So what does it truly mean - a Bullet Proof 6.0L?
A Bullet Proof 6.0L starts with getting educated on the 5 main pattern failures that occur with this engine. These pattern failures are:
OEM Oil Cooler - The OEM oil cooler is a common source of failure. The small coolant pathways within the oil cooler can become plugged and this, in turn, can lead to failed EGR coolers as well as hot, thin engine oil.
OEM EGR Cooler - The OEM EGR Cooler is often blamed for being "the problem" on the 6.0L engine. While it is a common failure item, it often fails because of the plugged coolant pathways in the oil cooler. Understanding WHY this item fails is an important aspect to owning and operating one of these engines.
Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) Power Supply - The FICM is the electronic unit that controls the injectors on the 6.0L/VT365 engine. The FICM controls the injectors by sending 48V to the injectors at precisely the right time. Over time, however, the power supply built into this module can become tired and see the output voltage drop below the specified 48V. As this voltage drops, the performance of the injectors (and therefore the entire engine) will suffer. Upgrading this power supply with the Bullet Proof Diesel version is the only long-term path to reliability.
Head Studs - The 6.0L engine utilizes ten head bolts per cylinder head to affix the head to the engine. To help minimize blown head gaskets, companies such as American Racing Products (ARP) have developed head studs to replace the factory head bolts. For various engineering reasons, a head stud allows for a higher clamping force than a similar bolt does, thereby increasing the reliability by reducing the chance of a head gasket failure or stretched head bolt.
The OEM Water Pump - The OEM water pump comes equipped with a plastic impeller. The pattern failure observed on this water pump is that a crack can develop within the impeller, greatly decreasing the amount of engine coolant that the pump is able to move throughout the engine.
Isn't an EGR delete and head studs the way to make a Bullet Proof 6.0?
This is a very common misconception, but the answer is NO.
First consider the EGR delete. As discussed above, the EGR cooler often fails not onto its own... that is to say, it doesn't fail "just because", rather, it fails because something else causes it to fail. That something (among other factors) is the heat that builds up within the EGR cooler because there is little to no coolant flow through the upstream oil cooler and therefore, no flow of coolant through the EGR cooler (downstream of the oil cooler). So the question really becomes - if the EGR cooler doesn't fail by itself, then what problem are you masking or ignoring by simply deleting the EGR cooler? Said another way, the failure of the EGR cooler is a sign, a symptom of other, bigger problems that need to be addressed, not ignored.
Another factor to consider with the EGR delete is that they are illegal in all fifty states. The EGR cooler is designed as part of the emissions system on the 6.0L engine. Deleting any portion of the emissions systems on a vehicle is strictly against federal law in most cases.
Again, a 6.0L is not a "Bullet Proof Diesel" engine unless four of the five pattern failures are addressed with genuine Bullet Proof Diesel parts. This includes the problematic OEM oil cooler as well as the FICM module, EGR cooler and water pump. Keep in mind that some businesses will promote the "Upgraded Oil Cooler" in a way to make it sound like the problems have been addressed with the original design. Click this link to learn more about the so-called "Upgraded Oil Cooler" and judge for yourself.
So what can I do to ensure that when I buy a diesel truck with a claimed Bullet Proof engine - that it truly has genuine Bullet Proof Diesel parts?
Again, the first step is to get educated. We have these resources available to you for free so that you can understand just what is required to make a 6.0L a Bullet Proof Diesel engine.
Featured Trade Magazines
Video Learning Center
The Truth about EGR Deletes
Find a Preferred Installer
Once you know what it takes to have a Bullet Proof Diesel engine, do not settle for anything less!