What to watch for in a 130K mile vehicle - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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What to watch for in a 130K mile vehicle

Howdy folks:

I'm not new to Fords but I am new to the big F250s with PSDs. Due to the 18 y.o. son needing one BAD. I suppose if he gets into a $$ bind he'll just have to sell it.

But anyway, I've been reading up here on the trucks and trying to figure out what to watch for in looking at a high mileage (130K) truck. ball joints? get an OASIS report? binding in 4x4 or loose driveline? Any tips would be appreciated. BTW, the truck in mind right now is a 2002 F250 CC Lariat 7.3L with 130K priced at $19,990. Very nice dark green over tan. Clean inside but obviously has been towing a 5th wheel trailer (either a cattleman or a horse lady) Might be able to take it to a mechanic for a look-see.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 02:13 PM
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IMO that's a bit much for that truck, where are you located?

You should start with the obvious stuff a carfax, maintenance records, drive it and listen for driveline noises or vibrations. Oil leaks, white or blue smoke. Transmission smoothness etc etc

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 04:08 PM
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Tips on buying a used stroker

If you are looking for a 99 - 03 w/ the 7.3 here you go - mostly from Baz's page;

Things To Look For When Buying A Used Power Stroke Diesel


Take the air tube off the back of the air filter and look inside of it. If there is dirt build up, that is a very bad sign, so are the turbo fins looking sand blasted or bent. A little oily film is normal since the Crank Case Vent exits inside the tube.


Remove the lid to the air filter, again, check for dirt getting passed the filter. If you purchase the truck, you could put in an aftermarket intake of your choice. There are a lot of choices. This allows the engine to breath much better than the stock set up and will give you a slight HP increase.


If you buy a truck with an auto tranny, finding out if it's been maintained is essential, as the transmission is expensive to replace. Also, (if auto) seeing if the truck has an auxiliary transmission cooler would be worthwhile. For sticks, listen for clunking when shutting off or small vibration while operating. It could be an indication of a dual mass flywheel going out. Many have replaced them with single mass units. This was for the 94 -97's - I don't know what Ford puts in the Super Duty.

Rear Gear Ratio:

4:10 will pull better, get slightly lower mpg’s and run a higher RPM compared to 3:73 on stock size tires.


Ask the previous owner about the coolant - have they been adding FW16 or DCA4 to keep a proper SCA level? It is very important for stopping cavitation. You can get test strips to check the SCA level from NAPA, International, or Ford. I would test the current condition while looking over the truck, the SCA level should be between 1.5 and 3.0.
Also, see if it has a block heater. This is helpful in colder climates.

Front end:

Check the front end for wear, or have an alignment shop check out the ball joints and steering linkage (tie rod ends). If they are shot, it is spendy (all four tie rods are around $400 just for parts, ball joint labor is also very spendy)


The questions to ask are how often the oil was changed (at least every 5,000) and what kind of oil they used (diesel rated)? An oil analysis could tell you if there might be an engine problem or not. Look for documentation.

Aftermarket stuff:

Seeing if the truck has got an aftermarket downpipe would be nice, a chip, or gauges (pyrometer, trans temp, etc.). Ask about any added items and who installed them.

Glow Plugs/Relay:

Find out if the glow plugs are in good working condition as well as the relay. Ask if either has been changed and when. You can check the glow plug resistance through the valve cover connector if needed, and the relay should have power to both large terminals on top when the key is turned on, and one of the terminals should go out before ~2 minutes.

Injector o-rings:

The injector O-rings have been known to be a problem. The new o-ring sets have a pink middle seal. If the truck has an o-ring problem, one of the signs can be a discoloration of the fuel in the filter bowl. There is a drain on the passenger side front of the filter bowl for draining water (the filter is also the water separator) and you can catch some of the drained fuel in a jar – it should be dingy yellow and not blue or dark.

Leaks and Drips:

You can check the valley between the heads of the V8 for moisture and/or fluid. It should be dry not wet. Most leaks will run through this valley and down the back of the motor dripping off by the tranny/engine coupling.

VIN number:

If you take the VIN to any dealer, they can tell you when it was built, when it went into service, and some of the work that might have been done on it. You can also run prospective VIN's through Carfax.com to see the title history.

1999.5 PSD, 4x4, Auto trans, 6.0 Trans cooler, ZooDad Mod, ISSPRO Trans - boost - EGT gauges, Wicked Wheel, 5inch Stainless tip, 315 75 17 BFG AT's, ProComp 9000's at the corners, Fumatomo Valve, Pooned tank, DP Tuner F5 w/ 80 tow, 80 econo, 120 race and permagrin!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

Assuming the mechanic says its OK ($65 for a two hour check with diagnostic) I plan to offer $17,900
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 07:59 PM
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around here thats a hell of a good price
a 1997 with 130K is 15K around here

04 Ford F250 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box ZF6 Manual.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 08:01 PM
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Roger that. I paid 22,850 for my 02 with 73,000 miles.
I think that's a very fair price provided it has been well maintained.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 08:07 PM
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i bought mine with around 140 on the clock 99 lariat ex cab shorty for 15.... try kbb and see what they say. also its got a gooseneck hitch witch means the truck was worked... just something to keep in mind
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Bought it.

I had found it on cars.com, but at a local small motorsport dealership. They had it at $19,990. The online valuation places (kbb.com, nada.com, edmunds.com) all seem stupid high at over $21,000.

Soooo, I go to ebay to see what similar ones are going for and lo and behold - THIS TRUCK is listed by the dealer at Buy It Now for $17,950. Had it checked at a mechanic - he had some concerns I'll get into later. So I take the inspection data and the truck back to the dealer and try to offer $17,500. No dice. So we took the $17,950 and he is supposed to fix a clunk on hard turns.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2007, 03:06 AM
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Good looking ride!

'00 cc f 350 a few mods, and a bts tranny.

Wet concrete, Hot Asphalt And Life Wait for no one
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