Ford 6.0 Power Stroke Bulletproofing - How Do You Bulletproof The 6.0? (2023)

Many 6.0 owners or prospective owners likely come across the term “bulletproof”. It’s not uncommon to see mention on forums or companies offering “Ford 6.0 Power Stroke Bulletproof kits”. The term is somewhat obscure with tons of varying answers as to what exactly it means to bulletproof the 6.0 engine. In this article, we discuss the idea of bulletproofing the Ford 6.0L Power Stroke. We’ll also provide some advice on the best ways to build a reliable 6.0 turbodiesel.

What Is A Bulletproof Ford 6.0L?

The term originates from the company bulletproofdiesel.com. They’re well known for building some great aftermarket parts for the diesel world. However, the term quickly caught on in the 6.0 Power Stroke scene. BulletProof Diesel does offer a few kits for the 6.0 Power Stroke aimed at improving the weak points of the 6.0L engine. Although, the term “bulletproof” more generically refers to upgrading the weak points of the Ford 6.0 to improve reliability.

In this post, we’ll mostly be focused on parts from the company BulletProof Diesel. There are of course plenty of other options out there. However, we’re narrowing it down to discuss which of the “bulletproof” upgrades are worth the cost on the Ford 6.0L diesel.

Ford 6.0 Bulletproof Upgrades

A few of the upgrades many consider part of bulletproofing the 6.0L Power Stroke include:

  • Oil cooler
  • EGR cooler
  • Water pump
  • Fuel injector control module (FICM)
  • Head gasket & head studs

These are a few of the most problematic parts on the 6.0L turbodiesel engine. Some consider these to be the main “bulletproof” items. Some add in more stuff while others believe you should only do a couple of the above. Upgrading all 5 of the above items on the Ford 6.0 diesel can be pretty costly. Is it worth it to tackle all of them? What upgrades should be skipped?

We’ll discuss each of these upgrades throughout the post and provide advice on whether or not they’re worthwhile mods. At the end of the blog we also discuss a few other small upgrades some may consider. Let’s dive right in.

(Video) Fully "Bulletproofing" Our 6.0L Ford F350 Powerstroke (Stage 3 Install)

Ford 6.0 Power Stroke Bulletproofing - How Do You Bulletproof The 6.0? (1)

1) Ford 6.0 Oil Cooler “Bulletproof” Upgrade

The 6.0 Power Stroke oil cooler can potentially cause a string of failures. Coolant passages may become blocked on the factory Ford oil cooler. This starves the EGR cooler, which may cause it to overheat and fail. When the EGR cooler fails coolant may enter the intake thereby creating high pressures that cause the head to lift. Point is – the Ford 6.0L diesel oil cooler is a serious reliability issue.

Oil cooler systems from BulletProof Diesel come in around $2,000-2,500. It’s not a cheap upgrade. The EGR cooler is also a problematic area regardless of the oil cooler problems. As such, it’s still a good idea to do the EGR cooler even if you’re upgrading the 6.0 oil cooler.

Is the Ford 6.0 Oil Cooler Upgrade Worth It?

We would probably skip the oil cooler upgrade unless you plan on keeping the Ford 6.0L for a long time. Install can run about $700-1,000 so the upgrade can cost upwards or beyond $3,000 all in. Compare that to a factory Ford 6.0 Power Stroke oil cooler for about $300. Add in labor and you can still replace the factory oil cooler about 3x before the bulletproof 6.0L oil cooler upgrade is worth the cost. Factory coolers usually hold up for about 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

It’s still a great upgrade for peace of mind. Those planning to keep their Ford for the long-run should definitely consider upgrading the oil cooler. Otherwise, simply replace it with the OEM Ford parts.

2) 6.0L Power Stroke EGR Cooler Mod

As discussed in the previous section, the EGR cooler is prone to failure. Some Ford 6.0 diesel owners opt to simply go with an EGR delete kit. It’s a solid option since you can pick up 6.0 EGR delete kits for under $100. However, there are some legal reasons to not delete the EGR cooler. You’ll likely fail an emissions inspection with an EGR delete. It will also set a check engine light, which will require a tuner to remove the CEL.

(Video) COMPLETELY "BULLETPROOFING" OUR FORD SUPER DUTY F250 POWERSTROKE 6.0L

Enter the Bulletproof 6.0 Power Stroke EGR cooler. This EGR upgrade should last the life of the 6.0 Power Stroke and help avoid the hassle of potential emission problems.

Is the 6.0L EGR Cooler Worth It?

Yes, we believe the EGR cooler upgrade from Bulletproof Diesel is well worth the cost. If your EGR fails and you need a new one then we highly recommend going for the upgrade. However, if emissions aren’t a concern then an EGR delete kit is a good option too.

3) PowerStroke 6.0 Water Pump Upgrade

Water pumps are yet another common problem on the Ford 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine. The OEM Ford 6.0L water pump features a plastic impeller prone to failing. You’ll usually notice a puddle of coolant under the truck when the pump fails. It will also cause the 6.0 to quickly overheat if coolant flow is lost.

Water pump upgrades from BulletProof Diesel use an aluminum impeller. They also upgrade the bearing assembly, seal, and housing. It basically knocks out all of the areas prone to fail on the factory 6.0 Power Stroke water pump.

Should You Upgrade the 6.0 Power Stroke Water Pump?

We would skip this upgrade for now if your Ford water pump is still functioning. However, if and when the water pump fails it’s definitely worth the upgrade. The Bulletproof 6.0 Power Stroke water pumps come in at $350. You might also consider their complete cooling system upgrade that knocks out all of the weak points with the 6.0L cooling system.

4) Ford 6.0L FICM Bulletproofing

The Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) controls the Ford 6.0L Power Stroke fuel injectors. Damaged FICM’s will cause the diesel engine to have trouble starting or not start at all. Other common symptoms include rough idle, stuttering, and power loss.

(Video) BULLETPROOFING OUR F250 POWERSTROKE 6.0 TRUCK!

There are a handful of different options to go with. 6.0 FICM failures are often due to the power supply. However, Bulletproof and others offer full upgrades for the FICM. This includes the actual power supply upgrade with a new Ford OEM logic board.

Is the Ford 6.0L FICM Upgrade Worth It?

We’ll consider the Bulletproof 6.0 FICM option a toss up. The full upgrade runs around $800-1050, so it’s not cheap. Even the power supply alone runs $500. We recommend going for the TechSmart FICM power supply with an OEM cover. At $230 it’s a much better price that won’t break the bank.

5) 6.0 Power Stroke “Bulletproof” Head Studs

We’re circling back to the first topic of oil coolers here. The 6.0 head lifting isn’t really an actually manufacturing defect with the head, gaskets, or head studs. Rather, it was a chain event of the oil cooler failing. This leads to failure of the OEM 6.0L Power Stroke EGR cooler, which can cause the head to lift.

Basically, the head and head studs aren’t the problem here. Make sure you upgrade to the bulletproof EGR cooler or delete it. If this is done the head studs should not be a concern.

Are 6.0 Head Studs Worth It?

Skip the ARP head studs on the 6.0L diesel. The ARP studs come in around $500, but labor is pretty intensive. If you’re in there anyways then it can’t hurt to upgrade the 6.0 head studs if you’re willing to spend on the parts. Otherwise, we’ll skip this upgrade.

Other 6.0 PowerStroke Bulletproof Mods

We wrote about a post here regarding the most common problems on the Ford 6.0 Power Stroke engine. It’s still not a totally exhaustive list. However, there are a few other problems on the Ford 6.0L that aren’t considered a normal part of bulletproofing. As with several of the things on this list, it’s probably not worth it to replace this parts preventatively.

(Video) How much was"BULLETPROOFING" MY 6.0? (Was it worth the money? waste or worth?

Simply knock out the repairs as they pop up and upgrade when and where it makes sense. A few other upgrades to consider include:

  • Fuel injectors
  • Turbocharger
  • High pressure oil system
  • Cooling system

Again, we wouldn’t go out and upgrade these 6.0 Power Stroke parts unless they fail. We’re just pointing out that there are many upgrades available. If the price is right then upgrade Ford 6.0L parts as they fail.

Bulletproof Ford 6.0L Summary

Ford 6.0 Power Stroke engines didn’t earn the best reputation for reliability. They suffer from quite a few common problems; many of which are due to emissions requirements. Nonetheless, the Ford 6.0L diesel can be a reliable engine. The idea of bulletproof mods took off in the 6.0 world and it became a common term. However, Bulletproof is really a company that makes tons of great upgrades for the Ford Power Stroke engines.

A few popular upgrades to build a bulletproof Ford 6.0 include the oil cooler, EGR cooler, water pump, FICM, and head studs. The bulletproof 6.0L Power Stroke EGR cooler or delete is a great start. However, most of the upgrades don’t make sense to do up front. Simply knock out any upgrades possible – assuming the budget allows – when actual problems pop up.

What’s your experience with the 6.0 Powerstroke? Do you have any bulletproof mods?

Drop a comment and let us know!

(Video) STUDDING A 6.0 POWERSTROKE PROPERLY!

FAQs

How do you fully bulletproof a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

The fine folks at BulletProof Diesel define 6.0L Power Stroke as being "bulletproofed" when it has at least four of the five main problem areas addressed. These five areas are: Oil cooler, EGR cooler, head studs, fuel injection control module (FICM), and water pump.

How much does it take to bulletproof a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

Install can run about $700-1,000 so the upgrade can cost upwards or beyond $3,000 all in. Compare that to a factory Ford 6.0 Power Stroke oil cooler for about $300. Add in labor and you can still replace the factory oil cooler about 3x before the bulletproof 6.0L oil cooler upgrade is worth the cost.

How can you tell if a 6.0 has been bulletproof? ›

The air to oil oil cooler and their EGR cooler and those five things allow you to say that your

How long will a bullet proof 6.0 last? ›

On average, the 6.0L can last anywhere between 200,000 miles and 300,000 miles. However, if you bulletproof it and maintain it properly, the 6.0L Power Stroke engine can last up to 400,000 miles. Learn more about how to bulletproof your 6.0L Power Stroke diesel engine in the succeeding sections.

How much does it cost to bulletproof a truck engine? ›

Depending upon the choice, the bulletproof coating of the engine can roughly cost you, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Is it necessary to bulletproof a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

Again, a 6.0L is not a "Bullet Proof Diesel" engine unless four of the five pattern failures are addressed with genuine Bullet Proof Diesel parts. This includes the problematic OEM oil cooler as well as the FICM module, EGR cooler and water pump.

How often should you change the oil in a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

When it comes to your 6.0, you're going to need to perform maintenance more frequently than what your owner's manual calls for. The oil and oil filter need to be changed every 5,000 miles like clockwork.

What should I look for in a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

First things first, check the fluids. Make sure the oil isn't milky or smells like fuel. Check the coolant and definitely smell it. You are looking for either oil contamination (oil cooler bad), fuel contamination (head cracked), or black exhaust smell (blown egr cooler).

What is the problem with 6.0 Ford Powerstroke? ›

Head studs provide inadequate clamping force so blown head gaskets are common. Other 6.0L Powerstroke problems include HPOP failure, injector stiction, FICM failure, and clogging oil coolers. Fortunately, once these problems are addressed, the trucks are much more reliable. Some of these problems can be avoided.

Can you tell if a 6.0 has head studs? ›

How To Check for a Studded Engine | Bulletproofed 6.0 Powerstroke

How can I get better gas mileage in my 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

FREE FUEL ECONOMY TIPS - YouTube

What does deleted mean on a diesel? ›

Some diesel owners are opting to “delete” these pollution-control components instead. A diesel delete involves taking out the DEF system, removing the catalytic converter and DPF, and installing a new exhaust. The vehicle's ECU (engine control unit) will also have to be reprogrammed using a tuner.

How many miles is too much for a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

Powerstroke Engine Average Life Expectancy:

7.3L400,000-500,000 miles. 6.0L200,000-300,000 miles. 6.7L200,000-300,000 miles.

How long do injectors last on a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

With proper care and maintenance of the engine, you can expect a diesel injector to last between 200,000 and 300,000 kilometres.

Can a 6.0 Powerstroke be made reliable? ›

While they aren't perfect, the 6.0L's injectors are reliable when treated to proper maintenance (regular oil changes and new fuel filters), clean fuel, and fed sufficient supply pressure from the lift pump.

What is the cheapest bulletproof material? ›

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (say that ten times fast) is a plastic that can be found in Tupperware. The ballistic material is remarkably reliable and affordable. Some reports even show that this inexpensive plastic is better than Kevlar at stopping certain bullets because it's impervious to moisture.

How thick should bullet proof glass be? ›

Bulletproof glass varies in thickness from 3⁄4 to 31⁄2 inches (19 to 89 mm).

How many bullets can a bulletproof car take? ›

For instance, if you were to get level 1 protection, it would be able to protect you from a minimum of 3 shots from a 9 mm handgun. That's regardless of the material you choose. On the other hand, level 2 protection means that the glass is able to withstand at least three . 357 Magnum shots.

How much does it cost to bulletproof a Ford? ›

Bulletproof Oil Cooler is a ton of money.

And they're right. But those benefits come in around $3000-$3500 installed!

How much does it cost to bulletproof a diesel engine? ›

How Much Does It Cost to Bulletproof a Diesel? If you have the work done professionally with bulletproofed parts, you're going to pay in the range of $3,000 to $4,000 for parts and installation. It's really a small price to pay for what those particular parts will do to protect your engine's longevity.

What does it mean to bulletproof a truck? ›

To us, the definition of bulletproof means installing parts and components that allow you to beat on your truck day in and day out—and never hurt anything. It's not always about simply adding horsepower and twist; it's about surviving it.

What oil is best for a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

Best Oil For 6.0 Powerstroke Reviews 2022 - Top 5 Oils - YouTube

What is the best oil additive for a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

StictionRx is the best oil additive for Ford Powerstroke 6.0 and 7.3 Engines. Stiction Rx has been tried and tested to treat and eliminate what is known as "Stiction" in Diesel Fuel Injectors.

How many gallons of oil does a Ford 6.0 take? ›

We'll need to know how much engine oil a 6.0 Ford requires to get started. This engine can hold 15 quarts, or 14.1 liters, of oil.

What year was the best 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

To get the best 6.0 Powerstroke engine, you should look for the 2006-2007 year versions that come with the studs and also a set of injectors replaced by a reputable store to support their work.

What is the most reliable PowerStroke engine? ›

7.3L Ford Power Stroke (#1 Reliable Diesel Engine)

After several decades, the 7.3L Powerstroke is regarded as the most reliable diesel engine among its sophisticated counterparts. This diesel engine was a product of the joint venture between International Navistar (now Navistar International) and Ford.

Is 6.0 or 7.3 Powerstroke better? ›

From a reliability, durability or simplicity standpoint, the 7.3L is hands down the winner. When it comes to horsepower, drivability and meeting modern day emissions standards, the 6.0L has it beat.

Who builds the best 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

Kill Devil Diesel is proud to offer the very best in power and reliability for the 6.0 Powerstroke such as our o-ringed heads, connecting rods, pushrods, valve springs, arp studs, head gaskets, turbos, injectors, complete engines and more.

How many HP is a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

The 6.0L Powerstroke produces 325 horsepower and 560-570 lb/ft of torque depending on model year. Not only was the Powerstroke more powerful than ever before, but it also featured a variable geometry turbocharger for the first time, offering the best throttle response times yet.

How much horsepower does a 6.0 diesel engine have? ›

Ford (Navistar International) 6.0L Powerstroke vs. Cummins 5.9L
Feature comparisonFord 6.0L Power Stroke
HorsepowerLow: 325 HP @ 3300 RPM High: 350 hp @ 2600 RPM
TorqueLow: 560 lb-ft @ 2000 RPM High: 570 lb-ft @ ,000 RPM (2005 to 2007 models)
1 more row

How much is bulletproof diesel? ›

Bulletproof Diesel insists on their oil cooler. They say it lowers temperatures and prevents premature failures of the EGR cooler and injectors. And they're right. But those benefits come in around $3000-$3500 installed!

How do you tell if a 6.0 has been studded? ›

How To Check for a Studded Engine | Bulletproofed 6.0 Powerstroke

How much does it cost to get a car bulletproof? ›

Unfortunately, bulletproofing a car will usually cost between $16,000 and $50,000 but can sometimes cost even more. The price is largely based on the size of your car and the areas you'd like bulletproofed. Remember, each panel of bulletproof material costs between $500 and $1,500—and that's not even counting labor.

Can the 6.0 Powerstroke be made reliable? ›

While they aren't perfect, the 6.0L's injectors are reliable when treated to proper maintenance (regular oil changes and new fuel filters), clean fuel, and fed sufficient supply pressure from the lift pump. However, if coolant makes its way into the oil, they can head south quickly.

How often should you change the oil in a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

When it comes to your 6.0, you're going to need to perform maintenance more frequently than what your owner's manual calls for. The oil and oil filter need to be changed every 5,000 miles like clockwork.

How much does a Stage 3 bulletproof cost? ›

That being said, the Level 2 is typically about $8,000 and the Level 3 is typically about $15,000.

What should I look for in a 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

First things first, check the fluids. Make sure the oil isn't milky or smells like fuel. Check the coolant and definitely smell it. You are looking for either oil contamination (oil cooler bad), fuel contamination (head cracked), or black exhaust smell (blown egr cooler).

How can I get better gas mileage in my 6.0 Powerstroke? ›

FREE FUEL ECONOMY TIPS - YouTube

What does fully deleted mean on a diesel? ›

Some diesel owners are opting to “delete” these pollution-control components instead. A diesel delete involves taking out the DEF system, removing the catalytic converter and DPF, and installing a new exhaust. The vehicle's ECU (engine control unit) will also have to be reprogrammed using a tuner.

What are the problems with the Ford 6.0 diesel? ›

Head studs provide inadequate clamping force so blown head gaskets are common. Other 6.0L Powerstroke problems include HPOP failure, injector stiction, FICM failure, and clogging oil coolers. Fortunately, once these problems are addressed, the trucks are much more reliable. Some of these problems can be avoided.

What is the cheapest bulletproof material? ›

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (say that ten times fast) is a plastic that can be found in Tupperware. The ballistic material is remarkably reliable and affordable. Some reports even show that this inexpensive plastic is better than Kevlar at stopping certain bullets because it's impervious to moisture.

Do bulletproof windows roll down? ›

In other words, can you roll down bulletproof windows after the armoring process takes place? The quick answer is yes.

Can bullets go through car doors? ›

Depends on the bullet, and the angle of the door, and whether the window is rolled down. If it's flat on, and the window rolled up, and the bullet just goes through the sheet metal skin, and doesn't hit any mechanisms, such as the power window motor, a small caliber bullet, such as a . 22LR will easily penetrate.

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