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I've been looking at some early (2003-2004) 6.0Ls with a little over 100K on the clock that don't show any signs of modifications-no stacks, gauges, tuner boxes, etc...most of them look like well cared for daily drivers that came in on trade for something newer. I am looking for a weekend vehicle that will see use hauling hay and materials and occasionally pulling a small animal (sheep, goats, etc...) trailer. No super heavy hauling, no tuners, no chips, no modifications, and it won't even be a daily driver. That said, assuming I buy a truck that was well cared for in the first place, do I really NEED to do any "bulletproofing?" Again, assuming I'm going to take good care of it and not beat on it, can I expect to get another 100K trouble free miles out of a truck that already has 100K under its belt? Knowing whether or not I'll need to budget for this stuff will really dial in my search for a truck, so any guidance anyone can give would be appreciated.
 

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I've been looking at some early (2003-2004) 6.0Ls with a little over 100K on the clock that don't show any signs of modifications-no stacks, gauges, tuner boxes, etc...most of them look like well cared for daily drivers that came in on trade for something newer. I am looking for a weekend vehicle that will see use hauling hay and materials and occasionally pulling a small animal (sheep, goats, etc...) trailer. No super heavy hauling, no tuners, no chips, no modifications, and it won't even be a daily driver. That said, assuming I buy a truck that was well cared for in the first place, do I really NEED to do any "bulletproofing?" Again, assuming I'm going to take good care of it and not beat on it, can I expect to get another 100K trouble free miles out of a truck that already has 100K under its belt? Knowing whether or not I'll need to budget for this stuff will really dial in my search for a truck, so any guidance anyone can give would be appreciated.
I can give you first hand experience. I will tell you right off the bat that YES, eventually you will end up bulletproofing your motor. I picked up a nice, all stock, well take care of F250 a few months ago...the thing looks brand new inside and out. Ran great when I first got it, then a few weeks later I started having some hot start issues. Turns out the SCT fitting failed (very common). While I was into the motor that deep, I went ahead and did an EGR delete, then dummy plugs, then stand pipes, then I went ahead and did the oil cooler. After the cooler install I flushed the coolant system, refilled with CAT EC-1 coolant, and installed a coolant filter. Now it runs great, but I think I've found that I have a head gasket leak. So now I'm going to pull the heads, install ARP studs and new gaskets. So basically.....I went from a stock truck that ran great, to have a bullet proofed truck in a matter of months.

If I had to do it all over again...I would probably stay away from the 6.0 fords and look for a 5.9 Cummins Dodge. At the time I thought.....darn, they want $8,000+ for the same truck with a Cummins in it. Well, now I know why......the 6.0's just have so many design flaws that need to be fixed to make them reliable.....and if you can't do the work on your own, you are going to end up paying a shop thousands and thousands of dollars to make it right. I probably have around $3,000 in parts already in my truck since I bought it a few months.....and if I would have had the shop to do all of the hours of work I did, it probably would have cost me $3,000+ in labor on top of that. Now that my head gaskets need replaced, that either $600 in parts and I do it myself, or pay a shop $4,000 to do it. So basically if I had to pay a shop for everything I have done so far....you are probably talking close to $8,000+.....on a "nice, well taken care of , stock truck".

It's not a matter of IF you are going to have to replace the EGR cooler or do a delete, or IF you are going to need to replace that SCT HPOP fitting, or if you will need new stand pipes and dummy plugs, or IF you are going to need to pull the turbo and clean/rebuild it, or IF you are going to need new head gaskets.......it's WHEN. These are all common problem that EVERYONE has to eventually do.

I really like the truck....but I HATE the motor. Just so many things designed wrong that need improved, replaced, or repaired. And even if you buy a truck that's already been bulletproofed...there is no guarantee that the shop did it right, and the gaskets won't fail soon. The fact that the 6.0's only have 4 bolts around each cylinder is the problem.....it's a design issue.

Not trying to scare you away....but there is a reason these trucks with the 6.0's are $8,000+ cheaper than the same year Chevy or Dodges. Don't buy one unless you have an extra $5,000+ sitting around that you don't mind spending on repairs. I've heard they are great trucks once you get them "right".....just not sure how long, and how much money it takes you to actually get them "Right".

....just my opinion. :crying:
 

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It all depends if you take good care of the truck and won’t really have a lot of strain on it they can run great but if you want more power and have a heavy load on it I would recommend bullet proofing with head studs I say to put the studs in because a close friend of mine said he “bullet proofed” his truck and I started looking and he didn’t have head studs put in and that’s really what makes it bullet proof in my opinion
 

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I have an ‘05 DRW Lariat. I love my truck but to get to this point, it has needed a huge amount out work. I was fortunate enough to keep the truck going via extended warranties but most guys don’t have that luxury and are writing checks for parts and repairs out of their checking accounts. I bought my 05’ in 2011 with 88,000 miles. Having done my research, I knew that if I kept Ford Motor Co writing the checks for the repairs, I’d end up with a really nice truck. (It’s a REALLY nice truck BTW and looks damn near brand new.)

I Bulletproofed my truck with everything and have ZERO problems with it. Not kidding, ZERO, nada, zilch. It pulls well, sounds great, cools great, etc. if you’re wondering what it took to get such a nice truck?... about $63,000 in warranty work. I’m out of pocket on that truck for about $10,000(ish) to buy the three different warranties at the different intervals, and within that 10K, I’d say 3K was for items not covered under warranty. My situation is VERY unique but I do love my truck and how solid it is.


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$63,000 in warranty work!!! Wow!! What all did you need done? Could have basically replaced the entire truck and had money (lots of money) left over doe that price.

Just goes to show that these 6.0's are full of problems.
 

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nah, that's probably 50k in dealer labor rates. If you had the ability to make the dealer do it, go for it, but if you don't, then take it on as a hobby willingly, and you can get the same result for a lot less money; or choose a different vehicle, you can't avoid some work. It's a GREAT engine once the issues are found and fixed. And it's the best truck available.
 

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nah, that's probably 50k in dealer labor rates. If you had the ability to make the dealer do it, go for it, but if you don't, then take it on as a hobby willingly, and you can get the same result for a lot less money; or choose a different vehicle, you can't avoid some work. It's a GREAT engine once the issues are found and fixed. And it's the best truck available.
Once you find an fix everything...the only thing original that's left is the block, crank, pistons, and connecting rods. :grin2:
 

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"Bulletproofing" - Do I need it?

$63,000 in warranty work!!! Wow!! What all did you need done? Could have basically replaced the entire truck and had money (lots of money) left over doe that price.

Just goes to show that these 6.0's are full of problems.
It's a long story but I ended up with a true lemon and now I have made lemonade. a fully rebuilt motor that is bulletproofed was like adding Vodka and now we have a party. The 2005-2007 F Series Super Duty truck is the best value out there, (my opinion only), for the build. The 6.0 motor is a good engine if your get rid of all the crap hanging on it. Which we did. Due to a broken #2 cylinder ring, I have a fully rebuilt 6.0 and a full bullet proof add on. No joke, this truck rocks, and the best part, I OWN it, 100% outright. I don't have to make a $800-$900 truck payment every month. It pulls and pulls well now. Plus, I don't need to worry about DEF fluid. The cooler temps on that motor are amazing. Granted, here in Arizona, almost all my towing involves 6-7% grades with mountain climbing and high temps during summer towing being a drag. I do not climb hills hard with my truck as I know what can happen when you allow motors to get to hot. I have the same issue with my jet engines and have to watch the internal turbine temps closely during summer flying. It's in my DNA to baby equipment as I've had an engine failure in the jet and in my truck.

In regards to what has been done...A LOT! Full motor rebuild including a Ford rebuild kit with every BPD component and BPD FICM replacement, new HPOP, new radiator, cooling components, new drag links and other suspension components, new motor mounts, EGT probe and Edge monitor so I can FINALLY see what that engine is doing in real time, new center bearing, bed plate re-do, and many more components, too many to list here. I fly private jets for a living and am a huge believer in monitoring systems when they are working really hard so I know when I'm bumping up on limitations and high temps that WILL cause damage to an engine. Having that Edge monitor is really nice BTW. Also, I do not put a tune on my engine when towing. My truck is for pulling %90 of the time and is not my daily driver. You'll see the photos below and probably ask yourself, why is he pulling a 9K lb. travel trailer with a dually? Well, I always knew that a 5th wheel was in our future once my kids don't want to travel with us anymore.

In regards to MX, the dealerships will always do more under warranty than what may be needed as they like to generate a bit of work to help the bottom line. Due to that, while they were chasing my power problem, several components got replaced while the parts canon was being blasted at my truck.

Would I have written checks for my truck out of my own pocket, HELL NO, but I'm not savvy enough to do my own work. My truck's engine and components are not my area of expertise and I respect those limits because I didn't grow up with a Dad who taught me cars. I probably would have ponied up the truck payment for 6 years, but I love this truck. I like the sound of the 6.0 over the new, quieter, 6.7. I like the sound of an ol' skool diesel.

If you can work on your own truck, you'll save a lot of money. I've found that besides the BPD components, the OEM components have done a great job. I did not put on an aftermarket intake kit. I know A LOT about turbos, compressors, and turbines, and the oil molecules from those aftermarket intake filters can gunk up the blades with oil. I've run stock components on that truck and it does what it is suppose to do...now. It took a ridiculous amount of patience but I hung in there with this truck. The headaches, the lost time, the lost trips were almost not worth it to be quite honest but if you "fix" this truck and fix it right, it is a good truck. I love that construction on that truck is so tight that there is not a single rattle or squeak on that truck, even when I have it off road in the AZ desert during quail hunting season.

The 6.0 is not for a lot of folks but I'm glad I hung in there and got this truck fixed. Me and my family have had some amazing adventures with it.

Just my 2 cents.

Glacier

P.S. I forgot to throw in the BPD components that I was fortunate enough to buy from them at BPD in Mesa, AZ. It was a 35 minute drive to get there. I spent around $5,000 to get the components and had all of it installed during the rebuild process, including installation of the EGT probe in the pipe. So, my out of pocket on this truck is realistically more like $16-17,000, not including the acquisition price to buy the truck back in 2011.

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