Ford diesel

I have owned more Ford trucks(gas)than other brands. I am considering buying an older(2003-2007)Ford diesel. My mechanics all drive Dodge Cummins and recommend them. They say the Duramax is bad on injectors and the Powerstroke is just junk. I have heard many negative comments about the Ford 6.0 from 2003-2007 models. It seems there were many problems with cooling, oil coolers, EGR, etc. As many Fords as are on the road, surely they can’t all be bad. I am wondering if the 2003-early 2005 are the bad ones and perhaps the problems had been solved by the later 2005-2007 models. Also I would expect all these model years to have over 100,000 miles by now. If they have functioned that long could they still have these same problems. I still like/prefer the Ford, but I don’t want to buy something that will just be a money pit. Please share your opinion(s) to help me reach a conclusion. Thank you.

if you have owned many ford trucks, you may be loyal to the brand. go for a ford diesel, as all diesels seem to get many many miles. don’t worry about dodge vs ford vs chevy, get what you want.

buying used is a crapshoot anyways. you will never be assured how the prior owner took care of it, so any brand will suffice. so might as well go for your loyalty.

since you already have driven trucks, you should know that diesels are costly to fix, get good gas mileage only in the sense if you are pulling.

so if you are not using it to “work”, very few people would opt for a diesel truck.

I know half a dozen people who have had expensive problems with 6.0L Ford Diesels. One friend who drove a very good 7.3L diesel Ford over 300,000 miles made the switch to a four valve Cummins Diesel Dodge last year. He told me he wished he’s made the switch years ago.

IMHO you should listen to your Dodge diesel driving friends and buy a Dodge. Of course as @gdawgs said, if you’re not using a diesel for its purpose, HARD WORK, why waste your money?

Yep the cummins,pretty good,millions around in everything from dumptrucks,farm tractors,industrail equipment and even pickups(but please keep the intake system functioning,they dont tolerate dirt very well(like everything else)
Nissan is finally jumping on the Cummins band wagon,personally I dont want anything to do with the early 6.0 Ford,one of the negative thingsI 've noticed about the Dodges around here is that emission systems dont seem to function for very long and it must be almost impossible to keep a quiet exhaust system on them -chuckle

Do you really NEED a heavy-duty diesel truck?? If not, don’t buy one…Breezy comments like 'They are not even broken in until they have 250,000 miles on them" should be taken with a grain of salt…A diesel P/U with a failing engine is not something you want to be a part of…But for the long run, the Cummings Dodges are hard to beat…But you KNOW you are driving a TRUCK…Not for family transportation…

If a diesel is what you want, a Cummins is the way to go. Even though I’m not a Dodge fan, Cummins makes the best diesel engines on the planet.

But unless you’re going to be hauling heavy loads regularly, IMHO you’ll be better served by a gas engine. Diesels get their “long lasting” reputation from long haul rigs, but what people don’t recognize is that those rigs spend far far more of their lives at full operating temperature than private vehicles and they’re designed for quick and easy rebuilding… and the engines get rebuilt more often than people realize. It’s really the chassis that last forever, and that gives the impression that he engine does too.

IMHO diesels are better for dump trucks and Freightliners, but gas engines are better for the family pickup. They’re less troublesome for occasional use in variable climates and smoother and quieter.

RalphWaldo, I too am a die hard Ford Man and I can honestly say love my 2004 6.0L diesel. I must point out that if I had to pay someone else to service it, I would be bankrupt. (I perform all of the repairs myself)

There are the basics that you must consider (Besides just the additional expense of diesel fuel). Plan on $80-100 dollar oil changes every 5000 miles (The 6.0L requires 15 quarts of oil every change. Fuel filters $30-$70 every 10000-15000 miles. Verifying the coolant condition (Nitrates) periodically. Airfilters exceeding $50. EGR valves and ports will need cleaned periodically and That is just for the normal basic maintenance. Diesels cost significantly more to maintain and operate than running the gasoline counterparts.

Diesels, whether Cummins, Duramax or Powerstroke do not tolerate neglect with respect to preventative maintenance. The 6.0L will become a catastrophe if you disrespect it. Known issues include:

  • Failure to maintain good oil condition will result in fuel injector stiction (The control valve in the injector bodies will sludge/stick causing misfires)
  • Failure to maintain clean fuel filters will result in fuel pressure starvation to the engine/injectors. Fuel pressure starvation to the fuel injector will destroy the 6.0L HUEI Injector very very quickly. Injector replacements cost approx. $350 per cylinder not including the labor to change them out.
  • Failure to maintain the cooling system will result in plugged oil coolers resulting in failed EGR coolers, coolant leaks and head gasket failures.

If you can find a truck that has not been abused and are willing to roll your sleeves up to maintain and perform the repairs yourself, than I would consider a 6.0L (2004.25 Model Year and later) . If you are not a hands on, work on the vehicle yourself kind of person, I highly recommend that you avoid the 6.0Ls. Under no circumstance would I advise a 6.4L unless you plan on spending significant money for engine enhancements.

From my personal experience in owning a 6.0L and being anal with respect to the preventative maintenance, things have still happened. I have changed out head gaskets (With ARP studs) for coolant loss when pulling hard grades, Replaced EGR valves, replaced an oil cooler and EGR cooler due to coolant loss, coolant pump, bedplate seals (For an oil leak). Head gaskets alone would cost a few thousand dollars to have a shop complete.

My limited experience with the Dodge Cummins vs. Ford vs. Chevy diesels is that the Cummins engine will outlast the others and be easier to maintain. But that’s the engine. I have a couple of customers who love their Cummins engines but hate the fact that the Dodge truck is falling apart around it. Electrical, chassis, drivetrain, body accessories like windows and airbag systems, seem to require more repairs than the Ford or Chevy.

But that is all anecdotal, I don’t have any hard evidence to back it up.

I would only buy a 6.0L Powerstroke, it had had been “bulletproofed” to correct the several design flaws that engine had.