Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright everyone, i think the time has come to make a single thread to cover everything 6.4 Powerstroke. This will cover all the basic and commonly asked questions, diagnostics, maintenance, and tips to get the new 6.4 owners up to speed on what its like to own one of these trucks and maybe even get veteran members to learn a thing or two as well ;) I have gone somewhat in depth and because of that i will have three posts to fit it all in. Although i tried to keep everything as relative and as accurate as possible, i am not perfect. That being said, if you see anything wrong or should be added please comment and i will add/change if it is a good fit. Also realize (especially in the modification chapter) that I can’t cover every aspect of every item. This is just to point you, the reader, in the right direction. Admins if you think this is a good thread please add it as a sticky so all the new guys and visitors can find it easily. Lets get right into it!

Chapters:
Chapter 1: Intro
Chapter 2: Caring for your 6.4/ driving habits
Chapter 3: “Bulletproofing” fixing the time bombs
Chapter 4: General performance modifications
Chapter 5: Common problems and how to fix them
Chapter 6: Buying a 6.4 and what to look for
Summary:


Chapter 1: Introduction to the 6.4

In response to the plagued 6.0 Powerstroke engine, Ford once again called on Navistar to build a new engine to address the previous issues and even improve on the old design to stay on top of the market. Navistar answered the call with the 6.4l Powerstroke engine.

With the company promising the new power plant to be one of the best and most resilient to hit the market , Ford put the new engine into the second generation body style of Super Duty trucks. On December 18th 2006, the first 6.4l Powerstroke was produced.

The new engine was a 390.5 cubic inch v8, featuring sequential variable geometry turbos, piezo injectors, and a high pressure fuel pump (hpfp) capable of producing in excess of 30,000 psi of pressure. It was one of the strongest engines in its class producing 350 horsepower and 650 foot pounds of torque at the crank. It also was the first diesel engine ford sold that featured a full emissions system, including dual exhaust gas recirculation (egr) coolers, catalytic converter (cat), and a diesel particulate filter (dpf).

With Ford promoting the new trucks as the answer every ford fan was waiting for, it was a big initial success, however it was short lived. After seasons started passing, the quality of Navistar started to rear its head once again....

With flashbacks of the 6.0 Powerstroke engine on the minds of Ford and the market showing the dissatisfaction toward the blue oval, Ford decided to sell the final 6.4l engine equipped Super Duty by March of 2010.

Even though many 6.4’s have been in the shops one time or another, the engine still continues to prove that even though it has demons, they are soon woo’ed by the excellent responsiveness and drivability it has to offer. And the aftermarket community has dawned a soft side for the 6.4 due to the fact that it can make the most power of any light vehicle diesel engine to this day with simple bolt-ons, surpassing 1200 foot pound of torque with ecu tuning alone.

The 6.4l Powerstroke engine certainly isn’t the best diesel ever made, but it does reward those who don’t give up on it with excellent drivability and power.

Chapter 2: Caring for your 6.4/driving habits

*Everything covered in this chapter is said having the stock 6.4 powerplant in mind. Information may vary if your engine has aftermarket modifications and/or parts.

Your 6.4 is an amazing tool which is always there when you need it. Whether you are in -20 degree weather offroading to get to your cabin, towing 20,000 pounds worth of backhoe, or simply taking your significant other out to dinner, your 6.4 can do some amazing things. But those things don’t come free. The 6.4 Powerstroke is one of, if not the most picky engine when it comes to maintainence and driving habits

-Maintenance

If you do not keep up on the maintenance you will have problems.

Lets start with simple maintenance etiquette. Consider your owner’s manual the holy book, it is how you live when dealing with your truck. When in doubt refer to your manual! It has your maintenance schedule, fuse diagrams, and everything else important to know and keep your 6.4 working well.

Speaking of maintainence intervals, your manual has normal duty and severe duty schedules. It is a good idea to default to the severe schedule due to the 6.4 engine problems (which is covered in the next chapter). The severe schedule recommends changing the oil and filter at 5,000 miles and fuel filters at 15,000 miles. Do these things on time with oem Motorcraft brand filters and you will be one step ahead of the rest on fighting future problems.

When changing your oil, the default is Motorcraft brand oil with the weight and viscosity your manual recommends. You can put different brands of oil in your 6.4 but be sure it is a well trusted and proven brand and it be at least a synthetic blend, no conventional oil is allowed. When changing the oil remove the filter first. This will make any loose foreign material not captured fall into the oil that will later be drained. Replace the filter with a oem filter with o ring and then fill with new oil which is 15 quarts with filter unless otherwise stated.

Fuel filters are next and just as important. These are your first and last line of defense before the fuel gets to the hpfp. The hpfp is complex and advanced part that needs extremely tight tolerances in order to work properly. Any foreign material can compromise the pump and cause it to fail, costing thousands to repair. That is why the fuel filters are so important to stay on top of. There are two filters, one located on the fuel conditioning unit mounted to the frame rail under the cab and the other in the engine bay located next to the oil filter. Start by draining the water separator by opening the valve on the fuel conditioning unit until water is purged and diesel starts to come out. Close the valve and remove the frame rail filter and replace with an oem filter and o ring. Next remove the engine fuel filter and replace the filter with a new oem as well. Now this is an important step, you need to purge the air from the fuel system BEFORE attempting to start. To purge the system, turn the key to acc (notch before starting) and keep it there for 30 seconds. Once the 30 seconds has passed, return the key to off for 3 seconds. Repeat a total of 6 times. Once you have completed the step, attempt to start the engine. If starts then dies, repurge 3 times instead of 10 and then attempt to start. It isn’t uncommon for it to stall once so don’t worry.

Oil and fuel are the most important in terms of maintenance, if you are going to neglect on certain maintenance items please do not do it with the fuel or oil filters. Those protect the lifeblood of these engines and if you don’t give them the attention they deserve your engine will suffer. I cannot stress that enough!

The most simple will probably be the air filter. It is only recommended to change the filter when the air filter minder throws a check engine light. It will come on when the restriction in the air intake becomes too great. When changing the filter you will get the most filtration out of an oem. If you want a little more flow, AFE makes a drop-in filter that will do the trick. AFE is the only stock airbox aftermarket filter I can recommend for the 6.4’s. Other brands either don’t provide enough flow or filtration to do the job adequately.

Next is coolant. Gold Motorcraft coolant is the go to for 6.4. Some 6.4 owners use Caterpillar brand extended life coolant (ELC) instead of Motorcraft which is acceptable to do. Always keep your coolant between the cold fill lines and change the coolant at 100,000 miles, simple enough.The coolant capacity is 29.6 quarts which includes the heater core and coolant recovery tank. Don’t forget to check your fuel coolant reservoir regularly as well. It is the small black steel tank to the left of the power steering, it uses the same coolant and is completely independent of the main coolant system. So if you drain one for new coolant don’t forget to drain the other. There is a lengthy procedure to purge the coolant system and refill to prevent cavitation. You can find that procedure online. And to end the coolant paragraph, it is a good idea to replace the thermostats and coolant pressure cap when replacing the coolant as those items have a limited life before they they become a liability.

Transmissions have a hard life. They take the tremendous amount of torque diesels make and harness it for efficient use. To do the demanding job they need a good oil that can not only lubricate it but cool it as well. If you have a 5r100 (auto) you should replace the fluid at 60,000 miles and if you have a ZF S6-750 (manual) you can go between 70,000 and 100,000 miles depending on your driving characteristics. When changing the automatic transmission fluid, most 6.4 owners drop the oil pan and replace the fluid that was removed rather than doing a “heated flush service”. *This is due to the belief that the heated service puts excess pressure and stress on the system when purging all the old oil out of the transmission, however there is limited evidence on this matter to say conclusively. If you decide to change the fluid yourself, use Mercon Lv (previously sp) and replace whatever you took out of the system. If you decide to do a heated service or another way that completely drains the transmission, the quantity is 17.5 quarts with the filter change. Dont forget to change the transmission filter as well. Depending on the year your truck was built you either have an external filter for early years or an internal filter for later years.
*For the ZF manual transmission is simple. Just drain and replace with 5.8 quarts of Mercon V. You should fill until the fluid reaches the top fill hole. You will need a pump to get the fluid into the manual transmission

Transfer cases are simple. There is a fill and drain bolt on the rear side of the case. Remove both and drain the old fluid, replace the drain plug with new teflon tape, and fill the case to the oil fill hole which should be about two quarts. Once filled replace the fill plug with new teflon tape. The fluid called for is Motorcraft transfer case fluid (xl-12). Be aware, you will need a pump to get the fluid into the case due to limited access.

The last maintainence items are the differentials. For the sterling 10.5 (srw) axles they are quoted as a “sealed” unit meaning that the fluid does not need to be changed for the life of the vehicle. However it is common practice to change the fluid at 100,000 miles. The front differential is 2.8 liters of 80w-90 on all Super Duty’s and the rear is 3.3 liters of 75w-140. For the dana (drw) axles it is recommended to change at 50,000 miles and it is not a sealed unit. The oil for the Dana m80 is 4 liters of 75w-90 and the Dana s110/130 likes 6.6 liters of 75w-140.

One more thing i want to touch on even though its not necessary is fuel additives. Contrary to popular believe, you don’t need to be in below freezing temps to have a reason to run them nowadays. Ford actually recommends running their brand of Motorcraft additive in every tank of diesel to boost the lubrication numbers. Since modern diesel is ultra low sulfur and doesn’t possess the lubrication that it used to in older diesel fuel it is smart to run them, especially since 6.4’s have a hpfp. It could save you thousands down the road. The most popular brand is Opti-lube which provides a full line of additives so you can pick the one thats right for you. Other good brands to look at are Rev-x and Archoil. Whatever you choose is better than running nothing at all, some even run pure two-stroke oil although i cant personally condone using it. Also it is good practice to fill up at stations that go through a decent amount of fuel, that way there is limited condensation in the fuel and it limits the chances of water contamination.

⁃ Daily driving habits

Even though diesel engines are famous for being able to take abuse and pass a million miles doing it, the 6.4 isn’t one of them. It is a somewhat fragile engine when compared to similar diesel engines due to the last minute nature of the design coupled with band aid fixes to pass emissions before being sold. With that being said, following these daily driving tips will minimize wear and tear and keep your 6.4 happy.

When starting up your 6.4 from cold always let the glow plug light turn off before starting. This will make the engine start quicker and get oil flowing faster to the nozzles reducing start up wear. Even a couple extra seconds after wouldn’t hurt. *Once started, don’t start driving immediately. Give the engine 15 or so seconds to get the fluids moving, oil to the surfaces that need it, and pistons heated up. After that and you start moving, don’t mash the gas. You should let it get up to operating temperature or at least 150 degrees oil temperature before asking for significant power or high rpm.

When your 6.4 is all warmed up and you are driving always remember it is a truck, not a racecar. If you want to go fast and race, buy a mustang or have alot of cash on standby because 6.4’s cant handle continuous abuse. They need to be driven practically and efficiently. *If you don’t heed this warning you will kill your engine sooner than later.

From the factory your 6.4 is equipped with a diesel particulate filter (dpf). The filter captures diesel soot that is later burned off by either passive or active regeneration. Passive regeneration is done while you drive normally. When passive regeneration isn’t enough, active regeneration is activated to clean the filter. It is activated when the back pressure threshold is exceeded. When that happens, a message will appear on your dash screen stating “drive to clean exhaust filter”. After the message is stated you need to drive your 6.4 above 30 miles an hour to initiate the cleaning. The productivity screen will notify you when the cleaning is completed. The less you stop, the more fuel, the quicker it cleans, and you save some wear and tear on your engine.

Whenever you are carrying/towing a load, tow haul is recommended. Placing your 6.4 into tow haul will stop it from “hunting’ for the right gear, keep it in the torque band longer, and cut down on shifts reducing fluid temperature and clutch wear. It will also allow you to take advantage of engine braking when slowing down. While you are engine braking turning on your a/c will further increase the total engine braking provided, even though it won’t be a significant increase. If you are in tow haul and are taking advantage of engine braking, it will also help cool down your engine. This is due to the fact that no fuel is being burned and the engine is only circulating non heated air, transporting heat out of the engine. This is the most critical time if you wish to lower engine temperature as no other method cools the engine as quickly or efficiently.

Long or frequent idling is not condoned in 6.4 engines as it could lead to increased carbon and soot buildup down the road. To determine if your 6.4 has a lot of idle time, divide the total miles by the engine hours. Anything over 35 is considered high idling and you have an increased risk of carbon/soot related problems.

Driving your 6.4 with the a/c or defroster on increases load on the engine, this in turn increases engine temperature, fuel consumption, and power loss. If you don’t need the systems on go ahead and shut them off. When towing a heavy load uphill this is also a good time to shut them down to help keep engine temperatures in check.

After you are done driving you 6.4 it is recommended you let you it idle before shutting down, this gives the turbos a chance to cool down. Not cooling down the turbos after extended driving or moving heavy loads could cause turbo problems down the road. Cool down time varies depending on your circumstances but the manual recommends 3-5 minutes for heavy loads, high ambient temperature, or high rpm.

If you are driving a manual transmission, a good skill to learn is rev matching. Rev matching is a downshifting technique in which you shift out of one gear, tap the gas to bring the rpms up, and shift into the lower gear and release the clutch. If you do it right you will have a smooth transition from one gear to the other increasing clutch life and providing a smoother driving experience.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chapter 3: “Bulletproofing” fixing the time bombs

*Before you continue reading please check your state and local emissions laws before changing any engine related equipment on your 6.4!

This is probably the chapter the everyone comes to read, so I will try not to disappoint. The 6.4 is a fairly reliable engine but certain things are strongly recommended to do in order to get the most life out of your engine. I have listed things to do from most important to least important. I will also provide a list of recommended brands to use at the end of this chapter. Lets get right into it!

Dpf delete: The number one killer of 6.4 liter engines hands down is the diesel particulate filter (dpf). When it becomes clogged active regeneration is initiated and will increase the exhaust gas temperature (egt) past 1,000 degrees to burn the soot out of the dpf, cleaning it. The way the engine increases exhaust gas temperature is it injects diesel fuel into the #7 and #8 cylinders during the exhaust stroke making internal temperatures skyrocket. This is a “dynamic problem” meaning it causes problems on multiple fronts. The first problem is oil dilution. When the large amount of diesel is injected to raise the exhaust gas temperatures some fuel slips past the piston rings and contaminates the oil, decreasing lubrication and making the oil level rise as well. The second problem is the #7 and #8 cylinders get so hot during the regeneration that they sometimes literally start to melt! Once the pistons start to melt, compression is lowered, blowby is increased, and the piston itself it weakened and becomes more prone to cracking if not completely failing. The solution to this is “deleting” the dpf with either a full aftermarket exhaust or a delete pipe. You can even hollow out the dpf so it gives the impression that it is still there when it isn’t. When you remove the dpf you also need to reprogram the ecu with a programmer or tuner in order for the engine to work properly with the dpf absent. We will go into tuners in the next chapter. Once removed and programed you can enjoy increased fuel economy, no def regenerations, lower egt’s and most of all increased life span of your engine.

Egr deletes: Next up is the exhaust gas recirculation system (egr). The exhaust gas recirculation system is an emissions component that feeds exhaust back into the intake to be reburned. Obviously this is a problem considering the dirty nature of diesel exhaust and the hot temperature exhaust has. To combat the temperature issue, two egr coolers were installed to cool the exhaust before it is reintroduced back into the intake. Problems come in the form of lowered fuel economy, increased egt’s and coolant temperatures, and soot clogging up the intake tract and intake valves leading to less power and more wear and tear, especially when a dpf is present. Egr delete kits are sold to remove the system and include cooler block off plates, coolant block off plates, and a new intake elbow without an egr provision. You will need to reprogram your ecu to keep check engine lights from appearing. Another way to solve the egr problem is to literally shut them off with a engine tuner that offers that provision. When installed the tuner will close the valves on the egr preventing exhaust from re-entering the intake. Be aware that you will not see a significant cooling gain if you go this route.

Coolant filters: Coolant filters are next on the list. When 6.4 engines are made they are casted in sand to made the block. Some sand is stuck on the block’s surface and after coolant flows over the block for thousands of hours the sand can become dislodged. This is a problem because once the sand is dislodged it flows through the coolant system and can become stuck in the oil cooler. When this happens, oil temperature drastically increases and the only way to fix it is to submit to a costly repair. The coolant filter splices into the oem coolant hoses and filters a small amount of coolant at a time. This removes foreign materials from the coolant and helps prevent future cooling related issues. Most coolant filter companies recommend the filter be changed every year, making it cheap insurance.

Ccv mod/delete: Blowby is a common problem that you may of already heard of. Blowby is oil vapor that is made when cylinder pressure slips past the piston rings and pressurizes the crankcase. This issue is exponentially increased due to the loose piston ring tolerances that came from the factory. This blowby needs to escape in order to keep the crankcase unpressurized otherwise it will begin to hurt internal engine components. The way ford does this is they connect a hose from the oil fill bottle to the intake tract, sucking out the blowby to be burned in the combustion process. This system is called a crankcase ventilation (ccv) system. The system seems like a good idea however it leads to problems. These problems include oil coating the intake tract reducing power, oil collecting in the intercooler lowering cooling capacity and increasing egt’s, and coating the throttle body and intake valves which can also cause problems. In rare cases a runaway engine situation can even occur do to all the oil that has been collected, moving into the cylinder and igniting. The way to solve this problem is to do a crankcase ventilation (ccv) delete. This is a do-it-yourself mod which involves getting new 1 inch inter diameter hose and routing it under the truck so it can be vented to the atmosphere, keeping blowby out of the intake. An inline filter can also be used but must provide adequate flow in order not to increase crankcase pressure. A minimum of 1 inch id hose must be used. For a guide on how to do this mod please click on the following link. http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/6-...iscussion/1087937-ccv-mod-delete-install.html

Pistons: Now onto a somewhat unfortunate issue. 6.4 pistons are prone to cracking. This is due to poor casting of powered metal, a hard lip that collects heat, and bad quality control that can let areas of piston material be significantly lower than what is needed to have strength. When pistons crack compression can be lowered, fuel dilution can occur, and blowby can be increased. In extreme cases this can even lead to the whole piston failing as well. The reason this is an unfortunate issue is because the only way to fix it is to lift the cab, tear apart the engine, and spend a lot of money to replace the pistons with better/delipped ones.

Headstuds: The last thing I want to cover before moving on is headstuds. You may have already heard of the 6.4 engine receiving newly designed headstuds following the 6.0 engine and yes the 6.4’s did receive new ones. For normal driving and stock power levels the oem studs are fine but when you go past the stock power or constantly tow heavy loads in which boost is normally operating over 30 psi you might run into problems down the road. Problems come in the form of the cylinder head lifting off the block due to excess pressure that the studs can’t hold down. This causes the pressure from the cylinder to escape into the coolant passages contaminating coolant and even destroying the cooling system due to over-pressurization. Coolant can also make its way into the oil depending on where the piston is in its stroke. Most of the time, headstud installation is a cab off procedure so if you ever have another repair that requires lifting the cab, that might also be a good time to save on labor and put new headstuds in as well if you fit the prerequisite.

Full exhaust system brands: Flo-pro, Diamond eye, AFE, Banks, MBRP
Dpf delete pipes: Flo-pro, MBRP, Diamond eye
Egr delete kits: Sinister diesel, Flo-pro, No-limit
Coolant filters: Sinister diesel, Mishimoto
Ccv mod: N/a
Pistons: Dynamic diesel, River city diesel. International/Navistar (maxforce 7)
Headstuds: ARP

Chapter 4: General performance modifications

*All horsepower numbers are for a 6.4 engine that has a 300 hp tune and a straight pipe exhaust. Horsepower numbers will vary depending on the users setup and tune files.
*Tuning your 6.4 past stock power levels increases your chances of damaging your engine, please do your due-diligence and research the risks of tuning your 6.4 before proceeding.

In this section we will cover the general performance modifications of 6.4 engines, what brands are good, what to expect for install, and how it will effect the performance of the engine. Before you continue, please be check state and local emissions laws before modifying you engine! I won’t cover suspension, chassis, or other non-engine mods due to the fact that 6.0, 6.4, and 6.7 trucks share a lot of those parts and there is already plenty of info on those topics. I will not get into major engine modifications either as there are so many variables that it simply isn’t possible to give good advice and guidance for more than an individual basis. Lets begin!

Air filters: Possibly the most popular modification for 6.4’s and for good reason. Air filters provide great bang for the buck, and provide a little extra turbo sound to as an added benefit. If you are running at a stock or close to stock power level, the oem filter is the best option. It provides adequate flow for the job and has the best filtration of any filter hands down. Once you deviate from the stock power level the oem filter can no longer flow enough air to feed the engine. AFE and S&b are the most popular brands of intakes and are recommended by forum members. Sinister diesel and No limit are good brands as well. When purchasing a new intake you have the option of either a wet or dry filter. Dry filters usually provide slightly more filtration with slightly less flow, and vise versa for wet filters which are oiled. The install should take about 20 minutes with basic hand tools. You will see around a 30 horsepower increase which is the best $/hp modification you can do. You will also notice increased turbo response, lower egt’s and a little mpg gain.

Exhaust: Just like your first car, the exhaust is one of the first things 6.4 owners like to do to their trucks, especially since that is where the famous dpf resides. There are a lot of options when it comes to exhaust so you can purchase one that tailors to your personal taste. The first option will be how much the new exhaust system replaces. A dpf-back system replaces everything behind the dpf, it does not delete it. A downpipes-back system is everything behind the downpipe, and is the most popular option. A turbo back exhaust is everything after the turbo(not including manifolds or up-pipes). This requires either lifting the cab or cutting the downpipe in half to remove. The new downpipes can be installed cab on. The cheapest option is delete pipes or race pipes. These kits only replace the section of the exhaust where one or both of the emissions components reside. A cat delete only deletes the cat while a full delete pipe deletes both.
The next option is either a 4” or 5” exhaust. A 4” provides a little more turbo “whistle” while a 5” provides a deeper sound and slightly more flow. As far as I know, no company makes a 5” dual exit exhaust if you like that style. You will need to buy a 4”.
Once you have your exhaust kit picked out, you might have the option of having bungs or no bungs. Bungs are threaded holes in the exhaust where the sensors screw in. Since the kits that offer the bung option have the emissions deleted, there is no need to have the sensors in the exhaust as they are shut off. The only reason you would opt for the bung option is to have a place for the sensors to reside, providing a cleaner install. If you do not purchase the bung option you will need to tether the sensors out of way of the exhaust and other moving parts.
Installing exhaust is simple but it will take about 2-4 hours depending on what options you purchase. From stock you will see around 15-25 extra horsepower, significantly lower egt’s, better turbo response, and better sound. Popular brands include Flo-pro, Diamond eye, MBRP, and Banks.

Tuners: They are the staple of aftermarket performance. They can do things to your 6.4 that you never thought it could do. It can add in excess of 350 horsepower, change the way your transmission shifts, and even diagnose/clear check engine lights. And thats just the beginning of all the features tuners can have to offer. However no tuner is the same. Every tuner can do different things so be sure to do your research before buying to determine which is the best pick for you. The most popular is the H&s line of tuners which has different levels of power that you can change “on the fly”. It can also monitor engine vitals, tune the transmission and low boost fueling, and check and clear check engine lights. It also has the ability to shut off the ego system, making this one of the most advanced tuners on the market. However H&s got shutdown so tuners are becoming more rare and expensive. The next most popular one is the Phalanix from Spartan. It has the best monitor, however you do loose the ability to change tunes on the fly. The last one I will cover is the Act which produces the x4 and the Livewire. They are the cheapest of the tuners but that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t good. You will probably find more SCT tuners in forum members trucks than any other due to the bang for the buck they offer. X4’s come from the factory with tunes loaded on and you also have the ability to load up to 10 aftermarket or custom tunes as well. A basic monitor is also a feature of this tuner. The Livewire is basically the same however you get a more advanced monitor.
Install is simple only taking about 25 minutes to select options and load a tune into your engine via the obd-2 port. Performance as mentioned varies depending on what tuner you purchase and what tunes are on them.

Chips: Performance chips are somewhat similar to tuners in the fact that they rewrite the ecu. However they cannot do anything actual tuners can outside of that. No adjusting, no monitoring, and no clearing check engine lights. They are the budget answer to adding horsepower or tuning the 6.4 engine to run without emissions components. They simply plug into the obd-2 port via a dongle and tune the truck. This is the least popular option due to this and there are very few companies that I can actually recommend to be trusted with the task due to the nature of the product. The one company I can personally recommend is Gearbox Z. They offer a Dpf-r and a Dpf-r 4.0 chip. The first tunes the truck simply to run without the dpf and cat. The second does the same but adds 70 horsepower.

Intercooler pipes: From the factory the cold side intercooler pipe was squashed to fit it between the radiator and the support bracket. This makes the intercooler pipe nearly half its original size where it is reduced, choking the air being fed into the engine, reducing horsepower. Luckily the aftermarket came to the rescue with bigger pipes that don’t have the constriction. The install is more involved due to the fact you need to cut the radiator support bracket to fit most aftermarket pipes. It should take about 3 hours to do. Once installed you can enjoy increased throttle and turbo response, more boost, and about 10-15 horsepower. The recommend brands are Sinister diesel, Flo-pro, and mishimoto.

Intercoolers: They are somewhat unsung heroes to diesel owners yet they do an important job for towing and performance oriented drivers alike. They cool the air charge from the turbos before it gets fed into the engine in excess of 200 degrees! This provides more power, more efficiency, and lower egt’s. But we all know oem can be better. Intercoolers by Spearco, Mishimoto, AFE, and Banks all do an excellent job improving on the oem design and they are also easy to install. Don’t expect to take more than 30 minutes strapping one of these bad boys on. Once installed you will see 10-40 horsepower depending on the setup and amount of boost you run, a small mpg gain, and a fair drop in the egt department.

Lift pumps: Lift pumps are fuel pumps that pull fuel from the fuel tank and feed the hpfp. On the 6.4’s they also have the fuel conditioning module (water separator) built in. They do an adequate job on fairly stock trucks but once you surpass 600 horsepower it can no longer keep up. Upgrading to an aftermarket pump provides more fuel to the engine preventing starvation. It also has the added benefit of filtering water and air far better than the stock unit can. You won’t see a noticeable horsepower gain but it is a critical piece none the less for high horsepower builds. Airdog is a great brand and also Fass. Install is somewhat involved and should take 3 hours or so to complete.

Injectors: More fuel, more power. And aftermarket injectors do just that. However they can be used for different purposes. The first is for the sole purpose of adding horsepower. This is an effective means of doing that however you can only add a limited amount of horsepower before you should consider supporting mods to compliment them, especially since injectors alone can push stock turbos past there limits. The next way they can be used is to prevent starving the engine after major power increases. Both ways are good however if you plan on daily driving you should due thorough research and mathematics to prevent decreased fuel economy and soot coating internal parts. Install is pretty hands on along with doing it essentially 8 individual times. Expect half a day to do the install. Industrial injection and river city diesel are good places to start when considering injectors.

Turbos: Face it, we all sometimes dream of strapping on a huge turbo to our vehicle and burning the wheels off of it. And who’s to blame us, the extreme power, screaming intake noise, and the bark to make you think you are having a religious experience behind the wheel. The 6.4 is no exception. However you have a chance to completely change the way your 6.4 operates due to the two options you have. So here is the question, would you like one, or two scoops of turbo? If you are considering a new turbo, the 6.4 is probably the easiest diesel to convert to a single turbo if that is what you choose. H&s and Maryland diesel make conversion kits that allow you to bolt on a non-vgt turbo of your choosing. If you like the staged turbo setup and vgt that the oem 6.4 has to offer, there are options as well. Bd-power and Industrial injection offer good replacements. When installing a single turbo, depending on the turbo you choose you can see from a 50 to a 150 horsepower increase, even more if you do fueling upgrades. You will also hear a lot more turbo sound both from intake and exhaust. Same with the dual turbos except you retain the vgt system and generally have lower egt’s. You won’t have as much sound as a single setup. The install is complex, time consuming, and mentally draining. It is considered a cab off job and will take the better part of a day to complete. So if you are a do-it-yourself’er grab a 12 pack (at least), two subway foot longs, tape your knuckles, and enjoy seeing how much abuse you can take!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Turbo wheels: Rather than spending thousands on new turbos you can elect to replace just the turbo wheel. You won’t see a significant gain like a full turbo setup but there is a little bit of power to be had. You will gain a couple psi of boost equating to around 15 horsepower. The gains are exponential if you are pushing more horsepower already. Some even report quicker spool times. Batmo wheel and Wicked wheel basically have the monopoly on this modification, and although not as hard to install as a full blown turbo, you will need to do a partial tear down of the current one putting this install at around 5 hours.

Intake manifold: The last on the list but just as important as all the others. The manifold takes the intake charge and distributes it among the cylinders. The oem manifold is fine for near stock power applications but once you do fueling and turbo upgrades the restriction will become apparent. And also since this is an area where blowby oil accumulates, the volume will continue to decrease over time. A new manifold will greatly increase the horsepower potential. Rivercity swamps, and odawg are the go to’s. I even think Odawg has an account on this site and will probably give a member discount if you are ever in the market for one. Horsepower will be boosted to the tune of 15-20 horsepower and of course even more if you have turbo or fuel upgrades. Install is tedious and will take about 4-6 hours.

Chapter 5: Common problems and how to fix them

Now onto the elephant in the room. What will probably break durning the life of your ownership of a 6.4? Yes, broken parts are bound too happen on any truck and the 6.4 is no exception. This chapter will be divided into two sections, Non-check engine light items and check engine light items. Simple enough, lets begin!

Non-cel items:

Radiators: The factory radiator and support bracket design is poor at best. As a result, flex from the chassis durning traversing obstacles is transferred to the radiator eventually causing leaks. The aftermarket company Mishimoto has been on the front lines combating this problem since the beginning. Even when there first product also fell to the poor design of the 6.4 they didn’t give up. They kept redesigning and spending hundreds of hours and thousands on r&d and multiple revisions later they have tamed the demon that is the leaking radiator. Along with an aluminum radiator with rubber mounting pegs (v2). They also introduced a new thicker radiator support bar which installed in unison with the radiator, will make leaks a thing of the past.

Radiator degas bottle and hoses: This is for early 2008 (job 1) 6.4 equipped trucks. The oem radiator hoses were equipped with only one o-ring to seal the connection which was prone to failure. Ford updated the design in later model trucks and issued a tsb (service bulletin) which installed a new hose with a dual o-ring design which is designated by a white stripe (often tape) on updated radiator hoses. Another tsb involved adding a venturi tee to the degas bottle to prevent reverse flow which helps prevent leaks from occurring.

Body mounts: After years of weather and elements, the original body mounts will degrade causing poor ride quality and is often contributed to radiator failure. If you find yourself under the truck, kill two birds with one stone and examine all the body mounts for degradation. If you see it then it is time to replace with a difficult install. After thorough research it seems that dorman mounts are the best to get, do not purchase daystars.

Front axle seals: Oem axle seals are made of rubber and are prone to popping out of the axle, rendering them useless. Ford updated the design, calling new to metal seals that need to be pressed in. If you are ever found off road often then you may want to look into installing the new seals

Front and rear main seals: They are so simple yet so important because they keep the oil in your engine where it needs to be. However Navistar didn’t think so and tried to save time on the design. The end result was front and rear main seals tending to produce a slow seep of oil draining out onto the front and rear of the engine. Luckily For revised the designs of both however it is a difficult install to fix. As of 12/02/17 the updated front main seal is 8C3Z-6700-B and the rear seal is 3C3Z-6701-B. You will need a special tool to remove and install the seals properly.

Famous “death wobble”: If you have ever driven down the road and hit a bump to only have your trucks steering start violently shaking then you have experienced it. The death wobble is sadly not a rare thing in Powerstrokes due to the poor design of the steering stabilizer. This condition is only exacerbated with bigger tires. To fix this just buy an aftermarket steering stabilizer or if you have bigger than 36’s, dual stabilizers. It is also an easy install so you don’t have any excuses to procrastinate now.

Rocker arms: From the Navistar plant, 6.4 rocker tips are known to wear out prematurely and cause further problems down the road. Unfortunately outside of replacing the whole system there isnt a magic cure to assure owners that it wont happen to them. The best way to fight the problem without replacing is to follow the severe oil change schedule and use a good quality oil. The first sign of worn rockers is a faint clicking noise coming from the intake (not to be confused with injector clack).

Front cover cavitation: Cavitation in the front cover can cause the metal housing to wear away and eventually leak water into the oil. Cavitation can be caused by multiple items, the most often being leaks that cause the cooling system to loose pressure, causing air to be introduced and boiling point reduced. Putting a vacuum gauge on the system can identify if there are any leaks. Common leaking points are the degas cap, radiators, non-updated cooling hoses, and uninstalled venturi t systems. This problem is more prone to happen on 450's and 550's due to increased rpm but doesn't mean that 250's and 350's can be ruled out. Also to note, a revised 6.4 cover has been made to help remedy the problem.

Cel items:

*The causes provided are most likely the cause of the cel however there is no guarantee that is your specific problem. When examining a cel, act like a detective and gather all the clues before drawing you personal conclusion.


P0128 Coolant thermostat (coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature): Simple enough. Your thermostat has stuck open not allowing the engine to get up to operating temperature. Replace the thermostat and you should be good to go. A secondary reason could be a failed coolant temperature sensor.

P0281 Cylinder 7 contribution/balance: This code appears when the ecu detects that the engine cylinders aren’t working evenly. The problPem cylinder in this case is #7. The main reason this is caused is due to the loss of compression, often because of a cracked or melted piston. The #7 and 8 cylinders are the only two cylinders involved in def regeneration, which is why that this code and the next are the most common when piston damage is suspected.

P0284 Cylinder 8 contribution/balance: Same as above, applied to cylinder #8.

P0298 Engine oil over-temperature condition: Depending on the type of driving done while this occurred it could be one of two things. If driving normally with no heavy load on the engine it means your oil cooler has clogged up preventing oil from being cooled. The second is if you are towing heavy and you push the truck to hard, over heating you oil. If that happens you will likely have multiple codes. The oil sensor may be checked if evidence suggests.

P042E Exhaust gas recirculation (egr) control stuck open: This cel occurs when the egr valve becomes stuck due to overheating or soot coating the valve body, preventing it from operating normally. Replace or clean the egr valve which requires a special tool to install/uninstall.

P042F Exhaust gas recirculation (egr) control stuck closed: Same as above

P0625 Generator field terminal circuit low: More often than not this means that your alternator just took a dump. More than likely when you are away from home (ask me how I know). Replace the alternator to fix the cel.

P0671 Cylinder 1 glow plug circuit/open: These are all for a failed glow plug. The last digit of the code is the cylinder that contains the failed glow plug. Simply replace with a new one.
P0672 Cylinder 2 glow plug circuit/open
P0673 Cylinder 3 glow plug circuit/open
P0674 Cylinder 4 glow plug circuit/open
P0675 Cylinder 5 glow plug circuit/open
P0676 Cylinder 6 glow plug circuit/open
P0677 Cylinder 7 glow plug circuit/open
P0678 Cylinder 8 glow plug circuit/open


P115A Low fuel level - forced limited power: FILL UP YOUR TRUCK CHEAP ***! If this appears it means theres a major issue in the drivers seat….

P132B Turbocharger/supercharger boost control a performance: This is often produced when the vgt system fails to operate normally, either do to soot clogging the vanes of the turbo, or the turbo itself. Further diagnoses is recommended to pinpoint the problem.

P2263 Turbo/supercharger boost system performance: This code is normally triggered when boost is to low for the rpm or load. Common culprits are an exhaust leak, failing/failed turbo, and the vgt system. Do your due diligence as any fix in this section is expensive if you don’t do the right one the first time.

Chapter 6: Buying a 6.4 and what to look for

When buying a 6.4 you not only have to analyze the truck you are looking to buy but also the person as well because there lifestyle and way they look at their personal items can greatly affect the condition of the truck under the skin. So even if you are the best mechanic in the world and can spot every problem on the exterior, the owner or store you are buying it from holds the key to the other half that you can’t see. When you are looking at the owner side of the 6.4 purchase inspection, the first thing you want to see is if he is responsible. Does he seem polite and knowledgeable about the truck? What does he do with the truck? If he says he tows sometimes, ask him what kind of trailer and what kind of pin connector does he use. The goal is to validate everything he says with specific follow up questions to make sure is isn’t blowing smoke up your butt. If you get the feeling that he isn’t quite sure what he knows what he is talking about, chances are he probably doesn’t. Red flag. Another thing to look at is the items he doesn’t have for sale. Look at the other cars in the driveway, look at his/her house, do they look maintained or neglected? More often than not when someone neglects one item it passes on to the next, likely being the truck that he no longer wants. You have to be a detective in this situation because 6.4’s are a big investment and more often than not people end up getting bit in the *** because they only focus on one side of the equation. And before you go, drop your stereotypes; especially in regards to younger owners. From my experience the younger people are now taking care of vehicles better than older people because a diesel is a big investment for the younger demographic which typically has less money. Meaning that they know they need to make their investment last.

The next part is looking at the “sitting condition of the truck”. This refers to the paperwork and specifics of the truck outside of the driving portion. Does it have a clean title, does the owner do all his own maintenance, does the truck have modifications, how many miles does it have? These are all important things you need to check and consider before even thinking about getting behind the wheel for a test drive. The first thing you should consider is the miles vs modifications ratio. Since the regenerations from the emissions system are the number one killer of the 6.4, the more miles it has stock, the more wear and tear has been put on the engine. I would recommend the cutoff miles of being relatively safe with a stock (dpf present) truck is 70k miles. Any additional miles exponentially increases your risk for problems. For a deleted (dpf removed) truck I would say 120k is the cutoff. That allows you to put some decent miles on your 6.4 before you risk starts to exponentially increase. The next thing to check is if the engine and transmission are matching to the truck. If not you run the risk of the new ones being installed incorrectly, especially the engine. Other mods to consider are larger tires, lift, turbos, tuning etc. as all of these things increase the strain on the truck. Tuning however is a double edged sword in that regard due to the fact that you need it to shutoff the ego and phase out the dpf, so that is the time where your people reading detective skills come into play. Does he run a mild tune and mainly uses it to defeat emissions, or does he put it on max and smoke the rear tires off (which is a good thing to look at as well).

Once you have looked at the sitting condition and the personal aspect, it is time to take it out for a drive. Before the engine is even running you need to listen to the startup. Even though it is a very quick event, it can tell you a lot in terms of cylinder contribution and piston condition. When you start it up make sure that the crank is smooth and uniform, there should be no pulsing of sound. Once complete and you start driving, start out like a normal car, smooth and easy, let the engine get warmed up and simulate daily driving. You should be listening for weird nosies and feeling for odd or rough driving characteristics. While this is going on, feel for the transmission shifts. Do they feel smooth and consistent? Does the torque converter lock firmly and efficiently? Let your driving experience and gut tell you when something feels wrong and don’t be afraid to call the seller out on it. He wants you to buy it, not the other way around. Once its heated up go into a dirt parking lot and road and test out the 4x4. Put it in 4 x4 and turn tightly to the left and right. If it works, the tires will start to “skip”. Do this for both high and low gears. Once you have confirmed it works, take it out of 4x4. Normally you will hear the vacuum pump turn on which is something to listen for and then redo the turning portion to make sure the hubs have unlocked. Now its time to put the truck though its paces and put the hammer down. Start from somewhere around 30 mph as not to confuse rapid shifts for direct clutch slip. Feel to make sure when the torque converter locks that there isn’t a struggle to do so. Also listen and feel to see if the engine sound is uniform and the power is smooth. Once you bring ‘er back to normal driving check all the systems such as the a/c, wipers, and etc.

Once you are back at that location and letting the turbo cool down, it would be a good time to check the transmission fluid level and color via the dipstick (auto). After that, stick your head near the intake and listen for a clicking/tapping sound. If you hear it coming from the intake this may mean the rocker arms are wearing out which is an expensive fix non-the-less. But make sure you aren't confusing the tick with normal injector clack. After it checks out you can shut off the engine and check all the other fluid levels as they don’t require the truck to be on. It will also be a good time to check for leaks that may have developed if the owner tried to clean them up to hide it. While you are doing all of this you should also ask the owner if he does his own maintenance and what the intervals are. You are looking for 5,000 mile oil changes and 15,000 mile fuel filters. Anything longer than that is a red flag.

At the end of it all you are the final obstacle to buying the truck that you have had your eyes on. Every car and truck has a a flaw or two but you need to be sure that they are the only ones and that you are okay fixing them. And if there is something major that puts you on the fence just remember that there are always more 6.4’s out there. 6.4 engines a picky and fragile, you need to realize that before buying. And even though everything may seem to check out and you took every precaution, there is always a chance down the road that something big may happen. Thats 6.4 ownership. If you can’t take the risk then wait for a 6.7 or settle for a 7.3. Don’t get a Dodge… you are better off riding a bike honestly.

Summary:

The 6.4 isn’t the best engine out there by any means. It demands attention and involvement that rivals a newborn baby. But if you get past that, it will reward you with one of the best driving work horses the used industry has to offer. Follow the severe maintenance schedule, delete the emissions, drive efficiently, and you will be golden. I hope this guide will help all of you with the ownership of the 6.4 Powerstroke and if you have any edits or additions that you think should be made just pm me and I will get right on it! Thanks for reading and ill see you around the forum! -Dylan

Rev: Boy120717
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,721 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How can you not even mention rocker arms?
Or cavitation. To me seems more preventable than cracked pistons
You are right on the rocker arms! I will add it to the write-up. Thanks for the input. As for the cavitation, i would think when looking up the coolant procedure that i mentioned, a vaccumm fill would be included in said write-up
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
How can you not even mention rocker arms?
Or cavitation. To me seems more preventable than cracked pistons
You are right on the rocker arms! I will add it to the write-up. Thanks for the input. As for the cavitation, i would think when looking up the coolant procedure that i mentioned, a vaccumm fill would be included in said write-up

I meant water pump cavitation from Inadequate pressure in the system cause I g the pump to cavitate . Eating through the front cover. Another one of the ma ny preventable issues with this motor. I think I'm just going to list mine tomorrow ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I meant water pump cavitation from Inadequate pressure in the system cause I g the pump to cavitate . Eating through the front cover. Another one of the ma ny preventable issues with this motor. I think I'm just going to list mine tomorrow ?
added rockers and cavitation, let me know if i got it covered well as i havent done a great deal of research on the subject
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Are u joking? Seems like u have tons of experience with these trucks. Im all ears
Nope, im not. Cavitation hasnt been a recurring topic on this forum for some time. Maybe only the job 1’s are more prone. But one thing is for sure, people on here fix there leaks as soon as they start so im guessing they fix the problem before it becomes an issue. Like i said, i added it in the article. So tell me if it passes your stringent requirements. Also im glad my guide got you to actually post something since you first joined in july. Very interesting how you introduce youself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,104 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
so now i have a dumb question. with all of the "bulletproofing" work done to a truck. can i put it in a 275 tune and use it like a man, or am i still going to only be able to run a 60hp tune for it to last?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
so now i have a dumb question. with all of the "bulletproofing" work done to a truck. can i put it in a 275 tune and use it like a man, or am i still going to only be able to run a 60hp tune for it to last?
if you want to run big tunes confidently, you need studs, pistons, and quality tunes. Be aware though as with an engine, when you double the output you run bigger risks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
if you want to run big tunes confidently, you need studs, pistons, and quality tunes. Be aware though as with an engine, when you double the output you run bigger risks.
So if i replace my stock pistons with maxxforce 7 OE's and get Arp studs, can i run well in an H&S tune? would you recommend someone else?
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top