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Long time no visit!

Discussion in '6.0L Powerstroke Diesels' started by CaptTom, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. CaptTom

    CaptTom Full Access Member

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    Hey Burners, been awhile since I've posted, and typically in the IDI section being my goto for posting due to my 1990 IDI.

    Whelp.... I also own a 2003 6.0 with appx 250k on the ODO.

    Here is my ask: "Are there any good and fair independent 6.0 mechanics in San Diego?"

    I'm not looking for a cheap butcher, just competent.

    The '03 is mostly 100% Bulletproofed, sans the FICM upgrade, but EGR, fan clutch, water pump, oil cooler, radiator have all been replaced.

    Original factory heads and bolts, which I expect will give out at some point. Even turbo is original, only off once to check vanes and to clean at about 60k miles. Hasn't been off since, although silicons have been replaced 3 times.

    I've used two Ford mechanics doing after-hours work to install all the Bulletproof equipment, do oil and filter changes myself, EGR's, etc., the small stuff.(EDIT: They both moved out of state, so no more willing to do after-hours that I've found so far.... not because I didn't pay them what they asked or was a PITA to them. I paid exactly what they asked in cash)

    I do heavier mechanics on my '90 IDI, have rebuilt about 10 engines myself, so I'm not a complete fool, but I want somebody with a good background on the 6.0 to potentially do the heads, studs, and gaskets. My amateur hour mechanical abilities don't quite meet the standards of this more modern engine no matter how many u-tewbz I watch...so yes.... I'm chicken, plus I don't want the truck offline for 6 months trying to make sense of everything myself.

    Thanks for your help!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  2. Oledirtypearl86

    Oledirtypearl86 Full Access Member

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    @CaptTom the 6.0 is auctuall apretty easy design once you get the top layer off and by top layer I don't mean the cab I have a 03 excursion with a 6.0 an it's all stock no tuner and as 292k on the ticker right now I'm eating on some tools to do an air test but it's been a great rig a far as a good mechanic in san Diego sorry I couldn't tell you where to go but look at the smaller shop with the nice ford in the parking lot and go ask a few questions
     
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  3. CaptTom

    CaptTom Full Access Member

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    I actually really like my Six-O. The first few years were tenuous and didn't trust it due to all of those issues, but have corrected the weakest and most deadly points. I like it so much, in fact, I've been thinking of giving up my '90 7.3 IDI for a short bed extended cab 6.0l. I'd tear down the engine, Bulletproof everything again, stud it, and make sure the AC was blowing ice cubes.

    Looking back on the Six-O mess between Ford and IH, I can't figure out why they didn't just follow the Bulletproof lead and fix those engines, then keep building them. I mean the external oil cooler, and bigger tubed EGR coolers... how hard was that? And those 2 items were the major issues. Larger head bolts on the newer engines is a no brainer... so IH/Ford has to spend another $1.00 total to next over those head bolts in the manufacturing phase.... on a $40,000 truck.... now for the same rig I have today it's $90,000 if I bought new. I mean really, how much money did they lose by not fixing simple problems with major consequences? This engine is actually very smooth and lots of power. I've owned this off the lot since 2003.... it's 16 years old and the worst part after stressing over the issues I never had is, the drivers side leather seat is rotting out, and my drivers side mirror has been knocked off twice while parked!!!

    IH and Ford spent millions in court and the consumer got zilch out of it. How about giving less to the lawyers, and making it right with the consumer with that money?
     
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  4. bismic1

    bismic1 Full Access Member

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    A few comments -

    Larger head bolts were never installed (it was ONLY the alignment dowel size that was increased). Studs are required. I guess they could have designed it to have MORE head bolts. That certainly would have helped!

    The late 04 and up EGR cooler was an issue because it needed to meet emission standards. The tube design falls short of the goals in these late 04 and up - not enough surface area. They went to the plate design to get the cooling they needed - at the expense of reliability. I doubt that the BulletProofDiesel design for the late 04 and up would have met their emissions testing criteria. Thankfully the individual owners don't have to worry about it.

    As far as the oil cooler goes - the stock oil coolers are just fine. Use the right coolant and keep the cooling system clean and they will last for as long as you need them to. The BPD oil coolers are nice, but unnecessary ..... unless you don't want to clean the coolant system and run the right (EC-1 rated ELC) coolant.

    After all the learning that was done, the 6.0L can be a pretty nice and reliable platform. Problem is if when you buy a used one that you have no way of knowing how it was treated or what quality of work was done in any repair/upgrade!
     
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  5. CaptTom

    CaptTom Full Access Member

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    All of your points are spot on, however, as a new owner of an '03-bought it straight off the dealer lot in '03, I'm the original owner- when all of these six-o trucks were going down around me, I didn't want my brand new $40k truck to go down hard on me. I used only Fords coolant but was brought in for the "coolant" change due to the precipitation problem. I don't remember if there was a call out to do so but was called by one of my Ford mechanic buddies to change the original coolant type (at about 40k miles), whatever that was. I've changed it several times since, including about 2 months ago when my plastic radiator top cracked to heck. Flushed and filled. I still prefer the Bulletproof external cooler setup, although where the oil filter is mounted is a PITA to change.

    Since I had the early '03 (June build) I didn't need the EGR cooler swap, and that became very evident when I pulled my old one and compared it to the Bulletproof one. Yeeeeaaaah..... that was one little factoid not brought to my attention that I'm still a little annoyed about, however, it was out, and even though it was clean as a whistle, I swapped it anyway just because. I know, I know, but whatever! It's my money!

    Since I'm now a better educated 6.0 amateur-owner and have actually had good experience with the truck, I'd certainly buy a used one with those unknowns, and will always know the PO is trying to dump it for whatever lies he's telling me, and assuming the system is toast. With that in mind, I know what I'm in for with no reservations.

    And yes... I'm looking for that elusive extended cab short bed 2 or 4WD. :joker::idiot::p:)
     
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  6. bismic1

    bismic1 Full Access Member

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    It is nice to hear from long time owners like yourself! These trucks CAN BE reliable (but it does take a little work and knowledge), and your experience is a good indicator of that!
     
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  7. Oledirtypearl86

    Oledirtypearl86 Full Access Member

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    I agree they are good trucks and motors they just need the maintenance required .mine has 292k and has never been chiped or beat just used and it s still on original sticks and hpop also has all the original emissions I think the big issue has been addressed and the other is tuning them way up also the elusive single cab long bed iv seen a few on Craigslist in the past few months for sale I think about 8k or so each
     
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