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Ford 6.0 Powerstroke Diesel - Problems with the EGR

Updated on November 20, 2013

What is an EGR and why is it a problem?

Some time ago, the governments of the world became concerned with the amount of emissions coming from diesel engines and how they affect the environment. Tasked with reducing these emissions, automobile manufacturers devised the exhaust gas recirculation system, or EGR. In your Ford truck, as in any other diesel engine, the EGR recirculates exhaust back into the engine cylinders. This exhaust gas is non- or less combustible and essentially serves to pad out the combustible fumes in the cylinders. The end result is fewer emissions from the truck.

These benefits are not without costs. An EGR system will necessarily lead to less power produced by the engine, since less new fuel is being introduced to the cylinders and the combustion will be less efficient. Also problematic is the tendency for unburnt fuel to leak into the exhaust gas. This gets recirculated via the EGR and can lead to a host of problems from increased fuel consumption to engine trouble.

On top of that, the hot gas recirculated by the EGR needs to be cooled before it can be returned to the engine. This means the EGR requires cooler, and that coolant makes the system a significant source of heat in your engine. The EGR cooler is very susceptible to failure, and many truck owners -- often those who have their vehicles modified in some way, but sometimes those who have not touched their engines at all. Usually these problems result in the EGR cooler boiling the engine coolant, leading to a superheated engine and extensive damage.

When the exhaust gas is recirculated through the engine, soot and residue are inevitably brought along for the ride. These trace amounts of soot build up and, over time, will cause a reduction in horsepower. This soot can also move through to the oil system of the engine and wear down the engine bearings.

Many of these problems with the EGR cooler lead to blown head gaskets. Even in a perfectly running engine, the recirculation action of the EGR and the heating element of its cooler significantly raise the temperature of the engine and reduce efficiency of combustion, leading to an overall weaker performance from your truck.

To get around this array of issues caused the EGR, many Ford Powerstroke diesel owners choose to install an egr delete kit, a special kit that bypasses the EGR system in an engine. The coolant is no longer diverted through the EGR, giving it significantly less heat to absorb and allowing it to pass through the engine more quickly than it would otherwise. A reduction of blown head gaskets is also to be expected, since the pressure on the coolant system is reduced and the chances of coolant boiling under any circumstances are significantly lower. Finally, you're avoiding the soot buildup caused by the reused exhaust.

These are the primary reasons a truck owner would consider bypassing the EGR system in his truck. The reduced emissions are an important goal, but especially in a Ford 6.0 Powerstroke, the problems introduced by the system can severely interfere with the efficiency of your truck up to the point of causing it to fail altogether. The use of an EGR Delete Kit when their EGR fails, or increasingly before it fails as a preventative measure, provides significant peace of mind.

A professional mechanic can install a new 6.0 EGR delete kit in about four hours, depending on the exact kit being installed. A basic kit will replace the EGR cooler and block the up-pipe connecting to the turbo. The more popular standard kit includes a block off plate for the EGR valve and a new stainless steel up-pipe lacking the various vents utilized to filter exhaust gas to the EGR. This new up-pipe generally results in superior truck performance than simply blocking the old up-pipe.

The installation itself is reasonably basic, though you must reach the EGR system in the bottom of the engine. Removal of the air cleaner assembly comes first, followed by the turbo intake tubs and FICM. Next, the coolant is drained and the alternator, turbo, injector harness, and EGR valve are removed. The intake manifold is then removed or loosened. Be sure to keep the parts in order and labeled so you can replace them properly later, or you'll have a very painful time reassembling your engine.

From there, you can remove the engine gas recycling cooler. Gaskets and plugs are included to block the flow leading to the turbo feel pipe. The stainless steel up-pipe should be installed, and you are ready to reassemble all parts of your engine. This process may be complicated for a novice unfamiliar with truck maintenance and repair, but an experienced mechanic should have no problems with it. A professional garage can install an EGR kit without issue in a few hours, and is likely the best option for someone unsure about whether than perform the installation on their own. For more information about available kits please see

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