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Old 11-09-2018, 10:01 PM   #1
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2006 6.0 diesel hates starting in the cold mornings

I am in CO right now and my 6.0 is just barely turning over. I've been in Portland Oregon for the last 6 months and it always needed to warm up before it had any power. Is this normal for the 2006 6.0 engines? I have a plug for a block heater. Maybe I need to keep it plugged in at night. Kind of a hassle. Plugged in my old dodge when I was staying in AK a few years back but that was much older than this Ford.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:36 PM   #2
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How cold is it getting at night? My 6.0 was always a lot happier when I plugged it in if temps were below freezing. It would crank just fine down into the 20s but it seemed to like it a lot more if it had been plugged in. Not to mention the head start for the heater and in cabin comfort that plugging it in adds.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:29 AM   #3
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It's been in the low to mid twenties. Must be time to plug in. Is cracking the block a concern if not plugged in?
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:09 AM   #4
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No, not as long as you're running proper coolant.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:34 AM   #5
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So many variables to your question....
Ficm voltage
Battery health
Cranking RPM
oil pressure at crank
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:16 AM   #6
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Just barely turning over?? Does this mean slow cranking, or cranking fast but not”catching”?
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Just barely turning over?? Does this mean slow cranking, or cranking fast but not”catching”?
Important question. You may simply need a new battery (or two). I had problems starting while cranking over quite well. Needed FCIM and later on new injectors all around.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:34 AM   #8
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I have two diesel trucks: a 2009 E-350 with 6.0 PSD (my Sportsmobile), and a 2003 GMC with the LB7 Duramax. Neither one likes start-up in cold weather (below 20 F); I plug in both for a few hours in the morning before driving to work. This helps with warm-up, and cabin comfort, and windshield defrosting. Either will run just fine without plug-in, but it's a lot easier getting going if I do (and comfortable). Plugging in also produces a less sooty start-up (the nature of the exhaust coming out).
The 6.0 PSD, in particular, requires more warm up time before it will spool up on acceleration (e.g. pulling uphill out of my driveway). If I understand correctly, the "high idle" feature is not standard on all 6.0's, but I think it is on the heavier chassis (e.g. E-250 and E-350). I think it can be added... and if I'm not mistaken, it only functions when the parking brake is set. Before departure on a cold morning (which includes cool evenings in the summer where I live at 8,000' ASL), I allow the engine to idle long enough to let the high-idle kick in. Once it goes to the high-idle RPM's, I know when I get on the throttle to pull up the hill, it won't bog down on me.
My neighbor has a Sprinter with the blu-tec diesel. That engine is really bad on cold get-go. If he doesn't let it warm up and tries to drive up the hill where we live, not only will it not produce power, but he'll have to shut it off and start it up again (and let it idle to warm) before he can get any power out of it. Sprinter owners chime in to extrapolate on this.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:44 AM   #9
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Yes BV that sounds about right. Very similar experiences. I do have a E350 with the high idle. Thanks to all. I am going to give it a go over and get it winterized.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:06 AM   #10
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My 07 SMB, E-350 with the 6.0 was acting like the engine batteries were failing (labored cranking, occasional hard start) after coming back from a September trip. I had my local shop put a new set of batteries in as part of a larger work order and check the charging system at the same time.

What they found was that the starter was drawing excessive high amps during cranking (+100) a new starter fixed the issue.

As for block heating, I plug this engine in when the temps get into the 30's for all the reasons stated by others, just easier driving when its warm.
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