6.4 Mixed Messages - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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6.4L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.4L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2008-Up Super Duty trucks. 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 6.4L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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6.4 Mixed Messages

I am about to pull the trigger on a 2008 F250 Crew Cab XL Short Bed with the 6.4. It has 50, 500 miles. It is also a standard. The current owner says he hasn't had any issues. Reading these forums puts me at ease and scares me to death both....what do you think? I drove it and it seemed awesome?!
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You have to remind yourself that there are 100's of thousands of trucks with the 6.4 motors and the bad & negative things you read on the forum(s) are a very very small percentage of issues..My service manager @ Ford says I should stay off the forums..He's a fleet service manager which specialize in superduty trucks and has seen 1-2 motors with major issues ( 6.4 ). I have to believe that being on several forums magnifies my anxiety and concerns.

With any major purchase, spend some money and have a authorized dealer do an inspection..ask the seller if he can lower the price or contribute to the purchase of a ESP premium warranty. When semi major to major things happen the cost of repairs can be unbelievable..semi major 3-5k and major 10-20k..don't risk it.
Good luck

Also don't fall for an aftermarket warranty..buy a Ford ESP Premium.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks

I appreciate the input. I am giving 24.5 for the vehicle. Market research made it look like a good deal?
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about your area but in my area that would be a killer deal!
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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is it a 4x4 ? xl standard [stick shift] ....what extras? cruise, air,elec door locks, windup windows ????
i wouldn't pay that kind of money....xl's are too basic for me.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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^I was thinking the same thing. For a basic truck that you're describing I would be closer to $21K. You could probably get it a little lower, the low option models are not as popular/in demand.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The 6.4 does not typically "self destruct", in many cases it is aided in destructing by operator who do not understand the requirements of the new emissions controlled diesels and use them for the wrong type of service, neglect maintenance, etc. Properly operated and maintained the 6.4 and other emissions controlled diesels do just fine.

Now if you are looking at a used one, you have to be concerned about it's useage and maintenance prior to your purchase. Unlike pre-emissions diesels the post-emissions diesels can go bad very quickly if they are neglected or are used for all short trips.

The problem with assessing a used post-emissions diesel is that much of what you want to inspect is not readily visible. On the 6.4 you would ideally want to inspect the following:

- Lower HFCM fuel filter and housing for signs of gunk buildup, and to ensure the filters have been changed.

- Upper fuel filter, looking in the bottom of the housing for signs of rust spots or metal flakes both of which can mean expensive fuel system repairs.

- The water pump back housing for signs of cavitation damage.
- Coolant nitrite test to see if the coolant has been maintained properly.
- Used oil analysis on a sample with ~5k miles on it.
- Check for signs of leaks at the radiator hose connections and the radiator itself.

Since a used vehicle at a dealer has probably recieved a basic service with new oil and filters, some of the information you want will not be available at all.

Clearly the water pump housing can not be inspected in any reasonable fashion. The lower HFCM filter and housing can't be inspected without draining a quart plus of fuel and making a mess so it's not easily inspected.

The upper fuel filter can be inspected fairly easily with a flashlight, wrench and a container to rest the filter in when removed. This is one inspection you should absolutely do since a high pressure fuel pump and injectors is a good $8k repair.

The coolant nitrite test is another quick and easy test you can do, clip a test strip on the end of a long hemostat and just dunk it in the coolant degas tank, wait the 45 seconds and compare the color chart. Most dealers probably won't change the coolant on a used truck so it your nitrite test shows under 300ppm nitrite, reject the truck for neglected maintenance.

My standard maintenance recommendations for the 6.4:

If you have not owned one of the newer emissions controlled diesels previously (any brand), be aware that they are far more dependent on proper maintenance than earlier diesels.
Key 6.4 maintenance items:

* Oil changes every 5,000 miles, with quality oil (synthetic recommended), used oil analysis (Blackstone) for every change. Use only Motorcraft oil filters or the Racor (OEM) equivalent.

* Fuel filter changes every 10,000 miles. Use only Motorcraft FD4617 or the Racor (OEM) equivalent filters.

* Coolant nitrite testing at least every 15,000 miles. I recommend every 5,000 miles at the same time you do the oil change for simplicity, the test strips are inexpensive. Do not be confused by the test directions warning not to sample from an overflow tank, the 6.4 does not have an overflow tank it has a degas bottle. The degas bottle is part of the coolant loop with constant circulation so it is a valid testing point. I do not bother "taking a sample", I simply clip the test strip on the end of a long hemostat and dunk it in the degas bottle to test. If the test is below 800ppm and above 300ppm add two bottles of VC-8 additive. If below 300ppm the entire coolant system must be flushed with VC-9 cleaner, rinsed well and refilled with new coolant.

* Cooling system flush with VC-9 and refill with Ford Gold coolant every 60,000 miles, sooner if you have neglected testing and the nitrite is under 300ppm.

* Use a quality fuel conditioner such as the Ford PM-22a/23a conditioners at every fueling. They add lubricity to the fuel, something that ULSD is lacking in which helps protect the high pressure (up to 26,000 PSI) fuel pump. They also help to reduce soot production which results in less frequent DPF regens and less fuel dilution in the engine oil.

* Drain the HFCM water separator monthly. The fuel drained can be poured back into the tank carefully leaving behind any water at the bottom of the collection jar (normally very little). If the water separator drain does not flow well or at all, it may be clogged with either parafin blobs or with bacterial growth. In either case at a minimum the drain valve cover needs to be removed and the clog cleared. If the clog is significant the HFCM cover needs to be removed for full cleaning. If the clog is white and waxy it's parafin and not a significant issue. If the clog is brown or similar and more slimy it is bacterial growth and the fuel tank should be "shocked" with a biocide such as Power Service Bio-Kleen which should not be confused with their Diesel-Kleen.

* The truck should not be used for all short trips and stop and go traffic. The 6.4 and other emissions controlled diesels need regular longer periods at highway speeds to allow proper DPF regeneration and to get to proper operating temperature to help reduce fuel contamination in the engine oil.

* The latest PCM flash (11B23) does not provide continuous indication of when a DPF regen is taking place, it does however add much improved engine monitoring for developing issues. Over time you will get to recognize the subtle changes, but I recommend adding something like the ScanGauge II which will allow you to monitor the DPF temperature which is a clear indication that a regen is in progress when over ~600F.

* Avoid shutting the truck down with a regen in progress. If you have to, run the engine at high idle for a few minutes in park before shutting down to allow the turbos to cool down to normal temperatures before shutdown. If you are interrupting the regens you will see it in your Blackstone report, otherwise you should see very little fuel dilution, <1%.
You should also absolutely get the Ford ESP extended warranty, any repairs to the 6.4 are expensive and a single big repair can easily cover the cost of the ESP warranty. The coolant nitrite testing that many people overlook *is* in the owner's manual diesel supplement, so if you neglect it Ford can deny warranty coverage for resulting damage.
Other Super Duty maintenance items:

* Batteries - The batteries in these trucks are not the maintanence free / unmaintainable type, pop the caps to check and top up with distilled water periodically.

* Change transfer case fluid every 60,000 miles.

* Change rear differential fluid every 50,000 miles on DANA axles (F350 DRW and up).

* Change transmission fluid and filter every 60,000 miles on Torqshift transmissions (100k on manual transmissions). If you have the early Torqshift with the external filter the interval is much shorter.
Resources:

Coolant test strips - Buy the 4pk, not the bottle of 50, the strips have expiration dates and you'll only need <10 per year. Most dealer parts counters should have the test strips, NAPA has them, or order direct from Acustrip.
http://acustrip.com/CTS-3_Retail_Order_Form.pdf

Used oil testing - Blackstone Labs, get the pre-paid 6pk of test kits to save a few bucks. You don't need the TBN option:
Order Now

Ford ESP extended warrantys - You can buy them online from real dealers, or use the online price from a real dealer to negotiate a better price from your local dealer. You absolutely want the ESP, while the 6.4 is not problematic as some claim as long as you maintain it properly, nearly any repair is big $ and one good one will cover the ESP cost:
Ford Extended Warranty - Genuine Ford ESP

DPF, oil, coolant temp monitoring - ScangaugeII, you will need to program the X-gauge commands for the 6.4:
ScanGauge - Trip Computer + Digitial Gauges + ScanTools
Ford Specific XGauges : Linear Logic : Home of the ScanGauge
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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also..check the hours on the meter..it may say 50kmiles but the hours could equate to 100k..but thats usually on commercial vehicles.

I think 1 hour equals 25 miles but I've also heard 30 as well

Last edited by Ding126; 12-02-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How do I know how high the water should be in the battery?
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjmaxx View Post
How do I know how high the water should be in the battery?
The fill level is normally up to the bottom of the plastic fill hole flanges that stick down into the battery, but just filling to the top won't hurt since those flanges also serve to maintain airspace at the top.

Interstate Batteries FAQ :: How do I maintain my battery?
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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WP6529, Thank you for that unbelievably detailed maintenance schedule. I was already doing most of that, but that is as good as it gets.

Thanks again.
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