Common Problems: EGR Cooler

Published in the October 2017 Issue August 2018 Feature Trevor Mason

You know, I’m actually a little surprised it’s taken this long to cover this one. If you were playing Family Feud and Steve Harvey asked you, “What’s the worst thing about the 6.0L Power Stroke?” the answer at the top of the list would be “the damn EGR cooler.” (Coming in a close second would be “People who think Ford stands for ‘Found On Road Dead.’”)

The problems with the EGR coolers on 6.0s are so common that you’d expect there to be a class action lawsuit or something. Oh, wait, there totally was. In 2003, Ford Navistar settled a class action lawsuit to the tune of $150,000 and ate 50 percent of the repair costs for anyone affected by the failure of various components—including EGR coolers, EGR valves, fuel injectors, and turbo—on their 2003-2007 Super Duty trucks. It was also ultimately the reason Navistar and Ford parted ways back in 2009, since prior to the actual lawsuit, the abundant problems with the 6.0 strained relations between the two companies to a breaking point.

Where did it all go wrong? Why exactly is the EGR cooler on the 6.0 so gosh-darn unreliable? To find out, we went straight to an authority on the subject, Ken Neal, founder and part owner of Bullet Proof Diesel in Mesa, AZ. Bullet Proof Diesel has become the industry’s leader in fixing up the 6.0 and making it—well, the name’s all you need to know. Ken told us all about how the stock EGR cooler got that way and how they’ve built a better mousetrap—um, EGR cooler.

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