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Old 02-05-2024, 12:48 AM   #1
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6.0 longevity question

Curious if there's much evidence of 6.0s running extensive mileage without the usual reported often serious problems. I've got an 06 6.0 with 37000 miles that's been essentially dormant, except for occasional short drives for a year due to other responsibilities. I'm about to bring it to a mechanic to assess whatever it needs to insure reliability and wondering if any of the 6.0s have been known to beat the usual 6.0 odds. Thanks

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Old 02-05-2024, 08:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by dogsandcats View Post
Curious if there's much evidence of 6.0s running extensive mileage without the usual reported often serious problems. I've got an 06 6.0 with 37000 miles that's been essentially dormant, except for occasional short drives for a year due to other responsibilities. I'm about to bring it to a mechanic to assess whatever it needs to insure reliability and wondering if any of the 6.0s have been known to beat the usual 6.0 odds. Thanks

My mechanic has spent his career fixing 6.0 diesels and would tell you the house will win and the odds are zero for you. These engines have inherent deficiencies that mean "when not if" things will go wrong. The heads are bolted with a 2 less head bolts than the 7.3 and you cannot overcome that. Not tuning it and it being a van motor helps but still it's a risk. The dummy plugs and valley pan leaks can get you. My engine had around 120k on it with a 30k full bulletproof build by a very reputable shop. It just decided to burn up the #8 piston driving down a straight freeway in Utah going 75 at about 2800 rpms. Go figure. I used have all this peace of mind knowing it was dialed in and a diesel. That is a not a reality INMHO. The motor is great when it runs and it can run for 500k. They are quiet and powerful. Likely there will be a few repairs along the way and some are more major than others. Do a search of this site and you will find the library of congress of discussions on this topic.
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Old 02-05-2024, 09:21 AM   #3
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“essentially dormant, except for occasional short drives for a year”

I can pretty much guarantee that based on this statement alone, your turbo vanes have already seized, and you’ll throw a code the first next time you put your foot into it on the highway.

Aside from that, you only need to worry about high-pressure fuel leaks, sticking injectors, falling FICMs, low fuel pressure, brittle wiring, faulty solenoids, and coolant precipitants plugging your oil and EGR cooler.

The good news is… if you can recognize early symptoms, and stop driving, you may be able to avoid catastrophic damaged. Just beware that many of those faults will cascade rapidly into more serious issues if you continue.


Having a low mile specimen is good news however, because there are many upgrades available that van prevent most of these problems, and being low miles means the install will be MUCH easier. Just beware…. It isn’t cheap to do, and you’ll need a good diesel mechanic who understands the 6.0. Your standard auto shop won’t know where to even start.
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Old 02-05-2024, 10:36 AM   #4
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At 37,000 miles I already had 2 warranty turbo replacements, At 50K+ miles I had my 3rd. Spent my lemon judgement on partially bulletproofing and warped my heads when the head bolts stretched. I went back and did it right in 2014 and now have 122K miles. When my #8 piston goes I'll be walking away from it. I minimize my camper van improvements because I don't trust the PSD van platform.
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Old 02-05-2024, 11:26 AM   #5
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I lust after an E350 Sportmobile so hard and sometimes I'm tempted to just settle for the 6.0L. Thank you for saving me the trouble/money, folks. :lol
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Old 02-06-2024, 04:18 PM   #6
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I have 2 with 250k-ish and have seen 500k out of a few.
There are some inherent problems that need addressed. Unfortunately most vehicles have something similar, to one degree or another.


Biggest things to watch on a 6.0 are:


1- Coolant age and quality, change it every 60k.
2- Fuel pressure. Recommend getting a gauge and the 'blue spring mod'
3- Voltage, especially cranking. Make sure batteries, cables, and connections are good.
4- Temp Deltas. Monitor Engine coolant and oil temp. They should stay within 15 degrees of each other. If they don't replace the oil cooler before the bad things happen.
5- Fuel and oil filters. Change them at recommended intervals. This goes for all vehicles, but the Ford 7.3 and 6.0 are especially fond of clean fluids.
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Old 02-07-2024, 02:34 PM   #7
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Diesel, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of diesel in the morning. One time we wheeled for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. The smell, you know that diesel smell. Smelled like Victory.
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Old 02-08-2024, 07:24 PM   #8
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160K on my 2007 E 350 RB50. I have had much of it "bulletproofed". FICM, oil cooler upgrades, clutch fan installed, EGR upgrade, coolant filter added, scan guage to monitor oil and water temps.... I have had two injector failures, one was immediately after changing a full set (warranty) and have had two turbos replaced due to van siezing. The start batteries don't live very long either - 2 seasons maybe before I get a new set. All work done awhile ago now.

I'd say I'm happy with it overall, but then again - it always ran great right up to the moment stuff failed in the past. That said I just get in it and go without worry.
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Old 02-08-2024, 08:41 PM   #9
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No matter what engine: AAA 200 mile Tow & a Credit Card - local pub in close proximity can prove therapeutic as well.
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Old 02-08-2024, 08:44 PM   #10
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No matter what engine: AAA 200 mile Tow & a Credit Card - local pub in close proximity can be therapeutic as well.
That has been the standard recomendation of every vehicle camping forum I've been on in the past 15 years!
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