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The things to do in order to promote reliability and avoid damage from mechanical failure are:
1. Gauges, either analog or OBDII. The OBDII gauges are easier to implement as this data is already available through the truck in most cases...analog gauges will require a bit more work. You NEED to know fuel pressure (FP) and this will require a sending unit as there is no OBDII report for FP. You may get a mechanical gauge and affix it to the test port on the upper fuel filter bowl or get an aftermarket upper fuel filter cap with a pre-tapped port on the top. You may also affix a electric sending unit to the test port and then have a FP gauge in-cab to monitor FP. This is important as the functional range required is 45-70psi. The fuel pressure regulator spring may have lost strength over the life of this truck and you could be at the lower end of the FP operational range. Fortunately, there is a replacement spring too that will restore the pressure to a safe range...very inexpensive spring but the gauge will confirm whether you need it or not. The other gauges that are a must (best through the OBDII) are engine coolant and engine oil temperatures (ECT/EOT). The oil cooler on the 6.0L is a stacked-plate, liquid-to-liquid cooler that is subject to blockage. Blockage of the oil cooler is responsible for many of the mechanical failures of the 6.0L. It is important to monitor a less than 15 degree difference of the two values. The stock gauges don't alert you to the value of the temperatures (there isn't even a gauge for oil temperature although the truck's computer reads it). If you haul or tow, then the transmission fluid temperature (TFT) is also important...perhaps exhaust gas temperature (EGT) but you'll need a pyrometer as there is no gauge for this on the truck...other gauges are available through the OBDII port but FP and EOT/ECT are critical.
2. Coolant filtration. The addition of coolant filtration will help prolong the operational life of the oil cooler that you are capable of indirectly monitoring for blockage through the EOT/ECT difference.
3. Exchange of coolant (flush-n-fill). Use a silicate gel remover and an iron cleaner with thorough flush following each chemical treatment then replace with a silicate-free coolant. Many like the EC-1 rated extended life coolant. There are TWO significant differences between the International VT365 and the Ford 6.0L: coolant filtration and silicate-free coolant. The VT365 was not subject to the mechanical failures of the 6.0L at the same frequency. Avoid the problems by adopting coolant filtration and silicate-free coolant with temperature observation.
4. Replace engine oil with CJ4 API synthetic oil in the appropriate grade for your operation/ambient temperature range; also replace the oil filter with Racor manufactured filter (branded as Motorcraft/International/Racor). Get a sample of the used oil analyzed through a laboratory or at an over-the-road (OTR) truck service center. Here are three labs I've used that are reliable and inexpensive:
Predictive Maintenance Services, Inc.
Oil Analyzers, Inc. - Oil Analysis, Oil Testing Services
5. It's probably a good idea to replace both the fuel filters now too - also with Racor manufactured fuel filters (and again, branded as: Motorcraft/International/Racor). I've used Home - Diesel Filters,Additives,brake rotors, and brake pads for Chevy, Dodge and Ford Diesel Trucks with great success but you may have a local store that provides you these filters too. Use a good fuel additive live Diesel Kleen (white in winter, gray in summer) or Motorcraft Cetane Boost (blue in winter, red in summer) and even though the 6.0L is capable of using the low-sulfur diesel opt for ULSD (it's getting hard to find the low-sulfur anyway). Clean fuel and clean oil are critical for long-term operation of your truck.
6. Avoid extended idling. Ford calls 10-minutes extended idling. If you must idle, then the high-idle modification will help minimize the problems associated with extended idling: wet-stacking, excessive blow-by, dilution of oil with fuel. Sampling the oil for analysis will help identify the effects of extended idling but high-idle avoids the excessive fuel introduction associated with regular idle calculation (difficult for the computer to properly determine...it errs on the rich side to avoid stumbling/stalling).
The gauges are an investment as is the coolant filtration system. The filter and fluid changes are ordinarily expected service items - you're just getting a fresh and known start point with quality filters and fluids. The analysis of the fluids provides you a reference for comparison down the line in operation with technicians who will detect potential problems well in advance of mechanical failure in most cases.
Congratulations and good luck! I have a 2005 F-550 Crew Cab and think it's a great truck.
Jonathan D. Howell
Major, U.S. Army
2005 EarthRoamer XV-LT (Ford F550)
"Americans Travelling America"