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Thread: "Early" vs. "Late" 2004 Ford F250 ?

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    Senior Member jnbhobe's Avatar
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    Re: "Early" vs. "Late" 2004 Ford F250 ?

    I think the coil springs gave the 05s a stiffer ride. Jon
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  2. Print this Post   #12
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    Re: "Early" vs. "Late" 2004 Ford F250 ?

    I originally posted this brief history of the Ford 6.0 engine on the Ford Truck Enthusiasts website. Please keep in mind that I wrote this in response to a young fellow who wanted to buy a 6.0 powered truck.His dad had gone to a Ford dealer and talked to a "tech". The tech bad mouthed the engine and told the dad anyone who bought one was crazy.

    The biggest problem with the 6.0 is dealership technicians like the one that talked to your dad. They do Ford, their employer, a huge disservice when they spread that stuff around. Were there issues to be dealt with on these engines, certainly? But some history is needed here. When these engines first hit the streets there was virtually no technical support in place yet. Ford put them out there and left the techs out there to fend for their selves. The ambulance debacle only exacerbated the situation with the up-fitter shop using the wrong antifreeze. This flooded the shops with problems they were ill equipped to handle. Another area that was big in the early days was fuel injector failures. The USA diesel fuel being supplied at the time was of dubious quality. Low or nebulous cetane numbers prevailed. The low sulfur fuel turned out to be too dirty for the injectors and the egr valve. More problems handed to the techs with no idea why this was happening. In the mean time Ford was selling more trucks, a lot of them. As the fleet grew and miles rose another problem was about to appear. Higher mileage trucks were beginning to see EGR valve and EGR cooler issues and failures. The immediate problem of the egr cooler was actually hiding the actual cause. The oil coolers were clogging up with casting debris left or embedded in the block. This deprived the egr cooler of the needed flow to avoid flash boiling its coolant. The egr coolant would flash boil and send the pressure out through the overflow/degas bottle cap, hence the term "puking". If the egr cooler failed at the wrong time, it leaked coolant into a cylinder or two and hydro-locked the engine. We now, in all likelihood, have stretched the head bolts and blown the head gaskets. I will add at this point that some aftermarket performance tuners also cause these problems. Now that I have scared you to death, this is the reality of today. The knowledge base on these engines has increased exponentially. The techs now have the tools and experience to troubleshoot the problems without just throwing parts at it and praying. This depends of course, that the customer has sought out a qualified tech. That is so important. Also, sites like this one are a huge distributor of great information and tech tips. The maintenance schedule as printed in the owner’s manual is not any more rigorous than most other engines. What is critical is the need to follow this schedule. This engine is very unforgiving of neglect. If the maintenance is done on schedule with the proper materials you drastically lower your chances of major issues. We know the following:
    1. Change your fluids per the book. Use only genuine Ford filters and use the correct fluids. It is well documented that improper filters and incorrect fluids cause big issues with both the engine and transmission. This engine does not like extended oil change intervals. Even when using an aftermarket bypass oil filter, you should not extend your change intervals. While the oil may be marginally cleaner, the tremendous abuse it takes from the High Pressure Oil Pump(HPOP) to hydraulically operate the injectors causes the oil to shear it’s viscosity down to closer 30 wt oil in 5000 miles.
    2. Always allow your engine to reach operating temperature before romping on it. You do not need to idle it until it gets to temperature, just take it easy
    3. Do not idle it more than necessary, this engines egr system doesn't like it and excessive idling will cause wet fuel stacking. This causes excessive diesel fuel contamination in the engine oil.
    4. Install engine monitoring capability. This is so important. There are several areas that, if monitored will tell you of an upcoming issue. PDA type monitor or gauges, your choice. The monitors are real handy because they are easy to install and monitor all the necessary events except fuel pressure. You need a gauge for that, very important. Fuel pressure issues will kill injectors. Oil pressure also requires a gauge.


    5. After installing the monitoring stuff, the 3 most important things to watch are the fuel pressure reading and the engine oil temperature (EOT) and the engine coolant temperature (ECT). The fuel injectors do not like the fuel pressure to drop below 45psi, very important. The ect/eot needs to be monitored together for a comparison analysis. Ford has established the maximum allowable difference in temperatures between these readings to be 15 degrees after reaching normal engine operating temperatures. Exceed this limit; if you have warranty left, they install a new oil cooler and egr cooler. The Edge Insight monitor allows you to watch them both simultaneously on a 2 line bar graph.
    6. Install an engine coolant filter. There are many here that think this should be modification number one. International thinks so too. They recalled all their trucks with this engine and installed them under warranty. Ford should have. Dieselsite makes a nice one at a fair price.
    7. The performance aftermarket has risen to the challenges and is providing great products to increase reliability and performance. There are upgraded egr coolers if you want to keep it, egr delete kits if you want to get rid of it, great tuners by SCT for safe performance and CEL maintenance and better exhaust systems to lower egt's. ARP head studs virtually eliminate head gasket issues under normal use.
    As you can see, most all of the big issues have been addressed. We have much better fuel, much better techs and a lot more knowledge. If you buy a 6/0, do all that you can to eliminate the weaknesses, can you have problems? Of course you can, but keep this important and revealing fact in mind. After the 2006 model year was introduced, Ford had fewer warranty claims on 06 and 07 6.0 engines than any single year of 7.3 engine production. That says a lot. Good luck in your search. I hope this helped

    The 2004 model year truck is a solid axle leaf spring front end. The coil spring front end came out in 2005. The 6.0 has always had the 5r100 5 speed transmission. It has proven to be a match for the GM's Allison and holds up under 500hp. For those interested in a few more bits of information:

    The date for the switch to the so called late 04 engine is actually 9-23-03. It is easy to identify though. On the passenger side of the engine, the glow plug controller(GPC) resides. The 03 engine has its GPC mounted crosswise directly on top of the valve cover. The "late 04" has the exact same controller mounted just off to the side of the valve cover on a bracket and it runs lengthwise with the engine.

    There were many small changes made from 9-23-03 until 1-16-06. On that date all 6.0 engines received the "6.4 commonality engine". These changes were instituted to get the production version of the 6.0 using the new block and heads for the upcoming 6.4 rollout in 08. Contrary to popular lore, this did not hurt or improve the 6.0.

    A point not well advertised but very true, after the introduction of the 06 production year, the 06 and 07 engines as to regard to warranty, were more reliable than the much adored 7.3 engine. I know I just repeated something from above but felt it worth the effort.

    Regards

    Ricatic

  3. Print this Post   #13
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    Re: "Early" vs. "Late" 2004 Ford F250 ?

    Ricatic,

    We have both and started out with the 6.9 engines. Have to agree with you fuel injectors are the only issue we have had with the 6.0. We have replaced oil pumps and injector harness in the 7.3 engines along with several other repairs. All of the had the same oil and service loading. The 6.0 is a good engine. Hope the new Scorpion is as good but sure hate the UREA injection system. We still run several 7.3 engines and a couple have over 200K.

    Larry

  4. Print this Post   #14
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    Re: "Early" vs. "Late" 2004 Ford F250 ?

    Larry

    I hear you. I too have experiences with the early 7.3, the late 7.3 and the 6.0. The 7.3 is a work horse for sure but not without it's own issues. Cam sensors and a weak automatic transmission top the list. I liked the late model 7.3, my brother and his son still run them. They both are in awe of the way the 6.0 runs and the 5r100 5 speed transmission handles my BigHorn 3055RL. After pulling with both, I always want my 6.0. If you have had injector issues, make sure you are running good fuel pressure. The injectors need 45psi minimum and no more than 75psi maximum. Low pressure reduces the cushion effect of the fuel when the injector slams shut. High pressure puts a strain on the o rings on the injector itself. The o ring fails, excess fuel leaks into that cylinder and bad things happen. Aftermarket fuel filters are a problem. I have seen 5 to 7 psi pressure drops on non-OEM fuel filters, new out the box. Would not have seen this without my ISSPRO EV2 fuel pressure gauge.

    Regards

    Ricatic

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