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HI David, sorry about your truck.
That's a hard question to answer. Lots of things factor into that. It's a motor that has inherent issues, that are very time consuming and expensive to deal with.
 

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the only inherent issues are lack of maint, and how its driven. nothing wrong with the engine.

^ I fully agree with this.

There are some things that can (and should be) done as preventive measures, but they are simply countering things done by Ford that were required by federal mandate...

The turbo's are at risk in a couple ways, one being restriction in the flow- countered by larger freer flowing air box, and replacing the inter-cooler ins-and-outs- specifically the out (cac)... another, and maybe the most important, rerouting the crank case ventilation away from the intake, so blow by gasses don't bombard the wheel constantly. That stuff can coke on the blades and create imbalance, which in turn is hard on seals and causes leaks, which can cause a headache nobody deserves... The next is keeping a high quality oil in the engine, and keeping it fresh as you can- the engine could can deal with an economy oil so long as it isn't diluted with fuel, but the turbos? they need good stuff, and stuff with a high flash point (410*+) that doesn't break down quickly... Also, and this is where I differ from others, but a shot of some sort of nanoborate is a good idea... I use archoil 9100 in my rig specifically for this reason.

there is one more thing that needs to be done, and this is simple and free.. it may be the bestest thing yet mentioned: let the things cool before you kill the engine... folks who just pull into a parking spot and kill the engine are asking for issues with these things for multiple reasons, and especially so with turbos.. When you kill the engine, the oil stops pumping... when the turbo is 400* and you kill the flow, the oil in it will absorb that heat best it can- which means it will heat up super hot (it can't ignite in the closed system without o2, but it can and will chemically react the same way, coking on whatever it touches, namely seals)... when there is coking, which is that super hard black stuff attached to metals internal the parts, the next time that turbo spins up the seals have to endure it- which is a good way to lose a seal and create wobble in the wheel...
 

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the only inherent issues are lack of maint, and how its driven. nothing wrong with the engine.
Agree'd.

They all have flaws, and out of all of them, my 6.4 has taken good amount abuse a lot better than my previous trucks. Some people haven't fared such luck but I think maintenance and how you take care of your truck plays a big factor here.

Stock chargers themselves take a good amount of abuse but don't quite hold up to higher mileage trucks in stock form. Drive pressure, heat, regen cycles, and some other factors (like lack of maitenance) to me plays a big role in the failure of the stock chargers. And some of the other component failure people encounter with these.
 

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Fomotech likes those bad boys, so much he has two, I believe. I never see many of those around here, rare bird like a terradacdol or something. I have never worked on one. The ones I do know of here had the rocker deal. It has the Ford radiator issues. It sounds like the motor can be gotten straightened out but what's all that cost so a guy who's considering a used truck with one in it cost? I ask because I don't know but this guy might.
What about turbo charging issue? Buy a single?
 

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Fomotech likes those bad boys, so much he has two, I believe. I never see many of those around here, rare bird like a terradacdol or something. I have never worked on one. The ones I do know of here had the rocker deal. It has the Ford radiator issues. It sounds like the motor can be gotten straightened out but what's all that cost so a guy who's considering a used truck with one in it cost? I ask because I don't know but this guy might.
What about turbo charging issue? Buy a single?
kinda going about this from a different direction:

in 1978 ford ran with the Mustang II 'Cobra', a fire breathing 302cid pumping out and astounding 139HP... it was the highest performing option for the model year.

in 1968, ford ran with the Mustang 289, rated at 288HP... it wasn't even the top performing engine available...

what the hell happened?

Emissions nailed gassers round about '74, along with federal mandates by '81... there were some smog pumps going back to '66, but not regularly added until the mid-seventies. Many engines placed in cars prior to '73 are still being built today, while most of the smog engines are dee eeh a dead, without hope for renewal...

anyway... round about '05 ford and IH decided on marrying the 6.4 to the super duty line, which is a promising 'next gen' engine using high pressure common rail and piezoelectric injectors... round about '06 they found out they'd have to meet some pretty crazy emissions standards... so.. they went back to the drawing board, but still used the existing platform..

they decided on a DPF, and decided to fire it by pushing fuel to it... they didn't take into consideration the rings on the pistons which are not as tight as some and the fact the crankcase would be diluted by fuel slippng past the rings and carried by blow-by, which the engine produced a substantial volume of on account of the low pressure side of the compound turbo that generates boost right off idle.. they didn't think too hard about running the ccv back into the intake, unlike the ccv on the heavier trucks venting to atmosphere... the coolant selected was the standard gold which serviced several vehicles in the ford line, but was in contrast to what IH puts in their iterations.. they tacked all this stuff on instead of going back further in the blueprints and altering their approach.

the 6.4 was the first smog diesel of all the makes. it was also the first year of the 6.4 when it was mandated.

if the 289/302 platform was introduced in '78 and the highest performer they had was 139HP, we would all laugh ourselves silly comparing them to today's four cylinders... but it wasn't.. it was a known performing engine.. the 289FI was the first engine to produce as many ponies as it had CID in a production engine- 289 ponies for 289 inches... we KNOW that is a solid engine... we just mourned what happened to it when the Feds/EPA got involved.

The 6.4PSD never got a chance to show what it was capable of outside of small circles of enthusiasts. It's handling of the DPF and regeneration function caused oil:fuel dilution which causes bearings to wear, lifters to fail, rocker tips to wear, turbos lacking lubrication to fail, camshafts to wear, and several other issues... the gold coolant wasn't/isn't very good when it is flashed to ridiculous temperatures in the EGR coolers... oil (and diluted oil) being forced down the intakes throat via the CCV wrecks intercoolers, coats turbo blades, paints downpipes (making hot spots which burn through), reacts over time with boots destroying them... the dpf and cat create large amounts of back pressure in the exhaust which work on the valve train in a bad way, and the EGR forcing excessively hot air into the cylinders works over piston faces, rings, injectors, and the valve faces...

and don't forget the ULSD diesel... a side effect of removing the sulfur is also removing the lubricity of the fuel... which is hard on the components of the system, especially considering the fuel is also used as a lubricant and coolant for the HPFP.

but there is something good in all this... because IH and ford did what they did by adding on, it left room for it to be 'taken off', too.

removing exhaust components, deleting the EGR function, rerouting the CCV, tuning with a reasonable tune to support these mods, running fuel that has been consistently treated for lubricity and cetane, and that is dry as a bone insofar as water is concerned, and whoa, nelly... take it a step further by flushing gold coolant out and installing ELC such as EC-1 rated Caterpillar 'Red', and this is a ROCK SOLID engine. It's truly that simple. this paragraph costs the consumer around $3k... it is what IH had in mind to begin with and what the feds and ford effed up, ford effed it up as a result of the feds. in their defense...

it could be different... we could be talking about how terrible the 7.3 was treated by federally mandated emissions, and how great it was prior- just like we talk about the 289/302 in '68 compared to the 302 of '78...
 

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Edit: Drew pretty much nailed it on the head.

- When looking at a 6.4, get as much history as possible and negotiate and prepare.
- Get in the habit of changing engine oil, engine oil filter, and the fuel filters every 5k. Doesn't have to be synthetic engine oil, conventional 15w-40 works just fine.
 
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