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I just picked up a 2006 Ford F-350 with only 39,000 miles. Everything is perfect mechanical condition with all maintenance performed. I can never leave my vehicles alone, so it is time to start modding. I will definitely be buying a tuner for this truck and running a performance type tune, but not taking it to the edge with an extreme tune.
I am absolutely prepared to stud the vehicle now, but also wondering if I am better served by just waiting. It seems some people are able to get away with a 100-150 hp tune without studs for relatively long periods of time.
So if I decide not to stud and roll the dice, what is the worst that will happen to the engine if the head bolts start to fail? Essentially I want to know if it will cost me more money to stud after head gasket failure?
 

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I just picked up a 2006 Ford F-350 with only 39,000 miles. Everything is perfect mechanical condition with all maintenance performed. I can never leave my vehicles alone, so it is time to start modding. I will definitely be buying a tuner for this truck and running a performance type tune, but not taking it to the edge with an extreme tune.
I am absolutely prepared to stud the vehicle now, but also wondering if I am better served by just waiting. It seems some people are able to get away with a 100-150 hp tune without studs for relatively long periods of time.
So if I decide not to stud and roll the dice, what is the worst that will happen to the engine if the head bolts start to fail? Essentially I want to know if it will cost me more money to stud after head gasket failure?
It is always cheaper to Stud before than after. You can ruin the whole motor putting too much heat on it without the proper modifications first and it can potentially end up costing you a full engine rebuild or a motor swap. Not cheap even if you can do it yourself.
 

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Agreed. Buy O-ringed heads factory gaskets and ARP Studs and be done forever. Head gaskets still fail with studs. You need Orings to add strength. If you don't you run the risk of hydro locking and bending or braking rod, pistons ect. Do it right the first time. Buy heads from UCF MACHINE SHOP. Look them up
 

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I have heard via other forums that Black Diamond gaskets are not good???
 

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I had a set of black diamond gaskets fail last year on a customers truck. I figured it was a head but they check out good. needless to say it got OE gaskets and o-ringed heads.
 

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IIRC the gaskets that had a high failure rate were/are black onyx.
 

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IIRC the gaskets that had a high failure rate were/are black onyx.
Correct.

Black Onyx and Black Diamond are entirely different gaskets.

Black Diamond are made by Mahle/Victor Reinz and they come from the same factory as Motorcraft. Unless you are running high boost and larger turbo's (like a 65 or bigger), no real need for O-ringing the heads. If it's stock turbo, I suggest spending a little extra money on the studs, and call it good. Personally, I'm partial to A1 H11 studs. Run about 730 bucks for a set, but have a 240,000psi tensile rating versus the 220,000 the standard ARP's do..
 

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Correct.

Black Onyx and Black Diamond are entirely different gaskets.

Black Diamond are made by Mahle/Victor Reinz and they come from the same factory as Motorcraft. Unless you are running high boost and larger turbo's (like a 65 or bigger), no real need for O-ringing the heads. If it's stock turbo, I suggest spending a little extra money on the studs, and call it good. Personally, I'm partial to A1 H11 studs. Run about 730 bucks for a set, but have a 240,000psi tensile rating versus the 220,000 the standard ARP's do..
People alway mistake black onyx and black diamond
 

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I took my heads to Houston engine in Houston, Texas and they were only $400 more for the O-Rings, so I did the O-Rings. I dont regret it even though my 6.0 is basically stock. My heads are good. Runs perfect!
 
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