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Old 12-18-2011, 09:20 AM
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Symptoms of a bad EGR cooler?

Hey all -

I have a 2006 F350 with the infamous 6.0 under the hood. I have about 80,000 miles on it and I often pull heavy loads. For the past 6 or 7 months when I park after pulling a load, I notice coolant has blown out of the resevior. I constantly top off the resevior and spoke to my Brother in Law who told me there was a TSB on the resevior lid and I should replace it. Thinking this was just a minor issue, I neglected to do anything about it. Just last week I started blowing A LOT of white steam from the exhaust. I drove it about 3 more times (only to take the kids to school and back) before parking it and ordering the EGR delete kit. When the kit arrived I attempted to start the truck and pull it up to my garage. Sad to say, it was hydro-locked. I drained the coolant only to find there was about 3 gallons in the system after I just topped it off less than a week ago. I started the tear down process and installed the EGR delete kit, now I figure since I'm in there I should do the oil cooler as well. Upon inspecting the EGR cooler I found there to be some coolant in it and no visible obstructions. The EGR valve on the other hand was VERY gooped (for lack of a better word) up.

My questions:
Should I remove and clean the intake?
Do the symptoms described point to head gaskets as well?
How do I resolve the hydro-locked engine?
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:36 AM
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First, you may have been overfilling the degas bottle and thus causing the puking. If you don't have a sticker on it that shows the max and the min then your engraved min line is actually your max line. While we are on coolant; when you drain your coolant you are only going to get about 3 - 4 gallons out. There is a total of 7 gallons in it and even using the 2 block drains you will never get it all out.

Yes, I would remove and clean the intake manifold. You are going to need to remove it anyway in order to rebuild your oil cooler that is clogged. By the way, the oil cooler is the root of your EGR cooler failure.

Yes, you might be looking at head gaskets as well. Make sure you get the ARP studs and OEM head gaskets.

No clue on the hydro-lock part. Sorry.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:49 AM
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EGR coolers go bad becouse of the Oil cooler. definatly replace it. To remedy the hydrolock you would need to pull the glow plugs. You need to have your system tested to find out if your head gaskets are bad.

Last edited by WarChild; 12-18-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:01 AM
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The true cause of your catastrophic EGR cooler failure is the oil cooler. That needs to be changed as well, and that requires the removal of the intake manifold. While you have the manifold out, cleaning it would be a given.
You should also split your turbo and cleaning the exhaust drive side of it. The leaking egr cooler leaked coolant into the up-pipe on the passenger side and the coolant was forced through the turbo on its way out of the tailpipe. Mix soot, heat and coolant in the turbo and it will create a gunk that will interfere with the free movement of the unison ring that moves the variable vanes.
This whole repair (oil cooler/egr repair and turbo cleaning) is covered in detail in a thread that is linked in my signature line (click the "step-by-step" link).

How your engine hydrolocked is that the cooling system pressure forced the coolant to leak out of the failed EGR cooler. The coolant then ran down the up-pipe on the passenger side of the truck and into the exhaust manifold. The coolant then entered through whatever cylinder happened to have the exhaust valves open.
To clear the hydrolock, you will have to purchase a new glow plug harness for the passenger side of the truck, remove the existing harness and pull the glow plugs on that side of the engine. I say to buy the harness ahead of time because there is little chance you will be able to get it off without breaking it.

Now for the REAL cause of this whole nightmare:
Coolant. The Ford Gold coolant requires frequent and careful monitoring of its additive package (The FORD TSB can be found here).
Once the additives are depleted the coolant can create a gunk that plugs the coolant passages in the oil cooler. The coolant that leaves the oil cooler is fed to the EGR cooler. The plugging of the passages in the oil cooler will slow the coolant flow. The egr cooler has to deal with VERY high heat and a compromised coolant flow will cause the egr cooler to overheat. This overheating causes it to fail.

What to do now? Well, your in a pickle. There really is no safe way to flush this junk out of your engine with a failed egr cooler to the extent that you have. You will have to flush your cooling system after completing your repairs. This flush has a very real possibility of causing a very short lifespan of your new oil cooler. All the junk that you must get out of the cooling system can deposit itself into your new oil cooler. The coolant (and oil) enter and exit the cooler from the top. Anything in the coolant can settle to the bottom channels and is impossible to remove.
The one and only way around this is to do your egr cooler delete, clear the hydrolocked condition, then flush the engine. Once the flushing is completed, you then replace your oil cooler.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you change coolant type. You could stick with the Ford Gold and do all of the continual testing/adding if you wish, but if you change coolant type to a CAT EC-1 rated ELC coolant, you will not have to monitor the additives. Not to say this coolant is a "fill and forget" coolant, no coolant is. You should still change this coolant every two or three years, but it does not create the junk in the cooling system that the Ford Gold is well known to do. This is also no guarantee against future failures, but the track record of the ELC style coolant is much better.
Now, the flush: Check out the "nylyon" link in my signature line.
There are two chemicals that need to be used. One chemical is to remove rust scale build up. The other chemical is to remove the film that the Ford Gold coolant deposits on the walls of the cooling system (for cavitation control and corrosion resistance). If this film is not removed, a chemical rection could occur between the ELC style coolant and this film which could land you right back where you are now.

What else do you need to do?
You desperately need to install an electronic monitor (especially towing long distances with this engine). You need to know what is going on under the hood. If you had one, and knew what to watch for, you would have seen all of the above long before the egr cooler failed. The last link in my signature line "what every 6.0 owner.." gives you a run-down of what you should be watching, why and what to watch for.

Lastly: head gaskets failure???
Best guess from here is a definite maybe. You can't tell now. You will have to do the above repairs first, then you can do a proper test of the cooling system to determine if the head gaskets have been compromised. That is a whole other chapter......
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:05 AM
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"definite maybe"

LOL I like that
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:24 PM
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First, thank you all for the help!

Well... Today I was able to remove the intake and see all the goo that has built up, UGLY!
Here is my plan of attack, please let me know if I'm missing anything.
- I will be cleaning all of the removed parts (including the turbo) and completing the install of the EGR delete and new up pipe.
- @ NYC F-350... not sure why I will need to replace the injector harness, it was removed without any issues. Sorry to sound like such a newbe but, do I pull the valve covers to remove the glow plugs? When they are removed do I manually turn the engine over to remove the coolant from the hydrolocked cylinder? How can you be sure it is the passenger side? When replacing the glow plugs, are there orings that will need to be replaced?
- Once everything has been reassembled I will do the coolant flush as recommended.
- After the flush has been completed I plan to tear things back apart to replace the oil cooler (no sense in wasting $300 replacing it prior to the flush).
- Once all that has been completed I will change the oil and filter.

Thanks again!!
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:01 PM
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If you where venting off and or puking alot of coolant out there is a very good chance your head gaskets are shot. As someone with years of experiance told me on 6.0L "The EGR cooler will not cause the pressure to rise and system vent, it solely the head gaskets." I ran into this guy after I changed my oil cooler and egr cooler two months ago to only be doing head gaskets and studs now myself.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:12 PM
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The coolant actually blew out enough to soak the inside of my hood and be dripping onto the ground..... I'm so far into this tear down, I know I should be doing the studs and gaskets. Problem is my truck has a 6" lift with 38" tires and it won't fit in my garage. In no time the snow will be flying here in Michigan, and I can't have this being a driveway project in the inclimate weather.

Shot in the dark but anyone in Michigan want to make some extra $$? As I said, the tear down is almost complete and I will supply the ARP studs and Black Onix gaskets.. Just need the labor OR an indoor facility to work.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 F350 6.0 View Post
@ NYC F-350... not sure why I will need to replace the injector harness, it was removed without any issues.
The injector harness will be fine. I wrote about the glow plug harness. The plastic gets brittle over time, the o-rings stick and the harness will break. It is almost a given that it will break. The harness runs along the outside of the head, down low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 F350 6.0 View Post
Sorry to sound like such a newbe but, do I pull the valve covers to remove the glow plugs?
Nope. They are accessible without removing the valve cover. Once you locate the harness, yank that sucker out of there, you unscrew them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 F350 6.0 View Post
When they are removed do I manually turn the engine over to remove the coolant from the hydrolocked cylinder? How can you be sure it is the passenger side?
Yep. You will turn it over by hand, or you could use the key as long as the FICM isn't plugged in. Stuff will fly that way.
It will be on the passenger side because the EGR cooler connection to the exhaust is in the up-pipe on that side of the engine. The coolant leaked out of the egr cooler, down the up-pipe on that side of the engine, into the exhaust manifold and then entered whatever cylinder had the exhaust valves open.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 F350 6.0 View Post
When replacing the glow plugs, are there orings that will need to be replaced?
Nope. The o-rings are part of the glow plug harness. Torque value for the glowplug is 14LB/FT (19 Nm). Oil the oil ring on the harness before installation.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06 F350 6.0 View Post
Shot in the dark but anyone in Michigan want to make some extra $$? As I said, the tear down is almost complete and I will supply the ARP studs and Black Onix gaskets.. Just need the labor OR an indoor facility to work.
Stick with OEM head gaskets. There have been MANY repeat head gasket failures using the B/O gaskets....though head prep is the single most important step.
Check out the following link to a thread by a machinist that does it right.
How to Machine the 6.0
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Tags
egr cooler, egr delete, head gaskets, hydrolocked, oil cooler

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