Ford 6.0L Powerstroke Replacing a Fuel Injector

6.0L Powerstroke diesel running rough?  Injectors could be the culprit especially if you feel a hard miss, barely running or starting cold, or cloud of unburnt diesel spewing out your tailpipe.  Save yourself some money and change an injector yourself.  What seems like a daunting task of changing the injectors on your Powerstroke is actually quite easy.  Follow through this article and read the steps to save big by doing it yourself.

In this article, I will cover the steps involved in changing an injector on a 6.0L Powerstroke diesel engine.  These steps specifically apply to F-series trucks as E-series vans are done in an entirely different way.  Lord help whoever wants to take on an E-series van, but I have done my fair share of buses and ambulances.  First, lets discuss why you may want to change an injector.

A bad injector can lead to many different issues such as developing a continuous misfire, a misfire under load, or develop a over fueling issue leading to a hydro-locked engine.  The most common injector issue is a cold start misfire that goes away with-in a few seconds to a few minutes of engine operation.  A common symptom most people notice is that while attempting to start the vehicle in a cold climate after a cold soak, the engine starts relatively easy but chugs, smokes, and barely accelerates until it reaches operating temperature.  This is something we call stiction - built up oil deposits preventing the spool valve from moving as freely as it should. A hard cold start or no cold start at all is likely an issue of the glow plugs or a FICM (fuel injector control module) but we will get into other no-start diagnosis and common problems in a different article. Sometimes people find great luck with products like Hot Shot's Stiction Eliminator to free up sticking spool valves inside of the injector. For those of you slightly interested in what the injector looks like, I have a picture of a cut-away injector here.

Before you go wasting money by replacing random injectors, you should first determine which injector is the culprit.  This is most easily done at a Ford dealer using IDS diagnostic software. Its well worth paying your local dealership a diagnostic fee to determine which injector to replace. An injector with bad electronics or bad wiring can be diagnosed with the injector buzz test, while a misfire can be detected by performing a power balance test.  Although, some high-end 3rd party scan tools such as Snap-on or OTC may be capable of doing these tests or having access to possible stored diagnostic trouble codes to pinpoint the bad cylinder.  Trouble codes may be stored for the troublesome injector such as a contribution balance code or injector circuit codes.  Make sure you follow the proper diagnostic process outlined in the service manual to determine if said injector is actually faulty.  Remember the cylinder location order is 1-3-5-7 on bank one (passenger side) and 2-4-6-8 on bank two (drivers side).

I recommend using Ford Motorcraft parts on your 6.0L Powerstroke, especially when it comes to oil filter and oil cap.  Off brand oil filters and oil filter caps have a bad reputation for allowing engine oil to seep through the drain back valve after engine shut off causing lack of oil in the low-side pressure oil system during start-up and/or extended cranking times.  Aftermarket oil filters come with their own oil cap causing most to throw away the original reusable Motorcraft cap but now you are stuck using their inferior filters.

There is some specific tools and parts you will need.

T40 Extended Torx Socket (T45 for late models)
Injector Harness Release Tool
12mm Shorty Ratcheting Wrench
Lisle T-30 One-Peice Torx (Very Important for 04+)
6.0L Fuel Injector / O-ring Set

As always, I suggest working in a well lit area with plenty of space to store your parts as you remove them.  The next page, page 2, goes into detail of how to remove the right hand (bank one) valve cover to access injectors numbered 1-3-5-7.  The 3rd page is for the left hand bank and the 4th page is for the actual process of removing the injector and rail.