7.3L POWER STROKE OIL PAN REPLACEMENT
Rusted out, leaking oil pans have plagued ’99- 03 7.3L Power Stroke owners for years. In the diesel community, having a dripping wet oil pan is the fraternity you don’t want to be a part of but oftentimes don’t have a choice. And for truck owners living in the Midwest and Northeast, the corroding oil pan problem is all too familiar. With this stamped steel, deep drawn pan regularly exposed to road salt, moisture, and other elements, rust begins to slowly form and deteriorate its exterior. The issue can take years, even a decade, to reach critical mass, but once the fi rst pin-hole develops there will be oil under the truck everywhere it goes.
THE RIGHT FIX
Perhaps even more bothersome than actually having a leaking oil pan is what has to be done in order to fi x it. Due to how the 7.3L sits in the Ford chassis, the oil pan can’t be replaced without pulling the engine—a laborious task to say the least. While there are several “repair” kits available in the aftermarket, none of them provide a long-lasting fi x. The only way to correctly address the issue is to pull the engine and install a new oil pan. This month, the folks at Flynn’s Shop in Alexander, Illinois did just that. Tag along as we walk you through the labor involved in getting a 16-year-old, 7.3L-powered work horse back on the road.
WHY DO SUPER DUTY PANS RUST MORE OFTEN THAN THE OBS PANS?
Much speculation exists as to why the Super Duty pans (’99-03) rust out more frequently than the earlier units do (’94.5- 97). Some believe a change to an inferior paint coating for the Super Duty pan is to blame, while others point the finger at a different type of steel material being used on early vs. late engines. After reaching out to our contact at Navistar, we were told that all 7.3L Power Stroke oil pans, early and late, were produced on the same tooling and by the same supplier. The fact that the pans rust out more frequently on the ’99-03 Super Duty trucks is due to the chassis configuration and where the engine is located in the engine bay. Our contact also went on to say that both Ford and International have recently switched to different oil pan suppliers for the 7.3L, which have increased material thickness and improved pan coating. The new pans are said to have started shipping out as of August of 2015.