F250 Servicing and Tips

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:08
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For those that are interested ...... Some musings .... this is not meant to bring on F250 paranoia ....service the mighty effie as per factory specs and all will be well. The 7.3 Navistar like all diesels takes some time to run in ...some reports go as high as 50,000k. If possible I would put 3000k on an F250 before towing a heavy load. Long periods of idling should be avoided for various reasons. Bore glazing being one and exhaust valve stacking in cold climates another. Ex valve stacking is in simple terms is deposits forming on the valve stem causing eventual seizing in the valve guide. Not usually a problem in Aust climate. I believe that 7500k for the first service is too long especially as the engine is mainly a huge cast iron V8 and as such deposits lots of micron sized particles of iron in the oil during run in. I changed my oil and filter at 1500k's ..then 3750 k's ..started towing BT from here and changed again at 7500k dealer service. As I use the Baldwin filters and Castrol RX Super it is not too expensive to do these changes. Castrol RX Super 15w-40 is formulated specially for American Heavy Duty Diesel Engines. This is available at SuperCheap Stores etc for around $75-90 for 20 litres. It happens to be the same oil that the Ford dealer (mine) recommends. This makes a 14 litre (sump capacity F250) oil and filter change around $90 if you do it yourself. Not bad considering the amount of oil. There are reports around of the 7.3 running rough if you go over the 7500k oil change interval. This is because the engine oil is used to run the injector system with a separate high pressure oil pump for the opening of the injectors. Stick to 7500k as a max and all will be fine. I dont think the prob would start until closer to 10k . 14 litres is a lot of oil so a container to hold it and still fit under the front swaybar is needed. I use an old 20 plastic water container with the top cut off at the right height. It also happens to have a tap in the front which is needed to pour the oil into a container for disposal. Put 14 litres of water in it to see where to cut it off ..... leave some freeboard for when you drag it out. The oil filter when full and hot is a pain in the ass. I use another container to drain the filter into. The best way to do this is to puncture the filter at the bottom and drain it before trying to remove it. I ground the end of a 4 " bolt to a fine point to pierce the filter ... whack in with a hammer. The best thing to undo the filter with is a thing called a "Boa Constrictor" basically a handle with a long rubber strap that can change diameter by tightening the strap. As the filter is the size of a 2 litre milk bottle you need a big filter spanner. Graham now has one in his kit and it available from the plumbing section at Bunnings. Pic in album soon !! Changing oil is very straight forward just like any other car. Engine at operating temp ...let cool for 20 min so oil is still hot to remove contaminants but not scalding. place container under sump plug.... remove plug and let drain ..... Spike filter on underneath surface with bolt drive in to make a 6mm hole .... grab container place underneath and remove spike to drain filter. When empty place on Boa and undo filter .... Clean filter contact area on oil pump with lint free cloth .... wet new filter gasket with a smear of new engine oil ... spin on just until filter stops .... the proper tightening amount from here is 3/4 of a turn. Mark the filter with a nikko pen at a suitable spot ...imagine this as 12 o clock ... and tighten around to 9 pm. Be careful not to crush the filter with the boa/oil filter spanner. Buy a few copper gaskets for the sump plug as these are a crush item and as such are single use ... place a new washer on and tighten sump plug. Dont over tighten ..if this thread gets stripped the engine has to come out to remove sump if a helicoil cant be fitted. The torque setting is ...16nM but this is not from a factory manual ...still looking to confirm from Ford. There is some debate whether to prefill the filter or not .... in my opinion if the filter is full of oil and the sump pick-up is still full of air from being drained the air has to push against a full filter to purge the air before the pump gears pick up oil. If the filter is only full of air it offers no resistance to the pump and the pump primes quicker. Probably a moot point ... most dealers dont prime anyway ...time constraint. I use an old 5 litre oil container that has 1 litre markings for a guide. Place 13 litres of oil in through the oil filler tube. I have a funnel that fits this tube perfectly and makes the job of pouring oil in much easier. Once the oil is in .... go to drivers seat ... place key in and turn ignition to on .... before starting locate oil pressure gauge on LH Side dash. As you start engine count to 15 seconds or look at watch when starting ..... the oil pressure gauge needle needs to move up no later than 15-16 seconds.... if it doesnt turn off wait 30 seconds and repeat. It usually pops up by about ten meaning the oil pump is primed. Run for a couple of minutes to circulate oil around ...switch off .... check oil level 1/2 to 1 hour later. Then again cold ... after next time at operating temp. Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:10

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:10
Lets play (real) grease monkey ..... Greasing the front end of "effie". On arrival home from the dealer with my F250 I grabbed a light and ventured underneath. To my disbelief the 6 balljoints/tierods of the front end had no grease in them ... this means it was not done at the factory and the guys at pre-delivery were asleep also. I have heard of quite a few that have not been done so its worth checking. There is 6 altogether and their location is as follows .... Left and Right Hand lower drag link tierod/balljoint. (near brake disc) One on the draglink RHS. Master Steering Box Pitman Arm RHS (one) Slave Steering Box Pitman Arm LHS (two) Pump grease into the nipple until the boot puffs up or a little weep is seen from the boot. It will continue to ooze so wipe excess off hour or two later. I grease every 7500k on road ...4000 off road/dusty. I use Castrol once again because it is widely available. I would always use a "Moly" type grease in a balljoint. The one I use from Castrol is .... Castrol LMM Multipurpose Heavy Duty. High melting point, heavy duty grease containing Molybdenum Disulphide with extreme pressure additives. Specifically for use where anti-seize properties are required for automotive balljoints and constant velocity joints. Buy a good quality grease gun ..wrap it in plastic then in a towel .... add it to the tool box for round Oz travel. As a side note ...the universal joints on a F250 are the greaseless type so not worries there. The other possible place for wear is the tail shaft splines. These should be done from factory but I'm intending to do mine before 50k or two years. It involves removing and refitting the tailshafts and is not really a job for the layman. When removing the shafts the spline phasing and therefore universal phasing has to be kept intact. Which means remove and refit in the exactly the same way. This is also a job "with a torque wrench only" as ...if one of the shafts came off .... lookout !! Really a job for the dealers if not confident or a someone like "Driveline Services" whom I had shorten and balance my shafts over the years. Hassle the dealer to include it in a service near the recommended greasing interval for the splines (if they have one). There is no need to panic over this one as they take some time to wear and the splines are replaceable if they wear too much. The shafts are removed and the spline cut out and new ones welded in and then the shaft is rebalanced. Probably about $400 -500 per spline for an effie. Anthony Explore this Great Land... Do It Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560571

Reply By: Dusky - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:11

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:11
Anthony, Thanks for the F250 servicing info, all that detail will be extremely useful. Do you do servicings while travelling? If there are any other gems of wisdom it would be most appreciated. Also, have you or anyone else fitted any secondary fuel filters to the F250 to drain water and collected muck? Best regards, Dusky
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Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:12

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:12
Pic of spanner and filter now in my album.Bushtracker Stuff -n- About Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560573

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:13

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:13
Dusky, If/when I travel long distances I have a policy of not putting bad fuel in the main tank. The F250 7.3 filter (water and sediment) is a good system but will only hold probably 200ml of water before "water in fuel light" comes on. The way to not put contaminated fuel in the effie tank is of course to use an auxiliary tank that has good enough filtration to make the fuel clean again for the main tank. With up to date filter technology including a coalescing silicone membrane (for water ) you can filter fuel well enough ,if contaminated, to go into the main tank. There are a few caveats .... like dont exceed the max flow rate of the filter membranes etc. For travelling I intending to use a aux tank with a few ideas of my own to achieve this end. Especially as the stock tank on my Crew Cab only holds 112 litres. My aux tank will be about 150 -170 litres and will be mounted just behind cab in tray. I am using a race car fill point that is 125 mm across and once the lid is removed gives great access to shine a torch inside to check for water either frank in the bottom or in suspension (cloudy). Can also check for particulate matter as well. The whole top of the tank will removable by welding a flange all the way around and placing nutcerts at 40mm intervals with a gasket for the lid. Screwed down with 6mm socket head cap screws. This allows a contaminated tank to be cleaned very easily by removing the whole top. I'm using a carter electric pump on the outside with a flow rate of 90% of the max flow of the filter. A hose then goes from this filter over the side to place it in the main tank fill point. I'm doing it this way because I want the aux tank to be removable when home as I dont have a canopy and need the room. There is no reason why you cant just "t" this line into the main line and fill on the fly as Turist and many others do. This system gives peace of mind as there is three filters before the engine gets it fuel and there is provision to easily inspect the fuel and clean the primary tank out. I dont think bad fuel is as common as it once was but if you are putting in an aux tank why not cater for the possibility. Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560574

Reply By: Luvntravln - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:14

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:14
We are enlightened Master Po. tgintl/jay
AnswerID: 560575

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:15

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:15
Anthony, I think Nina and Amy must be the two cutest salesgirls I have seen. I also think that you and Cindy are in the wrong business being vets. You could be retailers and make a fortune selling ice to eskimos with those two cherubs in the window. Hugs to them both from me. Angie
AnswerID: 560576

Reply By: Tassietracker5 - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:16

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:16
Hello all In regards to filling of fuel I have a 03 crewcab and it seems that the last 25l of fuel in the 112l tank will only go in if trickled in, total fill time around 5mins at the servo. A friend has an extra cab model and he has no problem. Does anyone else have this problem or may know how to correct. Tiford down here were i brought it wont help as we are still in dispute in regards to the dent in the roof and an idependent report that has stated that my effie will need to be resprayed. Thanks Rod
AnswerID: 560577

Reply By: Deleted User - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:17

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:17
Rod, The slow fuel fill on most of the F-truck range is a known problem ..well amongst owners any way. The reason is the tank vent tube goes about 4-5 inches down into the tank. Once the fuel level gets to the tip of the vent pipe, down in the tank, the amount of fuel able to be put in quickly, reduces, because it is determined by the amount of air that can come out via the vent tube. The fix is to do the "Harpoon Mod" .... a F250 diesel owner in the USA first told of this mod which he fixed his with ..... his nickname was Harpoon !!! Unfortunately it involves removal of the tank ...... then undo the sender holding ring and remove sender .... grab a set of small snips ..reach in to tank and snip off 4-5" vent tube at about 1" . Fish out snipped off piece of plastic vent tube. Replace sender unit and reinstall fuel tank. This allows the fuel level to go 3" higher in tank before the slow fill drama starts. Most guys report ...only need to slow fill last 5 litres now not 20-25 !!!!! I have not done this mod to mine yet but it is certainly on the list as the last bit is very slow. At the moment I pump until I see foam in the fill tube then stop ...look at the pump to see litre amount and add another 10 litres more .... done !! As soon as I do the mod I'll describe it regarding method, pitfalls and torque settings etc. Here is a typical remedy from an American Ford Truck Club member ...... just in case you think I'm going mad ...... [grin] I've had this remedy for over a year must get to it !!! >>>>> The plastic fuel vent tube sticks down in the tank 4 to 5 inches from the top. So when you are filling your fuel tank the fuel rises to the point where it blocks the end of the vent tube. This traps the 4 to 5 inches of air in the tank not allowing more fuel to enter. The object of the mod is to make the 4 to 5 inches 1 inch, thus increasing the fuel capacity of your tank. Once you have the tank out lying on the ground remove the fuel pump/sending unit assembly. No need to disconnect the wiring just hold the top assembly back out of your way. Take a ratchet type PVC pipe cutter (Home Depot $10.00) reach in thru the hole, to the rear, and cut the vent tube off leaving about 1 inch. Retrieve the old piece of pipe from the bottom of the tank, and close her back up. Took me 4 minutes after I had the tank out. Credit has to go to "maroon harpoon" the originator. I was told the reason for the 4 to 5 inches of space is for the diesel fuel foaming, same tank used in diesels and gassers. >>>>> Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560578

Reply By: Turist - Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:18

Saturday, Dec 13, 2003 at 02:18
This slow fill problem can be a warranty issue with Ford.
Out F250 single cab is ok but a mates crew cab had the slow fill problem from new.
Slow to fill from about half full.
Returned to dealer and complained, dealer fixed under warranty. No complete details of fault found, just "something to do with the breather"
Put the pressure on Ford to rectify.
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