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I recently purchased my first ever diesel engine pickup, a 2008 Ford, F350, 6.4L, 2x4, DRW, Cab/Chassis, Crew Cab. It had 67,000 miles on it when I purchased it from the original owner who used it as a crew truck in the oil field. It is all stock with no modifications to the engine, body, or computer. I am using it as the primary vehicle for my new small business, and typically use it to pull a 20' trailer with a small-ish (8,000 lbs) backhoe on it. I bought the truck without a bed on it, so I found a used Knapheide utility bed to put on it. The previous owner is a friend of mine, and told me everything there was to know about the truck, any problems he ever had with it, and gave me copies of all maintenance records. Mechanically the truck appears to be in good condition and the body/paint is fair, but the interior is a little rough from the dirty and oily crew riding in it 5-7 days a week.

However, it wasn't long before I started to learn the hard facts of powerstroke diesel ownership. Within the first 5,000 miles I have learned about "Reduced Engine Power", regen, EGR and EGT sensors, and diesel fuel in the oil.

The first event was within my first 2,000-3,000 miles when without warning I was experiencing "Reduced Engine Power" and struggling to get 20 MPH out of it with the loaded trailer behind me. A few days and a few hundred dollars later I was being told by the stealership that my problems were due to the engine oil being "over filled", and that they had drained it and refilled it to the proper level. They couldn't understand why someone would put that much oil in a truck. It wasn't until later that I learned that this was likely actually because the oil was contaminated with diesel fuel.

Second event was less than 100 miles later when I'm sitting on the side of this highway with the engine compartment billowing oily smelling smoke. Dealership towed it in and determined that they failed to properly replace the oil filter gasket. It still stinks to this day...

Third event was less than 1,000 miles after having gone up in smoke, when it started idling rough and clattering, and then started displaying the "Drive to Clean Exhaust" and "Cleaning Exhaust Filter" messages. 10 miles after the cleaning process started I find myself again experiencing "Reduced Engine Power" and struggling to get 20 MPH out of it with the loaded trailer behind me. I am a few miles from the Ford place, so I limp it in to their lot and have my wife come pick me up. This time the stealership says that the EGT and EGRT sensors are both bad and need to be replaced. 10 days and a few hundred dollars later I'm on the road again... Walking bow-legged, but back on the road nonetheless.

On to number four... Roughly 150 miles after picking it up from having the sensors replaced, the truck starts idling rough and making a very loud clattering when idling and when accelerating. Immediately called and took it back in assuming issues associated with the EGT/EGRT sensor repairs. This time they tell me that I have an 8% loss in compression on the #2 cylinder, and suggest trying a few doses of Ford's recommended fuel additive.

Today I experienced another regen cycle on my way home from a job. Because of what I have read here, I went ahead and drove an unnecessary additional 15 miles in a circle until the regen completed.

My question to you is, what does all of this mean? I have read through countless forums, but I just can't seem to put it all together for my specific situation and how I am using this truck. I am not a mechanic, especially not a diesel mechanic, and I don't have any friends who are diesel mechanics, so I need some advice from my internet friends. Did I buy a lemon? Did my friend screw me? Should I polish it up and try to get my money back out of it? What can I do to prevent any future issues with this truck? I know that I should change the oil, oil filter, and fuel filters often, but what else can I do. Specifically which fuel additive should I use and why? What brand and weight oil is right and why? Oil Filter? Fuel filter? I am pretty mechanically inclined, so can I do the deletes and tunes myself? How should it be tuned for frequent towing? What else do I need to know that I don't know to ask? I would think that I should be able to get 200,000+ miles out of this truck.

Please take it easy on me, and thank you in advance. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
 

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I could write a lot to address all your issues, but it can be summed up with:

Find a new stealership.

Do the deletes yourself. Buy a kit including dpf delete pipe, and tuner, and if you don't want to wrestle with egrs, just get block plates (making sure the tuner supports egr valve ignore and dpf removal).. stay on top of your maintenance.. your truck will recover, and you'll see many happy miles.

If you've got the coin to drop in one fell swoop, I'd rec deletes, lift pump with low pressure monitor, ccv, and some drivers tricks like letting egts cool to less than 300* before killing engine, to protect turbo seals, as well as having a tuner with defuel settings and setting them conservatively...

On an aside, if the internet was around in the seventies, I wonder how many archived forum threads we'd find about 'smog pump deletes'.. :)
 

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@drewactual thank you for your very thorough reply. You provided a great summarized response. I will definitely heed your advice.

Just to update this post, in case anyone is folowing, I had another "event" today that almost left me stranded. Driving down the highway when without warning I get "reduced engine power" for the third time since owning this truck. I was less than 5 miles from the dealership, so I called to warn the service manager that I was "coming in hot", and that I expected him to get it on a computer, get the codes deleted, and get me back on the road within 30 minutes (barring diagnosis of major problem). Surprisingly, he obliged and told me where to park so they could get to it. 10 minutes later they're telling me that they pulled P252F (Engine oil level too high) and another one that I can't racall that indicated reduced compression on number 2 cylinder. He told me that I would have to leave it with them so that they could "tear into it" to further diagnose it, but that I should expect to have to replace injectors. I was on my way to a deadline backhoe job, so leaving my only 1-ton was not an option at this point. I asked them to delete the codes and sell me some oil and filter to get me back on the road to my job site, and that I would change the oil before the next crank cycle. Again, the service manager politely obliged and even found a 5 gallon bucket for me to use to put the old oil in. I changed the oil and haven't had any issues since.

Is this normal? I know that it happens, there will likely be some diesel fuel in the oil, but I don't know how much is too much. I know one thing, if it is the injector leaking, I will be finding another diesel mechanic besides the monopoly of a stealership that is in my small town.
 

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Yah I think you need to do something about getting another mechanic. that sucks man.

between this site and another diesel site I frequent, theres not much not covered if you read around long enough.

Some say this brand and that brand. I take it to my ford dealer, as its cheaper for me to have them change the oil then myself do it. Ford parts are what I use. unless its any kind of upgrading......suspension EGR deletes...etc.

Im sure this is not the reason for the oil smell, but hows your CCV hose. you can get some strange odors from that area if its cracked or who knows what.
Sorry about your luck. These are good trucks, but there are some bad ones out there, hopefully you and a good mechanic can get it figured out and if the person you bought it from was honest and didn't screw you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm starting to woryy that you have an injector hanging up..
Something of this nature is what I fear also. How can I further diagnose this more accurately?

Is changing injectors something that a shade tree mechanic should tackle, having never done it before? Can you change just one, do you change an entire side, or do you change both sides? Any idea on rough estimate of cost for parts and/or cost of labor? I am finished with the stealership for sure. I have been told that only a Ford dealership can delete the codes and/or retrieve certain data from the ecm, which is one reason that I have stuck with them this long. Is this true, or even partially true, meaning that there are some things that only they can do? If so, what are those things?
 

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Having any shade tree mechanic work on a 6.4 is a bad idea... Get that truck into a reputable diesel shop. Forget about dealerships... They just want money, and a 6.4 is a sure fire way to get it.

Find a good 3rd party diesel shops in your area and get it in. You may have an injector hanging open, or a leaking fuel line under the valve covers. if you have ever had the HPFP replaced or an injector that is where I would look.

Have you checked your oil? Is it milky? Is you coolant low? That would tell you/us that you have more serious coolant issues such as a ruptured oil cooler.
 
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Having any shade tree mechanic work on a 6.4 is a bad idea... Get that truck into a reputable diesel shop. Forget about dealerships... They just want money, and a 6.4 is a sure fire way to get it.

Find a good 3rd party diesel shops in your area and get it in. You may have an injector hanging open, or a leaking fuel line under the valve covers. if you have ever had the HPFP replaced or an injector that is where I would look.

Have you checked your oil? Is it milky? Is you coolant low? That would tell you/us that you have more serious coolant issues such as a ruptured oil cooler.

Thanks crazySOb,
There were no signs of coolant/water in the oil when I changed it 3 days ago , and the coolant level was fine. The oil was black and had a very strong odor of diesel exhaust and/or diesel fuel.

My focus for now is this injector issue, but I would also like to get the forums opinions about having the egr deletes done and possibly having it tuned when I have the injectors looked at. Or would it be wise to wait until I am sure that I am out of the woods on problems? I say "having" it done because I would rather get someone who has experience do it, than try to do it myself and risk greater damage. My concern about tunes is that if I can find a mechanic that can do it, how can I be sure that he knows enough about what he's doing? I'm afraid that he will try to tune it for the 1/4 mile, not towing with with a stock unit, and I'll wind up with bigger problems.
 

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On the regeneration cycle cylinders 7 and 8 wash the cylinders on the exhaust stroke, igniting a fire that burns out the dpf.. it's beyond stupid.

It's hard to tell without laying hands on the truck to diagnose, but... If you want to keep it, find a good tuner and delete that dpf at a minimum... By the way, Spartan and h&s will both read and clear codes.

The contribution code could simply be loss of rail pressure during the regeneration cycle.. The fuel in oil could be from excessive regenerations due to clogging and tired dpf.. replacing dpf will cost about the same as deleting it..

You could replace an injector in your garage, but it isn't for the feint of heart. I'm not certain that's your issue, though, without eliminating that stupid regeneration and seeing if your issues aren't all dpf and regeneration created.
 

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On the regeneration cycle cylinders 7 and 8 wash the cylinders on the exhaust stroke, igniting a fire that burns out the dpf.. it's beyond stupid.

It's hard to tell without laying hands on the truck to diagnose, but... If you want to keep it, find a good tuner and delete that dpf at a minimum... By the way, Spartan and h&s will both read and clear codes.

The contribution code could simply be loss of rail pressure during the regeneration cycle.. The fuel in oil could be from excessive regenerations due to clogging and tired dpf.. replacing dpf will cost about the same as deleting it..

You could replace an injector in your garage, but it isn't for the feint of heart. I'm not certain that's your issue, though, without eliminating that stupid regeneration and seeing if your issues aren't all dpf and regeneration created.

Drewactual, Very good info. I definitely want to get rid of the DPF, as I have yet to read anything that indicates anything other than problems associated with it. I want to get it down to a simple exhaust system.
 

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Well, here is my advice and what I'd do if in your shoes, and after identifying I wanted to keep the rig:

Take truck to a user rec'd dealer or shop, have diagnostics ran on it with careful monitoring of fuel system. If it checks out:

Either Spartan or H&S tuner delete capable... Replace the oe tune with a tune that eliminates dpf and turns off egr.. make sure tune loads before surgery.

Replace at least dpf, or do entire dp back.. takes about half an hour.

Slip in egr block plates to eliminate chance of ruptured cooler sending coolant into combustion chamber.. another half hour work..

Build a ccv kit.. $50 tops.. install, another half hour...

Coolant flush and replace using restore, restore plus, and replacing with elc coolant. About eight hours.. install coolant filter... Another half hour..

Install better lift pump/fuel filtration.. airdog, fass, or fuel labs... About four hours.. get low pressure light kit with it. About half an hour.

Install better air..no limit is the way to go.. another hour...

Get a case of fuel filters for all three filters (water separator, primary filter, and bowl filter).. Get a good supply of fuel treatment (i personally prefer lubricity formula from sandydine)... Run quality oil... Set conservative defuels (if you go H&S) to protect the rig.. always let it run a few seconds at least before taking off.. always let egts drop below 300* before killing engine... dont idle excessively. Never EVER hammer on a cold engine (and if you're hitched up already, on a cold engine, this is one time idling to decent temp ought to be permissible)... Drain your water separator weekly or with every top off of the tank.. check your oil regularly... Send it for analysis every so often... Mark your degas bottle with coolant level and write temp beside it, compare it as close to same temp as you can... Drain your ccv every oil change to see how much your trap is catching and engine blowing by... Stay on top of it, and your truck will take care of you.
 

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And if you run anything over stock tune stay off the freeway until your ect/eot is at least 130-140*... It is perfectly fine to drive around town on a cold motor with a 6.4, but these things build so much boost and tuning jumps fueling/timing up so much that you run some pretty big risks if you don't get some heat in there.


Other than that drew hit the nail on the head about 10x over...
 
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I went with a H&S tuner and a flow pro exhaust due to the regen cycle putting diesel fuel in the oil. I still need to put on the block plates but I've not had issues with the fuel in the oil like i did before.
 

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Well, here is my advice and what I'd do if in your shoes, and after identifying I wanted
I went with a H&S tuner and a flow pro exhaust due to the regen cycle putting diesel fuel in the oil. I still need to put on the block plates but I've not had issues with the fuel in the oil like i did before.
And if you run anything over stock tune stay off the freeway until your ect/eot is at least 130-140*... It is perfectly fine to drive around town on a cold motor with a 6.4, but these things build so much boost and tuning jumps fueling/timing up so much that you run some pretty big risks if you don't get some heat in there.

Other than that drew hit the nail on the head about 10x over...

Wow, great information. Thank you drewactual. And thank you to crazySOb and raceit17 for you input as well. I am in the process of finding a good mechanic And will talk to him about all of this.

I am back in "Reduced Engine Power" mode as of yesterday. Actually had a somewhat frightening experience. Was driving on the highway at approximately 60 MPH with no load when the regen message popped up on the dash for a minute or two. Approximately 10 miles later it went into the limp home mode. The frightening part was that about 5 miles later the truck began to accelerate uncontrollably for about 20 to 30 seconds. It finally started to decelerate and I was able to get it slowed down, but it kinda freaked me out. I was planning to shift into neutral if it hadn't stopped, but I'm not sure that just anyone would have had the same reaction and may have had an accident. I've been talking with a guy who is advertising use of his code reader to see if I can pull codes to share on here and when talking to a mechanic.
 

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Friend, you've got a sticking injector...

Get that fixed most rickytic... Don't eff around with that... It's likely stuck and worn due to lack of lubricity, which if you're not running an additive, you're kinda asking for it, unfortunately (thank you, epa)..

Ulsd is less than 15ppm sulpher... The next grade is 500ppm.. sulpher not withstanding, but the process to remove it also removes lubricants AND the fuels ability to hold lubricants along with suspend water... It freakin sucks... (thank you epa, again)... Your injectors need lubricants, and relying on the fuel to provide them is tough on them, so, add a good one. A good lubricant also allows a padding between the gate and the opening, so when the gate slaps home it's not landing directly on metal, instead it lands on.a pillow of fuel/lubricant.. warp the gate, and it will either not seat or it will not close at all.. it sounds like yours isn't closing at all, at least for twenty to thirty seconds yesterday... These are not heui injectors, they are piaziometric, and are more akin to gas injectors than prior diesel injectors.. meaning, they don't generate their own pressure but rely on the rail, just like a gasser, to provide the pressure.. except the pressure on the diesel is stupid high compared to a gasser.. when one gets stuck, you're washing the cylinder through every stroke... Being just one you won't see the tons of smoke like you do in a Cummins, but I bet you saw some all the same..

Right now, fixing the injector ain't going to wipe the bank.. run it that way, and it soon will.. you don't wanna know what it costs to replace an engine in these things.
 

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You suggested that I find a user recommended mechanic. I assumed that you meant one that is recommended by users on this forum. How do I go about doing that? Is there a place on this website to find that or do I need to ask in a new post?

I doubt it is going to happen, but I've got to get this truck fixed fast, like in a day or two. Sucks not having a backup, but I just can't afford to buy a second truck right now. I am a gravedigger, so my customers will not wait because I have a crappy truck.
 

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The best thing to do is ask in the forum, in a new thread, about trusted shops in your area..

The injector can be exercised via snap on or other type tool.. it literally opens and closes them in a controlled manner slower than operation of the engine would, measuring the reaction and times..

Swapping one isn't a big deal.
 

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I'm glad to hear that it isn't a big deal to swap one, because I was starting to get worried about how much time and money it was going to take.
 

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There is a topic here somewhere.. problems board, maybe, that is a sticky.. it is about fuel systems and outlines pretty well the process.
 

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I haven't received any replies to my forum posts requesting recommendations for mechanics/shops in the South Arkansas or North Louisiana area, so I'm beginning the process of calling every shop in the area to see who will work on it.

Since we have pretty well determined that the root cause of all of my issues to-date is a stuck injector, are there any other related issues that they may find when they open it up? I have read a lot of horror stories about chain reactions that occur when one problem occurs, so trying to prepare my wallet. Will it be okay for a while if I can't immediately afford the deletes/tunes after getting these injector issues resolved?
 
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