Inside the problem
Used in 2003-2007 Ford Super Duty trucks and 2003-2010 Ford Econoline vans, the Ford Power Stroke 6.0L diesel engine was revolutionary in many respects. It offered exceptional power, lightning-quick turbo response and good fuel economy.
Unfortunately, it also presented owners with head gasket failures and the resulting engine damage caused by leakage of combustion gases into the cooling system. In short, 6.0L Power Stroke engines are known to be "tough on head gaskets." Many engine professionals who have utilized OE-style replacement gaskets in their repairs have encountered repeat failures.
Another common problem is excessive pushrod wear due to the undersized pushrod guide holes in the head gasket. The head gasket’s sharp edges at the pushrod guide holes have been known to wear away the sides of the pushrods. This interference results in wear marks and grooves in the pushrods, creating weak spots as well as spreading fine metal particles into the oil.
Other Power Stroke 6.0L problems include:
Carbon contamination can affect power and cause coolant to leak into the exhaust stream
Soot buildup on the vanes that power the turbo can cause a lag in the turbo
The fuel injection control module is prone to damage due to heat and vibration
A blown head gasket or a cracked degas bottle can be the source of a coolant leak
Engineered and manufactured specifically for imperfect sealing surfaces found in the repair environment, Fel-Pro® PermaTorque® MLS (multi-layer steel) head gaskets stand up to the demands of 6.0L Power Stroke engines, providing the long-lasting, trouble-free sealing professionals demand. Part 26374PT is designed for 18mm dowel pin applications and part 26375PT is for 20mm dowel pin applications. We offer these as separate pieces to accommodate the different size dowel pins.
These head gaskets feature an advanced embossed design that creates increased spring force and robust sealing contact under extreme loads. Additionally, they have precisely-controlled thicknesses of proprietary rubber in all critical sealing areas and are designed to accommodate overbore.
Both of these head gaskets include a patent-pending oversized pushrod guide hole surrounded by a non-abrasive material that protects potential contact areas. This unique feature helps technicians eliminate premature pushrod wear and potential oil contamination caused by pushrod debris entering the engine oil.
Fel-Pro PermaTorque MLS head gaskets and T-T-Y head bolts (important: never re-use T-T-Y bolts) provide excellent reliability in this engine. In cases where power-adding modifications have been made, consider swapping out conventional head bolts with a high-quality aftermarket stud kit. This will significantly increase clamp load and sealing strength in extreme conditions.
It is important to thoroughly inspect the pushrods before reassembly, as you may encounter other issues besides the aforementioned wear. When checking for wear on the sides of the pushrods, check the ends for excessive wear as well. Also, check the hydraulic lifters for proper function, as they are known to overextend. This can force the pushrod out of alignment, causing excessive wear, and can lead to bending the pushrods.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.