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I just bought my first diesel and I'm loving it. I have a F250 with a bulletproofed 6.0 at only 130k. It has an older bully dog programmer in it but i don't think its working right. Im not seeing any changes no matter what setting its on so I just ordered the new Bullydog Programmer to make sure I'mup to date on that. The problem is there's an error code on the #8 injector. I know its bad or at least not working correctly. I was thinking about replacing all of them with bigger injectors but I want to know what else will be needed if I do. I dont know anything about diesels yet. Can anyone make any recommendations as to what course of action I should take to get the most out of this rig? Its sluggish from a stop and sometimes it runs better than others. It doesn't smoke at all but the former owner admitted to me that he didn't keep up on oil changes regularly. Thats probably why an injector is bad. He said he just spent $3500 having it bulletproofed but couldn't tell me what that really consisted of. Maybe someone can explain what that meant as well. I would really appreciate some solid advice before I commit to anything. I have a little over $2k to work with. Thanks guys!
 

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Oh and the year is 2003. Its lifted with aftermarket exhaust stock intake and an old tuner. Its in cherry vondition sand looks awesome. The best part is the guy was tired of climbing in and out of it. He said he was getting too old. It's sitting pretty high on 37's but the fella sold it to me for $4500! I couldn't pass on the deal. I've wanted a diesel for years and didnt think I was close to affording one until this came up. I hear the v 7.3 is the best engine made but it doesn't assn a damn thing to me. I have s 6.0 so thats what I'm working with. I don't want to hear I should have bought a 7.3. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the site.
First and foremost, dont throw the word "bulletproof" around unless you are sure. There is a big misconception when it comes to 6.0s. If someone really paid to have a 6.0 bulletproof, they would know every part that got put on it and it would cost FAR MORE than 3500$.

I would assume he had head gaskets/studs done. Maybe EGR replacement or delete, and oil cooler replaced. You need to figure all of that out long before you decide to go with bigger injectors. Bigger injectors will require a tune. Not from bullydog either.

You can not get any bigger that 175/30 injectors without a full fuel system overhaul in my experience. 175/30s are pushing the stock system right to its max. Some cant even take it.

If you go with 175/30s i would highly recommend a turbo upgrade. 03 trucks had the best turbos, but they still have a hard time moving enough air to get the full potential of the 175/30.

IMO you need to start doing some research and learn all of the 6.0 problems. If you plan to keep the truck for a while, you should get something to monitor vitals. You should also switch over and run Rotella t6 oil, or something equivalent. Make sure you ONLY USE FORD FILTERS AND CAPS.

At this point, i also want to mention, That due to your lack of knowledge in the diesel world, you probably should have bought a 7.3.
 
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Lol. I knew I was going to hear that I should have went with the 7.3. Believe me, I have admired and wanted a 7.3 for a while and when I think of diesels that's what comes to mind. I definitely would have went with a 7.3 if I had been in the market for a diesel truck but this deal came along and I couldn't pass it up. I really wasn't looking for diesel with my budget. I absolutely appreciate your feedback and I agree completely that I have a lot to learn. I'm going to do the oil change this morning and I will go with your recommendation. As far as finding out what was done, I will have to figure it out myself. Is there anything I can run through yhe engine to clean it up and free up the gunk built up in it? Seafoam or something? Is it possible that could fix the injector or clear it out if it has build up causing it to fail?
I have built a couple Chevy 350 small blocks and a Mopar 360 so I have a little bit of mechanical aptitude but I really don't know S%$t about diesels. I just want to get the most out of what I have with what I have to spend. If it means running OEM injectors I will probably be happy with that. Its a powerful truck and with that injector working and the programmer in it I think it will be plenty of power for my needs, at least at first. I am more concerned with making sure I correct the design flaws to get as many miles out of her as I can. He said he had a bulletproof kit put in it and your right, I don't know what that means. It sounds great. Lol. I will look into the cost of a turbo upgrade with the 175/30's and see if I can make it happen financially. I may just do the injectors now and the turbo next after I can save enough.
When someone is talking about having it tuned, what does that mean exactly? Is it just adjusting the parameters on the computer or is there more to it? Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
 

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Tuning is programming for the computer on the truck different tunes do different things. Custom tunes are written for your setup by a specific shop. Canned tunes are preset tunes that come with a tuner “think one size fits all”. I’ve had my 04 since 2014 and love it and am very happy I do not have a 7.3. But I have put probably have 10k into motor work since I bought it just to make it right and do everything that I want it to with out having the regular issues. Having a diesel that is fast and fun to drive comes with a lot knowing what you are doing or you will blow a lot of money. Having the correct supporting mods are more important than the fun stuff. Before you go and blow your budget on larger injectors and turbos..... check into what you have start monitoring your temps egts fuel pressure see what’s already done and what still needs to be done. 3500 $ bulletproof to me seems like it had an oil cooler and egr replaced that’s way to cheap for studs at least where I’m from 3500 is just the labor than you have a couple grand into studs and other materials. I have just seen way to many times this exact post on 3 different power stroke forums where some one got a 6.0 and was stoked on life through a tuner on it and did some performance stuff not knowing the engines quirks and the. They come back and start posting about pressure in the coolant system etc. hope this helps, I’m a firm believer in learning from others mistakes.


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So yeah, check the fuel pressure, looking for 70 psi at the test port on the filter housing while under a pull
you will need a gauge and test adapter, or better yet install a permanent setup
Glow Shift makes a kit, but there are others as well
Low fuel pressure is one of the leading causes of injector failure in the 6.0
 

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If I had a nickel every time I heard someone say “I got a deal on it” when it comes to purchasing a 6.0 powerstroke...........

1. you just opened Pandora’s box, guess what, I got a deal on mine too. She’s an 03 6.0 powerstroke that I paid 3500$ for. Then immediately dropped 5500 for hg studs oil cooler egr cooler up pipes oil rails.

2. guess what, the list doesn’t end there. I paid all that money to replace all those broken parts but didn’t actually fix the problem. The coolant system gets filled with sand. Sand that likes to plug small offices like those found in oil coolers and egr coolers. So I being the type that likes to wrench on my truck, dropped 1800$ on a coolant filter, egr delete and oil cooler relocation kit so I don’t have to worry about pulling everything off the top end to get to the oil cooler. Just money I know. Then immediately after that my hpop blew apart going down the freeway and left me stranded. I too wanted to build a badass diesel truck so I put a cncfab stage 2 unit in. Only $1000 or so, that and I got to tear down to the oil cooler so I installed the ipr kit along with my hpop over the course of 2 weekends. I’m sweating talkin about it. Then the brand new airdog fuel system I installed died on my way to work and I was upset about that because I was down for 2 or 3 weeks dealing with them and their customer service. Then in another instance I cooked a turbo drivin through town and lost 16 quarts of oil out my tailpipe going through town. A $1600 dollar turbo cost 450$ to get rebuilt and it’s sitting on my living room floor waiting for my stock turbo to go because I know it will eventually.
3. Even after you drop money on the big stuff you have instances where your truck will take you somewhere then won’t start because of icp sensors that were faulty from the factory. Then you can only afford to replace the damn things with parts off of wrecked or high mileage part outs because your credit card is still smoking from December and January’s spending spree on the kit, hpop, turbo and who knows what else. Then you also spend money on an ipr sensor cause you know, “while your in there”
4. I don’t want to ruin the mood but I do want you to understand that I like my truck in a sick twisted way. I don’t ever expect to make it where I’m going. I’m so used to being broken down on the freeway that my mom thought it was funny to get me a triple A membership for Christmas. You will like driving it cause the 6 leakers are quick but

You WILL have to learn how to work on this truck. Especially if your ballin on a budget.

you WILL have to learn and understand how the oil system, injection system and cooling system Work because you don’t want to throw parts at a 6.0. This isnt your typical animal these trucks are tough to work on compared to anything else you might be hotrodding or cruising. That 360 you worked on doesn’t compare. They need a lot of maintenance, and your staring at screens when they break (scanners and computer screens.
now that the disclaimer is aside.........
1. Ditch the bullydog and get an sctx4 tuner. Don’t be different. Go with what everybody else is using.
2. Get on craigslist and look for an ex 6.0 owner who is selling a Scanguage 2. Sounds silly but there’s a lot of guys who sell their 6.0 and then realize they really don’t need a diagnosis tool anymore because they’re next truck actually runs. If you can’t find one used..... buy one new. Maybe $150 or so. You have to program them to monitor certain vitals to diagnose the truck. This is a must have and I mean the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT money to spend. Because if one more guy gets on here and sais my truck cranks but won’t start then doesn’t post numbers but wants an answer as to how to fix the problem I may have a power stroke.
3. if your not in California or one of these liberal states that has emissions control laws in place, delete the egr. It’s one less headache to worry about.
4. Always keep at least $7500 dollarsin a box somewhere for when your truck breaks down. Don’t blow your load on all the cool stuff like go fast goodies.essentials first
5. do the blue spring mod. It saves injectors

as for your injector. Visit the most used forum on the org, and I’m referring to the 6.0 problems page. Get used to seeing your truck with the hood up. Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the org. God help you
 

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+1 on ditching the BullyDog tuner. It has a reputation for being hard on transmissions AND, it could significantly increase the risk of head gasket issues. Stay stock until you learn the 6.0L!

I have both the 7.3L and a 6.0L. About 300k on the 7.3L and 224k on the 6.0L.

I like y 6.0L better, and it has been very reliable. I did put quite a bit into it fixing the "knon issues".

IMO, if you want reliability, you need to stick to stock injectors and run the engine on stock.

To me your only issue sounds like stiction in the injector spool valves.

Do an oil change - put in a synthetic 5W40 or a 10W30. These oils do not cause stiction as bad as 15W40 does. Also, you need to try Archoil 9100 or Rev-X for the oil. These are additives to help eliminate stiction. Personally I would start with the Archoil 9100.

MOST 6.0L injector issues are on the oil side, not the fuel side. SeaFoam in the fuel will not help anything on your engine.

For reliability, you need to:
1. Get a monitoring system
2. Get the fuel system pressure tested (a fuel pressure sensor and gauge would be best, but for a new owner, you probably should start by having the fuel pressure test done at a dealership).
3. Check for oil leaks - especially on the ICP sensor and connector

The weaknesses on the 03 are:
1. Weak HPOP (high pressure oil pump). If you ever need a new HPOP, ONLY get the upgraded one from DieselSite for $1000.
2. ICP sensor - it fails frequently and ruins the connector. It is hard to get to, but lots of threads and videos on changing it out
3. Wiring harness issues. These issues are only getting more frequent due to the increasing age on these engines
4. FICM (Fuel Injection Control Module) - Many people send the FICM to FICMrepair.com and have upgraded components installed

Weaknesses on all model years:
1. Coolant - this is a BIG deal. If you still have the Ford Gold coolant, it needs to be changed out ASAP. Ford Gold coolant is not tolerant of abuse. High temperatures, or mixing with other coolants, or exposure to combustion gasses, or just miles driven past say 45k ...... they all will likely cause solids to be formed which plug the oil cooler. If you still are running it, you need to flush out the Gold ASAP and switch to an EC-1 rated ELC coolant.
2. Oil cooler - Personally I am a fan of the OEM oil cooler, but you had better have clean coolant AND you had better have the correct coolant. When you get a good monitoring system, you will be able to tell if/when you get a plugged up oil cooler. IMO this is something a new owner should do ASAP!!!
3. Fuel pressure - out of the factory, every 6.0L came with a "marginal" fuel pressure regulator spring. Ford sells an upgraded one that is MUCH, MUCH better. Even if you install it though, you still need to monitor fuel pressure. Low fuel pressure is one of the most common causes of injector failure. The other is stiction. EVERY 6.0L owner needs to install a fuel pressure sensor and a fuel pressure gauge.
4. Turbo - in general the turbo is fine, it can just "carbon up" or even "rust up" on the inlet guide vanes (nothing to do with the turbine or compressor wheels). Shirt trips or letting it sit for long periods of time can cause the inlet guide vanes to stick.

In general -
Use OEM filters (fuel, oil, transmission)
Make sure the oil filter cap is an OEM cap
Change oil every 5000 miles
Change fuel filters every 10-15k miles
Change out the transmission fluid every 30k miles
Change out the external transmission fluid filter every 15k miles
Taking short drives frequently isn't the most healthy thing for the engine and turbo.
Lastly, keep the batteries healthy and the alternator healthy (ie routinely monitor the voltages) - you can ruin a FICM with low voltage and you can have a no-start with low voltage.

Note that the 03 and early 04 engines had a good EGR cooler, but leaks could still develop in them. EGR cooler leaks and over boosting (from a stuck turbo) are two VERY VERY common ways to blow head gaskets. Tuners and poorly written tunes also SIGNIFICANTLY increase the potential for blowing head gaskets. IF YOUR HEAD GASKETS ARE NOT LEAKING NOW, THEN I WOULD RECOMMEND YOU GO BACK TO STOCK UNTIL YOU GET TO KNOW THE 6,0L BETTER - AND SPECIFICALLY GET TO KNOW YOUR TRUCK BETTER!

All of the above is very important if you want a reliable vehicle and keep repairs to a minimum. Lots of years of experience talking, and the forums validate it all.

I am sure you have heard about head gasket issues with the 6.0l. One sign of head gasket issues is the degas bottle pressuring up and spitting coolant from the cap - which is a pressure relief device set for 15 or 16 psig. I would STRONGLY recommend putting a quality pressure gauge (electronic gauges are best) on the degas bottle to see if you are building excess pressure. A bad EGR cooler can cause excess pressure to build in the degas bottle as can leaking head gaskets. To a degree, so can excessive heat, so you want the fan, radiator, and thermostat to be in good shape and you want to maintain them that way. A healthy system will build 8-10 psig as the coolant heats up, and then drop back to 0 psig after the engine has COMPLETELY cooled down.

Best of luck with it. It sounds like a great purchase.
 
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If I had a nickel every time I heard someone say “I got a deal on it” when it comes to purchasing a 6.0 powerstroke...........

1. you just opened Pandora’s box, guess what, I got a deal on mine too. She’s an 03 6.0 powerstroke that I paid 3500$ for. Then immediately dropped 5500 for hg studs oil cooler egr cooler up pipes oil rails.

2. guess what, the list doesn’t end there. I paid all that money to replace all those broken parts but didn’t actually fix the problem. The coolant system gets filled with sand. Sand that likes to plug small offices like those found in oil coolers and egr coolers. So I being the type that likes to wrench on my truck, dropped 1800$ on a coolant filter, egr delete and oil cooler relocation kit so I don’t have to worry about pulling everything off the top end to get to the oil cooler. Just money I know. Then immediately after that my hpop blew apart going down the freeway and left me stranded. I too wanted to build a badass diesel truck so I put a cncfab stage 2 unit in. Only $1000 or so, that and I got to tear down to the oil cooler so I installed the ipr kit along with my hpop over the course of 2 weekends. I’m sweating talkin about it. Then the brand new airdog fuel system I installed died on my way to work and I was upset about that because I was down for 2 or 3 weeks dealing with them and their customer service. Then in another instance I cooked a turbo drivin through town and lost 16 quarts of oil out my tailpipe going through town. A $1600 dollar turbo cost 450$ to get rebuilt and it’s sitting on my living room floor waiting for my stock turbo to go because I know it will eventually.
3. Even after you drop money on the big stuff you have instances where your truck will take you somewhere then won’t start because of icp sensors that were faulty from the factory. Then you can only afford to replace the damn things with parts off of wrecked or high mileage part outs because your credit card is still smoking from December and January’s spending spree on the kit, hpop, turbo and who knows what else. Then you also spend money on an ipr sensor cause you know, “while your in there”
4. I don’t want to ruin the mood but I do want you to understand that I like my truck in a sick twisted way. I don’t ever expect to make it where I’m going. I’m so used to being broken down on the freeway that my mom thought it was funny to get me a triple A membership for Christmas. You will like driving it cause the 6 leakers are quick but

You WILL have to learn how to work on this truck. Especially if your ballin on a budget.

you WILL have to learn and understand how the oil system, injection system and cooling system Work because you don’t want to throw parts at a 6.0. This isnt your typical animal these trucks are tough to work on compared to anything else you might be hotrodding or cruising. That 360 you worked on doesn’t compare. They need a lot of maintenance, and your staring at screens when they break (scanners and computer screens.
now that the disclaimer is aside.........
1. Ditch the bullydog and get an sctx4 tuner. Don’t be different. Go with what everybody else is using.
2. Get on craigslist and look for an ex 6.0 owner who is selling a Scanguage 2. Sounds silly but there’s a lot of guys who sell their 6.0 and then realize they really don’t need a diagnosis tool anymore because they’re next truck actually runs. If you can’t find one used..... buy one new. Maybe $150 or so. You have to program them to monitor certain vitals to diagnose the truck. This is a must have and I mean the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT money to spend. Because if one more guy gets on here and sais my truck cranks but won’t start then doesn’t post numbers but wants an answer as to how to fix the problem I may have a power stroke.
3. if your not in California or one of these liberal states that has emissions control laws in place, delete the egr. It’s one less headache to worry about.
4. Always keep at least $7500 dollarsin a box somewhere for when your truck breaks down. Don’t blow your load on all the cool stuff like go fast goodies.essentials first
5. do the blue spring mod. It saves injectors

as for your injector. Visit the most used forum on the org, and I’m referring to the 6.0 problems page. Get used to seeing your truck with the hood up. Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the org. God help you
Well put can we make that a sticky!


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