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James, I read with great interest your article in News Herald Sunday November 27th regarding coolant problems with the 2005 Ford F-250 Powerstroke diesel. I have a 2006 F-250 with the 6.0L Powerstroke Diesel Engine. Does this maintenance procedure apply to my engine as well? Dennis B.

Dennis, Last Saturday/Sunday’s article only applies to the 6.0 and the 6.4 liter Powerstroke International engines that are installed in Ford vehicles. The older model 7.3 Powerstroke diesels don’t have an EGR cooler, but are susceptible to “cavation” from the wrong/weak coolant. Cavitation will damage cylinder walls in short order on this engine. The cylinders affected are the rear cylinders on the 7.3L; this is a common pattern failure as well. Now back to your maintenance on your 6.0L Powerstroke diesel. Change the coolant every 30,000 miles regardless of the Nitrite level. Always check it every time you change your oil, if needed add nitrite additive to keep it above 800 PPM (Part per Million) the other areas of concern on this engine are the fuel and oil filters. Never use an aftermarket oil filter on any Powerstroke engine due to the way they have been reversed engineered. (To keep from infringing on the OE manufacturer’s patent.) If you take and aftermarket oil filter and compare it to a Motorcraft OE filter you will see the Motorcraft filter is 1/8 inch longer that the aftermarket filter. This difference in length will allow dirty oil to bypass the aftermarket filter long before it is time to change the oil. Diesel engines are so much dirtier inside the crankcase than a gas engine, it is very, very important to filter your oil as much as you can. You should be able to drive 5 to 6,000 miles with the OE oil filter continuing to filter your dirty oil. The aftermarket filters have been known to “stop filtering” and allow the engines dirty oil to “bypass” the oil filter in just a few thousand miles. Now we have covered your coolant exchange interval, the type coolant you must use, and the correct type of oil filter to use. Let us look at the fuel filters on this engine. You have a primary and a secondary filter. The primary filter is located under the cab surrounding the high pressure fuel pump. If you use an aftermarket fuel filter, it may be clogged up by the time you get to 5,000 miles on it. The aftermarket filters DO NOT have an air bleed hole in the top of the fuel filter. This omission of a “bleed hole” means there is always air trapped in the primary fuel filter. This trapped air “restricts” the fuel filter and allows only half of the fuel filter to filter your fuel. This small filtration area of the aftermarket fuel filter will allow it to become restricted, much faster, possibly damaging your high pressure fuel pump. Manufacturers OE fuel filters have a bleed hole in the top of the filter to make sure it does not trap air. This will allow the use of entire filtering surface of the OE primary fuel filter and should be changed every 10,000 miles along with the secondary filter. Hope this helps on Powerstroke Maintenance 101. Live long and prosper in 2011. James Morris

 

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