It's not a secret that the 6.0L Powerstrokes had their fair share of problems, and they really loved to rear their ugly heads once you stack on aggressive power-adders and custom tuning. Since we plan on getting fairly crazy with this Big Red 6.0L, we needed to a full round of bulletproofing so that we can stack on some serious modifications without needing to worry about reliability issues.
6.0L ARP Head Stud Kit
Mahle 20mm Black Diamond Head Gaskets
One of the biggest weaknesses of the 6.0L Powerstroke Diesels was their head gaskets and head studs. Ford didn't put enough studs in the motor to handle the power or severe-duty applications that most folks had in mind for their diesel trucks. Not to mention, the stock head gaskets were weak and had a bad habit of blowing out when cylinder pressures increased. To fix both issues, we grabbed ourselves a 2004-2007 F250-F350 6.0L ARP Head Stud Kit and a pair of 2006-2007 F250-F350 6.0L Mahle 20mm Black Diamond Head Gaskets. The ARP Head Studs hold our truck's cylinder heads to its block and are are heat-treated to 200,000psi tensile to make sure they stay locked down. Mahle's Head Gaskets are much stronger than stock and offer up extra security and reliability as we stack on the power.
aFe BladeRunner EGR Cooler
With the heads taken care of, we decided to tackle the next most common cause of 6.0L Super Duty problems, its EGR system. The stock EGR cooler was prone to clogging, overheating, cracking, and failing in all sorts of spectacular and frustrating ways. That's why we upgraded to a 2004-2007 F250-F350 6.0L aFe EGR Cooler. Made from stainless steel components that are all welded, instead of brazed, the aFe EGR cooler has a more efficient design that is much more resistant to clogging, making it the perfect way to keep our truck's EGR system running like it should.
MBRP Aluminized Up-Pipes
Next, we moved to the up-pipes. The stock up-pipes had a bad habit of cracking and aren't the most efficient things in the world to begin with. Since we're planning on stacking big power onto our 6.0L truck, we decided to upgrade the up-pipes with a set of 2003-2007 F250-F350 6.0L MBRP Aluminized Up-Pipes. These pipes have a larger diameter and smoother bends which work together to give the 6.0L a considerable boost in horsepower and torque.
Sinister Diesel Oil & Coolant Filtration System
While it may seem a little excessive, we wanted to ensure our truck was always running with clean coolant and oil for the best possible reliability. The 2003-2007 F250-F350 6.0L Sinister Diesel Coolant & Oil Filtration Kit was the go to mod to make it happen. Sinister's Oil Bypass Filter System comes with high-quality hardware and components that were carefully designed to drop right in line with the factory oil filter and oiling system.
aFe Oil Cooler Kit
With our oil being properly filtered now, we needed to address the oil cooling. The 6.0L Super Duty comes with an oil cooler straight from factory, but with the immense amount of heat this engine greates there's still room for improvement. To get cooler oil temps and prevent sludging we installed a 2003-2007 F250-F350 6.0L aFe Bladerunner Oil Cooler. aFe carefully designed their replacement 6.0L oil cooler to drop right into place of the truck's factory oil cooler, and they include all of the hardware and seals that you needed to do the swap.
ATS High Capacity Transmission Pan
The final step in our bullet-proofing process was to make sure the transmission was tended to. For improving our transmission function and keeping our ATF temperatures cooler, we added a 2003-2010 F250-F350 ATS Diesel High Capacity Aluminum Transmission Pan which features cooling fins and an increased fluid capacity.
Adding Big Power to our 6.0L
With our truck well bullet-proofed against the most common 6.0L Powerstroke problems, it was now time to look into some performance parts to get our 6.0L Powerstroke V8 churning out more horsepower and torque. While we have bigger plans in the future, we started out with some of the basic bolt-on power adders out there for the 6.0L Powerstrokes so that our Big Red Super Duty got a heck of a lot more pep without breaking our bank.
S&B Cold Air Intake Kit
One of the first power upgrades most folks get for their 6.0L Super Duty truck is a cold air intake. Diesels love to breathe, and even the most basic intake upgrade can potentially make a big difference in how your truck performs. We went ahead and grabbed ourselves a 2003-2007 F250-F350 6.0L S&B Cold Air Intake Kit for our own Super Duty. S&B's cold air intake features a high-quality design, improved airflow efficiency over stock, and a reusable filter all in an affordable package.
ATS Aurora 3000 Basic Turbocharger Kit
We really needed to replace our truck's leaky turbocharger. After 100,000 miles of hard work out here in the Arizona desert, the stock turbo was on its last leg. Since it needed to be replaced anyway, we decided to upgrade while we were at it, and grabbed ourselves a 2003.5-2007 F250-F350 6.0L ATS Aurora 3000 Basic Turbocharger Kit. The Aurora 3000 turbo kit offers up improved power and torque over stock with excellent spooling and everyday drivability in a high-quality, easily-installed, and not overly expensive package. The Basic Aurora 3000 Kit is perfect for folks like us that need a replacement turbocharger without the hassles of an enormous turbo kit that needs custom modifications or tuning.
Banks Technicooler Intercooler System
The factory intercooler isn't the most efficient unit in the world, even with the factory turbocharger, so we weren't too keen on leaving it in the truck to bottleneck the gains from our Aurora 3000 Turbo Kit. That's why we turned to 2005-2007 F250-F350 6.0L Banks Power and their Technicooler Intercooler System. The Banks system comes with a new and vastly improved front-mount intercooler, new intercooler tubing, a Banks High-Ram Intake, and all the hardware you need to get the system installed onto your truck. Even on a 6.0L Super Duty running the stock turbo, the Banks Technicooler can provide a drastic drop in intake air temperatures and vastly improved airflow efficiency.
Now, we did run into a slight snag with out Banks Technicooler Install. The hot-side tubing Banks includes with their kit has slightly different routing than stock, and unfortunately, our Sinister Diesel Coolant and Oil Filtration System was right in its way. To fix the problem, we grabbed an MBRP Hot-Side Turbocharger Tube. You can read more on that down below.
MBRP Hot-Side Turbocharger Tube
As we mentioned above, the piping in the Banks Technicooler system caused issues with fitting our oil and coolant filtration system so this 03-07 F250-F350 6.0L MBRP Hot-Side Turbocharger Tube was our savior. The MBRP Hot-Side Tube has a larger diameter and more efficient design than stock, but followed the stock hot-side tube routing, so it fit perfectly in conjunction with the rest of the parts taking up room in our truck's engine bay. This kit can also be installed on the factory intercooler system if your truck has not been upgraded.