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Ford 6.0L PowerStroke Intake Removal and Installation Guide

Last Modified : Mar 30, 2021

There are many reasons one would need to remove the intake on a Ford 6.0L Powerstroke engine You could be replacing the gaskets, the oil cooler, the high pressure pump, EGR cooler with either an OEM product or an aftermarket upgrade, or a complete EGR Delete. You could also be tearing down the engine getting ready to rip the cylinder heads off. No matter the reason, I will take you through this step by step.

There are some things you should be well aware of on the Ford 6.0L Powerstroke Diesel.  There are two distinctive engine designs.  One is referred to as the 2003 engine (all 2003 and early 2004) and the other is the 2004-2007 (up to 2010 E series).  This guide was written with the later design in mind, but several important steps have been inserted concerning the first design.

There is definitely a handful of tools that you will need.  Any pnuematic or power tools can and should be used to save you valuable time and energy, especially air ratchets. Any specialty tools are also listed during the step requiring their use, but most tools required are in basic mechanic tool sets.

Make sure your work area is clean and free of large amounts of debris.  Be sure to work in a well ventilated environment that has access to plenty of light.  The more light you have, the better off you are. You will need cleaning supplies like brake clean, carb clean, scrubbing brushes, rags, and maybe even gloves. As you remove everything, you should lay all your bolts out in a neat order.  In this application, you can use the slots located in the cowl (under the wipers) to hold your bolts and nuts but you should be very careful that none fall down into the unprotected engine.  It would be wise to use cardboard or tape to seal open intake ports in the head to protect against expensive accidents.

Here is a list of parts you may want on hand when you remove and replace the intake manifold on the 6.0L Powerstroke...

Intake Gaskets
EGR Blue Hose (if present) Turbocharger Bolt and Seal Kit

6.0L Powerstroke Intake Removal

  1. Drain the coolant by the radiator petcock.  Make sure you properly dispose of all drained coolant.  I would not recommend reusing the old coolant but many places do./li>
  2. Remove degas bottle by removing 2 bolts and two hoses on top and the bottom hose. The bottom clamp can give you some struggle, but it is much easier to remove the filter housing with the degas bottle removed at this stage
  3. Unplug air filter restriction sensor and the mass air flow sensor
  4. Remove intake tube mounting nuts at front of FICM.  Loosen the two worm gear hose clamps located on the intake tubes - one is on the inlet of the turbo, the second one is just after the PCV vent.
  5. Remove the front part of the intake hose assembly by lifting it free from the air filter.  Remove the air filter, and front air intake. Remove intake hose assembly attached to the turbo. Becareful of PCV vent hose. You may have to lift on the vent hose to get it to disengage.
  6. Unhook upper radiator hose from the radiator.  Place aside (bend behind oil dipstick tube, or remove completely).
  7. Remove both charged air cooler tubes. Pay attention to the location of the clamps and reinstall in same position.  Take a careful look at the elbow that comes out of the turbocharger.  These tend to crack/split with age.
  8. Fan and shroud reomoval not necessary, however remove 2 top fan shroud bolts that attach to the intake. Remember to unplug the fan.
  9. Remove belt.  With the fan shroud pulled forward, you can get a 1/2 ratchet into the slot on the tensioner to release belt tension by turning it clockwise OR have an assitant pull on the belt. Once tensioner is collapsed, slide the tensioner lock upwards.
  10. Disconnect the alternator feed wire located on passenger side battery. Single red wire going to the positive post. Thread nut back onto the battery post for safe keeping.
  11. Remove alternator.  Disconnect electrical connector, and unbolt feed wire.  Thread nut back onto alternator for safe keeping.
  12. Remove coolant bypass hose from tube, remove 8mm bolt, and bend tab up. Bending the tab up gives clearance to remove the intake. The alternative to bending is removing the tube but then o-rings must be replaced (ordered separately). Although bending the tab is easier, eventually the tab is likely to break requiring the replacement of the tube.
  13. Remove bolt in front of intake holding fuel lines to intake.
  14. Loosen and remove oil filter cap. Loosening the cap releases the check valve allowing oil to drain into the crankcase. If you do not do this step, you will make a mess when removing the fuel filter\/oil filter housing.  If you must replace the oil filter cap, do not use aftermarket caps - only use FORD OEM replacement.  Aftermarket caps do not let the check valve to work correctly. Inspect the oil filter drain valve for any signs of damage. Usually the plunger will break off the top and allow the spring to be removed - if thats the case, you need to replace it before assembly.
  15. Disconnect fuel lines from fuel filter. Various wrenches needed.  May be a good idea to put zip ties around each line so the nut can not fall down the tube.  If it does fall, you may be in for a rodeo with a magnet.
  16. Remove 4 torx bolts attaching oil/fuel filter housing to oil cooler and remove. **Depending on harness routing, it may be necessary to unhook the harnesses connectors before this step.**
  17. Remove four bolts holding down FICM (fuel injector control module), disconnect three harness connectors, and remove.  The three connectors are easily broken.  Care should be taken when pushing tabs on both sides.
  18. Disconnect all 8 injectors, remove grounding nut at rear of driver side intake and remove injector harness.  To unplug injectors, you push down on the small metal pin then pull it away. A small flat head screw driver may help push down the pin. Now the injector harness may be removed from the vehicle after detaching it from various hold downs.
  19. Disconnect turbo VGT solenoid.  Plastic end connectors break VERY easily. Carefully release the connector with a pick. There is a metal tab holding the wire to the turbo. Unbolt and remove the turbo oil feed. 
  20. Loosen and remove the down-pipe exhaust clamp. Loosen up-pipe exhaust clamp. The clamps will likely be stuck. Use a stubby flat head screw driver by wedgeing it into the clamp corners. The clamp is three metal strips tied together by a band so there is a total of 6 corners you can get access to. Remove the clamps or reposition them to the turbo.
  21. Remove 3 turbo hold down bolts. 2 are horizontal and accessible with a wrench from the front on each side of the turbo. 1 is vertical and located just behind the down-pipe. A flex head ratchet, a 10mm deep socket, a 3inch combined with a 1inch extension gives perfect height to get back there OR a short 10mm and a 6inch extension will work. ** 2003 engines have the rear bolt going horizontal and rarely comes out without a fight. Sometimes will need to be torched out but likely will require you to use a swivel socket**
  22. Using a prybar, gently pry up between the turbo and pedestal to release it from the oil drain tube and up-pipe manifold assembly.  Remove the turbo.  I always recommend disassembling and cleaning the turbo exhaust housing. Read more about that: Ford 6.0L Turbo Cleaning
  23. Disconnect IPR. Should be covered by a heat shield located in the high pressure oil pump housing at the rear of the engine. A bail clip needs to be flipped to be released. The connector and IPR are easily damaged. **2003 engines have a sheild covering all of this, and also have ICP located behind the IPR that needs to be disconnected*
  24. Disconnect remaining connectors on top of the engine from the main engine harness from right side of intake all the way to exhaust back pressure sensor. Pull it forward over the intake toward the fan.
  25. This is a very important step.  Take a air blow gun and liberally spray air all around the valley, the intake, oil and EGR coolers.  This process helps eliminate possibility of contamination by anything that may be lingering there. Be sure to take a look around for any bolts that you may have dropped.
  26. Loosen all intake manifold to cylinder head bolts.  Ensure they are all completely unthreaded where you could remove them and then lightly push them back down so the stick to the gasket. Makes for easier installation if you leave the with the manifold so you don't have to remember the order of the bolts.  Loosen EGR cooler bolt at rear and two bolts at front.
  27. **2003 engines also require the removal of the turbo pedastel since their intake design is different. Remove the turbo drain pipe, and then remove the four hold down bolts.**
  28. Using a large prybar, insert the tip under the intake, and lightly pry against the EGR cooler to push out the cooler. Once the EGR cooler coolant o-ring comes out of the intake, the intake should lift out fairly easy.

This is an excellent time to thoroughly to clean your parts because there is no reason to put it back together dirty and greasy. Once the intake is off, you now have access to all those other important components such as: the oil cooler, high pressure pump cover, EGR cooler.

Ford 6.0L Powerstroke Intake Installation

Most of the re-installation steps are reverse of the removal process.  Instead of going into the exact steps to reinstall, I am only going to cover a few important points.  Before you reinstall your intake manifold make sure that you have looked into each cylinder head port for any foreign objects. Use an air gun to blow out the ports, use a magnet or camera to make sure nothing is in the ports. All those 10mm nuts can haunt you.

Make sure you replace the large black coolant o-ring in the front where the intake lays, the EGR cooler coolant o-ring, EGR passage gasket, as well as replacing the turbo oil feed gasket and drain o-rings. Technically the intake gaskets are considered reusable. Also, the intake gaskets must be installed in the correct orientation. There are small tabs that fit onto the intake side between ports.

Care must be taken to be sure the EGR cooler gaskets get correctly mounted in the exhaust side as well as the intake EGR port.  You can use a tacky gasket holder to hold the gaskets as you assemble to ease the process.

When installing the intake, make sure that it sits flatly onto the cylinder heads.  It will sit slighty raised at the front where the intake gasket meets the coolant o-ring. Look for anything, like a wire, that is trapped underneath the intake. Tighten the bolts down according to torque spec.

Install your wiring harnesses and be sure to plug in the IPR. The next step would be to install the turbo after you have cleaned the turbo. Yes, I told you to tear it apart and clean it.

Technically, the turbo can be installed almost last but it is much easier to get it in and out with the alternator having been removed. Replace the o-rings on the turbo drain tube if you have them.  The turbo bolts should be replaced now to prevent future problems. If you do not have new turbo bolts or any of those gaskets, you can make due without them but you can possibly have the bolts begin to round off or develop a oil leak. Be sure the turbo drain is properly mounted into the high pressure oil pump housing.  Take the turbo and maneuver it into its spot taking care not to strike the turbo drain and the set the turbo into place. Install all three bolts, tighten, and then install exhaust clamps. Make sure the up-pipe is completely sitting flush with the exhaust housing on the turbo.

If you have removed the up-pipes from the cylinder head or EGR cooler to up-pipe clamp: you may have trouble aligning the turbo Y pipe to the turbocharger.  In this case, I recommend only loosely installing the manifold to up-pipe bolts, EGR cooler clamp.  Once the turbo is completely installed, you should then go back and tighten the EGR cooler clamp and up-pipe to manifold bolts. A leak back here will cause major black soot buildup in the engine compartment as well as a lack of boost and exhaust smell in the cab.

Once everything is back together, you should fill the system following my Coolant Fill Procedure


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