Ford 6.0L Power Stroke Replacing a Fuel Injector

Last Modified : Apr 5, 2021

6.0L Powerstroke diesel running rough?  Injectors could be the culprit especially if you feel a hard miss, rough running, hard-cold starts, or clouds 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.

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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 Shots Secret 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<span style=color: #000017;> oil filter 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) 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.

6.0L Powerstroke Injector Removal

Firstly, the valve covers need to be removed before being able to replace the fuel injector. 6.0l Powerstroke Valve Cover Removal. Once removed, you can now access the fuel rail.

  1. Remove the oil stand pipe located in the rear of the oil rail. It looks like a pipe plug. (2003 model just release the clip holding on the oil feed and pull the hose aside)
  2. On the passenger side, you may need to separate the upper standpipe from the lower section to have enough room to remove.
  3. Remove the high pressure oil rail. 9 bolts total. Use the short T30 listed on page one with a tear drop ratchet for clearance on two bolts on the PS. (2003 uses 8mm bolts)
  4. Unplug the targeted injector by using your thumb or a screwdriver to push in the metal retainer. No need to remove the retainer! Using special injector harness release tool push the connector out of the rocker box. OR use a 12 point 18mm deep socket as tool substitution.
  5. Loosen the T40 hold down bolt until fully unscrewed using hand tools only (T45 late builds). This action also pulls the injector out of the injector cup
  6. Grab the hold down clamp and injector to remove together.
  7. **Be sure the old copper washer is attached to the removed injector!** If not, remove it from the bottom of the injector cup.

6.0L Powerstroke Injector Installation Tips

You should be very careful when installing a new injector.  Not only are they expensive, but doing it incorrectly can cause severe damage to your engine. The injector needs to be properly torqued: otherwise if under torqued the injector can become loose, if over-torqued the injector hold down clamp and bolt assembly or copper sealing washer damage can occur. If there was a significatn over-torqued situation, replacement of the injector hold down assembly and injector cup is recommended.

The stand pipe kit has been upgraded. The easiest way to tell the difference between the old is to observe the tool needed to remove. If it required a 1/2 inch extension adapter, or a small Allen head socket, you have the old design. If it takes a large Allen head socket, then you already have the updated version. You can also tell by examining the o-rings. The new design has the addition of a white Teflon retainer seal. These stand pipe kits are recommended to be replaced anytime its been removed.

NOTE:  If the seals on the stand pipe are damaged or leaking, it will cause extended cranking, hard start, or a no start when hot.  The oil standpipe is long.  On the passenger side, you have to separate the upper an lower pipe to remove and install the lower pipe before attaching the oil rail due to clearance from the HVAC box.

Always use an oil or grease on the injector O-rings during installation. The fuel injector hold down should be fitted with the injector wires going up. Install the new injector and tighten the bolt by hand. As you tighten the bolt, you will notice the injector being pushed down further into the cylinder head. Torque to 26 ft lbs. Prelube the the fuel injector electrical connector and push it into the rocker box.  You should hear an audible click and make sure it is installed the correct way with the QR code facing up. Install each injector in this sequence.

NOTE:  There are two different styles of injector hold downs available.  One is the early style using the T40 bolt, and the other is the newer style that uses a T45 bolt.  These hold downs ARE NOT interchangeable and a fuel hydro locked situation will likely occur if the correct hold down was not used.  The differences depend on build date of the cylinder head so older engines may have the updated style if the head was ever replaced.  So be careful if swapping parts around off different engines.

Manually press the oil rail onto the injectors, and loosely install all bolts to assure it is centered. Tighten to 10 ft lbs in sequence starting from the inside working your way out. Install your new standpipe.  If a 2003 style engine, the oil feed line needs to be half hooked up as you set the oil rail down on the injectors.  Fully engage it once you have tightened the rail and tug on it to assure yourself a proper connection. Replace the standpipe and the hose if there are any issues.

Now reinstall the removed valve covers by placing the cover in position an loosely start all bolts before tightening a single one.  The rocker box on the head (the part the valve cover bolts too) is aluminum and is easily stripped out.

Lastly, once the engine is entirely reassembled and ready to crank there are a few things you should be aware of.  It takes quite a while to fill and bleed the air out of the oil manifolds that you removed.  Generally you should put a battery charger on to keep voltage up.  You will need to crank on the engine until it starts.  A good rule of thumb is to crank the engine for 20 seconds, rest for one minute, crank until start but no more than 30 seconds. If it still doesn't start, rest for one minute and crank again for 30 seconds.  Once you see the oil pressure gauge bounce up to normal, the engine will usually start within 10 more seconds of cranking.

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