Stock 6.0 looking for advice on what mods to make - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-15-2019, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Stock 6.0 looking for advice on what mods to make

Picked up a one owner stock 03 F-350 4x4 with a 6.0 powerstroke and 103k miles, I’m looking for advice on what I can add or change to improve reliability and maybe a little performance. I’m not looking for a powerhouse race truck, just a good running reliable 6.0 to last another 100k miles.
Truck has been dealer maintained and never had any major problems. Turbo was replaced 2 years ago other than that the truck is 100% factory.

I’m considering the Sinister EGR delete first. What other things should I look at to to make reliability improvements and maybe add a little performance?
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-15-2019, 03:36 PM
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IMO the absolutely necessary items are:
1. Gauges - an electronic scan tool that reads engine parameters. Lots of choices here, so you need to decide if you want to use software on your smartphone or have a stand-alone screen that displays multiple parameters. Both work well, it is just that the stand-alone screen system will cost a fair amount.
2. A fuel pressure sensor and gauge
3. Thoroughly flush the coolant system and switch to a EC-1 rated ELC coolant. Before you do this, it would be wise to montor your engine oil and coolant temps to see if your oil cooler is already plugged a little or if it is ok. If it is already plugged, then you will need to try back flushing the oil cooler and maybe even chemically flushing it.
4. Have the FICM upgraded by FICMrepair.com
5. An Alternator that puts out at least 140 Amps.
6. A 2005-2007 ICP sensor and a new ICP pigtail
7. Silicone charge-air-cooler boots

Then you need to think about your batteries and make sure they are good ones and are currently healthy (ie pass a load test)

Other mods that are worth it IMO, but can get costly are:
1. Larger water pump - which requires a new front cover
2. Adrenaline HPOP
3. ARP head studs (remember, proper block prep, head prep, checking for head cracks, and proper installation are important if you install head studs).

You may or may not need the larger water pump and the same w/ the Adrenaline pump, but they are upgrades and worth it if you have money to spare.

The EGR delete would be good too, but (again IMO) you should always install a tune that accounts for the delete if you do delete the EGR system. You have a fairly good EGR cooler (the 03 engines have the shell and tube design), but they do fail. Personally I do not like the Sinister products, but they have sold a lot of them. I would lean to welding up the EGR cooler w/ 1/4" stainless plates as a delete.
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Last edited by bismic; 05-15-2019 at 03:39 PM.
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the reply! Definitely gives me some things to look at. More than what I figured LOL but definitely sounds like good stuff thanks.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 12:58 PM
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EGR delete ASAP in my opinion. Like bismic said, oil to coolant temperature deltas are critical.

2006 Ford F250 CCSB FX4 6 Speed Manual
KC Stage 1 Turbo, Spearco Intercooler, SCT X4 w/ Custom TSD Tunes, ARP Studs, South Bend Dual Disc Clutch SFDD3250-6.0, AirDog II-4G Pump, AFE HD Momentum CAI, AFE CAC Pipes, AFE Intake Horn, AFE Front and Rear Dif Covers, Magnaflow 4" Turbo Back, EGR Delete, Sinister 200 Amp Alternator, Sinister Coolant Filter, BPD Radiator, BPD Water Pump, Big 3 Upgrade, Blue Spring, EDGE Insight CTS2, Morimoto BI-LED Projector Retrofit, Morimoto LED Fog Lights, Bilstein 5100s
Fast, cheap, reliable...pick two.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I’m doing that first for sure! From what I understand it’s the root of a lot of the problems and head gasket issues.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50dan View Post
Yes Iím doing that first for sure! From what I understand itís the root of a lot of the problems and head gasket issues.
It is one of a few classic culprits.

2006 Ford F250 CCSB FX4 6 Speed Manual
KC Stage 1 Turbo, Spearco Intercooler, SCT X4 w/ Custom TSD Tunes, ARP Studs, South Bend Dual Disc Clutch SFDD3250-6.0, AirDog II-4G Pump, AFE HD Momentum CAI, AFE CAC Pipes, AFE Intake Horn, AFE Front and Rear Dif Covers, Magnaflow 4" Turbo Back, EGR Delete, Sinister 200 Amp Alternator, Sinister Coolant Filter, BPD Radiator, BPD Water Pump, Big 3 Upgrade, Blue Spring, EDGE Insight CTS2, Morimoto BI-LED Projector Retrofit, Morimoto LED Fog Lights, Bilstein 5100s
Fast, cheap, reliable...pick two.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 01:59 PM
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Depends what your budget is. To fix the issues, you're looking about $3k if you do it yourself, easily double that if you're having a shop do it. That's EGR delete/upgrade, new oil cooler, head studs, gaskets, stand pipes, turbo drain, STC, machining the heads, etc. Add a grand if you're adding things like coolant filter, bypass oil filter, and upgraded water pump. Add another $2k if you are going for a front mount oil cooler.

On the performance side of things, again it depends on your budget and what kind of power you're wanting. Garrett Powermax turbo, programmer, tunes, and 4" straight pipe with be in the neighborhood of $2k and yield 400ish HP. The Powermax can be used with stock injectors but a bigger turbo = bigger price tag and usually requires bigger sticks and tuning to accommodate both.

We can put together a build list that'll easily fetch $10k but it won't make a difference if you're only able to put $4500 into it

People never have enough time/money to do the job right, but somehow they always find the time/money to do it twice

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post #8 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50dan View Post
I’m not looking for a powerhouse race truck, just a good running reliable 6.0 to last another 100k miles.
Since you posted specifically about reliability and not power, I would highly advise against bigger injectors and a bigger turbo. If your turbo ever gives you problems, then getting a turbo of the size you need from KC Turbo is a good move. I just wouldn't do it unless the OEM one started acting up.

I also have seen lots of OEM oil coolers and as long as the coolant is an EC-1 rated ELC coolant, you shouldn't have any trouble ..... unless you have issues right now. That is one reason for the recommended gauge system.

Bypass oil systems have limited function IMO. Lots and lots of engines do quite well without them - that is assuming that you het the maintenance right.

Proper maintenance is changing oil every 5k miles and using ONLY the OEM oil filters. OEM fuel filters are a good practice also.

As far as choice of oil goes, a synthetic 5W40 or 10W30 is better for the injectors than a 15W40. Some people haven't had stiction issues w/ 15W40, but MANY people have.

Transmission fluid should be changed out every 30k miles (along with changing out the external transmission filter). You need to change the transmission fluid (8 quarts), drive it awhile, then repeat this for a total of 3-4 times. I would use Mercom SP, Mercon LV, or Valvoline MaxLife. I wouldn't consider using much else.

Last edited by bismic; 05-16-2019 at 05:26 PM.
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50dan View Post
Yes I’m doing that first for sure! From what I understand it’s the root of a lot of the problems and head gasket issues.
The typical sequence of events is that the OEM Ford Gold coolant gets hot in the EGR cooler. It then forms solids and plugs the oil cooler (on the coolant side). Since the coolant flows out of the oil cooler and into the EGR cooler, the EGR cooler fails because it isn't getting coolant flow.

Using the correct coolant is MUCH more important than the EGR delete - at least IMO and from my experience. I am sure that many will disagree though.

Anyway, the gauges will tell you if the oil cooler is plugging or if it is already plugged. The oil temperature should never exceed 15 degrees F above the coolant temperature. Some people say that if you are towing you can expect the oil to be more than 15 degrees hotter than the coolant. From what I have seen a completely healthy cooling system will still keep the oil at or below that 15 degree differential.

Excess heat is a huge cause of MANY problems (wire harness issues, ICP sensor failures, degas bottle leaks, oil cooler and EGR cooler failures, etc).
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Last edited by bismic; 05-16-2019 at 05:34 PM.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-16-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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As Bismic stated I’m not looking for tons of power just minor inexpensive improvements and increased reliability.

Bismic as you stated in the first post, I do plan to flush the cooling system completely so as you stated here...

3. Thoroughly flush the coolant system and switch to a EC-1 rated ELC coolant. Before you do this, it would be wise to montor your engine oil and coolant temps to see if your oil cooler is already plugged a little or if it is ok. If it is already plugged, then you will need to try back flushing the oil cooler and maybe even chemically flushing it.

Do these oil and coolant temps need to be monitored with aftermarket gauges?
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