck, I don't know from personal experience the chip Jon is talking about so won't comment on it for towing (maybe he can verify it either way in comparison) I hooked up my trailer with my race truck and in stock tune then same route in 40hp tow mode on my DP tuner and noticed a decrease in EGT while still getting more power all around. (decreased EGT's is a good thing) and by having a tuner on I increased my economy across the board, running empty and loaded both heavy and light (towed as much as 23,000lbs, not recommended but did it anyway)

Oh and I don't have a quarter mile times but mine runs 9.6s in the 1/8th LOL, stock sticks and hair dryer.
Although I have modifed the fuel system
 

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What about the autotrans ?????

Is there one better than others??? What longevity mods are needed?

thanks!
 

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The e4/4r tranny is a tough unit once the crappy areas are addressed. If a guy has one in good order and does not want to do a full on build a good modded accumulator like the one I sell and a larger cooler (I like the unit off of the 6.0 or 5r110) will do wonders for it. The cooler will keep temps in check and the accumulator will firm up the shifts.
 

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One of the biggest weak points is the torque convertor IMHO. I have heard of guys running a 6.0 TC somehow (think they have ot modify the flexplate) or go with a billet unit.
Coolers I keep hearing people talk about upgrading due to the stock one being bad but honestly and I have and do pull a lot and heavy with mine on occasion and have never seen my trans temp over 185 even in the middle of summer with the stock unit. But then again heat is the number 1 killer of all autos so it's not a bad idea either.
 

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The later model 4r converter is not so bad, those early e4 units had problems. The 6.0 deal will work stock if you shim the tranny back a touch. I have Lenny rework my 6.0 units and "fix" them so they bolt right up with no fuss. I have a UCC 4r core piece in my truck as of now and it has all the bells and whistles with the extra thick cover etc. The cheap road is to use a reman 4r unit, but they are up in price. Hell you can buy a reman 6.0 (5r110) for nearly half price, but still need to shim the tranny or have it "fixed" which ends up with more money invested. The PI, ATS and other "flying saucer" converters are rockin' but the added torque multiplication will kill a stock unit in a hurry.
 
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