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Blown Head Gasket Repair on a Ford Diesel Engine

Sponsored by Dana Incorporated

The Ford® Power Stroke® diesel engine has been updated and refined over the years, with each version of this engine offering outstanding power, a dynamic turbo response, and respectable fuel economy. While the Power Stroke diesel is extremely reliable, every engine needs repair and maintenance—and specifically, the 6.0L engine in a Ford can be prone to head gasket failure, particularly after performance modifications. To avoid a repeat failure, choose a replacement head gasket that’s OE-quality or better and precisely designed for the application.

For correct diesel engine operation, it is essential that the head gasket provides a tight seal between the engine block and the cylinder head, sealing off the combustion chamber. The gasket must also maintain separation between the oil and coolant passages in the cylinder head. Yet due to extreme operating temperatures and high combustion pressures, any diesel engine may be prone to cylinder head gasket failure.

The infamous 6.0L Ford Power Stroke engine has a bit of a reputation for combustion sealing issues, especially following modifications that increase power output. In addition to high temps and combustions pressures, these engines may place further stress on head gaskets with overstretched torque-to-yield (TTY) head bolts, a design that incorporates four head fastener bolts per cylinder rather than six, and small head bolt diameter. Add it all up, and it’s no surprise that head gaskets may fail in these engines. And with even the smallest hint of sealing issues, combustion gases can leak into the cooling system and cause serious damage.

A blown head gasket in a Ford Power Stroke engine may be fairly common, yet the repair is quite expensive due to the required labor. Technicians may choose to raise the cab to access the failed components in an engine. Just this removal can take a couple of hours due to all the disconnections and draining required. The full start-to-finish job can take from a dozen to more than 20 hours.

With the major time and monetary commitment required for a head gasket repair job, it only makes sense to pay close attention to the replacement gasket itself. Of course, it’s extremely important to clean the block’s deck surface, scan for flatness, and ensure that each head bolt bore is pristinely clean. But to avoid a repeat offense, the cylinder head gasket should get at least as much consideration.

A reliable choice for a long-lasting replacement is a gasket that incorporates a multi-layer steel (MLS) design. Engineered with multiple layers of embossed stainless steel, these options can offer secure, lasting macro- and micro-sealing: embossed beads and stoppers can increase the clamping force around critical locations for macro-sealing, while elastomer coatings provide additional micro-sealing.

MLS head gaskets from Victor Reinz® offer excellent durability and elasticity, and extremely low compression set and torque loss. They feature a design that is often preferred when combined with torque-to-yield head bolts. Victor Reinz, the global leader in head gasket technology, offers head gaskets and many other sealing solutions for Ford engines. For 6.0L, 6.4L, 6.7L, and 7.3L Ford Power Stroke diesel engines manufactured from 1988 through today, Victor Reinz gaskets can deliver superior performance.

High cylinder pressures and temperatures create a severe environment for head gaskets in Ford diesel engines, which can lead to gasket failure and the related repairs and downtime. Choose replacement gaskets with tested designs and precision manufacturing to attain a worry-free seal that professionals and truck owners demand.

This article was sponsored by Dana Incorporated. For more information on Dana-backed sealing solutions, please visit the Victor Reinz website.

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