The Simple Solution From Bullet Proof Diesel
The 6.0L Power Stroke has gotten a bad rap over the years, thanks mostly to well-documented oil cooler and EGR cooler failures. Consequently, you can buy a used 6.0L Power Stroke relatively cheaply and the money you save on the purchase price can go towards addressing some of the engine’s shortcomings and building it to suit your uses and needs.
As a refresher, the 6.0L Power Stroke was introduced in 2003 after market pressure from Dodge and GM forced Ford to up their diesel power offerings. While the current 7.3L Power Stroke was reliable, Ford needed to counter the common-rail offerings from GM and Dodge and the 6.0L was the answer. Produced by the same folks who built the 7.3L Navistar, legend has it that Ford rushed Navistar to get the 6.0L to market quickly, and once on the road, design flaws started to show up.
Topping the list was failure of the factory EGR cooler. The folks at Bullet Proof Diesel, which is a division of Neal Technologies in Mesa, Arizona, say the EGR cooler failures were symptomatic of a much larger problem and replacing the cooler with another factory one only prolonged the agony and owner frustration. According to Bullet Proof Diesel, the real culprit behind these repetitive EGR cooler failures is not only the design of the stock EGR cooler, but also the truck’s oil cooler.
Located at the front of the block, just under the intake manifold, the water to oil intercooler sits in an oil-filled recess in the valley of the motor, and supposedly is used to cool the truck’s hot oil by circulating coolant through the cooler. Unfortunately, the sandwich-style design of the cooler features tiny water passages which eventually get clogged with debris from the cooling system. These pathways are so small they catch and stop any large particles suspended in the coolant, blocking the coolant channel and consequently the coolant flow.
“The folks at Bullet Proof Diesel say the EGR cooler failures were symptomatic of a much larger problem and replacing the cooler with another factory one only prolonged the agony and owner frustration.”
A plugged engine oil cooler typically leads to a ruptured EGR cooler, overheated engine oil, overheated fuel injectors, loss of coolant, ruptured engine oil cooler and blown head gaskets, they add. Replacing the Ford engine oil cooler with another Ford engine oil cooler is the usual fix, but all that does is put off the problem for another 50,000 miles.
So what’s the long-term fix? Over the years, Bullet Proof Diesel has developed an external oil cooler system that utilizes a large spin-on oil filter that replaces the stock setup. They have also developed “bullet proof” EGR coolers with better construction for improved coolant flow.
Their latest offering is an all-new oil cooler system that retains the factory oil filter setup on top of the engine, while still incorporating a billet aluminum engine oil block that replaces the factory oil cooler which sends oil via high-pressure lines to a front-mounted oil cooler which sits behind the A/C condenser.
The most obvious benefit is replacement of the factory oil cooler, which can rupture and dump coolant in the engine oil. More importantly, the system provides cooler oil to the engine, injectors and high-pressure oil pump, which increases their longevity and performance as well. And for those folks in colder climates, where cold weather warm-up is an issue, the Bullet Proof kit can also be ordered with an in-line thermostat for quicker engine warm-up.
Installation of the kit is labor intensive since the whole top of the engine needs to be removed to access the factory oil cooler. The good news is this is a great time to also replace the factory EGR cooler with an upgraded Bullet Proof unit.
The system is a true bolt-on setup and comes with thorough instructions. There are some quirks associated with assembling and disassembling the top end of a 6.0L that might be best left to the professionals, but any good diesel mechanic should be able to install the system in less than two days, following the instructions to the letter.
If you own a 6.0L Power Stroke, it’s only a matter of time before the factory oil cooler, and EGR cooler, gives up the ghost. Why not get ahead of the game with simple upgrades from Bullet Proof Diesel? DW
Bullet Proof Diesel