15 MINUTES OF FAME: READER'S RIDES
Reliable, dependable power is what most diesel truck owners want. Our 2008 Ford Superduty with the Power Stroke 6.4L diesel gets worked hard in all types of conditions, such as hauling many loads and pulling a trailer in heavy traffic during the blistering heat of summer. While this truck is as plain as it gets, it can always be counted on for work (and the odd task of bringing a disabled Jeep back from the trails).
However, when cooling issues started to arise, we decided to search for after market products and see what our options would be to remedy the situation. An internet search of any type of engine – followed by the word “problems” – will give you a lot of pages to look at. In our case, the rad was leaking, we had intermittant overheating spikes on the gauge, and the accessory belts were chirping.
During our search, we came across BulletProofDiesel (BPD). I have seen their products advertised and read articles written about the company over the years. After looking into what they offered, we purchased three products including:
• The BulletProofDiesel Oil Cooler Relocation Kit (US$1895)
• The BulletProofDiesel Billet Water Pump (US$399.95)
• The BulletProofDiesel Fuel Filter Cap (US$118.19)
1. Christmas came early for us in December as we received our package from Mesa, AZ in just two days. I had gone ahead and replaced the radiator (due to the leak). I then flushed the cooling system, but left the other issues unresolved. The oil cooler can become restricted from debris and corrosion. The water pump was getting old and the plastic fuel filter cap looks cheap and we just wanted to replace it. It was now time to get to work!
2. Always read the instructions first. The OEM manuals are needed for critical procedures, torque values, proper sequences, etc. However, the Bulletproof website has a lot of excellent information and the instructions are very clear and easy to understand. I also watched a few how-to videos on YouTube to get an idea of what was involved.
3. Here are most of the parts to be installed. It’s a very thorough kit and nothing else is needed. However, now is a good time to also do the accessory drive belts, tensioners, pulleys, thermostats, rad hoses (and anything else) since most will be removed anyways. This isn’t really a DIY project, but with a well-equipped shop, tools (and patience) it can be done. The biggest thing on theses engines is the amount of ‘stuff’ that must be removed to access the engine. The turbos, fuel cooler and EGR systems are a complex maze, which all have to come off and out in order to get to the oil cooler that’s buried in the valley of the engine. Ford and many online technicians recommend taking the truck’s cab off to access the engine. I didn’t have an easy way to do this, so it was left on.
4. One of the hardest parts of this job is to get at the bolts at the back of the turbo. There just isn’t much room. After almost stripping one of the heads of these 10 mm bolts, I came across some info removing the body mount bolts and jacking up
the front of the truck to move the cab back on an angle. This allows more room to access the turbo up-pipe bolts. Removing the body-mount bolts just may be the toughest part of this job. These are just plain hard to turn – and they’re long. However, I did manage and got the front up to insert two 2x4 blocks between the body and frame at the front, outer corners.
5. Doing this requires removing anything that is connected between the body and frame first.
6. Having fun yet? It’s just getting started. Now that everything is loosened up and the cab raised, I could finally access the bolts on the back of the turbo.
7. The kit includes new gaskets and bolts for the turbo. However, since there isn’t room to use any big tools in there, I carefully worked with a brand new socket that was needed to get the bolts off (without rounding off the heads).
8. With everything disconnected the turbos can now be taken out.
9. Here’s how it looks so far. Next, remove the intake manifold, then finally the oil cooler.
10. Here is the Power Stroke 6.4L engine valley. It’s hard to
believe, but I finally removed everything. At this point, we’re ready to install the Bulletproof Diesel products, and the instructions are step-by-step with images.
11. The Bulletproof Adaptor plate is the heart of the system. This will relocate a new OEM oil cooler and larger oil filter from out of the engine valley. The adaptor plate bolts on using original mounting bolts and new gaskets.
12. Once the BPD adaptor plate is installed, we can remount the fuel filter housing, the turbos, sensor wire connections, hoses and everything else. Here is the new BPD fuel filter cap.
12a. The Bulletproof Diesel parts are like works of art, rest easy knowing they’ll last a long time.
13. Here’s the new billet water pump installed.
14. This engine uses a double thermostat system, which can become over extended and stop functioning. It's best to replace them at this time.
15. Next, install the new oil cooler. Here, you can see the new OEM oil cooler with the BPD adaptor on top.
16. Hoses will flow oil and coolant from the engine valley and route over to this. The brackets are assembled to mount the new oil cooler under the brake reservoir. The cooler will now be able to be accessed easily for future service.
17. A bracket and remote filter assembly are installed under the cab on the driver’s side. Oil is routed from the engine to the
cooler, then to the filter and back to the engine. The larger spin on-style filter has some benefits to the OEM setup including more filtration volume and service convenience.
18. After installing everything, bleeding the fuel and changing the oil and coolant, we started it up. We let it run for a while before noticing an oil leak. The oil feed tube on the turbos had gotten mangled during removal. My only trip to the dealer was for a new oil feed tube. Otherwise, everything went back together a lot easier than coming apart. Last, I checked for loose, missing parts, then zip-tied back wire looms, cut heat shields in place, etc.
20. Approximate total time of labour: 35 hours. Thanks BulletProofDiesel.com!