If you read the forum posts, the issues mainly involve blown head gaskets, weak oem headbolts, and clogged egr systems. Also any use of an aftermarket tuner on a bone stock engine usually brings the above mentioned failures rather quickly. The solutions for a relatively bulletproof 6.0 usually involve arp head studs, very good head gaskets, and an egr delete. For the vin, you go to the ford dealers service desk and ask to run an oasis report, and that will only indicate any issues under warranty from ford.
he is correct on everything. the main way to eliminate all this is to get gauges, edge cts or scangauge2. your oil cooler delta needs to stay between 5 and 15*. anything more can lead to egr problems. the cooant needs to be maintained. put on a coolant filter and either change the gold coolant every 50k or flush that and put in some good cat ec-1 rated elc. if you plan on using a tuner, put on 4in exhaust system and get an sct x3 tuner and get it custom tuned. if you turn up the power, an egr delete is a must and keeping the boost under 28psi is important too. if you have arp head studs, you are good to go and can really turn her up.
I disagree with the EGR delete being a requirement to make are reliable truck. IF you can get away with it in your area it does help to keep the intake and turbo cleaner and may make slightly more power but many of us still run functional emission equipment.
I am looking at this truck to only drive on the weekends and it has 105k miles. I have a 1996 7.3 with 125K miles, that Ive owned since 60K and only put about 5K miles a year. The 2005 has a nice upgraded leather interior and thats what I want. I just dont want to buy a problem, when my 7.3 runs perfect.
If you can get an Oasis report from the dealer, it will let you know if the truck is a problem child. Knowing the coolant temp vs the oil temp will give you an idea if oil/EGR coolers are in it's future. You'll need a ScanGauge or somthing similar too see the numbers. White residue around the coolant cap is a good sign the coolant is venting from the cap and may mean EGR cooler leaking or head gaskets. Check front driver side of engine for fuel leak from fuel regulator. Most of these trucks have a drop or two of oil on the bottom of the bell housing but look around the engine block for oil leaks from the bed plate. Coolant condition is important. Ford gold coolant is.....gold and most ELC coolants are reddish. Either is ok but if it has green coolant it indicates truck was serviced by someone who didn't know enough to be doing it. Aftermarket intakes are another rookie issue. The factory unit is hugh and flow well, many aftermarket create more problems than power. Try to arrange to start the truck cold. Injector issues show up better on a cold start. Fuel injector control modules (FICM) are a common issue for rough cold start and voltage output can be verified with a ScanGauge or similar. Injectors themselves can be an issue for cold start and they are going for $250 or so EACH, if the rest of the truck looks good it may be a bargaining chip. Look at some pictures of the Ford oil filter cap. Many aftermarket oil filters don't fit correctly and can cause problems, an aftermarket oil filter cap would be a red flag for me (along with the green coolant). I probably missed somthing, but that's all I can think of, hope it helps. Sound like you got a good idea of what to look for on the rest of the truck. Happy shopping!
I don't know if it is a disaster waiting to happen but all I can say it depends on how the owner took care of it before you. If he took care of it and it doesn't have any of the mods it could be a great truck. One thing is for sure, you will have more maintenance than your 96. A oasis report will show if it has been a problem truck and if it comes up clean then go for it.
Thanks, guys, for the input as well as the specifics, Topdawg360. I'll be getting a report from Ford, tomorrow and trying to decide whether to make the 5 hour trip to see the vehicle.
Is any of this work, in the powerstroke help video on bullettproofing, worth the $$$ as a preventative maintenance, especially if there haven't been any issues with the truck???
NP I would hate for you to have to drive 5 hours nad get ripped. Diesel fuel isnt cheap these days either. If its that far, a carfax will be the best money spent. Plus I think you can look at 5 reports for $50 or something like that.
In my opinion, getting some gauges to keep an eye on things is priority. A Scan gauge, Edge Insight or cts, DashDaq or anything like that(what ever yor wallet can stand) to monitor what's going on under the hood. Disregard the factory gauges for temp and pressures, they are idiot lights that look like gauges. If you want to hot rod it with tunes or tow a lot, head studs are a good idea. Aftermarket exhaust sounds cool and can make a little horsepower. I like the idea of an aftermarket coolant filter but to be honest, mine hasn't picked up much trash.
A note on Oasis reports. Some dealerships have gotten picky about giving them out, even requiring you to own the truck before giving you one. Also, if you get a chance to look over their shoulder while they are on the computer, on the bottom right of the page it says "click here for full warranty history" the first page may show nothing, or very little, that second page is the full story. I agree on the CarFax also. They can have a lot of info.
Just a heads up on the turbo, if you plan to use this truck just on the weekends the turbo is likely to get a little sticky. The variable vane design is prone to corroding on the unison ring if it sets much. Not an expensive fix to pull and clean the turbo but you'll likely have to do it every couple years or so if the truck is driven infrequently.