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'Ol Builder guy
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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up my used '08 F-550 this past week. It's a 4x4 XL crewcab with PW/PDL/PM w/ heat, high cap tow package and plow package. It has a 9' flatbed with 25K gooseneck hitch and 16K bumper hitch.
Of course have many, many questions. I only owned the truck for 1 day and it lost a #5 injector and a wiring harness. Many are suggesting I buy the extended warranty. looks like ~$2,700.
That aside, what do I need to do to make this thing run/last better?

Any free or low cost things I can do right away?

Came with CD player but no steering controls for stereo, can the switches be added where the blank plate is and it will have fingertip control?
Can daytime running lights be added? (I know it's crazy, but I like them)

That's just the starter list of ?'s. More to come if you can stand it.
 

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Member
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Extended warranyy probably not a bad idea unless you plan on putting a tuner on.

I do not think the switches can be added need to check witha stero shop or Crutchfiled for a more definitive answer.

I do not believe daytime runnning lights can be added either. I have heard different stories about this item no dealership in my area will do it or I have not found one to do it.

Enjoy the truck sounds like a good workhorse for you.
 

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Senior Member
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I see no reason why you couldn't add DRL. I know ALOT of people have them turned off at the dealers, so why couldn't they activate it? Check with a dealer near you. As far as making it last longer, you know the answer......



DPF/DOC delete and a tuner, or else be prepared for the horrible moleage and additional fuel in the oil due to regen's.
 
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'Ol Builder guy
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Discussion Starter #4
I see no reason why you couldn't add DRL. I know ALOT of people have them turned off at the dealers, so why couldn't they activate it? Check with a dealer near you. As far as making it last longer, you know the answer......



DPF/DOC delete and a tuner, or else be prepared for the horrible moleage and additional fuel in the oil due to regen's.
Actually, no I don't know the answer. I don't know chit about this engine except that about 75% of the people I told I bought the truck told me the 6.4L sucked.

I would rather not molest the engine in any way that causes warranty concerns. Removing the dpf and a tuner would. I don't need any more power, just reliability. Of course removing anything simple that hinders performance would be considered. It's a mule, not a thoroughbred.
 

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The biggest issue with the 6.4 is the DPF and the additional fuel injected into the engine during a regen, (when the Dpf is cleaned). Long story short, these motors "make" oil from the additional fuel. The tuner is needed to turn off the regens, not just for more power. I'll send you a PM on where you can do some reading.
 

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Junior Member
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186 Posts
DRL is a programmable feature that can be set with the Ford VCM/IDS, there should be no issue getting it enabled.

If it has a stock radio the radio controls can probably be added, I only have the 2009 diagram, but it shows the steering wheel controls connect to the ACM which shows as being there in even the base audio configuration.

The 6.4 is not a bad engine, but like other emissions controlled diesels it does not tolerate neglected maintenance.

Key maintenance points:

- Use only Ford FD4617 (or Racor) fuel filter sets, change every 10k miles.

- Use only Ford FL2016 (or Racor) oil filters, change every 5k miles.

- Use Ford PM22A/PM23A fuel conditioner or other quality conditioner like Stanadyne at every fill up.

- Test coolant nitrite levels regularly, 15k mi max, I recommend 5k when doing oil changes since the test strips are cheap. Add VC-8 if needed. If nitrite is too low, or at 60k intervals flush with VC-9 and fill with fresh coolant.

- Avoid bio-diesel in any concentration like the plague. 5% is the max allowed for the engine and even that is known to be problematic.

- Send an oil sample off to Blackstone Labs for analysis at every oil change. This is very valuable data to have, especially the long term trending information. Get the pre-pay 6 pack sample kits to save a few bucks.

It is highly recommended to get the manufacturer backed (i.e. Ford ESP) extended warranty on any new emissions controlled diesel. Parts / repairs for these engines are very expensive so one good repair can easily cost more than the extended warranty costs.

I also recommend getting an add-on monitor like the Scangauge II to keep a closer eye on operating conditions than the stock gauges give you. This is particularly important with the latest PCM flash which does not give continuous indication of DPF regen. Without the extra gauge you won't know when your exhaust is 1,400F and a severe fire risk if parking over dry grass.

The latest PCM flash is highly recommended as it improves fault detection and can find developing issues before they do too much damage and can help find them while you are still under warranty.
 

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I haven't heard ANYTHING good about the latest flash from Ford. I've had 2 different dealers tell me to avoid it.
 

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'Ol Builder guy
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Discussion Starter #9
DRL is a programmable feature that can be set with the Ford VCM/IDS, there should be no issue getting it enabled.
So you mean dealer can turn it on with laptop?

If it has a stock radio the radio controls can probably be added, I only have the 2009 diagram, but it shows the steering wheel controls connect to the ACM which shows as being there in even the base audio configuration.
So all I do is buy the switch assembly that goes where the blank cover plate is and it'll work? Or does something have to be done at the dealer?

The 6.4 is not a bad engine, but like other emissions controlled diesels it does not tolerate neglected maintenance.

Key maintenance points:

- Use only Ford FD4617 (or Racor) fuel filter sets, change every 10k miles.

- Use only Ford FL2016 (or Racor) oil filters, change every 5k miles.

- Use Ford PM22A/PM23A fuel conditioner or other quality conditioner like Stanadyne at every fill up.

- Test coolant nitrite levels regularly, 15k mi max, I recommend 5k when doing oil changes since the test strips are cheap. Add VC-8 if needed. If nitrite is too low, or at 60k intervals flush with VC-9 and fill with fresh coolant.

- Avoid bio-diesel in any concentration like the plague. 5% is the max allowed for the engine and even that is known to be problematic.

- Send an oil sample off to Blackstone Labs for analysis at every oil change. This is very valuable data to have, especially the long term trending information. Get the pre-pay 6 pack sample kits to save a few bucks.

It is highly recommended to get the manufacturer backed (i.e. Ford ESP) extended warranty on any new emissions controlled diesel. Parts / repairs for these engines are very expensive so one good repair can easily cost more than the extended warranty costs.

I also recommend getting an add-on monitor like the Scangauge II to keep a closer eye on operating conditions than the stock gauges give you. This is particularly important with the latest PCM flash which does not give continuous indication of DPF regen. Without the extra gauge you won't know when your exhaust is 1,400F and a severe fire risk if parking over dry grass.

The latest PCM flash is highly recommended as it improves fault detection and can find developing issues before they do too much damage and can help find them while you are still under warranty.
Excellent. Thanks.
 

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Junior Member
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I haven't heard ANYTHING good about the latest flash from Ford. I've had 2 different dealers tell me to avoid it.
That was correct for the original 11B23 flash, it is not true for the revised 11B23 which came out several months later.
 

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Junior Member
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So you mean dealer can turn it on with laptop?
Absolutely.

So all I do is buy the switch assembly that goes where the blank cover plate is and it'll work? Or does something have to be done at the dealer?
The wiring will need to be verified. The switch assembly has to connect through the clockspring in the steering column and back to the ACM. If all the wiring is in place it should work. There isn't anything in the ACM that should need any programming for those extra switches to work.
 

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'Ol Builder guy
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7,051 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Should I pry off the blank cover plate to see if there's a harness behind it? Or would you handle it a different way?
Thanks
 

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Let it all Ride
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1,316 Posts
Hey Duke, I just talked to a friend of mine that works at Car Toys out here. He said that the stereo has to be steering wheel control compatible too. He said most are but a lot of the XL stereo's are not capable of being retro fitted.
 

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Is this the truck from Minnesota?
 

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'Ol Builder guy
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Discussion Starter #15
Is this the truck from Minnesota?
No. I couldn't really get comfortable with that truck. Hours were too high and the engine having all that extensive work scared me off. Plus it was run in salt/snow. Looked really "weathered" for its' age.
I found an '08 crewcab in NC for slightly more, but it came with a 9' flatbed/25K gooseneck hitch and 16K bumper hitch. It has only 1200 hours/44,000 miles. It also has a lot more warranty left. It's only an XL, but has a convenience group that has PW,PDL, PM, CD, etc. so it's almost as nice. Seats are kida beat (vinyl) and it only has cruise control on wheel.
Dealer was much better to work with. The truck had new tires on it, but they were those crappy chinese kind. I told them I wouldn't buy the truck with them. They offered to swap them with another 550 on the lot with Continental max traction tires. They installed a nice keyless remote for me and put brand new batteries in it, too. Othe dealer in MN was "take it or leave it". So I left it.

Would like to get the DRL turned on and the stereo controls added if it's possible. I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and extend the warranty. I hear the 6.4 is problematic.

This weekend I want to try to hook my transfer tank up to the upfitter switches. Goota get out the owners manual and see how they're accessed.
 

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Member
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you might be able to find a seat out of a wrecked truck with a center console, that's what I did with my last truck ( bought the seat out of a junk yard) $250
 

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"I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and extend the warranty. I hear the 6.4 is problematic."

Not problematic, just bloody expensive if there is a problem. The 6.4 does require more maintenance attention than older non-emissions controlled diesels, but so do all the other new emissions controlled diesels, and all are expensive if they need repairs.
 

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TDG Mafia Member #25
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1,447 Posts
Nothin wrong with an XL convenience group upgrade truck. Although I disagree on your thoughts of tuning. Without the emissions garbage the truck runs so much cooler, less fuel consumption, and isn't too big of a deal to put back on if you need warranty work. Shoot, found me a dealer that doesn't even care about tuners.



I thought about adding buttons, but just keep my head units remote handy, and I'm good to go.



Adrianspeeder
 

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ADMIN/MAFIA
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Duke, Do you have to have the rig DOT inspected, and use weigh stations in your area when you are working? That would be why I would leave well enough alone, but if you don't have to deal with that very often, I would just ask your local dealer about a DPF Delete, if you can get a tune that just clears codes and does not necessarily add power or a very light tow tune. If they will work with you Id delete it. Outside of that I would look into a exhuast brake, And I can't believe Im saying this but the Banks speedbrake ( Turbo brake) seems interesting to me if you go that route let us know how it works.
 
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'Ol Builder guy
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Discussion Starter #20
I do want to get the Banks brake but man it's expensive. I'm going to wait to see how it tows the trailer stock with a load before I add anything. Dealer service I use seemed indifferent if I add it, but didn't want to honor a warranty if power is added.
I am looking into seat upgrades. There's a joint out in the midweat that takes out stcok seats for custom seats and they sell them relatively cheap "RV- something -something". I have to find them online and see if they have anything available.
Would love it if the back seat would fold down for tool storage. Can't believe the XL series didn't come with that feature.
 
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