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Remanufactured Powerstroke engines

Why use ARP Head Studs for the 6.0 Powerstroke?

A common failure of a 6.0 starts with a poorly maintained cooling system. Solids (rust) and some say silicate precipitation from the coolant get trapped in the oil cooler. blocking flow and reducing coolant flow to the EGR cooler. The overheated EGR cooler fails and leaks coolant into the intake manifold, and from there, into the cylinder. As it flashes from water to steam, the water in the coolant expands at a much higher rate/ratio than the air fuel mixture resulting in extremely high pressures in the cylinders. The engine is already at a disadvantage having only four bolts per cylinder holding the heads down to the block. The extreme pressure in the cylinders stretch the bolts slightly and the seal at the head gasket surface fails. Most people will say "I blew a head gasket" but really, the bolts and the gaskets both failed, bolts first. Many trucks are on the road with no OBD monitor but most of us here have a phone app or ScanGauge or similar to keep an eye on the oil/coolant temps. You can see this failure coming a long way off if you watch the temps occasionally. Obviously keeping the cooling system in good condition is important also.

There are other failure modes, over boosting, too hot of a tune, towing hard and heavy, overheating, but stretching of the head bolts is a common link when the engine finally fails.

The arp and equivalent studs won't be stretching under these conditions. The torque to yield bolts are at their strongest (clamping force) when properly installed and stretched. Many non-tuned or lightly tuned trucks have ran many miles on TTY bolts with no issues, but the bolts just don't have the resistance to further stretching the studs have.

As far as re-use, there are many reasons a head may need to be re-removed. Almost everyone who installed the Black Onyx gaskets a few years ago got to re-do the heads. Improper prep to the gasket surfaces can result in the heads coming back off. An injector tip breaking, a bad valve or a over heat causing head cracking could cause you to go back into it, but you won't be going back in because the the studs stretched.

We build every 6.0 Powerstroke using ARP Head Studs.  It's tempting to use the TTY bolts that come with the head gasket from Ford which would make the bolts basically free, the extra clamping force and resistance to stretching makes the studs a better answer, and in my opinion well worth the extra expense for a head job.

As far as the truck you're looking at, the marks on the bolts were proper procedure for torque angle adjustment required with the TTY bolts. I wouldn't have a problem with one head being repaired. SOP for a dealership or off duty Tech repair if only one head had an issue. Like any other repair, hopefully it was done correctly and you won't have to work on it right away.

I don't think there's a significant difference in difficulty between using bolts or studs except it is easier to bow-up on a torque wrench until it clicks or beeps compared to marking and inspecting the angle you twisted the bolts to.

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