Everyone knows about the 6.0L Powerstroke and it’s head gasket issues. My 80 year old grandmother even dogged me out last week when my 2005 F350 had some coolant spray under the hood, asking if that 6-blow could hold it’s liquor. (Grandma used to chase us around with a wooden spoon so don’t think for one second she cares about my truck’s feelings)
Everyone also knows that the main antedote for the issue is a set of ARP Head studs going in with a good set of heads. But what about the other Powerstrokes, Duramax, and Cummins owners that find themselves with blown head gaskets, or a repair that forces them into the decision of whether to stud the motor coming back out? With the cost of head stud kits ranging from $425 to over $1000, they aren’t the cheapest upgrade, and in many cases, it can be argued they aren’t needed. Yes, if you have a stock 7.3L, don’t tow, don’t plan on doing any performance upgrades, and plan on getting rid of the truck in a year, you can skip the head studs without serious threat of remorse.
But the number of owners that fall into this category are few. Everyone is looking for more fuel economy and power out of their truck, and the upgrades that will get you there often put your motor at a higher risk of head gasket failure due to increased combustion pressure. So whether you plan on doing just a custom tune pack or pulling the trigger on that triple turbo/double pump combo you saw on the Industrial Injection truck at UCC, it is a good idea to make the most of your budget and set your motor up for long term durability. We know…head studs aren’t a fun, go fast upgrade. They are a practical investment in a good foundation that will handle whatever you throw at it. And if you are the guy or gal that is looking to just fix their truck to sell it, I guarantee that a studded motor will only help you move it fast.