Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local; we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of the award winning Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 16 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Ford F350, your favourite repair vehicle, a 2008, these ones, this is a newer motor, the 6.4 liter diesel but there was an exhaust leak that you need to work on, what was going on this car?
Bernie: Yeah, so our client brought the vehicle to us, with the complaint of an exhaust smell inside the vehicle, very, very noticeable and very, very pungent smell.
Mark: So how did you find the source of the leak?
Bernie: Well we have a few methods; sometimes you can listen for a leak. In this case it wasn’t, there wasn’t really a lot of noise associated with it so we use one of our good methods which is a smoke machine. A smoke machine basically is a device that generates smoke and we use it for a variety of items in the auto repair industry for finding vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks, all sorts of useful things you can do with it. You can even find interior water leaks although we rarely do those sort of services but what we do is we can attach the, with adapters we can attach the smoke machine to the exhaust system and what it does is generates a very thick white smoke and wherever, whenever there’s a leak it’ll actually force the, force the smoke out; so with that we were able to find the leak.
Mark: So where was the leak coming from?
Bernie: The leak was coming from the back of the engine. There are three small exhaust pipes that connect the exhaust manifolds to the turbochargers in the EGR valve and one of pipes was badly broken. It’s common on these engines after a while for this to happen. I’ll just share some photos here.
Mark: So was it really loud?
Bernie: No it wasn’t actually and I’ll just share these photos and I’ll talk about the noises in a sec. Now can you see this?
Bernie: O.k. so there’s our F350 truck, it’s a little dirty, hard to get the vehicles washed and clean this time of year around Vancouver especially after our long, icy, snowy weather. This is the back of the engine, so this is a cab off repair job. You don’t have to do it but we opted to do it for the amount of time involved, makes for a much easier neater job. If you look at the left side of the back of the engine, actually I can use the mouse pointer here, you can see this is the pipe that was blown, you can see it’s just covered in black soot, there’s also some leakage present in this area here, it’s the second pipe so with the cab off it makes it a lot easier to replace the pipe and we opted to replace all three pipes, it really wouldn’t make a lot of sense not to do it while you through the effort of taking the cab off. So this the, after the repair all nice and clean, these are the three pipes, this one, so this pipe here comes from the right manifold to the turbo, this one from the left manifold to the turbo and this connects the EGR system.
Mark: Did you just replace it with Ford parts or did you, or is there an aftermarket fix for this?
Bernie: It’s all, sorry Mark, it’s all Ford parts. That’s really where they all seem to be available. I read that they, I mean I didn’t notice any difference but apparently they may have redesigned them to be a little, a little more durable but this truck is, what 2008, it’s you know nine years old, hundred fifty, hundred and eighty thousand kilometers so you know, it’s, if it lasts the same amount of time again, that’s a long time.
Mark: Sure, so I’m guessing this is definitely based as it’s a cab off repair, this is definitely not a simple fix.
Bernie: No, there’s nothing on a Ford diesel that’s simple on any vintage and you know there’re, it’s a lot of work no matter which way you slice it. This is a really, these engines are really complicated and the way they build things, there’s just not a lot of room around anything to get at things. You were asking too whether this was loud or not and the answer is no, it wasn’t but we’ve seen this on another vehicle’s where you’ll get under certain load conditions hissing sounds and noises similarly when these pipes start to go so that’s, that’s often an indication, you know especially at the back of the engine that the pipes are starting to crack even before you get the smell of diesel fumes.
Mark: So other than this, how are these 6.4 engines for reliability?
Bernie: Well there are issues, you know Ford only used these for three model years and I tried to do a little research to figure out why that was because they’re certainly not really not as bad as a 6 Liter engine but and I still don’t have the definitive answer on that other than I think their relationship with Navistar just went south, but. Reliability not, not fantastic I mean there’s a lot of issues with fuel getting into the oil, we can discuss these in further hangouts but fuel getting into the oil, there’s water and fuel issues, turbocharger problems, these exhaust pipes are another one, radiators leaking, so they’re not fantastically reliable compared to the Chevy or the Dodge and a lot of the issues are around the emission system. They get very poor fuel economy and that just bugs a lot of owners of these vehicles but they are a nice running engine, the first generation, that nice quiet diesel engine we don’t hear a lot of, lot of noise when the engine’s running and so I mean they are good in many respects but just not as reliable.
Mark: So, and they were replaced with the 6.7?
Bernie: They did, yeah. Yeah I haven’t seen any issues with that so far, so I think that’s been so far good, I mean like any engine, I know there are some issues out there but they’re not at all like their predecessors so I think Ford made a good move there.
Mark: So there you go, if you need some service for your Ford diesel vehicle and you want to keep it running, want to keep it running right it’s a big investment, these are the guys to call in Vancouver, Pawlik Automotive, they’re experts, they’ve dealt with dozens and dozens of these vehicle and fixed them every time. These are the guys to call 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com; tons of information on there about all kinds of diesels and other vehicles. Thanks a lot Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark.