Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Purchase Tips

By -

Power Stroke

FTE member seeks the perfect 6.0L Power Stroke powered Super Duty. But has he found it?

For many, Ford’s 7.3-liter Power Stroke diesel is the more desirable of the brand’s oil burning offerings. The 6.0-liter that replaced it is often saddled with a bad reputation, but one that’s mostly unfair. Tougher diesel emissions standards forced Ford’s hand, and the result is an engine that is plenty durable. In stock form, that is. And like many things in life, if you take care of the 6.0 Power Stroke, it’ll take care of you.

Also like many things in life, the 6.0 has its quirks. So if you’re shopping for one, the FTE forums can literally prove to be a priceless resource. Our members have logged countless miles on these engines. They’ve tuned them up, driven them everywhere, and encountered and fixed any sort of problem you can imagine. And that’s exactly why SHPR543 turned to our forum experts for advice on a Power Stroke purchase.

“I found one that I like. It’s a 2005 XL with the Lariat package. It has 78,500 miles and 2,166 engine hours. Carfax shows one owner and it appears to have been serviced appropriately. They are asking $18,795. I went to look at it today and it looks to be in good shape.”

Power Stroke

On the surface, things looked pretty promising. But as any diesel Ford fan knows, additional research is required to make a sound purchase here.

“I specifically asked for them not to start it before I got there. I popped the hood and felt the hoses, they were cold. It looks to me like they cleaned the engine, at least surface cleaned. I did see a little gunk around the base of the filter. It has two fairly new Optima batteries. Hoses were cold, so I started her up. It took about 3-4 seconds to start up, enough that I fought the temptation to pump the gas pedal like with older cars.

I’ve seen a lot about rough starting on the forum and wondered if this was the same. I turned it off and restarted it several times, each time it got less and less delay. It fires up every time and the engine sounds strong. No smoke of any color coming from exhaust, no odors, etc. Nothing else suspicious there. I took it for a bit of a drive. Got it on the freeway and really got on it several times. No smoke, no hesitation, rattles etc. Feels strong.”

Power Stroke

Upon further inspection, the oil and transmission fluid appeared to be in good shape. The truck’s service records were also up to date. But then, the OP found a potential problem.

“I crawled underneath and saw evidence of leakage. It looks like it is leaking from the oil pan (maybe a gasket). More concerning to me is it looks like it has been leaking from the bell housing.”

Certainly a cause for concern, but is it enough that the OP should shy away from the purchase altogether? Almost immediately, Toreador Diesel chimes in as the voice of reason.

“Oil filter housing – they may have replaced the oil cooler and not replaced the seal or torqued things down right. Either that or it’s some spillage. Bell housing leak- this can be the IPR seal leaking, rear cover damaged from a blown out STC fitting, or the dipstick seal on in the oil pan. Diff seal- you can replace this in your driveway. I had to do it on my ’05. Not too bad of a job.

Coolant reservoir- I’d see what the truck does under hard acceleration when hot. If it pukes some and leaves a residue around the reservoir, you have your answer. They may have had to do head gaskets or maybe fix a ruptured oil cooler. As long as the repair was done correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry.

If you own an Android phone, I’d download the Torque Pro app or get a scan gauge and monitor the oil cooler and ECT. Sometimes people will tell you they replaced the EGR and oil cooler, but they didn’t flush the system. This happened on my buddy’s ’07. Yeah, they replaced it, but they never flushed it, so guess who got to do it again? The truck has some minor issues, but nothing to lose sleep over.”

Power Stroke

The big question, however, is whether or not the truck is worth the asking price int the first place, as 530ktmpilot points out. And unless you’re an expert mechanic, it’s usually a good idea to have a reputable shop check the truck out before dropping your hard earned cash.

“As said on here 100’s of times. DON’T buy a 6.0 without having a full inspection at a shop that specializes in these engines! There are many things that cost huge money to fix if you find them after the fact. They can look perfect on the outside and cost you $5k in repairs a week later if you go by looks alone! Will be the best $200 you ever spend. Also, if offered a warranty, read ALL the fine print to ensure you understand what IS NOT covered. Some policies are virtually worthless when something major happens.

NADA guide shows pricing is $13k full retail (assuming this is a 2wd crew cab. Extended and regular cab are even less); $18k is way too high for an XL trim truck that someone has thrown a $1k leather skin kit on. You can buy a similar King Ranch 4wd with 120k miles for around the same price. Also, having a low end model with a fifth wheel hitch raises the possibility that someone towed with it exclusively and used another vehicle as a daily driver. Although unable to verify, how would you feel about the truck if you found out all of those 78k miles were done with a 15,000 pound fifth wheel in tow?

Personally, even if it checks out, I’d pass on it and keep looking until you find something more reasonably priced. Or unless they drop the price at least $5k.”

Power Stroke

In the end, the OP decides to heed this advice and seek out an inspection. The seller does agree to a slight price reduction, but maybe not enough to entice a sale. Regardless, this kind of information can save a prospective buyer thousands of dollars and plenty of headaches in the long run. So if you’re in the market for a 6.0-liter Power Stroke, head over here and soak it all in!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

Comments ()