Mishimoto’s Cooling Package Might Save that 6.0L Power Stroke

We know what you’re thinking. Another article about how to save a 6.0L Power Stroke form imploding on itself. Well sort of, but the truth of the matter is Ford sold a ton of those truck between 2003 and 2007 and to be quite honest, there are still a ton of them on the road. Sure, they may need a little more love on the maintenance and repair side of things, but you can find these trucks on the cheap these days. A lot of people are scared to own one, which has kept their used values lower than other diesels on the market, but if you have the know-how, the right list of upgrades and are willing to put in the work they can be very capable tow rigs. While this particular project is on upgrading the cooling system, charge air system and transmission cooler with upgraded units from Mishimoto on a 6.0L Ford truck, the theory would be the same no matter what you drive. Of course, Mishimoto offers parts for just about every make and model year, regardless of Power Stroke, Duramax, or Cummins power plants.

Mishimoto has been in the light duty diesel game for a while now and their full line of upgraded radiators offer many benefits including increased fluid capacity, solid aluminum end tanks and improved flow across the core. For the 6.0L Power Stroke, they also offer a fully tig welded aluminum degas bottle to replace the failure prone factory plastic piece.
Most factory radiators use a plastic end tank that is crimped onto the core, overtime, this sealed joint can fail and start to leak. The plastic tanks don’t usually offer the best flow dynamics either, so the Mishimoto end tank is crafted from aluminum and welded directly to the core. This will offer great durability, improved flow, and even help with heat dissipation some.
Larger intercoolers are also a common upgrade when it comes to improving towing performance in a diesel and the massive Mishimoto intercoolers offer a better core design and cast aluminum end tanks which helps reduce charge air temps and pressure drop.

We all know that heat kills performance. Heat kills efficiency. Heat kills power. Heat kills engines. As the light duty diesel market has continued to progress and the OEM’s are producing more power than ever. As those horsepower and torque outputs on brand new showroom models continues to grow, if you’ll notice, another thing growing along with it is the size of the cooling systems those trucks are equipped with. What good is all that power if you can’t keep the engine operating temperatures under control. The new diesel engines are using bigger oil coolers, massive radiators, cooling fans that could be used as a shop ceiling fan, and Ford themselves has even adopted liquid cooled intercooler systems in the latest Power Stroke platforms.  It’s all in an effort to keep the engines running cooler under heavier loads and allowing you, the driver, to use all that power every time you need it, regardless of how hot it is outside or how long the grade is.

Under the hood of the 6.0L Power Stroke, replacing the intercooler and radiator system can be accomplished in just a couple of hours. Obviously, there are some hoses and intercooler pipes that need to be disconnected and the upper core support bar will need to be removed.
The factory coolant reservoir or degas bottle on the 6.0L Power Stroke has been known to cause some issues, like leaks and broken mounting tabs so Mishimoto developed a direct replacement tank that’s fabricated from aluminum and fully tig welded for strength.
Loosening the t-bolt clamps on the factory intercooler pipes is next up and will allow the piping to be popped free from the intercooler, which will soon be replaced with the upgraded Mishimoto unit.


Obviously, the radiator is the most important part to any cooling system, being able to dissipate heat form the engine coolant efficiently is vital to keeping that engine running at it’s best when under a heavy load. When towing long grades, most trucks like to run at higher RPM’s, they make their best power there and the additional RPM’s means more air through the turbocharger, more oil pumped through the oil cooler, and more volume through the water pump. So, having a radiator that can move all that coolant across the core easily while pulling as much temperature out of it as possible is key.

The first step to replacing the radiator is draining the old coolant from the system. The factory intercooler does have a drain on the back side that will make this a fairly easy process. Make sure you have a 5-gallon bucket on hand.
With the upper core support bar removed you’ll have full access to the radiator and intercooler which can be removed as a complete assembly, just be prepared, and maybe ask a buddy to help. It’s quite heavy and cumbersome to lift up and out of the chassis.
Like the factory radiator, the stock intercooler uses a crimped plastic end tank that can fail over time. The flex within the mount and chassis can lead to failures in the plastic tank, so the fully welded end tank design on the Mishimoto unit.

Mishimito’s all aluminum radiators replace the failure prone OEM plastic end tank units and will both increase the efficiency across the core but dissipate heat better. Constructed from a high strength aircraft grade aluminum, the brazed aluminum core offers superior durability and efficiency to help keep the big engine cool under the harshest driving conditions, while allowing air to pass through it better than a factory unit would. TIG-welded aluminum end tanks increase longevity while retaining factory fitment for an easy installation, they’re also covered by a Lifetime Warranty.

While the intercooler system is apart and the pipes were off, now was the perfect time to replace the restrictive factory intake elbow. With the stock unit removed, a quick glance into the intake manifold shows you just how hard the EGR system can be on these engines with soot and gunk building up within the intake manifold and cylinder heads.
Sitting side by side, you can see the just how much larger the new intercooler is. The additional inch in thickness makes for a significant jump in surface area for air to pass across helping dissipate heat and improve core volume and flow.


To go along with the performance radiator, we’ll also make some changes to the charge air system to make sure the motor gets all the air from the turbocharger it can. Running higher RPM’s towing long grades, means higher boost levels, and the higher the boost, the hotter the charge air temperatures will be. It’s basic science that hotter air is less dense, meaning your engine gives up some efficiency. The turbocharger may be able to move a bunch of air, but hot air is less effective in the combustion chamber and can equate to higher exhaust gas temperatures. Mishimoto produces intercoolers for just about every light duty diesel application and the unit specific to this 6.0L is massive. The larger intercooler uses heavy duty cast aluminum end tanks and a more efficient bar and plate core, so air moves through it easier. Testing has shown as much as a 20% reduction in charge air temperatures which can mean a consistent 100-150 degree drop in EGT’s under load. That kind of temperature drop could be huge to how well your truck gets your big travel trailer over the next mountain pass.

The aluminum intake elbow for the 6.0L platform not only flows a little better than the factory piece, but that fully polished exterior adds some nice bling under the hood too.
After the intercooler and radiator were fully installed the new degas bottle was bolted in place and allowed us to fill the system with new coolant. You’ll notice a new radiator cap for good measure as well.
You’ll see that transmission cooler peeking out from behind the grill and it makes for a pretty simple swap process. By removing the grille, you’ll get easy access to the mount tabs and hoses.

Transmission Cooler

While the 5R110 transmission Ford started using in the 6.0L has been a pretty rock solid performer and will handle quite a bit of abuse, like an engine, heat is the biggest enemy to any transmission. To ensure those fluid temperatures can stay cool, it’s never a bad idea to look at a larger cooler. Complimenting the rest of the cooling system upgrades the 37-row stacked-plate cooler provides more surface area and a 21% increase in fluid capacity. In most situations, this huge transmission cooler can bring fluid temperatures down as much as 30-degrees in day to day driving and heavy towing situations.

Have you ever seen such a massive transmission cooler? The Mishimoto 37-row cooler for the 6.0L replaces a factory 26-row or 31-row unit used in the F250 and F350 trucks. With the factory style mounts, this cooler is direct replacement with no changes to the truck required.
For a while now, the factory 6.0L Power Stroke transmission cooler has been a great upgrade for the earlier 7.3L Power Stroke trucks, but that stock unit can take a back seat to this massive Mishimoto unit. If you want the ultimate in cooling for your transmission, this is the one to order.



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