A QUICK & EASY FIX FOR A COMMON 7.3L OIL LEAK
Ask any 7.3L Power Stroke owner how long the engine is expected to last and the answer will be something along the lines of half a million miles, 10 more years, or forever. And while the latter might be true for many of the components bolted to the 7.3L, age and exposure to the elements tends to take its toll on the venerable V8’s oil pan. It’s common for a rusted pan to eventually develop a small leak—but it’s even more common to find oil seeping out of the factory dipstick adapter, which we’ll cover in this article.
Over time, the dipstick adapter’s internal O-ring swells, sometimes even severing, allowing engine oil to slip past it. The result is an engine with an oil pan and starter that are perpetually coated in oil, and oil stains on the ground everywhere you park the truck. Tightening the adapter nut only distorts the inside portion of the adapter further, and home repairs made with RTV sealant or JB Weld are anything but a sound solution. To add insult to injury, replacing the factory dipstick adapter calls for removal of the oil pan, which means the engine must be pulled. The situation puts budget-minded 7.3L owners in quite a predicament.
Developed as a long-term solution for a growing problem, the folks at Strictly Diesel designed a dipstick adapter repair kit for ’94.5-03 7.3L-powered pickups, vans, and Excursions. The kit eliminates the failure-prone factory dipstick adapter altogether, replacing it with a billet aluminum adapter that utilizes a double O-ring seal on the outside of the oil pan. The best part? It can be installed with the oil pan still on the engine and the engine still in the truck. To find out exactly how Strictly Diesel’s dipstick adapter repair kit works, we sat in on an install at Flynn’s Shop in Alexander, Illinois, where a 22-year-old F-350 was being graced with one.
This is a textbook example of what a failed dipstick adapter O-ring leads to: The passenger side and bottom of the oil pan, the starter, and the transmission lines are all coated with engine oil.