This website contains all the major DIY fixes and modifications to my 1980’s IDI Diesel vans.  There is a lot of information on the web for IDI trucks, but not a lot of info for the Vans, Clubwagons, Econolines, RV’s, and other non-truck using the 7.3 and 6.9 IDI engine.  We hope the documentation here will aide you in restoring your diesel vans.  Also, a lot of the engine information posted here is good for all IDI owners, not just the van guys.

For information on a specific topic, please leave comments in the comments sections of particular posts.  Do not email us directly.


DISCLAIMER:  This website is for informational use only.  We are not responsible for any damage you do to yourself, your vehicle, your property, or to others and their property.  Have your vehicle maintained by a professional.


Copyright 2000-2018 Nick Pisca.  If reblogging any information from this website, you are required to cite and link the sources.



Hi Nick,
Sorry to send a message via your site but Ford-Trucks makes it hard to send direct messages without cluttering someones public convo messages. I am in the process of diagnosing a tick/tap sound and also needing to replace a valve cover gasket driver side. Ran into an issue with the hose that runs by there. Wondering if could tell me what that hose is for? Needing to remove it to get the cover all the way off. Here is a link to the post: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1510055-e250-valve-cover-removal.html


ahhhhhhh, memories.

That is a PITA to remove the driver’s side cover, but it’s not impossible.

First off, that is your Air Conditioning line. If you removed your AC system, then you could probably just remove that AC line if you want. But if you have AC, then I would highly recommend that you do not disconnect the line because it’s an even bigger PITA to reseal these old systems. Best to leave them as is.

But to remove the valve cover on an IDI van, you do not need to remove that line. Instead, here is the procedure.

1. Undo the valve cover bolts.
1a. (not specific to most IDI vans, but I notice this in your particular van due to an improperly installed diesel injector cap) Remove the diesel return line at the front of the valve cover.
2. From the inside of the van, reach your left arm through the doghouse and use the back of your hand to push the AC line toward the front of the van.
3. While still pushing the AC line with the back of your left hand, grab the front of the VC with your left hand, and then use your right hand to lift the back of the valve cover off.

Since your left arm is moving the AC line out of the way, you should be able to finagle the valve cover off with your right arm. It will not just come off and it will take some time to find a way to curve it around the components on top of the heads. I think i curved it up clockwise toward the intake manifold, iirc.

Since the AC line is somewhat flexible, you should be able to accomplish this. But it is not very flexible, so it takes a decent amount of strength with the back of your left hand to push it forward. Also, you will have maybe 5/8″ clearance from the rocker arms to the doghouse wall, so it will be exceptionally difficult to reinstall the new valve cover gasket. The best way is to use some permatex to hold the gasket in place to the underside of the valve cover, then reinstall using the same arm location technique as described above, but in reverse. Push the AC line forward with the back of your left hand and hold the front of the VC with that same hand, also supporting the back of the VC with your right hand. There is no delicate way to accomplish this, so be sure to have a spare gasket if you F one up trying to weasel it on the head.

Most of all, good luck.

Other issues I noticed in your setup is the use of FRAM diesel filter. You might want to upgrade to a filter setup on the rail, like the R&D Stage 1 deal. Much better filtration without restriction. Also, you should re-orient your injector cap to the correct direction.


rev counter install

Hi I´ve seen that you have a rev counter installed on your steering Collum. I have a later 1993 Quigley with a 7.3 N/A, so also with no RPM meter in the cluster.
How did you hock it up?

BTW very interesting website, I have been to some similar issues already … 😉


I bought one of those Auto Meter 2888 Performance Tachometers which has a probe that you clamp to the alternator. It’s really easy to install, but the problem is, you have to calibrate it against a timing gun. If you don’t have an IDI ferret meter and timing gun (see my video on how to time the engine), then it’ll be hard to setup this type of alternator-based sending tach. Thanks for the kind words about my site.

Casey Cason

I ran across your site last week after being volunteered for a 7.3 idi. Rebuild for my father in law, by my wife 😀 I have to say this has been an excellent read and amazing help. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you have done here . Keep up the good work my friend the site is now in my favorites and will be my go to for idi info!!


Thanks for the kind words. I figure I should post all this stuff I stumble upon when I wrench on these beasts.


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