America’s best selling truck will soon have the largest displacement gas-powered V8 engine available in any truck. Ford just announced the new 7.3-liter V8 will be powering Super Duty pickups and commercial vehicles up to their big F-750 Medium Duty trucks and stripped chassis for motorhomes and other aftermarket customers.
The engine’s compact architecture features conventional overhead valves with standard upgrades necessary for the heavy loads these engines require. A variable-displacement oil pump, large main bearings, and forged steel crank to handle the extra torque, and piston cooling jets to keep temperatures down during heavy loads are the main features.
The 7.3-liter produces 350 hp at 3900 rpm with 468 lb-ft of torque at 3900 rpm. It comes standard on F-450 to F-750 Medium Duty trucks, E-Series vans, and Ford’s F-53 and F-59 chassis models. A version of the 7.3-liter calibrated for better gas mileage was also announced with details and availability pending.
The new 7.3-liter is considered a lower-cost option to Ford’s also new and upcoming 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine. This will be available in 2020. No specifications have been announced for the diesel yet.
Diesels are the engine of choice in these Class 2 through Class 7 trucks. However, gas engines make up 40% of engines purchased, so they are an integral part of this truck segment.
The 7.3-liter version is the top gas engine in Ford’s lineup above the current 6.2-liter which will be the base engine in F-250 and F-350 trucks. This engine is capable of 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.
For comparison, Chevy and GMC have also debuted a new, large gas engine. Theirs is a 6.6-liter V8 putting out 401 hp with 464 lb-ft of grunt. Ram trucks continue with the 6.4-liter Hemi engine.
Ford’s all-new 10-speed heavy-duty “TorqShift” automatic transmission will be hooked behind 7.3-liter-powered F-250 through F-600 trucks. All others will keep the six-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. Ford also notes that the 7.3-liter can easily be converted, and is responsive to natural gas conversions.
Ford has a history of big overhead gas V8 and V10 engines starting with the 390ci “FE” V8 available throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. That engine was eventually superseded by the more modern 429/460ci (7.5-liter) V8 which was available starting in 1969 in passenger cars. It was available in trucks through 1996.
When Ford went to their “modular” engine architecture, they found it more feasible to add two cylinders to their 5.4-liter V8. With those two cylinders added the now V10 came in at 6.8 liters. The two-valve version was available through 2004 and in limited applications from 2005. A three-valve version was created for 2005 with 362 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
Today it’s still used in medium-duty chassis cabs. Ford has cranked out between 750,000 and one million V10s.