Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability

Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability. Ford offered a newer, more powerful 6.0-liter V8 turbo diesel engine in the second quarter of the 2003 model year. One year later, the 6.0 L version entirely replaced the time-tested 7.3 L Power Stroke, considered one of the best Power Stroke engine. The 6.0 L engine was the best way to meet lower NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions standards and even stricter demands in future, due to EGR, a variable geometry turbocharger, and more efficient fuel injection system.

Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine

The 6.0 Power Stroke has a cast-iron cylinder block with a crankcase bed plate (no main caps) for superb bottom-end strength. Its oil cooler and the high-pressure oil pump are integrated into the engine block. Like the 7.3 diesel, the 6.0 has powdered-metal attaching rods and cast-aluminum pistons. Linking rods are durable and very strong, known to handle 700rwhp and 1,200-1,300 lb-ft of torque. At the rear of the engine, there is the gear train for the crankshaft, camshaft and high-pressure oil pump.

Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine: Specs, Problems, and Reliability

The engine got cast-iron, high-flow cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder (16 intake valves and 16 exhaust valves; 32 valves total). Cylinder heads are connected to the block using just four TTY head bolts per cylinder. Bolts are 14 mm in diameter. The diameter of the intake valves is 33.8 mm (1.33 in), of exhaust valves – 28.0 mm (1.10 in). The cylinder head has two separate intake runners per cylinder. The valves were placed in a “twisted” position helping launch swirl into the combustion chamber. Each head has an aluminum rocker box mounted to the top.

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The 6.0 Power stroke engine features an HEUI (Hydraulically Actuated Electronically Controlled Unit Injection). The fuel injection timing and fuel pressure are controlled by high-pressure oil and electronics. The HEUI system features the PCM (Powertrain Control Module), IDM (Injector Driver Module), the swash-plate style high-pressure oil pump (HPOP), IPR (Injection Pressure Regulator), and Siemens injectors. The HPOP is located under the HPOP cover and turbocharger at the rear of the engine. The Split-shot HEUI fuel injection system allows the 6.0 PowerStroke to produce higher injection pressures throughout the entire operating range (in-cylinder fuel injection pressure can reach 26,000 psi).

Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine: Specs

Manufacturer International Truck and Engine Corp.
Production years 2003-2008
Cylinder block material Cast iron
Cylinder head material Cast iron
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel system Direct injection, Electro Hydraulic Generation Two (G2) injection technology
Configuration V
Number of cylinders 8
Valves per cylinder 4
Valvetrain layout OHV
Bore, mm 95.0 mm (3.74 in)
Stroke, mm 105.0 mm (4.13 in)
Displacement, cc 5,954 cc (363.3 cu in)
Type of internal combustion engine Four-stroke, turbocharged
Compression Ratio 18.0:1
Power, hp 325 hp (242kW)/3,300
Torque, lb ft 560 lb-ft (759 Nm)/2,000 – 2003-2004 model years;
570 lb-ft (773 Nm)/2,000 – 2005-2007 model years
Engine weight 966 lbs (438 kg)
Firing order 1-2-7-3-4-5-6-8
Engine oil weight Motorcraft 15W-40 Super Duty (above 30 F), 15W-30 Super Duty (below 30 F), or 5W-40 Synthetic engine oil (API-CJ-4)
Engine oil capacity, liter 14.2 l (15 qts) – with oil filter
Oil change interval, mile 7,500 (12,000 km)/6 months
Applications Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Ford F-450, Ford F-550
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The 6.0 L engine was the first in Power Stroke family equipped with single variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). It utilizes the Garrett GT3782VA turbocharger with electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated vanes and 58mm compressor wheel. A charged air experiences an air-to-air intercooler. This quick-spooling turbocharger provides quick throttle response.

The 6.0 L Power Stroke showed to be less reliable than its 7.3 L predecessor and was replaced in 2008 by a more powerful, durable, and emissions friendly 6.4 L Power Stroke.

6.0 Power Stroke Engine Problems and Reliability

The 6.0 L Power Stroke has a poor reputation in regards to reliability and durability. In the first place in the list of problems are EGR-related issues: cracked EGR coolers and failed EGR valves. The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system is sources of the main issues with the 6.0 L Power Stroke. Aluminum tubes that head to the oil cooler have the tendency to crack from temperature changes. These cracks usually cause oil pushing its way into the cooling system and forming high-viscosity coolant as a result of the mixture with oil. That brings about cracking of the EGR cooler’s coolant passages and leaking coolant into the intake system. This usually appears as white smoke from the exhaust pipe. The EGR valve is often coated with soot and stuck in the open/closed position. A gummed up EGR valve is usually dued to long engine runs at low or idle speeds.

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The coolant in the intake increases cylinder pressure because of a steam build-up, bring about stretching of the Torque to Yield (TTY) head bolts. That is the reason for the second common problem with the 6.0 L – head gasket failures. 4 torque to yield head bolts per cylinder is simply not enough to prevent the engine from blown head gaskets. There are some aftermarket solutions for replacing the factory bolts with head studs, but studs increase the risk of cracks or deformation of the cylinder head.

There are a few more well-known problems on the list: injection system issues related to bad injectors, air leaks, O-rings on stand pipes, ICP and IPR sensor failures, and FICM failures; HPOP’s problems; VGT turbocharger is prone to sticking open or closed; cylinder heads are known to crack.

7.3 L’s reliability is not what should be expected from the 6.0 Power Stroke engine, but drivability, horsepower, and meeting modern-day emissions standards.