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Old 08-10-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
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Ford 6.0 diesel coolant usage

Let me start by saying no evidence of coolant in exhaust or oil. No overheating whatsoever. I do however once in a while smell some. From where? Can't tell. So how much coolant would you expect to add annually?
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:42 PM   #2
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Are you losing coolant? The occasional whiff of coolant around a hot engine isn't anything to be concerned about as long as you don't find coolant in places coolant shouldn't be. Does ford use a coolant/atf heat exchanger like my dodge does?
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:50 PM   #3
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Keep a close check on the coolant, my sons 6.0 started the same thing while he was towing my windjammer, before the trip was over it was using a lot of coolant. The truck was 2007 with around 100,000 miles. Limped it back, took it to several dealerships and determined the motor would need to be " bullet proofed" . cost around 6 grand. Ford had head bolts that would stretch and allow the heads to malfunction. Supposed to be a common problem with the 6.0's with those repairs the engine would probably get another 200,000 miles. He traded it and bought a 6.7. Hope your is another issue that can be a easy fix. I think his coolant was lost in the combustion chamber, he was starting to get some white smoke.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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You may already know this.

http://www.littlepowershop.com/6-0-p...ler-explained/

I'm not a ford guy, no first hand experience but I've always heard about thier egr problems. Sounds like a slight egr cooler leak may not be immediately obvious.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:16 PM   #5
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I did the minimal bulletproof just over a year ago for $3000.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:02 PM   #6
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I had the same symptoms on my 2005 Excursion 6.0. In August 2015 I was towing my Puma 32DBKS from Philadelphia to Myrtle Beach. Stopped for fuel in a NC and smelled coolant. Checked the coolant level, looked ok. Got to the campground on a Saturday, parked and set up my Camp Site. Next day I started my Excusion and thick white smoke was coming out of the exhaust. I thought it was the head gaskets. I checked the coolant level and it was empty! It wound up being the EGR cooler. Had it towed to a Ford dealer and 3 days and $3800 later was on my way home with my trailer.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. No white smoke. Exhaust never smells like coolant. I think it may pushing out around the cap on the recovery bottle as I noticed some residue around it. Sounds like I might be on the way to an egr delete.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:11 AM   #8
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If you're not noticing the level going down or minimal amount there are a few simple checks. On the passenger side there is a heater core valve that can leak and drip on the hot engine. You mentioned the degas bottle cap may be venting. The caps are known to fail so it should be replaced.
Further diagnostics would consist of putting a pressure gauge to monitor coolant pressures. The pressures on a warm up can hit 6-10psi. But under hard acceleration you should not see it quickly spike to the 16psi cap pressure. If it does you may have a failing head gasket.
But if it is a slow build in pressure it may be a cracked EGR cooler. Many of times a cracked EGR cooler derives from a clogged oil cooler coolant passage from lack of maintenance of the coolant system. For instance driving on flat land for 15 minutes at 60mph, your oil temp and water temp should be close to the same and no more than 15f separation. You should also never see amax oil temp over 230. If you are seeing Temps greater than 15 and oil Temps over 230, it's time for an oil cooler replacement.
I'm going to suggest you to head over to Ford-trucks.com 6.0 forum and read up to fully understand. Once these engines are understood they are reliable.
I tow a lot with mine around the east coast and it has never left me stranded. The most important part of being a 6.0 owner is monitoring and catching an issue before it becomes a problem.
Feel free to ask away. P.M. if you feel necessary. Here's the forum link
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum107/
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:16 PM   #9
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6.0 coolant

Having the EGR blow on the first trip with the new to me 2006 F-450 6.0 diesel with 132K miles, I feel your concern. Everything was replaced and updated and I'm comfortable with the truck now.

One thing I have learned is the coolant level in the degas tank is usually "normal" at about an inch below the full mark. I kept adding some and it would keep leaving and I thought I had another problem. When I left it alone, it stayed right at the same level.

I did replace the cap and plan to do that every 10K miles or so.

Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:28 PM   #10
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Good point Breezy brought up. The old min mark on the reservoir is actually the max fill.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:29 PM   #11
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My issue was bad radiator cap. Go to ford dealer not aftermarket.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:47 PM   #12
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I had the same issue with my 6.0. Residue on the tank. I replaced the cap and that problem solved. I did pressure test before and after and didn't notice a difference in pressure.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:16 PM   #13
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I've gone through two EGR coolers on my 2005 F-350 6.0. The coolant will flow into the Ct Linder she eventually locking the engine. Last happened on the Oregon Coast, had to tow it 75 miles t a dealer that had resources to fix it. Now at 112,000 miles and at the end of my third Warranty I'm thinking it's time for a replacement.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SecretSquirrel View Post
Thanks everyone. No white smoke. Exhaust never smells like coolant. I think it may pushing out around the cap on the recovery bottle as I noticed some residue around it. Sounds like I might be on the way to an egr delete.
If it's puking out around the degas bottle cap, hope you're not passed the point of no return. A few things first and foremost.....buy a new degas bottle cap. OEM, no AutoZone on the cap. They've been known to eventually get weak and not hold the 16psi as they should. Second, pull the EGR valve and look at it, look at the intake. There are tons of videos on YouTube to show you how, if you're not familiar. If either are wet or somewhat gooey, then it's time to stop driving it. The EGR valve and the intake should both be dry carbon. Also check to make sure you're not a tad over full with antifreeze in the degas bottle. On the front corner of the bottle, there are two faint lines, don't fill past the bottom line. If your EGR/intake is wet, next move would be a leakdown test to see if your headgaskets are still intact. I know the 6.0's have a bad rap, some rightly deserved, but when there right, they're a good power plant. We've had many, both in business and personal use. Over the years I've worked on about all of ours at one point or the other. I currently drive an 06 w/nearly 200k on the clock. Just gonna keep on going till' it won't go no more.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:47 PM   #15
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If the filler cap or reservoir is leaking you should see evidence on the ground. At different times I had to replace both on my 6.0. Have the cap pressure tested, mine was down to just a few pounds. Another time they replaced the reservoir because of a small crack on the bottom.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:20 PM   #16
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Alright so here is some more info. My bottle is currently about 3/4" below minimum. Interestingly enough that is where it was a week ago. I added the coolant I had left just before a trip and that brought it up to about half way between the min and max. (maybe not even that much) When I got to my destination after towing 150 miles and across Afton mountain in VA before heading back I checked and it was were it is now, 3/4" below min. It didn't drop anymore on the way back the same distance/route and is still 3/4" below the min mark. I'm thinking maybe my recovery reservoir doesn't like to be that full? Just very odd it didn't drop any more on the return trip. It does have an aftermarket cap on it but from some of the stuff I read they were saying those were actually in most all case better than the OEM. I put it on about 2 years ago just as a preventative maintenance item.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:14 PM   #17
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Let me start by saying no evidence of coolant in exhaust or oil. No overheating whatsoever. I do however once in a while smell some. From where? Can't tell. So how much coolant would you expect to add annually?
At this point with an 04 6.0 ford f250 that has gone through that TWICE, I THINK I AM AN ex-Pert.

Ay 84 thousands of miles started using a little coolant. Then finally white smoke but not to the very rough running stage. Needed new EGR cooler and some told us we were lucky. Our shop caught it early and came in a thousand less than we might have paid. Only $1700.

I had played ostrich with my head in the sand pretending it was nothing big FOR ALL MOST TOO LONG.

SPIN FORWARD A FEW YEARS, started using a bit of coolant at about 115000 miles. Hey just added coolant. ..no problem. Then it started running hotter than usual towing up a grade and really using coolant like a gallon in a 200 mile tow over the grapevine.

Oil cooler was on the verge of catastrophir failure. The kind that let's you blow up a motor.

I stopped screwing with it before real problems. Read up on that engine and it's flaws. Went to the top independent ford deisel engine shop in our region. Spent $10k on the first three phases of a "BULLETPROOF DIESEL CONVERSION DONE" TRUCK has not been this good since new. That Navistar International Harvester engine has the best engine core with some of the worst design issues. EGR COOLER AND OIL COOLERS DESIGNED TO FAIL. phase one and two of Bulletproof ing. New and better egr cooler, new and tons better oil cooler and filter system. Then phase three, new head studs and rebuilt turbo. Also threw in new high pressure oil pump, new upgraded fan clutch, rebuilt higher voltage FICM fuel injection control module.

Bingo. An engine that everyone says will easily go 300,000 -500,000 mikes. Like THE PHOENIX

SOUND BETTER AND RUNS BETTER THAN IN YEARS.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:26 PM   #18
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The 6.0 would still be a popular engine today and even better if not for the EPA!
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:39 AM   #19
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The 6.0 would still be a popular engine today and even better if not for the EPA!
Yeah, there's that too. No matter what the cause, when a 6 L ford diesel start using coolant to the point that it is noticeable there is something wrong. You can blow it off and tell yourself it'snothing or tell yourself it's normal or tell yourself the Santa Claus is stealing it. If a ford 6.0 L engine is using coolant you have trouble brewing. You can either deal with it now or have it towed to a junkyard later. I tried oh it just needs a new coolant cap or oh it's not using too much but in reality it's using coolant you have a problem. Deal with it and have a great truck or wait too long and buy a new truck
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:10 AM   #20
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Yeah, there's that too. No matter what the cause, when a 6 L ford diesel start using coolant to the point that it is noticeable there is something wrong. You can blow it off and tell yourself it'snothing or tell yourself it's normal or tell yourself the Santa Claus is stealing it. If a ford 6.0 L engine is using coolant you have trouble brewing. You can either deal with it now or have it towed to a junkyard later. I tried oh it just needs a new coolant cap or oh it's not using too much but in reality it's using coolant you have a problem. Deal with it and have a great truck or wait too long and buy a new truck
So the questions becomes is "bulletproofing" needed or just an EGR delete?
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