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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2009
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    547
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    Upstate NY
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    New Holland Powerstar T4.75

    Default Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    The other day I happened across a truck that it looks like I'll be buying. It's a 1997 F350 regular cab 4x4 with the 7.3 Powerstroke and a 5 speed stick. It also has a 8 foot Western minute mount plow. I saw it at a terrific deal (good enough price that I will let everyone know after I pick it up) and decided to take a look at it. The truck has new front fenders and doors and a junkyard bed. This was all done so that there was no rust on the body panels and then the previous owner shot it with some paint. It actually looks pretty good, but I'm mostly concerned that there isn't rust. The under carriage looks good. The engine seems pretty good and the transmission shifts well. The plow works well, but the moldboard is rough. I'll plan on welding a small patch and then painting the plow.

    It's only an XL model, so no A/C and hand crank windows but the interior is also in decent shape except for the standard rip on the driver's side of the bench. It needs ball joints, so I am planning on just replacing the upper and lower ball joints on both sides. I also need to change the rear section of parking brake cable. I crawled under the truck and this really shouldn't be too bad as the truck is not rusty. How hard is changing the ball joints on this truck? Anything special to know about? How about the parking brake cable? What do you think a truck such as this would be worth?

    I'm only planning on having this as a work truck. I'm still keeping my Silverado 2500 HD, and that will probably still handle any long range towing work. I'll probably use this for snow removal (it was cheaper than buying a snow blower for my tractor) and for towing my tractor around town as necessary. I'll definitely need to replace the hitch and I think I'll have to run wiring for trailer lights and brakes. It runs solid and only has 135,000 miles on it. The guy who currently owns it still drives it daily and I have no doubt that this will be a reliable truck as long as I drive it a little and take good care of it. I now have garage space for it and will be building our new place by the end of the year hopefully, so I can finally justify having an extra vehicle.

    I'm actually looking forward to having a vehicle that I can tinker with. I'm also looking forward to having another diesel, and really happy that it is a pre emission 7.3 Powerstroke. I'm also pleased that it's a 5 speed so I'm not as concerned about transmission problems. Anything that I should know about this truck? Anything to look out for? I know about the oil pan issues on this truck and am fortunate that the previous owner changed the oil pan and the oil cooler within the last 2 years due to corrosion of the originals. I'll post more details when she's officially mine, but let's get the opinions rolling for now. Thanks in advance.
    Chance favors the prepared mind

    My toys:
    - 2013 New Holland Powerstar T4.75 cab tractor with FEL
    - Alamo SHD 88 Flail Mower
    - RAD Technologies Blizzard B94 3 Point Hitch Snow Blower
    - Bush Hog Squealer 60" (looking for an upgrade)
    - 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab Z71 Duramax/Allison
    - 2008 Polaris Sportsman 800 Stealth
    - PJ 20+5 foot Gooseneck Deckover trailer

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bucktaker's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    785
    Location
    Sw Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    other than the obvious issues from a upstate NY plow truck it is a great platform. Really check the frame/brackets/hangars for rust.... if the body rotted out who knows what the frame has been subjected to.


    97-2002 were the best years for the 7.3 powerstroke owened a 2000 f250 myself kicking myself for trading for the 6.0 in 2003
    Kubota L5740 La854
    MF 35 Deluxe gas wloader...For sale

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    1,736
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    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    Thinning, broken frame is usually what gets a plow truck. Make sure you look for any signs of welding and cracks.
    Tim.

  4. #4
    Elite Member timswi's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    4,882
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    Beaver County Pa
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23 & RTV1100

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    Check the front suspension as well..Those get hammered on plow trucks..Differentials/trannies etc also..Really depends on how it was used.
    BX23TLB & RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    547
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    New Holland Powerstar T4.75

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    I brought a pair of coveralls so that I could crawl underneath and give it a good look. The frame didn't have any rust issues. I didn't see any cracking or anything either. I'll get a better idea of any issues related to the suspension when I replace the ball joints. I still feel confident that I could part the truck out for well over what I'm paying for it if things go really south. I'd have to believe that i could get at least $2,500 or so for the engine. A rust free box is worth some coin in Upstate NY too so between those two items I believe I could pay for the truck. Thank you for the suggestions I'll definitely be keeping an eye out.
    Chance favors the prepared mind

    My toys:
    - 2013 New Holland Powerstar T4.75 cab tractor with FEL
    - Alamo SHD 88 Flail Mower
    - RAD Technologies Blizzard B94 3 Point Hitch Snow Blower
    - Bush Hog Squealer 60" (looking for an upgrade)
    - 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab Z71 Duramax/Allison
    - 2008 Polaris Sportsman 800 Stealth
    - PJ 20+5 foot Gooseneck Deckover trailer

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2009
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    511
    Location
    Western Wyoming

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    Before I sold it, I changed the ball joints in my '96 f250 PSD, and while you are in there, change out the u-joints. I learned the hard way. I bought the ball joint tool from Harbor Freight, with the Ford ball joint kit (two different items, same tool). I don't remember if I used the Ford kit on the '96, but the ball joint tool makes things a whole lot easier. My truck also had issues with glow plugs and relays. If you need to replace either, buy the motorcraft glow plugs. The autolites can swell and break off in the motor. The Napa relay is GPR-109, and if you go in there with that number, I think they are around $30. However, I was replacing it every year, sometimes twice a year until I bought a Stancore 586-902 relay from Mouser.com. It lasted two years until I sold the truck, and have had it in my '00 PSD for the last 6 years. They were around $50, but well worth it.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2011
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    1,036
    Location
    Boston
    Tractor
    L3700SU

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    I have had a number of 95-97 F350 PSD. The oil pan is a biggie. They all rust out and the motor needs to come out to replace it. Also as someone else said, if you are in there doing ball joints, do the universals as well. One of mt fuel rails went and that was a pricy fix as I remember. All in all those trucks are tanks and real work horses.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    Ah yes, forgot the oil pan issues. If there is wet staining on the outside of the pan, it is perforated. DO NOT probe with a screw driver, or you will go straight through.

    Also brake and fuel lines prematurely rotted out on this era.
    Tim.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    14,145
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    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    I had a 99 XLT F350 that got totaled out about 3 years ago. Good strong truck but as mentioned the Ford front end required it to be maintained.

    Plow trucks of all brands lead a rough life. Look over the radiator, oil pan, I joints, carrier bearing, drive shaft, brake lines, batteries and cables, ect.

    Chris

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2009
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    547
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    New Holland Powerstar T4.75

    Default Re: Some questions about a 1997 F350 4x4 SRW Powerstroke

    Again, thanks for the advice, please keep it coming. As for this being a plow truck, I believe that this was not used as a plow truck for someone doing it commercially, rather I think this was someone's driveway plow. My reasoning for this is threefold. First off, it's got a stick and the plow is about the same age as the truck. Around here everyone who buys a truck to do commerical plowing, at least if they're buying it new, buys an automatic. An auto is just quicker if you're doing a lot of back and forth plowing, and when plowing time is money. Secondly there is no rust to speak of on the frame and the undercarriage looks pristine. My uncle who plows is meticulous about undercoating his truck multiple times per year and in washing it as soon as he's done plowing. Even his truck has some areas with more rust underneath than this truck. Lastly, the plow isn't in terrific shape. It's not bent and in fact structurally it is just about perfect. However, there are a couple of small rust spots on the top of the moldboard which is where rain and snow would land on a plow that sits outside. The rust is consistent with a plow that sat a lot and wasn't used that much. This all leads me to believe that it was someone's driveway plow and not a heavily used plow truck.

    Nonetheless, I'm going to take every precaution with it. I'll plan on changing all the fluids and filters including engine oil and filter, fuel filter, front and rear differential oil, air filter and I'll likely change the brake fluid as well. I will change the upper and lower ball joints on both sides of the truck, and from the advice I've received so far, I might as well change the universal joints while I'm at it. I'm actually thinking of springing for the top of the line heavy duty ball joints that NAPA offers. They're almost 3 times as much as the standard ones, but since this truck will have a plow on it and be used as a plow truck, I think it might be worth the heaver duty ball joints. Does anyone have any opinions on the heavy duty premium NAPA ball joints? I will also plan on giving the truck a thorough washing inside and out, and will pressure wash the crap out of the undercarriage. I'll hit it with some undercoating now and will do so again before winter. Does it sound like I'm on the right track so far? Thanks
    Chance favors the prepared mind

    My toys:
    - 2013 New Holland Powerstar T4.75 cab tractor with FEL
    - Alamo SHD 88 Flail Mower
    - RAD Technologies Blizzard B94 3 Point Hitch Snow Blower
    - Bush Hog Squealer 60" (looking for an upgrade)
    - 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab Z71 Duramax/Allison
    - 2008 Polaris Sportsman 800 Stealth
    - PJ 20+5 foot Gooseneck Deckover trailer

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