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Old 02-27-2019, 11:56 PM   #1
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need some advice regarding a nick in the top of #7 cylinder wall

Need some advice from the 6.0 crowd. The engine is from a 2006 E350 6.0L 4x4 w/ ~125,000 miles. Took it to the most reputable local shop that works on vans to have the STC fixed, and to have the engine fully bulletproofed to eliminate future issues.

Here's some of the engine dismantle history:
When the heads were removed, the mechanic noticed some pitting to the tops of pistons 2 and 5...like something metallic had been sucked into the engine, compressed, and evacuated. The heads also had this same marking. Due to that, the mechanic recommended replacing the damaged pistons, and advised that it wouldn't cost much more to do all eight since they have to do the work. No problem. Received an email+call today with the following pictures of cylinder 7. This appears to be a factory machining "mistake" as the engine hasn't been apart before now (bought from the original owner), and it has really clean edges.

Per the mechanic, the following options are available (in no particular order)...if the head gasket starts to leak once it's all buttoned up, they won't warranty the work unless we get the cylinder fixed...which means short block or sleeving the cylinder.
1. sleeve the cylinder.
2. upgrade from ARP 4202 to 4205 studs
3. upgrade to diesel doctor short block - 6.0 Powerstroke Short Block Do It Yourself Kit
4. upgrade to diesel doctor double o-ring heads -
5. upgrade to o-ring heads - kill diesel aluminum or Powerstrokecustoms.com - these are two I found that have really good reputations.
6. o-ring the stock heads

We're also updating the motor while it's out:
* Odawg S2R manifold -
* KC Turbo 1.5 -
* mechanic was talking about cut and ceramic coated pistons?!?
* Colt Cams stage 2 - FORD POWER STROKE 6.0 - 6.4L Camshafts
* supposedly the stock heads had no cracks, so they were going to rebuild those. the original quote was for rebuilt heads from the mechanics guy in MT.
* upgraded tune to match the new parts.

Now for the questions - and I welcome everyone's opinion:
a. What other options are available?
b. Does this appear to require sleeving or a new block?
c. Would forum members feel comfortable driving this as-is with o-ringed heads and head studs?
d. What option would forum members choose...including your own option?

The Diesel Doctor short block is $3000, and the o-ring heads are $3000, so we'd be paying about $4000-5000 extra - the original estimate includes cost for rebuilt heads, and we would need an updated estimate from the mechanic before proceeding.

I'll have to ask the mechanic what they will warranty...would prefer to use ARP 4205's + o-ring heads vs. a new short block.
Here's the mechanic's email:
I have some message out to CASS and several others. I will let you know when I hear back.
I expect the official answer to be that it is not usable.
It doesnít appear as if the original gaskets or the TYY fasteners had started leaking yet. This means we should be fine running a fresh set of gaskets and studs. But if we do that and the head gasket starts to leak, we would not be able to warranty. Without knowing the measurements of o ring heads you canít look at a picture and determine. What it is going to come down to, is we can try and see if it works. We can have Diesel Doc build a short block with cut and coated pistons and whatever head option you want to go with.

Hopefully I got everything.
Appreciate the help, and input.
Chris
Reno, NV



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Old 02-28-2019, 10:07 AM   #2
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Tough luck on the cut in the block---that surely has to be a factory mistake. The nick seems to have been touched with a cutter of some sort.

Were this mine and I trusted these mechanics I'd go with their recommendation especially if they will warrant their work to those recommendations.

Given that so many use their SMB's in remote areas where drive-in same day service is non-existent I'd opt for maximum reliability. Not to sound so cavalier with your money but the question has to be how much is the warranty for reliability worth to you?

Spending that much money for upgrades and now remedial repair isn't fun, breaking down and doing it all over again on your dime isn't fun either.

Best of luck with this---really hoping the final fix is "affordable".
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:25 AM   #3
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There's so much going on here, I'll open with the fact that I've never owned a 6.0. However, I have a lot of aerospace machining experience, build and drive race cars, build my own race and street engines, etc, as a serious hobby for 40yrs. I'm not trying to impress anyone, but I want you to know I have a fair amount of experience is all.



The scallop in the bore shown in the picture: That flaw didn't cause your nicks or pits in the heads or pistons, will not cause a head gasket to let loose.



It indeed looks like a factory flaw, but a benign flaw. Look at the cross hatch pattern down the bore and where it changes color. Everything below, rubs on the rings. That part of the bore needs to be pristine, round, free of crud and marks that would ruin the rings and their ability to dynamically seal off the combustion pressures from escaping down the bore. Everything above that, darker colored, a little carbon buildup, a little oxidation, is within the combustion chamber, its surface finish is non-functional. That nick, so long as it's not a raised section or burred up (innie vs an outie) will have no bearing on engine operation. The piston just slides past it on it's way to Top Dead Center, the rings are 1/4" or more down hole, built into the piston, and never touch that flaw. The wear pattern confirms this. In fact, racers sometimes 'notch' the cylinder wall around the intake valve (similar to that) to increase lowlift intake tract port flow. See the chamfer cut into the bore, adjacent to the head sealing surface? That is a factory machnied 'edge break' to aid inserting the pistons and rings. The nick barely encroaches the head gasket sealing surface beyond the chamfer. Thus, will have no effect of head gasket sealing. I'm confident in saying that from the picture. But, it's not my money, I'm not there, I'm only looking at one picture.



It sounds like the mechanic wants to sell you a complete hot-rod 6.0 engine, ceramic coated pistons, sleeve the bore, on and on.



My advice? Before spending one more dime at that shop, I'd get another opinion, stat.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:46 AM   #4
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Just to add; I wouldn't perform a bunch of hot-rod performance tricks to my camper van. Sounds great I know, but the 6.0 is not a good design, has too few head studs, an EGR cooler prone to failure, and engine oil cooler prone to fail next, followed by overheating an blown head gaskets. This is made worse, when custom tunes and engine upgrades make more power, but put more strain on the already marginal head sealing ability. More power comes from more cylinder pressure, period. More cylinder pressure puts a greater strain on head gasket sealing, which is more likley to start leaking combustion chamber pressure into the cooling system via the compromised head gasket seal. Sleeving a block is commonplace when required, but anyone 'requiring' it in your case, in my opinion, simply doesn't want to be liable for the 6.0's inherent poor head sealing, or wants an 'out' should it leak, even after ARP studs.
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:06 PM   #5
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When I had my 6.0L SMB, I had a Bulletproof EGR Cooler installed, an updated Ford Oil Cooler installed, and I called it good.




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Old 02-28-2019, 04:04 PM   #6
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Lot of information on the forum for "bulletproofing" if you use the search function. it helped me a lot with deciding what to do with my 2006 6.0

I wasnt familiar at all with diesel engines and found this read to be informative:
https://www.enginebuildermag.com/201...e-powerplants/

Upgrades are only hindered by the depth of your wallet...BUT, considerably cheaper to invest now while you have access with the engine out.
Check out this Thread - think it will shed light on some of the stuff you may consider:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...rts-23222.html
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:16 PM   #7
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Allow me to also recommend this thread - go to post #11 from ShuttlePilot
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...e-21119-2.html

And this one from JoeH on post #16
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...m-19438-2.html
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:22 PM   #8
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That gouge was definitely caused by a tool bit, but I'm suspicious it actually happened at the factory. This is caused by somebody not indexing their mill or CNC properly. The robotic CNC line at the factory is setup to machine in batches, so if this happened at the factory, it would have affected an entire run.... It's very possible the engine was taken our before the previous owner bought it. It took a couple years for Ford to realize that short cycles when moving 6.0 rigs around yards and lots were causing valves to drop.

And #2 concern... sharp steps like this are generally undesirable in combustion chambers because they can cause hot spots. I'm especially suspect here because of the lack of carbon. Low temperature zones inside the combustion chamber are where carbon builds up, so mainly around the edge of the piston, tops of the valves etc. Hot areas of the combustion zone burn off the carbon so it won't build up. That notch is so clean, it leads me to suspect it is a hot spot.

#3 - Hot spots cause head gasket failure. The sharp edge is not a concern to me, only the thermal affects. The pictures posted don't look clean to me. I see rusting. Has it ever blown the EGR cooler? Are the turbo vanes rusty at all? If not, I'd suspect an intermittent head gasket leak. Possibly only under very limited circumstances, like running it hard, and then doing a heat soak like pulling off at a rest area.

I see no benefit to doing any of those performance upgrades to the 6.0 (besides the head studs... those are good to do). It's limited by the factory tune. Mechanically, it can handle way more stock.

Lastly, are you planning on replacing the engine wiring harness? The 10 year point is when many start having failures from brittleness. With the invasive procedures being done now (and possibly prior?) there's no way that harness will provide reliable service going forward.

My personal opinion.... By long block from Ford, replace the turbo, wiring harness, oil cooler, injectors etc while it is all apart. It's the best bet at having any semblance of reliability.

But for the cost of doing all that, you might be at the same cost of an MGMetalWorks Cummins 6.7L conversion.... (Note:I paid for grad school doing 6.0 PSD repairs.... After spending many days on multiple rigs chasing a stream of failed parts... I'm a little biased... )
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:31 PM   #9
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Really appreciate everyone's feedback.


So we're more than likely going to go the route of replacing the block with a diesel doctor short block. The reason is part of what JWA said, and part of what carringb said. Nevada is one gigantically empty state, and we want to ensure that the engine isn't the weak link, and breaks down in the middle of BFE. Since we're already paying a hefty fee to do the original work, the added cost is a relatively small price to pay for longevity.

We purchased the van from the original owner, and the engine was never dismantled, only topically maintained. Meaning the engine was never removed from the engine bay...no EGR cooler replacement, no oil cooler replacement...essentially a stock engine with wear parts and fluids replaced.

The list of what is being replaced is as follows so members have a better idea - we want to build the engine so it doesn't have to come apart again:
1. heads - originally going with rebuilt ones from Montana, but since those aren't o-ringed, willing to pay the additional $600 for diesel doctor or kill devil diesel o-ringed heads for piece of mind.
2. arp head studs - 4202...not 4205.
3. engine gasket set
4. oil cooler to egr cooler hose
5. BPD square EGR cooler
6. Ford's updated oil cooler
7. updated turbo drain
8. KC Turbo 1.5
9. fuel injectors
10. standpipe and dummy kit
11. STC update kit
12. blue spring kit
13. ford fuel filters + oil filter
14. CAC tubing and clamps
15. vacuum pump
16. BPD water pump
17. 5w40 synthetic oil
18. Castrol radicool HD coolant+distilled water
19. SCT X4 tuner + custom tuning
20. BPD 6-phase FICM

A. Because of the dinged pistons, those need to be replaced due to the potential for hot spots. Because of the potential for the abnormality in cylinder 7 to create hot spots (as carringb mentioned), a new block would satisfy the mechanic for warranty purposes, and ensure longevity.
We're at least going to get the pistons ceramic coated. Delipping appears to disperse combustion heat more evenly.

B. Since the stock block was being opened for the pistons, the mechanic recommended the Colt Cams Stage 2, as it claims better specs than the stock cam, lower EGT's, and increased fuel mileage.
C. The ODawg S2R intake claims lower EGT's, better performance, and increased fuel mileage.
D. Fluidampr 870201 - didn't know fluidampr made a harmonic balancer for powerstrokes. Have one on my other truck - fuel-injected ford 400 - and they're worth it.
E. Will confirm with the mechanic regarding a new harness - 6C2Z-12B637-UA - and ask about heat wrapping it to minimize heat related issues. glow plugs and harness were replaced in Nov 2016.

Will also be ceramic coating (and maybe wrapping) the up pipes, a turbo blanket, hood and fender vents, and anything else to reduce heat.

The previous owner used a scangauge to monitor temps to ensure they were cool to shut down the engine without cooking the oil. I installed an EdgeCTS2 with EGT to actually monitor EGT and reduce that potential.


Chris
Reno, NV
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:01 AM   #10
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Good list Chris
When I had my engine out I also had them put in extra heat wrap under the dog house area to minimize heat transfer to the interior - now I barely feel any heat anywhere inside around the doghouse
Sounds like you're concerned about potential 6.0 heat issue so you might consider the Mishimoto low temp thermostat, new Fan clutch, and a new aluminum radiator - I had these installed, and added a tune that engaged the fan earlier - together this dropped my average Oil & Coolant temps by over 15 degrees (had been averaging 215-224, now I hover around the 200-208 mark)
*Consider also upgrading your Alternator at the same time
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