This month we’re tackling the inevitable for modified 6.0L Power Stroke engines. We’re replacing blown head gaskets and scrapping the factory head bolts in favor of studs. While most professional shops prefer to lift the cab for this process (which rules out a ton of underhood clearance issues), some opt to perform the work in-frame. And for those of us without high-capacity lifts at home, we really don’t have a choice—other than completely pulling the engine. Finding coolant residue on the degas bottle is usually a telltale sign that a 6.0L has toasted a head gasket. If the gasket stops sealing in even the smallest area, compression slips past the gasket and the coolant system gets pressurized. Unfortunately for this engine, it was puking coolant for a lengthy period of time before being addressed, so we were concerned the heads would be warped beyond repair. First things first: Flynn drained the coolant. Finding coolant residue on the degas bottle is usually a telltale sign that a 6.0L has toa The Cons of Pulling the Cab Let’s face it: Pulling the cab off ’03 to ’07 Super Dutys is the preferred method of addressing the 6.0L’s most common problem, but it also takes considerable time. Before ever getting to the source of the problem, the A/C system has to be vacuumed down (and recharged later—a cost passed on to the customer). Lowering the cab back down typically takes three times as long as getting it up in the air, not to mention making sure the bodylines line back up perfectly. And, the Ford Workshop Manual illustrates that cylinder head removal can and should be done in-frame (it even shows you how to dent the firewall to reach the rear head bolts). Flynn’s Shop has been performing cab-on, engine-in head stud installs for years, so it has the procedure down to a science. According to the folks there, all the time spent lifting and lowering the cab equals out to just getting to work on the engine. We recently sat in on a head stud install and took note of all the little things you need to remember to do throughout the process. The following pages should empower any do-it-yourselfer with novice mechanical skills. Parts List (Labor and machine work not included) Total $1,047.16 Part: Vendor: Price: ARP head studs (PN 250-4202) MKM Customs $468.71 *OE head gaskets (PN 4C3Z-6051-EB) Crossroads Ford $378.46 (both gaskets) EGR delete River City Diesel $199.99 *Head gaskets with 18mm dowel holes for engines manufactured before January 2006: PN 4C3Z-6051-EB; head gaskets with 20mm dowel holes for engines manufactured after January 2006: PN 6C3Z-6051-AA With the intake manifold off, it was an opportune time to do away with the notoriously problematic EGR cooler. For its functionality and great fit and finish, we used this complete EGR delete from River City Diesel. With the intake manifold off, it was an opportune time to do away with the notoriously pro TearDown Tips As with any modern V-8 diesel engine, much of the work involved in a head gasket job lies in the teardown process. Throughout the course of the job, we took note of the tips and tricks Flynn used to make the job a little easier. From start to finish, we felt the following tips were worth mentioning. Pull the grille before scratching it (you’re going to spend your day laying across this area) Remove the intake elbow and cold-side intercooler tube as one piece (less hassle with boots and clamps) For fuel filter reservoir removal, use a small piece of cardboard to divert dripping fuel away from the lifter valley Install zip ties on the fuel filter lines so the fittings don’t slide down onto the valve covers or heads After removing the fuel and oil filter housings (as one unit), place the oil spout in a plastic bag Don’t forget to remove the bracket bolt for the passenger-side head—it’s located under the throttle valve (’05-and-later engines had no throttle valve) Mark each stud’s location on the intake manifold before removing (this way you’ll know where the studs vs. bolts go when reinstalling it) Fuel lines and the exhaust backpressure line have to be removed (in front of the driver-side head) You have to pull the driver-side engine eyelet to remove the fuel lines running to the filter reservoir Oil and transmission dipsticks have to be pulled Remove the IPR valve before removing the driver-side head Make sure you have extra drain pans under the truck when breaking the heads loose (to collect additional coolant) Arrange all the valve bridges, rocker arms, and pushrods so they can be reinstalled the same way they came off (this keeps the valvetrain in perfect sync and all wear points the same) In order to reach the rearmost bottom head bolt on the driver side, you may have to dent or deform the firewall slightly (clearance is different on every truck) The bottom four head bolts on the driver-side and rearmost bottom bolt on the passenger-side can’t be removed completely (zip tie them in place once unthreaded from the block) Once the heads are off, suction the remaining coolant out of the block (use all new coolant) As you can imagine, several hours are involved in the teardown process. Key items that need to be pulled are: the serpentine belt, alternator, fan shroud, intercooler and radiator hoses, thermostat, EGR valve, FICM, fuel and oil filter reservoirs, turbo, engine wiring harness, and intake manifold. As you can imagine, several hours are involved in the teardown process. Key items that nee Although you don’t have to pull the oil cooler for a head gasket job, any time you get this far into a 6.0L engine, it’s a good idea to rebuild it. We’ll show you how to overhaul your 6.0L's oil cooler next month. Although you don’t have to pull the oil cooler for a head gasket job, any time you get thi To make room on the passenger side of the engine, Flynn removed part of the evaporator core housing (it’s held in place with 10 screws). With just one portion of the shell removed, it provides enough room to access all the head bolts (you don’t have to pull the evaporator core itself). To make room on the passenger side of the engine, Flynn removed part of the evaporator cor With the valve covers and oil rails off each head, Flynn used a 3/4-inch (12-point) socket to dislodge the injector plug-ins from the rocker boxes. He then pulled the injectors and glow plugs and started breaking the head bolts loose. The five 8mm bolts at the top of each head were used to keep the heads attached to the block (once all the head bolts were loose) and were taken out after the cherry picker was in position to lift each head off the block. With the valve covers and oil rails off each head, Flynn used a 3/4-inch (12-point) socket Here you can see the rearmost top head bolt in the passenger-side head barely clearing the rest of the evaporator core housing. Of the 20 head bolts securing the heads to the block, 5 can’t be removed due to clearance issues (the 4 bottom bolts on the driver-side head, and the rearmost bottom bolt on the passenger side). To remedy this, Flynn holds each bolt up out of the block with a zip tie. This keeps the bolt from sliding back into the threads in the block prior to removal of the head. Here you can see the rearmost top head bolt in the passenger-side head barely clearing the Because the head bolts hold the rocker arms, rocker box, and heads to the block, the rocker boxes have to come off with the heads. Lifting the heads off the block is a two-man job: one running the lift and the other making sure the head clears the hood, radiator, evaporator core, and front cover. Once the heads were off the block, Flynn unbolted the exhaust manifolds and rocker boxes and sent the heads to the machine shop to be resurfaced and magnafluxed. Because the head bolts hold the rocker arms, rocker box, and heads to the block, the rocke After pulling the passenger-side head, we immediately noticed black marks next to cylinder number 5 (arrow). This is where the head gasket lifted and compression slipped past. After pulling the passenger-side head, we immediately noticed black marks next to cylinder While waiting on the machine shop, Flynn started cleaning up the block’s mating surface. It’s important to not get carried away here, as too much scraping can ruin the block. Choose a mild grit grinder pad over an aggressive one and focus more on getting the old gasket material off and the block clean than making it perfectly flat. While waiting on the machine shop, Flynn started cleaning up the block’s mating surface. I Don’t be alarmed if you see these kinds of black marks once you’ve prepped your block surface. Over the course of a 6.0L’s life, heat cycles are going to leave compression marks like this behind. As long as they don’t affect the surface area (and you can’t feel them), they’re nothing to worry about. Don’t be alarmed if you see these kinds of black marks once you’ve prepped your block surf According to Ford, the block’s surface must show no more than a 0.002-inch difference in a 5.9-inch area. To make sure the block was good to go, Flynn placed a straight edge across it in several areas and tried to slide a 0.002-inch feeler gauge under it. It passed the test with flying colors. According to Ford, the block’s surface must show no more than a 0.002-inch difference in a With no more than 0.004 inches of flatness difference across the entire surface area, our factory heads were salvageable—at first. However, once they were magnafluxed, more than a dozen cracks were found (several are highlighted here with a black magic marker), all of which protruded into the exhaust valve seats. This was a sign that the engine had seen excessive EGT in the past. With no more than 0.004 inches of flatness difference across the entire surface area, our There was no choice but to replace the heads, and these brand-new units from Ford retailed for $1,800 apiece (PN 3C3Z-6049-DA). Flynn had to swap the old exhaust manifolds and rocker boxes onto the new heads. There was no choice but to replace the heads, and these brand-new units from Ford retailed Block, Head, and Reinstallation Tips The first two tips listed here are the most important to follow in a head stud job. If your block and heads’ mating surfaces aren’t as true as possible, you’re doing all the work for nothing. With 6.0L heads notorious for warping and cracking, sending them to a trusted machine shop is mandatory. More than 0.002-inch difference across any 5.9-inch area on the block surface renders the block unusable In order for the heads to be reusable, no more than a 0.004-inch difference in flatness can exist across the total surface area New Ford head gaskets can only be installed one way (stamped numbers up) Tape off the intake ports on the heads before reinstalling them To ease installation, zip tie the bottom four and rearmost top head stud into each head prior to lowering it onto the block (this way, you’re guaranteed to have no clearance issues) Make sure not to dent, scrape, or damage the new head gaskets when reinstalling the heads Don’t put the washers on the top head studs until the rocker arms are on You can always gain a little more clearance by loosening the motor mounts and jacking up the engine Because Ford now only casts the later-style cylinder heads (engines built after January 2006), stepped alignment dowels had to be used to install the heads. Early 6.0Ls (like the ’04 we’re showing here) used 18mm alignment dowels, while later engines were equipped with 20mm units. The stepped dowels, which Ford supplies with its new heads, make the process of fitting an older block with newer heads possible. Because Ford now only casts the later-style cylinder heads (engines built after January 20 Prior to installing the passenger-side head, the bottom four head studs and the rearmost top stud were zip tied in place (keeping the studs slightly less than flush with the bottom of the head). Then each stud’s threads were coated with ARP’s Ultra-Torque assembly lubricant. Prior to installing the passenger-side head, the bottom four head studs and the rearmost t On the driver-side head, only the rearmost (top and bottom) studs were zip tied in place. As you can see, clearance at the back of the head is much tighter on the driver side, and we’ll add that lowering the head onto the block is much more time consuming. Once each head was set on the alignment dowels, one of the top 8mm head bolts was installed (just past handtight) for added security. On the driver-side head, only the rearmost (top and bottom) studs were zip tied in place. Next, the zip ties were cut off and all head studs were handtightened into the block. Then Flynn reinstalled the pushrods, valve bridges, rocker arms, and the rocker arm dowels at the front and rear of each head. Notice an ARP nut is not yet on the top studs (arrows). Note: Gradually tighten the rocker arm bolts (jump from head to head). You want to make sure the lifter collapses before putting the final torque on them (23 ft-lb). Next, the zip ties were cut off and all head studs were handtightened into the block. Then Due to the socket sitting at an angle, the tight clearance near the firewall, and the fact that you basically have to push to tighten when torquing the driver-side head studs, it's an awkward process. Here, you can see the rearmost bottom stud getting torqued, which is the most difficult fastener to get to. Due to the socket sitting at an angle, the tight clearance near the firewall, and the fact Using ARP’s recommended torque sequence (which works from the center out), Flynn tightened the studs in four intervals. The first called for 50 ft-lb, followed by 100 ft-lb, 155 ft-lb, and a final torque of 210 ft-lb. Using ARP’s recommended torque sequence (which works from the center out), Flynn tightened SOURCES Flynn's Shop Alexander IL 217-478-3811 ARP 1863 Eastman Avenue Ventura CA 93003 800-826-3045 www.arp-bolts.com River City Diesels 136 Thunderbird Lane East Peoria IL 61611 1-309-699-2488 http://www.rivercitydiesel.com/ Crossroads Ford Truck Sales 800-593-3673 www.crossroadstrucksales.com MKM Customs 877-692-4110 www.mkmcustoms.com By Mike McGlothlin Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!