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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The first shop I went into in order to get pricing quoted me $7,040 for the EGR and Oil cooler with the engine studs. They use the patented "Bullet Proof" materials/parts so I'm guessing that drives the price up a bit?

The next one came highly recommended to me and they are quoting me $5,841 for the same...but they call it bomb proofing because they use other parts.

For that $5,841, this is what I get:
Bombproof EGR Cooler - $350
Updated Engine Oil Cooler - $405
Head gasket kit - $189.99 X2
Intake gasket kit - 130.99 X2
Rocker cover seal - 27.99 X2
ICP sensor - 199.99
engine oil - 3.99/qt X15
Blue spring upgrade - $65
Coolant filter kit - 149.99
Engine oil filter - 19.99
ARP head studs - 499.99
dummy plugs - 17.99 X2
Injector Seal kit - 9.99 X8
Non sil coolant - 19.99 X3
Shop supplies (rags, chemicals, cleaners, etc) - 28
Labor - tank/mal/mill cyl heads - 350
All other labor - 99X26.5

No FICM until they check my current one out to see if it needs replaced...I think they said about $500 if that needs replaced (total with install...place #1 quotes 840 for 4 phase and 1020 for 6 phase). They also quoted me 399.99 to add an SCT X4 programmer.

The third place verbally told me about $5,600 for about the same but they said they put a new Ford OEM oil cooler in which I'm skeptical about.

Thoughts from you experts on this? Sound about right? Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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I'll address the OC first. The Bulletproof OC is IMO a solution in search of a problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the OEM Ford OC. The issue related to the OC is the Ford gold coolant that is full of silicates and when it oxidizes the silicates precipitate out and combine with leftover casting sand in the cooling system to create goo that clogs the tiny passages in the OC leading to failure of the OC because it cannot reject enough heat from the oil through the goo.

Once the gold coolant is gone and the system has a coolant filter installed there is no reason not to use an OEM OC, because the root cause of OC failure has been removed. FYI, IH, who designed and built the 6.0, had a coolant filter on the engine when delivered to Ford. Ford chose to eliminate it to save a couple dollars per truck.

The BPD kit goes to an external OC. Its quite expensive, and there have been several issues reported by those with this kit installed. Cold weather is an issue for this system and it can overcool the oil. Ideally you want that oil to be in the 200-220 degree range. The oil is too thick below that temperature, but because the external cooler is down in the ambient air, not insulated inside the engine, it has a tendency to keep the oil temperatures too low when it is cold outside. The other issue I've read about is a spike in temperature after coming to a stop while pulling a load, so much so that guys are running dedicated tuning to trigger the cooling fan for the engine off of oil temperature. To me, for a kit that costs $2,500 to have issues like this is utterly unacceptable. Its marketed as a cure, but it seems the cure is worse than the disease.

The next question is do you want an EGR delete or a BPD EGR cooler. To remain emissions legal you have to keep the cooler in place. The BPD cooler is the only one I would use, because it has a lifetime warranty and I've yet to hear of a failure. Personally, I'd rather ditch the EGR cooler completely and eliminate the complexity. But, some people that live in certain states like CA for example don't have this ability because they will fail emissions. Here in DE there is no emissions testing on vehicles in excess of 8,600 lbs. GWVR, so its not a concern for me. The cooler not being in place and the system not being functional will not cause you to fail emissions (unless you have an '06-up where you might get a CEL, but that can be turned off with a tuner too) because the system doesn't work at idle. So the only concern becomes a visual check, and even in states that have that I'm betting CA is the only state where they know to look for that cooler. Ultimately its up to you, but now you're informed.

On the FICM, just send it to FICMRepair.com - FORD Powerstroke 6.0 FICM Repair, PHP Tuning and Truck Parts while the truck is down regardless of whether or not is "tests" good. I put that in quotes because no one can really test an FICM. All they can do is check voltage, which only tells you that the capacitors in the amplifier are good. Plenty of FICMs have been bad and showed good voltage. FICM Repair can actually go through the FICM and replace all the failure prone parts and then send you back a unit that has a lifetime warranty (if you chose that option). Your reward will be an FICM that will never fail, much better cold starts, and if you opt for the Atlas 40 tune (which I highly recommend) you will get better throttle response and possibly even better mileage. DO NOT get conned into one of those 52 or 58V FICMs. They have a high failure rate and offer NO performance advantage. Its all marketing hype. There's never been a dyno test showing any gain in power from anything other than the tune run in the FICM, which you can load into a regular 48V FICM and get the same result. But, there have been a lot of salty 6.0 owners who had one of those high volt units fail and the company that sold it telling them the FICM is fine and its something else when its not. I don't think I've ever heard one case of any company making good on their failed product. The issue is heat. A lot of FICMs fail from heat, and they are only 48V. When the voltage is increased it means more capacitors, and thus more heat, but the heat sink area that is designed to remove the heat is the same size. Just not worth it, walk away.

As for the other parts, I prefer all OEM parts. In particular I would NEVER use head gaskets other than OEM. There were a rash of failures on studded 6.0s that traced back to the aftermarket gaskets (Black Onyx (isn't all onyx black? should have been a tipoff right there)). There have since been other gaskets like Black Diamond, etc. that seem to have a good track record, but to me its just not worth the risk to save a few dollars on a job costing several thousand dollars. Definitely use the ARP studs and follow their installation instructions to the letter (buy extra ARP lube the small pouch in the kit is never enough).

On the heads, what you want is for them to go to a machine shop and be Magnafluxed for cracks, especially in the area of the exhaust valves and the injector bores, which is where 6.0 heads tend to crack. If they pass that then they need to be milled perfectly flat. Keep in mind you can only mill about 0.008" off a 6.0 head. You must maintain a minimum distance of 3.740" from the valve cover rail to the fire deck, otherwise you will have valvetrain geometry problems, and risk getting a piston too close to a valve. Its also a good idea to check the valve seal. Speaking of valvetrain geometry its also a good idea to install the updated pushrods. There have been valvetain issues on some 6.0s, especially after a HG job where the heads were machined, that have been traced back to pushrod length. Ford has issued revised length pushrods to handle this issue, so its a good idea to use them and stave off a potential problem.

On injectors, re-ringing them is the bare minimum. If they have 150k on them or more I would seriously consider replacing them. That's about typical service life. They don't last forever, and typically in the 150k-200k range they will start to develop idle issues and intermittent running issues that trigger no codes and drive you nuts.

Clean the turbo while its off. Typically you should do that every 50-100k to keep the vanes moving smoothly. Also replace your hot side CAC boots. If they've never been replaced they are cracked and likely leaking to some degree. The boots break down from the oil that gets into the intake tract from the crankcase vent. Rerouting that vent is a good idea. I run a BD kit that redirects that crankcase vapor through a filter and collection system that I drain at each oil change. I get about 1/2 pint of oil out of it every 5k, so that means normally 1/4 quart of oil is getting dumped into the intake dirtying up your valves and ruining your CAC boots.

Price wise the quotes you are getting are not out of line. Average cost for a bulletproofing job is $5,500. Some places charge a little less, others a bit more. What would be important to me is that the shop has a good reputation, offers a warranty, and stands behind it. I do all my own work. When I was a kid it was because I didn't have any money to pay someone to do it. As I've gotten older its because I know I won't cut corners, I'll take my time, and I'll be damn sure I got it right. Finding a shop that lives up to my standards would be tough, and they'd likely be pretty expensive.
 

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Very well said Mike. I always respect your methods and advice.

Just like to add, one thing that gets over looked from time to time, is making sure gaskets are installed for the exhaust manifolds. The motor has no gaskets, from factory. But once taken apart, gaskets need to be used. Good luck with your truck Noel.

Andy.
 

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You can't go wrong with Mike's advise, he's one of the most knowledgeable guys here for 6.0L's and has a sensible approach to things.

I also would suggest replacing the push rods with the updated ones that are a slightly different length.

I'm not sure what kind of money refurbing the heads costs but if you want extra insurance to know you are done for a long time, you might consider a set of reman heads. If you can get the Ford ones, I think they are about 2K but include the head gaskets and 2 new stand pipes, (bolts too but you won't use them). If your old heads are "OK", you could probably get $350 for the pair to sell them and then come up with a pooched set to use as cores. So when you do the math, the 2K is probably less than 1500 bucks and the top end of your motor is basically brand new, the valves are all perfectly sealed etc. Your repair guy should like it too because he isn't waiting on a set of heads to get verified that they can be used and then wait for them to come back from the machine shop.

It's a lot of labor tearing these trucks apart so the last thing you want is to get a marginal job or incorrect job on the milling of the old ones and have trouble with them causing the truck to be torn apart again.

I'm not saying machining the heads is a bad idea, I'm just presenting an alternative idea to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, that's a lot of information...a lot of it is over my head! I can balance a MD-88 with 15 passengers on it and 1/2 fuel load without using a computer but I barely know my head from my ass when it comes to engines...let alone a diesel engine (that's why I'm here...to learn from you guys).

The shop I'm using comes highly recommended and has solid reviews on google and yelp (the negative reviews center around taking a long time to fix something but nothing about the actual quality of the work). I'll bring up some of the suggestions you all make and go from there...my budget is a bit limited though so new heads are probably out of the question (Phil G).

I'll definitely look at sending my FICM in for being checked...a lifetime warranty sounds real good!

Just one question for TKO - when you use the acronym BPD...is that shorthand for BulletProofeD? I'm pretty sure it's not BiPolar Disorder - ha!

FYI, the truck has 108,900 miles on it...so should still have some life in them. But I'll get them to clean the turbo while they are in there.
 

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Yes, BPD is short for Bullet Proof Diesel, a 6.0L can cause Bipolar I think but that's not what it stands for :)

With only 109K on the engine, your heads should be fine if the truck hasn't been abused too bad like major overheat. They still have to be checked and likely milled a bit though. I don't think many come apart that are still true enough to reinstall as is. My machine shop that was going to mill my heads for me said they seldom get a set in that aren't cracked but hopefully with your low mileage, you will be good to go!
 

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I'm not sure of the direct cause of why so many heads crack. I don't know if it only happens after a HG failure or if it's metal fatigue from high mile trucks, I just know the 2 or 3 people I spoke to at shops when I was working on mine all said the same thing, cracked heads are quite common. Mike or someone else may be able to offer some insight on why it happens.

I've owned my 07 since new, Ford did HG's on it about 5 or 6 years ago. About two years ago, out of the blue I ended up with diesel in the coolant. That pretty much means a cracked head on a 6.0L. It could be an injector cup in theory but apparently on a 6.0, you almost never get off that light, it's 99% of the time a cracked head. I bought a used low mile motor as mine was miled up pretty good but I found needle bearings in the pan of that engine so I decided to keep mine and just use the heads off it. I took the heads in to be milled.... both cracked. So I bought a new pair of heads from Ford, installed them on my original engine and so far 30K miles into it, the truck has been running great.
 

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The stock head had a bad problem with the coolant walls. I can remember if it wasn't thick enough or not a good cast metal. Any aftermarket ford parts are redesign without problems.

When you do this have the injectors get tested at a fuel injections shop to make sure you don't have one going out. Or get all 8 new shouldnt cost any extra in labor.

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My machine shop said the same thing, that 2 out of 3 6.0 heads they see are cracked. Now, I don't know if that's because they are off of trucks that have had HG failures or if that's just common. I do know that not using replaceable exhaust valve seats doesn't help them in that area. There's a lot of heat going out those ports, and that can lead to metal fatigue. Those heads are also extremely complicated, so that doesn't help either.
 

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I wonder if the coolant circulation lines help with this. On the 6.0 the rearmost cooling passage in the block does not flow through the head; it dead ends at the head and is sealed by the gasket. I ran lines from holes in the heads I drilled and tapped to route coolant from this dead end passage to the thermostat housing at the front of the engine. The modification was suggested for improved cooling of the heads. I could see the coolant in that back passage getting very hot and causing thermal differential between the front and back of the head with the stock system.
 

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hmm, that's an interesting thought. I certainly can't imagine it wouldn't help in some way having the coolant keep on moving.

When I think back to my truck and it's history, the HG's were done somewhere around 2010 if I recall so the heads were fine then. I had an issue with a bad clutch fan right out of the box in 2012 when I was running 3500 miles a week fairly heavily loaded for a few months and struggling to keep the truck cool for a few weeks until the dealer finally figured out the new fan was bad and replaced it. Maybe that was the moment in time when I acquired my cracked heads... Coolant wasn't low but the truck did reach about 245 coolant temp if I remember correctly on a couple hills each week for 2 or 3 weeks.
 

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Yeah coolant temp cam skyrocket because of 1300 plus degrees coming out of the cylinder. But besides that what really cause the other half of the problems is a semi-blown head gasket that's caused by a two picece head and torque to yield bolts.

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Remember that the temp you read is only what the sensor sees. So if its 245 degrees at the sensor there are places in the system where it could be 295 or more.

And those TTY bolts? I mean seriously, what were they thinking? Easier on the assembly line; ends up costing the end user thousands.
 

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I was told that when TTY bolts came out it was considered a tamper proof bolt. Because you can only use them once.

I just don't understand why would you go with an aluminum top with a cast iron bottom with TTY bolts.

In some of the jeep Cherokee came with an aluminum Dana 44 housing. It had a crush washer the aluminum housing with heat up expand and start the wall pinion bearings.

In my mind all aluminum heads/parts should have studs.

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Everything TKO posted is spot on.

I'll address the OC first.
The Bulletproof OC is IMO a solution in search of a problem. -snip-

The BPD kit goes to an external OC. Its quite expensive, and there have been several issues reported by those with this kit installed. Cold weather is an issue for this system and it can overcool the oil. Ideally you want that oil to be in the 200-220 degree range. The oil is too thick below that temperature, but because the external cooler is down in the ambient air, not insulated inside the engine, it has a tendency to keep the oil temperatures too low when it is cold outside. The other issue I've read about is a spike in temperature after coming to a stop while pulling a load, so much so that guys are running dedicated tuning to trigger the cooling fan for the engine off of oil temperature. To me, for a kit that costs $2,500 to have issues like this is utterly unacceptable. Its marketed as a cure, but it seems the cure is worse than the disease.

My comment is based on a '08 6.4l, but it would still be valid on the 6.0l.

I had a failed OEM cooler. Rather than spend the money to go in and replace it, I installed the BPD kit. I figured I would never again be subject to cooler failure, and filter changes would be easier. It cooled like nobody's business until I came to a stop. Then, because it depends on airflow through its radiator, the EOT would go up about 10 degrees; moving again, it cooled right back down. Slow traffic wasn't temp friendly either although never over 215 degrees. You can install a thermostat in the radiator to keep temps up in cold weather, or be cheap like me and simply wrap a foil backed cover onto it.

Skip forward 4 months: The heads needed replacing (apparently already cracking when I bought it with 135K), so while that was done, the OEM cooler was also replaced while keeping the kit. I still have to take counter measures for cold weather, but I don't have the EOT spikes when stopped. When replacing the original cooler, stay with OEM. Too many others are not an exact fit and will result in an oil leak, and more expense.

If you do a proper cool down before shut down, a temp spike will not be an issue.

I don't have the tools, time, or facility to do extensive work on my truck. If you're in that situation, definitely pick your mechanic carefully.


Why did the heads crack? Two months after buying the truck, I took a family trip of 8100 miles pulling a 32' 5th wheel RV. I was putting a quart or so of coolant in every day. The only times the ECT got excessively high was up a couple of long grades (Banff-Jasper parks in Alberta and I-80E over the pass in Colorado) when it went to 245-260 at 60 mph before I reduced speed. The EOT mirrored the ECT. A few months later I replaced the EGR coolers (same exact part numbers and warranty as BPD, but at 2/3 the price) which appeared to be just fine, and also the EGR valve which was so coked up it could not function. I had to replace the valve and housing. On a subsequent trip, with overheating, I discovered the fan clutch was not working. This was not evident until pulling up a long steep grade. So, I believe ineffective cooling was the culprit. An expensive lesson to learn, but it has been a year now without any major repair costs. I plan on pulling the EGR valve next month for cleaning.
 

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I was told that when TTY bolts came out it was considered a tamper proof bolt. Because you can only use them once.

I just don't understand why would you go with an aluminum top with a cast iron bottom with TTY bolts.

In some of the jeep Cherokee came with an aluminum Dana 44 housing. It had a crush washer the aluminum housing with heat up expand and start the wall pinion bearings.

In my mind all aluminum heads/parts should have studs.

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Nope. Its because in an assembly line situation a regular torque wrench like you or I would use is too slow, because the bolts are torqued using a setup that has ten sockets to torque all ten bolts simultaneously so all an operator has to do is lower the rig onto the head and press a button. The machine reduces time and the possibility of human error, but they don't work like a standard click or beam type torque wrench because a setup like that cranking out a hundred engines a day would lose calibration quickly. They can however fairly easily calibrate those machines for TTY bolts and they will hold their calibration. That's why, because its easier and cheaper to manufacture the engine.

In a related story my WRX had a catastrophic idler bearing failure in the timing belt assembly causing the engine to jump time and bend all 8 intake valves. This meant pulling the heads to send them to the machine shop for reworking. I noticed something interesting about the way the engine was put together; it also uses essentially 4 bolts per cylinder like the 6.0. There are 6 bolts in each head (2 cylinders per head; pancake 4 cylinder). I read through the torquing procedure and it looked disturbingly like it used TTY bolts, except that the manual did not call for replacing the bolts. Wanting to get it right the first time I took the the web for some more info. Turns out the bolts are not TTY; they are torque to angle. You pre torque the bolts, loosen them a full turn, then torque them to a starting torque and then go 90 degrees twice through the pattern. That last 90 gets them pretty damn tight. Interestingly the center 2 bolts start at a different torque value than the outer 4. The bolts are also really long, like 1.5 times the length of the 6.0 bolts. It looks like they go deep into the block to really grab some meat to hold that torque. I find it interesting because there are certainly similarities, but the devil indeed seem to be in the details, because I've never had HG problems in my WRX (194k miles) and it does not seem a common problem, even for highly modified cars. Here's an aluminum engine running 13.5psi stock with a fuel cut north of 7k. A lot of guys are running 20-25psi with much bigger turbos, yet HG failure just isn't on the radar from what I can see. Granted, gas engine cylinder pressures are not equivalent to a Diesel, but it begs the question as to whether or not there was a better solution that escaped IH during the design of the engine.
 

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TO I can agree with that TTY.

The 6.0 could of been designed better but international and for wanted cheap. International didn't use the 6.0 in any of there mid duty trucks. The main reason behind 6.0 for fords is epa and cat. Cat owned the patern on the heui system.




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