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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 12:40 AM
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Head Gasket Replacement Questions

05 CC 4WD F350 6.0, 115k (~20k by me), stock motor/trans, no tune, no gauges, no cat, big exhaust.

ECT spiked, coolant out the bottle, oil in coolant. Took it to a dealer, verdict was truck needs head gaskets and he needs $4800. I don't doubt the disposition as the truck has always had a small coolant leak somewhere.

Don't have an itemized repair quote yet but he mentioned something about replacing the EGR cooler and rebuilding the engine oil cooler (I may have that backwards).

Does the quote sound reasonable? Or at least typical from a dealer?

What are the other things I should have done "while I'm at it"?

I was told that the updated parts (cooler, TTF bolts) no longer have issues and studs won't used in the rebuild. Is that true- about not having issues?

I just got the call tonight and will be calling around tomorrow to a couple independent places as well. Any concerns about using them vs a dealer? Truck is well out of warrantee.

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2011, 03:48 AM
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I paid $3200 in Feburary for head gaskets and studs. I had already changed the oil cooler and closed my EGR cooler by welding it closed on both ends before because it was puking coolant. The work was done at the dealer, but the are also a heavy diesel repair facility for OTR trucks too. I would check references to make sure they will do quality work for that much.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:02 AM
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Thanks Dave.

I am also curious if anyone in the area can recommend a place to get it done. I am just outside of Portland, OR and willing to drive a little to get it done right at a fair price.

Chris
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
05 CC 4WD F350 6.0, 115k (~20k by me), stock motor/trans, no tune, no gauges, no cat, big exhaust.

ECT spiked, coolant out the bottle, oil in coolant. Took it to a dealer, verdict was truck needs head gaskets and he needs $4800. I don't doubt the disposition as the truck has always had a small coolant leak somewhere.

Don't have an itemized repair quote yet but he mentioned something about replacing the EGR cooler and rebuilding the engine oil cooler (I may have that backwards).
You don't have that backwards. Your EGR cooler failed and your oil cooler has developed a leak. Both failures are due to the heat. What caused your failures is the lack of maintenance on your coolant. Running the FORD GOLD coolant requires strict maintenance. The nitrite level must be checked frequently or bad things occur. The coolant will create this goo that plugs everything up, resulting in these component failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
Does the quote sound reasonable? Or at least typical from a dealer?
Reasonable? No. It is high. I withhold any other comment....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
What are the other things I should have done "while I'm at it"?

I was told that the updated parts (cooler, TTY bolts) no longer have issues and studs won't used in the rebuild. Is that true- about not having issues?
First, any dealer tells you that is either seriously ill informed or just yanking your chain. That is a BOLD FACED lie. They are still the same piece of garbage TTY bolt. Run, do not walk away from that dealer. Use ARP headstuds. Period. End of story.

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Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
I just got the call tonight and will be calling around tomorrow to a couple independent places as well. Any concerns about using them vs a dealer? Truck is well out of warranty.
Chris, try looking around for an Independent shop that knows this engine. They are out there, but typically not easy to find. If you drive by the shop and do not see a few other 6.0's out in his parking lot (or out back) waiting to get in the shop, keep looking.
Depending on what you want to do, and the emissions testing in your area now and in the future, you will need to decide whether or not to keep the egr cooler. Deletes can be had for a couple hundred bucks.
The oil cooler has failed as evidenced by the oil present in the coolant. This does NOT point to head gasket failure. It points to an oil cooler issue. This also requires the replacement of all the rubber hoses in your cooling system since the oil will continually weep back out of them and it also weakens the hose.
Heads:
YOU need to find a machine shop capable of milling these heads. Do not rely on anyone else for this step. If you decide to go with the dealership for this repair, this is a step that they typically skip over and the end result of this is that there are many repeat customers for head gasket replacement, if you get the drift.
The heads must be checked for flat straight and magnafluxed for cracks. If they must be milled, they can not remove more than 0.07 or the head must be replaced. Doing this step, you will never have to worry about the head gaskets again. Leave it up to someone else, well, nobody cares about your truck more than you. 'Nuff said?
Gaskets: There are some really cool sounding replacement head gaskets sets out there. "Black Onyx" / "Victor Reinz." Stay away. Your problem was not with the gaskets and the stock gaskets are not weak. The problem was the TTY head bolts. Use the stock head gaskets. The failure rate is much lower.
Other things to consider:
Your coolant. Flush your cooling system NOW! Previous to this repair. DO NOT, under any circumstances, replace that coolant with the FORD GOLD.
Find an International Truck dealer near you and get their Fleetrite ELC coolant. If you do not have an International truck dealer close, try any heavy truck dealer nearby. Look at the label of the coolant, you want a CAT EC-1 rated ELC coolant (it is usually red in color). In concentrated form, not prediluted. You need 7 gallons. Why 7? Your truck will use 3.5 gallons of concentrate. Do your flush now to get as much garbage as you can out of your cooling system. Then when you take it in for repair, the garage is just gonna dump it. Seems like a waste, but you need the crud out of the system if you hope to have your replacement oil cooler last very long.
DO NOT let the garage put anything else back into your cooling system.
Next: Read the first link in my signature line and get gauges of some type on your truck. The link discusses which ones, why, what they should read normally and what to watch out for along with a few other topics that you should know as a 6.0 owner.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the reply!

The latest response from the dealer:

"The heads will be tested for warpage by using a straight edge and feeler gauge. If they suspect cracks the heads would need to be sent to a machine shop for inspection. Bolts will be used to hold heads back on. The oil cooler we put on will be the latest updated part from Ford."

I'm not sure what else to use for checking warpage (aside from a CMM) but I have been looking and found two independent places which send heads out as a matter of course for inspection (crack and warpage).

My leading candidate is and independent shop which is 10% cheaper than the dealer and includes the EGR delete and a coolant bypass filter install, will be using ARP studs as well as doing a few updates (fuel press spring, turbo drain hose, STS fitting, oil sender replacement) and has the same 12/12,000 warrantee. For $4600...

He's looking like the leading contender and has three currently in the shop for the same work. He's a former Ford mechanic who went independent in 2003.

I will chat with him about doing the flushes and coolant selection prior to the work. He didn't mention specifics but he did say something about flushing the system.

Is there anything else while the motor is apart which I should consider?

Thanks again,
Chris
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
"The heads will be tested for warpage by using a straight edge and feeler gauge. If they suspect cracks the heads would need to be sent to a machine shop for inspection.
This is the procedure that has shown time and time again to be insufficient for these heads. It is pretty much a joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
The oil cooler we put on will be the latest updated part from Ford."
That guy should stand very close to a toilet every time he talks. Crap just flows right out of his mouth. The "latest" oil cooler is the ONLY ONE available through FORD. Last updated years ago. Same one everybody uses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
My leading candidate is and independent shop which is 10% cheaper than the dealer and includes the EGR delete and a coolant bypass filter install, will be using ARP studs as well as doing a few updates (fuel press spring, turbo drain hose, STS fitting, oil sender replacement) and has the same 12/12,000 warrantee. For $4600...

He's looking like the leading contender and has three currently in the shop for the same work. He's a former Ford mechanic who went independent in 2003.
Sounds like we have a winner!
Do not waver on the coolant choice. If he uses the Zerex GO-5 or the Ford Gold, you will need to constantly monitor the nitrite concentration in your coolant. This testing should be done at a minimum twice yearly, adding a charge as required. The more you work the engine/truck, the more often you should have the nitrite level checked. This includes NEW coolant right out of the bottle. They can come brand new low on nitrites.
Using the CAT EC-1 coolant, while not a total maintenance free coolant, is a much better solution. This coolant is supposedly good for half a million miles. I would still replace every other year. Its cheap insurance against coolant related issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
I will chat with him about doing the flushes and coolant selection prior to the work. He didn't mention specifics but he did say something about flushing the system.
He pretty much has to just to get the oil contamination out of there. Dishwasher soap is actually used for this, but that will do little to remove the rust scale/coolant film within the passages of your cooling system. This would require a two chemical flush to be able to clean it up, beyond the oil removal flush. If you want a detailed description of a flush, the second link in my signature line is all about flushing. You may want to give that a read. At this point in time, you can disregard the "backflushing" part of the document. You might need it post-repair, but not now.

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Originally Posted by ckouba View Post
Is there anything else while the motor is apart which I should consider?
Not that I can think of.
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2011, 07:51 AM
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I'm having a tough time locating the Fleetrite coolant but have found Shell Rotella which meets CAT EC-1 specs.

Would this be appropriate?:

ANTIFREEZE SHELL ROTELLA ELC 50/50 732960

Chris

Last edited by ckouba; 08-15-2011 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Not cheaper than the gold stuff when you realize it's 50/50 mixed at that price...
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2011, 08:05 AM
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Yes, and no.
The Rotella ELC is pretty much the same as Fleetrite, so its good.
However, the one you linked to is NOT good enough for the simple fact that it is pre-diluted. You need the concentrated form because the cooling system retains about 1/2 of its total capacity. If you were to flush using distilled water, and then refill with pre-diluted, you would end up with about a 75/25 mix and not the 50/50 you need.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:10 AM
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The International Truck dealership near you should have the Fleetrite concentrate.
Brattain International Truck
61 NE Columbia Blvd.
Portland, OR 97211
800-275-9200
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