Is the 7.3 Liter IDI a Good Diesel Engine?

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Is the 7.3 IDI a good engine? Yes, the Ford (International/Navistar) 7.3 IDI is a dependable and robust diesel engine. With few generational problems, the IDI engine family is known for its long-lasting reliability. Although it lacks power, the 7.3 IDI will run forever if taken care of.

The Ford 7.3 liter IDI (indirect injection) diesel engine was produced between 1988 and halfway through 1994. The 7.3L IDI was produced to replace the 6.9L IDI, used by 3/4-ton and 1-ton Ford trucks from 1980 to 1987. The 7.3 IDI diesel was the last of the great all-mechanical diesel pickup engines.

It wasn't computer controlled (unlike the 7.3 PowerStroke) and relied on a simple and heavy-duty mechanical fuel pump. Early versions had no turbo, and produced relatively low horsepower but plenty of torque. These engines are considered 'medium duty' diesels, and were found in much larger dually box trucks and utility vehicles.

Even 'heavy duty' pickup trucks are still technically 'light duty vehicles' when compared to large box trucks, so the IDI was quite an engine for the F250.

The Ford IDI diesel engine was designed by International/Navistar, and originally came without a turbo. In 1993, Ford added a turbo to the 7.3 IDI for additional power.

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Ford 7.3 IDI Specifications

The International/Navistar 7.3 IDI is a V8 diesel engine that features an indirect fuel injection system, mechanical injection pump, and standard glow plugs. Here are the specifications of the turbo and non-turbo 7.3 IDI diesel engine.

The non-turbo 7.3 IDI produced 185hp at 3,000 RPM and 338 lb-ft of torque at 1,400 RPM. The addition of a turbo made a modest improvement; the turbo 7.3 IDI produced 190 hp and 388 lb-ft of torque at the same RPMs.

Ford 7.3L IDI vs 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel Engine

The 7.3 IDI is not the same as the 7.3 Powerstroke engine. Despite sharing displacement designations, these engines have numerous differences. The 7.3 Powerstroke is computer-controlled, whereas the 7.3 IDI relies entirely on mechanical parts.