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Cheap 6.0 project aka the unicorn

I recently acquired a 2006 F-250 from a friend of mine who had given up on getting it running again the last time it died on him. I swapped a good running but fairly rough GMC Sierra and a 64 F-350 ratrod project I had laying around so I'm starting out with something like a grand in this truck, maybe 1100 after getting it towed to the shop. It's not a show truck by any means, the only straight panel on the body is the windshield, but it's not rusty either which is rare around here. I've got the truck up and running now and most the issues figured out if not exactly fixed. I've still got under 1500$ in a 4wd Xtra cab diesel that runs and drives with the 2 primary expenses being engine oil and my ineptitude and impatience. I figured I'd share my experience learning how not to diagnose and repair a 6.0, as well as the couple of hack Job Band-Aids I've used due to lack of time, funds, patience, or open part stores. Because this truck is a beater and my primary investment is time I'm going to fix everything as cheaply as possible and drive it only close to home just to see what works and what needs to be done right. This is probably a horrible idea, but so is acquiring a 290k 6.0 with a known history of very little maintenance. Should be fun.
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I wish you luck.

Be extremely cautious about fixing things on the cheap; can come back and bite you. Some easy to take out parts are buried underneath a days work of removal to get them out, including 15 year old brittle wire harnesses. Other aftermarket parts just may not last the test of time, or even the month.

I'm just trying to keep this realistic and don't want you disillusioned. If you look at the signature blocks, you can see most of us have put quite a bit of money in our trucks to get them reliable. I can't speak for the others, but I never thought I'd dump as much into the truck as I spent on it to get it to be a reliable 5th wheel tow rig. Nothing in these trucks is cheap.

2005 F250, 189,000 Miles
Bullet Proof HD Oil Cooler w/ Cold Weather Kit, Bullet Proof EGR, Bulletproof Water Pump, 7.3 Fan Clutch
Airlift 5k Airbags and Wireless Air
Edge CTS w/ EGT probe and Fuel Pressure Sensor.
15 MPG slick; 10 MPG towing 11k fifth wheel

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