Advice for a diesel beginner? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Advice for a diesel beginner?

Hey guys, I've always loved diesel trucks since I was a little kid and now that I can drive I am seriously looking at buying one. I am currently in a 2000 F-150 with the 5.4 Triton. Its a great reliable truck and I like it a lot, but my dream has always been an 04 6.0 F250. Talked to my dad about it and he said he would help me find one when I graduate if I got good grades and got a job. So here I am with a job and trying my hardest in school. I think I've found the truck, one of my family members is selling his red 04 CCSB 6.0. The truck has 150 thousand miles on the odometer, fully bulletproofed and deleted with a 5-inch exhaust (I would attach a video but forum post count isn't high enough so I will when I get enough posts.) We painted the truck ourselves (owning a body shop has its perks ). He has copies of all the work receipts from a shop we know, although I have yet to look at them myself. I am currently a Junior in High School but am looking to get the truck spring break of next year, they are asking 12 grand for it.

As the official source for powerstroke info, I wanted to ask you guys if there is anything I should be expecting when I buy one of these trucks. I've heard some nightmare stories about them but those were mostly ones that hadn't been bulletproofed, deleted, and tuned like this one. I'm sure it will still have a few issues here and there at some point but I am trying my hardest to work and save my money for the truck. I would really love some personal experience from y'all and any advice you may have, thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 05:03 AM
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Fan-fugging-tastic intro sir... well done.

@LoxDiesel drop some knowledge on the young man.

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So says the internet... ...and so it shall be.
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OK, thanks for the info. To show my ignorance, what is the problem with 3 nipples...
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you sir I appreciate it. Just FYI I'm not lifting it and putting goofy wheels on it, I'm a simple man I don't need a pimped out truck Just want to keep the factory wheels and drive it down the road every day. If I did any suspension change it would be a leveling kit on 35" BF Goodrich mud tires or all terrains.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 06:05 AM
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The 04 is a transition year. Early ones have a different high-pressure oil system than the later ones. Find out (and let us know) which one it is.

The early 04's actually have an 03 engine and the ICP sensor is behind the turbo. The later 04's have the ICP on the passenger valve cover.

Also find out what coolant it has in it and BEFORE buying it, get a monitoring device of some sort. Phone apps are the best way to go for the new buyer - at least IMO.

ForScan and Torque Pro are the two most common monitoring apps for smart phones/tablets. The Apps are cheap ($5-$10). You will need an ELM327 device also. WiFi for Apple products and Bluetooth for Android.

When you get the monitoring, drive the truck and get the engine fully warmed up (ie when coolant and oil temperatures stabilize it is fully warmed up). Check how much hotter the oil is than the coolant. Normally the oil should be 4-10 degrees ABOVE the coolant temps. If it is 15 degrees hotter or above, then the oil cooler is plugged and will need work. An oil cooler job (doing it yourself) can be around $400-$500 IIRC.

Also, plan on adding on a fuel pressure sensor and gauge. This can be as much as $200. Low fuel pressure can ruin injectors and that is expensive. It doesn't happen instantly, so if you are watching the pressure, you can prevent the early failure.
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Last edited by bismic; 09-26-2018 at 08:08 AM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 06:25 AM
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Very good advice. I did think about getting an engine monitoring system for the truck as well as the additional gauges. I like to be able to see what everything is doing when I am driving. I'll probably get one of those pillar gauge clusters for the truck. Would an Edge monitoring system be a good choice? I've seen people use them before.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 08:21 AM
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The Edge products can be expensive, but you want something that can pull engine data from the PCM instead of having only 4 or 5 manual gauges, and the Edge CTS2 will do the job. That monitor will be $450 or more. A phone app and the adapter is cheap. Again - I would go that route first so you can cheaply check out the truck before buying. You may very well need the money for an oil cooler replacement.

Since the 6.0L engines were never equipped with a fuel pressure sensor, that information is not available from the PCM and needs to be obtained separately. Lots of threads on this. You need an adapter, a sensor, wiring tied into a keyed power source, and a gauge. Some people also install a fuel hose w/ a 45* fitting onto the adapter so that the sensor can be installed at the end of the hose in a more accessible location (note - this is somewhat involved and should be done after the purchase).

To check out a used 6.0L truck, I also like to add a tee in the vent hose from the radiator to the degas bottle. Run a long hose out from under the hood and add a pressure gauge to it. Secure it somewhere where you can see it. Get the engine up to temperature again and record the degas bottle pressure. Then carefully (with a thick towel) open the degas cap and vent the pressure. The engine can still be running (or not). Put the cap back on securely and drive it some more. See what the degas pressure goes up to. Include a few WOT runs to see if high engine load spikes the pressure. If it does, it is probably due to leaking head gaskets.

I know you said it was bulletproofed, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee that head gaskets won't ever leak.

Were head studs installed in the previous bulletproofing?

Last edited by bismic; 09-26-2018 at 08:26 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of good info here. Like I said, I haven't yet had a chance to look at the work receipts but will definitely ask for copies of them when given the opportunity. As for all that process you just detailed, very interesting stuff but I'm by no means a mechanic and don't feel brave enough to do that, lol! You're probably right about the sensor application on the phone, the money could be used for any necessary maintenance and modifications if the need arises, so I will verify the integrity of the truck before making any purchases.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 01:05 PM
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These trucks are expensive to operate. Nice to see that you're working hard enough to run it. I truly mean that. I've been places where most people's first job was after they graduated college. With you working now, gives me hope in our nations future. Nice to have hope.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-26-2018, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes sir thank you much. I do realize they are commercial vehicles designed to make profit for a business and not really to be driven by a young kid who likes the sound of them. Trying to make my way in the world to save money and work hard to support my truck addiction
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