Bulletproofing a 6.0 Ford Truck: How Much Does it Cost?

If you own a Ford truck, you’ve probably encountered suggestions and advice about bulletproofing it. Thankfully, that has nothing to do with making it armored, which could cost a fortune. So, how much does it cost to bulletproof a 6.0 Ford truck, and is it worth it?

Bulletproofing your Ford 6.0 can be expensive if you replace all the problematic parts, so you might have to pay up to $8000 or more. This covers the cost of the aftermarket components and the labor involved. Parts like the oil cooler are costly, while others like the water pump aren’t expensive.

Bulletproofing your truck is a smart choice, especially if you’re looking for better performance, fuel efficiency, and a long engine life span. It syncs your truck with your driving style and aligns your expectations with reality. Let’s look at some of the aspects and associated costs you’ll encounter while bulletproofing your truck.

What is Bulletproofing?

Hand repair and maintenance cylinder diesel engine of light pick

Bulletproofing an engine means replacing the less efficient stock components (factory-installed parts) with sturdier, more reliable, and better-designed parts. While the term is being colloquially used, it may have originated from BulletProof Diesel, a diesel engine parts manufacturer in Mesa, Arizona.

The company BulletProof Diesel quickly became synonymous with addressing the core issues that plagued the 2003-2007 Ford trucks with the 6.0L Power Stroke Diesel V-8 engine. 

The technicians at BulletProof Diesel say the 6.0 engine is considered “bulletproofed” if it has at least four of its five main problematic parts replaced. The main problematic areas are the oil cooler, EGR cooler, fuel injection control module (FICM), head studs, and water pump.

What Are the Advantages of Bulletproofing?

In general, bulletproofing a 6.0 engine optimizes its overall performance and greatly increases its chances of serving you longer. It replaces the five main problematic components with sturdier, more durable parts. 

Let’s face it — many diesel trucks are used as working vehicles, and their performance and reliability are critical to smooth business operations.

OEM parts may be manufactured while keeping certain financial priorities in mind. As such, manufacturers may produce parts that don’t last the lifetime of your vehicle because they’re forced to use cheaper materials and cut labor costs.

So while the engine may be trouble-free for some time, problems start cropping up with age and extended use. Bulletproofing will upgrade up your diesel engine’s otherwise vulnerable aspects and make it more likely for your truck to last longer.

It can also lead to better acceleration and fuel economy than what you’d enjoy with stock parts. Also, once you have improved transmission lines on the oil cooler, you can haul heavier loads than the truck could handle before.

Moreover, bulletproofing will protect your engine if you intend to add other modifications for improving its performance and reliability. This will save you much time, money, and effort and result in smoother operations.

How Much Does Bulletproofing Cost?

Close up of a diesel engine

The cost of bulletproofing a 6.0 engine can be as high as $8000, but some people can get it done for cheaper. It all boils down to the components you intend to upgrade and if you plan to upgrade all of them.

For example, replacing the water pump system won’t be expensive, but the oil and EGR coolers can be costly. Getting all the problematic areas addressed will inflate the overall costs. 

Here’s what to know about the costs of the various parts and the ones that are important:

Oil Cooler: $4000

Your oil cooler has a significant impact on your engine’s lifespan, making it a good start for bulletproofing. It ensures a consistent supply of oil at a steady temperature reaches the engine. Expect to spend around $3000 on the components alone and an extra $1000 on installation.

EGR Cooler: $400

The EGR cooler plays a major role in cooling down the heat of exhaust gasses. Upgrading it won’t cost as much as the other components on this list, so you can expect to part with around 400 bucks. This includes the cost of labor. You can leave out it if you’re on a shoestring budget.

Head Studs: $1000

Replacing the head studs doesn’t bring a significant change to your truck performance and may not be worth the price. It only beefs up your truck’s head-and-block gripping force, and you will pay around $600 for the components and $400 for installation.

Gas Tank: $4000

The gas tank upgrade costs about $4000, including labor. That said, it’s one of the most expensive upgrades you can think of. A low-quality gas tank typically goes for as low as $2000, but auto experts don’t recommend it when you want your truck to last a long time.

With an upgraded gas tank, bad or cold weather will no longer affect your gas tank. So by bulletproofing yours, your truck will warm up without a hitch and without running out of oil in even the coldest temps.

Fuel Injection Control Module: $900

The FICM has a direct impact on your fuel efficiency and the performance of your engine. As such, you want to include it with the top parts to upgrade on your list. Expect to pay around $900 for the components and an additional $600 for the labor involved.

It’s not much compared to the other pricey upgrades on this list, but it will be a worthy enhancement in the end because you’ll enjoy better performance and a significant increase in mileage.

Water Pump: $400

Water pumps in any engine play an indispensable role in the whole system, continuously moving coolant from the radiator to the engine compartment. They help prevent the engine from overheating, which would otherwise damage its performance and lead to failure.

Upgrading the water pump in your Ford truck only costs $400, excluding the labor charge. If you trust your DIY skills and have a basic understanding of mechanical principles, you can replace it yourself. 

But if you’re not sure of what you’re doing, leave it to a qualified mechanic. They should charge you a reasonable price of less than half the cost of the part.

While you can include the water pump upgrade if you’re doing full bulletproofing, it’s not a must you go through with it. The stock pumps are usually good enough to keep your engine’s cooling system running optimally.

Is Bulletproofing a 6.0 Engine Worth It?

Bulletproofing a 6.0 engine is worth it because it eliminates the engine’s common problems and dramatically increases your truck’s overall reliability. It’s especially a smart choice if you’re constantly running into problems with your 6.0L Power Stroke engine.

While it might cost you as much as $8000, think of it as a one-time investment that will give you several years of good service. And even if you don’t have the entire amount, you can always choose between the upgrades and add the others later.

Experts recommend you at least upgrade the oil cooler and FICM (fuel injection control module). The head studs and the water pump are optional upgrades but are still good to consider.

How Long Does Bulletproofing Last?

On average, a bulletproofed 6.0 L Power Stroke engine can last as long as 400,000 miles if you maintain it properly. So you need to take good care of it and use good engine oil. But without the bulletproofing, the engine could only last 200,000 to 300,000 miles, and this is still a high estimate.

So if you want a truck that will be around for the long run, it’s definitely time to consider bulletproofing!

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