Ford 6.4 Powerstroke - 8 month horror finally ended
8 months ago I bought a 2008 F-550 flatbed with 89000 miles. It has a 6.4 Diesel and it was still just under the drivetrain warranty. A properly designed small automotive diesel should run 250K with no major repairs. This one had served light duty for 3 years, having a 1-ton hydraulic crane for picking up small brush along the right of way under those huge electrical towers. The previous owner had contract to mow the path, and this truck had a light trailer behind it for the brush.
It's not like it was abused and by the hour meter -vs- odometer was not idled excessively like some trucks are.
At the time I did not realize what an ill-conceived piece of junk the 6.4 powerstroke is. And the rest of the super duty truck had its share in this bad business as well.
In the last 8 months it has been towed, dead, 5 times, and of these, to the Ford dealer from which it was purchased 4 times. Two other times I had to drive it in for other repairs. 8 repairs needed in 8 months. Each time it has had to be there for 4-5 days. The truck has been a real piece of poo despite inspecting everything scrupulously beforehand and religious adherence to maintenance schedules and no hard work, no trailers or loads over about 500#..
5 towings @ $150 each: $750
6 1-week truck rentals @ $400 each: $2400
1.) 4x4 engagement vacuum pump blowing fuses the day after I got it. It was replaced. Dealer fixed no charge but I had to rent a truck.
2.) no start. towed in. air in fuel system, tech found nothing else. $280.
3.) no start. towed in. fuel pickup tube broke off inside fuel tank. Both tanks had to be removed. low pressure pump bad due to sucking air. I was also told not to park it on an incline. (a 2-ton 4x4 that does not operate on an incline) $900
4.) a/c squealed and threw belt. Both tensioners were broke and both belts were replaced. There is much plastic in the tensioners. $460
5.) died while in front of supermarket with load of groceries and a passenger. no start. On Sunday, had it towed to house. Monday it was towed to dealer. had to pay for cab for passenger ride to get groceries home. A wire in the engine, that does not move or anything, simply "shorted out" no other explanation. To reach it they had to remove the cab, then the turbo, and the high pressure pump cover. From that point on there was an intermittent exhaust gas odor in the cab because they didn't put the exhaust pipe back on right. They could not "reproduce the odor problem". shorted wire $2400
6.) died on highway. towed in. computer throttled engine to nothing, "stop vehicle safely" light. Died when speed dropped to about 5MPH. no crank. A sensor in the tailpipe broke, and told the computer the exhaust temp was too high so the computer shut the fuel off. $200
paid cost for 8 months: $7390
7.) things that broke last week and I didn't fix: a/c stopped blowing cold. almost no pressure in system. I put a can of 143a in and it started working again. The CD player quit working. The exhaust odor has still been there, off and on, for a month.
additional to fix these things:
a/c $2000 typical, was quoted that.
plus a week rental truck $400.
radio $750 (replace only)
exhaust stench -they should fix free.
total cost for 6.4 diesel truck for 8 months:
Yes, the Ford F-550 Super Duty flatbed with 6.4 Diesel's cost of repairs over 8 months is $11,540.
None of this includes the two half-days of time (lost money) required for each truck-drop and rental-arrangement, and rental-return and truck-pickup. hours at $150 per hour billed=$750 loss of business. But let's not quibble over such a pittance. It's clear I have money to burn or I would never have bought the accursed thing. No doubt others will say they love their Ford 6.4 Diesel. I'm just reporting the facts of what happened with mine.
After #6, which was right after #7 (other stuff that broke the same week) I immediately traded it in to the same dealer before anything else broke. Good thing I bought it right and could get rid of it with no penalty. The dealer didn't mind taking it back and good riddance. I am sure they will park it and sell it again to the next guy trying to make a living. I was surprised they would take it in trade seeing what trouble this one is, but they don't want to make enemies, they are not unfair, it is the garbage-box of a truck that has been the problem, not the dealership.
I would have done better with an old 1967 gas powered grain truck like the one that has been sitting on my grandfather's farm for 15 years, even including adding the a/c to it and painting it.
So, there it is, the Ford F-550 is a heavy duty truck, rated 2 tons and 17K GVW that can't even pull itself around for 25K miles without falling apart.
I bought a 2012 E-150 van and got the 125k bumper to bumper extended warranty. It's a cheap vehicle but I have something I can use for the next 125k miles and not have to take a fleecing on. Today I had Skylink and window tint installed in my van.
I was waiting on this work outside the sales building, and Behold! Here comes a huge cloud of white and gray smoke up the access road with the front of a 6.4 Powerstroke Super duty F-450 sticking out of it, and it turns in the drive and almost makes it to the service lane before choking to a stop. It looked like the space shuttle launch but horizontal. Once it stopped, a bunch of smoke and mist like water started coming from the hood. Then the smoke cleared and I could see the lawn service trailer it was pulling. The smoke was so thick the trailer had been invisible. An older Ford diesel, maybe a 7.2, quite old, pulled in with the same company markings. I think it was the boss. He talked to a service tech who had come out to see, quite a few people were looking at the spectacle. The boss man passed by me and told me "blown the turbo again". "again??" yikes, that is a $2500 dual turbo (plus cab removal..) and they are not rebuildable when the core unit is bad. How many turbos can you blow on a diesel before the engine has eaten enough of it and follows it to the mechanical objects afterlife? At least it didn't run away. Lucky.
Another one bites the dust!
Be careful, this could be you. And be sure not to buy the 6.4 Powerstroke lemon I just traded in. No amount of sugar will ever make lemonade out of that thing. I'm just glad to be rid of it.