2011 2012 Ford 6.7L diesel engine exhaust valves causing internal engine damage.
So you are looking for a Ford F350, F450, or F550 bucket truck, and you cant determine which model year to buy. Everybody has a friend or knows somebody that has a horror stories about their Ford diesel engine. This can be easily avoided by calling me at 610-750-1831 and talking about the best engine for your needs. I could talk about this for hours, the pros and cons of each engine and specifically their weak points. Every single diesel produced has weak points and knowing them will give you more power in the buying process. I know this because we see it day in and day out. The same issues caused by lack of knowledge or sub par maintenance. It is hard for me to put my thoughts onto paper….but ill give it a try.
1. The tried and true 1999-2003.5 International 7.3L diesel engine. This is a great engine. It does not have any of you typical emission issues that 2003.5 and later diesel engines have. A very simple engine to take care of. Age of the bucket truck powered by 7.3L diesel is your biggest concern. Rust! this can be more expensive fix on a utility body then replacing an engine. You also have the largest of all concerns, the aging lift. The ribbon hydraulic lines inside the telescoping part of an Altec AT37-G will cost you $2500.00, just for the lines! The rotation assembly that allows the boom to be able to rotate a continuous 360 degrees will cost you around $2000 to repair. A new bucket is $2000. I’m not trying to scare you lol, just making a point that the engine should be just one of your concerns when bucket truck shopping.The youngest F550 bucket truck with a 7.3L diesel is now 15 years old. That is a long time for hydraulic lines to remain in good condition and seals not to shrink. If you can find one that has been well cared for or garaged consider yourself lucky.
2. The misunderstood International 6.0L diesel engine. At Utility auto sales we love this engine. The are just as solid as a 7.3L diesel in the lower end, but the head bolt pattern, oil cooler, and EGR system have left many folks with 7,000 dollars left in their bank account. This is one of those engines that you must buy knowing that if it has not already been “bulletproofed” you have a 50/50 chance of it being in your future. I have seen 6.0l engines with 250-300k and never been opened up, and then you have the 60-100k mile mark where it seems they fail, if they are going to. Things your bucket truck dealer should be able to answer when looking at a truck with this engine. Is the oil cooler working properly? Yes is not the answer! Your oil, after being cooled by the oil cooler( sits in the valley, between the heads) should be within 7 degrees of the coolant temperature. If it is not, you are purchasing a time bomb. The coolant portion of your cooler is starting to get clogged, time to change it! Please, if you are buying a truck that just had work done, ask to see the parts receipts. The vast majority of dealers will use the cheapest replacement parts they can find. These do not work properly, use factory parts or better or you will have issues. For instance, you should never use a NAPA oil filter in a 6.0L engine, only Motorcraft. they do not fit properly and cause hard starts. Excessive heat is a major enemy of all diesel engines. These engines use oil pressure to fire the injectors. You must keep your oil changes at a 5,000 mile service interval and use high quality oil. If you have coolant pushing out the reservoir, and the EGR has already been deleted, welcome to the world of ARP head studs. You will need to also have your heads and valves redone. Please call for more details.
3. The implosive International 6.4L engine. Made form 2008-2010. This was the last time Ford let International put an engine into one of their Superduty trucks. Typical issues we find with this engine, the front cover that houses the water pump, tends to cause cavitation and allow water to mix into the oil through tiny holes at the back of the plate. This seems to happen within 100-125k miles so this should be considered a maintenance item. The heads returned to a 5 bolt pattern instead of 4 like the 6.0L so you do not see as many head issues with this engine. We have found the main cause of catastrophic failure to this engine has to do with the DPF system thinning out the oil. To combat this most guys delete their DPF systems. It will increase fuel mileage anywhere from 2-4 MPG as well. If I had a 6.4L in service I would change the oil every 4,000 miles. Please call for more details.
4. 2011-2013 Ford Motor Company 6.7L diesel engine. These tend to be very good engines with 1 incredibly major flaw. With the addition of DEF fluid, the DPF system no longer thins out the oil as it did in the 6.4L. Now all you have to worry about is the hardened exhaust valves cracking, and a small piece breaking off and bouncing around inside your combustion chamber and ruining your entire engine and turbo. We have found this to be the #1 cause of engine failure in these trucks. Please call for more details.