That’s right, more parts to improve the reliability of the 6.0-liter Power Stroke. While many have given up on these problematic models, there are others who haven’t. When this engine has the proper upgrades, they run very well. If done right, these trucks are a solid platform. Improving coolant flow through this engine will help increase the odds of keeping it running, rather than up for sale.
Here’s The Problem
The crew over at Strictly Diesel saw a limitation in the cylinder head design and came up with a kit to solve it. At that point, the Driven Diesel 6.0L Coolant Return Kit was born. In factory form, the cylinder heads rely on coolant jackets for circulation. When the coolant reaches the rear of each cylinder head it only has one path to take.
Because of this, it slows down the flow through the heads which creates hot spots. This engine is notorious for head gasket failures but also for cracking around the injector sleeves. When cracking occurs, it will allow fuel contamination in the cooling system. The longer superheated coolant sits in the water jackets the more prone they become to cracking.
To eliminate this issue, the coolant return kit adds a hose at the rear of each cylinder head. It then flows into the thermostat housing. The design improves the coolant flow and helps it get back to the radiator for cooling. The hoses were designed to last and are constructed of high-quality, braided, stainless steel over teflon. The outer layer is a black protective coating. Also included in the kit are the four fittings which secure the hoses to the heads and thermostat housing.
Coolant return lines installed.
Time To Get Dirty
Installation of the coolant return can only be performed when the cylinder heads are removed from the engine. If you’re not confident using a thread tap then they suggest using a qualified mechanic to perform the installation. Since this may be unnerving to some, we asked Nate Brekken, co-owner of Strictly Diesel if he had any installation tips.
If you have or will be installing an aftermarket fuel system then you’ll want to install the rear fuel lines first. This will ensure the coolant return fittings have enough clearance and do not interfere with any fuel lines. To prevent damage and make life easier be sure to use a new or sharp drill bit and thread tap. Also, use a lot of lubrication when using the tap.- Nate Brekken, Co-Owner, Strictly Diesel
Installation of the pipe thread fittings.
Reading Is Required
Instructions are supplied for a reason so be sure to read them prior to installation. As with all of their products their install guide is very detailed and includes full-color illustrations. If you follow them closely you’ll end up with a job well done! Now it’s time to get the engine back in the truck fill it with fluids. Hopefully, your cooling system woes are behind you so you can bleed Ford blue instead of coolant.
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