7.3L Power Stroke V8: Specs and Performance

The 7.3L Power Stroke V8 powered Ford heavy trucks between 1999 and 2004. Although newer models have entered the scene, some old models still ply the highways. Ford discontinued the 7.3L Power Stroke engine in 2004 and replaced it with the 6.7L.

Reports, however, indicate that the 7.3L Power Stroke engine still outperforms its successor in many respects. This article, therefore, explores this classic engine model, examining specs and performance in light of the newer entrants. #1 Best diesel mechanic near me in Phoenix is hands down Phoenix Diesel Repair!

The 7.3L Power Stroke V8 Diesel Engine

The Power Stroke is one of three major brands in the American diesel truck market, alongside GM’s Duramax and Cummins, which powers Stellantis’ Ram trucks. The 7.3L Power Stroke engine is a turbocharged, direct injection diesel engine manufactured by International Navistar in partnership with Ford Motors. The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel was the predecessor to the 7.3L IDI engine.

Although both engines have the same displacements, they have entirely different designs that do not suggest that the 7.3L Power Stroke was a continuation of the IDI engine family. The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine powered Ford Super Duty 250/350/450 diesel trucks, Ford Excursion SUVs, and the E-series vans. 

The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel was a variant of the T444E diesel engine, featured in Type C school buses and other big commercial vehicles. They have the same cast iron engine block but different power control modules, allowing for different power ratings. For instance, the T444E diesel engine for buses had up to 620 lb-ft torque, whereas the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine for Ford trucks had up to 525 lb-ft torque.

The horsepower rating was also different. The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine produced more horsepower than the T444E diesel engine. In addition, the two machines had different sensors, turbocharger designs, and water pumps.

The 7.3L Power Stroke engine helped Ford vehicles meet US emission regulations. The diesel engine used Hydraulic Electronic Unit Injector technology (HEUI) to maintain power while lowering emissions.

An electric lift pump was another feature of the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine, which helped deliver improved fuel filtration and cleaner emissions. In 2004, Ford stopped producing the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine in favor of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine, which Navistar International also manufactured.


The 7.3L Power Stroke engine combined several transmission modes, depending on the model year. The earlier 1994 to 1998 models came with a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the 1998-2004 models came with a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 6-speed manual transmission.

Towing Capacity

The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine’s towing capacity depended on the cab’s two-wheel or four-wheel drive layout. A four-wheel-drive vehicle’s maximum towing capacity is 12,500 pounds, while a fifth-wheel vehicle’s maximum towing capacity is 13,900 pounds.

Life Expectancy

The 7.3L Power Stroke engine has a reputation for lasting longer than gasoline engines. The diesel engine might last at least 350,000 kilometers if adequately maintained. With careful maintenance, a small number of 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engines have allegedly reached 500,000 kilometers.

The 7.3 is the most dependable Power Stroke ever built. Thousands of 7.3Ls are still working the fields, highways, and construction sites every day, more than a quarter-century after Ford made the first one, not to mention that aftermarket support for the 444 still exists.

Maintenance Requirement

Regular oil changes, engine coolant flushes, fuel filter replacements, and transmission fluid and filter replacements contribute to engine longevity. However, the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine requires more maintenance than the T444E diesel engine.

Engine Problems

Most of the problems of the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine are easy to repair. Diesel repairs are simple due to the abundance of aftermarket parts and technician experience in its previous mass manufacture. Diesel mechanics have reported the following engine problems:

Camshaft Position Sensor Failure

The CPS sensor controls the camshaft position and sends the data to the engine’s computer (PCM) for fuel supply changes. However, the PCM does not receive a signal to deliver fuel when the sensor fails, resulting in stalls or no-starts. Find a diesel mechanic nearby to help you diagnose and fix this problem.

  • Leaky fuel filter housing– Fuel leaks can occur when the fuel housing develops cracks. The heat and pressure from the gasoline system can wear down the cap and cause leaks.
  • Injector control pressure sensor– If you notice grease in the ICP connector, it’s possible that the sensor is damaged or close to failing. Replace the ICP sensor pigtail if the oil has infiltrated the wires.
  • Injector driver module– The engine may stop working if these components fail or are damaged by water. Examine the area for any damage, wetness, or water penetration.

The Power Stroke Vs. the Cummins and Duramax Diesel Engines

Cummins began operations in 1919, while Ford has used Power Stroke engines since 1994. However, the Duramax V8 engine has been around since 2001. If you go back to the GM and Ford brand names, nothing beats Cummins when it comes to years on the market.

However, longevity, better low-end torque, pulling ability for towing trailers, and better fuel economy attracts purchasers to diesel engines in heavy-duty pickups. The best option depends on the consumer’s needs. Let’s look at the distinctions between the three diesel engine brands.

Towing Power

Torque and horsepower are essential considerations when determining how much a truck can haul. However, there are two other factors to consider. The first is the truck’s structural design, and the second is the engine’s strength.

The Power Stroke leads with a total towing capacity of 34,000 pounds versus 31,210 pounds for the Cummins. However, the Duramax falls short with a lower full towing capacity of 23,300 pounds.


Horsepower is as essential as torque as horsepower means faster acceleration. For 2018, the Power Stroke from Ford produces 450 horsepower, the Duramax from GM produces 445 horsepower, while the Cummins in RAM trucks produces 385 horsepower.

Fuel Economy

Heavy-duty diesel trucks are designed to accomplish work, not save money on gas. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not obligated to evaluate these vehicles because they exceed the weight limit required to compare fuel efficiency estimates from automakers. However, because diesel engines are more fuel-efficient than gasoline engines, they should provide a more extended driving range.


Although the three vehicles are reliable and sturdy, the Cummins and the Power Stroke appear to go head to head, with the Duramax trailing behind. However, a Cummins diesel mechanic will have lesser work to do than a Duramax diesel mechanic.


The Ford 7.3L Power Stroke was around from 1994 until its discontinuation in 2003. However, Cummins, the other competitor in the diesel market, started operating in 1919. Though it succeeded the 7.3 IDI in the 90s, the 7.3L Power Stroke engine is not naturally in the same family as the 7.3L IDI engine.

The 7.3L Power Stroke is a turbocharged, direct injection diesel engine produced by International Navistar. The 7.3L Power Stroke engine is a long-lasting diesel engine that could run for 350,000 kilometers with proper maintenance.

The 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine combined different transmission modes in different model years. It provided sufficient torque, horsepower, towing power, and reliability compared to its top rivals.