How bad is a 6.0l?? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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How bad is a 6.0l??

I have been looking for a clean low mileage 7.3l for about a year and can't seem to find one. I have seen a bunch of 6.0l trucks with around 50-60k miles on em. I've heard that the 6.0l isn't that great, but I haven't done a whole lot of research on why it aint great. If anybody could clarify some of it's problems for me that would help. All I want is a stock truck that can be driven daily, haul a few deer home and thats about it. Thanks
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 01:44 PM
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Pull an oasis on it.

If you can get your hands on something capable of monitoring ECT and EOT. Make sure they are within 15 degrees of each other.

6.0 is a great engine. Most of its problems are caused by lack of proper maintenance

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 01:47 PM Fanatic
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definatly look into history of truck warranty repair and such
i did with my 06 6.0 and i love it but do a little homework it pays
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 02:23 PM
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Basically what Dave said, pull the Oaisis Report on her, and see about finding the ECT/EOT difference when at OT. The 6.0L is a great engine, if taken care of and moderately bullet-proofed. With their history, the values are a little lower, and you might just find a really good deal. I wish you the best of luck with your search. Recommend you read the following:

Things to consider about owning a 6.0L

I'd definitely look toward a Jan '06 or newer, that was the last set of upgrades at the factory. You'll still have a few things to get corrected. Get yourself some coffee, and look at the forums of all those who have taken and modified these trucks and overcome the limited shortfalls. If you have any questions ask.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 02:29 PM
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The 6.0L is a fine engine...millions produced and still on the road testify to that as a fact. There were more recall issues and higher than expected warranty claims as a result of the emissions control devices/systems added and other short-term cost savings decisions (that cost more money in the long run). Ultimately you may let the "bad reputation" work in your favor to get a lower price so that is a positive from a certain perspective. Leaving the truck explicitly stock though is not advisable...understand that I am not speaking of performance modifications here so please don't get the impression I am about to recommend such:

1. Stock gauges on the 6.0L are inadequate in precision and accuracy - if present at all.
Engine oil temperature (EOT) and engine coolant temperature (ECT) are used to indirectly assess the oil cooler's ability to effectively manage oil temperature. The oil cooler is a stacked-plate, liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger. It is quite small and degraded capability of the oil cooler leads to many of the "problems" that are unfairly ascribed to the 6.0L. The stock ECT gauge does not provide ANY precision or accuracy; it has a needle that sweeps from "C" to "H" and is not linearly calibrated to provide any idea of temperature other than "it isn't hot yet" or "oops, your engine has overheated." There is NO stock gauge for EOT.
If towing ever interests you, the stock transmission fluid temperature (TFT) gauge operates the same as the stock ECT gauge; inaccurately and imprecisely.
There is no stock fuel pressure (FP) gauge. While the 6.0L has a wide operational band of FP, decreased FP is a fact of life for the FP regulator spring...materials degrade over time. The only way to know that FP has dropped without using failed injectors as a gauge is to add an aftermarket sensor and gauge...that's right, there isn't even a sensor for FP on the 6.0L.
Getting back to towing, exhaust gas temperature (EGT) is not measured by the 6.0L either so a pyrometer (sensor) and gauge are the only way to montitor this temperature. Monitoring EGT is good for turbo health to avoid overheating the turbine and to prevent coking of the turboshaft at shut-down...a seized turbo is costly to repair in time and funds.
Fortunately, the modifications to monitor these pressures and temperatures are minor. A digital OBDII gauge package (such as available from Edge or SCT, etc.) or computer interface (such as AutoEnginuity or Ford's WDS tool, etc.) with an FP sensor (screws right into the FP test port) and a pyrometer (drill and tap into the exhaust manifold or downpipe).
2. Exchange coolant to a no-silicate based extended life coolant rated EC-1 from the stock Ford Premium Gold. Use of Premium Gold won't hurt your truck by itself...but it is "advertised" as long life with a 100,000-mile change interval (or 50,000-mile if tap water is used to dillute to 50/50). Unfortunately, even out the bottle Premium Gold is below the industry accepted minimum concentration of nitrite. Failure to properly maintain coolant in a diesel engine is more significant than subjecting the engine to heat/cold. Diesel engines - as a compression ignition engine - create cavitation erosion. This erosion process literally eats an engine apart from the inside. Additionally, the mixed metal construction of the 6.0L requires sophisticated corrosion protection against iron oxidation, aluminum oxidation, and other alloy oxidation. The simple fact is that Premium Gold - without proper use of the Ford additive package - is inadequate to the task of 100,000-mile cooling system protection. Maintaining the proper concentration of nitrite is critical...that's why an EC-1 rated coolant is superior to stock. The EC-1 coolants have higher nitrite levels and use more sophisticated cavitation protection chemicals to prevent oxidation and corrosion too. Maintenance of these levels is still critical but you can expect longer than 50,000-miles between cooling system fluid exchanges. Ultimately you can run any coolant as long as you want...the result is that the low-silicate or nitrite depleted Premium Gold will not prevent oil cooler blockage typically resulting in EGR cooler rupture and inevitable introduction of steam to the combustion chamber where excessive pressure may induce headgasket failure or tented heads.

A coolant flush-and-exchange to EC-1 rated coolant is a simple if somewhat time-consuming job (about a day taking it easy). It is a task that genenates familiarity with the engine though. Perhaps this isn't even a modification although it is a detour from strictly stock construction.

Some things to absolutely keep stock: oil filter, primary and secondary fuel filter, transmission fluid filter. Fortunately, there are places other than the Ford dealer to get these although in the big scheme of things, filters are MUCH less expensive than engine or transmission replacements which are very possible when using non-OEM filters. Parker/Racor makes the oil and fuel filters for Motorcraft and International and NTZ makes the transmission filter for Motorcraft and International. Get the filters at the Ford or International dealer or order online from: Home - Diesel Filters,Additives,brake rotors, and brake pads for Chevy, Dodge and Ford Diesel Trucks in the 6.0L section.

The 6.0L is a good engine with a few modifications that ought to have come from the factory in the first place...the modifications are very inexpensive, simple, and not very time-consuming.

Have fun looking!


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post #6 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 03:13 PM
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I bought my truck in october 2010 with 51k on the clock and it has been fine but has had a couple problems. main thing i wasn't expecting was the ficm to go out right away and the other day i had a rear caliper freeze up

it starts better than ever though since i've started running 5w-40 synthetic valvoline. engine wise it's been fine, all the parts i've thrown at it have been preventative


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post #7 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 11:27 PM
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Howell has provided a great write up.

But i think the 6.0 is a turd. I am not hard on my truck and have done more maintance on this truck than any vehicle i have owned over the last 30 years. I have crossed the 165k mark but i never know if it is going to start or not start at any given time.

If i was determined to buy a 6.0 i would make sure it has the latest STC fitting installed. If not replace it the day you pick the truck up. If it has the press fit piece, it will break and probably crack the bed plate in the process.

If you buy one, replace the FICM on day one, or it will fail when you do not need the head ache.

Injectors fail with out warning. I never let my truck get below 1/4 tank due to hearing of horror stories if you run one out of fuel even though no damage is suppose to occur.

Front end will be shot by 125k miles

Been thru 2 alternators.

Buy a 6.0 and get rid of the egr cooler and replace the oil cooler and install a coolant filter.

Buy decent guages and don't go wild with a hot tune.

If you have a rear brake job make sure the coat the bolts that hold the calipers on or they will back out and bind on the wheels while backing up.

If you still want to buy a 6.0 i would advise learning to repair your own for 2 reasons, The dealer charges way to much and will keep it to long. ( At least around where i live, average time the dealer always quoted me was 10 days to 2 weeks down time) The dealer wanted over 2000 bucks to replace the stc fitting. IMO that was not a hard job and i had never torn into a diesel before. Nothing to difficult, done in less than 8 hours start to finish without rushing.

Now that i have given you the bad, the good is

1. Ford powerstroke is by far the best looking heavy duty made, made out of real metal and decent sized wire. Pop the hood on a dodge truck and the wiring looks like a cheap china knock off with rinky dinky sized wire. ( I have owned a few of them, dodge just feels flimsy) Chevy is well just a chevy.

When i bought my powerstroke i had intended to run it for at least 10 years and 450k, doubt that will ever happen, at some time i may just throw in the towel. I keep hoping that sooner or later i will have worked out all the bugs and replace at the crappy parts.

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-14-2011, 12:18 AM Fanatic
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So, here was what my thougth was going from an 97 7.3 to a 6.0

My 7.3 was strong, but not that strong and to get it to where I wanted it was going to cost about 3k.
The suspention was shot, front and rear along with the steering and tired gears in the axles. Another 2k for that
My goose hitch was worn out and the rear reciever was VERY slopy from the constant use - $500
The seats were worn out and the cab was small compared to the SD

So I found a 06 for a good deal. I sold my 97 with 200k for 8500 and bought my 06 for 22k. I bought the truck planning on that I would be putting a EGR cooler in it and oil cooler. I knew that any 6.0 I bought, I would be replacing this.

Put in airbags, hitch right away and drove it for 20k miles. When my delta got to about 18, I changed the EGR cooler and Oil cooler for about 1k. I have also put in a starter and rebuilt the turbo for a couple hun.

Comparing how the stock 6.0 pulls and handles weight next to a 7.3 - no comparison. Even the SD 7.3 does not keep up and I pull with my best friends stock 2002 all the time. When I looked at my truck, I did look at a couple SD 7.3 but they just did not impress me.
Im going to do ball joints this summer cause I have a slight pull but besides that, it pulls. I am getting ready to drive to TX on monday pulling my 24' and hoping to see some better fuel mileage at sea level.

If you are worried about the engine, I had issues with my 7.3 too (CPS, Flywheel, alternators, waterpump, lift pump, injectors, relays, glowplugs, etc). If that is you decision maker then I'd say don't get a diesel.

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-14-2011, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sinner6.0L View Post
I bought my truck in october 2010 with 51k on the clock and it has been fine but has had a couple problems. main thing i wasn't expecting was the ficm to go out right away and the other day i had a rear caliper freeze up

it starts better than ever though since i've started running 5w-40 synthetic valvoline. engine wise it's been fine, all the parts i've thrown at it have been preventative
I had a rear caliper freeze up on me too. Pain in the ***.

Other then that I love my truck. The only truck I would trade it for would be a 2011 6.7, but that won't be in the finances until they are about 3 years old, or I hit the powerball.

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-14-2011, 09:40 AM
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If cost is an issue then dont get a diesel. Cummins, Duramax, Powerstroke, it dont matter. The cost to properly maintain a diesel is significantly more than a gasser. Parts to repair them are more as well. My 6.0 after I soldered my FICM, and replaced my thermostat has been awesome so far. I bought it at 118k and now at 130k.

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