7.3L Power Stroke Heritage
How the 7.3L Acquired Its Reputation
It’s no mystery that the 7.3L Power Stroke is one of the most favorable engines to every be offered. During its production life, which started in 1994 and ended in 2003, the 7.3L Power Stroke outsold GM and Dodge diesel powered trucks - combined. The popularity of the 7.3L is attributed to its reputation; the 7.3L was everything that owners looked for in a diesel powerplant, and then some. While the engine architecture is not as simple as that of the older IDIs, the 7.3L proved a reliable, strong, long lasting engine. It is not uncommon for these engines to keep on chugging long after their 350,000 mile B50 life, hiccup free. Though engine operation is computer controlled, the design remains relatively simple and does not utilize most of the emission controls that are found on todays diesels.
Fuel economy may fall short compared with the capabilities of today’s high pressure common rails, but people were satisfied with the fact that the engine could acheive better fuel mileage than the gasser alternatives. Remember, in this engine’s lifetime, diesel was cheaper than gasoline, and fuel was more affordable compared to today’s prices. Not everyone needs a medium duty engine in a light duty package, but who doesn’t want a bit of overkill in their diesel? The 7.3L, which is essentially the same engine as the International T444E, was used in an array of medium duty applications with GVWR as high as 66,000 lbs. These applications include, but are not limited to, school buses, tow trucks, service trucks, dump trucks, and water trucks.
There is no arguing, the 7.3L Power Stroke is a workhorse. The most powerful 7.3L Power Stroke (in stock trim) was offered in the 2003 Super Duty, the last year it was produced for Ford trucks. Torque peaked at 525 lb-ft at a very low 1,600 RPM, while a maximum 275 HP was produced at 2,800 RPM. By today’s standards, the engine may seem underpowered. However, the 7.3L, with its low RPM torque and flat torque curve, is more than capable of towing your triple axle tow hauler up steep grades with ease.
The 7.3L Power Stroke is unbiasely considered one of the best diesel engines ever produced, and it’s no wonder why. 6.0L, 6.4L, and 6.7L Power Stroke diesels have big shoes to fill, given the legacy that the 7.3L left behind. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder so many people wish it was still enlisted in active duty today.