The EBP – 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor – measures your diesel’s exhaust back pressure, especially in cold weather.
Let’s take a closer look…
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7.3 L Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor
First off, what is exhaust back pressure and why should you care?
Well, the good folks over at Road and Track have an article on that very subject. And then there’s this video explaining the difference between exhaust back pressure and scavenging:
Or if you really need help falling asleep, you could read this DieselNet article.
But to sum it up, an exhaust system that’s too restrictive can reduce fuel economy and decrease your diesel’s power.
Bottom line, excessive exhaust back pressure from a too-restrictive exhaust system causes heat buildup and that’s bad for diesel MPG and HP.
EBP Sensor 7.3 Powerstroke Function
7.3 EPB Sensor – Techno Terms
The EBP sensor on a 7.3 Powerstroke is a variable capacitor. The PCM supplies it with a 5-volt reference signal. In return, the 7.3 EBPS returns an analog voltage signal to indicate what pressure the exhaust manifold is operating at.
The PCM uses this sensor feedback to control the EBP valve, located at the base of the turbo.
7.3 EBPS is NOT the 7.3 EBPV
By the way, don’t confuse the 7.3’s EBP SENSOR – a sensor (measurement part) located in front of the 7.3 HPOP Reservoir – with the 7.3 EBPV – a valve (control part) located at the base of the turbo.
7.3 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Operation
For example, if the EBP valve gets stuck shut and you try accelerate, your 7.3 diesel’s EBPS will read that the exhaust back pressure is too high.
High pressure increases EGT – exhaust gas temperatures – and high heat is the enemy of all engines. So the PCM opens the EBPV, reduces turbo boost, and “defuels” your engine to protect it.
Defueling is essentially reducing fuel flow. And because less fuel = less heat, if you take away fuel -“defuel”- EGTs drop.
An open or short in the 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor wiring will cause the PCM to read out-of-range low voltage and put the EBPV into a sort of default mode, potentially causing poor 7.3 MPG and loss of horsepower.
7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor – In driveway mechanic-speak
The Ford exhaust back pressure sensor 7.3 measures exhaust pressure.
The PCM reads this data and uses it to control the amount of turbo boost. To control turbo boost, the PCM tells the EBPV – exhaust back pressure VALVE – when to open and close.
This reduces or increases exhaust back pressure, depending on what your diesel engine needs.
7.3 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Location
EBP Sensor 7.3 Location
The 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor and the tube running to the exhaust manifold are located in front of your 7.3 HPOP – high pressure oil pump – reservoir.
7.3 EBP sensor Location Video
It’s probably easier to show you the location in a quick video I made for Youtube.
7.3 EBP Sensor Symptoms
7.3 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Symptoms
Some of the more common 7.3 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Symptoms are:
DTC of P0470 – A diagnostic trouble code of P0470 could mean an exhaust back pressure malfunction. This can be caused by a bad 7.3 EBP sensor, a malfunctioning PCM, or a damaged wiring harness connector to your 7.3 EBP.
A noticeable decrease in 7.3 MPG and/or HP. A bad EBP sensor can also contribute to poor diesel MPG as the PCM can’t determine how much fuel it should send based on the engine’s operating conditions.
Rough idle until the engine warms up.
More 7.3 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Problems
If your 7.3 EPB sensor’s bad or malfunctioning, it can cause sluggish performance. A bad EPB 7.3 sensor can cause sluggish performance buy telling the exhaust back pressure valve at the turbo outlet to close at times that it should not close.
Here’s a great article on exhaust back pressure symptoms.
7.3 EBP Sensor Part Numbers
1997 to 2003 7.3 EBP Sensor Part Number
Before you take a look, I’ve run both OEM and aftermarket parts in my trucks and with rare exception I’ve had good luck with both. Knock on wood!
I like saving a buck and as long as I don’t get stranded along side the road, I’m happy. That being said, you have to decide who you are and what your wallet will allow. Running all OEM has its ups and downs … and it’s price.
For me, if a part works, I use it. I’m running these 7.3 EBP sensors and tubes for multiple reasons and I keep in mind that they’re being installed on almost 20 year old trucks…
Motorcraft 7.3 EBP Part Numer – DPFE3 (Amazon Link)
Ford 7.3 EBP Part Number – 4C3Z-9J460-A (Amazon link)
(UPDATE: I removed the Aftermarket version of this part as it failed on me. this OEM version is running great!)
7.3 Exhaust Tube
The 7.3 EBP Sensor is able to measure the pressure in your diesel’s exhaust system because it’s attached to the passenger exhaust manifold via this 7.3 exhaust tube.
Cleaning your 7.3 EBP Tube
When I first got my 7.3, it ran rough, really rough. After investigating a lot of things I found that the EBP tube had rusted in half! Not clogged, just broken!
My broken 7.3 EBP Tube
More commonly though, your 7.3 exhaust backpressure tube may clog up over the course of its lifetime, reducing engine performance and 7.3 MPG.
UPDATE: I was just researching another post and came across this excellent video on 7.3 EBP sensor and tube location, removal, cleaning and replacement. It also includes all the tools you’ll need to remove and replace the EBP.
It’s a long video but a lot of great detail!
7.3 EBP Sensor and Tube Removal Procedure
Basically, the video takes about 30 minutes to walk you through these 7.3 EBP/tube removal steps:
- Step 1 – With a 13mm deep well socket, remove the plastic engine cover that’s over the fuel bowl. This is just a nicety so you can have some maneuvering room for your tools, but you’ll see in the video that you don’t have to do it.
- Step 2 – Remove the EBP sensor electrical connector. CAREFULLY lift up on the plastic bail locking clip that’s securing the connector to the sensor and GENTLY pulling up. Why the emphasis? I’ve found that after a couple-hundred thousand miles of under-hood engine heat, most of the 7.3 diesel’s plastic electrical connection harnesses are brittle as hell. (Whenever I replace a sensor, I plan on having to solder in a new pigtail and connector. Just in case)
- Step 3 – Removing the actual 7.3 EBP sensor is tricky. You’ll need a 1″ deep well socket and ideally a 9/16″ crow’s foot open end wrench with a couple of extenders (see video) for the nut just below the EBP sensor retaining bracket. The trick? Equal and opposite pressure on the two pieces—sensor and nut.
- Step 4 – Loosen the upper EBP tube nut and remove it. I’ve seen people juggle a 9/16″ open end wrench to hold the bracket nut, while using a 5/8″ crow’s foot on the EBP tube nut. But that usually ends in bloody knuckles. (Experience…) So as long as I’ve already got my 9/16″ crow’s foot on the retaining nut, I just snake a 5/8″ open end wrench in there and knuckle bust it loose. Gloves? Yep, a great idea…
- Step 5 – Remove the other end of the EBP tube from the exhaust manifold with a 5/8″ open end wrench. I’d hit this with some PB Blaster long before trying to remove the nut and tube. I guarantee that unless you’ve found the low mileage 7.3 unicorn that was never driven and kept in a dehumidified garage, it’ll be rusted, almost fused to the manifold. Once you have the nut loose wiggle them both off of the manifold.
- Step 6 – BONUS “TRICK”. I hunt, so I happen to have some old .22 caliber brass barrel brush ends lying around. Making SURE to secure the brush end to a gun cleaning rod end so I don’t lose the brush inside the manifold, I wire-brushed the hole to the manifold because it was RUSTY.
Those steps should give you some context to watch this video…
Or for not too much money, or if your 7.3 EBP tube is broken in half like mine was, you could just replace it.
1997 to 2003 7.3 EBP Tube Part Number
7.3 EBP Tube – OEM Version
This OEM version of the 7.3 Powerstroke EBP tube will get the job done right…
7.3 EBP Tube – Aftermarket Version
But I’ve been running this aftermarket version of the 7.3 EBP tube for a couple years without issue. I’m “frugal” like that. So you’ll have to decide for yourself which type of person you are. “Oem or death” or “save the dough for … other things.”
7.3 EBP Torque Value
I’m still searching for the 7.3 EBP Torque value. However, when you go to put this sensor and tube in, keep in mind that sensors are … sensitive. No pun intended.
The standard mechanic’s answer to torque of “tighten it until it breaks and then back it off a quarter turn” is not warranted here.
Also, be careful when installing the sensor onto the bracket and attaching the EBP tube to the bottom of it. It’s easy to break the sensor bracket if you aren’t careful to use gentle opposing pressure on your wrenches when connecting the 7.3 EBP sensor to the exhaust tube.
7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Summary
Over time, your 7.3 EBP Sensor and tube can fail, get clogged with soot, or the tube can rust through. All of these will degrade engine performance and reduce 7.3 MPG efficiency.
Do yourself a favor and check your EBP and tube as part of your regular 7.3 Powerstroke maintenance schedule and clean or replace them both.