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Cab Removal on 6.4L PowerStroke Engine

Last Modified : Mar 30, 2021

One thing most people are well aware of about a Ford Super Duty equipped with a 6.4L Powerstroke engine is that removal of the cab makes some tasks a lot easier but is also a requirement for a few major tasks.  What ever your reason for removing the cab on this problematic engine, you will have so much more room after its off to do your repairs.

There are several reasons to remove the cab for even seemingly smaller repairs.  For most engine repairs, Ford recommends cab removal as the official preferred method.  A common 6.4L Powerstroke problem is broken oscillation pipes (up pipes).  While it is possible to change these with cab on, it does require the use of specially designed wrenches in the shape of half moons.  The pipes have specific torque specs and sequences that are very hard to perform with cab on.  An important note here due to not much room to work: Labor allowances for cab removal plus repair are generally less than labor allowance for the repair with cab on.

A good ole' fashioned 1/2 inch extended ratchet with a pipe on the end of it work well to remove the bolts.  The key is doing this by hand and not using power tools.  Several good technicians have come up with a few creative ways to help remove these bolts.  One such was is using your hoist to lift up on the cab slightly while it is still bolted to the frame.  Then you can take a torch (or magnetic inductor like the Mini-Ductor) and heat up the exposed head of the bolt to help loosen the locktite.  You have to be extra careful that you do not heat the bolt too much as damage to the body bushing or possible interior fires may result. With extra pressure on the cab nuts from the force of the lift and heat traveling up the bolt to heat the locktite should allow you to remove the bolts without the use of power tools.  You do not have to do both those steps.  Either one alone will help you succeed but together they will make the job easier.

Like previously mentioned, I recommend that you remove the interior trim and pull/move carpet out of the way enough to actually hold the caged nut with a ratchet.  The nuts are a 7/8 socket.  The front bolts are the only ones that are easy to get access to and sit just under the radiator in the core support.  I have torch heated a 7/8 wrench with a special bend in it to access and hold these nuts.

As far as disconnecting everything else, I will briefly describe it on the next page.

Cab Removal Steps

  1. Unhook both batteries starting with the negative cables.  Unbolt all wire connections on the passenger side battery posts.
  2. Drain Engine Coolant.
  3. Remove the air cleaner assembly.
  4. Using HVAC equipment, recover all refrigerant in the A/C system.
  5. Unplug the PCM in the passenger side cowl area. 3 Connectors.  Push the center 'button' to unlock the sliding levers.
  6. Unbolt the ground strap just to the left. Unbolt the ground from the inner fender.
  7. Unplug the two harness connectors on passenger side, one just below the PCM, one near the passenger fender going toward the alternator.
  8. Unbolt the A/C line going into the accumulator as well as the one that goes toward the condenser just outside of the battery box. Position aside.
  9. Loosen clamps for the CAC tube to intake and tube to CAC. Pull and position off the intake.
  10. Remove the headlights. 4 bolts each. Unplug electrical connections.
  11. Remove hood release lever by removing one bolt. Position aside.
  12. Remove transmission cooler hoses on front lower passenger side. Put a large bolt in each hose to prevent fluid leakage.
  13. Follow the small coolant hoses on top. Allow them to rest where they are, but unhook wherever they attach to the engine and coolant reservoir.
  14. Remove the drivers side battery. 
  15. Unhook drivers side upper radiator hose by removing the c clip. Position aside a bit to access below stuff.
  16. On the bottom of the coolant reservoir is a large hose attached with a c clip.  Remove and position aside.
  17. Remove the coolant reservoir. 3 bolts in battery tray and 2 bolts on top side. Be careful with the vacuum lines if 4wd. Be sure to unhook these on both sides.
  18. Remove pinch bolt from steering shaft. Pull shaft upwards to separate.
  19. Remove bolts and nuts from master cylinder. Unhook all electrical connectors. Pull outwards. Position aside.
  20. Unplug the three connectors directly below where the coolant reservoir was located. Large ones with lever locks.
  21. Remove power steering lines going to the reservoir.  Unbolt power steering lines going to the hydro-boost unit.
  22. Remove the remaining connected coolant lines. Remember to get the one that wraps around the back for the heater core. Disconnect the quick connections at the heater core.
  23. Underneath, loosen tube clamp going to CAC. Position aside.
  24. Separate the lower radiator hose by removing the c clip.  This step will make a mess.
  25. Separate the parking brake cable under the driver door by pulling the cable out of the connector. Depress the tabs and pull cable through the attachment point on the cab.
  26. You must unhook the shifter cable from the transmission by prying it off the lever. Then push the retaining tabs in with a pick while pulling the cable away from cable bracket.
  27. Underneath the passenger door, unbolt the cab to frame ground strap.
  28. Unbolt and remove all cab bolts as described on the first page.
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You may now lift the cab from the chassis.  Follow everything and double check nothing is catching before damage results.