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Getting your truck to run/look/perform better for cheap is always a good thing, but it is tough to do. I just wanted to start this thread for guys like myself who don't have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on a truck in this rough economy. To all the members I would like to ask what are the most essential mods/upgrades to make to your 6.0L Ford to make more power and prolong the life of both your truck and your wallet?
 

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To ensure the longevity of your truck, monitor the vital signs. Gauges are a must have.

Engine coolant temp gauge: You should NOT rely on that pretty little gauge on your dashboard. It is little more than an idiot light. By the time that gauge responds, it is too late. Standard running temp based upon your thermostat would be 190°F, give or take a few degrees.

Engine Oil Temp: This is vitally important because this reading can help diagnose a serious issue before your headgaskets fail. Get your truck up to normal operating temp, drive out onto a flat section of highway. Drive 55-65MPH for 15-20 minutes on the flat. Monitor the temperature differential between the ECT and your EOT. (your EOT will be higher). If that delts is above 15°F you MUST replace both oil and EGR coolers. Heres a short explanation of why: (above info is from a Ford TSB for coolant loss, #09-8-3)
Coolant flows through the oil cooler first, then is fed into the EGR cooler. The coolant that Ford installed in these trucks is known to cause a slime/muck to form within the cooling system. This muck will collect in the small coolant passages within the oil cooler. Have enough of this muck get caught in there and it will slow the flow of coolant to the EGR cooler. This will cause the EGR cooler to overheat. Repeated overheating of the EGR cooler will cause it to fail internally.
(For those of you that may not know, the EGR cooler uses coolant to cool the exhaust before it is re-introduced into the intake and into the cylinders, it is a anti-smog device.)
This failure will allow coolant to flow with the exhaust gasses and enter the intake stream. Initially this coolant may be in such a small quantity that it can be burned off with little consequence. However as more and more coolant is introduced into the cylinder, eventually you will end up with enough in there to cause serious damage. The coolant will not compress the same as air would and on the compression stroke, there will be enough force applied to stretch your headbolts and blow out the gaskets as the head lifts off the engine. If the truck is driven longer, you may get enough coolant in the combustion chambers to hydrolock the engine or possibly pop a hole in a piston or break a connecting rod.
This is why many want to delete the EGR cooler and change their coolant to an ELC that is CAT EC-1 rated.

Transmission fluid temperature gauge: Monitoring this will surely lengthen the life of your transmission. Typical "running around" unloaded and not towing you may get as high as 165°F. The highest I have seen while towing is 185°F.
Fords long term upper limit is 250°F. Regular maintenance on your trans will help lengthen its lifetime. (info provided by Mark Kovalsky, a former Ford Automatic Transmission Engineer and Moderator on this forum)

Exhaust gas temperature: Pretty much only need this when you are towing. Keep it under 1300°F if you want to keep your turbo alive and well. Also, very useful to make sure the exhaust has cooled enough so as to not cook your turbo by shutting the truck off too soon. Shut down when that EGT shows 350°F. Reason being is that when you shut down, the turbo will heat to whatever the EGT's are, BUT the oil flow has stopped. This can cook the oil if the EGT's are too high. That would greatly shorten the life of the bearings on the turbo shaft.

Fuel Pressure: Should this fall below 45psi under any condition, you are going to be replacing injectors. Above 80psi and you will be replacing the o-rings on the injectors. Ford has released a new fuel pressure regulator spring. You can get it from Tousley Ford for $51.70 plus shipping by clicking HERE. This will raise your fuel pressure to a comfortable 70psi (or thereabout) at idle and should ensure that the pressure will not fall to 45psi under wide open throttle. Installation can be done easily if you can follow written instruction with pictures. Band_Member (a member of this forum) has an excellent write-up on this forum. It is located HERE.

Oil pressure: Some will say it is necessary, others will say it is not. I have one and to tell you the truth, with this engine you don't need it...unless it is a high pressure oil gauge connected to the high pressure oil system. The low pressure system must supply oil to the high pressure oil system. If the low pressure system does not have enough flow/pressure to do this, your truck will shut down and/or not start.

Boost: Yes, I have one. Is it necessary? Not in my opinion on a stock truck, with a stock turbo, running the factory tuning strategy. If you are going to "go bigger/badder/faster" go ahead and get one of these.

How you get these gauges on your truck is up to you. There are electronic gauges available as well as analogs. The fuel pressure will have to be an actual gauge, there is no factory installed sensor for the electronic type to pick up on. The Exhaust Gas Temp (pyrometer) would also have to be either an add-on to your electronic monitor or an added gauge.

Next mod that is practically a must is the coolant filtration. This installs in the coolant stream and is designed to catch the muck/slime that the factory coolant (if neglected) is responsible for. It is a bypass system so that if the filter becomes clogged, nothing bad could happen to your truck because coolant would continue to flow normally.

Another thing that ALL 6.0 owners needs to know is that you MUST use Motorcraft or International (or Raycor since they manufacture them) filters everywhere. Wix, Fram, Napa and all others WILL NOT WORK as designed, period. Ford and International own the patents on the specific designs of the filters and the certain way they fit to engage other pieces. Other companies attempt to find a way around the patented design, some of them fail miserably.
For an example: The oil filter has a design feature that engages a plastic poppet valve. When you go to change your oil and just "crack open" the oil filter cover, this will allow the oil in the filter housing to drain to the crankcase. The poppet is held down by a patented design feature on the Motorcraft filters. Buy a different brand name and it may not, effectively opening a 1/4 hole in your engines oiling system that drains straight to the crankcase instead of lubricating your engine.

Use cetane booster with EVERY tank of fuel. Your injectors will thank you. If you live in a cold climate, run cetane boost with an anti-gel additive in the winter.

Once a year or so, take your EGR valve out and clean it. Go HERE and read all about it. When you go to that site, look around. There is a wealth of information on that site for all diesel owners.
Also on that website, there is a download-able "coffeetable" book series on this engine, sorted by model year. Download your year and the year before/after. Reason for the additional years is that some of the books are of the changes made and not the entire engine. Look to the menu on the top bar to access that area of the site. (they are in pdf. format)

Sometime, when you remove your turbo, or your having issues with it... give it a good cleaning. Heres a link for that. CLICK HERE. Ford and International both sell a "refurbishing" kit for this purpose.

When removing that turbo, take a good look at the silicone boost boots. If they are crud covered and a dark gray/brown, it is time to replace them. What turned that bright blue boot to that ugly color you see is the crankcase vent. That crankcase vent tube is located in the intake tube just previous to the turbo. The oil vapor gets sucked out of the engine, and it is pushed all the way through the air intake stream. For pollution control purposes, the oil vapor is introduced into the intake to be burned in the engine. What happens is that as that oil vapor cools, the oil will drop out of the vapor and coat the entire intake. The oil attacks the silicone boot. The crud you see is actually oil that has made your boost boots porous enough so that the oil has been pushed through the boot, and dirt has stuck to it.
Its time to replace those. If you have difficulty with a new boost boot blowing off the intake tube, clean the tube with a solvent (brake cleaner). Lightly spray the area of the boost tube that will be covered by your new boot with hairspray. Allow that to set a few seconds and slide your new boot into place, tighten the clamp to spec. Do not use this trick on both sides of the same connection as that would make disassembly difficult.

Flush the Ford Gold coolant out of your truck and add a CAT EC-1 ELC coolant. I run what International puts in their trucks (Fleetrite ELC). Do some research on here and other forums to make up your own mind on which one you want to go with.

I, and most of us, run synthetic oils. I run the Rotella T6 5w40 which is a full synthetic. The reason for full synthetic? I believe that the injector "stiction" issue is partially due to varnish and solvents that are not part of the synthetic oil formulation. I have not researched this and make no scientific claims. I run what my truck seems to love.

Maintain your truck the way you are supposed to, take it out and beat it like a redheaded step child every now and then (to clean the gunk out of the turbo on the exhaust side), do what is outlined above and it will love you like you are showing you love it.

Additional info: Please, refrain from replacing the stock air intake and filter with one of those "cold air intake" systems. There is a really long explanation for this, but in a nutshell, there is NO OTHER filter that will protect your engine better than what Ford installed. That filter is not the restrictive mass that it appears to be. Theres a long winded explanation for the naysayers HERE. Read that whole thread and the other threads that are linked within it. They will explain it all in intimate detail.
 

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What he said!!!!
 

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To ensure the longevity of your truck, monitor the vital signs. Gauges are a must have.

Engine coolant temp gauge: You should NOT rely on that pretty little gauge on your dashboard. It is little more than an idiot light. By the time that gauge responds, it is too late. Standard running temp based upon your thermostat would be 190*F, give or take a few degrees.

Engine Oil Temp: This is vitally important because this reading can help diagnose a serious issue before your headgaskets fail. Get your truck up to normal operating temp, drive out onto a flat section of highway. Drive 55-65MPH for 15-20 minutes on the flat. Monitor the temperature differential between the ECT and your EOT. (your EOT will be higher). If that delts is above 15*F you MUST replace both oil and EGR coolers. Heres a short explanation of why:
Coolant flows through the oil cooler first, then is fed into the EGR cooler. The coolant that Ford installed in these trucks has known to cause a slime/muck to form within the cooling system. This muck will collect in the small coolant passages within the oil cooler. Have enough of this muck get caught in there and it will slow the flow of coolant to the EGR cooler. This will cause the EGR cooler to overheat. Repeated overheating of the EGR cooler will cause it to fail internally.
(For those of you that may not know, the EGR cooler uses coolant to cool the exhaust before it is re-introduced into the intake and into the cylinders.)
This failure will allow coolant to flow with the exhaust gasses and enter the intake stream. Initially this coolant may be in such a small quantity that it can be burned off with little consequence. However as more and more coolant is introduced into the cylinder, eventually you will end up with enough in there to cause serious damage. The coolant will not compress the same as air would and on the compression stroke, there will be enough force applied to stretch your headbolts and blow out the gaskets as the head lifts off the engine. This is why many want to delete the EGR cooler and change their coolant to an ELC that is CAT EC-1 rated.

Transmission fluid temperature gauge: Monitoring this will surely lengthen the life of your transmission. Typical "running around" unloaded and not towing you may get as high as 165*F. The highest I have seen while towing is 185*. You want to keep this below 200*F to lengthen the life of your trans. Regular maintenance on your trans will help too.

Exhaust gas temperature: Pretty much only need this when you are towing. Keep it under 1300*F if you want to keep your turbo alive and well. Also, very useful to make sure the exhaust has cooled enough so as to not cook your turbo by shutting the truck off too soon. Shut down when that EGT shows 350*F. Reason being is that when you shut down, the turbo will heat to whatever the EGT's are, BUT the oil flow has stopped. This can cook the oil if the EGT's are too high.

Fuel Pressure: Should this fall below 45psi under any condition, you are going to be replacing injectors. Above 80psi and you will be replacing the o-rings on the injectors. Ford has released a new fuel pressure regulator spring. You can get it from Tousley Ford for $51.70 plus shipping by clicking HERE. This will raise your fuel pressure to a comfortable 70psi (or thereabout) at idle and should ensure that the pressure will not fall to 45psi under wide open throttle. Installation can be done easily if you can follow written instruction with pictures. Band_Member (a member of this forum) has an excellent write-up on this forum. It is located HERE.

Oil pressure: Some will say it is necessary, others will say it is not. I have one and to tell you the truth, with this engine you don't need it...unless it is a high pressure oil gauge connected to the high pressure oil system. The low pressure system must supply oil to the high pressure oil system. If the low pressure system does not have enough flow/pressure to do this, your truck will shut down and/or not start.

Boost: Yes, I have one. Is it necessary? Not in my opinion on a stock truck, with a stock turbo, running the factory tuning strategy. If you are going to "go bigger/badder/faster" go ahead and get one of these.

How you get these gauges on your truck is up to you. There are electronic gauges available as well as analogs. The fuel pressure will have to be an actual gauge, there is no factory installed sensor for the electronic type to pick up on.

Next mod that is practically a must is the coolant filtration. This installs in the coolant stream and is designed to catch the muck/slime that the factory coolant (if neglected) is responsible for. It is a bypass system so that if the filter becomes clogged, nothing bad could happen to your truck because coolant would continue to flow normally.

Another thing that ALL 6.0 owners needs to know is that you MUST use Motorcraft or International (or Raycor since they manufacture them) filters everywhere. Wix, Fram, Napa and all others WILL NOT WORK as designed, period. Ford and International own the patents on the specific designs of the filters and the certain way they fit to engage other pieces. Other companies attempt to find a way around the patented design, some of them fail miserably.
For an example: The oil filter has a design feature that engages a plastic poppet valve. When you go to change your oil and just "crack open" the oil filter cover, this will allow the oil in the filter housing to drain to the crankcase. The poppet is held down by a patented design feature on the Motorcraft filters. Buy a different brand name and it may not, effectively opening a 1/4 hole in your engines oiling system that drains straight to the crankcase instead of lubricating your engine.

Use cetane booster with EVERY tank of fuel. Your injectors will thank you. If you live in a cold climate, run cetane boost with an anti-gel component in the winter.

Once a year or so, take your EGR valve out and clean it. Go HERE and read all about it. When you go to that site, look around. There is a wealth of information on that site for all diesel owners.

Sometime, when you remove your turbo, or your having issues with it... give it a good cleaning. Heres a link for that. CLICK HERE

Flush the Ford Gold coolant out of your truck and add a CAT EC-1 ELC coolant. I run what International puts in their trucks (Fleetrite ELC). Do some research on here and other forums to make up your own mind on which one you want to go with.

I, and most of us, run synthetic oils. I run the Rotella T6 5w40 in the winter, and the synthetic 15W40 in the summer months. The reason for full synthetic? I believe that the injector "stiction" issue is partially due to varnish and solvents that are not part of the synthetic oil formulation. I have not researched this and make no scientific claims. I run what my truck seems to love.

Maintain your truck the way you are supposed to, take it out and beat it like a redheaded step child every now and then (to clean the gunk out of the turbo on the exhaust side), do what is outlined above and it will love you like you are showing you love it.
Nice write-up. More sig material! You're on a roll hear lately. :lol::lol:

BTW, I like the revised title of the EGR delete write-up. Has a nice ring to it. :thup:

EDIT: Crap! Just noticed you already added it to your sig. Need to work on the title, though. :jester:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks mounty. I have another question for you though. What sort of gauges or electronic monitoring system is your choice for monitoring the vital signs of your own truck?
 

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ex mounty,
I'd be interested to know which Autometer gauge you picked out and why. On the Autometer website, it lists several different models. I would hate to pick one, only to find out another would have been better.

My truck is an '05 with the white faced gauges. Autometer shows the Phantom, Phantom II, NV, etc, etc, etc.

Any preference in lettering, lighting , background lighting/color, dimming/dimmer capabilities, fit and finish.........???

Thanks.
PSD Pilot.
 

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Autometer ultralite II, and wouldn't go that way again. They are not a bad gauge but I was rather disappointed in the construction. Ultra lite would describe that construction. The first "go round" with Summit Racing, I got a fuel pressure gauge that was broken right out of the box. The pressure read 100psi when I first opened it. Called them, purchased a replacement because I didn't want to wait for shipping it back to them, and for them to decide what to do.

My next set of gauges will be either Isspro (from dieselmanor) or Dipricol Optix Series.

EDIT: Unfortunately, the Dipricol gauges are no longer available. It seems that the slow economy spelled the death to the company. Too bad, they had what I felt was the best looking gauges out there.
 

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The D-pricol gauges look real sharp. The isspro's ain't bad either.
May have to look into both of them.

Isspro's prices look to be good, unless I am missing something.

Thanks for the link.

PSD Pilot.
 

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Isspro is a great gauge for the cash. Dieslmanor is also the place to go to get them. I would suggest calling him. He is a great guy to deal with and he knows his product.

I do not know what the Dipricol Optix run, but they look awesome. Kinda makes you wonder when you have to e-mail the manufacturer for pricing though.
 

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If you want long givity keep it stock and add gauges. If you want power tune it and gauges. Tuning is not gonna be a magical mpg increase so know that. I have isspro gauges. I will tell you this. I like them a lot and if I had to do it over again I would NOT get the isspro ev1 gauges. Nothing wrong with them in function or looks but if you need a sender they are a pain to get. I would go with the ev2 series as they have electronic senders on fuel, oil and coolant. They are a little more in cost but well worth it. I added a ev2 fuel psi sensor because of the sender and it closely matches but still bugs me. Ill get ev2 on the next truck for sure.
 

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I called the # for D-pricol gauges and got a recording that the number was no longer in service.

I called Diesel Manor and got an education on gauges that was very informative. They definitely know their products. I'm thinking the EV2 may be the way I want to go.

Thanks to ex mounty for the lead on this.

PSD Pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I called the # for D-pricol gauges and got a recording that the number was no longer in service.

I called Diesel Manor and got an education on gauges that was very informative. They definitely know their products. I'm thinking the EV2 may be the way I want to go.

Thanks to ex mounty for the lead on this.

PSD Pilot.
Feel free to share the knowledge from Diesel Manor...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I have been looking around and I am having a hard time deciding what type of monitor/gauges to get. Any thoughts? Does anyone have pictures and commentary on their own gauge/monitor setup?
 

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I recently bought the Edge CTS insight monitor. I did a lot research to make sure I was getting what I needed. I like the Scangauge products also, but in the end I just liked the Edge better. Also, I have no intention of putting a tuner on my truck anytime soon, so I opted for the Insight monitor. The "CS" monitor is nice, but the CTS displayed more items, and I like the touch screen.

I also order the EGT probe and I am hoping it gets here by the end of next week.

Today I ordered an Isspro fuel pressure gauge and the necessary hardware to hook it up from DieselManor. The folks at Edge Products told me today that the fuel pressure add-on to the CTS could be here by this summer. I didn't want to wait as I want to know what my fuel pressure is now because I also ordered the blue spring kit from Tousley Ford.

These were not impulse purchases. I have spent alot of time here reading, studying, comparing and cross-referencing.

On the Isspro fuel gauge, It looks to be quality eqiupment, and I paid less for the gauge and hardware combined than an Autometer gauge by itself.

Call DieselManor. They can be more helpful than I, as well as other members here.

Hope this helps.

PSD Pilot.
 

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I called the # for D-pricol gauges and got a recording that the number was no longer in service.

I called Diesel Manor and got an education on gauges that was very informative. They definitely know their products. I'm thinking the EV2 may be the way I want to go.

Thanks to ex mounty for the lead on this.

PSD Pilot.
I called dieselpowerproducts.com and spoke with a gentleman about the DiPricol gauges, as I was looking to get a full set for my '05 Ex. He told me that they went out of business somewhere around 2 years ago, and though they have occasionally gotten some stock back in (the last of which mostly sold out a couple weeks ago, he mentioned), at this time have almost nothing left, and doubts that they will get much more in. Unfortunate, as he said that he didn't hear that anyone had bought them out and would restart production, so once it's gone, it's gone, and of course there's no warranty from a company out of business. Just passing along what I've learned.
 

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Awesome 6.0 Summary

This is one of the best synopsis of the 6.0 I have seen so far. I just purchased my first diesel about a month ago and have been researching and talking to as many folks as I can to get the scoop on what these 6.0 engines have problems with. After many forms and discussions I have drawn many of the same conclusions but have never seen it summed up so well.

Q- I purchased a 2004 F-250 Lariat Crew Cab 2WD 6.0 with 120K on it. The previous owner changed the fuel and oil filters every 5K religiously. He also had the local Ford Dealer replace the EGR and cooler right before I bought it. He says he's never had a lick of problems out of it and only sold it because he needed 4 x 4 to pull his horse trailers in the fields or he would have kept the truck. I am like the original poster of this thread in that I don't have a lot of money to sink into upgrades for this truck at this time but I do love my truck. I don't drive this truck hard or pull heavy loads with it hardly ever. I mostly use it for driving and I am not a hot rod driver either. This whole diesel thing is AWESOME and addictive ! Here are the upgrades I plan to do as I get the time and money.



Start using Statadyne in the fuel
Start using Amsoil 2T in the fuel
Coolant Flush with Restore Plus
Coolant Valvoline ELC
Coolant Filter
Edge Insight Monitoring
Fuel Pressure Gauge
updated fuel regulator spring part number 6E7Z-9C165-B
Exhaust Pipe Upgrade of some type
Turbo Fin Cleaning
EGR Delete
Possibly Head Studs at some point
Others ??
 
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