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6.0L Ford Power Stroke Engine - Every 6.0L Problem Solved

Diesel Tech Expert

Text By , Photography by Ali Mansour,

The 6.0L Ford Power Stroke engine suffers from one of the worst reputations in the diesel industry--a reputation that quite frankly we don't think it deserves, and one we're looking to improve. One of the most common questions we're asked about the 6.0L is: why didn't Ford just stick with the 7.3L Power Stroke? In hindsight Ford may wish it had, but there are many reasons why the 6.0L Power Stroke came to be.

Keep in mind that the federal government set tougher diesel emissions standards for engines built after January 1, 2003. That meant Ford and International knew they had to invest a substantial amount of money in their diesel engine--just to keep it smog-legal. It's possible they could've added an exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR), a variable-geometry turbo, and a higher-pressure injection system to the 7.3L and been emissions compliant. But a clean-burning 7.3L engine still would've been at a horsepower disadvantage to the 300hp Duramax and 305hp Cummins engines that both featured four valves per cylinder. The Duramax and Cummins engines also benefited from deep-skirt engine blocks and Bosch's latest common-rail injection, which made them quieter than the 7.3L.

So Ford and International built an all-new engine that could do four things: meet the 2003 emissions standards, make more power than the competition, improve fuel economy (thanks to its smaller size), and reduce engine noise. International utilized variable geometry turbo technology, digital fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in order to get the job done. It should be stated outright that the 6.0L Power Stroke is nowhere near as bad as most people make it out to be. From a manufacturers' standpoint, the 6.0L met all emissions standards and survived all the testing performed during its research and development stages. So basically, the 6.0L shouldn't be problematic for the consumer--in stock form.

This brings us to the power adder aspect that we, diesel owners, usually dabble in at some point or another. Depending on the technician or mechanic you talk to, opinions on the 6.0L vary. When we spoke to the Power Stroke experts at Diesel Tech in San Jacinto, California, they told us most customers with '03 to '07 6.0L Super Dutys operating at stock power levels rarely experience major failures. This makes sense to us. After all, an engine operating within its factory-tested power range will obviously be more reliable, in theory, than one turning more rpm, fueling heavier, and creating more heat and higher cylinder pressures, right? Sure there were quirks, but what engine doesn't have its own particular set of issues?

With the help of Diesel Tech and Elite Diesel Engineering, we've gone beyond the well-known 6.0L EGR and head bolt problems and compiled a list of the '03 to '07 Power Stroke's major faults. We've even gone so far as to match each specific problem with the given model year(s) most affected by it and provided you with a reliable fix.

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Hi, I have a 2006 F 250 with a 6.0 Power stroke Diesel all of a sudden it started using a lot of coolant but their is no signs of leaks on the engine or on the floor but it has a lot of white smoke with the smell of antifreeze and oil,there is no sign of antifreeze in the engine oil. what could it be Thanks, George


i just bought a 2004 f350,two month ago,   today 12/30/2014 i discovered a coolant leak on the rear right side of the engine also the lower rad hose connection, i have not taken a proper look to see where the leak is coming from I am in Alberta its -24 here now so i cant /wont go out to look for the leak but i will as soon as it get a little warmer ,  i will post my findings, if any one has a solution or have a problem like this it will be great if you can let me know. (


I am looking at a 2005 f250 with 6.0 and 85000 miles ,is the 6.0 trouble or not help