Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Diesel Tech Questions

Bruce W. Smith
Jun 25, 2016
Photographers: Bruce W. Smith
Photo 2/4   |   001 Top Tech Ford 6 0L
Properly reworked Ford 6.0L engines should be good for at least 500,000 miles. But some owners don’t trust the powerplants and opt to swap them out for Cummins power, of which the 24-valve is a good substitute. There are kits that make the conversion relatively easy.
6.0L Cummins Transplant
I have an ’04 Ford F-350 dualie with a 6.0L Power Stroke engine and 429,000 miles on the clock. It was bulletproofed at 80,000 miles. It is leaking radiator fluid again. Is swapping to a 7.3L easy, or doable? Is installing a Cummins a better move? Or should I just rebuild the 6.0L?
Rick Celena
-via email
First, a 6.0L Ford engine that’s been properly reworked like yours to remedy the original “bugs” is a good one. Anthony Youngblood at Super Duty Service in Grain Valley, Ohio, says the major concern with a powerplant that has as many miles as yours is lifters failing. So Anthony recommends a rebuild, which costs in the neighborhood of $5,000 or more. Your 6.0L should be good for another 400,000 miles after that.
Transplanting, of course, is an option. However, we strongly recommend using a new or at least rebuilt engine. That said, putting a 7.3L in place is doable. The question is, why? As one of the technicians at Destroked says, “You may gain some reliability with the 7.3L, but you will have less power, and the replacement will be less fuel efficient than the current engine.” Putting the 7.3L in will also be very time consuming, as you’ll need to transfer the complete engine/transmission wiring harness, modules, and transmission from the 7.3L donor truck into your ’04. The good news is everything fits without requiring modifications to the chassis, body, and so on.
Your best bet for an engine swap is to go with a 5.9L (12-valve or 24-valve) Cummins, which is simple thanks to all the Ford-to-Cummins conversion parts readily available from such companies as Destroked.
The 12-valve is the simplest, because it’s all mechanical. Putting a 24-valve engine in your F-350 is a little more involved (with the electrical modifications that come into play) but still easy as far as engine swaps go. We recommend an ’04-to-’05 5.9L. Send Destroked the Cummins engine’s wiring harness and your Ford’s engine control module so the wiring system you get back is plug-and-play. You can retain your Super Duty’s transmission by using an adapter plate. Estimated parts cost for a Cummins conversion, sans the price of the donor engine, is around $4,500.
Photo 3/4   |   002 Top Tech D80 Trac Lok
Unlike the D80 differential used in Dodge pickups, Ford’s limited-slip D80 Trac Loc, which features seven plates/discs, cannot be made more aggressive by adding or rearranging the clutch packs.
Weak D80 Trac Loc
Is there a way to stack or shim the Trac Loc clutches in my ’08 Ford F-350 dualie to make it more aggressive? I've read tons of info on the D80 about a “restack,” but most of it applies to Dodge stuff, in applications that have up to 12 plates/clutches per side. The Fords only have seven, and I can't see any logical way to restack them that would change anything. I tried adding an old clutch disc between the last two discs, but it makes the package way too thick to get the case halves together.
Michael Brawley
-via the Internet
Restacking the plates in the Dodge light-duty version so they alternate disc-plate-disc-plate provides a more aggressively locking Trac Loc, which is how the unit is assembled for the medium-duty trucks. Dodge softened up the D80 used in pickups by pairing discs/plates. But Ford’s version only has seven plates/discs as you noticed, and restacking or adding an extra clutch disc results in one of two scenarios: 1) the case halves don’t go back together, and if they do 2) the clutch packs are so tight the differential stays locked.
An option East Coast Gear Supply suggests is placing a shim between the Belleville washer and side gear to preload each clutch pack. The thickness of the shim will depend on side gear play and how tight you want the clutches. This is one of those trial-and-error upgrades: too tight and you burn up the frictions and steels. Mic the side-gear play then give ECGS a call so they can help in providing the shims you want.
Photo 4/4   |   003 Top Tech Olil Filter BWS 4103
Replacement oil filters with “absolute” micron ratings that match or exceed the factory ratings are essential to providing a diesel engine with the best protection from damaging particulates. Avoid using filters with a “nominal” micron rating.
Nominal or Absolute?
I just bought a ’15 GMC Sierra 2500HD and want to make sure when I replace the fuel filters they are the best available. I noticed while digging around looking at micron differences between brands that some say “nominal” and some say “absolute.” What’s the difference?
Steve Pense
-via the Internet
Two fuel filters can be rated at “5 microns,” yet one can remove almost twice as many particulates as the other. That’s because the less-efficient filter is rated using “Nominal Micron Rating” (NMR), while the better one uses “Absolute Micron Rating,” or AMR. Mark Gotchall at Oregon Fuel Injection (oregonfuelinjection.com) explains the two this way: “A 4-micron filter rated ‘absolute’ will filter 98.7 percent of the particles that are 4 microns and larger, while one rated ‘nominal’ will only filter 50 percent of the 4-micron-and-larger particles. Most of the OE diesel fuel filters are two-stage and rated for absolute.”
For example, Ram Trucks’ two-stage filter, FS43255, is rated at 5-micron absolute, while GM uses a two-stage, 4-micron absolute (PFF50216). Ford 6.0L and 6.4L engines use two separate filters. The first (PFF4616) is a 10-micron primary, and the secondary (PFF4617) is 4-micron absolute. Two-stage filtration is more efficient at water removal and better at removing more contamination.
According to Mark, Racor makes most of the factory-replacement diesel fuel filters for Fords and GMs, and Fleetguard (now Cummins Filter Technology) makes the filters for Dodge applications. Both manufacturers use AMR for micron rating. Our sources say a third-party manufacturer that makes single-stage filters for NAPA and Carquest usually rates them at nominal. To be safe, you’ll find staying with OE fuel filters is the best choice for your truck’s long-term fuel-system health.
Hard-to-Find Part
I have a ’96 Dodge with a 324,000-mile 5.9L that’s as strong as the day I bought it. Unfortunately, its ABS hydraulic control unit has failed (PN ABS5401196), and it’s no longer supplied by Chrysler. I’ve been unable to find one through parts stores or in the junkyards. Is there a work-around to remedy this problem? Surely, I do not have to junk the truck because of it!
Bob Care
-via email
One of the issues with 20-year-old vehicles is “slow-moving” parts that tend to gather dust in warehouses are eventually phased out of manufacturers’ inventories. The ABS hydraulic control unit (HCU), as you have found, is one of those type of parts. We think the HCU you reference is actually PN 52004508 used on ’94-to-’99 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickups. We checked a few Mopar sources such as moparpartsoverstock.com, factorychryslerparts.com and moparpartswebstore.com, and they show everything available for the brake system except the unit itself. Then we referenced quirkparts.com and found two other HCUs that are available: Mopar PN 56026812 used in ’96-to-’97 Dodge Rams and PN 05003122AB HCU for ’98-to-’99s. Keep searching the Internet as well as local and regional auto salvage centers. The part you are looking for is out there.

POPULAR TRUCKS

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP