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Among those who need serious torque from their pickup truck, diesel engines hold a special place. And one diesel powerplant from Ford is seen by many to be one of the best, the 7.3-liter Power Stroke. This engine generates up to 275 horsepower and up to 525 pound-foot of torque. It also has a reputation for being nearly bulletproof. This is why Ford Super Duty trucks with the 7.3 are so sought-after.

Is the 7.3 L diesel a good engine?

The Ford 7.3-liter Power Stroke engine is well-regarded for its longevity and ability to handle additional power. It uses a cast-iron block and cylinder heads, plus it has a relatively simple design. These factors lead to a large engine that can power a heavy-duty pickup with fairly low maintenance issues. 

This engine was offered between 1999 and 2003 and can be found in the Ford F-250 and Ford F-350. It even came outfitted with the ZF S6-650 manual transmission, which featured six gears. Of course, for those who prefer automatic, the 4R100 four-speed autobox could be mated to the 7.3-liter diesel engine. 

The 7.3-liter Power Stroke is a long-lasting engine

According to MotorTrend, it’s not surprising to see a Ford Super Duty truck with the 7.3-liter engine lasting over 500,000 miles. Especially if proper maintenance and repairs are done in a timely manner. If you are interested in a diesel Ford truck, even a model with 200,000 miles+ should not scare you away. And those are some pretty impressive numbers. 

In 2003, the 7.3-liter V8 was replaced with the 6.0-liter Power Stroke V8, which is a decent engine in its own right. But at the end of the day, the 7.3-liter is what most folks seek out if they are looking for an older Super Duty Ford truck. 

It is worth noting that the 6.0-liter V8 engine was the target of a class-action lawsuit. So that probably plays into its reputation of not being as great of a powerplant for a heavy-duty pickup truck. 

Can you buy a first-gen Ford Super Duty?

Thanks to reliable engines like the 7.3-liter Power Stroke, it is possible to find a Super Duty from this era that can be worth buying. In terms of cost, the price you see on these heavy-duty trucks will vary. Ones that are especially clean and well-equipped can fetch over $30k. But, it is possible to track one down for less than $20,000. 

A heavy-duty truck is not right for everyone. There are plenty of smaller pickups out there that also have reliable powertrains. But for those who need power, there’s not really a good replacement for displacement. 

A green 2000 Ford Super Duty with the 7.3-liter Power Stroke diesel engine.
2000 Ford F-350 Super Duty | Kevauto

But, when it comes to being a large diesel pickup, MotorTrend has given its badge of support to the Ford Super Duty with the 7.3-liter Power Stroke V8. And that should hold some weight among truck owners and diesel enthusiasts. Even if the pickup is going on 20 years old.