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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always defended the 6.0, they are easy to work on, fairly easy to diagnose, and are a great value for the price. But I'm wondering if I'm ever going to trust one for my uses. Been thinking of spending the money on a 6.7 (my stomach hurts just thinking about the payment LOL).

So I had a 2005 SRW. 150k miles or so, drove until 200k. Learned on that truck, did all the standard ****: turbo, injectors, studs, gaskets, Accurate diesel cup repair kit due to cracked head, oil cooler, blah blah blah. I had initially ran "head bolt safe" tunes on it, blew the gaskets pushing into a pretty good storm in Utah. Replaced with ARP studs and Felpro gaskets, ran a 40hp (granted it was much hotter than the SCT 65 tow) still blew them. Had a 3500lb camper while towing a Jeep on a 7k trailer. I run pretty hard up the hills, staying right at 1100 degrees no matter the tune.

I sold that truck, now I have a 2005 DRW Lariat, 130k miles. Been running the lowest SCT tow tune to save the gaskets, been putting off studs. Loaded the new camper (4500 lbs) and the Jeep and headed to King of the Hammers. Heads starting to go on this truck now. Pushing some coolant out of the degas bottle on hills. Put it in stock tune (holy **** that's terrible power, may have well have a gasser), still pushing coolant, although not much and only on the steeper long pulls on I5.

Had to turn around and miss the race. Super bummed.


I'm rewatching Diesel Ron videos, and in this one he basicaly says" if you are tuned, are towing heavy, and pushing hills, the gaskets fail no matter what".
at 25 minutes. What has been all your experiences with this? My current combo weighs about 22k all loaded, and if I can't tune the truck at all, even after studs and OEM gaskets, I don't want it. I'm tired of waiting for the damn gaskets to go even after spending time and money upgrading it.

Anyways, thanks for reading, and for any input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pic of the truck. I do love it, but now I'm seeing why guys swap it out. Gets discouraging. A coworker also has had his studded truck blow head gaskets a second time a few years after the first job. He had to pay a shop though, ouch.


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If you are going to tune it and run heavy you need o-ringed heads.
 

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I have o-ringed heads and my combo weighs in at about 35k. I have 3.73 gears, and 4.10 or 4.30 would make it easier, but at 306,000 miles I can’t complain. I put every mile on this truck since new, and always pulling heavy from day one. I have great confidence now with studs and o-rings. Always on MPD 1.6 tune while towing.


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I weigh considerably less than Bill, but still gross 24,000 + in my 03 when pulling my camper. I went with UCF heads and Arp 625's after having a Ford mechanic do the first stud job. He didn't send off my heads and said they were good and after going to Tennessee running Atlas 40 and Gear Heads unlimited tow I started puking. Now with the heads and 625's I can run Atlas 80 with an aggressive tow tune and zero issues, but only 10,000 or so miles heavy towing. I took the truck from the Midwest to West Coast and back along with it being my daily driver. Trust it completely and have no worries driving or towing I just watch everything like normal. Now on the other side of it the wife needed a new vehicle so we traded in her Nissan Titan SL that she loved for a Newer 450 that she loves even more. We have been to California, Florida, Tennessee, and Illinois with our 5er and she drives it daily and has a few road trips by herself. It has been nothing less than incredible for her and us towing heavy but it is to be expected. Truck has 4:30 gearing but is as smooth as can be. Most fleet vehicles we use in Linework are Fords and they should honestly do a documentary on the abuse we put them through. Fleet trucks aren't deleted, idle most all day, get maintenance when we make time, and just last. When it is time for me to get another vehicle we won't hesitate to get another 6.7. Yes the payments suck for sure but piece of mind is also priceless and between what I paid for my 6.0 and what I have in it I almost would have been better off just getting a 6.7. Don't get me wrong I love my 6.0 and enjoy it completely but at the same time her 6.7 is quieter in the cab, rides smoother, pulls harder (well now that it is tuned) and is honestly just a better truck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have o-ringed heads and my combo weighs in at about 35k. I have 3.73 gears, and 4.10 or 4.30 would make it easier, but at 306,000 miles I can’t complain. I put every mile on this truck since new, and always pulling heavy from day one. I have great confidence now with studs and o-rings. Always on MPD 1.6 tune while towing.


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Thanks. What heads did you get?
 

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While not to me, I would get the KDD heads.

The issue is with the heads, not so much the fasteners. They bow in the centerline, both elastically and plastically, IMO. Even the updated Ford/Int spec of no more than 0.002" across the width is too generous if they are flexing as I believe they are. When the clamping pressure is lessened in the center of the head by the increased peak combustion pressure, the gaskets move side to side, the initial "pukes when under load" condition due to the tenting. As they move, they abrade the HG sealing compound according to both Fel-Pro and some of the engineering reports from other motors applications, which then causes the puke to happen under lower pressures.

I feel there are mechanics who see 0.0015" or similar and let the heads be reused. I think 0.001" might be too much if they are flexing the way I think they are. And if you resurface the heads, you weaken the bedplate area of the heads, which can make them flex more. Depending on each head's casting tolerance, some may support machining while others don't. There is a reason why Ford/Int had been so adamant about not machining or going under 3.74" thickness. The bedplate area of the head is not the full thickness, so 0.010" is a higher proportion than we think. Not saying that the majority can't have a slight cut to flatten.

The advantage with o-rings is it keeps the HG fire rings from moving side to side as well as being a secondary fire ring, plus you start out with flat heads. Fel-Pro added an embossment to their gaskets to act like an o-ring, to support the fire ring, and the fire ring is also more robust compared to the OE gaskets design. However, it's still not anchored like an o-ring is. I think with a flat head and Fel-Pro, you can have a good life as long as you don't run a tune or a mild tune. Once you get past that, it has to be o-ringed heads.
 

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Thanks. What heads did you get?
KDD heads were not available when I did my studs. So I went with tried and true UCF-machined factory heads. I have almost 50,000 on them, hard miles. If I did another truck, I would go KDD. Virgin heads.


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At 35K miles I had the engine torn apart (2005 F350) due to EGR issues. Bulletproof Diesel in AZ sent the heads out to be machined and had valve seats and guides installed in addition to other work performed. Installed new OEM head gaskets and ARP studs and never had a problem since. I don't use a tuner but I do tow about 16K in Wyoming in the summer with 90+ degree temps and very high elevation. I see continuous EGT's around 1300, especially in headwinds. Knock on wood I've never had a problem since. This repair was done in 2012. I'm not sure what they recommend now as far as cylinder heads but they still use OEM head gaskets and ARP studs according to their website. If you're running a tuner and working it hard I'd probably opt for aftermarket ringed heads based on what I read. Without a tuner I feel confident in my engine. With a tuner I think its a crapshoot.
 

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Can’t believe you’re having that much trouble with gaskets. Either the surfaces aren’t really clean straight never had a studded one come back ever. I hauled super heavy backed my tune down to one that made 450 at wheels that was ok to tow with kept eye on egt’s etc never once had an issue. Did my truck around 100k miles ran it to over 500k until it lost a main bearing. It was abused daily by myself, employees or my son and his buddies. I have countless studded trucks out there that haul large horse rigs, logs, construction equipment etc never had one come back with a another gasket down
 

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I think a lot of people half *** clean and don’t check for warpage, just throw em back on then wonder why they have issues. Most I’ve pulled on 6.0 have had to have at least .004-.007 milled to get them straight
 

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There's a lot of heads that go banana or cup, and these do. I see the issue as across the width.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On my first truck, I did the gaskets. Cleaned well, checked across for flatness. I didn't send in for machine work, I've always heard it needs a certain finish and I didn't have a renowned shop for 6.0s local.
This current truck I know for certain hasn't had the heads off. I'm second owner and got all the records from the dealer since new.

I'm not certain how I'm going to go with this truck, but sounds like I'll be doing the KDD heads if I want the longevity. Not excited to be doing heads again. :D
 

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Do you remember what your cross-flatness numbers were?

They need a smooth finish, as all MLS do, 30 Ra or below. Some of the data I've collected.

Font Number Pattern Document Paper
Rectangle Font Circle Number Writing
Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Number
 

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I'm a two timer. I can tell you for sure that studs alone won't save you from the devastation high cylinder pressures will bring you. The ONLY setup I would recommend is KDD virgin o-ringed heads and studs.

k
 
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If you’re on your second truck and third set of heads, why not start dropping a grand a month on a new truck that will pull what you want as fast as you want? To expect anything different is not reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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If you’re on your second truck and third set of heads, why not start dropping a grand a month on a new truck that will pull what you want as fast as you want? To expect anything different is not reasonable.
That's not bad advice at all. I still have a couple of 6.0s. (one because I can never get out of it what I've got in it, and another as a project vehicle and I just like the 6.0) but I have 2 6.7s and there's NO comparison in the stock configuration. It's just flat out a better and way more powerful engine. But everyone's financial situation is different. In these uncertain times, consider your situation and options carefully.
 
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