2003 6.0L Engine Repairs and Upgrades - Input Please! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:48 AM
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2003 6.0L Engine Repairs and Upgrades - Input Please!

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Well, finally am finding some time to tackle the rebuild of my '03. Any input you can provide on advised upgrades/procedures and best prices would be much appreciated! For those that don't know, I laid my truck over back in November; an unpleasant little escapade that resulted in a locked engine due to oil draining into cylinders while on it's side. The end result was a damaged body and a bent rod (or two). Why am I rebuilding again? (3rd time...) It's an excuse to upgrade and make it more of a dedicated toy

So, this coming weekend I'll be pulling off the damaged cab and starting into the engine to determine parts needed. I'm going to replace only the damaged rod(s) and their bearings, because the rest of the lower end has been rock solid and only has 103k on it. Following that, it will get new headgaskets, studs, EGR delete, possibly a fuel upgrade, and other misc parts.

Here is where I've come to a crossroads, oem or the Black Onyx head gaskets? I'm leaning towards OEM, from feedback I've read of the Black Onyx having a higher failure rate and some builders stopping carrying them for that reason. But, most performance dealers still offer them, and sometimes only list them and not oem, so help me decide!

For studs, I'll be going with ARPs. It won't be an extreme build, and I can't justify the cost of H-11 studs.

Heads and block surfaces will be checked and machined if necessary (as little as possible).

EGR cooler will be welded up. I don't need to spend money on a kit when I can weld and it will keep a stock appearance. I'm tempted even to just do the block off plates and dummy plug since the cooler is still good.

The two injectors I replaced last spring will be relocated to the difficult cylinders (5 and 7) since they will likely last longer than the other six. I'd like to replace the rest, but not in the budget.

Leaning towards a full regulated return fuel setup. Now's the time to do it with the engine out and up-pipes out of the way. I think I would go with the ITP / Strictly Diesel kit.

New oil cooler, even though mine is fine. Advised, or stick with the one I know is good? Also might to IPR while I'm in there, as I've had occasional no-starts where it will crank forever and not fire, then fire right up the second attempt. I think that was a sticky IPR. New upgraded metal HPOP screen of course...

One big question I have, is whether I should do any of the updates the later engines have, such as the upgraded front cover and larger water pump. I'm leaning away from that for cost purposes.

Also, another biggie, is if I should do any upgrading of my '03 HPOP system (stand pipes, logs, etc) or just replace all the o-rings and call it good.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as this goes forward, and it will most likely be drawn out as I'll me doing the work on free weekends at my dad's shop across the state. I'll also post this in a few different forums to get the most feedback, so don't be surprised if you see a repeat.

BTW, in addition to the engine work, it's getting every new body part, except the left doors. Can't find a short bed, so most likely will go with a flatbed. Then possibly cutout flares on the front and a set of 38s

Thanks for any input, and wish me luck!

Last edited by cartmanea; 08-11-2011 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:02 AM
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If you have bent rods, you need to check that crank for sure.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rem1981 View Post
If you have bent rods, you need to check that crank for sure.
X2 with that much compression if it was still chugging can hammer out bottom end bearings and make cranks junk real fast
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:23 AM
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I would use the oem gaskets and I'd replace all the bearings. As said I'd pull the crank out and have it checked. With all the labor you'll have into it that isn't a place you want to skimp. The new oil cooler and IPR sound reasonable as does going through the HPO system and replacing o-rings etc.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:08 AM
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X2 on the OEM gaskets. I had the Black Onyx and needless to say that even with the ARP's, the gaskets falied and left me with a 5k bill. This time around I have the OEM's and so far so good.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rem1981 View Post
If you have bent rods, you need to check that crank for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotbody View Post
X2 with that much compression if it was still chugging can hammer out bottom end bearings and make cranks junk real fast
If it was running when it locked up, I would agree. However, I turned it off immediately, then after getting it upgright I was pissed and foolishly tried starting it to see if I could drive home. Crank crank lock, it bound up on one cylinder when cranking, not when being driven by combustion power, so I'm pretty confident its just a bent rod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGreenSVT View Post
I would use the oem gaskets and I'd replace all the bearings. As said I'd pull the crank out and have it checked. With all the labor you'll have into it that isn't a place you want to skimp. The new oil cooler and IPR sound reasonable as does going through the HPO system and replacing o-rings etc.
If I can do the one rod without pulling the bedplate though, doing all bearings would mean a lot more work. Don't know if that's possible yet though or if one bent rod is the extent of the damage. New oil cooler I already have, just have heard horror stories of new ones failing and I know mine is good and runs close EOT and ECT, but it does have 100k on it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by armyguy209 View Post
X2 on the OEM gaskets. I had the Black Onyx and needless to say that even with the ARP's, the gaskets falied and left me with a 5k bill. This time around I have the OEM's and so far so good.
That's what I've been hearing... I know the sealant on the entire surface is pretty useless if the cylinder seals hold. Plus, it also makes me think that sealant on the entire gasket would reduce pressure at the really important areas due to spreading the load out.

Thanks for the good input, please keep it coming!
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:28 PM
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I think you are really rolling the dice by not pulling the crank. It takes a lot of force to bend a rod. If it tweaked that crank at all, you are screwed, and all your money is back down the drain. If you are tearing it down that far, I don't understand why you wouldn't check the crank and go ahead and put new bearings in. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:37 PM
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I agree it's rolling the dice a bit, and I'll know more when I have it apart and can see the damage. The problem is, if I do a full rebuild, then I'll want to change pistons and go completely overboard and then my budget quadruples.
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartmanea View Post

Here is where I've come to a crossroads, oem(OEM!) or the Black Onyx head gaskets?

EGR cooler will be welded up. I don't need to spend money on a kit when I can weld and it will keep a stock appearance. I'm tempted even to just do the block off plates and dummy plug (FORD #: 6E7Z-9A332-B. INT #:1882993c93. this updates both standpipes and dummy plugs.) since the cooler is still good.

New oil cooler(it is a good idea), even though mine is fine. Advised, or stick with the one I know is good? Also might to IPR while I'm in there, as I've had occasional no-starts where it will crank forever and not fire, then fire right up the second attempt. I think that was a sticky IPR. New upgraded metal HPOP screen of course...

Thanks for any input, and wish me luck!
you wanting power upgrades too?
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:29 PM
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why do you believe you bent a rod? I've had lots of hydrolocked engines, and none have bent rods. Unless the truck started, not cranked and quickly locked, I'd bet it's fine. Pull all the glow plugs, and do a compression test. That will give you an indication of what to expect.
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