We’ve all seen our fair share of cabs being lifted off of ’03-’07 Ford trucks over the years. For 6.0L Power Stroke owners, it’s basically become a way of life anytime a major engine repair is required (namely head gaskets)—and things didn’t change once the ’08-’10 Super Duty’s hit the scene. With even less working room under the hood, cab removal is all but necessary in order for any type of extensive engine work to take place on the 6.4L Power Stroke. Blown head gaskets, cracked up-pipes, and even high-pressure fuel pump, oil cooler, and turbo replacement can all warrant the separation of the cab from the frame on these trucks.

But, like the 6.0L, most engine work on the 6.4L can be performed cab-on. So why do the pro’s pull the cab? The key—along with how the Ford workshop manual justifies the cab-off procedure on the ’08-’10 trucks—is efficiency. Due to extremely tight quarters, most issues can be addressed quicker and in a more thorough manner with the cab out of the way. While cab removal is always best left to a professional shop, we know a ton of you have contemplated pulling the cab yourselves. This month’s step-by-step article is intended to help the novice-to-mid-level mechanic tackle the job—provided he or she has access to a lift. We think you’ll find that while it’s a highly involved process it’s not quite as intimidating as it seems. DW

Chad Flynn of Flynn’s Shop was kind enough to walk us through the cab removal process he executes at his shop in Alexander, Illinois on a weekly (if not daily) basis.
Step 1. First things first, position the truck where you’ll want it to be once it’s time to lift the cab—because after you tear into the truck you won’t be able to start it to maneuver it around. When you have the truck where you want it, leave the transmission in Neutral. Then disconnect the battery cables and (where applicable) all aftermarket accessory wiring. The wire shown here was being used to power this particular truck’s HID head lights. Now is also an opportune time to drain all engine coolant.
Next, the fuse box power wire is disconnected from the driver side battery (shown), the smart junction box cable is removed from the passenger side battery, and both batteries can be removed. The fuse box power wire (shown), the smart junction box cable, and the negative battery cables all go up with the cab (the positive battery cables can be laid across the top of the intercooler). The alternator cable and main starter cable stay with the chassis.
Once both batteries are out of the way, unplug the filter minder and mass air flow sensor from the air intake and remove the entire assembly. This exposes the low pressure side of the A/C system. Then disconnect the trigger wire for the starter (shown) located behind the washer fluid reservoir.
. With both the low pressure and high pressure side of the A/C system now accessible, the system can be vacuumed down while you move on to other items. For example, removing the ground-to-cab strap and cab-to-engine ground strap from the firewall, followed by disconnecting the engine harness that connects to the PCM (shown), as well as unplugging the engine to cab wire harness.
Both vacuum lines that actuate the front hubs can be disconnected at this time (the passenger side vacuum line is shown). Once the A/C system has been completely evacuated, the high pressure line is separated (using a 13mm wrench), along with the compressor dryer lines. The engine to heater core hose is then swung over to the passenger side of the engine bay.
Using an 11mm socket, the cold side intercooler pipe is loosened and pried away from the throttle body (the bottom clamp remains attached to the intercooler). The cold side pipe is then strapped to the radiator core support.

Because the hood latch release is attached to the front bumper and may also hamper you from fully accessing the transmission cooler line, it has to be removed (via an 8mm swivel socket). Once it’s out of the way, the transmission cooler line (arrow) beneath it can be pulled off of its respective barbed fitting and allowed to drain.

The block heater can now be disconnected, as well as the air bleed lines from the degas bottle and EGR cooler (tuck the air bleed lines in behind the intercooler). Now use the 11mm socket to loosen the hot side intercooler pipe clamp from the low pressure turbo (shown) but remove the coolant line running to the fuel cooler (arrow) prior to pulling the pipe away from the turbo (this keeps coolant from running into the turbo). Like the cold side pipe, it too gets strapped to the radiator core support.
After you disconnect the top radiator hose and secure it back toward the engine, use a 13mm socket to pull the four bolts that mount the driver side battery tray, disconnect the main degas bottle line (C clip), and remove the entire assembly from the engine bay. At this point, the heater core outlet hose (under the engine oil dipstick tube) can be reached. Disconnect it as well.
There is no need to bleed the brake system when pulling the cab, but the master cylinder has to be unbolted and stays down with the frame. Start removing the brake master cylinder by disconnecting the fluid level, cruise control, and brake pressure wires. A 14mm socket (and a long extension for the driver side) is required to pull the two nuts that secure the master cylinder to the firewall. Make sure you keep an eye on the master cylinder as the cab goes up.
These three cab to chassis wire harnesses, located above the steering shaft and along the frame rail, have to be disconnected as well. The bundle of harnesses is made up of one small connector and two larger connectors. While these harnesses are self-explanatory, it’s crucial that you remember how everything goes back together later on, or you could wind up with a truck that won’t start.
Position a small container or bucket under the power steering pump, remove the pump to engine hose, and drain a considerable amount of power steering fluid (the small line can remain attached to the reservoir) before capping the line off. From there, the power steering to hydro boost lines are disconnected at the firewall (using an 18mm and 21mm wrench) and are capped off as well.

The lower portion of the steering shaft has to be disconnected and slid downward toward the axle. It calls for a 13mm socket, and in our case a healthy dose of penetrating oil and some coaxing with a sledge in order to get it to budge.
In order to gain access to the nuts on top of the front cab mounts, the headlight assemblies have to be pulled. Four 7mm bolts and three plug-ins per headlight and they’re free. Don’t forget to disconnect the fog lamp power harness as well.

Now it’s time to remove the C clip and separate the bottom (lower) radiator hose. This hose is dreaded by most mechanics because it’s full of coolant and has to be pulled apart (arrows). No matter how careful you are when separating the hose, a pretty good size mess is usually par for the course.
The front portion of the emergency brake cable goes up with the cab, while the rest of the cable (that runs along the frame rail) stays with the chassis. The front and rear portion of the E-brake cable is connected via a union under the driver side door. Use a pair of vice grips to keep slack in the cable while removing one end of it from the union.
The transmission shift cable (from the column down to the transmission) has to be unhooked from its lever. Once it’s loose, make sure the transmission shifter linkage is still set in Neutral.
If you know the cab mount bolts have never been removed, plan on hitting the nuts with a torch to heat them up. Flynn uses an acetylene torch on the front cab mount nuts (shown) but switches to a handheld butane torch for the remaining nuts, accessed inside the cab. Be careful here, as too much heat can distort or damage the body mount.
Here you can see why the cab mount bolts can be so stubborn to remove. At the factory, the threads are bathed in Loctite. We’ll also note that the cab mount bolts utilized in the middle of the cab are shorter than the others.
Once the nuts have been treated to a round of heat (via torch), the cab mount bolts can typically be zipped right out with an impact. The bolts call for a 15mm socket.
Peel the inner fender forward slightly and position the front lift pad at the front edge of the truck’s pinch weld. The rear lift pad should be positioned at the opposite end of the pinch weld at the rear of the cab.
Due to all of the components still connected to the front of the cab, it has a tendency to want to tip forward (more common on extended cabs, and especially standard cabs). To avoid this, Flynn secures the rear of the cab to the lift arms via ratchet straps.
When lifting the cab off of the frame, take it slow and have a helper handle the lift controls while you keep an eye on everything that was just disconnected and unbolted. Once it’s time to lower the cab back down, it’s ideal to get all of the cab mount bolts started before it is lowered completely. Measurements can also be taken to ensure that all body lines match back up perfectly. After that, it’s a matter of reconnecting everything, topping off fluids, recharging the A/C system, and re-priming the fuel system.

Flynn’s Shop

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