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I'd start by pressure testing the cooling system, to see where your leak is.
But since you asked - to check for a head gasket using a pressure gauge - Tee a pressure gauge into the cooling system somewhere. I like using the capped port on the degas bottle, it's quite convenient. Get the truck to operating temperature and then lay right into the thing, high boost, high load, and keep an eye on that gauge. I would be concerned with anything over about 10-12psi.
The only issue with this is it doesn't tell you specifically if you've got an EGR cooler failure or a head gasket leaking. You also need to monitor your ECT/EOT. If your EOT is super hot - there is also a chance that coolant is boiling in the oil cooler.
There's also "Block Check" a system that checks for hydrocarbons in the cooling system. In my opinion, all this is good for is visually showing a customer that there's a problem, and it's not 100% accurate in my opinion.
Hopefully some of this helps.
Ford Senior Diesel Technician
2008 F-350 4x4 Off Road 6.4 Powerstroke Diesel
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