The Ford 6.0 Powerstroke Diesel Engine

Here at PrimeMPG we love diesel engines. Unfortunately, In the US, the full sized truck market is one of the only places that diesel engines are used. Most American truck companies seem to want to make larger and larger engines every couple of years. It was very refreshing when Ford replaced their 444 cubic inch 7.3 powerstroke with the 365 cubic inch 6.0L powerstroke in 2003. It’s pretty rare that an American truck will see a reduction in engine displacement from one model year to the next. In most cases the sales and marketing teams for US trucks want to brag about maximum torque numbers and towing capacities.

The 6.0 powerstroke didn’t last very long

The 6L Ford power stroke engine was a good idea on paper, but it was executed poorly. This engine had plenty of horsepower, torque, and fuel efficiency. What it lacked was reliability. These engines didn’t seem to have been tested very thoroughly before they were put into production. The last of these diesels stopped being put into vehicles in the 2010 model year. There are only seven model years where this engine is available and only 4 years where they were available in a truck.

6.0 powerstroke

The 6.0 L powerstroke ford diesel engine was very unreliable.

6.0 Liter Power Stroke head gasket issues

The 6.0L power stroke engine is a turbo diesel. Its compression ratio is 18:1 under normal situations. In certain scenarios, the 6.0 can over pressurize. This is something that happens in all turbo motors sometimes. The problem with this particular motor is that it doesn’t handle being over pressured very well at all. This motor only uses 4 head bolts per cylinder. This is the fewest amount of head bolts used per cylinder in a diesel truck engine. Most diesel truck engines use 5 or 6 head bolts for each cylinder due to the higher pressures that a diesel runs at. When the 6.0 powerstroke turbo causes an over-boost pressure situation, the 4 head bolt design can’t clamp the head gasket very well. Over time, this leads to blown head gaskets. Blown head gaskets lead to overheating and warped or cracked cylinder heads. The 6.0 powerstroke turbo is a variable geometry type. This turbocharger is used with an intercooler.


F250 Powered by a Ford PowerStroke.

6.0 powerstroke injectors have been a problem too

Along with the head gasket problems, there have been more fuel injector problems with this motor than there usually are. Many of the 6.0 powerstroke performance problems have been caused by this.  This problem has been blamed on many things. The most common cause of the 6.0 powerstroke injector issues is that the fuel injector computer is mounted on the top of the engine. This causes the computer to get a lot hotter than it would if it were mounted in a more traditional location. The top of the engine bay is the hottest location in the engine bay and can reach over 200 degrees in certain circumstances. When you consider that the temperature of the computer could be below zero before the engine is started, you can see how this drastic temperature swing could take its toll on electrical components and solder joints.


Displacement 365 Cubic inches – 6.0 Liters – 5954cc

Model years 2003 – 2010

Bore 3.74” / 95mm

Stroke 4.13” / 105mm

Compression 18:1

Fuel Injection – Split Shot HEUI

Valving – 4 Over Head Valves per cylinder

Single VGT turbo with intercooler

Filed in: Diesel Engines
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