2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues. - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

Hello. I am new to the forum here. I work for a fleet that has several 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstroke equipped trucks. Mostly F450 and F550. I am trying to figure out if anyone has found a way to make the 6.4 live in a fleet environment. The F450/550 seem to have a much higher rate of front cover and thermostat failure than F250/350. Currently I am working on a 2008 F450 with 93000 miles. It is on its 2nd timing cover and 6th set of thermostats. To be honest this is pretty typical of trucks across the fleet with 6.4. Some are worse. Things that have been tried are different coolants, adding ground straps, updated front cover etc. it seems the lower gear ratio of the 450/550 and sustained high speed rpms may be to blame for increased cavitation. We do have a couple of F250s and they went about 150k before needing front covers. The 550s get them between 30 and 60 k. Has anyone else ran into this. I was wondering if anyone makes a larger water pump pulley to slow the pump down? Thanks for your replies.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:13 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

Using good coolant seems to help
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:15 AM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

They idle a lot, don't they?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:59 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

Do you really want to fix this issue? Look at all the work you get out of it.

This is not surprising at all. Higher rpms will lead to more cavitation. All pumps are susceptible to cavitation. Its simply a drop in pressure lower than the boiling point of the fluid its pumping. The faster it pumps, the lower the pressure on one side of it. So a lower geared truck will have more of a problem. That's thing one.

Thing two is fleet and severe duty vehicles go through parts faster, for whatever reason. Some of the parts make no sense, but have a separate change interval anyway based on "severe duty." Spark plugs are an example. Why do spark plugs wear out faster in severe duty applications? No idea, but they do. Injectors are another, but those make a little more sense.

Ground straps won't help because you're not dealing with an electrolysis issue, you're dealing with cavitation. The only thing you can do is flush the coolant more often, or put some additives in every so often. Either will work, but just changing the coolant twice as often is a better idea in my opinion. A different pump and or intake design would solve the issue, but that's not possible.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 02:14 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

I forgot to add, if you're shop isn't already, you should be using a coolant that has anti cavitation properties, or a coolant designed to help prevent cavitation basically.

No idea what Ford recommends but its probably a coolant designed as such. Maybe research if there is a better alternative out there, I'll bet there probably is.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 02:48 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

They all show cav damage in the same spots or it's here and there? There's two kinds of cavitation - suction and discharge. Not rocket science, suction cavitation happens when the impeller is starved of liquid and discharge is when it can't get rid of what it's pumping fast enough. Blockages of some sort on either side of the eye of that impeller.

Is it bad enough that you can hear it? You said one truck went thru 6 sets of thermostats? Were they all sticking? Right there is your interruption of flow.

I'd bet better than half the damage done to covers and impellers in the 6.4 can be blamed on the junk OEM thermostats that always stuck and the owners just didn't know it because they don't look at their gauges. Have you been replacing all the thermostats with the same brand all this time? And when you change them out is at least one stuck?

I read somewhere that when one of those little vacuum bubbles collapses down on itself it creates upwards of 100,000psi of oomph right there where it's imploding. Impressive. I wonder what the fish feel when a boat with an outboard motor zooms over them and all those bubbles are banging away.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:02 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

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Originally Posted by Mr_Andy View Post
They all show cav damage in the same spots or it's here and there? There's two kinds of cavitation - suction and discharge. Not rocket science, suction cavitation happens when the impeller is starved of liquid and discharge is when it can't get rid of what it's pumping fast enough. Blockages of some sort on either side of the eye of that impeller.

Is it bad enough that you can hear it? You said one truck went thru 6 sets of thermostats? Were they all sticking? Right there is your interruption of flow.

I'd bet better than half the damage done to covers and impellers in the 6.4 can be blamed on the junk OEM thermostats that always stuck and the owners just didn't know it because they don't look at their gauges. Have you been replacing all the thermostats with the same brand all this time? And when you change them out is at least one stuck?

I read somewhere that when one of those little vacuum bubbles collapses down on itself it creates upwards of 100,000psi of oomph right there where it's imploding. Impressive. I wonder what the fish feel when a boat with an outboard motor zooms over them and all those bubbles are banging away.
Different kind of cavitation we are discussing....
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:16 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

Have you tried Napa Kool 4058?

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:46 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

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Originally Posted by Mr_Andy View Post
They all show cav damage in the same spots or it's here and there? There's two kinds of cavitation - suction and discharge. Not rocket science, suction cavitation happens when the impeller is starved of liquid and discharge is when it can't get rid of what it's pumping fast enough. Blockages of some sort on either side of the eye of that impeller.

Is it bad enough that you can hear it? You said one truck went thru 6 sets of thermostats? Were they all sticking? Right there is your interruption of flow.

I'd bet better than half the damage done to covers and impellers in the 6.4 can be blamed on the junk OEM thermostats that always stuck and the owners just didn't know it because they don't look at their gauges. Have you been replacing all the thermostats with the same brand all this time? And when you change them out is at least one stuck?

I read somewhere that when one of those little vacuum bubbles collapses down on itself it creates upwards of 100,000psi of oomph right there where it's imploding. Impressive. I wonder what the fish feel when a boat with an outboard motor zooms over them and all those bubbles are banging away.
probably about the same as being hit from one of the bubbles of those pistol shrimp or whatever the hell they're called. Those shrimp are bad a*s

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:05 PM
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Re: 2008 F450 thermostat and cavitation issues.

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Originally Posted by sooty View Post
Different kind of cavitation we are discussing....
Umm... cavitation of any sort occurs when there is negative supply to a positive demand in liquids, though it can happen in gases at different molar concentrations as well. A blender spinning on your countertop for example. All those bubbles aren't coming from 8" or so above the spinner blade, that's the blade creating a vacuum around the available liquid. Look over the stern of the next boat you're on. When the driver rips out and you see all that 'air' shooting off the prop it's not air but cavitation. Vacuum. In a closed environment like under a front cover next to a water pump impeller it creates havoc.

I'm not gonna argue this it just seems it's getting looked into too severly. Starvation or impedance of discharge. On the 6.4 I've always tied it to faulty thermostats. Better coolant (ELC) helps somewhat but putting updated thermos and not the cheapest that Advance or AutoZone have help too...
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