Hello, Power Stroke aficionados! Our beloved 7.3 Power Stroke Diesel engine, a beast known for its durability, can keep going for ages with the right care. However, even the best need some maintenance now and then. Let's walk through the most common issues this fantastic engine may have and explore some straightforward solutions.

Here are eight common problems that can arise in your 7.3 Liter Power Stroke Diesel engine and a brief overview of how to fix them:

  • Injection Pressure Regulator Valve (IPR)
  • Injector Driver Module (IDM)
  • Cam Position Sensor (CMP)
  • UVCH Connectors
  • Fuel Filter Clogging
  • Lift Pump
  • Injector Control Pressure (ICP) Sensor
  • Fuel Heater

These issues can pop up now and then but fear not! Each problem can be handled relatively easily.

Now, let's delve into each issue, its symptoms, and most importantly, the solution:

1. Injection Pressure Regulator Valve (IPR)

Our journey begins with the IPR, nestled in the High Pressure Oil Pump's valley. This part can sometimes get stuck, suffer seal damage, sensor malfunction, or wire damage. When inspecting the IPR, check for loose or damaged wires and ensure the tin nut on the IPR sensor is tight. Do not use a sealer on the IPR threads during reinstallation as it could clog the orifice in the threaded area. The IPR unit should be torqued to 35ft/lbs.

Need a rebuild? No problem, you can follow this resource on how to Rebuild IPR Valve. Alternatively, you can buy a replacement IPR (part number F81Z-9C968-AB) for around $140-$300.

Check IPR prices on Amazon.

2. Injector Driver Module (IDM) Problems

Next, we have the IDM, which you can find on the driver's side fender. This module might misbehave or suffer water damage, causing the engine to not start, run roughly, or cut out. Make sure to check for damaged wiring or water intrusion.

Remember, the IDM part number is engine-specific. For 99-2003 F-Series Pickups and E-Series Cargo van, the IDM 120 includes part number: XC3F-12B599-AA. Replacement costs can range from $50-$350.

Want to learn more? Here's a guide on 7.3 PowerStroke IDM issues.

3. Cam Position Sensor (CMP)

If your 7.3L PowerStroke CMP is faulty, your engine might cut out and possibly die, not starting until it sits or the batteries are reset. To check if your CMP is in good shape, see if your tachometer moves while cranking on the Old Body Style (OBS). If it doesn't move, consider replacing the CMP.

You can get an OEM Cam Position Sensor (part number F7TZ-12K073-B) for between $24-$70. Remember, some generic sensors may be defective right out of the box, so it's worth getting the OEM part.

Check CMP prices on Amazon.

4. UVCH Connectors

UVCH Connectors, located under the valve cover, can cause rough running conditions if they come loose or get shorted. Check for cut wires, loose or burnt connectors under the valve covers on your block/heads. If they're damaged, replace them. It might also be a good idea to replace the valve cover gaskets.

The entire valve cover gasket kit with connectors (part number F81Z-6584-AA) can be replaced for $100 or less.

Check UVCH Connector prices on Amazon.

5. Fuel Filter Clogging

A clogged fuel filter can cause long cranking or a semi-loss of power. Your injectors need fuel, and if they can't get it, you're going to have problems. You can solve this issue by simply replacing the fuel filter (part number F81Z-9N184-AA) at a cost of $9-$30. Stick with Motorcraft for filters.

Check Fuel Filter prices on Amazon.

6. Lift Pump Problems

Lift pump failure can definitely cause a no-start situation. If no fuel is in the fuel bowl, fill it up with clean fuel, and if the engine starts, replace the pump. The part number for the lift pump is F81Z-9C407-AC, with a replacement cost of $125-$320.

Check Amazon for latest price on Lift Pumps 

7. Injector Control Pressure (ICP) Sensor Failure

An ICP sensor issue can cause the engine to run roughly and cut in and out. If you find oil in the ICP connector, the ICP is likely bad or on its way out. Unplugging the ICP sensor temporarily might help the engine run smoother. The ICP sensor (part number F6TZ-9F838-A) costs between $65-$167 to replace. If oil has permeated the wires, it's recommended to replace the ICP sensor pigtail as well.

A good external resource about 7.3 PowerStroke ICP problems, replacement, and diagnostics.

A replacement ICP can be sourced from Amazon from under $25 to over $125 depending on the quality. 

Check ICP pricing on Amazon.

8. Fuel Heater Problems

Finally, the fuel heater can short out and blow maxi fuse #22, disabling the PCM. To solve this, disconnect the fuel heater, replace the fuse, and try starting the engine again. The replacement cost for the fuse is around $3, so it's wise to keep spare fuses in your glove box.

Wrapping Up.

All things considered, the 7.3 Power Stroke Diesel engine is a reliable workhorse, but it's always good to know your engine and its quirks. After all, an engine that's well understood is an engine that's well taken care of. Despite these potential issues, many 7.3L Power Stroke engines have no trouble surpassing the 350,000-mile mark, which is why we call it a legend!

Now, keep this guide handy, get yourself those few essential tools and parts, and happy motoring!

Recommended Tools:

  • Basic socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Voltmeter
  • Torque wrench
  • Fuel pressure gauge
  • Spare fuses, including maxi fuses
  • Spare Cam Position Sensor

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