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I am looking at buying a 1984 F250 ext cab 4x4 with the 6.9idi NA and a 4spd trans. The truck has around 130k miles and a descent body. I was just wondering if any one could give me some advice on what to look for as far as potential issues or what I might want to do after I buy it. It does have some issues (brakes, tires, etc) but the price is right, the 4 wheel drive works and it does run well. I have owned a couple of diesels in the past (a Mercedes 300sd and a 94 6.5 paperweight) but never really drove them. I know the 6.9s are a very durable motor other than the small head bolts and the head gaskets, but should I have anything else to be concerned about? Also the same guy has a 2wd auto the same year with an aftermarket turbo kit. I may be able to get a package deal for both and was considering swapping the turbo on to the 4x4. Would that be worth my time or would I be better off leaving the 4x4 stock? Any advice would be appreciated and thanks in advance.
 

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We had one similar to that at work, a year older and an F-350 DRW but 6.9L 4spd. Mileage, if real, is LOW and if the engine has been well treated, you could expect another 200k from it. The headgaskets typically leak oil, not water and are not known for "blowing out", except with turbos :( Yes, the headbolts are smaller and they leak oil, but they are decent in terms of durability and certainly one of the better engines of it's day.

If you rely on your rig from a daily driver, I wouldn't add anything in terms of performance enhancements, it WILL take away some of the reliability and maybe a lot of it.

The wiring and GP systems should be CAREFULLY evaluated, if it has the older "slow start" GP system, well they can be troublesome. It is better for you and the engine to retrofit (Ford kit) to the later model 7.3L "fast start" GP system which are essentially trouble free systems once installed (with factory GPs and no Ether use that is).

Check to see if you have a "full floating" rear axle, if so, the brake drums are INboard mounted before 1986 and a major PITA to service, but doable.
 
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