The 6.4 Powerstroke replaced the 6.0 Powerstroke in 2008 primarily due to increased emissions requirements. The 6.0 was initially introduced due to the requirement for EGR systems in 2004. However, outside of the EGR system this engine still had little emissions equipment compared to the newer 6.4 Powerstroke.
The most important addition to the 6.4 Powerstroke was the DPF, or diesel particulate filter. Unfortunately, the DPF filter was a common 6.4 Powerstroke problem. The particulate filter was prone to clogging which caused a number of performance and reliability related issues. Additionally, when the DPF filter does fail it can cost a smooth $3k-$5k to replace it. Lastly, the DPF filter was restrictive from a performance perspective as it creates a lot of exhaust backpressure.
Due to the commonality of the DPF filter failing, and the performance restriction it creates, deleting the 6.4 Powerstroke DPF system is common. This guide is going to cover the various 6.4 Powerstroke emissions equipment. what the DPF system is, the pros and cons of deleting it, and how to remove it.
What is a 6.4 Powerstroke DPF?
DPF stands for diesel particulate filter. Diesel fuel burns pretty dirty which releases diesel soot and particulates into the exhaust gas. Diesel particulates are small chemical molecules that form from burning diesel fuel and they are harmful for both the environment and human health. The purpose of a DPF filter is to capture these particulates in the exhaust system before they exit to the atmosphere. The particulates are then burned via the regeneration process.
The DPF however isn’t the only emissions system within the 6.4 Powerstroke exhaust. The 6.4L also has a diesel oxidation catalyst, or DOC. An oxidation catalyst is essentially the same as a traditional catalytic converter, just specifically for diesel engines instead. The DOC is the first emissions equipment in the exhaust and sits right after the downpipe. The DPF then comes after the DOC. Fortunately, SCR and DEF fluid weren’t added until the 6.7 Powerstroke in 2011.
The last emissions system to quickly cover is exhaust gas recirculation, or EGR. This system is completely separate from the DPF as it sits within the engine and not the exhaust. The EGR system captures exhaust gases after they leave the combustion chamber and before they enter the exhaust. It takes a portion of these gases and recirculates them back into the intake manifold so that the gases can be re-burned to decrease emissions even more.
What does a DPF Delete Remove?
Deleting the DPF system on a 6.4 Powerstroke will also delete the diesel oxidation catalyst. The exhaust system goes like this: downpipe > DOC > DPF > muffler. A DPF delete kit is simply one piece of exhaust piping that bolts up to the downpipe and to the muffler. Therefore, it deletes both the DPF and DOC that sit within it. The DOC isn’t a common failure item but it is restrictive for performance which is why it also gets deleted.
Does a DPF Delete Remove 6.4 Powerstroke EGR?
A DPF delete does not delete EGR. The EGR system is deleted separately with its own delete kit.
Since exhaust gas recirculation takes place before the exhaust, it is completely separate. A DPF delete is purely a race pipe, or straight pipe for your exhaust and therefore doesn’t impact EGR.
The EGR system has a valve, cooler, and various hoses that control the recirculation of gases. Therefore, deleting the EGR is slightly more complicated since there are more pieces to remove. The EGR cooler is also a common weak spot on the 6.4 Powerstroke which is why EGR deletes are also popular.
Deleting the EGR system is less of a performance mod and more of a reliability upgrade. EGR essentially dumps dirty soot and particulates into your combustion chamber which isn’t good for engine longevity.
Best EGR Delete Kit: Diesel Dudes 6.4 Powerstroke EGR Delete
If you are planning on doing both a DPF and EGR delete then I recommend getting a complete delete kit which includes both the EGR and DPF deletes plus a tuner pre-loaded with delete tunes from Diesel Dudes.
6.4 Powerstroke DPF Delete Benefits
The two primary reasons for deleting the DPF are performance and reliability. DPF clogging is a common problem for the 6.4 Powerstroke and replacing the filter is rather expensive. When the DPF clogs it causes more exhaust backpressure which puts stress on the turbo and increases EGTs which adds stress to the engine and therefore hurts reliability. Secondly, the backpressure it creates decreases the efficiency of the turbo and restricts performance.
6.4 Powerstroke DPF delete pro’s include:
- Up to 100+whp gains (mostly from a tune)
- Decreased exhaust backpressure
- Increased turbo efficiency and reliability
- Lower maintenance costs
- 2-3mpg gas mileage improvement
- Lower EGTs & healthier engine
Deleting the DPF doesn’t necessarily add power. It rather increases power potential and maximizes power gains from other modifications. A tune is required to remove the filter so the majority of the gains achieved come from the tune. However, the performance benefits come when you are really pushing the 6.4 and have an upgraded turbo.
The other benefits are reliability related. Less backpressure means lower exhaust gas temps which means a cooler and healthier engine. Since heat is bad for engines, reducing engine temps is highly beneficial for improving reliability. You’ll also have slightly lower operating costs as regen cycles use diesel fuel and therefore hurt gas mileage.
6.4 Powerstroke DPF Delete Con’s
While removing the diesel particulate filter is good for reliability and performance, it’s bad for the environment, emissions, resale, and so on.
- Decreased resale value (must sell private unless you reinstall OEM equipment)
- It is illegal and will fail emissions
- It’s bad for the environment
- Some shops might refuse to work on your truck
- A tuner is required (makes it a bit more expensive)
Deleting emissions systems is getting more and more government attention. Big fines are being levied against people who modify emissions equipment, and especially against those that sell or install illegal exhaust systems. Therefore, deleting the DPF isn’t without risk. You will likely need to DIY the install since shops won’t risk fines anymore. And if you’re caught by the police you can get some hefty fines.
Unless you re-install the factory equipment you will lose some resale value. And your buyer base will be limited since they will either need to install it or register it in an emissions free county. The last con or consideration is that you also need to run a tune. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it will add $500+ as you will need the device plus a custom tune.
Should You Delete Your DPF System?
Better gas mileage, improved reliability, and more power sound great. However, the downsides shouldn’t be taken lightly. We really don’t recommend deleting your 6.4 Powerstroke DPF unless you are looking to push crazy power, or if your DPF has already failed. Unless you are pushing mad power, the DPF isn’t really that restrictive or bad for performance.
If you don’t have a clogged DPF, or an upgraded turbo then removing the particulate filter is just a headache. You won’t pass emissions, some shops won’t touch your truck, and you could get fined a hefty amount. Or have your truck crushed depending on what state you live in.
The reliability benefits and gas savings are real so we understand the desire. At the end of the day, it is a tradeoff between the risk and rewards and whether you should do it depends on your risk tolerance.
How to Delete the 6.4 Powerstroke DPF
If you don’t care about the downsides or legalities, here is what you need to remove the DPF:
- A 6.4 Powerstroke DPF Delete Kit
- A tuner and DPF delete tune
DPF delete kits are really just exhaust kits, so fortunately they are pretty cheap. However, you do have a few options which we’ll cover below. The most important thing you’ll need is a tuner that has a tune capable of dealing with a deleted engine.
1) DPF Delete Kit
The simplest delete kits just replace the exhaust piping from the downpipe to the muffler. You get one solid piece of hollow exhaust piping to bolt on up. These kits are usually around $250.
Your second option is to get a full exhaust system. Most exhaust systems will be downpipe-back systems meaning they bolt to the downpipe. I’m not aware of any turbo back exhausts as the downpipe needs to be upgraded separately. Anyway, with this option you can either do aluminum or stainless steel piping, muffler or muffler-delete, and so on. These kits usually range from $500-$1,000 depending on what material you want and whether you want a muffler or not.
A DPF delete alone won’t add any obnoxious noise to the exhaust. Just keep in mind going with a full exhaust system, especially if you choose on that is straight-piped without a muffler, you will get a lot louder of an exhaust.
Best DPF Delete Kit: Diesel Dudes 6.4 Powerstroke Complete Delete Package
As mentioned above, Diesel Dudes is about the only shop left selling delete kits. They offer a complete delete package that includes EGR and DPF deletes and a Mini Maxx tuner with built-in delete tunes. This is a great option if you are looking to delete it all and save a few bucks. Alternatively, they do have individual DPF deletes you can buy.
Buy Here: 6.4 Powerstroke DPF, EGR, Tuner Kit
2) DPF Tune
There are a bunch of emissions sensors hooked up to the DPF. Additionally, you have regen cycles. Therefore, you need a tune that can tune out all of these components.
Fortunately, there is still one brand left out there that is selling tuners pre-loaded with tunes for deleted 6.4 Powerstrokes. They sell the Bully Dog BDX and H&S Mini Maxx tuners all pre-loaded. The EZ Lynk is going to be the most robust tuner but also the most expensive, so the BDX and Mini Maxx are good budget options. Even if you don’t plan on deleting, but you do plan on buying a tuner, buying one of these below is a good bet so that you have the delete functionality in the future if you need it.
Buy here to get the tuners with pre-loaded delete tunes:
Note – you can buy these tuners elsewhere but they will not come pre-loaded with delete tuners. Diesel Dudes is the only shop around still selling them with delete tunes.
6.4 Powerstroke DPF Delete Summary
The 6.4 Powerstroke has three primary emissions systems: DOC, DPF, and EGR. Both the DOC and DPF equipment sit within the exhaust system whereas EGR sits within the engine. Deleting the DPF also removes the DOC.
The DPF on the 6.4 Powerstroke is prone to clogging and causing reliability issues. Additionally, it creates exhaust backpressure which is bad for performance. Therefore, deleting the DPF is popular for both reliability and performance purposes. Additionally, it can increase gas mileage by 2-3mpg on a healthy engine and even up to 4-5mpg on one with a clogged DPF.
Removing the particulate filter doesn’t come without downsides though. It will reduce resale value, it won’t pass emissions, it’s bad for the environment, and you can end up getting big fines if you get caught.
Deleting it requires a delete kit and a tune. Delete kits run from $250 up to $1,000 or so depending on how much of the exhaust you want to upgrade. Tunes can run up to $1,000 as well for the device and a custom tune. Ballpark total costs will range from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the route that you choose.