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Old 05-11-2011, 07:56 AM
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Dodge guy looking for 6.0 advice

I own a dodge but a good friend of mine has an 03 powerstroke with a 6.0 and he just wants some more reliability out of his rig. It only has about 35,000 miles on it and he bought it new. So far this year it has had the egr cooler go out and he completely blew the head gaskets and the truck was in the shop for about 3 weeks. Then, this last weekend he was towing a trailer up to a campsite and got a CEL and said he was about to park it on the side of the road and put a for sale sign on it right then.
My question is what are the best low level mods to get more reliability out of his truck. EGR delete? Exhaust? Programmer? Emissions is not an issue. Any help would be great.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:35 AM
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I don't own one but from what I have read on here he will need to have his oil cooler checked. Usually what makes the egr cooler go bad. BUT from ground up and bullitproof would be ...ARP head studs,new head gaskets (have heads checked for damage,warpage etc...),bullitproof egr cooler (or delete with chip),external oil cooler, some updated fitting on the hpop, and the FICM voltage increased, complete coolant flush and some CAT coolant (there is other coolant choices that are good as well but I can't remember them right now). And the MOST important is aftermarket gauges. You need to always monitor coolant and oil temps and egt is a good thing to watch as well. I think the coolant and oil tem should never differ from about 15 to 20* from each other(don't quote me on that differ range). I think thats about it but trust me, this is a great site and you will get A LOT of great info here pretty soon from all the 6.0 owners on here
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by justinlogue5_0 View Post
I don't own one but from what I have read on here he will need to have his oil cooler checked. Usually what makes the egr cooler go bad. BUT from ground up and bullitproof would be ...ARP head studs,new head gaskets (have heads checked for damage,warpage etc...),bullitproof egr cooler (or delete with chip),external oil cooler, some updated fitting on the hpop, and the FICM voltage increased, complete coolant flush and some CAT coolant (there is other coolant choices that are good as well but I can't remember them right now). And the MOST important is aftermarket gauges. You need to always monitor coolant and oil temps and egt is a good thing to watch as well. I think the coolant and oil tem should never differ from about 15 to 20* from each other(don't quote me on that differ range). I think thats about it but trust me, this is a great site and you will get A LOT of great info here pretty soon from all the 6.0 owners on here
Heads and head gasket are good(just got replaced in december), EGR delete sounds good, external oil cooler (link to a good one?), updated fitting on HPOP(what fitting is that? what replacement?), what is the FICM and how do I increase the voltage on it?, coolant flush sounds good, gauges are a maybe. Depends on what he wants. Thanks for the info. Any info on a good programmer?
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by boman250 View Post
Heads and head gasket are good(just got replaced in december), EGR delete sounds good, external oil cooler (link to a good one?), updated fitting on HPOP(what fitting is that? what replacement?), what is the FICM and how do I increase the voltage on it?, coolant flush sounds good, gauges are a maybe. Depends on what he wants. Thanks for the info. Any info on a good programmer?
Just because the HG are new don't mean chit if the heads weren't checked at a machine shop for flatness or cracks. The '03's dont have issues with the STC fitting (HPOP fitting). FICM=Fuel Injection Control Module.

Have your buddy join this site, read and ask questions. Read this link and show your buddy.
Things to consider about owning a 6.0L
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:26 AM
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ok, hopefully this wont turn into a novel

egr delete for sure, or get the upgraded design made by bulletproofdiesel. they also make an external oil cooler, but it is pricey and not absolutley required imo.

flush the coolant with restore and restore plus and then switch to a cat ec-1 rated coolant. there are many brands out there, as long as it meets that rating thats all that matters.

if your not upgrading the oil cooler, then rebuild the stock one. all your doing is replacing the heat exchanger portion of the cooler and installing some new gaskets. pretty easy, just time consuming.

the fitting on the hpop is called the stc fitting, only applies to '05 and newer. it connects the hpop to the branch tubes that supply oil to the injectors. the old one is two piece and is prone to failure, this causes a warm hard start condition or no start depending on how bad it is. it can also fail and damage the rear cover. replace it with the updated one piece design.

upgrade the dummy plugs and stand pipes on '05 and newer. these are located under the valve covers on the oil rail. they can cause the same symptoms as the stc fitting.

add a coolant filter. cheap insurance to keep casting sand and any other crap from plugging your oil cooler and damaging engine internals.

gauges. its hard to beat the bang for you buck of the edge insight. reads pretty much anything the pcm sees and will also read/clear codes.

upgrade the fpr spring to the new blue one. this keeps your fuel pressure in the sweet spot and keeps your injectors happy. low fuel pressure kills injectors and they are not cheap.

you can also install the 6.4l style banjo bolts for more fuel flow to the injectors. they have larger holes for the fuel to flow through and also remove the restrictive check valve that the stock bolts have.


use only motorcraft or racor oil/fuel filters. and change them at the proper intervals.


i think that about covers it
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:27 AM
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head studs, egr delete (they are really all about the same), and rebuild or replace the oiler cooler, and use good coolant and it will be solid
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:29 AM
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First question, when your buddy had the head gaskets replaced did the shop install ARP Headstuds or the Ford OEM headbolts. (Got news for him, if they didn't upgrade to studs he'll be doing that job again eventually). I like to answer the "Bullet-Proofing the 6.0L" question in stages.

Stage One: Get a monitor like an Edge Insight CS/CTS (best cost to benifit out there, but don't buy an older unit, only the CS/CTS can monitor the FICM voltage).

Get the truck out on the interstate and run at 65-70 mph for about 20 mins with that monitor looking at ECT/EOT. If the difference is 15* or better, you'll need to get the oil cooler rebuilt quickly.

Stage Two: (like doing the coolant swap and oil cooler rebuild together to avoid flushing crap into a new cooler.) You'll need the following: Oil Cooler rebuild kit, EGR Cooler Solution (Delete or Upgrade from BPD), all software, Restore, Restore Plus (VC-9), distilled water, and a silicate-free ELC (like CAT EC-1 Rated), and a coolant filter.
-Drain and Flush the coolant with the Restore. (removes the silicate build up from the Ford Gold Coolant)
-Flush with tap water.
-Drain and Flush with Restore Plus/VC-9 (removes rust and scaling)
Flush with tap/distilled water.
-Rebuild your oil cooler (now you have no silicates from the Ford Gold left to clog it up)
-Ensure the oil cooler has the new mesh HPOP filter.
-Install your EGR cooler solution option.
-Clean and Inspect your EGR valve.
-Install your Coolant Filter.
-Fill the system with quality ELC.

Moniter your ECT/EOT to ensure nothing was left to gunk it up, change your coolant filter per manfactors instructions, and every once in a while "Drive it like you stole it" between the EGR valve clogging up with carbon, and the Vanes on your VGT sticking, driving the truck into the high RPM and High Boost conditions every once in a while helps keep the truck running like its suppose to.

Other weak links on this engine:
SCT fitting on the HPOP (was only on the 05-07, doesn't effect your buddy)
Turbo Oil return line (which was the 03-04)
The upgraded fuel pressure unit spring. (all trucks)

Get yourself a quality 4" turbo-back exhaust, an SCT Tuner with custom tuning, and leave the stock intake on the truck and you'll see plenty of reliable power. When you get the SCT, find out what stratagy you're trucks running before you buy tunes. (reference the stratagies on the forums, and see if you want to get the latest reflash before you get tunes written)

If you have to get back in there for gaskets again, get the heads to a machine shop for inspection for warpage and cracking, and inspect your cylinders while you're in there.

You don't need to do the BPD External mounted Oil Cooler. Its a piece of mind vs. nessesity. With the coolant swap and the Ford rebuild kits only around $200, you'll be putting a lot of miles on the truck before making up for that cost.

Also, the 58V FICM (with is made by Swamps) isn't a nessasity.

I hope this helps your buddy, I own and enjoy my 6.0L. Blew gaskets back in January, get it fixed and continue to enjoy the truck. Keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:58 AM
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I told you, you would get all the info you could ever imagine or need on here
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:36 PM
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Get a Scangauge now and findout the meaning of all the readings you get out of it.
For me the most important thing to do with the 6.0L is to use ELC coolant, keep the ECT and EOT close and turbo pressure at 23 PSI and no more.

I have mine stock and removed the EGR Cooler because I got caught with a plugged Oil Cooler and it was the right time to do it.

But the cold mileage has gone down, and the highway mileage once warmed up is just great. I work my truck hard everytime I use it I tow something heavy and so far I am satisfied with the performance.

The advantage of my programer is that I tow hard with lower boost pressure.

So far the light has never come on. I have a feeling if it does come on its usualy to late, you need the gauge readings to alarm you before it does come on.

Last edited by caissiel; 05-11-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:17 PM
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It would probably pay huge dividends for your buddy to register and start bone-ing up on his reading. There is a lot to know and understand. Just my .02
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