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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought a 2004 6.0 f-250 with 207k on it a few weeks ago. There was paperwork for replacing the oil cooler and HPOP 6 months/3,000mi ago. I checked it out everything seemed to be good other than a shot thermostat. When I replaced the thermostat I noticed decent build up of crud in the coolant system. Dark brown in color and very fine, rust maybe? I decided to do a basic coolant flush and put the old thermostat back in and ran a hose through the degas and flushed for about 30 minutes with the engine running. I ended up getting a significant amount of fine sand out of the system. I flushed with distilled water 3 times, it was coming out clear with no sediment so I drove it around for a few days with only distilled water and the new thermostat. Deltas were great, about 5-7.

So I drained half the distilled water and it was still crystal clear with no sediment. I filled with 3.5 gallons of rotella elc concentrate. Fast forward a couple days, I hopped on the freeway and ran it at 65mph, within maybe 5 minutes the deltas were at 15-17. I cut the test drive short and hopped off the freeway, deltas remained at 15 for the remainder of my way back home.

I figure the elc must have knocked a bunch of crap loose and clogged the oil cooler. At this point my plan is to drain the coolant again, back flush the oil cooler, run half a bottle of cascade with Dawn through it for a few days, then back flush again, flush with distilled 5 times, and refill with rotella elc again.

Additionally I have an IPR coolant filter in the mail right now that I plan to install. Worst case scenario I figure is that the oil cooler is irreparable and the flushes won’t restore proper deltas. But I will have set myself up for success with my next oil cooler.

How difficult is replacing the oil cooler for a shadetree mechanic? Would I be better off taking it to a reputable diesel shop instead of doing it myself?

Lastly, Is there anything I’ve missed?
 

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Personally backflushing and pulling the block plugs should fix this as its a new oil cooler. The oil cooler would take a couple of days after you watch youtube and read up on it. Realistically if you have more than the average 200piece tool kit you should be fine. Biggest pita is laying across the engine bay all day. Find a pice of plywood cut it to fit your upper boddy and lay a ton of old blankets on it. Or spend $$$ for the top side creeper made famous by 6.0ls lol


All and all if you have time/energy and don't get mad easy its worth saving the money for yourself. Stretch you back and hamstrings couple days lightly before and after or they'll ache.
 

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Blow me to Bermuda!
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If you're going to be doing multiple flushes you might want to replace the block drain plugs with 2 Fumoto F-108N drain valves. I used some clear hose to come off from each of mine that joined at a T-fitting and then another piece of hose that goes to the ground / receptacle. Zip-tied and out of the way, if I ever need to drain the block again, I'm set.

I also drove mine around for a couple of days with Dawn dish soap (with Cascade in it). Then flushed and back-flushed the cooler.

There are plenty of write-ups on all of this. Do a little searching and you'll have more reading material than you can shake a stick at.

As far as the work / doing it...honestly...if I can do it (and a whole lot more while I was in there), anyone can. Just take your time, stay organized, use YouTube / PS.org as a resource and you'll be fine.

And 1000000000% get a topside creeper if you can. My legs and back have never been so sore than when I spent the better part of a week working on my truck, standing on my bull bar, and leaning onto a make-shift pad.

Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fantastic, I was less than thrilled about having to replace the oil cooler. Fingers crossed the back flush works. Good call on the fumoto valves, I ordered a 6.4 starter to swap in while pulling the block plugs, so might as well throw those in too.

All the parts should be here Monday. I’ve got all Monday and Tuesday off so we’ll see how everything goes.
 

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Hopefully you have bought a true OEM oil cooler and not some EBay unit or Sinister product.
 

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For working on the truck, I use a folding plastic (lifetime, Cosco etc) table to stand on, life saving. Watch for the radiator bung that returns to the degas bottle, it will snap right off.
I think, replacing the oil cooler is a 2 day job, plan on 3. Replace and/or upgrade any and everything under the intake manifold and plan on a new up-pipe, might not need one, but plan on it. You need to drain coolant and oil for the job, so plan that appropriately as well. Use an organizer of sorts for nuts, bolts and etc. I prefer the dewalt style parts bins, with removable bins. I can separate everything and close it up w/o worry of spilling stuff everywhere. IMO, if you have an egr cooler, this is the time to deal with it. I put a new ficm (injector) harness on while I was there.... Also cleaned the intake up (mine wasn't terrible, or bad, at all). You'll also need a turbo install kit, don't skip it.... $6 at autozone (without bolts), $12~ online with bolts..... Always use name brand parts (mahl, Motorcraft, felpro etc).
For reference (others might read this in the future) and idk if this thinking is right.... I wouldn't back flush a cooler I was about to replace. I'd flush the cooling system, but not the oil cooler itself. I can't justify releasing the crap it's holding, into the cooling system, if I'm tossing it out.

Sent from my Redmi Note 9 Pro using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Okay, so today I pulled the starter. Surprise, it already had a 6.4 starter! Guess I’ll just return the one I bought. Then I pulled the block drains and flushed the system through the degas. I went to install the fumoto valves, and for the second surprise I found some aluminum foil just inside the driver block drain. My best guess is that it’s foil from the top of a coolant bottle, wonderful. Fumoto valves installed, time to put the starter back on!

Surprise number 3, the passenger side fumoto valve just barely fits behind the 6.4 starter but you can’t fit a hose on it. Oh well, I’ll have to settle for just one drain hose, and my starter will get a bath if I flush the passenger block drain. Time to backflush now. Got the first bolt off the oil cooler cover, and then I got the back bolt 90% off and then...

Surprise number 4! My 1/4” ratchet wrench exploded and died. Had to use a 1/4” crescent wrench with a t30 bit stuck in the end with electrical tape one fraction of a turn at a time until I finally got it off. Went on Amazon and same day delivered a better quality 1/4” drive ratchet wrench so I won’t have this problem again.

Went ahead and back flushed the cooler, seemed to have good flow through it so that’s promising. I put the cooler cover back on (well the first bolt is in and the second one is in as far as I could get it with my fingers. About that time my wife came out and said she was done working for the day, and the truck was getting more attention than her. That meant I was done for the night.

Tomorrow I’ll finish putting everything back together, install the ipr coolant filter and add the cascade with dawn. Then time for another backflush after a couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got everything back together, installed the ipr filter, filled with hose water, then went to start and... nothing! Turns out the fumoto valve was grounding out the 6.4 starter solenoid. Pulled the starter, put the drain plug back in, started up fine. Checked everything while running, looked good. I drained a bit of water, then added my premixed cascade to the degas and topped it off. Drove it around for 30 minutes to get it up to temperature, the water is already brown inside. Cascade is definitely working. I’ll drive it around for the next day or two, then do a regular fill & flush, clean out the filter, and add more cascade for a second go at it. At that point I’ll back flush the oil cooler again and hopefully have good deltas.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Made an album of my cascade flush. Plenty of rust caught by the magnet, good bit of gunk in the filter and you can see how nasty the stuff flushed out is. Prior to the cascade the water had been flushing clean after a day or two of running, cascade is definitely doing it’s job.

After draining I ran the hose into the degas with the block plug and radiator drain open, and ran the engine for about 15 mins. Plugged it back up and added the second half of the diluted cascade+dawn jug to the degas, topped it off with the hose. I’ll run it for another couple days, then when I flush it out this time I’ll back flush the oil cooler and do LOTS of flushing to get all the detergent out. Followed by a bunch of distilled flushes and finally ELC.

Also pictured is the old thermostat I replaced, you can see just how much crud was inside it before I started flushing.
 
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