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Technical Articles

Our articles are written from the perspective of working dealer technicians because they are written by a technician. The intention is to inform and educate from our knowledge and experience explained as simply as possible using photographs of actual vehicles, parts and procedures. If you encounter any terminology or acronyms that you do not understand please try our Terminology page. All DTS articles are all original content including all graphics and photographs unless otherwise noted. If there is an article or subject you would like to see covered please contact us with your suggestion or request. We cover topics related to Ford Diesel trucks and Power Stroke diesel engines, Ford recalls and known Ford truck and diesel engine performance and repair issues.

Latest Articles

Hunting Down Wiring Concerns

Oct 26 2014 07:42 AM | Keith Browning in DTS Articles

Wiring harness concerns have been a part of automotive diagnostics since the beginning but cars and trucks are infinitely more complex now. Any technician can tell you that it goes with the territory. Ford trucks over the years have had their share of issues and over time we discover pattern failures and common areas where wiring faults tend to occur. On 2008 and newer Super Duty trucks one such area is located near the front left shock tower shown here. This is a location on the truck where a lot of the wiring is found because the battery junction box containing many of the fuses and relays for the vehicle is located there. Additionally this area of the truck is where many circuits pass through the firewall to the instrument panel. There are also several harnesses that continue down the left frame rail that contain circuits for many systems and components like the transmission, fuel system, exhaust aftertreatment systems, braking, and lighting to name a few. Any time you encounter faults that point to circuit faults pay close attention to the wiring in this area of the truck. In the pictures the inner wheel and splash shield have been removed to access the wiring for inspection and repairs.

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6.7L Turbo Fittings

Jul 12 2014 04:53 AM | Keith Browning in DTS Articles

Engine oil and coolant leaks are not overly common on the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine however they are not immune. With there being a lot of components taking up real estate on the top end of the engine finding leaks can be a challenge. The quick connect fittings used on the Garrett turbocharger for lube oil and coolant are becoming somewhat of a pattern failure.

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Fuel System UV Dye-agnosis

Jan 11 2014 08:23 AM | Keith Browning in DTS Articles

Detecting and pinpointing fuel system leaks can be difficult and time consuming. Fuel being a fluid of light viscosity means that it can migrate quickly and mix with other fluids. This is especially true for fuel systems with components that are located inside an engine and hidden under covers. This means that finding these leaks and verifying repairs is very important to prevent repeat repairs and severe engine damage.

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Repairing EGT Sensor Bosses

Nov 03 2013 09:52 AM | Keith Browning in DTS Articles

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Diesel exhaust gas temperature sensors can seize, break off and sometimes damage the threads in their mounting boss during removal preventing the installation of a new EGT sensor rendering the diesel oxidation, diesel particulate or selective reduction catalysts useless. We have some repair advice to offer you from the best method of removing the sensors to repairing or replacing the mounting boss.

So you have a diesel truck in the shop that either won't start or has a check engine light on due to an EGT sensor concern. Your first step is to diagnose the concern and determine what the proper and effective repair will be. If an EGT sensor requires replacement, first inspect the entire exhaust system for damage including the tailpipe for the presence of black soot and other sediments or fluid that would indicate that the DPF is cracked or damaged in some way that it would require replacement to begin with.

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6.7L Block Heater Install

Oct 28 2013 05:40 AM | Keith Browning in DTS Articles

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The 2011 model year Super Duty brought us a new Ford Power Stroke Diesel engine. Engine block heaters and cords are still not standard equipment when ordered in all loacations and owners of these trucks equipped with 6.7L PSD engines may want to add one. We have received requests for information about this topic so we thought it would be good to post an article showing where the heater element is installed on the engine and the proper routing for the cord. While this is not a terribly difficult procedure the how and where may cause confusion for some people. No problem!

First, obtain the following OEM parts:
  • Heater Element - Ford part # BC3Z-6A051-A
  • Wire Assembly - Ford part # BC3Z-6B018-C
  • Silicone Brake Caliper Grease and Dielectric Compound - Motorcraft part # XG-3-A

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Working Clean

Aug 09 2013 09:32 AM | webmaster in DTS Articles

Taking care to protect engines and their components from contamination and damage is an important part of performing effective repairs and reducing additional and repeat failures. This means that as a technician you should always consider working clean and take reasonable steps to protect vital vehicle assemblies and systems from foreign objects, dirt and debris, water or cross contamination of fluids. The first thing to consider is your work environment. Are you working outdoors where there is a lot of dust in the air or where weather can be a factor? Even indoors we need to consider where work is being performed. Working near a wash bay or next to other technicians or equipment where dirt can be blown around for example are all possible sources of contamination.

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DEF vs. Diesel Fuel

Jun 22 2013 09:08 PM | webmaster in DTS Articles

Have you ever wondered what happens when a diesel fuel system is contaminated with diesel exhaust fluid? The damage occurs quickly and can be extensive! Diesel Exhaust Fluid or DEF, is a solution of 32.5% high purity urea and 67.5% deionized water used in the selective catalyst reduction system SCR to reduce NOx emissions. The fluid is very corrosive and it's affect on fuel system components is devastating: premature high pressure pump and fuel injector wear, debris, pitting/corrosion, distortion of materials, plugged fuel injector return line.

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Oct 20 2012 09:01 PM | webmaster in DTS Articles

Applied as a liquid or gel, threadlocker are superior to conventional lock washers, nylon inserts, and other mechanical devices because they secure the entire fastener assembly against loosening from shock and vibration. They work by filling the space between threaded metal parts, curing to form a tough, adhesive bond and seal. They also seal the threads against leakage, preventing rust and corrosion. Threadlocker is not something we all consider as much as we should. How many times have you observed someone installing a fastener without thread lock compound when it is required? How many times have YOU reinstalled a bolt that had traces of threadlocker on the threads without reapplying the appropriate product before reassembly?

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Block Heater Cord Corrosion

Jun 14 2012 10:28 AM | webmaster in DTS Articles

In areas like the Mid-Atlantic states where rock salt is used to control icing on the roads corrosion is a big problem for cars and trucks. This is an extreme example but it illustrates how corrosion can occur within wiring which is more common and usually undetectable. Corrosion here can cause a block heater to simply not work or cause a circuit breaker to trip. In theory it is also possible for fire to result.

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Coolant Air Lift Tool

Sep 24 2011 10:14 AM | webmaster in DTS Articles

A coolant airlift tool is a pneumatic cooling system refill and testing tool that has become a necessity for Ford diesel engine servicing and diagnostics. Using the Venturi effect, it employs compressed air to create a vacuum that is applied directly to a vehicle cooling system. This tool is available from a few different manufacturers and the basic design and use is virtually identical between brands. An internet search for "coolant air lift" will provide many sources from which you can purchase one from. The image on the right is an example of the tool. Make sure that the tool you chose comes with several rubber adapters as the universal cone is not always the best choice on some applications.

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EGR Marbles

Nov 13 2010 01:27 PM | webmaster in DTS Articles

Have you ever serviced an EGR valve on a 6.0l Power Stroke diesel engine only to have the truck return with a repeat EGR concern? A minimum stop performance code P1335 indicates that the EGR valve is not fully closing which would be surprising if the valve is new. The open valve will cause performance concerns like a lack of power, hesitation smoke and stalling. The engine may not even run if the EGR valve is open enough when it should be closed. Remove the EGR valve and inspect it for contamination like pea-sized carbon chunks we refer to as EGR Marbles.

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6.0L ICP Sensor Failures

Jun 14 2010 01:17 PM | webmaster in DTS Articles

We still receive a lot of questions about oil leaks and driveability concerns related to ICP sensors on 2003 and early 2004 model year trucks with 6.0L PSD engines. The Injection Control Pressure (ICP) sensor is a three wire variable capacitance sensor that produces a linear analog voltage that indicates pressure. This sensor provides feedback to the PCM as it modulates the Injection Pressure Regulator (IPR) and also to the Fuel Injection Control Module (FICM) where it is used to correct injection timing. The ICP sensor is a part of the high pressure oil system that supplies high pressure oil to the fuel injectors.

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Diagnostic Test Leads

May 06 2010 01:11 PM | webmaster in DTS Articles

Diagnostic test leads can be made from terminal pins removed from salvage wire harnesses. Well why not! If you have priced a set of Flex Leads or generic test lead kits you know they are pricey. What's more is that inevitably through normal use they will eventually break or you will lose a couple forcing you to buy more. So why not use terminal pins that are in the OEM harnesses and make your own?

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