Best Diesel to Play with for a Begineer - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Best Diesel to Play with for a Begineer

Ok so I am new and not new to diesel's, I went to vocational school for diesel technology, while I was only there for a short time, I really didn't get much into the diesel stuff, because the teacher made things more difficult then they needed to be so I left that class and went to an automotive class.

As I've read on various diesel forums, Its recommend to work on a 12V cummins due to it being a mechanical engine, but as I read more and more, I read that the 7.3l IDI and 6.9 are also mechanical engines. Now don't give me wrong I have nothing against dodge I just prefer ford powerstroke etc. I know these aren't Powerstroke engines, but isn't the 7.3L the first built international diesel engine built by them, because IIRC the 6.9 was a ford built diesel?

On a side note, I have a decent knowledge of diagnostics especially when it comes to computers so that's what used to and not mechanical wise. Its far much easier to play with a OBD II reader etc as opposed to just guessing with a mechanical engine.

I honestly don't know what to get in all honest, changing the injectors on a 7.3L you gotta pull the cab off IIRC right as well as the 6.0. I've read of the issues with the 6.0 but if properly tuned and maintanenced theres little to no issues. maybe someone on here can point me in the right direction. I have though about going back to school for it, but really don't have the patience for it, and I kinda get more out of reading on the forums anyway.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 12:52 AM
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first of all the idi (early 7.3's and the 6.9) is mechanical, they have a radial pump between the engine banks. and both are international engines.

I went through the same training and spent 2 years in a dealership so i feel with you on being able to plug into something, but the mechanicals are not just a guess and go, there are test to be done do determine a problem (I hope your school taught you that just because the scanner says that something is wrong, doesn't mean that it is. you ALWAYS do the test to verify)

as far as the 6.9 or 7.3 idi (indirect ignition, they use a precombustion chamber), they are generally cheaper to buy and work on, but they don't make near the power of an electric or a 12v cummins, but they are good engine's non the less. me and my dad use an84 f250 with a 6.9, 4 speed and 4.10's, its not fast when you load it down, but we have had it grossed over 15,000 without any problems. however a turbo would help, i believe that the first year for the turbo was mid 1994. sponagle on fte has one very well built 6.9 that looks like it is a pulling sob.

imho, if you are just looking to make lots of power, i would go with the 7.3 powerstroke.

btw, what school did you go to? did you do andy vica/ skills usa contest?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure though, I like the 7.3L over the cummins alot more though.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 07:09 PM
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if you like the 7.3 i would say go for it! but like what i said, with mech vs. electronic each has its pros and cons, you just got to think about what you want and go for it.

i drove an 2wd 88 f350 (work truck) with a 7.3 and a 5 speed, it had a loaded utility box and a lincoln gas welder on the back. i still wish i would have bought that thing! and i enjoy driving my dads truck the 6.9 is rock solid, it could just use a little boost.

if you have any questions feel free to ask.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 01:58 AM
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There are FIVE Ford diesel engine varients that are each very different from the others, in order:

1) 6.9L IDI (InDirectInjection) - these were the first diesels available in the F-series pickups, built by IH (at the time) and were completely mechanical save for the GP system and timing advance solenoid. They were good, but heavy, engines that were regarded as reliable and easy to work on but do NOT take to HP increases willingly.

2) 7.3L IDI - essentially a slightly larger version of the 6.9L enigne with improved headbolts and GP systems, the last 1/2 year you could get them turbo'd. These IDI engines will take power adders well and are very reliable in stock form but not power monsters.

3) 7.3L Power Stroke - these were the first generation of "Power Stroke" fully electronic engines, they do NOT have a diesel injection pump of any kind, but use highly pressurized engine oil (HEUI) to force fuel thru the injectors and into the engine. Fuel rates, on/off timing are completely computer controlled. They LIKE hop-ups and willingly accept increased power. Stock their power is addicting and are regarded as the most reliable of all electronic diesels although not the least expensive to modify or repair.

4) 6.0L PowerStroke - the 6.0L is very similar to the 7.3L in terms of how the fuel system works and it's acceptance of added power. They are NOT as reliable in any form as the 7.3L PSD, but are not junk either. Significant increases in power will cost you lots in repairs because of the complex emissions equipment and electronics. In stock form the power is addicting.

5) 6.4L Power Stroke - the 6.4L PSD is better in every way than the 6.0L and in the opinion of many just as good as the "best" 7.3L PSDs were but with a 50% power increase! They use Siemens/Bosch Diesel Common Rail fuel injection and have complex emission controls but make an amazing amount of power (compared to anything of 10 years ago).

All 5 engines were designed, built and supplied by IH (Intenational/Navistar) for Ford, to their specifications and used in International trucks in essentially the same form as Ford.

'93 F-250 HD, 7.3L IDI, 5spd - FARM TRUCK
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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I see alot of people recommending the Cummins for a easy to work on engine for a beginner, I would assume the 6.9L and 7.3L IDI are the easiest to work on due to the fact that they are mechanical. If anything Id get either an 7.3L IDI or Powerstroke, the 6.0 are still a little pricey and they are a little expensive to repair especially if your out of warranty.

It's been a while since I touched a diesel but I am sure all I would need to do is come on here and explain the problem If I am not familuar with the problem, Id look it up and try to get pictures and also Diagnosis it with a scan tool. that would be easy If I had a tuner etc.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_G View Post
3) 7.3L Power Stroke - these were the first generation of "Power Stroke" fully electronic engines, they do NOT have a diesel injection pump of any kind, but use highly pressurized engine oil (HEUI) to force fuel thru the injectors and into the engine. Fuel rates, on/off timing are completely computer controlled. They LIKE hop-ups and willingly accept increased power. Stock their power is addicting and are regarded as the most reliable of all electronic diesels although not the least expensive to modify or repair.

4) 6.0L PowerStroke - the 6.0L is very similar to the 7.3L in terms of how the fuel system works and it's acceptance of added power. They are NOT as reliable in any form as the 7.3L PSD, but are not junk either. Significant increases in power will cost you lots in repairs because of the complex emissions equipment and electronics. In stock form the power is addicting.
John G, I am not surprised by this, but in some way I am. The 6.0 as being NOT reliable in any form is eyebrow raiser to me. But that is OK. I know the 6.0 has more on my 7.3 on any given day, even with mined tuned. The 6.0's I have operated were workhorses period and still are. I just can't wait to get my own. Hopefully yet this year. Still trying to crunch the numbers. Hopefully after my medical bills are caught up.

As far as easy engines to work on that are in the same boat and dispacement: The 5.9 cummins (great power and easy to add power. One of the easiest to work on). The 6.9 and 7.3 idi's. Easy engines to work on and you can increase the power pretty easily (construction outfit I worked for had his at 250 HP (7.3 idi) had it advanced and the pumped worked with. He did blow a headgasket with it. He could cloud out a 4 lane highway with it. The perkins D 354 is an easy engine to work on-used in truck applications. The DT360, DT312 IH engines were just as easy as the perkins and cummins. Also used in truck applications as well as the DT358 ( which was Germany's Neuss engine works engine.) The Cat C7 is also a good one for ease and pretty easy to hop up. The cummins 401 would be another. Good power horse for its day(50's and 60's) era. Would be easy to work on and possibly a choice for conversion if you can find one. You could possibly think about the Cat 3208, IH 9.0 liter as other easy engines to work on. They were and there are plenty of them out there yet. Detroits would be another option. there are many others. Once you step outside of small truck engines, the possibilities are endless for easy engines to work on. Don't forget about the cummins 4bt.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2009, 07:34 PM
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4) 6.0L PowerStroke - the 6.0L is very similar to the 7.3L in terms of how the fuel system works and it's acceptance of added power. They are NOT as reliable in any form as the 7.3L PSD, but are not junk either. Significant increases in power will cost you lots in repairs because of the complex emissions equipment and electronics. In stock form the power is addicting.
I think a few ppl missed the "as" part. In STOCK trim, used as designed, for WORK, the 6.0L is (IMO) no worse than the 6.2L/6.5L and WAY better than any 8.2L ever made in terms of power, efficiency and reliability.

'93 F-250 HD, 7.3L IDI, 5spd - FARM TRUCK
I Support: Trailer brakes an every axle over the towing vehicle's GVW; CDLs for RVers; Safety inspections for ALL vehicles and 6 axle trucks (97K GVW proposal).

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-15-2009, 07:51 AM
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Smokecloud,

The easiest engine to build, period, is my avatar.
I'm tellin' ya', a 5-year-old could build one of those.

Both the 6.9L and 7.3L diesel engines used in Ford full-sized pick-ups were made by International. In fact, they're pretty much the same engine, the 7.3 simply being the later, larger displacement version of the 6.9 (granted there are a few other differences, but they're very minor).

As for your question, on a more practical level, probably one of the older factory models, before everyone in the world fell in love with electronics and computers.
Check out one of the diesel powered mini-trucks from the 80's.
In fact, I believe the engine Nissan used back then was ubiquitous "4-33".
That was probably the single most used engine back in the 70's, during the "diesel conversion" craze.
But really, any of the older applications. Even if its an old Mercedes (and apparently, a recent google search has turned up quite a "240D" cult happening these days).
Things to check for, when you go car/truck shopping is where are the glow plugs and are they really that easy to get at, because affer filters, they're going to be the second most common "replacment part" on your diesel engine....and remember, ALWAYS use Bosch glow plugs (don't learn the hard way, like I did).



Elvis

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeCloud View Post
Ok so I am new and not new to diesel's, I went to vocational school for diesel technology, while I was only there for a short time, I really didn't get much into the diesel stuff, because the teacher made things more difficult then they needed to be so I left that class and went to an automotive class.

As I've read on various diesel forums, Its recommend to work on a 12V cummins due to it being a mechanical engine, but as I read more and more, I read that the 7.3l IDI and 6.9 are also mechanical engines. Now don't give me wrong I have nothing against dodge I just prefer ford powerstroke etc. I know these aren't Powerstroke engines, but isn't the 7.3L the first built international diesel engine built by them, because IIRC the 6.9 was a ford built diesel?

On a side note, I have a decent knowledge of diagnostics especially when it comes to computers so that's what used to and not mechanical wise. Its far much easier to play with a OBD II reader etc as opposed to just guessing with a mechanical engine.

I honestly don't know what to get in all honest, changing the injectors on a 7.3L you gotta pull the cab off IIRC right as well as the 6.0. I've read of the issues with the 6.0 but if properly tuned and maintanenced theres little to no issues. maybe someone on here can point me in the right direction. I have though about going back to school for it, but really don't have the patience for it, and I kinda get more out of reading on the forums anyway.

Last edited by elvis; 10-15-2009 at 08:05 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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