March of 2011 Bigfoot  7.3 PSD General Maintenance @ ~ 35000miles

Any time you buy a used vehicle its smart to change EVERY fluid!  Then you know how long its been for proper maintenance.  We also replaced a couple of the wear items and know weak parts to prevent issues from interfering with our RV adventures.  Jon was a huge help in tracking down procedures, parts, fluid types and volumes, and with the labor!  Thanks Jon!

 

Parts and Costs

Rockauto.com

 

Part Number

Part Type

Price EA

Core EA

Quantity

Total

2003 FORD E-450 ECONOLINE 7.3L 445cid V8 DIESEL FI Turbo (F) OHV

AIRTEX / WELLS

5S1292

Camshaft Position Sensor

$ 20.79

$ 0.00

1

$ 20.79

ATP

B172

Filter

$ 23.89

$ 0.00

1

$ 23.89

GATES

K081207

Belt

$ 30.79

$ 0.00

1

$ 30.79

GATES

23073

Radiator Lower Hose

$ 30.79

$ 0.00

1

$ 30.79

GATES

23308

Radiator Upper Hose

$ 22.79

$ 0.00

1

$ 22.79

WIX

33818

Fuel Filter

$ 25.99

$ 0.00

1

$ 25.99

Shipping Location 1

Ground (FedEx or UPS)

$ 8.93

Shipping Location 2

Ground (FedEx or UPS)

$ 9.79

Order Total

 

$ 173.76

Walmart $97.71

3 gallons Motorcraft 15W40 oil

2 32oz bottles of DOT 3 brake fluid

Motorcraft Oil Filter

2 bottles of power steering fluid

 

Autozone $149.18

20 quarts of Castrol Mercon V ATF

2 STP air filters

 

Napa $104.89

5 gallons of Zerx ELC Heavy duty diesel coolant (they gave me the government discount pric of 19.29 instead of 24.19!  Saved $25)

 

Oil Change

 

The filter was stuck on there GOOD! After we poked a few holes in it with the oil filter wrench we busted out the big guns and it came right off!

 

 

We sucked out the dirty brake fluid from the reservoir and added the new stuff.  The brake fluid flushed from all calipers. (rear passenger, rear driver, front passenger, front driver)  We used most of 2 32oz bottles of DOT 3.

 

Power steering fluid was sucked out and replaced.  I think we used most of the 2 small sized bottles.

 

 

Transmission flush Procedure

 

I pretty much followed these directions.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/article/idx/0/057/article/Changing_ATF_Fluid_in_a_E4OD_and_4R100_transmission.html

 

Copy and paste incase the link dies.

By Mark Kovalsky

I've done this alone. It's easier with a second person, and sometimes helps prevent spills.

  1. Things you need to get started:
    1. The E4OD and 4R100 transmission system holds almost 18 quarts of ATF, and you must waste a couple of quarts to be sure you get it all purged and replaced, so buy 20 quarts of MERCON ATF [For the 4R100, use MERCON V]. You may use either conventional or synthetic, as long as it meets the above requirements.

The 4R70W transmission system holds about 14 quarts of ATF. The 4R70W uses MERCON V, and the MERCON V can be used on older 4R70W transmissions that were factory filled with MERCON.

    1. I replace the transmission filter every other fluid change. Note that Ford does not recommend ever changing the filter. I've opened filters with over 300,000 miles that were not even close to being clogged.
    2. Don't buy a new pan gasket. The original is reusable.
    3. A 10 foot length of clear tubing and one hose clamp, sized to fit over your cooler hose. There have been different size cooler lines over the years, so check before buying!
    4. If you don't already have a special funnel that fits into the transmission dipstick tube, then you will need one of those, too.
  1. If you are changing the filter, drain the pan if your pan has a drain plug. If you are not changing the filter, jump to step 4.
    1. If you don't have a drain plug, go to step 4 to pump out the pan, preventing an ATF shower! Return here after step 4 and one pass through step 5a.
    2. Remove the pan and clean the pan and gasket, including the magnet on the bottom of the pan. Fuzz on the magnet is normal, that's why it is there!
    3. Change the filter. It just pulls out, there are no bolts that hold it. It is held in place by the pan. Make sure that the O-ring is removed, too. Sometimes it does not come out with the filter.
    4. Replace the pan, using the reusable gasket.
    5. At this point you can drain the torque converter. Some people think it is necessary, but I don't. Running the engine in the next steps will pump the fluid out of the torque converter. If your transmission was built after August 2001, you don't have a drain plug in the torque converter.
    6. To drain the torque converter remove the shield (or the rubber plug in some models) and turn the flywheel until you see the drain plug. If you also drain the torque converter, then the old ATF will not come out the return line until after the torque converter has filled.
  1. If you drained the pan, pour new ATF into the filler [dipstick] tube until you have added about as much as you earlier drained from the pan. At this point overfilling by no more than one quart won't hurt anything.
  1. Disconnect the transmission-fluid return line at the transmission - from where the ATF returns to the transmission from the cooler. This is the line towards the rear of the transmission. Clamp the clear tubing over the line that you removed from the transmission. This is where the fluid comes out.
  1. This is where the second person comes in handy. One person starts the engine, while the other holds the line over the drain bucket. A clothes pin can replace the person holding the line in the bucket.
    1. Run the engine until you see some air in the clear tubing. As soon as you see air shut off the engine. Refill through the dipstick tube with the same amount as you just pumped out.

NOTE: If you drained the pan and the torque converter, fluid will not run out until you fill the pan a second time. Run the engine for 30 seconds, then stop and add six more quarts.

  1. Repeat step 5 until you have added 19 quarts with of new ATF to the system with an E4OD or 4R100. Repeat until you have added 13 quarts with the 4R70W.
    1. At least one time while the engine is running move the shifter through each position from P to 1, pausing about 5 seconds at each position. This will change some fluid that would otherwise be trapped in the valve body, accumulators, and clutches.
  1. Remove the clear line and reconnect the cooler line to the transmission.
  1. Check the fluid level and use the last quart to top off.
  1. Properly dispose of the used transmission fluid.
  1. Congratulate yourself! And your engine starter/killer person.

 

On step 6 we modified it a bit.  We were getting about 5 to 5.5 quarts on each flush before there were bubbles.  We only had 2 of the 19 quarts left so we only flushed 2 quarts.  We measured all the fluid we recovered with a graduated cylinder and the mark was right on when we were done.   The pan and filter were pretty dirty for only ~35K miles on the rig.  The O ring got stuck in the hole, just like described in the write up.  It was in there pretty good, but we busted it out. (You can see it in the first picture.  Its the orange thing in the hole)

 

 

Radiator Flush and New Belt

We removed the old belt before we replaced the radiator lines.  After pulling the old one around the fan (twice!) we later found out that the belt can be removed (and installed) on the passenger side of the fan.  We also removed the air filter box and eliminated that resonator thing that takes up space.  We plugged the hole in the intake with a pvc pipe fitting.  With the belt and air intake removed the access to the radiator hoses is much improved.  When we had the hoses off we flushed the radiator about 5x with tap water until it came out clear.  I would cover the bottom hole while Jon would fill it until if overflowed, then I would release the bottom and let it pour out.  We bought some Dexcool antifreeze because they had enough and it said all makes, all models.  I later found out that dexcool is bad in diesels and diesels like ELC (extended life coolant) made for semi trucks.  I thought it was BS.  Iron is iron, and aluminum is aluminum so why would it matter?  It seems that diesels shock the cylinder walls when it detonated and that causes cavitation bubbles in regular coolant.  When cavitation bubbles collapse they can do so violently and cause pitting in metal (I know this for sure from research on sonication and cavitation bubbles at work).  This 7.3L diesel takes FOREVER to warm up!  In gas cars I will idle for 5-10 minutes max and the upper radiator hose will get hot.  We idled and high idled for over 45 minutes before the upper hose got hot, but the bottom of the radiator was still cold.  We gave up for the night.  The next day I filled the radiator with hot tap water and drove on a 10 minute loop.  This warmed it up much faster.