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Should you buy a high mileage 6.0 Powerstroke? We buy one.

Should you buy a high mileage 6.0 powertroke? We did...

We get a lot of people calling and asking about a truck they are getting ready to buy. While the 6.0 Powerstroke has earned a name for itself as a problem engine, the low cost and availability of this generation of Superduty pickups have more and more people trying to decide whether to give them a shot or not. So in this series of articles we will be going through a high mileage 6.0 which we have named the Low Dollar Hauler. I will show you what to look for when looking at one of these trucks and the steps we took to make it reliable to haul one of our show trailers all over the country.

First things first, please understand that for us buying any 6.0 isn’t really a gamble. We have enough new and used parts in our facility to rebuild this truck from the ground up without making one phone call. We work on these things all the time and know what to look for when we experience a problem. If you are looking at buying a high mileage 6.0, I would suggest learning every last thing you can about them. If you can successfully diagnose and repair this truck yourself, you will save an unbelievable amount of money and frustration. So understand that we will not be figuring in any labor costs when building this truck as I am assuming an individual who is going to do all their own work is buying it. If you are going to rely on a garage to get a truck like this up to snuff, it may not be worth it.

So on to the truck. I had been looking to upgrade our 2005 F250 shop truck that has a 5.4 gas engine that I detest. It is a nice solid truck, but that gas engine kills me. We also needed a truck to haul one of our show trailers all over the place this summer. The local dealership called me up and told me that had a 2006 F350 coming in on trade that had a bunch of miles on it. It was still warm from the previous owner dropping it off when I went and looked at it. It was a 2006 F350 Crew Cab Lariat 4x4 with an eight foot bed. The truck had 242,000 miles on it and was filthy. I mean really filthy. The outside had about an inch of dirt on it. The inside looked like someone had a coffee orgasm all over the dash and emptied their vacuum bags on the floor on regular basis. It had two aftermarket wheels on the front and two factory ones on the back. I checked out all the interior functions and surprisingly everything worked. The sunroof even went back and forth no problem. Heck, even a/c worked even though it could use a charge. Other than the driver’s seat being all torn up, the inside was intact and in good but dirty shape.

When I started the truck it was really apparent that it had a miss.  There was not a check engine light on, so that was a good thing.  I opened the hood to check things out.  Again, it was filthy but everything looked stock and in place.  I could see it had a Sinister egr delete already installed which made me feel better about the whole thing.  It was apparent from staining that the coolant bottle had been leaking coolant around the gap indicating it has or had a heating or head gasket issue at one time.  I couldn’t hear any sort of popping out of the intake so I was pretty sure the miss was an injector.  If you hear a popping noise from the intake that is a sign that there is a bad valve.   Don’t confuse the regular intake noise with the bad valve popping noise that will coincide with the miss.   I then took the cap off the oil fill and there was absolutely no blow by.  When you check the oil cap, some blow by is normal.  There should only be a slight amount of smokey vapor coming out.  If you put your hand over the fill tube and it pressures up at all, you will probably be replacing the motor.

  I let the truck run for a few minutes and could see no visible oil, fuel, or coolant leaks.   So we closed the hood up and off on a test drive we go.  The transmission shifted well with no slipping.  I ran the truck hard a couple of times and everything seemed ok although the turbo seemed to spool slowly.   Once we got up to cruising speed I was certain it had one bad injector.   On the 6.0’s, a bad injector will show itself when you get into overdrive and the rpm’s drop below 2,000 rpm.  It will have a constant shake that gets worse when you give it a little of throttle and pretty much goes away if you kick it down and the rpms go up.  Everything else seemed good except for an odd vibration that I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I figured it probably had a tire out of balance.  When we got back to the dealership I popped the hood and there was no coolant leaking from the degas bottle so I didn’t think it was a bad head gasket problem that had stained the top of the bottle. 

 I looked over the rest of the truck again.  There were some small dings in the body but nothing major.  It looked as if the previous owner had hit a deer with the passenger side.  The right front headlight was new as were all the bumper brackets.  The passenger mirror plastic was cracked and the running board on that side was also damaged.  Other than that, no rust or anything that worried me.
The dealership was asking $9,800 for the truck.  I offered $6,000 due to how dirty it was, the “terrible” engine problem, and the fact that it had so many miles.  To my surprise they accepted the offer and I drove my treasure back to the shop.   Seeing as Kelly Blue Book on the truck was still over $20K even with the miles, I was happy with my purchase.  I did stop at the car wash and give it a quick bath. 
In part two we will look the truck over better and start fixing her up.