How to Replace Oil Cooler On 6.0 Powerstroke? (Full Guide)

Over the years, the 6.0 Powerstroke engine has built up a bad reputation mostly because of its faulty oil cooler.

Whether you are replacing a bad one or looking for an upgrade, knowing how to replace oil cooler on 6.0 Powerstroke can save you a lot of money.

As the cost of hiring a mechanic is more than the replacement part’s price, I have decided to help you do it yourself. Let’s answer some basic questions and then talk about the steps.

How Do I Know If My Oil Cooler Is Bad On My 6.0 Powerstroke?

Without measuring the temperature of the oil in your 6.0 Powerstroke diesel engine, there is no way to detect a bad oil cooler.

And, unfortunately, Ford does not provide any temperature measurement tool. Therefore, an owner can’t tell whether they need to replace the oil cooler beforehand.

So, if you perform a regular inspection of the engine, you can know about its health. However, there is another way that is not recommended by experts.

Drive your truck without worrying about anything until you see some anomaly in the EGR Cooler.

This is when you can’t wait anymore and have to replace the oil cooler immediately. 

You may say that measuring the temperature difference of the oil and the coolant at the same time can reveal the problem.

It is true but one has to do it while driving the truck. Hence, temperature sensors are required.

As you won’t get any features like that from the manufacturer, it is possible to set it up separately, or take the truck to a servicing center and let them check.

I can recommend a product here. Check out ScanGauge – SG2 II Ultra Compact 3-in-1 Automotive Computer which can show the temperature of the oil as well as the coolant at the same time.

What Is the Normal Oil Temp for A 6.0 Powerstroke?

Now, I have given you some ideas but those won’t do any good if you don’t have a standard value to compare.

Usually, the normal or ideal oil temperature in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine is 210°F or 98.9°C. And, don’t worry if the temperature raises to 235°F.

When Should You Replace?

I have already mentioned the ideal temperature of the oil previously. So, it is acceptable up to 235 degrees.

Whenever you see the reading approaching 240 degrees Fahrenheit, you must take some action.

Do the replacement either by yourself or by taking the help of a mechanic before serious damages happen to other parts of the engine.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Oil Cooler On 6.0 Powerstroke?

Based on the price of your chosen replacement part and the labor cost in your area, the price can vary a lot. And, it should not cost you more than 600 bucks.

The average cost of the required parts is around $250, and the average cost of hiring a mechanic is around $350.

There are several aftermarket brands that produce reliable oil coolers for 6.0 Powerstroke engines. For example, PPE Heavy-Duty Ford Oil Cooler costs almost $230, and it has a good rating.

And, you can find other models that cost half of the one from PPE.

How Hard Is It to Replace Oil Cooler In 6.0 Powerstroke?

The answer to this question depends on the level of expertise you have in engine repairing. Here, I am going to give you an overview of the whole process.

Therefore, it will be easier for you to assess the situation and act accordingly. In the end, you will know whether you replace on your own or need expert help.

The first thing I want to say is that replacing an oil cooler requires only the basic tools.

One may not need anything else besides a Torx Bit set, a 9 or 10mm deep socket, and an inch pound torque wrench.

As it is a time-consuming job, you should arrange enough padding to support yourself while working.

Where Is the Oil Cooler Located on A 6.0 Powerstroke?

You can find the oil cooler in the lifter valley’s front portion within the block. As soon as you can locate the lifter valley, you would immediately know that removing the part takes a lot of time and work.

Removing several other parts named oil filter housing, intake manifold, turbocharger, intercooler piping, fuel filter reservoir, and EGR will give you access to the cooler.

How Long Does It Take to Replace Oil Cooler 6.0 Powerstroke?

As a beginner, it can take 10 to 14 hours of your precious time based on the skills and tools available at your disposal.

On the other hand, those who are doing it almost regularly can replace the part within 8 or 9 hours assuming other parts are in good health.

How to Replace Oil Cooler On 6.0 Powerstroke?

By now, you have understood that anyone at their home can do the replacement. And, it takes a lot of time.

So, you can either follow the instructions I have described here or hire a professional to do the job. Let’s talk about the steps.

  1. First of all, take out the intake which is a straightforward job.
  2. Then, you will notice lots of dirt and dust in between the front cover and oil cooler housing; and some on the backside. Make sure to blow that out.
  3. After that, place a rag inside so that taking out those parts with dipping oil doesn’t stain other parts or the garage floor.
  4. Then, remove the top part of the cooler. You have to be careful while loosening the bolts and screws.
  5. Next, taking the oil cooler in your hands, you will notice oil dripping a lot. Give it a minute or two to let the oil drain complete.
  6. Now, you have to separate the housing of the cooler. The procedure to do that is shown clearly in the video I have linked below.
  7. Put the O-rings on the new replacement part, and place it in the housing.
  8. Finally, repeat the whole process in a reverse manner.

I have described the process in the simplest way possible. Watching a video can help you more.

Pro Tip: One must be very careful while pulling out the c-clips of the injector because they fly out with great speed. You can use needle-nose pliers and a small screwdriver to take them out safely.

Can You Drive A 6.0 Powerstroke With A Bad Oil Cooler?

When the oil cooler goes bad or works improperly, it doesn’t mean that your truck is dead.

One can drive their 6.0 Powerstroke engine for a while depending on the severity of the problem.

As long as you are not opting for any tasking driving, the bad oil cooler can manage things without much problem.

Also, it takes some time to affect the manifest which gives some breathing ground. However, leaving it untreated for too long can result in irreparable damages.

Conclusion

I hope that I have covered almost everything regarding how to replace oil cooler on 6.0 Powerstroke engines.

You can tell us your experience in the comments below so that others can get some helpful insights.

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