QUESTION: My ’06 Ford’s 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine misfires on normal acceleration and when cruising along at lower rpm and up to 40 mph. Run it hard and all seems fine. There are no diagnostic trouble codes according to the service technician at the Ford dealership I take it to for service. I bought the truck used with 64,000 miles on it because it “had just been bulletproofed,” according to the Ford paperwork. The problem is concerning, as I thought I was getting a trouble-free truck. ANSWER: If your truck’s engine has a misfire under light throttle or steady cruise at lower rpm, it should be easy to detect by a scan tool, using the Power Balance test that monitors each cylinder. This applies to just about any diesel. The best tool for a Power Stroke, of course, is the Ford Integrated Diagnostic System. It’s expensive, but worth the price for a diesel repair shop.
“Monitoring Power Balance using IDS is very accurate and never misdiagnoses a problem in my experience,” says Kenneth Tripp, a former Ford engineer and owner of Tripp Trucks in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a highly respected diesel-repair shop. “If you can make the truck repeat the concern consistently, have the technician ride with you while he monitors the Power Balance, and that should identify which cylinder is misfiring. Just because there are no trouble codes doesn’t mean anything, and frankly, I never go off of those codes anyway.”
Ken also says just because a 6.0L has been upgraded with cylinder-head studs, new oil and EGR coolers, a water pump, and fuel-injection-control module doesn’t mean everything related to the engine is trouble-free. “The process doesn’t really involve anything to do with the fuel-injection side of things, aside from the high-pressure oil system and fuel-pressure-regulator upgrades,” Ken says. “But if all the updates are done and studs are torqued correctly when the work is done, you should have a reliable engine for many years.” We recommend performing a full service regardless of what a seller says has been done. “Proper oil changes and adequate fuel quality and pressure are the lifeline of the fuel injectors on the 6.0L Power Stroke,” Ken adds.
Done properly (by only using the upgrade parts manufactured and offered by Bullet Proof Diesel), “bulletproofing” 6.0L Ford Power Stroke engines corrects the well-known shortcomings of stock powerplants. However, owners should also be vigilant about upgrading and maintaining the injection system with aftermarket lift pumps and filters to ensure a long engine life.