I want to make a t-shooting guide for common 6.0 problems NEED YOUR HELP!
I am trying to compile a list of the most common problems with 6.0s. You know the ones that roll though the .org on a never ending basis of recirculation. My options for getting all of this data is to troll the .org for a year or to and see what pops up or I can ask for your help. I will be happy to give credit to anyone on here that provides a problem and a solution. I am going to organize it in a format that is sort of like , well my truck is doing this and so you should check that. Ultimately if I have the time this winter I would like to start a web page that lets you click on a symptom and it takes you to a few t-shooting steps,I don't know if that will happen or not. For now I will type it all up in a text doc and post it up on here as I get the time to work on it. I would be happy to receive your feed back to make it better for everyone to use. So please post here or PM me and I will give credit to everyone that provides input. Thanks--Jeremy
PM me your email address and I can send you a 10MB spreadsheet based troubleshooting guide.
Last edited by bismic; 08-28-2011 at 06:44 PM.
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The idea is not to guess 100% of the problems and solutions, but to say that statistically with this symptom you most likely have that problem. with as common as some 6.0 problems are it should work at least 90% of the time.
6.0 TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE.
Q: My engine starts when cold but runs rough and has poor performance until it warms up
A: Check FICM voltage if below 46 volts repair or replace FICM
A: You have injector stiction issues pour in some REV-X or do Cylinder contribution test and replace bad injectors
Q: Truck smokes blue smoke.
A: Your Engine is burning oil. Bad rings, Turbo seals, Valve seals, Blow by ETC..
Q: Truck smokes white smoke
A: Your engine is burning coolant. Suspect EGR cooler leaking or bad head gasket.
Q:Truck smokes black smoke.
A: Black smoke usually indicates burning excess fuel. VGT solenoid bad or unplugged, Low boost due to leaking CAC boots or tubes, Exhaust Leak to turbo, Fuel injector stuck open or leaking , CAC tank crack, Running a hot tune and or starting off in 3ed gear.
Q: Engine slowly loosing coolant
A: Leaking EGR cooler , Bad head gasket, puking coolant, leaking freeze plugs, Leaking radiator or water pump, hose between egrcooler and oil cooler leaking
Q: The nipple melted off of my de-gass tank.
A: Your oil cooler is plugged up and starving the EGR cooler for coolant turning it into a steam generator. The superheated steam is going to the De-gass tank via the hose from the manifold that runs to the nipple that just melted off. You need a coolant flush, new oil cooler and an EGR delete.
Q: What’s the white crusty stuff around my coolant tank / de-gas bottle
A: Your engine is suffering from a condition called coolant puking. Two scenarios cause this.
#1 Your oil cooler is plugged up and starving the EGR cooler for coolant turning it into a steam generator this flash boiled coolant is entering the de-gas bottle from the rubber hose that leads from the manifold and puking out as it over pressurized the de-gas bottle.
#2 You have a blown head gasket. Combustion gasses are entering the cooling system and over pressurizing it causing puking out the de-gas bottle cap which should vent at about 16 psi.
Q: How do I know if my turbo is bad.
A: A turbocharger is a very simple device basically 2 windmills on one shaft. A lot of “ bad turbo’s” on 6.0’s are simply dirty and can be restored to proper working order in about 4 hours and a little elbow grease. The exception is if the bearings are bad or if it has more than about .004 in of end play or if you can move the shaft side to side enough to cause it to rub the housing. If you can spin it by hand and it seams to move freely then there is a good chance it’s fine. Most turbo problems are bad bearings , cracks in pressurized components like hoses, boots , intercooler , or excess carbon and soot.
From time to time a VGT solenoid will fail ,but this is pretty rare. One more thing is to inspect for damaged compressor blades. The major cause fo this is aftermarket air intakes. The best thing you can do to keep your turbo happy for a long time is keep it cool and lubed and clean. This means stick with the OEM air filter unless you need to make more than 500HP.
Q: Turbo charger spools up slowly
A: VGT solenoid bad or unplugged, Low boost due to leaking CAC boots or tubes, Exhaust Leak to turbo turbo vanes are coked up with rust and carbon.
Q: Turbo charger builds to much boost
A: vanes are coked up with rust and carbon, hot tune , stuck or faulty VGT solenoid.
Q: Low Boost levels
A: VGT solenoid bad or unplugged, Low boost due to leaking CAC boots or tubes, CAC tank cracked Exhaust Leak to turbo turbo vanes are coked up with rust and carbon.
Q: I heard a loud pop / bang and now I can't make boost or power and my truck blows black smoke , Did I blow up my engine??
A: No Worries, Due to a recent repair or oil contamination your CAC boot has blown off under load. Clean the tubes and boots with brake cleaner then spray with hair spray or spray adhesive then reassemble. The best way to prevent this and to keep your boots from rotting out is to reroute the crank case vent.
Q: What is the turbo/ vgt relearn procedure for my 2003-04
A: KAM (keep-alive-memory) reset & VGT learn procedure
1. Drive the truck until the engine and transmission have reached normal operating temperature.
(The VGT learn procedure requires that the oil and coolant temperatures be at normal operating temperature)
2. Flash truck back to stock (Only need to do this if running a tuner or module)
3. Turn on the headlights
4. Disconnect both batteries
5. Short out + to - battery cables to each other (Make sure both batteries are disconnected before doing this).
6. Let truck sit like this for 10-minutes
7. Turn off the headlights.
8. Re-connect batteries
9. Cycle the key to the run position twice. Pause in the “ON” position each time until the wait to start lamp goes out (minimum 5-seconds) and pause in the “OFF” position each time for 10-seconds to be sure the PCM has "gone to sleep".
10. Start the truck and let it idle for a minimum of 5-minutes at normal operating temperature. This allows the PCM to learn the EGR valve closed position value. Also you will likely hear the turbo pitch change several times during this period as the PCM learns the necessary duty cycles for accurate VGT control.
11. Complete the road test Drive Cycle:
15 miles of mixed driving (*should* be enough in most cases) to allow the PCM to "re-learn" its adaptive strategy.
Note: Anytime the batteries are disconnected, the PCM will throw the P1000 code until the Drive Cycle is completed.
Q:Truck runs poorly when hot
A: Your EGR valve is dirty and stuck open.
Q: Engine puking coolant from de-gass tank
A: Head gaskets are bad or EGR cooler and oil cooler have failed. There is a slim chance the de-gas tank cap is bad.
Q: Wrench light when towing and engine looses power
A: Some newer PCM flashes monitor EOT vs ECT delta and when it exceeds 15 deg the truck will go into limp mode. Your oil cooler is obstructed and needs to be replaced. This is a good time to do a cooling system flush and an EGR delete. This can also be caused by a t-stat that is stuck open and not allowing the coolant to warm up.
Q: Do I have a blown EGR cooler?
A: Remove the EGR valve and look down the hole, some times the truck will have to be parked nose down over night. If you see any wetness, wet gooey soot, or it looks steam cleaned, your EGR cooler is bad. This is a good time to do a delete if you can, if you can't I would recommend a new cooler from bullet proof diesel.
Q: Do I have a blown head gasket?
A: Generally if there is a slow gradual pressure increases in the cooling system over 16 PSI then this points to an EGR cooler / oil cooler failure. If the pressure in the cooling system tries to head to and exceed 20psi pretty fast in a cool motor then this points to a head gasket failure. Put a Tee in one of the rubber lines going to the de-gas tank and attach the line for your gauge to that. Or buy new hose and make a test rig to use for now and then loan to all your buds later on. This is as simple as a 3/8 hose barb Tee,5 clamps, 30 PSI gauge and some 3/8 air line. Cut 2 short stubs out of the air line to span the gap between the manifold and the de-gas tank. Next since you saved the end of the air line that has a 1/4 FNPT fitting crimped to it, the free end goes to the tee and your gauge attaches to the factory crimped on FNPT fitting. You will use a gauge with a 30 full scale reading. The cap on the De-gas tank is a 16 lb relief, this is why 16 psi is the magic number. The pressure you reach is not as important as the rate of climb. The reason for the slow increase in pressure for the EGR cooler/ oil cooler failure is as follows. The oil cooler plugs up and starves the EGR cooler for coolant thus turning it into a superheated steam generator. This point source of heat and excess pressure will lead to the EGR cooler failure. In this condition some have reported the melting nipple on the de-gas tank the attaches to a rubber hose that vents steam from the EGR cooler.
The rapid rise in pressure associated with a head gasket failure is caused by combustion gasses entering the cooling system and raising the cooling system pressure until the vent on the de-gas tank cap opens and the puking starts. I think NAPA has a test strip you can use to detect combustion gasses in the coolant.
OK so with a quick check of a saturated steam chart this is what we know.
15.3 PSIg steam equals 250 degF
20 PSIg steam equals 259 degF
What this mean is that if you take a cold truck out and run the heck out of it and it builds pressure to 20PSI or more and the coolant isn’t 260 deg then it’s a safe bet that combustion gasses are entering the cooling system because you have a bad head gasket.
Water boils at 212 deg at zero PSIg. In a closed system there is a very predictable relationship between steam pressure and steam temperature. This is why cooling systems are pressurised. This way you can have 248 deg coolant that is at about 15 PSIa and you make no steam because the coolant isn’t it’s boiling temp for that pressure, it is however saturated. Now at addition of ethylene glycol raised the boiling point too but for what we are taking about we can use a table for water-based steam. If the system doesn’t get hot enough to the point it should make steam and its building pressure you know that pressure is from a different source like combustion gasses entering the cooling system. From ---- wait for it ------ BAD HEAD GASKETS.
Q: What is the delta between EOT and ECT?
A: Delta refers to the difference between the oil and coolant temperatures. This delta should not exceed 15 deg F , if it does once the truck it up to operating temperature going straight down the highway your oil cooler is plugged up.
Q: What is a high pressure oil system leak.
A: On a 6.0 the fuel injectors are powered by high pressure oil in the range of 550 to 3500 psi. This oil is supplied by a high-pressure oil pump that is driven off the cam gear in the rear of the engine. The oil is transported via a network of connectors , tubes and passages that have o-rings , seals and connectors that over time will develop leaks. The main suspects are the stand pipes and dummy plugs under the valve covers inside the “ oil log” The next problem area on 05-07 trucks is what is know as an STC or Snap To Connect fitting. This fitting Blows apart randomly and your truck will be dead were it stops. This fitting is located on the output side of the HPOP and an updated solid part is available from Ford or International. High Pressure oil leaks can also occur at the injector o-rings or from cracked branch tubes but this is rare. The way to test for a high pressure oil leak is by injecting air into the ICP sensor port and listing for the leak. Some leakage at the HPOP shaft seal is normal. Normaly high pressure oil leaks will be characterized by high IPR values and below normal ICP values as well as hot start and rough hot idle problems.
Q: What is the best way to tell is my HPOP is going bad.
A: Remove the IPR valve and LOOK for Glitter on the screen. Any sign mean you need a HPOP as well as a new IPR valve.
Q: What are normal ICP and IPR values ?
A: Cold engine low idle ICP = 806psi IPR 29%
A: Cold engine high idle ICP= 960psi IPR 33%
A: Warm engine low idle ICP= 585psi IPR 24%
A: Warm engine high idle ICP= 735psi IPR 28%
A: If your engine requires a high IRP percentage to get the same or lower ICP you might have an internal high pressure oil leak .
Q: My engine starts fine when cold but, I shut it off to run in the gas station and now it won't start hot. When it cools off a few hours it starts right up.
A: You most likely have a high Pressure oil leak at the STC fitting, Stand pipes , Dummy Plugs or injector O-rings
Q: Ford says to only use gold coolant, all anti-freeze products the same, right ?
A: NO, all coolant products are not the same. Diesel engines have unique properties that require special inhibitors for corrosion and Cavitation. Ford Gold coolant uses silicates to perform these functions and due to the nature of the silicates this coolant breaks down and causes your oil and EGR cooler to be damaged. The better solution would be a Caterpillar EC-1 rated coolant. In NO case should you ever use green coolant in a 6.0.
Q: What is a normal FICM voltage?
A : No mater running or cranking the FICM should never fall below 46 volts.
Q: One of my batteries tested bad should I replace one or both?
A: Yes, replace both batteries as the other one is on it's way to failure as well. To get long life from dual batteries they need to be replaced in pairs. If not one is constantly charging or discharging the other. The weaker of the two is working to discharge the stronger one.
Q: My message center says TBC fault and my truck won't start, why?
A: The most likely suspect here is fuse# 22 the engine control fuse is blown. The main suspects here are shorted trailer wiring, brake controller fault, Fan clutch or wire shorted, Exhaust back pressure sensor shorted That fuse supplies power to the PCM, GPCM, ICP sensor, fan clutch and MAF sensor. 6.0's are well know for wiring harness chafing and shorting. Some have reported the dip stick rubbing on wires has caused this problem as well. Some times this will prevent a code scanner from communicating with the PCM as it has no power.
Q: How do I know if the cam and crank sensors or working with the FICM ok
A: If you have a good scanner, next time she doesn't start monitor the FICM SYNC PID. It should switch to YES if the ficm is communication with the crank sensor. The other PID to monitor would be CKP CMP SYNC STATUS, which should also switch to yes, or 1. Another great PID to monitor is the ENGINE RPM. You want a very linear, solid reading. Sporadic, or non existent would mean the crank sensor has failed. Thanks: Dazillenger
Q: My HFCM plug got stripped out what do I do now?
A: If the 6mm allen gets rolled, you can try a Torx bit and tap it in. You can drop the front drive shaft and drill into it, but not all the way thru, then try a easy-out. You can use a hammer and punch on the outer edge and tap it loose. A small dremel cutting tool to make a slot for a screw driver. Spray it first with a penetrate like Kroil or liquid wrench, PB Blaster before you try the above mentioned. To make more room to work, you can remove the straps on the u-joint on the differential with a 8mm wrench/socket. IIRC,The flange on the transfer case will require a 12pt 12mm socket/box wrench. Spray the bolts with a penetrate to help loosen the bolts. Put a reference mark on the flange of the driveshaft and flange of the transfer case so you can put it back on the same location as it came off. Thanks: Lilpooh
Q: They say not to use starting fluid on a diesel Why not and what else can I use?
A: Using ether or gasoline to start a Diesel engine that has glow plugs is a great way to launch the head right off the engine and damage other engine parts.
Some have reported good results using WD40 as a starting aid. Use at your own risk.
Q: How do I tell if my glow plugs are bad ?
A: Set your DVOM to OHMS. Touch the red lead of your DVOM to the end of the glow plug where the electrical connector plugs into (not the end that sits inside the combustion chamber), and touch the black lead to the threaded part of the glow plug. You should obtain a reading of between 0.5 to 2.0 ohms on a "good" glow plug. Any higher than that, replace it. Also plan on replacing the glow plug harnesses too, since removal of them pretty much mandates replacement.
Q: What are normal Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor readings?
A:KOEO is 15 psi
Hot idle 17 psi
30 mph is 21 psi
55 mph is 25.2 psi.
Just remmeber this is a generalrization of where they should be. From what Ive got in my notes at WOT and with the load at 99% it should be somewhere around 52.2 psi and at part throttle at 30% APP and load at 50% 45.53 psi. Thanks Justa03
Last edited by HAM_RADIO_MAN; 12-26-2011 at 06:50 PM.