EGR or Head Gaskets? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Notices
6.0L Power Stroke Diesel 2003 - 2007 F250, F350 pickup and F350+ Cab Chassis, 2003 - 2005 Excursion and 2003 - 2009 van

EGR or Head Gaskets?

Reply

 
 
 
  #1  
Old 06-07-2018, 02:29 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
EGR or Head Gaskets?

I know there is already a ton of info about this out there, but it's hard to sort through everything (for me, at least) on this forum and the others to narrow down what might be my issues.
First- some background on the truck: I bought it from original owner in December. He had Bulletproof EGR installed within about 50 miles of noticing some overheating issues. I'm not sure if he ever had that shop check head gaskets or anything else. He was an elderly gent who generally took very good care of it.

Now on to my problems--- a few weeks ago when we started to first hit triple digit temps here, I noticed the EOT and ECT (using SCTx4) were a bit higher than usual without load (EOT ~220; ECT ~200). Shortly after that I took the 6000 lb camping trailer for a short weekend temp. Outside temps were just under 100- I noticed the EOT was pushing 250-260 on a grade and ECT was staying between 195-210. Luckily it wasn't too far from the camping spot so we were able to park it for the night. The next afternoon on the way home I made sure to drive it easy- we were only camping 30 minutes away- and all the temps were about the same.

I had Ford dealership check it out, and the tech pulled the EGR valve, noticed it was a bit gooey, and revved the engine with valve off. He said it was spraying some fluid out of the EGR valve onto the inside of the hood so this meant the EGR cooler was bad, and figured with the huge temp differences that oil cooler is definitely shot.. I explained it has a Bulletproof EGR so I doubt it would have failed, but he seemed pretty confident that it failed with the gooey valve. He said he would like to check if the head gaskets were holding pressure but won't be able to until the EGR is replaced. He noticed the Degas bottle has a bunch of hairline cracks along the seam, and there is some obvious spots where fluid is escaping- however I haven't noticed any loss of coolant. It's been at the min. line for about 5-600 miles that I've been monitoring it. So of course the quote he gave to flush, replace Degas bottle, oil cooler and EGR was about $3500, and to do head studs and gaskets on top of that would take the total to almost $6k. Luckily I'm friends with the service manager so he was able to work that down to $2200 and $4200, respectively. However I don't have that kind of cash and we need the truck a lot this summer. I have another friend that's a diesel tech for a landscaping company and has done a ton of work on their 6.0's so he quoted me around $650 for labor. So-- I called Bulletproof Diesel and the tech I spoke to on the phone said that if I'm not losing about a gallon of coolant every hundred or so miles, then he's pretty certain the EGR has not failed, and that only about 1 out of 10 of the EGR's that are returned to them for warranty have actually failed. He also explained that from his experience a gooey EGR valve doesn't necessarily mean failed EGR- there could be other sources of moisture causing that. He explained all this saying that I could pressure test it myself when its out of the truck, and he'd hate for me to buy a new EGR when that one hasn't really failed. Ah I forgot to mention earlier that I have never seen any white smoke since I bought it. I even did a cold overnight start before I bought it- no smoke ever. The only thing suspicious with the exhaust is that there is a slight coolant/ sweet smell from the exhaust.

That all being said, my friend is going to start working on it tomorrow in his shop, but wants to do a compression test on the heads before he gets into anything else just to make sure the head gaskets haven't failed. I've seen Bulletproof Diesel's youtube video about using the water bubble test to determine is EGR or head gaskets have failed, but I don't know if I trust it just cuz it seems to simple. So, if he's going to do the compression test by pulling the glow plugs, is there any other way to check for head gasket issues? I've also attached some pics of what my engine bay looked like this morning- oil doesn't seem milky, coolant seems normal... Please let me know what you all think.













 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-07-2018, 03:26 PM
Mike in Arizona
Mike in Arizona is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 227
Mike in Arizona is starting off with a positive reputation.
You got the Lime in the Coconut!
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-07-2018, 03:29 PM
Mike in Arizona
Mike in Arizona is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 227
Mike in Arizona is starting off with a positive reputation.
(the coolant in the oil)

(and the ford guy is most likely right - if fluid is spraying out of the EGR valve hole in the intake with the valve removed - it's coming from the EGR cooler. that's a far cry from just a gooey egr. and coolant smell in the exhaust would bring me to tears)

(and I'll be shocked if your head gaskets aren't blown too)

subscribed.
 
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:06 PM
High_HP
High_HP is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 230
High_HP is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
It looks like possibly the oil cooler is the problem since ect is ok but eot is really high. Is coolant getting pushed out the cap under boost/load? ...that would point to hg's.

My new oem thermostat has my ect between 192-198 unloaded (my eot runs 10-12į above ect), so your ect seems ok. Coolant smell in exhaust would concern me, but I'd hate for you to replace the hg's unless needed. My oem degaus tank was starting to form hairline cracks at the bottom of the tank after ~130k miles so I changed it out when my radiator blew an end tank seal a few weeks ago. How does it run? I am leaning towards a clogged oil cooler if it runs well and you aren't pushing coolant out the cap.
 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:17 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by High_HP View Post
It looks like possibly the oil cooler is the problem since ect is ok but eot is really high. Is coolant getting pushed out the cap under boost/load?

The new oem thermostat has my ect between 192-198 unloaded (eot is 10-12į above ect), so your ect seems ok. Coolant smell in exhaust would concern me, but I'd hate for you to replace the hg's unless needed. How does it run?
Itís runs fine- no loss of power, no rough starts. The in dash gauges have never indicated any kind of overheating, but from what Iíve read they wonít show overheating till itís way hotter. If it wasnít for my monitor I wouldnít have any idea there was any issue with it. The degas bottle and cap was tested not long ago, but the cap failed- I cant remember what psi it failed at. He just used the Napa coolant system tester. But from what I can tell there is only a minimal amount of coolant loss from the cap.

And the Ford tech smelled the exhaust- since it was so faint he didnít seem to think too much of it. But he did give me the standard ďdonít drive it farĒ speech.
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:19 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
Forgot to mention earlier that Iíve already ordered the Ford oil cooler as well as the Mishimoto coolant filter kit (among other things) for the project.
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:42 PM
High_HP
High_HP is offline
Senior User
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 230
High_HP is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
I don't have a ton of wrench time on the 6.0, but I would be surprised if it was the hg's from what I see. My money would be on the oil cooler. Don't forget about any gaskets you may need. Keep us posted and good luck.
 
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:49 PM
Bonanza35
Bonanza35 is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Norco,CA
Posts: 7,369
Bonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to beholdBonanza35 is a splendid one to behold
If your not pushing coolant I'd say your okay. But I'd change the oil cooler. You will have a bigger spread when towing and that's okay. If the system wasn't cleaned out when they installed the BPD EGR cooler then that is where all the junk came from. The guy mit of known about the oil cooler and didn't want to pay the money to replace. Let us know on the compression test, like to know more there. My boy's oil gets that hot but he tows 18K 43 foot toy hauler. And he has the BPD external cooler. If fact they sold us two of them. They said the first one wasn't there biggest. Run full syn. oil and that helps with the temps and oil break down. Clean that engine area up so you can see if it leaks again. His is a 2004 late model. He runs the 40 FICM and econo tune. I told him to get rid of the 40 Ficm tune but he likes it. He's been doing this for a couple years now.
 
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-07-2018, 08:01 PM
packagerjr
packagerjr is online now
Senior User
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 418
packagerjr is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.packagerjr is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Coolant level is too high. Thereís a new sticker revising the level lower. Iím not surprised youíve got coolant spray, especially if the cap was weak. Many folks run 1/4-1/2Ē off bottom.

Is your EGR cooler actually a Bulletproof Diesel version? Plenty of eBay versions claiming the name but may not have the history to back it up.

I would agree the EGR cooler and your oil cooler have issues at a minimum.

 
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-07-2018, 08:20 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by packagerjr View Post
Is your EGR cooler actually a Bulletproof Diesel version? Plenty of eBay versions claiming the name but may not have the history to back it up.
Yeah the previous owner had it installed by another diesel shop here in town. He had the paperwork to back it up- and I talked to that tech who always worked on this truck so he knows it pretty well.

But the other comment that was made about it not having been flushed before it was installed- thatís entirely possible. Thereís a reason I donít go to that shop, even though the tech is really skilled. (Lazy)
 
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-08-2018, 04:05 PM
navistarnut's Avatar
navistarnut
navistarnut is online now
Postmaster
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NW IA
Posts: 3,410
navistarnut has a great reputation on FTE.navistarnut has a great reputation on FTE.navistarnut has a great reputation on FTE.navistarnut has a great reputation on FTE.navistarnut has a great reputation on FTE.
Originally Posted by packagerjr View Post
Coolant level is too high. Thereís a new sticker revising the level lower. Iím not surprised youíve got coolant spray, especially if the cap was weak. Many folks run 1/4-1/2Ē off bottom.

Is your EGR cooler actually a Bulletproof Diesel version? Plenty of eBay versions claiming the name but may not have the history to back it up.

I would agree the EGR cooler and your oil cooler have issues at a minimum.

After reading this thread I think you pretty much summed it up in the first and last statement.
Likely caught in time before the heads lifted.
 
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-08-2018, 04:26 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
Originally Posted by navistarnut View Post
After reading this thread I think you pretty much summed it up in the first and last statement.
Likely caught in time before the heads lifted.
I sure hope so.

Is there a definitive way to test the integrity of the head gaskets without actually pulling the heads? The Ford tech said he can check it but the EGR has to be in place and good, the other guy said he can do a compression test, but I've also heard that won't actually work, and I've seen the bubble test on youtube.... Anyone know of anything?
 
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-08-2018, 05:36 PM
TooManyToys.'s Avatar
TooManyToys.
TooManyToys. is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Jersey Shore
Posts: 6,029
TooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud ofTooManyToys. has much to be proud of
A real compression test will, an IDS relative compression test is not sensitive enough.
 
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-08-2018, 06:31 PM
wyollie's Avatar
wyollie
wyollie is offline
Senior User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Mesquite, NV
Posts: 118
wyollie is starting off with a positive reputation.
Well my Ford service manager friend sold me on using the dealership- it looks as though I'm going to have Ford do studs and head gaskets, along with oil cooler and EGR if needed. At a steeply discounted labor rate, and warranty on parts and labor I figured it was a better long term investment, for only about $600 more. The other friend that was supposed to start on it today backed out this morning cuz of other jobs he wasn't able to get done yet, so I was in a bad spot anyway. I'll drop it off first of next week and find out then for sure if the EGR failed.
 
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-09-2018, 06:56 PM
bismic's Avatar
bismic
bismic is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 17,491
bismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputationbismic has a superb reputation
If they say the BPD EGR cooler failed (if indeed it is a BPD product), I would want it back if it were mine. They have a lifetime warranty. I know for a fact that BPD would want it back to do a forensic on it if your dealership condemns it.

https://www.bulletproofdiesel.com/Bu.../nt-egrc-1.htm
 
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.