Are you looking to replace the glow plugs in your Ford diesel 7.3l Powerstroke? I also was curious on what the best brand of glowplugs was to avoid the problem many diesel engines face– swollen glow plugs that snap upon removal.
I did a bunch of research and asked some professional diesel mechanics what their recommendations were for the best brand of glowplugs and method for installation. It seems relatively straight forward if you are going to replace the glow plugs in your 7.3l Ford stick to the Beru/Motorcraft OEM brand glowplugs.
Best Glowplugs for a Ford 7.3l Powerstroke:
The only glowplugs you should be installing your 7.3l is the OEM brand glowplugs (Beru or Motorcraft). Typically these are Beru/Motorcraft glowplugs and you can find them on Amazon. The only glowplugs for the 7.3l Powerstroke Ford Diesel are the ZD-11 Beru/Motorcraft glowplugs. If you are looking for the 7.3l IDI Diesel OEM glowplugs (non-turbo diesel) then the ZD-9 OEM glowplugs are the best OEM glowplugs. For an amazing deal on Amazon click the links above for the correct OEM plugs. Be careful when buying them that you are actually getting the OEM brand, sometimes people are selling ZD-9 glowplugs but really they are their own house brand that will fit but typically fail more often than the OEM glowplugs. Use anti-seize on the threads of the new glowplugs, and don’t just replace a couple at a time (do all 8). This will help prevent premature failure in the new glowplugs and will make the labor involved in changing them easier (you are already there– just do them all).
Part Numbers for 7.3l/6.9l Powerstroke & IDI Glowplugs OEM:
- Motorcraft/Beru ZD-11 Glow Plug (Ford P/N F4TZ12A342BA)
- Use on any 7.3l Diesel Powerstoke Diesel (If you have a turbo)
- Fits all 1994.5-2003 Ford Powerstroke F & E Series
- Motorcraft/Beru ZD-9 Glow Plug (Ford P/N F2TZ-12A342-A)
- Use with 7.3l IDI Ford Diesel Engine (ZD-9 and ZD-11’s are not the same nor interchangeable).
- Fits 1987-1994 6.9 & 7.3 Ford IDI Engines
- For V8 DIESEL OHV Naturally Aspirated (non-turbo)
What are the differences between the ZD-9 and the ZD-11 glowplugs?
The ZD-9 glowplugs are made for the earlier 6.9l and 7.3l Ford diesel engines that were naturally aspirated (meaning non-turbo). ZD-9’s and ZD-11’s are not the same size and are NOT interchangeable. ZD-11’s are made for the newer turbo diesel Powerstroke 7.3l and fit the years 1994.5-2003 Ford engines F & E series. To be absolutely sure you are getting the correct glowplugs for your engine you can call the Ford dealership and give them your VIN number. ZD-11’s are longer than ZD-9s, but both use the same 10mm hex head (for removal and installation). ZD-9s are also rated for 6v, while ZD-11s are for use with 12v systems in the later Ford engines.
- For Powerstroke 7.3l this in-depth illustrated guide will lead you through all the steps.
- For IDI 7.3l/6.9l Ford Engines this in-depth illustrated guide will give you all the tips you need.
Helpful Tools To Have:
- 1/2″ socket
- 1/4″ and 3/8″ ratchets
- Regular Extensions, Wobble Extensions, and Universals (swivels) help
- Deep 10mm glowplug socket
- Penetrating Oil (use homemade mix guide here)
- 1/4″ ID vacuum or fuel line (using this trick) to help with final removal of glowplug (on the 7.3l IDI’s)
- Ford Nickel Anti-seize
Always use the OEM glowplugs in any Ford IDI/PSD engine. You do not want to run the risks of dealing with a snapped off swollen glowplug. Yes, you might save some money by buying cheaper glowplugs but if they swell and snap off when you try to remove them you will spend much more time/money replacing them.
Also, be sure you are actually getting OEM glowplugs and not some aftermarket copy brand. Buy from a reputable seller and someone that has reviews on Amazon or eBay. Don’t just buy the first glowplug to come up when you search. Buying online also saves you a TON of money versus buying them at the Ford dealership (probably around 50% savings on average).
Dealing with swollen glowplugs is an entirely different issue.
Related Video Guides:
Guide for the 7.3l Powerstroke Removal + Installation from Start to Finish:
Guide for the 6.9l/7.3 IDI Non-Turbo Removal + Installation from Start to Finish:
Tips for Removing Swollen Glow Plugs:
Backyard Style Extraction Tool for Stuck Glowplugs: