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  1. #1

    7.3 Powerstroke Oil Cooler R&R

    Son in Law has a 7.3 powerstroke that was leaking externally oil from the oil cooler.

    I helped him R&R the thing- and it still leaked.

    He did it again by himself- it worked for a while (a few months)- now leaking INTERNALLY between the oil and coolant.

    The interwebz are FULL of information on how to handle the gaskets on this job- no RTV, some RTV and TONS of RTV are all "the only way to do it" if you believe the internet...

    My take is that they should go on dry (they are metal with rubber sandwiched in there and a rubber o-ring looking seal)- I have been overruled each time- and varying amounts of RTV have been used.

    Does anyone have any actual experience with this, and any advice?

    Thanks so much!
    If you cross thread a bolt, there is no need for loctite.

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

  2. #2
    tacotoy's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    no experience with this but if the gasket is the metal with rubber then I would use no RTV
    hookers and blow!

  3. #3
    I did mine a few years ago, and used no RTV. Just lubed the new O-rings green ones to the inside, and carefully pressed the ends onto the tube.

    Are you sure the new leak is from the oil cooler? Depending on the direction, I'd suspect an injector cup.


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

  4. #4
    I have not checked it personally- he says it is both ways- oil in the Coolant and milk shake in the oil.

    I honestly don't even know- does that rule out the injector cup possibility?

    The O-rings we just put assembly lube on and when berserk getting it all smashed together.

    I am wondering about the gaskets between the cooler and the block.

    I think they should be installed dry- but there is conflicting information on it...

  5. #5
    I'm thinking of fuel, not oil, in the coolant as symptomatic of an an injector cup leak. Sorry for the confusion.

    All I remember is that it easy to roll an O-ring getting it back together. I used a press on mine, so I could go slowly. I'd think the problem would be immediate if that's what you did, though.

    If you are looking on the web, I'd trust the guys on FTE.


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  6. #6
    I agree.

    We used a digging bar stuck in the hitch and the cooler on a block of wood under it. Went together with minimal fuss.

    Firewall blocks Ford Truck Enthusiasts (I assume that is what FTE means)- so I can't search there.

    I am still thinking the gasket between the cooler and the block is the problem- and I think the RTV is the culprit.

    I guess I'll see if I can convince everyone that no RTV is a winner and see what happens.

    With how many early powerstrokes have been through here-I figured someone else would have done it wrong too!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Member #
    No RTV on mine as well and I also used my press to get everything back together.

  8. #8

    Thank you for the information!

    My press is not easily accessible (since it is still at whatever store I have not bought it from yet...)

  9. #9
    Well, he finally gave up and took it to a shop.

    The brand new cooler center section had leaking tubes in it. They were able to pressure test it out of the truck and see it leaking. Back together with another new one, and so far, no leaks.

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