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Old 10-29-2010, 03:44 AM
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New Powerstroke owner looking for tips

Howdy!

I am a first time powerstroke owner but previous powerstroke user.

First, a little background. I bought a used '04 PS F-350 @~120,000 miles with a manual 6-speed transmission. Truck is a 4x4 dually, single cab with a Munice PTO hydraulic pump which drives a 5 Ton hoist service body that is mounted to the truck. The truck will be used in my business, which is pulling and servicing water well pumps using the hoist/derrick.

The truck will need to be used while idling a great deal while operating the hoist. I would say that on average the truck may idle 2-4 hours at a time under most circumstances. 1-2 hours will probably be the norm, with 2-4 being on the extreme end of the cycle. Once finished idling of course the truck will be able to get up to cruising speeds of 60-70 mph so there will be no problem "exercising" the engine.

My previous rig was a '96 F350 7.3 PSD. We had relatively few problems with this engine/truck configuration but that was almost ten years ago since I operated that rig. Now that I have bought my own truck I am looking for information on keeping it in good running condition.

I have ZERO interest in tuning the engine or any other ECM modifications unless it will help me tweak the truck to perform better while idling. Our old PSD had almost 100 less HP so I am happy to leave the HP at stock configuration. I need to make this truck last as long as I can without spending a ton of money on maintenance.

I have glanced through the threads detailing the EGR/cooler problems as well as the head bolt issues etc. I do not have any Edge or other displays to show me if I am having any plugging issues etc. I will find out today whether our part of Texas emissions tests diesels but as of right now I do not believe they do so I am considering deleting the whole nightmare and eliminating that potential problem.

I believe the truck was using Rotella oil according to the sticker inside the truck. I just drove the truck ~800 miles and it performed very well. The only hint of problems are two things: there appears to be a "whine" ONLY while decelerating. I'm not even sure if this is a problem or if it's normal operation. I have been suggested that the noise is originating from the rear end, which I assume has at leat 4:10 gears. Bear in mind that the truck is always "loaded" with the service body/hoist on the end.

The second thing I noticed is that while starting the truck seems to take just a hair longer to start that what I am used to in a modern diesel vehicle. After turning the key on and letting it sit through the glow-plug cycle I noticed the truck does not fire up immediately and you have to let it cycle maybe an extra second or two. When warmed up the truck does fire up faster but I know on our previous PSD's it was almost instantenous wheras this one seems to take just an extra cycle or two. At this point I have no idea of glow plug age or any other maintenance. I bought the truck based on the hoist configuration and general good appearance of the vehicle. I believe the former owner took very good care of the unit and all of his equipment was in good shape so I have no doubt that this truck is probably in better shape than most fleet vehicles of the same age.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:50 AM
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Wanted to break this post up, sometimes I tend to be a little long-winded.

What I am looking for are general tips, especially in regards to a truck that idles more than most. The idle will not be a continuous speed, the speed increases/decreases according to winch speed with a VMAC engine controller. Not sure of the RPM spread but I believe it will be safe to assume at least +/- 300 rpm on the higher end and regular idle speed on the low end (not sure what low idle is right now).

I plan on keeping rotella oil in it, and getting the OASIS report from a dealer. I am going to check into an Edge or related product to monitor the EGR temps to ensure that no plugging is taking place.

Any other tips or info would be appreciated. Rest assured I will peruse the site and read all threads related to any problems I may have but there are always little nuggest of information that are skipped or missed while reading hundreds of posts.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:51 AM
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welcome to the site! just keep up with its maintenance, and it should be a good working truck. the only thing that ive have read about idlin a 6oh is cloggin up the turbo. but then getting it on the hwy should help it clear out. others will chime in later for more info.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:53 AM
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hope you enjoy your new rig!
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:05 AM
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First off welcome to the org.

Here is what I would recommend in your situation. I would change the oil and use a 5w40 weight oil. I strongly suggest that you invest in a bypass oil filter because idling so much is going to put more than the average amount of soot in the oil. Do the high idle mod and use it. Just idling even with a 300 rpm variance isn't going to keep enough heat in the cylinders to prevent stacking. Have your FICM updated with the latest flash from PHP. That has a turbo vane exercise routine when idling to keep the turbo vanes from sooting up and getting stuck without the drawbacks of the latest Ford flash. Delete the EGR with the kit of your choice. I like the Sinister kit. Make sure you get that Edge Insight as soon as you can. You have to monitor ECT and EOT. That is what will tell you if your oil cooler is clogging up. Flush the cooling system and replace the coolant with CAT EC-1 rated ELC coolant. And finally, getting an SCT X3 and putting a conservative tune on it could make it perform better and last longer than retaining the stock tuning.

Also you might find this helpful. Things to consider about owning a 6.0L
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for your post, this is the type of information I am looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGreenSVT View Post
First off welcome to the org.

Here is what I would recommend in your situation. I would change the oil and use a 5w40 weight oil. I strongly suggest that you invest in a bypass oil filter because idling so much is going to put more than the average amount of soot in the oil.
Never heard of a bypass oil filter. I will investigate it

Quote:
Do the high idle mod and use it. Just idling even with a 300 rpm variance isn't going to keep enough heat in the cylinders to prevent stacking. Have your FICM updated with the latest flash from PHP. That has a turbo vane exercise routine when idling to keep the turbo vanes from sooting up and getting stuck without the drawbacks of the latest Ford flash.
I am probably too conservative on the high idle range. I will have somebody sit in the cab while idling and then try the fast idle. I think idle is around 600 rpm and I think it will idle up to at least 1500 rpm but I'm never in the cab when it idles up so I really don't know.
"FICM updated with the lastest flash from PHP"- Gonna have to look this one up, don't know what either stand for but I will shortly. Gotta get these acronyms down

What are the drawbacks of the latest Ford Flash?

Quote:
Delete the EGR with the kit of your choice. I like the Sinister kit. Make sure you get that Edge Insight as soon as you can. You have to monitor ECT and EOT. That is what will tell you if your oil cooler is clogging up. Flush the cooling system and replace the coolant with CAT EC-1 rated ELC coolant. And finally, getting an SCT X3 and putting a conservative tune on it could make it perform better and last longer than retaining the stock tuning.

Also you might find this helpful. Things to consider about owning a 6.0L


What advantage do I get in going non-stock tuning? Forgive me if I seem too conservative but I have always viewed diesels from a workman's standpoint, not performance. I need it to be able to get from point A to point B, power the PTO for a few hours a day, and be reliable and long lasting.

If a re-program can increase longevity I would like to know why. I am actually pretty pleased with the stock performance, I'm about 100 HP more than our old 7.3 PSD, which I thought had plenty of power.

Thanks for all your replies, I look forward to gaining and sharing as much knowledge as I can.

Last edited by Texas Wellman; 10-29-2010 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Wellman View Post
Thanks for your post, this is the type of information I am looking for.

Never heard of a bypass oil filter. I will investigate it

A bypass filter takes a small amount of oil and filters it much finer than the full flow primary filter does. They typically will filter down to 2 microns or lower. Search on Amsoil, NUC Motorsports, FS2500, Gulf Coast.

I am probably too conservative on the high idle range. I will have somebody sit in the cab while idling and then try the fast idle. I think idle is around 600 rpm and I think it will idle up to at least 1500 rpm but I'm never in the cab when it idles up so I really don't know.

High idle mod is easy to do and will kick your idle to about 1200 rpm with the flip of a switch.

"FICM updated with the lastest flash from PHP"- Gonna have to look this one up, don't know what either stand for but I will shortly. Gotta get these acronyms down

Fuel Injector Control Module. As the name implies it controls your fuel injectors. PHP is Power Hungry Performance. Bill is very knowledgeable on Ford tuning and has written his own program code for the FICM that restores some of the power and mileage that the 6.0 has lost throughout Ford's updates. Some people have seen 2 to 3 mpg improvements. Also improved throttle response. It has the heat induction strategy for better cold starts and incorporates the latest turbo vane exercise when idling routine that Ford came out with this year to help keep the turbo vane for sticking when your truck idles for long periods.

What are the drawbacks of the latest Ford Flash?

The biggest draw back is that it now contains code that mucks with your truck if you do an egr delete. Things like messing with the fan clutch so the cooling fan doesn't come on when it should.


What advantage do I get in going non-stock tuning? Forgive me if I seem too conservative but I have always viewed diesels from a workman's standpoint, not performance. I need it to be able to get from point A to point B, power the PTO for a few hours a day, and be reliable and long lasting.

If a re-program can increase longevity I would like to know why. I am actually pretty pleased with the stock performance, I'm about 100 HP more than our old 7.3 PSD, which I thought had plenty of power.

These are both really the same question. The fact is the the factory calibration is not necessarily the best or most efficient due to trying to produce one code base that meets the requirements of most states emission statutes. This results in a tune geared to meet ever tougher emission standards and not necessarily the most efficient operation of the truck. A custom tune can tune your truck for best efficiency thereby improving performance and reliability at the same time.


Thanks for all your replies, I look forward to gaining and sharing as much knowledge as I can.
Hope this helps clear this up for you.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:03 AM
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Thank you very much for the information, so far I am loving this site. I see what you mean about meeting the emissions, they have to do somethings that are counter-productive. I'm going to investigate all this as time allows. Right now the truck is running OK so I have some time to work all this out. I already have the fast-idle installed on the truck, I'm just not sure how fast it speeds up at this point.

Is there any easy/cheap way other than buying the Edge to see if my EGR/cooler is plugging? I know that if there is a >15 deg. differential then that is tell-tale but for now I need to just be able to look at the temps without spending a ton of money. I've got several thousand dollars worth of tools etc. to buy before I start buying "extras" for the truck.

Any insight to the somewhat slow starting? I'm not in cold weather country BTW.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:11 AM
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For a quick look see at the ECT and EOT you can use a Scangauge II. I understand Autozone is having a sale on them. The full retail is $169. You can probably find one cheaper.

As far as the somewhat slow startup, somewhat slow is subjective. What weight oil is in it. I highly recommend a 5w40 for you. If you currently have a 15w40 the 5w will help your cold starts. So will a synthetic over dino oil. Since I don't know how your truck is actually starting up it's hard to tell. Does it get harder to start when it warms up?
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:28 AM
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