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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #1
Bones
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Default Why I bought a 6.0L diesel - A post for the haters.

I'm fairly tired of all the mis-information regarding the 6.0L diesel. Here is my input.

I was a 7.3L guy through and through. I've had 6 of them, all with minor issues and only one with a major issue (dropped a valve). None of them were "trouble free" like people state. Every engine needs repairs, pure and simple. The plus side to the 7.3L, is most of those repairs are easy enough for a guy with good mechanical skill to do in his driveway.

Here is why I now own a 6.0L diesel and not a 7.3L.
I was on the hunt for a nice, clean 7.3L. The market for them is absolutely insane. In my opinion, they are way overpriced for what they are. A 2002 or 2003 rust free 7.3L crew cab, long bed, 4x4 with 150K miles will fetch about 16-17K dollars. That's ridiculous. I have driven a 2005+ coil sprung superduty many times and the ride is so much better than the <2003 superduty that it would make it tough to go back to the "old truck". Not to mention, the coil sprung front end makes the turning radius far better than the leaf springs. This is critical for towing. Keep in mind I won't compare a 2003-2004 6.0L in this post. 2003-2004 6.0L had a considerable amount of issues, combined with the leaf sprung front suspensions, and older front facia, do not make a very ideal combination.

So, I started reading about the 6.0L. There are 5 major complaints. Lets start off by saying the worst thing for a 6.0L is daily driving it empty 10-15 miles to work. If that is your daily routine for the truck, don't buy a 6.0L. If you are looking for a diesel that you can drive like you stole it and tow a ton, you'll like the 6.0L. For the record, I am pulling 21K (combined truck and trailer) with my truck and it is smother than my old 7.3L pulling 15K combined.
EGR plugging- The EGR cooler gets built up with carbon and doesn't flow correctly. It can also get plugged with sand from the coolant (see fix below). When it plugs, you run the risk of blowing head gaskets. If you tow a lot or push the truck, the EGR will remain cleaner than if the truck idles a lot. Again, the truck likes to be pushed hard. Many retailers have developed EGR delete kits, or bulletproof EGR coolers.
Oil/Coolant coolers – The oil is tied into the coolant system; the coolant helps cool the oil. There is a problem with the 6.0L having sand in the casting from the factory. The sand ends up blocking the oil cooler and oil temps spike out of control. This causes oil leaks, turbo issues and even coolant related issues due to lack of flow. The solution is fairly simple - Put a DIY coolant filter in place. A full kit is about $120, but some people claim to build them yourself for about $50 and after 5K-10K miles (and 3-4 filter changes) the sand will be 100% removed.
Turbo – The 6.0L has a variable vain turbo, unlike the 7.3L. A variable vane turbo can change the angle of the blades to maximize boost/efficiency. If the truck isn't pushed hard, the vanes won't travel their full path very often. If that happens, carbon gets built up in certain places between each vane. Once the turbo gets carbon built up inside it, the vanes can become stuck and you run the risk of overboost, and blowing the headgaskets. This seems to be most likely on 03-04 engines. Again, if you push the truck hard or tow with it, the turbo vanes will travel full sweeps to keep the turbo clean. If you drive the truck light, you have a higher chance of building up carbon. Ford eventually put in a "turbo dither" calibration that forced the vanes to travel a full path on shutdown to prevent carbon build-up. Turbo failures on post 2005 trucks are fairly rare (or the same rate as a 7.3L). If you have a 2003-2004 turbo, drive the truck like you stole it and you won't have this issue.
Headstuds – the head bolts aren't actually an issue themselves, the issue is when other parts fail (EGR and turbo) and stress the head bolts. The ARP headstuds should be put in to place just to protect the heads incase other parts fail.
Injectors- People complain about the 03 and 04 injectors failing. The injectors cost the same as 7.3L injectors, and once they are replaced, are fairly trouble free. Keep the oil changed and you should be fine. Again, 2005+ trucks tend to have less issues.

So… aftermarket companies like Sinister Diesel have developed kits that address a lot of these issues.
http://www.mkmcustoms.com/60powerstrokesolution.aspx
They will take care of the EGR, oil cooler, and headstuds. The kit is ~$1400 ($1800 with a tune, which can put you at 400hp and turns off the EGR OBD system to turn off your check engine light) and a shop will charge about 2500-3000 to install it (some cheaper).

So back to why I bought a 6.0L…. It is still very easy to find rust free (or close) 2005-2007 trucks with the 6.0L, and in a lot of cases, they are the same price as a rust free 2002 or 2003 7.3L. You can put $4400 into repairs/upgrades into a 2005-2007 6.0L and have a very reliable 400 hp, 675+ ft lb diesel that is quiet, comfortable, turns great, rides nice, doesn't pollute, etc. The 6.0L intake/exhaust/auto trans can support 500hp, so no worries there. Stock injectors can support 400 hp.
Or you can buy a rust free 7.3L and put $1500 into intake, exhaust, gauges and a tune and you might be able to squeeze out 300 hp/ 575 ft lbs from it. Anything more than that and you need injectors, oil pump, turbo, and a $3500 trans.

In my opinion, the 6.0L is one of the few engines that if you know what you are getting into prior to purchasing one, and you convince yourself you need to put $4500 into it right away (most people struggle with that), then you will be very happy with your purchase. The 2003-2004 6.0L made a very rocky road for the 2005-2007 6.0L trucks, which have far less issues.
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Last edited by Bones; July 5th, 2011 at 11:54 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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I'm not even a ford truck guy, let alone a diesel guy, but I liked to info
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Old July 4th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #3
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Good read. I have been tossing around the idea of selling the cummins for a 05 6.0 at some point. Good to know someone has done the research and can give some good info on them. Thanks
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Old July 4th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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Good info Bill, I've started driving my 04.5 Duramax lately and I can appreciate the things you say. I only run a tune big enough to allow me to use 70% of it daily. A 500 rwhp tune is great but if you only use less than 50% of throttle and 2/3 of your operating rpm then you're not helping anything get the lubrication or pressures they need to see to get as designed lifespans. I currently run a 60hp on top and conservative mileage tune below 70% throttle. It drives great and will save my tires when I need to get into traffic in a hurry. It fits your findings with the ford, drive them as hard as needed but dont over "tune" them to the point where you do the same as underdriving them.

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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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I'm convinced ! I will pry buy one now thanx.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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I have the 04 6.0. I just had to replace the trans temp guage and had the trans, transfer case serviced. From what I have been told they are oil forced injectors so keeping the oil changed and clean is the most important thing you can do for those motors
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #7
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Good info as I've been looking for a diesel and not sure what I want to buy yet. Question I have is: Don't the 6.0L's get terrible fuel economy loaded and unloaded?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bow_Extreme View Post
Good info as I've been looking for a diesel and not sure what I want to buy yet. Question I have is: Don't the 6.0L's get terrible fuel economy loaded and unloaded?
Here is my no BS, real world economy numbers.
Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest - View Single Post - Tow Rig Fuel Economy Database

Oh, and my truck is now for sale for anyone interested Moving up to a Totergarage
2005 F350 Diesel, 4x4, crewcab, longbed, 6 speed manual, $14200 - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest
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Old July 27th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. Did you make all these modifications to your truck that is for sale?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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A lot of good info. I would also struggle with the $4500 though. If things were done right the 1st time from the factory, putting that extra money into the vehicle to get it to perform reliably wouldn't need to be done.

I'm all for improvement but that's overkill.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:47 AM   #11
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Great info indeed. I've always heard they were great engines once the EGR was deleted.

Since you have had so many 7.3 I have a question..... What should the fuel pressure be? I heard stock is not enough as ford turned it down from what International recommends?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #12
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Good info, kinda redundant though. Take care of your engine and it will take care of you, plain and simple. i just dont like fords. I have a few buddies that have 6.0s and one has the egr delete and some other stuff and the other is stock. Both are alright, but i hate working on fords.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #13
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Wish I knew this before I bought mine , would have been easier to swallow all the bills. Replaced my FICM,head studs,top end rebuild, EGR delete, 4 injectors approximately 7500$ but now I love the beast, 04 Excursion 6.0 DO NOT PUT A PROGRAMMER ON IT TIL YOU DO THE MODS OR YOU'LL PAY
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Old August 12th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjvan44 View Post
Wish I knew this before I bought mine , would have been easier to swallow all the bills. Replaced my FICM,head studs,top end rebuild, EGR delete, 4 injectors approximately 7500$ but now I love the beast, 04 Excursion 6.0 DO NOT PUT A PROGRAMMER ON IT TIL YOU DO THE MODS OR YOU'LL PAY
Ficm- $600
Head studs & Gaskets - $750
EGR Delete- $350
4 injectors- $1200

How did you possibly pay $7500?
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Old August 13th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #15
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I always hated the 6.0's because they seem to be a high maintenance motor, but they definetly have alot more power than the 7.3. I work at Ford and just last week we had a2011 F350 already in the shop needing engine work.
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Old August 13th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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I always hated the 6.0's because they seem to be a high maintenance motor, but they definetly have alot more power than the 7.3. I work at Ford and just last week we had a2011 F350 already in the shop needing engine work.
okay you understand the 2011 is NOT a 6.0 right?
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Old August 13th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis13 View Post
Ficm- $600
Head studs & Gaskets - $750
EGR Delete- $350
4 injectors- $1200

How did you possibly pay $7500?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjvan44 View Post
Wish I knew this before I bought mine , would have been easier to swallow all the bills. Replaced my FICM,head studs,top end rebuild, EGR delete, 4 injectors approximately 7500$ but now I love the beast, 04 Excursion 6.0 DO NOT PUT A PROGRAMMER ON IT TIL YOU DO THE MODS OR YOU'LL PAY
he also said top end rebuild, so new or rebuilt heads too. They shouldnt add up to another $4500 but add labor on to all of that and its prolly close
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Old August 13th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
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okay you understand the 2011 is NOT a 6.0 right?
Sorry your right that was a 6.7L. Either way I see people having alot more problems with the 6.0 then the 7.3. I haven't even gotten into the 6.7's yet so don't know anything about them.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #19
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Dealer rebuild rip off, couldn't get anyone else to do the work at the time, turbo rebuild too. I don't wrench on diesels
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Old August 16th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Dealer rebuild rip off, couldn't get anyone else to do the work at the time, turbo rebuild too. I don't wrench on diesels
Damn, owning a 6.0 and not wrenching a little on diesels is not a good idea. Honestly, from your list, including turbo rebuild, could all be done with a $40 tool set and a few years of high school auto shop knowledge (except HG and heads).

6.0 are fairly easy to work on, the space minimal but reasonable and pretty straightforward.
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