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Old 02-06-2018, 06:23 PM   #1
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06 SMB 6.0 4x4 Bulletproofing Anyone?

We recently bought a 185k mile 2006 6.0 with the SMB 4x4 conversion (atlas II). We are planning on taking this rig for some really long road trips and we have two very little kids (6mo and 3y) so I want it to be as reliable as possible. We are in Phoenix so naturally I called up Wyatt down at bulletproof diesel in Mesa to ask about their modifications. He said the sportsmobile vans usually end up requiring a lot of custom work that they donít do anymore. I feel like Iíve seen plenty of people selling 6.0 E350 sportsmobiles with bulletproof modifications. Has everyone thatís done that had to get some special custom work done to make it work?

Kind of a different question but considering the high miles, and the temps seem to run 215/220 always about 5-7 degrees separation per our scangauge, is bulletproofing a good idea? We bought the van priced right and I had expected to put some money into that mod but if the guys in Mesa wonít do it Iím not sure where to turn. They have a monopoly on it in Phoenix since itís their product.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:43 PM   #2
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Consider flying in a mechanic you trust?
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:51 PM   #3
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The guys at BPD don't want to deal with installing their oil cooler relocation kit on a sportsmobile because there's no place to put the external cooler. Especially if you have an aluminess bumper. IMO, it's a solution in search of a problem. The factory OC does a good job if you've been maintaining your coolant and have installed a coolant filter. Better yet, do a flush and swap to an ELC diesel rated coolant. The ford gold has silicates which drop and clog the cooler. Besides the BPD kit is $2,000.

Lots of other stuff you can do but I'd be surprised if some of these things haven't been done already on an engine with 185k FICM, HPOP fitting, turbo drain and fill tubes, etc. Lots of threads on items to address to improve reliability.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:59 PM   #4
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The term "bulletproof" is used loosely. When many folks say that, they probably mean they installed the Bulletfroof brand engine oil cooler and EGR cooler. But to actually make the van very dependable, you'd want to do standpipe/dummy plug upgrades, head studs, turbo, engine main wiring harness and a bunch of small stuff only accessible when you have it apart anyways. Doing it right is easiest with the body off, which may be why they don't want to touch a SMB.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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East County Diesel here in San Diego is very familiar with working on the vans 6.0 and they have the engine "picker" for yanking it out properly. Unfortunately, it is easy to spend quite a bit of money on just the engine and then some other crappy van thing happens to leave you by the side of the road.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:25 PM   #6
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You don't need to pull the engine unless your doing ARP headstuds and head gaskets.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies, I love this forum. I’m not all that mechanically inclined so maybe best thing is to get it to a good mechanic locally and start with a clean slate as far as figuring out what needs to be done. Previous owner seemed to stay on top of things pretty well but I will need to too obviously. Anybody have a good suggestion on a good 6.0 mechanic in Phoenix?
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:00 PM   #8
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Lots of good info for a new 6.0 owner can be found in this forum. Many of us have been where you are, have been successful in owning a 6.0 and are willing to help out. Now that your one of us, remember the motto of 6.0 ownership.

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Old 02-06-2018, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndubes View Post
Thanks for all the replies, I love this forum. Iím not all that mechanically inclined so maybe best thing is to get it to a good mechanic locally and start with a clean slate as far as figuring out what needs to be done. Previous owner seemed to stay on top of things pretty well but I will need to too obviously. Anybody have a good suggestion on a good 6.0 mechanic in Phoenix?
These guys in Apache Junction have a pretty good reputation and know their way around the 6.0 psd. Diesel & More Repair
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:03 PM   #10
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You don't need to pull the engine unless your doing ARP headstuds and head gaskets.
Very true - like when you stretch the old OEM studs and your Coolant Overflow bottle starts bubbling over!
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