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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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?
Apr studs, h&s spartan or any custom dyno tuning, and either maxxforce dynamic diesel or any other reputable brand. I personally like the dynamic diesel kits

But if you plan on shifting alot during alot of power your direct clutches in your transmission will go out eventually. Something to consider
 

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you're very knowledgeable on this topic. thanks for clearing it up for me. i've been all over on my truck search but i like the 6.4 so mid 2018 im gonna look into buying a lower mileage one and make it a dd.
 

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great write up RandomForumGuy. I found the coffee table book link. Is a good source for literature on engine tear down. Specifically in my case replacing a conn rod. jimmermd had a nice link for removing the cab. Step by step made the job easy...easier. I am willing to purchase a service manual but hoped to find something within the forum
 

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As a new power stroke owner, this is great info. Thanks
Hey guys, got a quick question about regen. My truck went unto dpf regen last night for the first time since I bought it. The only reason I know this is because it showed up on my CTS2, it never notified me on the dash itself. Im taking the truck to the dealer today for them to look at a couple of things(still under 30 day warrantee). My question is, should I have them look into this?
I love the truck so far but want to make sure shes good to go, since i just spent a bunch of money on parts that will be in today or tomorrow.

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for this write up. I got my 2010 F-350 6.4 two weeks ago and it's been in the shop twice, once for tire imbalance (no fault of Navistar) and now for blowing white smoke.

I was getting a little shaky in the knees till I read this but was reminded that I like turning wrenches and learning stuff. Perhaps me and 6.4 will get along jus fine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thanks for this write up. I got my 2010 F-350 6.4 two weeks ago and it's been in the shop twice, once for tire imbalance (no fault of Navistar) and now for blowing white smoke.

I was getting a little shaky in the knees till I read this but was reminded that I like turning wrenches and learning stuff. Perhaps me and 6.4 will get along jus fine?
i would say so. I came from a 4.6 mustang and needed a truck so i got a 6.4 because i couldnt afford a 6.7 at the time being 19, so you could say i threw myself into the fire. I got an aftermarket warranty which covered an alternator, a radiator, and a trans. The radiator was leaking when i got it from previous owner not taking care of it and the trans was also his fault but i finished it off when i first got and was testing out the mini maxx. So i would say it hasnt given me any more problems than any other vehicle considering most of the problems were caused by previous owner/myself. The key is to start with a good moderately driven 6.4 and do the deletes and all the maintenance at once then you will have a fairley reliable truck with good throttle response and great power. As for the white smoke most of the time when members encounter it, it is either the egrs or heads lifting. Blue smoke is oil, and a white black mix is overfueling. I would say its coolant. A pressure test should reveal the leak however make sure if it does leak it doesnt go back into your engine for when you start it hahah. Im not sure how other have done it but i would start there if it were me
 

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This thread should be printed into a booklet to be handed to new owners of the 6.4... Thanks for all the good info!

Question: What happens in terms of the emissions when deleting all of the original emission control systems?

Where I live, it is mandatory and required by law to test the emissions from the exhaust gas every year. The values from that test must fall in between some set intervals, otherwise the title wil be revoked until the ”problem” is fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
This thread should be printed into a booklet to be handed to new owners of the 6.4... Thanks for all the good info!

Question: What happens in terms of the emissions when deleting all of the original emission control systems?

Where I live, it is mandatory and required by law to test the emissions from the exhaust gas every year. The values from that test must fall in between some set intervals, otherwise the title wil be revoked until the ”problem” is fixed.
You will not pass the inspection and you will need to re install the components to pass, unless you find a crooked smog shop
What is the range for coolant temps and oil temps when towing my 8k camper?
it all depends. Grade, emissions intact or not, ambient air temp, speed, etc.

Max oil should be 230 and max coolant 220
Trans max is 220 as well
 

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Wow, what a great write up. Thanks for doing that, a good refresher for me. I’m just looking around right now for my next power stroke and trying to decide if I want another 6.0 or 6.4.

Thanks,
 

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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
Hi, great job on the common problems and solutions on the 6.4. I Bought a utility service truck 09 f350 drw cab and chassis with a service body on it for CAN $17k. I just dropped it off to get the following done

- stage 2 cold air intake
-egr delete and turbo up pipes
-heads o ringed
-all new gaskets, injector lines and arp head studs
-coolant filtration kit
-new rocker arm assemblies with new rollers
-new hp fuel pump
-intercooler cold side pipe
-cat/dpf delete


When they get the heads off they will let me know if the pistons need to be redone and if so I will go for it. I am not looking to make black smoke, more for better fuel consumption. They will also put a mild tow tune on it with an sct tuner. So what would be the hp gains from just the mechanical work do you think? MPG improvement?

Thanks.
 
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