Re: Opinion on 03' 7.3 for sale
If he can prove that all services have been done, the 7.3L is a strong engine and will knowingly last you an easy 100K. I'm sure his measly $800 transmission won't last that long, but you should get decent use out of it. I'd check around online for prices of similar vehicles. 2wd will generally last longer than 4wd models due to less drivetrain complexity and lower vehicle weight.
I can nearly guarantee you that it has towed something, at some point. If it has a hitch mounted, or if you look under neath and see rust marks from where a hitch used to be, I'd question the price based on validity of the owners claim that it has never towed. Most people don't bother to glance under the vehicle, but it's worth while in every case.
Check his maintenance records to see when the last time the engine was serviced and for what; check when the rear differential fluid was changed last (under 80K, or have him lower the price). Also, the suspension (shocks) should have been changed as well. If not, lower the price.
Bad shocks are harder to tell on any heavy duty truck as there's not much rebound due to the stiffer springs. The shock might look rusted, pitted, and have a cracked plastic boot, but with 260K, they should have been changed at least once.
After any other questions you have for him, take it out for a good test drive and make sure that the transmission stalk dedents all engage the proper gear. Drive it in reverse a few times in a parking lot. Make sure the brakes don't vibrate and the steering wheel stays on track and you should have a decent used truck. The 7.3 is much more favourable than the 6.0 or 6.4L engines.
I still find it interesting how a heavy duty automatic transmission only cost him $800. If that's the installed price, the transmission knowingly has unknown miles on it and a friend probably installed it for him. $2K is a good average price for a proper rebuilt transmission with at least a one year warranty. Make inquiries. If anything seems out of place, it's best to walk away.
'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!