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I plan on being in the market for a diesel and am seeing a lot of good deals on bulletproofed 6.0. I know the 6.0 can be a problematic engine and that bulletproofing solves many of its problems but can it ever be as reliable as a stock 7.3 or a lightly modded (intake, exhaust, mpg tune) 7.3. And if it can’t how close can it get? Any info is appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the org. I would HIGHLY encourage you simply do more research on this forum. Your topic has been talked about numerous times.

To give you my thoughts from owning and running both. Kind of... The 6.0l can be problematic but if the owner and a shop (one that knows what they are doing) address the issues correctly the first time the 6.0l can be VERY reliable but it is a more finnicky truck because its not a true comparison between the 6.0l and 7.3l. They may both be HEUI trucks but different turbos, different transmissions, the 7.3l has one PCM while the 6.0l has an ECM for the engine and a TCM for the transmission etc.

The 6.0l bulletproofed with stock programming will smoke an even moderatly tuned 7.3l though too.... Its just not a true comparison between the two.
 

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Luck is generally overlooked to.

friend of mine has had a stock 7.3 that he uses on the farm for over 10 years. we've torn into it couple times a year to fix random things.
another friend of mine has a stock 6.0 who beats the crap out of it 7 days a week, drives it like a 16 year old kid and only does maintenance when he remembers to (maybe every 7,500 miles),bought it new in 04 and its never been to a shop. just doesn't make sense.
 

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The 6.0 suffers more from being made 'mor better by many owners. The failing areas are well known and can be addressed easily when it's kept in stock form. I would buy a stock truck with good maintenance over a "bulletproofed" truck any day. As soon as someone opens it up, you are relying on the quality of their work, and that's critical on any modern diesel.

Hell, it was always critical on a diesel.
 

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Luck is generally overlooked to.

friend of mine has had a stock 7.3 that he uses on the farm for over 10 years. we've torn into it couple times a year to fix random things.
another friend of mine has a stock 6.0 who beats the crap out of it 7 days a week, drives it like a 16 year old kid and only does maintenance when he remembers to (maybe every 7,500 miles),bought it new in 04 and its never been to a shop. just doesn't make sense.
The 6.0 suffers more from being made 'mor better by many owners. The failing areas are well known and can be addressed easily when it's kept in stock form. I would buy a stock truck with good maintenance over a "bulletproofed" truck any day. As soon as someone opens it up, you are relying on the quality of their work, and that's critical on any modern diesel.

Hell, it was always critical on a diesel.

Aint that the friggin truth lol.... Im a bit OCD with fluid,filter changes and have been since I first started learning. I have been VERY blessed to be able to to fix any vehicle issue I had either my own or have the resources to outsource to a proessional but yep. A couple friends of mine run their vehicles like a ticked off teenager trying to show off to his ex girlfriend and seem to just keep going like the energizer bunny meanwhile im under my truck changing the oil and rear dif fluid hes over there trying to tow a dumptruck out of the mud pedal to the medal hahaha.

With regards to Toomanytoys same boat. After owning three 6.0ls all different. 04 excursion, late build 04 f350 and 06 f350 save the money and buy a used one thats stock for cheap and do it once and do it right the first time and you may get lucky. But overal my 1999 7.3l wont win any races except maybe against my wifes subaru but she meets my needs ;)
 

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in my mind the 7.3 goes back to a simpler time of motor has less crap to go wrong kind motor any one can wrench on in a garage verses the newer 6.0 not saying one is better then the other and i am on board with toomanytoys i would much rather find a stock one and go from there. least i know for a fact what is and has been done under the hood.
 

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The 6.0 is a far cry from needing special tools and software to work on. It does have more quirks but still by no means an enigma.
 

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How about ride quality? I’ve had a 97 and drive an 06. Hands down better ride and stock power of a modded 7.3 is why I will never go back to an OBS. The 6.0 needs more care but it’s worth it IMHO
 

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How about ride quality? I’ve had a 97 and drive an 06. Hands down better ride and stock power of a modded 7.3 is why I will never go back to an OBS. The 6.0 needs more care but it’s worth it IMHO
2003-2004 6.0Ls had leafs like the 2003 and older 7.3ls…. Not an equal comparison to 05-07 6.0ls with front coils. Even the OBS trucked swapped in superduty springs for a better ride lol…
 

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I have owned both and the 6.0 had double the miles my current 7.3 has. The 7.3 has been more trouble if anything. Partly because it's an older truck but it's also just how it goes. Buy a clean stock 6.0 05+ so you get coils up front. Check the deltas, check the coolant, almost guarantee it'll need a coolant flush. Either delete the EGR cooler or get the bulletproof diesel cooler and drive the thing. Keep good batteries and a good alternator on it and you'll likely not have any FICM issues.

I have own multiple 6.0 trucks and only studded one. I have put hot tunes on plenty of non-studded trucks and not blown a head gasket but the deltas were good, the oil was clean, the coolant was up to date. The 6.0 just needs the right kind of maintenance. It got it's bad wrap from the guys who had been running OBS 7.3's to 300k miles or more doing crappy maintenance and thinking they could get away with it on the new 6.0. Then it became "all 6.0 trucks are crap and will definitely need studs" thats BS.

All the above advice I think is good. If I were in the market I'd have no problem buying another stock 6.0 but I would really shy away from one that's been "BULLETPROOFED" my experience with those trucks is they were rode hard and put away wet.
 

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You were doing really well up until the last few sentences...lol. A proper "bulletproofing" (using Bullet Proof Diesel products and sometimes studding the engine) should demonstrate that the owner took care of his truck and had the necessary funds to do that. This is not to say that owners who chose a route other than BPD neglected their trucks, there is more that one way to skin this cat.

Also, I would disagree that the 6.0 "reputation" came from irresponsible 7.3 owners. The 6.0 deservedly gained it's bad reputation all on its own because of Ford's engineering.
 
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You were doing really well up until the last few sentences...lol. A proper "bulletproofing" (using Bullet Proof Diesel products and sometimes studding the engine) should demonstrate that the owner took care of his truck and had the necessary funds to do that. This is not to say that owners who chose a route other than BPD neglected their trucks, there is more that one way to skin this cat.

Also, I would disagree that the 6.0 "reputation" came from irresponsible 7.3 owners. The 6.0 deservedly gained it's bad reputation all on its own because of Ford's engineering.
I have personal first hand experience with friends and family from when the 6.0 hit market is why I say the irresponsible owners were to blame. I watched these guys neglect coolant, oil, and filters and then get pissed that the truck had problems because "my ol' seventree never cared!"

The problems were grossly overblown. I don't disagree that there were some engineering issues though.
To be completely honest I still find it flabbergasting that so many still think the 6.0 is the worst powerstroke when the 6.4 is such a dumpster fire. If I was building another race truck I might use one but thats about it.

Either way I think we agree the engine is still a fantastic powerplant with it's idiosyncrasies that can be overcome.
 

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....... The 6.0 deservedly gained its bad reputation all on its own because of Ford's engineering.

Except Ford engineering did not engineer the Powerstroke, other than require adaptations to fit the Pickup chassis, transmissions, and target power output. They were a customer of International. Working for a supplier to Ford and others, they don't dictate all the details most people give them credit for. They give you an envelope; the supplier does the design, development, and manufacturing. They take prototypes to test and give you the list of issues they have, and it's up to you to work it out until the crash.

The '03 level was basically the prototype+, the '04.5 the scramble to meet emissions. By mid '05 is my best estimate before Ford engineers got involved trying to sort out the 6.0 mess, while the 6.4 was crumbling because too many Int resources were being used on the 6.0. I can see Ford's involvement at the time of the 6.0 "commonization," but I know from my visiting both Ford and International during the same week around winter 2003, one group thought the other was a bunch of idiots, and the other frustrated at the demands put on it for years. They were overwhelmed. The engine launch should have been delayed a year.

International should have left the game with the 7.3L Powerstroke. But, unfortunately, their technical ability was already starting to wain. It took a few years later before International exited the engine building. Like many companies before and after, they didn't keep up with technology.

Still, if you understand the limitations and weak points, you can construct a good engine out of it, IMO.
 
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Except Ford engineering did not engineer the Powerstroke, other than require adaptations to fit the Pickup chassis, transmissions, and target power output. They were a customer of International. Working for a supplier to Ford and others, they don't dictate all the details most people give them credit for. They give you an envelope; the supplier does the design, development, and manufacturing. They take prototypes to test and give you the list of issues they have, and it's up to you to work it out until the crash.

The '03 level was basically the prototype+, the '04.5 the scramble to meet emissions. By mid '05 is my best estimate before Ford engineers got involved trying to sort out the 6.0 mess, while the 6.4 was crumbling because too many Int resources were being used on the 6.0. I can see Ford's involvement at the time of the 6.0 "commonization," but I know from my visiting both Ford and International during the same week around winter 2003, one group thought the other was a bunch of idiots, and the other frustrated at the demands put on it for years. They were overwhelmed. The engine launch should have been delayed a year.

International should have left the game with the 7.3L Powerstroke. But, unfortunately, their technical ability was already starting to wain. It took a few years later before International exited the engine building. Like many companies before and after, they didn't keep up with technology.

Still, if you understand the limitations and weak points, you can construct a good engine out of it, IMO.
Yes Jack, I remember International, but still, Ford put their name on the truck and they gained the lion's share of profit from the product. If one of my homes fell-down, I suppose I could blame the framer if that was the case, but others probably wouldn't see it that way. My name, my responsibility. Let's say I get lucky and everyone understands that things can happen...but what if I continued to use the same framer and the same structural drawings for the next 4 or 5 years and the homes continued to fall-down? What if all the homeowners started filing lawsuits against me and my company? Continuing to blame the framer would not go well in court for me...lol. In my book, the builder (or maker) is the responsible party for the end-product and is well rewarded for taking that responsibility.

Just my opinion. I know the automakers have some sort of legal dispensation but that don't make it right.
 

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I have personal first hand experience with friends and family from when the 6.0 hit market is why I say the irresponsible owners were to blame. I watched these guys neglect coolant, oil, and filters and then get pissed that the truck had problems because "my ol' seventree never cared!"

The problems were grossly overblown. I don't disagree that there were some engineering issues though.
To be completely honest I still find it flabbergasting that so many still think the 6.0 is the worst powerstroke when the 6.4 is such a dumpster fire. If I was building another race truck I might use one but thats about it.

Either way I think we agree the engine is still a fantastic powerplant with it's idiosyncrasies that can be overcome.
Yes, we definitely agree on that. Bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat a good 6.0!
 

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Yes Jack, I remember International, but still, Ford put their name on the truck, and they gained the lion's share of profit from the product. If one of my homes fell-down, I suppose I could blame the framer if that was the case, but others probably wouldn't see it that way. My name, my responsibility. Let's say I get lucky and everyone understands that things can happen...but what if I continued to use the same framer and the same structural drawings for the next 4 or 5 years and the homes continued to fall-down? What if all the homeowners started filing lawsuits against me and my company? Continuing to blame the framer would not go well in court for me...lol. In my book, the builder (or maker) is the responsible party for the end-product and is well rewarded for taking that responsibility.

Just my opinion. I know the automakers have some sort of legal dispensation but that don't make it right.

My intention was not to absolve Ford of the issue, just to clarify it was not their engineering. For many of the parts on vehicles today, much of the engineering is done by the suppliers. Ford controls its branded engines and transmissions, but even internal parts may not be engineered other than dimensionally or by material. It really gets to be a gray area. When you get into trucks such as Class 8, it surprises many that those manufacturers are more are assemblers.

A lawsuit was shown in this forum maybe a year back, which gives a slight glimpse into Ford getting caught with their pants down. I think they trusted International too much, yet at the same time, from my contacts with Int, they (Int) were not up to the task or the timeframe. Corporate Ford can move faster on issues, medium truck can pull from light truck or pass car, and can get help from Ford Scientific Research, and reach worldwide - but that's a S***show. International only had their internal group; Ford getting into the mix is not a pleasant situation for a supplier. I think the cross lawsuits during the mid-production of the 6.0 shows there were several issues.

Anyway, Ford should have been more on top of what International was doing and failing at - not absolving Ford. In my mind, Ford should have been questioning going from 6 bolts to 4 bolts per cylinder and making them prove it would not be an issue. But of course, it was Ford at the last minute that kicked up the HP to compete. I remember how PO'd, an International brake engineer was at lunch in 2004 after I mentioned I sold my 7.3 and bought a 6.0.

Anyway, just my viewpoint.
 
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My intention was not to absolve Ford of the issue, just to clarify it was not their engineering. For many of the parts on vehicles today, much of the engineering is done by the suppliers. Ford controls its branded engines and transmissions, but even internal parts may not be engineered other than dimensionally or by material. It really gets to be a gray area. When you get into trucks such as Class 8, it surprises many that those manufacturers are more are assemblers.

A lawsuit was shown in this forum maybe a year back, which gives a slight glimpse into Ford getting caught with their pants down. I think they trusted International too much, yet at the same time, from my contacts with Int, they (Int) were not up to the task or the timeframe. Corporate Ford can move faster on issues, medium truck can pull from light truck or pass car, and can get help from Ford Scientific Research, and reach worldwide - but that's a S***show. International only had their internal group; Ford getting into the mix is not a pleasant situation for a supplier. I think the cross lawsuits during the mid-production of the 6.0 shows there were several issues.

Anyway, Ford should have been more on top of what International was doing and failing at - not absolving Ford. In my mind, Ford should have been questioning going from 6 bolts to 4 bolts per cylinder and making them prove it would not be an issue. But of course, it was Ford at the last minute that kicked up the HP to compete. I remember how PO'd, an International brake engineer was at lunch in 2004 after I mentioned I sold my 7.3 and bought a 6.0.

Anyway, just my viewpoint.
In my profession, we call “assemblers” and the like, “paper contractors”. These guys pick-up the phone and schedule the next trade for their construction project but they really don’t know much more than how to dial a phone. Usually the job isn’t ready for the tradesman or common construction problems haven’t been taken care of, etc. Subcontractors generally lose money working for these paper contractors and tend to shy away from future jobs.

Anyway, I purchased my truck in 2003 along with many others apparently. A reasonable person would think Ford had more than enough time to notice the failures on these early 6.0's and make the necessary changes by say, 2005. Or maybe 2006. How about 2007? But they did not. Or at least they did not fix all of the problems.

I understand it's pointless to rehash all of this history but it's a real eye-opener about a company that has become an American institution. So, we are left to assume Ford just made a grand mistake handling the 6.0 problems and that it will hopefully never be repeated. And if there is a next time, we are sure Ford will better service its customers. Okay then, on to better days!

Next up: The 6.4L -- here we go again! Can you believe it?

How in the world did Ford manage to keep its (loyal) customer base and get to the 6.7L and the land of plenty?
 

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The days of the River Rouge Complex are long gone.

Reasonable time, no. If you wanted a vehicle fully sorted out by launch date, it would cost at least twice as much, or the platform would be stale considering the publics' new shiny things vehicle desire.

We started developing a friction material for the 1999 P131 launch in '97, and friction material is the last in line, while the calipers and rotors are still in development. Those started almost 2 years earlier. And during the entire time the '99-04 caliper was in production, we were doing what is known as "maturing" right up to about 6 months of the end of the production. So in 30 years, I've never known of any vehicle to be "worked out" on launch day. One of my directors (for a time) came from Ford Scientific Research, and we had a conversation once where he stated brakes or brake material should be kept in production for longer than the typical 5-6 years because it takes that long to sort everything, which would mean 8 years from initial compounding.

Every area of a vehicle is run through "accelerated testing" to meet the 5 years of development from the initial stage. These are test procedures developed on the history of issues, but for one, you can't expect you will do everything that happens in public, even though you do a lot of the testing on public roads. The second problem is issues that occur time-based, aging, and there are many. The standpipes of the 6.0 are an example. It probably looked good with accelerated testing running on a dyno 24 hrs a day. The brake test for NVH, durability, and wear out are run in 2 to 3 weeks, 2,000 to 3,000 miles, and that can be tight. You might get one 12,000 mile test during the 6 months development.

The 6.4 engine had to be started in the 2003 time frame. Plus, the contracts would have been signed off before then. The only resolution would have been not to have a diesel starting in 2008.

Ford relieved on International they would have the 6.0 ready for Job 1 2003. Unfortunately, the 7.3L had to be carried over, and the 6.0L still needed more work. International was losing staff and demoralized. A train wreck for years to come. In my view, the only reason the 6.4L probably didn't have head gasket issues was Ford SR got involved, looking at the head deflection.

By the 6.4L launch, Ford was already making plans for their own diesel. And they still had issues despite a tremendous effort by Ford America and Europe (diesel experienced). The best engine platforms are those that are based on a design 10 to 12 years running. IMO.

The old adage of the last year of production is the best, is true.
 

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I bought my 07 F350 15 years ago. and up until last week I only had the BP water pump. I have had to replace both banks of injectors once. and the last side was 8 years ago. I live in So Cal and about 3 years ago we had 117 degree heat and my engine got up to 245 degrees. I took it in but no major issues, just had a blown Degas bottle and blown radiator. In the 15 years I have had it I've probably spent 15k on maint and repairs. I have been diligent getting all services done and maintaining it well. Last week I took my truck in and got a number of bullet proofing done, EGR, ARP Studs, Resealed the entire engine, new OEM HPOP, resurfaced heads, replaced lifters, new crank bearings, added coolant filtration kit, and rebuilt turbo. You name it, I got it. Oh yeah the even added exhaust manifold gaskets, since I guess ford never put those on. My point being get docs as to what was done to the truck. I love my 6.0 and will never get rid of it. I know that it has gotten a bad rap because people just don't know how to take care of Diesels. I just think people think that you can run them and not do maint. My shop of choice in the OC is Bud's Diesel in Midway City. Been using them since the truck was out of warranty.

BTW: Make sure to get yourself a good Engine monitor (I use the Edge CTS Evolution), I only use the customs for changing tire sizes for my speedo.

I/O
 

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I have personal first hand experience with friends and family from when the 6.0 hit market is why I say the irresponsible owners were to blame. I watched these guys neglect coolant, oil, and filters and then get pissed that the truck had problems because "my ol' seventree never cared!"

The problems were grossly overblown. I don't disagree that there were some engineering issues though.
To be completely honest I still find it flabbergasting that so many still think the 6.0 is the worst powerstroke when the 6.4 is such a dumpster fire. If I was building another race truck I might use one but thats about it.

Either way I think we agree the engine is still a fantastic powerplant with it's idiosyncrasies that can be overcome.
I absolutely agree! People blaming Ford for the problems because someone had no coolant an ran it that way then say stupid Ford had bad cylinder head issues. Owners have to take responsibility for their actions. I'm not saying Ford is completely blameless; however if you maintain an engine well, even a poorly built product will work with less issues.

If you can't afford to maintain and repair a diesel you should not own one!
 
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