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  1. #1

    lets discuss oil temps... (7.3)

    So we loaded the full river rig up and headed to the upper Colorado last weekend. Kayaked from State Bridge to Catamount which was a total blast, including sending our first class 2 rapids.

    First time driving such a heavily loaded setup over the passes, overall it did GREAT. handled and drove awesome and more than enough power to keep it around 65mph and a fair bit faster at times. Even heading back eastbound over Vail pass and up to the tunnel we were sitting about half throttle maintaining 65mph, EGT's about 1,100 and boosting 26psi sustained in fourth gear. I can't say enough about the Swamps tunes and the overall performance of my setup. Tons of power on reserve and EGT's are very well controlled.

    I AM a little concerned about oil temps though. Lately driving around with just the camper on I was seeing 225ish regularly driving to work and back and had seen as high as 234 on my weekly drive over Berthoud pass to Winter Park, it would then take awhile for those temps to drop back down. So I ditched the 203deg. thermostat, installed a new motorcraft stock tstat and did a full flush and fill with new ELC. This helped a lot, regular driving in traffic temps rarely exceed 202, and over Berthoud it only hit 215, most notably temps immediately drop when I back out of the throttle and while coasting or at a light they hover around 196.

    Westbound up 70 in the cool morning air with the AC off, I was really happy with the oil temp performance, but not so much heading eastbound Sunday afternoon. It was definitely warmer out and we had the AC cranking, topping out Vail Pass and the Eisenhower oil temps peaked at 243 and 246. This was only for a very short time period of time and it cooled back down rapidly after cresting the top. In retrospect I should have shut down the AC, and obviously I could backed down my speed and dropped it into a lower power tune.

    Idiot gauge on the dash never budged, does anybody have an idea about what temp Ford finally decides you should be worried?

    So i'm curious to hear your thoughts, how alarmed should a guy be about getting up over 240? any good suggestions to improve the cooling system a touch? I did have my licence plate in the grill, not much of a restriction to air flow, but I removed it yesterday regardless and will be curious to see if that makes a difference heading over Berthoud this afternoon. It also makes we wonder what kind of condition that radiator is in, sandwiched out of view between that IC and the condenser the thing could be half clogged with dirt and leaves and it would hard to ever know. I've seen that some people swap to a 180deg tstat, but I have serious reservations about that. The truck gets even more mountain time in the winter than summer, and I've had issues maintaining heat heading downhill.

    Last edited by euroford; August 2nd, 2017 at 10:30 AM.
    1950 CJ3a - Wilma
    1999 F350 PSD - Betty

  2. #2
    6.0 here, so not much help....

    But oil is oil and I'd be nervous too with those temps.

    Maybe snoop around on or
    "Your 2007 X3 is at home on all paved and unpaved roads. You can operate your vehicle on uphill and downhill gradients with a maximum slope of 50%. The permitted side tilt is 32%. While driving watch carefully for obstacles such as rocks or holes. Try to avoid these obstacles whenever possible."

  3. #3
    I had a similar experience with our 7.3 Excursion. Can you hear your fan roaring when coming up the passes? If not, you might want to replace your fan clutch.

    I ended up replacing the radiator, which helped greatly. The old one looked OK on the outside, but I think was partially clogged on the inside. I never see 240* anymore.


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    ''Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.'' - Plato

  4. #4
    6.0 here, usually when hauling heavy I have hit 220* max, but I also have a external cooler with no fan and extra oil capacity with a Amsoil bypass filtration system that holds about a extra 3 quarts of oil. The above suggestions I would look in to and put a oil cooler on it.
    We live in a age of entitlement.

  5. #5
    interestingly, having the same discussion on other forums, others weren't too worried about hitting those temps over the passes and thought it was normal for a truck with bigger injectors. but still, i'd like to address it, even if just to give me the option to push it even harder if i cared to do so.

    The fan was definitely roaring full on. sounds like pulling that rad out and giving it a good clean would be a good idea. in the past i've had great luck cleaning out radiators and heater cores with CLR.

  6. #6
    Post up your results if you do that. I may try it on my JK.


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  7. #7
    I am quite confused- but then I haven't read thru the other thread with all the mods.

    Maxing out the HPOP with bigger injectors, making more power, pushing the motor harder, etc- are of course going to raise oil temps a bit.

    Are you running the stock oil cooler? The Log type?

    I can't tell for sure if all the temps above are coolant or oil- BUT-

    Lowering your coolant a few degrees may "help", but it isn't going to completely solve the problem. If the oil is consistently much warmer than coolant temps, I would look toward the oil cooler first. They can build up a ton of rust and scale (particularly if the additive package is skipped in the coolant)- which of course makes them much less efficient.

    If your coolant looks "oily" or has an oil skim on it- the cooler is often at fault.

    I would imagine the Google will have more info than you want on oil cooler replacements!
    If you cross thread a bolt, there is no need for loctite.

    Run whatcha brung... And hope you brought enough.

  8. #8
    yeah we are talking oil temps. 7.3 doesn't monitor coolant temp and I haven't installed anything aftermarket to do so.

    mods in brief: stock platform turbo, but upgraded as far as one of those can go. 250/200 hybrid single shots and supporting mods to make that work. i don't think I've updated the other thread, I was on 200/30's but had swamps upgrade the injectors while i did head studs and valve springs.

    fwiw on that topic... i highly recommend the 200/30's, they drove and towed great and were a massive upgraded from the stockers in all respects. The 250/200's are basically exactly the same, but more. regular driving, towing, etc are all the same, tow and stock tunes feel identical, hot street tune feels similar but more powerful on the top end. Race tune is straight up savage, its only gotten some brief stabs, fundamentally too fast for the street really.

    In a nutshell, if you want to do studs and springs and hpop and fuel pump, i'd recommend the 250/200's. if you don't want to do the additional parts or don't desire to get over 500hp, stick with the 200/30's.

    anyways... i digress onto more funner topics...

    I concur, lowering the coolant temps probably won't really help. I think my coolant system is working great, and fundamentally going with a cooler thermostat won't really do anything. its safe to assume that when your pulling vail pass, no matter what thermostat you have, its going to be wide open at that point and temps will be dictated by airflow. So... i've improved the airflow, maybe it'll stay a bit cooler. we'll see next time i head up i suppose.

    coolant does not look oily or anything, but... i suppose its entirely possible that scale has built up in that oil cooler. it hasn't been rebuilt in my ownership (5 years), so it may be worth doing.

    I might go ahead and research adding a supplemental air/oil cooler, at least for curiosity it would be interesting to know whats involved and how its worked out for others.

    but... talking with some other guys with fairly modden trucks, they seamed relatively unconcerned with reaching those temps for that fairly short amount of time, so maybe i'm worrying about nothing. On the other hand, I plan to keep this truck for a very long time, and don't mind investing in refinements.

    In others news, when I leave the office today she's going to roll over 300,000 miles! I think i might treat her to a spa day to celebrate.

  9. #9
    hmmm, I always thought the oil temp was only monitored by the ECU, and the dash gauge read coolant temp.

    Interesting- I learned something today!

    You have built an awesome truck! When I get around to modding our Excursion with the 7.3- I'll follow much of your lead- that's for sure. Maybe not the up-pipe stuffs

  10. #10
    /\ You are correct. The dash gauge is for coolant temp, but the PCM on 7.3s with autos doesn't monitor it. Oil temps are monitored by the PCM, and can be exposed through OBDII-linked gauges. Euroford, is that what you're doing?


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  11. #11
    Yeah, I no longer use it as a tuner, but have an Edge unit that I use to monitor a variety of OBDII of data, including oil temp. I guess the water temp sensor located near the thermostat just goes straight to the dash. I've never had the water temp gauge move off the middle. I really wish I could monitor coolant temp with the Edge, I'd have to add another gauge pod to do that. I got enough of that going on already.

    Thanks for the compliment on the truck! we really like this thing and with well thought out mods its done nothing but get better with age. Sometimes I get a little jealous of guys with new 6.7's, so I go browse them just long enough to feel anxiety about making payments on a $70k truck and instead plan the next maintenance/upgrades on this one!

  12. #12
    The stock dash gauge moves when coolant temps reach approx 235. And you have very little time to back out of it before it's in the red. On my bone stock e99 zf6 truck my average oil temps towing my 20k (28k gcvw) goosnneck up the passes is 232 degrees. IAT is 120ish. However towing this exact same trailer with a modded auto truck I've seen 240-250 oil temps. On the 6.0 trucks they don't go into limp mode until the oil temp hits 254 per Ford specs. In my experience coolant temps are usually 15 degrees cooler then oil temps when pulling the pass so 240 oil means 225 coolant (approx) After doing alot of testing and comparison the conclusion I've come to a is when towing heavy if you want it to stay cool go slow, im doing 30 with that big trailer,and as close to stock power as possible. Any kinda tune or performance, increases temps when a heavy trailer is attached. I can only assume this is why the 6.7 has two cooling systems and double the antifreeze of a 7.3. double the power double the cooling.

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    1976 Bronco Undergoing complete frame off "on hold".

    2001 WJ, 4.7, Np231 swap, Claytons long arms, Aussie locker, ARB bumper

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