Like reading this thread. Always been attracted to the 7.3. Only negative I’ve read about is loose steering. Otherwise sounds like the perfect road trip vehicle.
Anyways, we had a 2001 Excursion 4WD with the 7.3. If you like a lot of room, it has A TON. However, for us the cons FAR outweighed any goods in that rig.
Had 94,000 miles on it.
Suspension was awful: Ford detuned the suspension to fit in standard garage and lower for soccer moms. Result, it wallowed around and rode like crap. No OEM swaybars until later on. I helped ours out by putting new F250 plow springs, it gave a lift and helped the wander a little. TONS of threads on the internet about crappy suspension and handling in the excursions. You can fix this by redoing the whole suspension, so not a huge knock against it...
4r100 auto trannys suck. Especially the 2000/2001. Ours blew up, to our credit it did limp us home cross country until I dropped $5k on a "bulletproof" one
7.3L - I know everyone loves theirs, I was unimpressed. Without being chipped, it was OK. Chipped it felt much better. That said,
Cold starts, as soon as it hit 35ish degrees, if it wasn't plugged in, good luck on it starting. Glowplugs good, it just wouldn't start for crap. Would be awful camping and having to deal with that cold blooded beast.
Alternators die every year. I just ended up buying lifetime replacement, kept a spare and could swap it out in less than 15mins (that was really easy on them) unfortunately twice it took out batteries...expensive batteries. It left my wife stranded twice in town for this.
We were stranded, in 20 below weather on a sunday new years day 3 hours from home as it wouldn't run and kept stalling. Turned out the electronics go through the valve cover, short out and cause all sorts of issues. Tow trucks, rental cars, unimpressed.
Got stranded another time when another short occured.
Flaky vacuum hub setup.
cheap interior, had to fix lots of plastic things
Average 13mpg in town, 15hwy. I hear talks on the internet of I average 18-22 on higway, no way. The best tank we got was 17.5 and the majority of it was downhill on big mountain passes. I could do 15ish highway if I kept it at 70mph.
Wandering steering...a lot of that is suspension issues
Ball joint issues are prevalent on these
All of this is on a vehicle with under 100k miles and is super clean.
, tons of room
you can pull a big trailer.
44 gallon fuel tank (you'll need it)
Personally, I wouldn't touch another one unless it were extremely cheap and had a lot of things sorted out. I much higher prefer quality and reliability to that extra room.