Ford Super Duty: How to change the oil on a 7.3l Powerstroke

When your truck holds 15 quarts of oil, you can save a good bit of money changing it yourself. The savings is nice, but the real reason I do it myself, is because I like it done just right. The following instructions show how I do it.

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Required Parts:
Oil, 15 Quarts 15W40 or 5W40 Diesel Oil, Oil Information Here
Oil Filter Motorcraft FL1995

Parts That May Be Needed:
Oil Pan Drain Plug Gasket (washer) FORD 3C3Z-6734-AA

Tools Required:
Strap Wrench To loosen oil filter.
19mm Socket and Ratchet or Wrench To loosen and re-tighten drain plug.
Screwdriver and Hammer To puncture bottom of oil filter.

1) The following photos show the oil filter with the date and mileage written on it. It's a perfect time to do this and assures you will have this information.

Motorcraft FL1995 Oil Filter for 7.3 liter Powerstroke Diesel

Motorcraft FL1995 Powerstroke diesel filter, dated


2) The following photos show the tools that will be needed to change the oil on a 7.3L Powerstroke.

oil filter wrench, strap wrench

tools for oil change


Note that the oil catch-pan needs to be able to hold at least 15 quarts of oil. I would recommend a 20 quart container.

oil pan on splash pan


3) With the oil catch drain pan in place, remove the oil drain plug. Note that in my case I've installed a Fumoto oil drain valve. All I have to do is romove the clip in the photo and open the valve. This gives a great deal of control over the flow of oil.

oil drain plug, Fumoto oil drain



Note that I am able to drain the oil right into the pan hole with the controlled flow of the Fumoto.

oil draining from oil pan


If you are just removing the drain plug (most will be doing this), it is a good idea to put a funnel in the oil pan drain in order to catch the oil. If you don't do this you may get oil all over. Let the oil drain completely, then reinstall the oil drain plug.

oil draining from pan into funnel in oil drain pan


4) Before draining the oil filter, it is a good idea to loosen it first with a suitable filter wrench. I prefer a strap wrench. It might even be a good idea to loosen the filter before draining the oil from the pan. That way, if you cannot get the filter off you can drive to get help or tools.

loosening oil filter with strap wrench


5)  With the filter loose, you can now use a hammer and screwdriver to puncture the bottom of the oil filter. Not everyone punctures the filter, but I find it easier to manage removal of the filter this way. It holds about two quarts, so I like to get the oil out of there.

draining oil filter through puncture in bottom of filter


6) After the filter is done draining, I put a few paper towels in a grocery bag and wraped it around the filter. You can then just spin the filter off without any fuss or mess.

oil filter wrapped in plastic bag


7) Put the new filter in the box it came in. This is a good way to steady the filter while you fill it with oil. It is imperative that the filter be filled with oil prior to installation. If the motor is started with an empty filter, the bearings will be spinning without lubrication until the filter fills.

oil filter in box

It holds about 2 quarts.

filling new oil filter with oil


8) Using your finger, quote the gasket of the new filter with oil. This assures it will seal properly.

coating new oil filter gasket with oil

This photo shows the filter gasket properly coated with oil.

oil coated oil filter gasket


9) Wipe the filter housing free of any debris prior to screwing on the new filter.

Powerstroke oil filter housing


10) Spin on the new filter that you filled with oil. Do not overly tighten it! In the case of the Motorcraft filter, the manufacturer recommended tightening it to contact plus 3/4 turn. Follow your filter manufacturer's instructions.

new oil filter screwed onto oil filter housing


Now to fill the crank case with oil.

jug of 15w-40 diesel engine oil Rotella T



The photo below shows both the oil filler cap and the top of the dipstick.

oil filler cap and dip stick locations

11) Place a funnel in the fill tube.

funnel in oil filler tube


12) You will need to fill the crank case with approximately 13 quarts. The 7.3 Powerstroke has a capacity of 15 quarts, 13 in the crank case, and 2 quarts in the filter.

pouring oil in oil filler tbe, filling engine with oil


In my case 15 quarts fills the crank case exactly to the top of the hash marks on the dip stick. You probably want to measure in the last quart carefully. It is very important not to overfill!

dip stick hash marks


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a mechanic. The articles and information on this site just document how I did things. Use this information at your own risk.