7.3 HPOP removal and replacement doesn't have to be painful. In a couple of hours you can successfully remove, upgrade and/or replace the 7.3 Powerstroke HPOP.
I didn't say it was gonna be easy.
Just that with the right information, some step-by-step removal and replacement instructions, and the right tools on hand ... no one has to get bloody knuckles and a swearing lesson.
So let's get to it...
WARNING: To avoid serious injury or death, or damage to the engine or vehicle itself, read all safety instructions in the corresponding model year service manual before attempting to perform this service.
There are three main reasons you might need to know how to remove the HPOP on a 7.3:
But here's the thing:
Whichever one it is, 7.3 HPOP removal takes patience, and requires a few specialized tools.
7.3 HPOP replacement cost varies depending on what you're trying to accomplish.
A DIY Ford 7.3 high pressure oil pump rebuild kit (AMAZON LINK) will run you anywhere from $100 - 125. It's a great budget option for reviving a leaking HPOP.
That brand new one's pretty costly considering...
The "Book" says that 7.3 high pressure oil pump labor time for removal / replacement is around 3.4 hours. Which in reality means a trained technician can remove and replace an HPOP in about 1.7 hours.
But here's the deal:
If you're a DIY driveway mechanic, you might want to set aside a weekend to R&R your HPOP. Because the truth is, even though it should take you a couple of hours, we all know...
Things happen — go wrong. Bolts strip and parts don't fit.
And no matter how much you prepare, you could end up missing a vital tool or find out you forgot to get a part. And it will usually be right in the middle of a critical step and you'll be covered in oil.
Do yourself a favor and set aside plenty of time to finish the job.
A standard and metric, socket and wrench kit with the following:
Okay, let's get started...
7.3 HPOP Mounting Gasket (eBAY LINK) - Any time you remove the 7.3 HPOP you'll have to replace the HPOP mounting gasket. (It's not reusable)
7.3 Fuel Line Crush Sleeves (eBAY LINK) - Removing the HPOP means removing the fuel bowl. The four fuel lines on the fuel bowl are sealed with non-reusable crush sleeves. You'll need new fuel sleeves to reseal the fuel lines.
RTV to reseal the HPOP drive gear bolt cover.
Along with the fuel line crush sleeves above, to rebuild your HPOP you'll need a 7.3 HPOP rebuild kit.
The HPOP master rebuild kit (Amazon link) includes:
I went into great detail in the 7.3 HPOP Ultimate Buyer's Guide about HPOP upgrades you can buy.
Summarizing, here are my top 3 picks for upgrading your 7.3 HPOP:
Reminder—there are (2) two batteries on a 7.3 Powerstroke.
To protect your 7.3 Powerstroke's electrical components, disconnect the negative (black) ground cables.
Make sure you disconect the driver AND passenger side 12V batteries.
The 7.3 Powerstroke plastic engine cover (eBAY LINK) sits over the fuel bowl and HPOP reservoir.
There are two 13mm bolts holding it down.
Use a 13mm deep-well socket to remove them.
A 13 plus year old truck will be missing some trim pieces. I like my truck to look clean and stock, so I find those little pieces and put them back.
It took me a while to find an inexpensive online replacement for my missing 7.3 Powerstroke engine cover.
But, here it is:
PART NUMBER - YC3Z-6A949-AA (eBAY LINK)
This seemed crazy to me too, however...
You can remove the HPOP without removing the fuel bowl (see DieselTechRon's YouTube video below) but it's easier to remove the 7.3 HPOP after removing the fuel bowl.
So, I'd suggest starting off by removing the fuel bowl.
The following 7.3 fuel bowl diagram image contains the locations for 7.3 HPOP Removal Steps 3 - 6 and step 8 (the actual fuel bowl removal).
As you can see, the fuel bowl drain line comes right off the back of the fuel bow. The line goes about halfway straight down the front of the engine compartment.
You can access the drain tube from underneath the engine.
Before you drain it, slip some 3/8" clear plastic tubing over the fuel drain tube.
Make sure you have a suitable container to drain the diesel into.
Then find the yellow lever mounted on the rear of the fuel bowl, just above the drain valve nipple. (See 7.3 fuel bowl diagram above)
If you're looking into the engine compartment from the front grill, the lever rotates right (R) to open it. (The word "DRAIN" and an arrow direction is also clearly etched into the fuel bowl housing — see diagram above)
Rotate that 7.3 fuel bowl drain valve open and let the diesel drain out completely.
As long as the catch container's clean, I reuse the fuel, pouring it back into my fuel tank.
Disconnect the 4 fuel lines from the 7.3 Powerstroke fuel bowl.
There are two 1/4" fuel lines screwed into the passenger side of the fuel bowl with compression fittings. The compression nuts take a 9/16" open-end wrench.
There's one fuel return line on the driver's side of the 7.3 Powerstroke fuel bowl. It takes a 5/8" open end-wrench. The other line on the driver's side of the fuel bowl is a fuel supply line. It terminates into the FPR (fuel pressure regulator) and takes a 3/4" open-end wrench.
Next, remove the 7.3 fuel bowl heater's electrical connector from the fuel bowl.
Careful, as the heat and years on the various plastic electrical connectors makes the tabs brittle — they like to break off.
Slide the fuel drain valve sleeve off of the fuel valve drain tube.
You might have to rotate it it get it loose from the drain valve nipple.
Now we'll get the EBP sensor and EBP tube out of the way so we can remove the fuel bowl mounting bolts more easily. It's right down in front of the HPOP reservoir and a little to the left.
Unclip the electrical harness.
Then you'll need open-ended 9/16" and 1" wrenches to remove the 7.3 exhaust back pressure (EBP) sensor.
You need to be careful and use equal opposing pressure on the wrenches so you don't bend the EBP mounting bracket.
Now remove the 7.3 powerstroke exhaust back pressure sensor tube from the EBP bracket.
Use 9/16" and 5/8" open wrenches.
For more info read Dead Head Diesel's article on 7.3 EBP - Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor
The fuel bowl is secured with two 13mm bolts that pass through slots on the front of the 7.3 HPOP reservoir. You can use a 13mm socket with an extension on these bolts.
Finally, you've got easy access for 7.3 HPOP removal
Remove the 7.3 HPOP reservoir inspection plug. The plug takes a 3/16" Allen wrench (hex wrench).
Do this, or you'll have a mess when you remove the HPOP.
Use a fluid transfer pump (Amazon link) suitable for fuel and oil to pump out the HPOP reservoir oil.
There should be around 1Q (quart) of oil in the HPOP.
Removing the oil in the reservoir will reduce cleanup when you actually pull the 7.3 Powerstroke high pressure oil pump out of the engine compartment.
To release the fittings on the 7.3 Powerstroke high pressure oil lines, you'll need a specialized 7.3 high pressure oil line tool.
HPOP Lines Removal Tool Part Number - 6594 (Amazon link)
Slip the open end of the release tool in the gap between the rubber cover on the hose and its flange to unlock the connection. Then remove the 7.3 powerstroke high pressure oil lines from the HPOP fittings.
Remove the electrical connector to the IPR (Injection Pressure Regulator) It has a small wire bail securing it.
Flip that bail back off the end of the IPR connector and disconnect the electrical plug.
Now's a good time to check the IPR pigtail (AMAZON LINK) for signs of fraying or excessive rubbing on the wires. Also, inspect the inside terminals for oil and debris.
There are two 8mm bolts securing the HPOP gear access cover. The access cover sits below the fuel bowl mounting bolts that pass through the HPOP reservoir.
Use an 8mm socket and possibly a short extender to remove that front cover and access HPOP drive gear bolt.
The access cover is probably sealed with some RTV, so you may have to pry it off.
The HPOP gear bolt is 18mm and has a thick washer on it. Use an 18mm socket to remove it. Don't drop the washer.
The HPOP gear bolt is torqued down to 95 ft. lbs., so it's gonna take some force to break it loose. And you may need to keep the engine from turning over while you break it free.
Finally, underneath the rear of the high pressure oil pump there are two 10mm bolts securing the HPOP to the front cover. Use 10mm socket to remove them.
And that's how to remove high pressure oil pump on a 7.3 diesel. Because once those bolts are out, you can remove your HPOP.
Once you have the HPOP out of the truck, this job's much easier.
Remove the Tinnerman nut (little retainer nut on end of the IPR).
The Tinnerman, or "tin nut" as it's commonly called, is a 1/2" x 20 fine threaded nut. You can use a 19mm socket on it.
With the Tinnerman nut off, the spacer sleeve slides off easily.
The IPR solenoid should slide right off as well.
Now, instead of buying an expensive specialized IPR removal tool, you could simply use a 1 1/8" extra deep well socket to remove the IPR from the HPOP. (Some report that a 29mm extra deep well impact socket fits more snugly on the IPR)
You could simply transfer the IPR over to your new HPOP with a new IPR o-ring to seal it.
But rebuilding your IPR while you have easy access to it makes much more sense. Especially since an IPR rebuild kit (Part # AP0003)(AMAZON LINK) isn't that expensive.
So why not take a few more minutes and perform a 7.3 IPR rebuild?
Whichever one you choose to do, IPR reseal or rebuild, now you can transfer your injection pressure regulator to your new HPOP.
Torque the IPR down to 37 ft. lbs. with a 1 1/8" or 29mm deep well socket.
Then slide the IPR solenoid and brass spacer back over the shaft.
Then reinstall the Tinnerman nut. It has a very light torque spec of 49 - 53 INCH lbs. (Don't strip it)
Install your new HPOP with a new HPOP mounting gasket (eBAY LINK).
Screw the two 10mm mounting bolts back into the front cover, but don't tighten them yet.
Align the drive gear onto the HPOP pump shaft. Check the HPOP drive gear and make sure it's seated on the shaft. Then install the HPOP drive gear bolt and thick washer.
Use your 18mm socket and torque the drive gear bolt to 95 ft-lbs.
Now torque down the two 10mm HPOP mounting bolts to 18 ft. lbs.
Attach the high pressure oil lines to the HPOP fittings. Those STC (snap to connect) fittings will "click" back into place.
Give them a tug to make sure they're seated. They shouldn't come loose.
Install the injection pressure regulator's electrical connector back onto the IPR. Then flip the little wire retaining bail back over it.
Apply some RTV to the edges of the drive gear access cover. Then install the two bolts with an 8mm socket.
Torque them down to 15 - 24 ft. lbs.
Okay, quick story.
When I replaced my stock 1/4" fuel lines with 3/8" braided fuel lines and AN fittings, I stripped out one of the mounting bolt holes on my fuel bowl housing.
How? ... Better yet, why?
Because I didn't follow this step correctly.
Reposition your fuel bowl above the HPOP — in the valley. With your newly installed fuel line crush washer sleeves in place, thread all four fuel lines back onto the fuel bowl housing. But don't tighten them yet.
By doing this you allow enough play that you can thread the mounting bolts onto the fuel bowl housing without cross-threading the holes or stripping the bolts.
Put the fuel bowl mounting bolts through the HPOP reservoir and into the fuel bowl. Align the fuel bowl so the bolts engage the threads correctly. (That's the part I messed up)
Now, tighten and torque the two 13mm bolts down to 18 ft. lbs.
Thread the EBP sensor tube back onto the front cover and
tighten the tube nut.
Reinstall the EBP sensor and reconnect the electrical connector.
The four fuel lines are the compression nuts. They're designed to be tightened all the way down onto the brass fittings — the two should touch.
There shouldn't be a gap between the fuel line nuts and the fittings.
Reinstall the fuel drain line sleeve by sliding it back over the fuel drain valve nipple.
Plug the fuel bowl heater electrical connector back in.
Turn the fuel bowl drain valve yellow handle back to the left — closed position.
I use half of a turkey baster as a tall funnel to pour 1Q of diesel engine oil back into the HPOP reservoir, refilling it.
The oil level should be about 3/4 - 1” from the top of the 7.3 HPOP fill plug—inspection port plug.
Then reinstall the inspection port plug with a 3/16” Allen wrench.
If the o-ring on the HPOP reservoir plug looks worn out, replace it with a Viton o-ring rated for fuel/oil.
Using your 8mm deep well socket or 8mm open ended wrench, reattach the negative (black) battery terminal cables.
Don't start your engine yet.
In order to let the fuel pump refill the fuel bowl with diesel and re-pressurize the fuel system, you'll need to perform a KOEO (key on engine off) rotation of the ignition key. Leave the key in the ON position for 20-30 seconds on each turn.
A couple times should refill the fuel bowl sufficiently.
It goes without saying that any time you disconnect and reconnect fuel and/or oil transfer parts, you should check for leaks.
Use a good flashlight... Yes, even in the daylight. And check each one of the four fuel line connections for any signs of leaking diesel.
It may take a few seconds for your engine to crank over and start. But don't run the starter more than a minute to save battery life.
Most engines, and if you've done your job right, will start up on the first try. But if they don't, for every minute you crank with a no start, let the starter and batteries rest for two minutes.
If the truck won't start, check the HPOP reservoir oil level and top it off if it needs it. (Reinstall the HPOP reservoir inspection port plug BEFORE starting your engine)
Once your 7.3 engine cranks over and starts, it'll probably run rough for a while. Let the engine idle a few minutes.
After a few minutes of normal idle, you can hold the idle at a higher RPM to move oil through the system and purge any air that may have been introduced during removal and reinstallation.
With the engine running, you can now use your flashlight to check around the HPOP for any leaks.
With the HPOP under pressure they'll be pretty easy to spot.
Once you're satisfied you are leak-free, you can reinstall the 7.3 Powerstroke plastic engine cover using your 13mm deep well socket and the two 13mm bolts.
Just snug these down so you don't split the plastic engine cover.
You'll probably need to drive the truck for around 25-50 miles in order to purge any air trapped in the high pressure oil system.
However, the high pressure oil system is a closed system, so you may need to park the truck on a flat surface, turn off the engine, then remove the ICP.
This is due to the fact that the 7.3 Powerstroke engine sits at an angle in the engine compartment and any trapped air will find its way forward in the oil rails, underneath the ICP.
DieselTechRon on YouTube has a great 7.3 HPOP removal video.
His take on it is to leave the fuel bowl intact and instead remove sections of the turbo pipes and pedestal for easy access and to slide the HPOP toward the rear of the truck in order to remove it.
Then he works around the fuel lines and fuel bowl to perform the 7.3 Powerstroke high pressure oil pump removal and reinstall.
Ray Darman on YouTube has another 7.3 HPOP removal video.
Ray's a DIY 7.3 Powerstroke owner after my own heart.
He performs a classic 7.3 HPOP removal. First performing the tedious task of 7.3 Powerstroke fuel bowl removal. Then he gets the HPOP out and repairs some leaks.
He's replacing the 7.3 Powerstroke high pressure oil lines, so some of the information is specific to his upgrade, but there's some great footage of the HPOP 7.3 removal procedure and parts locations.
Best of all?
Lots of black oil!
Removing your 7.3 high pressure oil pump is no trivial task. But when it's gone bad, got a catastrophic leak, or you simply want to upgrade it to a new one, hey, it's gotta come out.
The good news is that if you go slow, take your time, and are methodical about following the steps and advice in this article, you'll be revving your 7.3 with a fresh HPOP in no time.
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