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post #1 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Tuners and heads

I've had lots of issues with my truck which I won't go back through. But I have it now in real great shape. I had the engine completely rebuilt with lots of updated components from ARP's to the full Bullet Proof System. It runs great, probably 20 more HP than stock and the numbers I'm monitoring are dead on perfect. I had the engine built out of state and simply changed out by a friend that is a great general mechanic, but not specifically a diesel guy. So I took it to 3 different well known diesel shops in my area and one dealership to have the truck gone through given this was the third time an engine had been pulled and replaced. I figured a few things might need fine tuning and they did. My truck is been given some pretty solid votes of confidence by these shops.

While at one shop I asked one of the mechanics about adding a tuner to the CTS to pick up a few extra HP's while towing in the mountains. He asked me not to quote him to his boss, but he said even with the ARP's they are seeing trucks blow out head gaskets, almost exclusively when they are tuned. I told him that I had read online that the head studs seemed solve the HG issue. He said 'apples and oranges'. He said I probably am reading about a guy in the Midwest towing 15,000-20,000 lbs farm equipment on flat ground. He said in the Southwest with our heat and major mountain climbs the strain on the truck is way harsher. He said imagine two guys at a football stadium one with a 100 pound backpack and one with an 80 lb pack. The one with the 100# is running back and forth between the goal lines and the other with the 80# is sprinting up and down the stadium steps. He said my truck is on the stadium steps.

He said that when 'they' cut back on the total amount of head bolt locations with the 6.0 that even studs can't fix the issue HG over the long term in these conditions, the heads will heat and flex. In short he said stay stock and just get used to driving in the right lane up the grades. I asked another of the mechanics and his response was "yeah, seen it happen a few times last year".

Have any of you had long term success (or problems) with the head gaskets pulling loads on mountain grades with a mild tow tune? I'm not a right lane kind of driver, but hate being in the emergency land with the hood up either. Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 11:43 AM
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All I have to say is "WOW"...

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post #3 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 11:43 AM
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Ive read nothing but good things about using ARPs with OEM gaskets. You have to have your heads machined also.
It would be nice though if Ford would have used 6 bolts per cylinder like most.

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 11:47 AM
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ARP's and OEM Head Gaskets are going to be able to hual that mechanics shop up a mountain


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post #5 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 11:55 AM
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Sorry, maybe something more helpful...

If the heads are done correctly(hardened valve seats) and the ARP's are tourqued correctly then you should have no problems running light tow tunes while towing.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Dave View Post
I've had lots of issues with my truck which I won't go back through. But I have it now in real great shape. I had the engine completely rebuilt with lots of updated components from ARP's to the full Bullet Proof System. It runs great, probably 20 more HP than stock and the numbers I'm monitoring are dead on perfect. I had the engine built out of state and simply changed out by a friend that is a great general mechanic, but not specifically a diesel guy. So I took it to 3 different well known diesel shops in my area and one dealership to have the truck gone through given this was the third time an engine had been pulled and replaced. I figured a few things might need fine tuning and they did. My truck is been given some pretty solid votes of confidence by these shops.

While at one shop I asked one of the mechanics about adding a tuner to the CTS to pick up a few extra HP's while towing in the mountains. He asked me not to quote him to his boss, but he said even with the ARP's they are seeing trucks blow out head gaskets, almost exclusively when they are tuned. I told him that I had read online that the head studs seemed solve the HG issue. He said 'apples and oranges'. He said I probably am reading about a guy in the Midwest towing 15,000-20,000 lbs farm equipment on flat ground. He said in the Southwest with our heat and major mountain climbs the strain on the truck is way harsher. He said imagine two guys at a football stadium one with a 100 pound backpack and one with an 80 lb pack. The one with the 100# is running back and forth between the goal lines and the other with the 80# is sprinting up and down the stadium steps. He said my truck is on the stadium steps.

He said that when 'they' cut back on the total amount of head bolt locations with the 6.0 that even studs can't fix the issue HG over the long term in these conditions, the heads will heat and flex. In short he said stay stock and just get used to driving in the right lane up the grades. I asked another of the mechanics and his response was "yeah, seen it happen a few times last year".

Have any of you had long term success (or problems) with the head gaskets pulling loads on mountain grades with a mild tow tune? I'm not a right lane kind of driver, but hate being in the emergency land with the hood up either. Thanks for any input.
I have been studded and towing 12k while tuned for over 70k miles here in the desert of Arizona. I JUST pulled the 260 to 87 grade from Camp Verde to Happy Jack over the Memorial Day weekend with NO PUKING or loss of coolant... That grade is pretty significant and makes even the best of trucks look pretty pathetic. I have ARP studs, OEM gaskets and the fully BulletProof oil cooler and EGR cooler, so I am in great shape for towing a heavy trailer.

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 12:09 PM
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First, This mechanic has obviously never been to the midwest. Where I live, we don't have mountains, but there is no flat areas, none, the terrain is constantly rolling. Going up and dow in hard a tow vehicle, just as hard as long hill climbs.

Secondly, some of the most powerful 6.0s on the planet, we're talking 1000hp race trucks, use ARPs and OEM gaskets without issue. Your 400hp at best tow tune will be no problem for the engine. When headgaskets blow with ARPs it is almost always becasue the heads were not properly machined when the studs were installed.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 02:06 PM
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Moved my daughter to Morgantown, WV couple of years ago, from WI. Felt like it was up hill both ways.
They must be doing something wrong with their head gasket repairs.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 03:28 PM
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I pulled a car trailer with a one ton Jeep (roughly 6600lbs) from Alabama to North Carolina with the Looney Wild tune loaded and no Problems!! And anybody who has been in this area knows its nothing but hills. If she don't puke with a race tune loaded then I am SURE yours will be fine with a tow tune. Mine has never had problems puking coolant since studs were installed.



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post #10 of 19 Old 05-31-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooMuch03 View Post
First, This mechanic has obviously never been to the midwest. Where I live, we don't have mountains, but there is no flat areas, none, the terrain is constantly rolling. Going up and dow in hard a tow vehicle, just as hard as long hill climbs.

Secondly, some of the most powerful 6.0s on the planet, we're talking 1000hp race trucks, use ARPs and OEM gaskets without issue. Your 400hp at best tow tune will be no problem for the engine. When headgaskets blow with ARPs it is almost always becasue the heads were not properly machined when the studs were installed.
Yep, I talked to the 6.0 mechanic at the local dealership here, I asked him if they send the heads off for machining, he said not very often. I asked him who they use, he didn't know, he said the "parts" guys send them off. The parts guy is a douch, too. He can hardly ever find a part, or orders the wrong one...

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