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Old 04-28-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
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6.0L Bulletproofing problem

Hi All, We have a 2010 E350 6.0L diesel with 41k miles. The oil cooler ruptured in Death Valley last week and we are now in the unfortunate position of being towed to Henderson NV for bullet proofing the engine.
The certified "bullet proof company" shop says the external oil cooler won't fit with our Aluminus front bumper setup.
Has anyone dealt with this problem of installing the level 2 kit from the Mesa AZ bullet proof diesel company?
They are talking about using an OEM oil cooler externally with custom brackets, which I'm not too excited about......
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
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Oh man, sorry about your situation. Because you, as I, have the bumper issue my recommendation would be to just change the oil cooler in it's stock location with a genuine Motocraft unit. Make sure to not use a Doorman. I have seen one of the BPD external kits (the one where they use a stock heat exchanger on the fender, not the front mount cooler) installed on a pick up and it looked like a lot of hoses that were rubbing and chaffing waiting to leak.

Actually what I'm thinking of more is why would your 7 year old 41k mile cooler fail? Especially if it's original. What do you see that makes the oil cooler suspect? Oil in the coolant? Is your Engine oil temp/coolant temp delta high? Often with the PSD 6.0 there is chain of reasons something fails or is out of normal.

Yes I had ideas of using the front mount BPD oil cooler but I wasn't willing to give up my bumper. I entertained the idea of mounting it above the bumper once but that area is now filled with transmission cooler. IMHO there is nothing wrong with the stock oil cooler location as long as your oil and coolant are correct type and clean.

Lastly, is the shop just changing the oil cooler? or are they upgrading the usual laundry list of 6.0 parts that will be accessible while changing an oil cooler?

-Eric
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:27 AM   #3
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The oil cooler ruptured? Typically they clog and then the EGR cooler ruptures sending coolant into the cylinder heads. Sorry to hear about your predicament.

The BPD external oil cooler can be made to work with an aluminess bumper by you would have to give up your winch and use the compartment for the air to oil cooler.

You may or may not like what I have to say but the BPD oil cooler is a solution in search of a problem. It's the Ford Gold coolant with the additives and silicates combined with leftover casting sand in the block that clog the oil cooler. Switch that out to an diesel rated ELC coolant with a flush and install a coolant filter. Replace the clogged oil cooler with the OEM cooler and not a Dorman or other aftermarket version. Replace the EGR cooler with the BPD EGR cooler or delete the sucker entirely and remove the failure point.

In short, you don't need the BPD oil cooling system. It often runs too cool and you can't even get the oil hot enough for proper combustion. In winter some guys have to block their radiator. I would save the $2000 for the kit alone and spend it on the other things that need to be addressed to make your motor reliable. Most are running fixes that Ford made along the way that may or may not be on your motor depending on manufacture date. All the top end stuff has to come off to get to the oil cooler so now is a good time. First of all, are the head gaskets ok?
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:30 AM   #4
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Hi Eric, I’ll forward your idea to the shop for their consideration.
I did find a forum link by “outopawn” 4-25-2015 that I found some time back that mounted the BPD oil cooler inside of the front bumper. Cool idea, but I just installed a warn 16.5 winch, so I’d rather not remove that!
Yes, oil in the coolant reservoir, oil milkshake mess overflow from the reservoir. I picked up the 2wd van at 22k miles from a couple who used it lightly and did not tow. We don’t tow anything as well. I was considering taking care of the 6.0 problems before they happened but was generally told not to by the dealer and others! Of course we experience the failure in Death Valley, which was only about 90 degrees. I don’t have any gauges to tell oil temp, but all idiot lights we normal. We had just descended Titus valley and hit Scotty’s paved road when it happened.
AJ’s Auto in Henderson NV is a recommended shop by BPD. I’m in the que for a level 2 or 3 job to take care of a bunch of the issues……
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:56 AM   #5
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Yep, that sounds like an EGR cooler failure due to a clogged oil cooler.

I'm just going to reiterate because I can't help myself but the external oil cooler seems like a good idea and it indeed was before the root sources of the problem were fully fleshed out. The kit, however, is ungodly expensive, and there are potential issues with it. Besides finding a spot for the air to oil cooler on a van with an aluminess bumper, cold weather is an issue. It can overcool the oil. Diesels like the oil hot and you want it in the 200 - 220F range. In fact, you may need separate PCM tuning just to trigger the cooling fan when coming to a stop because then the oil temperature will spike because there's no air going through the cooler. Personally, I would only consider it if I pulled heavy trailer loads across Death Valley 24-7.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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Thanks JoeH, I didn’t notice any exhaust steam-smoke, just a slight oil burn smell and immediately pulled over and saw the oil mess overflow from the water res. We sat for 2 hours talking to AAA and insurance company to set up a tow. I checked the oil and it was low, so added a quart and decided to start it up and move 2 or 3 miles closer to the intersection. The engine seemed to run good and I stopped before the temp gauge went up. I re-checked the oil and it was clear, but the oil-water mess was overflowing.
I did a coolant flush at 25k, but replaced with standard Ford coolant, darn it, and will be replacing it as you recommend. Really not sure about the head gaskets, the shop says they won’t be able to tell until they get the coolant problem fixed and have suggested taking care of replacing head bolts and gasket at the same time rather than do the coolant-oil system fixes and then find out that the head gasket is blown…
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear that. A truly bad feeling being stuck on the side of the road. My 6.0 blew up in Idaho 1000 miles from home. Improvise, adapt, overcome.

Anyhoo, be advised that if you do need head gaskets that engine has to come out. You can't do a cab off like the trucks. In that case, definitely do head studs.

The flush, especially if not done correctly, could have actually made things worse. The Ford Gold is a one size fits all coolant and when it oxidizes the silicates precipitate out and combine with leftover casting sand in the cooling system to create goo. Over time, but it could be exacerbated by a flush, the goo will clog the tiny passages in the oil cooler. Then, it can't cool the oil because it can dissipate the heat through the goo. Most will do the flush when doing an oil cooler job but do it knowing that that signs the death warrant for the oil cooler but with the idea that it's being replaced anyway and basically acting as a catch pan for the crap in the cooling system.

The Ford Gold is actually ok but needs to be periodically maintained and does not have a 100,000 mile service interval. Again, just my 2 cents but replace the Ford Gold and install a coolant filter. Then, there's no reason not to replace the failed oil cooler with the OEM cooler because the root cause of the failure has been removed. Another over-looked fact is that International who built the motor for Ford spec'd the engine with a coolant filter but Ford eliminated it when it went to production in order to save money. That's my understanding anyway.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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I second the coolant filter on a 6.0. It can really save an oil cooler from plugging up on the coolant side. Cheap and easy to install as well as a good preventative item.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by saline View Post
I second the coolant filter on a 6.0. It can really save an oil cooler from plugging up on the coolant side. Cheap and easy to to and a good preventative item.
That jogs the old memory. As I recall you were one of the first proponents for installing a coolant filter on your first SMB a decade ago.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cupajoe View Post
Hi Eric, I’ll forward your idea to the shop for their consideration.
I did find a forum link by “outopawn” 4-25-2015 that I found some time back that mounted the BPD oil cooler inside of the front bumper. Cool idea, but I just installed a warn 16.5 winch, so I’d rather not remove that!
Yes, oil in the coolant reservoir, oil milkshake mess overflow from the reservoir. I picked up the 2wd van at 22k miles from a couple who used it lightly and did not tow. We don’t tow anything as well. I was considering taking care of the 6.0 problems before they happened but was generally told not to by the dealer and others! Of course we experience the failure in Death Valley, which was only about 90 degrees. I don’t have any gauges to tell oil temp, but all idiot lights we normal. We had just descended Titus valley and hit Scotty’s paved road when it happened.
AJ’s Auto in Henderson NV is a recommended shop by BPD. I’m in the que for a level 2 or 3 job to take care of a bunch of the issues……
I own this van now. The BPD Oil Cooler is installed in the bumper, but the bumper had to be cutout in the front where the winch line would go through and in the back to allow air to flow through the cooler. I cannot take any photos of the install right now, but can tonight after work if you'd like. I generally see oil temps in the 188 degree range and coolant is usually right at 190.
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