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Ford 6.0L PowerStroke Engine (Specs, Reliability & Issues)

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  • 5 min read

Last Updated on: 16th November 2023, 02:38 am

Ford introduced a newer, more powerful 6.0-liter V8 turbo diesel engine in the second quarter of 2003.

After a year, the Ford 6.0L Power Stroke engine completely replaced the 7.3L Power Stroke engine, generally considered as one of the best Power Stroke engines ever.

The 6.0L PowerStroke engine was the greatest answer for meeting decreased NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions requirements and even harder demands in the future, thanks to EGR, a variable geometry turbocharger, and a more efficient fuel injection system.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the reliability, issues and design of the Ford 6.0L PowerStroke engine.


The 6.0 Power Stroke has a cast-iron cylinder block with a crankcase bed plate for improved bottom-end strength (no main caps).

The oil cooler and high-pressure oil pump for the engine are incorporated inside the block.

The 6.0 diesel, like the 7.3 diesel, has powdered-metal connecting rods and cast-aluminum pistons.

Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Engine

Connecting rods have been reported to handle 700 whp and 1,200-1,300 lb-ft of torque, making them very strong and long-lasting.

The crankshaft, camshaft, and high-pressure oil pump all have gear trains at the rear of the engine.

On the engine, cast-iron high-flow cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder were added (16 intake valves and 16 exhaust valves; 32 valves total).

For each cylinder, just four TTY head bolts are utilised to attach the cylinder heads to the block. Bolts are 14 mm in diameter.

  • the intake valves are 33.8 mm (1.33 in) in diameter
  • the exhaust valves are 28.0 mm (1.10 in) in diameter

The cylinder head includes two intake runners for each cylinder. To help introduce swirl into the combustion chamber, the valves were twisted. Each head has a metal rocker box on top of it.

The 6.0 Power stroke engine comes with a HEUI (Hydraulically Actuated Electronically Controlled Unit Injection).

The timing and pressure of the fuel injection are controlled by high-pressure oil and electronics.

The HEUI system is made up of the:

  • PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
  • IDM (Injector Driver Module)
  • HPOP (High-Pressure Oil Pump)
  • IPR (Injection Pressure Regulator)
  • Siemens injectors

The HPOP is located behind the HPOP lid and the turbocharger in the engine.

Split-shot HEUI fuel injection system on the 6.0 PowerStroke allows for higher injection pressures over the whole operating range (in-cylinder fuel injection pressure can reach 26,000 psi).

The 6.0L Power Stroke engine was the first to include a single variable geometry turbocharger in the Power Stroke series (VGT).

The turbocharger is a Garrett GT3782VA with a 58mm compressor wheel and electronically controlled and hydraulically operated vanes.

Charged air is sent via an air-to-air intercooler. The fast spooling of this turbocharger enables for quick throttle response.

The 6.0L Power Stroke was replaced in 2008 by the 6.4L Power Stroke, which was more powerful, durable, and emissions-friendly than its 7.3L predecessor but proved to be less reliable.

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: 95.0 mm (3.74 in)
  • Stroke: 105.0 mm (4.13 in)
  • Displacement: 5,954 cc (363.3 cu in)
  • Type: Four-stroke, turbocharged
  • Compression Ratio: 18.0:1
  • Power: 325 hp (242kW)/3,300
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft (759 Nm) at 2,000 rpm (2003-2004 model years), 570 lb-ft (773 Nm) at 2,000 rpm (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: 14.2 litres (15 qts) – with oil filter
  • Oil change interval: 7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 6 months
  • Applications: Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Ford F-450, Ford F-550

Problems & Reliability

The 6.0L Power Stroke has a horrible reputation when it comes to reliability and durability. EGR-related issues, such as malfunctioning EGR valves and damaged EGR coolers, are at the top of the list.

The 6.0L Power Stroke’s difficulties are caused by the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.

The oil cooler’s aluminium tubing is prone to breaking due to temperature changes. These cracks commonly result in oil getting into the cooling system and creating high-viscosity coolant as a consequence of mixing with oil.

The coolant tubes in the EGR cooler crack as a result of this, enabling coolant to flow into the intake system.

White smoke is commonly visible coming from the exhaust pipe. Furthermore, the EGR valve is often clogged with soot and stuck in either the open or closed position.

The most typical cause of blocked EGR valves is long engine runs at idle or low speeds.

The coolant in the intake elevates cylinder pressure due to a build-up of steam in the intake, putting strain on the Torque to Yield (TTY) head bolts.

Head gasket failures are the second most common problem with the 6.0L.

To prevent blown head gaskets in the engine, 4 torque to yield head bolts per cylinder is insufficient.

Although head studs may be used to replace factory nuts, they increase the risk of cylinder head fractures or deformation.

Injection system issues caused by:

  • malfunctioning injectors
  • air leaks
  • O-rings on stand pipes
  • ICP and IPR sensor failures
  • FICM failures
  • HPOP issues

The cylinder heads have previously broken due to the VGT turbocharger staying open or closed.

  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer. He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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