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7.3L vs 6.0L Ford Power Stroke Engines

Statistical differences and Pros and Cons for the two Ford diesels we love to hate.

Jun 9, 2020
In this "modern" time of a factory-stock Ford diesel engine producing nearly 500 hp and more than 1,000 lb-ft of torque—the 2020 6.7L Power Stroke spits 450 and 1,050 at the crankshaft—we find it interesting that a pair of the Blue Oval's earlier oil-burners are still a hot topic when engines' pound-for-pound greatness—and flaws—are being discussed.
Built by Navistar and introduced in 1994, the 7.3L Power Stroke turbodiesel (engine code T444E) was a game-changer for Ford in the mid '90s. The early versions of the hydraulically/electronically fueled (HPOP and poppet-valve injectors), fixed-geometry-turbocharged powerplant made 210 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque; performance numbers that, with the addition of updates and parts that improved power (intercooler, bigger injectors, etc.) over the course of five years, would eventually increase to 275 hp/525 lb-ft by the end of 7.3L's run in 2003.
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In mid-2003, Ford replaced the 7.3L with a 6.0L diesel that was also developed by Navistar. The new Power Stroke was stronger (325hp and 560 lb-ft of torque), and it was designed with four-valve cylinder heads, improved electronic fueling (greater pressure, spool-valve injectors) and an EGR system, for the performance gain with compliance to stronger emissions requirements that were coming for 2004 and beyond (lower NOx).
As it is with any two similar-but-different physical objects, there are pros and cons for each powerplant. However, from a competitive standpoint, "which engine is better?" is the argumentative question that probably will be asked until the end of time.
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Here are the statistics. The facts. And, we're providing our pro and con opinions about both powerplants; we're laying out their strengths and weaknesses to help you make your own assessment. We like the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel. It's basic, reliable, and strong-as-an-ox durable. No, the 7.3L isn't anywhere close to the 6.0L in terms of emissions compliance, horsepower, and freeway flying, but it gets jobs done every time, and in many cases, it lives longer than its 6.0L counterpart, by thousands and thousands of miles.
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7.3L Power Stroke V-8 6.0L Power Stroke V-8
Displacement 444 ci 365 ci
Bore 4.11 in (104.4mm) 3.74 (95mm)
Stroke 4.18 in (106.2mm) 4.134 in (105mm)
Valvetrain Overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder Overhead valve, 4 valves per cylinder
Compression 17.5:1 18.0:1
Horsepower 210 hp (1994) 325 hp
275 hp (2005)
Torque 425 lb-ft (1994) 560 lb-ft (2003-2004)
525 lb-ft (2005) 570 lb-ft (2005-2007)
Block/Head Material Cast iron Cast iron
Forced Induction Single, fixed turbocharger Single, variable-geometry turbocharger
1994 to 1997: Garrett TP38 Garrett GT3782 VA
1998 to 2003: Garrett GTP38
Fueling Direct injection, HEUI, poppet-valve injectors Direct injection, Electro Hydraulic Generation Two
Dimensions Length: 34 inches 35 inches
Width: 32 inches 38.25 inches
Height: 38 inches 40.25 inches
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7.3L Power Stroke V-8 6.0L Power Stroke V-8
275 hp (2005) 325 hp
525 lb-ft of torque (2005) Four valves per cylinder
PROS No emissions concerns Improved powdered-metal connecting rods
Fixed-geometry turbocharger Variable-geometry turbocharger
Good HPOP Bed plate
Reliable
210 hp (1994) EGR system failures
Powdered-metal connecting rods (2001) Only four torque-to-yield head bolts per cylinder
No bed plate Blown head gaskets
CONS Turbo lag Cylinder heads crack
Temperamental when cold Carbon builds up on turbocharger, making vanes stick
Cam-position sensor failure Poor driveability at low rpm
Fuel-injection concerns (FICM failure, inferior HPOP, etc. )

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