7.3L Power Stroke Cam Position Sensor (CPS)

How to Change the CPS on a 7.3L Power Stroke

Applicable Models:

1994.5 - 1998 Ford F-250, F-350, F-Super Duty
1999 - 2003 Ford F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550 Super Duty
2000 - 2003 Ford Excursion
2000 - 2003 Ford F-650, F-750
All E-Series models

Applicable Engine(s):

7.3L Power Stroke V-8 diesel (7.3L DIT, T444E)

Camshaft Position Sensor (CPS):

Motorcraft DU-87 (Ford F4TZ-12k073-CA)

A bad camshaft position sensor (CPS) may be the cause of a choppy/rough idle, stalling, hard starting, and no start conditions. When a CPS fails, it may or may not trigger a DTC. The sensor is difficult to access but can be removed and replaced in mere minutes once you've got the procedures down. It is highly recommended that Ford or International branded sensors are used - generic and aftermarket cam sensors tend to be less reliable. The CPS is a common failure on 7.3L Power Strokes; consider keeping a spare in your glove box.

Click any thumbnail image to view full-size

7.3 Powerstroke CPS location

• Disconnect both negative battery cables.

• The cam position sensor on the 7.3 Power Stroke is located just above the crankshaft damper at approximately the 11 'o clock position. It is difficult to access and view from the top of the engine bay.

• Removing the serpentine belt will make the cam sensor easier to access, though this step is not required.

CPS electrical connector removed

• We've found the easiest way to access the sensor is from below; the damper is well within reach, even if you choose to leave the belt on.

• Disconnect the cam sensor connector by slightly prying upwards on the locking tab and pulling downwards at a slight angle towards the passenger side.

Tools to remove 7.3 Powerstroke cam sensor

• A single 10 mm bolt holds the CPS in place. A 10 mm deep socket and 3/8" drive socket wrench fit well in the tight space.

• Remove the CPS retaining bolt and then the sensor itself. Rotate the sensor side-to-side slightly while pulling outwards from the engine block and it should slide right out.

Lubricating the cps o-ring

• To ensure a positive seal of the new sensor, lubricate the o-ring of the new sensor with a liberal amount of fresh engine oil.

• Install the new CPS in reverse order, twisting it side-to-side while pushing it into the engine block, then reinstall the retaining bolt.

CPS location with sensor removed

• Reinstall the sensor's electrical connection, reconnect the negative battery cables, and start the truck to ensure that the new sensor was installed correctly and is functioning properly.

• The image at left shows the cam position sensor location with the sensor removed.