The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine was developed as a replacement for the aging 7.3L IDI engine used in Ford Econoline vans and Ford heavy duty pickups until 1994. Other than sharing displacement size, the new Power Stroke had nothing in common with its predecessor and was instead a completely new design. The 7.3L Power Stroke lasted in Ford Trucks until 2003 when it was discontinued because it couldn't meet ever increasing emissions standards, largely due to the engine being designed without the use of an effective EGR system.
The 7.3L Power Stroke uses highly pressurized engine oil for the fuel injection system as well as a few other engine systems and so it can be very susceptible to oiling issues. Additionally, even though the 7.3L Power Stroke did not come equipped with an EGR system, it's still vulnerable to the same sort of problematic soot buildup that causes problems in other EGR-equipped diesel engines. But in the case of the 7.3L Power Stroke, these problems cause excessive exhaust back pressure that can damage the turbocharger or cause exhaust valve float.
The 7.3L Power Stroke is equipped with an Exhaust Back Pressure Valve between the turbocharger outlet and the exhaust downpipe that assists with cold start up. Once the engine is warm, the valve opens. Because this control valve is located directly in the exhaust path, it is susceptible to soot buildup which can cause the valve to stick open or closed. If the valve is stuck open, you may only notice it on cold days when your truck takes a little longer to warm up. But if the valve is stuck closed, your truck will be down on power and it will feel like there is an engine brake applied.
Excessive back pressure like this can force the exhaust valves to float open, potentially striking the pistons and letting the combustion reaction into the exhaust system where it can damage the manifold, turbo, and other downstream exhaust components. If the Exhaust Back Pressure Valve is clogged with soot or rusted, you might be able to clean it enough to get it moving freely, but this is usually no better than a temporary fix. Instead, we recommend purchasing a New Replacement Turbocharger for 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel Engines at BuyAutoParts.com. Our brand-new units come with the back-pressure valve already installed on the turbo outlet and are a simple plug-and-play solution for a damaged, rusted, or sticking back pressure valve.
The Exhaust Back Pressure Valve is operated by an oil-filled actuator located in the turbo pedestal and controlled by the engine control unit. If the engine oil is excessively dirty or if sludge has built up in the system, it can cause the actuator to stop working. Since this part is integrated with the pedestal it is not serviceable on its own and must be replaced with the entire pedestal. If you've replaced the turbo already or if the valve moves freely with the actuator disconnected, the actuator in the pedestal is probably at fault. Fortunately, we also carry Replacement Turbo Pedestals with a New Actuator for the 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel that are guaranteed to fit your Ford F-Series Truck or Excursion.
If your truck is low on power, not building boost, and getting poor gas mileage, you may have a problem with the Exhaust Back Pressure Valve and Actuator. But with BuyAutoParts.com you can find the parts to get the job done right without draining your wallet. If you have any questions about ordering the correct parts, just give us a call, drop us an email, or use our on-site live chat feature.