The Ford 6.0L Info.
|Northern Michigan Diesel Inc.
As most of you 6.0L. Ford Powerstroke owners know the cost of ownership of this spectacular motor at some points seem to exceed it's worth.
For those of you that are considering purchasing one of these marvels in the used truck market please read this first.
The Ford 6.0L. Diesel was created by International. And modified by Ford. I have many mechanic acquaintances around the country and to Internationals credit
the 6.0L International engine used by International (unmolested by Ford) is a rather dependable strong running engine. Not as performance rated as the Ford
version but very capable of getting the work it was intended for done. However the Ford version has gone through many revisions and every one has solved a
few problems yet created more all at the same time. I almost believe they planned it that way.
Let’s look at some common issues.
We'll start with the fuel injectors. The average conservative cost to replace all 8 injectors with labor and common miscellaneous parts and fluids. Is right around
$3000.00 some shops charge much more some charge less but as I've always said you get what you pay for. Let me give you some Injector insight the fuel
injector is both electrically and hydraulically operated. On one side there is fuel that flows through the injector at an astounding pressure through a very small tip
this creates the spray or atomization required to combust the diesel fuel most efficiently. On the other side there is engine oil that has been pressurized by a
separate pump to open and close this injector at mind boggling speed. Then if these two issues of the fuel and the oil systems both of which are subject to
contamination weren't enough next we through in the electrical side. These injectors are operated by a component known as a FICM or fuel injection control
module. The FICM as well as the high pressure pump will get there own paragraphs here soon. The point here is that any one of these three components can
cause injector failure. Many customers I talk to think that if they use a fuel additive they are servicing there fuel injectors while this is partially true they are only
servicing what I would consider 1/4th of the injector.
We have found that an application of diesel fuel additive namely St anodyne with the red label does wonders for lubricating the internal components on the fuel
side. I recommend adding this to every other fuel tank fill up. I don't believe that you can over treat the fuel however this bottle treats 120 gallons why waste the
product? I'm probably not going to make many friends here with the green movement but I have to give my personal observations and that has been that bio
fuels especially the home made brews have caused some very expensive repairs.
Lets move on to the oil system. The low pressure oil pump is a gear pump mounted in the front engine cover and driven by the crankshaft. While gear pumps are
generally very durable we have seen these break and as of yet I have not found a valid cause for this failure. We had a customer that had 38,000 miles on one
and it broke just driving down the road. I tried to find information on a cause online however all I've been able to find in forums and blogs have been sad stories
of the same failure in other units again for no apparent reason. Another issue that has arose regarding the low pressure oil system is the pick up tube there have
been reports of them cracking or breaking causing an air leak and insufficient oiling. I feel confident that any car or truck owner knows that insufficient oiling
leads to engine failure but just in case I'll mention it. In this particular application however a lack of oil causes a no start no run condition. This will lead us into
the next problem.
The Low pressure oil pump besides lubricating mechanical parts of the engine also supplies oil to a reservoir in the top of the engine for the high pressure oil
pump the reservoir is buried right in the top of the block. This reservoir has a screen in it that commonly fails. The new screens seem to be a little stronger
however they are very fine. And thick or dirty oil will restrict flow through this screen to the point that it starves the high pressure pump of the oil required to
operate the injectors. If the screen gets to plugged up then the suction created by the high pressure pump will tear this screen apart thus allowing any foreign
debris to flow into the high pressure pump. I've been told this high pressure pump is referred to as a squash pump and my experience with these types of pumps
is that they do a great job of building high pressures at high speeds however debris will ruin it in a hurry. If you have ever changed your own oil filter then you
know the filter manufacturers have used was appears to be felt at the bottom of the filter to seal the inner edge. While this works well it does deteriorate in time
and the felty fuzz then flakes off and ends up in two places the screen I mentioned just earlier, and the next is in the screen at the end of the IPR (injection
pressure regulator) when the IPR gets restricted this too is a cause for a hard start / no start or can just make the unit stop running. By my count so far I have
listed nearly 6 things that can and do go wrong and will leave you calling a tow truck. Never fear though we're not done yet. There are more issues.
The electrical system for starters I'd like to point out unless you get the ambulance package (dual alternators) this electrical system is designed to run just the
basics. There is no reserve to the electrical system for accessories with high draws such as a winch, plow or any other motor. If your experiencing drivability
issues with your truck during plowing operations rest assured there is a fix it's an expensive fix but there is a fix none the less.
Why would plowing cause drivability issues? Well you see there's an electrical component in your truck or van called a fuel injection control module (FICM) this
unit as it's name implies controls the opening and closing of the injectors. It has an input voltage and an output voltage. Input voltage is generally battery voltage
or 13.7 Volts and it's output voltage is somewhere around 48-52 volts. This FICM will operate with an input voltage of as little as 10 volts. But anything less than
that causes things to get a little weird. So let's paint the picture it's cold snowing and your plowing say a medium sized driveway. You have two batteries that act
as a storage unit and an alternator nearly perfectly matched to the original equipment electrical loads of the truck. Now you've added additional lights and a motor
that pulls a lot of juice from the storage (batteries) every single time you hit the plow switch. In short order your storage is depleted and the alternator is
struggling to keep up. Soon your demand for power has exceeded your reserve and the voltage to the FICM drops to less than 10 volts now you will begin to
experience misfires and possibly stalling.