Thinking of buying a 6.0 - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.0L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2003-Up Super Duties and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thinking of buying a 6.0

Hi All

From my sig, you can see im of the IDI world but I decided that it was time to upgrade.

I have heard mixed results of the 6.0 so I don't really know what to think on the subject so I thought I would ask everybody here if there are some things I should look for when I test a truck out.

My other truck really turned out to be a lemon so im a little hesitant to jump into things like I did before.

Im sure this type of question has been asked millions of times but so if anybody can point me at a good thread thats been started I would appreciate it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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See if you can find one with low miles under 50k get an Oasis report. Start it cold see if it runs smooth when cold see if it has been serviced by ford, when filters have been changed must use Ford filters. I would get something like the Edge Insight CTS hooks up in about 15 sec then take it out for a spin to check the health of the motor. If you see any white stuff around the degas cap keep on walking HGs problems. tunes
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi there 2 Stroker. Thanks for the food for thought. Took parts of your conversation and tried to learn as much about them as possible.

couple questions. Oasis report? Don't know about that one.

What comes after 50k miles? Most places would say something like this isn't "broken in yet". Is there something in preventative maintenance that would make it cost prohibitive to buy a vehicle with over 100k?

Are there certain years more prone to that EGR related head gasket failure than others? I was reading a really good article that mentioned earlier model EGR coolers being better than a switch made in mid 2000 vehicles say 2005-2007 (Tubes to fins from what I could gather).


Thanks for all the insight. I could use a good truck to haul the family around. Who would have thought having a kid would have introduced so much stuff to haul around.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A. Oasis report is basically the service history from ford of anything, either warranty or non- warranty that was done at an authorized dealership. Mileage has absolutely nothing to do with a decision on buyin a truck. Headgaskets have failed at 15k miles and others have failed at 200k miles. Egr coolers are as dependable as woman...never know when they're gonna blow up. Yes, the 2003 year egr coolers were more robust than newer cooler, but usually the the oil cooler will fail and create a giant mess. There are no headgaskets differences between the 03-07 model years. There were never bigger head bolts or different gaskets. Smaller things like injector clamp bolt holes and dowel pin sizes changed, but nothing that has anything to do with clamping force.


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Old 11-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The biggest driving factor should be cost. The 6.0 is a good motor, properly maintained, and bulletproofed. I would consider an EGR cooler delete mandatory on '05-up trucks. If you get into it that far you might as well change the oil cooler. HGs (factory gaskets only) and studs are a must for any year. 5k oil changes, 12.5k filter changes are also musts. Factory filters as noted. Coolant filter is a must. Swap to ELC coolant is highly recommended.

Low mileage is a blessing and a curse. Low mileage trucks can have turbo issues from carbon buildup. They tend to be freer of other issues, but the biggest influence on those is use and maintenance.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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DD...suggestion, use "search" feature & read countless threads about 6L. 6L really did turn out to be..good/bad & ugly. Good luck on what ever u decide.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would steer clear unless you can find one that's been studded and had the EGR deleted. As others have stated the HGs can go at any time and mileage and getting them replaced the correct way (studs, machine the heads, etc) isn't cheap. I did everything (coolant filter, egr delete, etc) in terms of maintenance on mine and it still blew them. They can definitely be a gamble.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Again, cost should drive it. Once HGs and studs have been addressed the engine will be trouble free for a very long time. There are many people on this forum and others with 300-350k on these trucks. Paying for the work you are looking at an honest $4-4.5k for everything. Doing it yourself it's only about $1.5k in parts if you buy from a source like Tousley Ford. Figure to spend a week on it if you've never done work on a 6.0 before. Having a lift to pull the cab is a big help. There are a lot of YouTube videos that show you how to fix everything on the 6.0. Look for a guy going by srmastertech. He is the man, knows the 6.0 well, and gives very good and clear instructions.

So, if the truck you are looking at is commanding a price that makes everything worthwhile then I say go for.

Buying a truck done is a great option. Unfortunately the side of it you don't hear about is that because once all that money was spent the truck is essentially failure proof people tend to hold on to them, so finding one for sale is going to be hard.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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DD...suggestion, use "search" feature & read countless threads about 6L. 6L really did turn out to be..good/bad & ugly. Good luck on what ever u decide.
Thank you for pointing out the search function. I guess where I would get stumped on something like that would be the keywords. I don't know what people titled their threads, which is why I started my own.

Don't get me wrong, I like to do the research just like the next guy, I sometimes just don't know where to begin.


This does sound kind of like a gamble though. If I have to put in about 1.5k after I buy the thing, that kind of sounds like something of a bad deal. I have the knowledge of working on my old 7.3 so at least im knowledgeable enough to know that I don't want to bury myself into another engine compartment, at least for awhile. I really do appreciate all the info. Anything I can know going into looking at a truck in a lot will help me down the road.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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if your really concerned about the 6.0 ...you can still find low mileage 7.3s 99-03 have very few issues(really no major issues)except ln 01 theres a prob with the auto trannys having catastrophic failure.it only runs for about 6 months of the 01 builds.you can find a tsb on the 4r100 mechanical diode failure.

these 7.3s are known to go upwards of a million miles
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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if your really concerned about the 6.0 ...you can still find low mileage 7.3s 99-03 have very few issues(really no major issues)except ln 01 theres a prob with the auto trannys having catastrophic failure.it only runs for about 6 months of the 01 builds.you can find a tsb on the 4r100 mechanical diode failure.

these 7.3s are known to go upwards of a million miles
I have only heard the bad about the 6.0 so I was hoping to hear something more uplifting. There are more 6.0s out there than 7.3s with lower mileage. I can't really find a 7.3 around here with less than 200k and they want almost as much for the 6.0.

It sounds like I would be okay with a 6.0 so long as it has had a couple things done to the engine. I just have to ask a couple of more questions when im at the dealership.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't know what has bothered you with the IDI. I had a 94 and there were some issues but I felt it was simple to work on and pretty reliable. This one had a turbo and it was about as quick as my powerstroke 7.3 van. I wouldn't want the IDI without a turbo. The E4OD had some electrical issues. So did my van's E4OD. I finally just built a fix of my own for that. If I ever run into the problems again, I'm not as afraid of them. But... that said, as long as the IDI didn't have cavitation issues, I'd feel a lot better driving one of those than a 6.0L. Even the 7.3 has a lot more that can go wrong. With the IDI you have a VERY simple fuel injection system. With the Powerstroke (any of them) it's so much more complex. This isn't bad in theory... but in practice, there's a WHOLE lot more that can go wrong. If you don't have injection on an IDI, either you don't have fuel supply to the IP or you have a bad IP. Not much else. With a Powerstroke, it could be:
1. Bad fuel supply
2. Bad fuel lift pump
3. Bad lines
4. Fuel filter bowl leak or regulated FPR fuel return
5. Bad Injector(s) (8 of them and they're expensive).
6. Bad High Pressure Oil Pump or Regulator
7. Bad Wire Harness

and the Wire Harness... that's just the beginning. Now you have everything controlling what's on the other side of the wire harness, the controllers, the sensors. Here's just a sample of the electronic side:
1. The injector solenoids on the HEUI injectors (one pretty reliable injector part)
2. The UVC Harness (not the most reliable)
3. The Injector Driver (again not reliable at least on the 7.3)
4. The PCM and all it's wiring to sensors and outputs
5. All the sensors and controls for injection controlled by oil pressure, and sensors for timing (CMP)

That's just a little bit of what's there and most of it fails as you can see on the PSD forums, there's a little more that what I could think of there. So as you can see there's quite a beauty in the simplicity of the older engines. A whole lot can go wrong in a Powerstroke and it takes a lot more effort to troubleshoot. I prefer the old cracking injector lines with a wrench and looking for fuel to come out, and watching the main return line for bubbles through a piece of clear return hose.

But... that's what you'll be getting into with a PSD. Not that it's the end of the world. I appreciate my 7.3 and have enjoyed driving it (and to some extent working on it). But if I had a choice I'd take a 12V Cummins or other simple and reliable IDI with a turbo ANY day of the week. That's something that's going to be a thing of the past unfortunately. It was such a simple system and it worked so well (good mpg; very reliable). You gain some you loose some with High Tech.

If it were me, I'd fix the IDI!
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If it were me, I'd fix the IDI!

I have a long sob story with my current vehicle and i'll spare you with the long version. Know that I basically turned a 4000 vehicle into a 10000 vehicle with all the fixes I have made.

after all that, now I have tranny issues. I would fix the trans, but this thing has been a lemon since day 1 and every time I get into it, my knuckles go white and im just tensing for the next failure.

Im better off parting this one out and hoping for the best on the next one.

But I want to thank you all for your advice on what to ask at a dealership as well as what year to look for.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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all of the above....considiering 5 to 7 year old truck w/ the cost of rebuild, on the 6.0 ford =$12000 to 20000 used, rebuild 8=12 thousand, why not a new one? (am sure you have been entertaining the numbers) more of a confirmation i am of the process we all go through at this point ...
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a long sob story with my current vehicle and i'll spare you with the long version. Know that I basically turned a 4000 vehicle into a 10000 vehicle with all the fixes I have made.

after all that, now I have tranny issues. I would fix the trans, but this thing has been a lemon since day 1 and every time I get into it, my knuckles go white and im just tensing for the next failure.

Im better off parting this one out and hoping for the best on the next one.

But I want to thank you all for your advice on what to ask at a dealership as well as what year to look for.
Sounds like you've had a bummer of an IDI. Sorry to hear about that. Sometimes you can't win with a vehicle. In my opinion a 5.9L 12 Valve cummins is a good investment. I'm not a huge PSD fan even though I really like mine. I don't like the concept to it. I'm over it and I realize we're now in 2012 with more EPA regulation every day. But with ANY PSD, there's a lack of simplicity there that I don't love about it. The 5.9 from 94-98 only has the Killer Dowel Pin to look out for as far as what I've seen. And it's a very simple robust system. I'd buy another 7.3 IDI or PSD if the price was right and it seemed to be in good shape. But I ALWAYS expect to put some money into it. No one ever keeps these things up as good as they need to be kept up. Sounds like yours has really been a drag. Sorry about that. A 1998 12V Cummins in good shape goes for around $5k, one in perfect shape with low mileage can be had for $10k. Either are a good buy in my opinion. I'd get either of those and with the 5 speed manual if I had the money to spend and needed a truck. The shape of the body will count, really check it over.

I also agree on the E4OD. Having owned two now with electrical issues and my neighbor had issues with his. The guy who rebuilt mine said Ford took a perfectly good C6 and ruined it with the E4OD. I disagree with him, it's probably a fine transmission. But I do agree on the electronics that control it. Totally unreliable in both cases I've owned and with my neighbor's van as well. It'd do all kinds of crazy things:
-Lock the torque converter up at stop lights or when slowing down and stall the engine (Ford dealer couldn't fix it)
-Shift into 1st gear at 65 MPH
-Unlock the TCC when it should have been on
-Then after any of the above, go into limp mode until the next time it was driven. Then all over again

After a pile of money was spent on parts (shift lever sensors (two vehicles), speed sensor, filp sensor), rebuild on my current E4OD, scans at the dealer, the dealer telling me there was "nothing wrong" after all this... I finally gave up. I built a little push button controller and it's been fine since. But what a pain.
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-Ford E350 PSD 1995 --- 500k+ Upgrades-DIY Push Button Manual Shifting E4OD Computer-Stancor Glow Plug Relay-DIY Stage 1 Injectors-Cat Out-Bigger Rear Tires-DIY SD Electric Fuel Pump system
-98 Taurus 3.0 OHV --- 200k+ New H.Gaskets
-MB 300d Turbo Diesel(s): 1980, 84(x2),85, and 87 Fast, nice to work on, great machines. All outgrown and Sold
-GMC Suburban 6.2 Detroit - Slow. Reliable. Sold.

Last edited by 777funk; 11-14-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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