Re: 7.3 diesel in a van? Info please
I'd go for it if it suits you and price is right! The 7.3 is probably Ford's best diesel made to date. Depending on the weight and size of the van with the conversion body I wouldn't expect more than 18mpg on the interstate and probably 12-13mpg around town. It's a lot better than a gas engine for moving the weight. A 5.4 equivalent would undoubtedly get 12-16mpg. The diesel can also go longer between maintenance intervals and, if properly taken care of can last forever.
Another thing to look at is the rear axle ratio. It can be found in the glove box on a sticker. If it has 4.1's or 4.56 gears it'll turn a lot higher rpms on the highway - 2100-2300rpm! Quite high for a diesel but again, depending on the weight of the unit, you may need it. Common ratios were 3.73 and in light 3/4 ton vans 3.55's were used. It also may/may not have a limited slip (posi trac) differential, which can come in handy if you want to park the vehicle on grass/dirt areas.
'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!