With rain forecasted for the next couple days, the actual work is gonna have to wait. Yet, I got all the parts to do some serious work on my 2001 Ford Excursion 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel. I’ve been wanting to get some of this stuff done for a while but my money tree hasn’t been producing. Lately I’ve been blessed with a good amount of overtime hours to get some of this stuff handled.
The stock fuel system has crappy filtration and a few places where the flow of fuel gets restricted. Also it really clogs up the top/center of the engine. Not to mention all the rubber fuel lines that lay in the valley of the engine just waiting to leak.
The filter sits inside a cast aluminum bowl. Underneath all that is where all the rubber lines are located. This new fuel system will eliminate the fuel bowl and rubber lines. The new filtration will be easily accessed under the driver side of the vehicle. The rubber lines will be replaced with 3/8 stainless steel tubing. Complete with an adjustable fuel pressure regulator.
The up-pipes connect the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust side of the turbo. With the extreme heat and cooling off they need to be able to expand and contract. The stock up-pipes will always end up leaking exhaust therefore your turbo charging system doesn’t work properly. A few companies make the fix for this issue. They added a bellow into to pipe to allow expansion and contraction.
My stock up-pipes have been leaking for a while. It can cause higher than normal exhaust gas temperatures and a drop in fuel mileage.
When replacing my brake calipers last week or whenever it was, I noticed some slop in my lower ball joints. By grabbing the top and bottom of the tire you push in with the top and pull out with the bottom. I had to use a pry bar in order to get enough leverage to move these big tires.
Even though I only had play in the lower one, it’s always a good idea to change them both while you are there. The ball joints are located in the upper and lower portion of the steering knuckle on the front axle.
Wheel Hub and Bearing
In order to access the ball joints you have to remove the wheel hub and bearing. With 238,000 miles on my Excursion, I’m sure it could use a new set. I’m sure they have been replaced at some point… but when??
Again, in order to get access to the ball joints the axle needs to be slid out of the axle tube. So while I have it out I might as well replace the universal joint
In 4x4 vehicles this joint allows the wheels to turn left/right when the front axle is engaged. At the outer end of the axle it’s shaped like a C. Then another section that goes into the wheel hub and bearing has a C shape also. The Universal Joint joins these 2 pieces together.
Outer Axle Seal and Dust Seal
The outer axle seal is actually a vacuum seal. Vacuum is used to lock the wheel hubs in when engaging 4 wheel drive. You can either manually get out and lock them in or use the automatic locking feature inside the cab. If you have problems with the auto locking vacuum assembly you can go to each when and lock them in. It’s kind of a fail safe.
The Dust seal is what prevents dirt and other stuff from getting inside the axle tube. When sliding the axle out it’s always a good idea to replace both of these seals as they could get damaged when removing the axle from the tube.
Tie Rods/Ends and Steering Drag Link
The tie rods and tie rod ends hold the 2 front tires perfectly parallel to each other. The drag link connects from the steering box to the tie rod.
When you turn the steering wheel it turns the linkage to the top of the steering box. Out the bottom of the steering box is a pitman arm that the drag link connects to. The pitman arm rotates pushing or pulling the drag link which in turn steers the wheels left or right.
Great!! I forgot to get a new track bar. A track bar basically keeps the cab centered over the axle. Well I guess I better dig around and find one.
I find it funny how just a lower ball joint and lead to replacing a whole bunch of parts for the sake of… while you are there or have it out. I may end up giving the turbo a once over also. Install a billet aluminum compressor wheel for more power and air flow, new seals and a 360 thrust bearing. Here I go making more work for myself. But I would rather get the new parts in now than be left stranded on the side of the road wishing I would have replaced it while I was in there or had it out.
Once I get a couple small leaks fixed on my 1997 F-350 this project will be underway. I’m going to attempt to break it down into individual segments or else it’s gonna me a 3 hour read.