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Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
The power stroke, specifically the 6.4L and the "Son of Powerstroke" the Maxxforce 7 have a reputation for early failure.
Past 40,000 to 60,000 miles you may be on borrowed time.
The failure progression as service manager explained it to me is
First;
The high pressure pump wears and puts metal particles in the common rail.
Second;
The particles jam the valves open or partly open in the injectors.
Third;
Over-fueling melts pistons, overheats a cylinder, leads to cylinder washing and accelerated cylinder wear or some combination of the above.
If you are lucky, one injector will jam so far open that the common rail cannot build sufficient pressure and the engine will not start.
Replace injectors and fuel pump and drain the fuel tank and flush the fuel lines. Can run to $20,000.
Question #1 Is the original problem a bad pump design, or a bad injector design? Will other manufacturers injectors pass the microscopic metal particles that kill a Powerstroke/Maxxforce?
Question #2 Is there any remedy other than a different make engine?.
(There is rumoured to be a drop in replacement from Cummins. Cost $44,000 CDN, plus labour and taxes.)
From rumour to anecdote;
A mechanic friend told about servicing a fleet of about 500 trucks on a large pipeline project several years ago.
Admittedly the trucks were somewhat abused; Cold weather starts at minus 30, idling for days at a time at minus 30 to avoid starting issues.
Of the 500 trucks about 120 were Powerstrokes.
Out of 120 Powerstrokes about 90 suffered early engine failure. Most failed at or under about 60,000 km or 40,000 miles.
One truck lost the engine the second time on the way back from the dealers to the jobsite.
The class action suits are ramping up.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

And in the old days diesel engine fuel delivery component failure was very low. Even now many old engines will start up and run just fine. Nothing like modern computerized engineering is there? And the engines your talking about is just a tip of the iceberg of engine problems with in the late 90's to now.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Our experience with electronically controlled diesel engines has been very good. I have had one ECM failure, one injector failure (due to water in fuel), and 3 HP pumps fail. I have 204 electronic injectors in service in my fleet. If we combine the hours of the engines, that's well north of 600,000 hours of runtime. Electronic injectors are not inherently unreliable. Some particular systems are problematic (let's say I'm glad to be rid of any Cat C9 engines we had) but you can't take one bad experience and judge all other systems based on it.

I will add that the 6.4 engine was a dud and I haven't seen a truck with one on the road in quite some time. I don't think it was specifically an injector issue as the 7.3, 6.0, and 6.7 share very similar systems.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

A work colleague had the same symptoms on an older Dodge diesel. His mechanic attributes it to the new low-sulfur fuels, hypothesizing that the old pumps had parts that appear to have relied on the sulfur content to keep the lubricity high, without it the wear increases and particulate gets generated?

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
That's interesting TugboatEng.
However injectors have changed since the GM 6.2L
The new injectors used with the high pressure common rail systems will choke on microscopic particles that would probably pass an older injector.
My main question is;
Is there any way to avoid early failure?
Will fuel additives help?
What fuel additives have the most added lubricity?
You may have guessed by now that I find myself stuck with a 6.4 Maxxfarce 7.
The engine is not yet showing signs of trouble but the local Navistar service manager has been trying to break it to me gently that at 40,000 miles my engine will probably fail soon.
(Yes. I have joined one of the many class action groups.)

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Lubricity? How about some of the old fuel injected gasoline aircraft engines as well as some of the old Porsche and Mercedes gasoline engines with jerk pump injection systems, gasoline!!!!

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Quote (enginesrus)

Lubricity? How about some of the old fuel injected gasoline aircraft engines as well as some of the old Porsche and Mercedes gasoline engines with jerk pump injection systems, gasoline!!!!

....leaded gasoline.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
TugboatEng.
Thank you for your help.
I have gone over the report that you linked with much interest.
I see a few discrepancies between the report and present day reliability.
The report was prepared in Jan 1991. I believe that that was before the advent of Ultra Low Sulfur fuels.
The report covers short time use with jet fuel, probably not 40,000 miles.
The report covers only Stanadyne pumps. Other pumps may be less tolerant of low lubricity fuels.

The report states:
The effect of fuel lubricity was masked by the fact that each pump has operated on diesel and Jet A-1/JP-8 for an unspecified period of time.
The report note the different lubricity of Jet A-1 compared to JP-8.
The report notes that the sulfur content of the fuels may range from 0.2% to 0.4%
Most importantly:
Some attrition is likely with all fuels, and the precise effects (if any) of Jet A-1/JP-8 could not be determined.
The test results are inconclusive.
(But the report was worth reading. Thanks TugboatEng.)

Comments. The failed pumps were from GM engines. The present GM Duramax engines are often working well at 300,000 miles or more.
Stanadyne claims that their pumps are suitable for low lubricity fuels.
The Powerstroke engines in question often fail at only 40,000 miles.
Back to the question.
Will additives to increase lubricity help extend the life of a Powerstroke.
Any recommendations for the best additive.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

If I recall correctly, the older Powerstrokes used unit injectors lubricated by engine oil (very different from the Stanadyne pumps used by GM in the ancient past), and the newer ones including the 6.4 use a common-rail system similar to most others used nowadays.

If that high-pressure pump is a Bosch CP4 (and I don't know if it is), that is a troublesome design shared by a lot of other manufacturers. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=299854

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

[quote]The Powerstroke engines in question often fail at only 40,000 miles.[/quote}

To support this assertion, would you care to quote some sources more reliable than internet attorneys trolling for class action clients?

In the working fleets which which I'm familiar, the Fords given by-the-book maintenance run reliably. It may be hypothesized much of the bad publicity comes from first-time diesel owners unfamiliar with them, using them for short-trip-no-load use and never drain the water filters.

Anecdotal only, but a neighbor who was constantly complaining about his 6.0 had the primary fuel filter water drain plug rust out. He'd never drained it in more than ten years.

jack vines

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
A mechanic friend worked on a fleet of about 500 trucks several years ago, when Fords were using the International built power stroke.
Of the 500, about 120 were Powerstrokes.
Of the 120 new Fords, about 90 had early engine failure, between about 40,000 miles and 60,000 miles.
I recently acquired 2013 International with a 6.4 Maxxforce 7, son of Powerstroke.
I went in to the International dealer to schedule a service. The service manager spent some time preparing me for an early engine failure.
Cummins engines are now being used in some International trucks. A Cummins rep told me that Cummins has a drop in replacement for the Maxxforce engine due to the heavy demand for a solution.
The only problem is that I can't afford $44,000 Cdn plus labour.
The last that I heard International had not decided whether to appeal an award of over $12,000 per truck for a 243 truck fleet in Florida.
Not sure what engine, International was having serious issues with the EGR system on one of the larger engines.
Things did get a little better when they changed the design and started injecting raw fuel directly into the exhaust manifold rather than into the cylinder on the exhaust stroke.
As you may guess, fuel consumption sucks as well.
Yes, lots of Powerstrokes live to a ripe old age. Lots die early.
I am looking for suggestions as to how to join the long life group.
#1> I am using diesel fuel conditioner which claims to be a lubricant.
#2> I will probably park the truck for most of the cold weather. The main use is to haul my son's horses to rodeos. There are almost no rodeos in the colder months.
I have been toying with the idea of dropping in a complete Duramax and Allison transmission.
I will probably need to use both the GM and the International Body Control Modules.
I can get a complete shuttle bus for not much more than the last dealer service.
High mileage, but we don't put on that many miles and a Duramax will run forever.
Duramax is much cheaper to replace than a Maxxforce 7.
I have found 18 trade in buses to choose from. All built a GM 4500 Chassis.
My friendly neighbourhood mechanic recently replaced a dead Powerstroke with a Cummins from a used bus.
Went well, runs well.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Quote:

A mechanic friend . . . Of the 120 new Fords, about 90 had early engine failure, between about 40,000 miles and 60,000 miles.

Winston Churchill said, “I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself”.

Your opinions on the 7.3 Powerstroke obviously varies, but they're not shared with the majority. Wikipedia says, "the 7.3 Powerstroke is regarded as one of the most reliable engines ever put in a light duty truck."

jack vines

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

I believe part of the issue with the 6.4 as somebody else mention was the fuel/water separator. My understanding is that the drain on the fuel/water separator clogs from waxy buildup. Then the under informed, even if they open the drain monthly, see nothing coming out and figure cool no water in my fuel system. WRONG, they fire up the truck and drive for another month, then another and another. The entire time the separator is filling with water and eventually gets into the fueling system and begins to rust internal part (pump part, injector parts, even fuel line parts). Eventually a warning light will go off but the damage is already done.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Hunh. The wikipedia article that I just read through has a lot to say about issues with the Powerstroke series (there are a lot of variants). But the full quote I saw for the 7.3 powerstroke reads:

"Despite being regarded as one of the most reliable engines ever put in a car or light duty truck, the 7.3 Powerstroke was not without its own issues. "

Maybe it was edited between your post and mine.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

I would highly recommend firing any dealer whose rep claims a 40k mile failure is common or that the factory is ignoring major issues. Every engine and vehicle has issues. Some are minor, some are major, but no OE today is going to openly screw their customer as you're suggesting. Take it to a reputable dealer or independent diesel shop, have them go through it and install all the factory upgrades/updates once, then please call the factory complaint line about your current dealer's poor attitude. The 7.3, 6.0, 6.4, and 6.7 all have a handful of issues that a few hundred dollars in parts and a few thousand in labor will solve. Some are potentially fatal and give these engines a bad reputation, but if you get everything updated with the latest parts and keep on top of maintenance there shouldnt be major issues going forward. I haven't kept up on those particular engines so dont want to confuse things, but an experienced tech will have his own "need do" and "should-do" lists for the vehicles they work on.

The biggest issue with any modern diesel is lazy and cheap customers treating them like a gasoline engine. Failure to run a modern diesel at high load regularly, ie, driving it mostly in stop&go city traffic, allowing the engine to idle excessively, or simply driving with little/no weight in the truck often will result in damage. Failure to keep up with maintenance or factory updates will give the same result. MANY today are used to running gas engines until something fails bc its usually not catastrophic, they ignore spark plug intervals, fuel system cleaning recommmendations, and other maintenance. Doing that with a modern diesel (as many do) will often quickly lead to catastrophic engine failure. Diesels need serious money and attention throughout their entire lives, much like kids. If you're not willing to put those into them then I'd recommend trading your truck in on a gasser. Switching to another brand will NOT solve that isssue.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Well all the light duty pickups are getting small diesels as pioneered by the Ram 1500 3.0 liter V6 Eco-Diesel. They are selling these things on the basis of fuel economy to the typical homeowner truck buyer to drive unladen to church and Home Depot. I've read stories of the particulate filters getting so plugged up that even the dealer service department can't regen them and having to replace them. Diesels are never cost effective for low mileage usages but some people try to irrationally justify their purchases on the basis of saving the environment or some such. Even the HD pickups are frequently bought by people who have no need for them but they want to stroke their Manly Man ego.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
Powerstroke 7.3 versus Powerstroke 6.4
Wish I had a 7.3.
Some 6.4s last for many miles. A lot don't. I'm hoping to avoid early failure on my engine.
Note: The 6.4 did get better when they started pouring raw fuel directly into the exhaust manifold.
They had issues with fuel washing the oil off of the cylinder walls and early extreme cylinder wear when they injected into the cylinder on the exhaust stroke.
Forget economy on these pigs. They burn too much fuel in the exhaust trying to keep the Diesel Particulate Filter hot and clean.
Note 2: Generic comments about the care and feeding of a diesel engine are not always accurate when applied to an engine with known issues.
The large numbers of failures in the fleet were all serviced regularly, including not only changing the fuel filter but cutting the old filter open to examine for traces of metal.
When the high pressure pump feeding the common rail starts to fail it puts metal filings in the common rail. As much of the fuel cools the injectors and returns to the fuel tank, the filings will eventually make their way to the fuel filter.
The trouble starts when a filing jams an injector partly open and it starts overfueling that cylinder.
One company in Florida with 243 trucks has won an action against International that ran about $3,000,000.
A Navistar executive has testified in court that it was company policy to hide problems from customers.
A lot of 6.4s were used in school buses. Take a look at any school us forum to see some of the 6.4 problems.
The 6.4 warranty is only a year. Many other Navistar engine models have much longer warranty periods.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

And all this dpf stuff etc. while all turbines get a free pass on after treatment. Logic?

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Turbines have other means like water injection to control combustion chamber temperatures and keep NOx under control. With more time for combustion in a turbine and typically gaseous fuels,particulate becomes less of an issue.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

I'm not aware of very many turbines on the road.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Not sure if its relevant but despite the 1999-2004 Volkswagons tdi having an overall excellent reputation for reliability , by 2009 injection systems had been redesigned and 2009-2012+ tdi's are now known to have exactly the same problems as the OP.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
Bosch high pressure common rail? Around 25,000 psig? (Give or take 15%)

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
I wonder if a secondary issues may be the injector design.
Other engines with Bosch high pressure common rails have excellent reliability.
I wonder if the IH injectors are more likely to be jammed open by wear particles than some other injectors.
By the way.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply.
Even the somewhat negative responses are valuable food for thought.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Quote:

Generic comments about the care and feeding of a diesel engine are not always accurate when applied to an engine with known issues.

Sure, but you keep pointing to known issues caused by poor maintenance. If you dont drain the fuel-water separator monthly (stateside) or more often (up north) then you start corroding the system, damaging injection pumps, clogging injectors, and causing all manner of issues. None of this is new or unique to the 6.4 btw, nor does the 6.4 have an overly bad reputation. Ford put them in something over 1M trucks which are still commanding a significant premium over gasoline trucks.

JMO but leave the conjecture for the hobbyist forums, they're generally a great place to get bad information. This is a professional engineering forum.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
Anecdotal sure. But I've talked to IH service managers, bus fleet owners, mechanics with experience servicing fleets of 6.4s, and read about the multiple class actions started against IH in regards to these engines.
How many other engines are currently the subject of multiple class action suits in more than one country? Well, IH has one other engine that is the subject of multiple class actions.
Trust your dealer. On the one hand the service rep at the dealer's warned me that these engines were prone to very early failure.
On the other hand, on the way to losing a multi million suit an IH executive testified in court that it was company policy to withhold information about chronic engine problems from customers.
On pipeline fleets with a mix of GM Duramax, Dodge/Cummins and IH 6.4L the only engine failures were the 6.4s. All were regularly serviced in the same shop. The manufacturers maintenance schedules were followed and computer tracked for all trucks.
And in the winter, water is not an issue, any water is frozen solid in the bottom of the tanks.
There may be a reason that Ford stopped using these engines 8 years ago.
I am using diesel fuel conditioner with claimed lubricant and will be changing the oil at less than 1/2 of the recommended interval.
Are there any after market replacements for the problem components?
These engines also have an emissions compliance issue.
I have been told that one reason that IH discontinued this engine was that the engine didn't meet standards and their emissions credits had run out.
Can anyone verify that?

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

9quote0JMO but leave the conjecture for the hobbyist forums, they're generally a great place to get bad information. This is a professional engineering forum.(/quote)

For true!

jack vines

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

If it's that scary to you, then sell it while it's still running and worth decent money and buy something else you trust instead.

For the fuel. If it scares you that much then install a much better aftermarket fuel filter and water separator system to provide better protection for the injector system. Keeping water and contaminants out of the high pressure system is essential to the survival of pretty much any modern diesel. Also, only run top tier fuel from a high volume station.

The 6.4l injects fuel on the exhaust stroke of the engine. Your claims of it injecting directly into the exhaust are wrong. It does mean you need to change the oil frequently enough to limit the fuel contamination in the oil. This makes me wonder how much research you have really done on this engine.

The regen cycle does kill economy and it also puts a lot of heat into the engine and cooling system meaning you have to do extra cooling system maintenance as well. You could remove the emissions parts and run a programmer to eliminate the regen cycle which is illegal but does stop any problems caused by that system. Don't get caught without it.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Someone who shall remain unnamed bought a diesel pickup with one of these engines as a test vehicle to develop aftermarket parts for the emission control system. He didn't do his due diligence and said vehicle had already had the complete system removed. Replacing all that equipment and reprogramming it is quite an expensive task. Oops.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)

Quote (Lionel)

If it's that scary to you, then sell it while it's still running and worth decent money and buy something else you trust instead.
That's a good idea but the economics are not quite that simple. I am seriously considering doing an engine swap and trying to sell the 6.4 while it is still running well.
The older 6.4s injected extra fuel into the cylinders during the exhaust stroke. Newer models inject into the exhaust manifold. That has avoided some oil dilution problems.
I am aware of possible water in the fuel issues. However there have been too many mixed fleets running the same fuel and maintained by the same shops where only the Power Strokes have failed to blame water in the fuel as a root cause.
Duramax and Cummins both use similar high common rail pressures. Some shops cut open the fuel filters at every oil change to check for metal particles circulating in the fuel. If if metal particles are detected in time, a new high pressure pump and a complete flushing the fuel lines often avoids an impending failure.


Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

I don't understand your problem. You like the truck so much that you won't sell it, it hasn't let you down, and you want to repair it despite it not being broken?

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
Many of these engines run for a couple of hundred thousand miles. Many fail at around 50,000 miles. What can I do to get into the hundreds of thousands of miles group. That is the point.
For example, many years ago, American Motors had a problem with the casting that held the pressure relief valve and the oil filter. If the suspension bottomed out in off road driving, the front axle would contact the casting. It generally wouldn't break but it would dimple it and jam the pressure relief plunger. I got stuck on a cold day in a camp north of Fort Mac. The engine would start but the valve wouldn't release the excess lube oil pressure and the filter gasket would blow out.
I finally got it running and then found out that there was an after market replacement casting that would not make contact with the axle during severe driving.
I was wondering if anyone had come up with after market parts or additives to extend the life of these engines.
I was aware that two fellows that I know had lost three engines between them. Now I find out that the engines were 6.4s.
Thanks for all the comments.
I will be watching for water in the fuel. But that is not the only problem with these engines.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Don't baby it. You have got to run these engines hard to keep them clean.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Bulletproof Diesel specializes in making aftermarket fixes for known engine weak points.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
The overwhelming driving is highway driving pulling a three horse trailer with living quarters. That's an old steel trailer, not one of the newer lightweight aluminum trailers. The gross combined weight is close to 20,000 lbs. Mostly on cruise control, hour after hour across the prairies at 65 MPH. Not that hard on the engine but a lot harder than an unloaded pickup.
Thanks for the tip Compositepro.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

Quote (waross)

The older 6.4s injected extra fuel into the cylinders during the exhaust stroke. Newer models inject into the exhaust manifold. That has avoided some oil dilution problems.

When??? The Ford 6.4l version ran for 3 model years from 2008 to 2010 in the same basic configuration.

Basing any opinion on the life of work trucks in the oil and gas fields is rather silly. Too many people driving work trucks abuse the shit out them.

RE: Powerstroke and Maxxforce 7, WHY?

(OP)
The Power-Stroke was built By International/Navistar. Navistar called it the Maxxforce 7 and continued using it for a number of years. My engine is a 2013 Maxxforce 7, almost identical to the Ford 6.4L. Many of the failed school buses were post 2010 international chassis.
Your comment about driving the shift of work trucks is valid. The trucks in question were used in pipeline construction which may be even more abusive than other oilfield uses.
On the other hand, take a look at the school bus forums. A lot of school bus fleets have had a lot of problems with these engines.
I'm waiting for the good news/bad news.
The bad news is that with the present mileage, the engine may fail soon.
The good news is that if it doesn't fail soon, it may well run for a long time.
For now, I'll use a lubricating fuel conditioner and change the oil and filters every spring. We put about 4000 or 5000 miles on the rig every summer and will seldom use it in the cold weather.
On the one hand there is no doubt that this is an engine that is prone to issues.
On the other hand I am starting to realize that the issues may not be as bad as I had been led to believe.
Thank you for your contributions everyone.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

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