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I've read a few posts here that day tuning a 6.0 pretty much leads to popping HG's inevitably without head studs. I talked to a local shop about the process and they told me that even if they were to put head studs in the truck they couldn't guarantee it being bullet proof without inspecting the heads for cracks by sending them off to a machine shop. I haven't noticed any symptoms of a cracked head but I want to be sure if I'm going to tune my truck that I can avoid popping at all costs. I'm preparing for a cross country trip and don't have time for mechanical failure. Advice on tuning/head studs/cracked head symptoms would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I have no experience with tunes other than I have read that there are some pretty nasty tunes out there that toast transmissions or cause excessive EGT temps.

Regarding the heads, yes, your local shop is right. 6.0L heads like to crack. Taking heads off to put in studs and not send the heads out to be checked would be negligence on the shops part. If you go that route, have a couple extra grand in the emergency fund for the job in case they both are cracked. I had my heads tested...cracked, sent over another set off a spare engine I bought...cracked... ended up buying a set from Ford. The machinist said he seldom gets 6.0L heads to check that aren't cracked.
 

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Having the heads checked by a machine shop is not an option. It's a must. If the heads have issues or if you can swing the cost, get a set of heads from kill devil diesel. Either way don't consider having the heads off without them going to a reputable machine shop.

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Having the heads checked by a machine shop is not an option. It's a must. If the heads have issues or if you can swing the cost, get a set of heads from kill devil diesel. Either way don't consider having the heads off without them going to a reputable machine shop. As for tuning the truck, many people including myself have ran tunes on stock HGs and TTY bolts with out any issues. Many people have also blown HGs with stock bolts with no tune. It's a gamble but if you are planning to tune it and travel I would stud it and have the heads o ringed. Just my 2cents worth.

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Big dumb redneck
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If you are concerned with reliability, especially if you take long trips in it, then forget the tune and just leave it stock. That's as simple, and as complex, of an answer as you need/can get on that topic.

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If you are concerned with reliability, especially if you take long trips in it, then forget the tune and just leave it stock. That's as simple, and as complex, of an answer as you need/can get on that topic.

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Very true. Basically sums up my thoughts on the subject from the very beginning.
 

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I have 180k on my 2006 that has had the superchips programmer for about 150k of its life. I don't tow heavy but do drive it like a mustang occasionally . My best friend had a Chevy hd and kept borrowing my truck to pull his camper. He went and bought an 2005 exact version of my truck. We had 2 Amarillo editions running around our small town. He now has 525k on his with a banks programmer and he tows a lot. Knock on wood both of us have stock HGs without studs. We both maintain our trucks like clockwork so maybe that's why.

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Big dumb redneck
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I have 180k on my 2006 that has had the superchips programmer for about 150k of its life. I don't tow heavy but do drive it like a mustang occasionally . My best friend had a Chevy hd and kept borrowing my truck to pull his camper. He went and bought an 2005 exact version of my truck. We had 2 Amarillo editions running around our small town. He now has 525k on his with a banks programmer and he tows a lot. Knock on wood both of us have stock HGs without studs. We both maintain our trucks like clockwork so maybe that's why.

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That's good and all, but that's highly uncommon. Especially running that banks garbage.

Thank you for not saying all that, then at the end saying "see it'll be fine, go for it". What's that saying at the end of alot of sales commercials...."results may vary, examples given are not typical".



The general consensus is really just "maybe". Maybe it'll be fine, maybe it won't. The end solution to wanting long term reliability is leave it stock until you are prepared to stud it. Trust me, I HATE driving one of these stock after driving one tuned for so long, especially towing anything. But if I had to rely on mine day in, day out, long trips, ect....it would be stock.

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Am I correct in believing that stock or tuned, towing or not, that not exceeding high EGT's and Boost levels will lessen the odds of HG failure on a well maintained truck and cooling system and delta's within specs ? I know there are no guarantee's in anything but will common sense behavior help on these points help?

Dan
 

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It's more of a oil cooler/egr cooler/egr valve/sticking unison ring issue.
Imo, tuning doesn't have a whole lot to do with it, but it will speed things along.

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Am I correct in believing that stock or tuned, towing or not, that not exceeding high EGT's and Boost levels will lessen the odds of HG failure on a well maintained truck and cooling system and delta's within specs ? I know there are no guarantee's in anything but will common sense behavior help on these points help?

Dan
Yes, definitely.
 
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