Power Stroke® head gasket issues: Stretching T-T-Y bolts and insufficient clamp load
The 6.0L Power Stroke® engine uses Torque-To-Yield (T-T-Y) head bolts from the factory. Some of the head bolts in this engine go through a rocker housing, securing the rocker housing to the head and the head to the block at the same time. This design necessitates a much longer than usual T-T-Y head bolt. The length of the T-T-Y head bolts – along with thermal motion and high cylinder pressure – leads to head lift that can contribute to head gasket failure.
Fel-Pro® offers new T-T-Y head bolts that, when combined with the improved design PermaTorque® MLS head gaskets, offer a reliable seal. This improved head gasket design was tested and validated in conjunction with the Fel-Pro head bolts under punishing conditions.
NOTE: It is critical to use new head bolts with any head gasket installation.
Fel-Pro Torque-To-Yield (T-T-Y) head bolts for the 6.0L Power Stroke
Each head requires 1 box each of long bolts and short bolts
Part # ES 72229 Long bolts only – must be used along with ES 72242
Part # ES 72242 Short bolts only – must be used along with ES 72229
In addition, the Fel-Pro PermaTorque MLS head gasket for the Power Stroke will perform equally well when used with high quality aftermarket stud kits. During head gasket installation, it is critical to follow the proper torque specifications and sequence to assure a proper head gasket installation. See proper torque specifications here:
Other issues reported in the field that can affect clamp load on the Power Stroke®
Oil cooler failure and EGR cooler failure are common problems for the 6.0L Power Stroke®. Both of these failures can lead to localized overheating and contribute to uneven expansion and clamping load. The EGR cooler can also become clogged and leak, allowing coolant to get into the intake manifold and cylinders and vaporize, increasing the cylinder pressures and causing the heads to lift. Performance-enhancing modifications such as increasing boost pressure, installing larger injectors or changing the tune increase cylinder pressures as well. These modifications can lead to even more cylinder head lift, stressing the head gasket and potentially resulting in head gasket failure.
Some telltale signs of head gasket failure are temporary overheating while towing up an incline or driving hard or in any other situation where the engine is under heavy load. You may notice engine coolant venting from the degas bottle under the hood; this is caused by combustion gases pressurizing the cooling system beyond the pressure rating of the cap. You could also experience the opposite, where coolant levels are low due to coolant leaking internally, either into the oil or into the intake manifold through a failed cooler.