Ford introduced the 6.7 PowerStroke diesel V8 engine for the 2011 model year. In the decade since, it has remained one of the most popular diesel power plants on the market. Displacing 6.7 liters, or 409 cid, Ford’s 6.7 Powerstroke produces outstanding performance, but only average reliability.
Ford nicknamed the engine the Scorpion, and it has gone through three generations. The first generation lasted from 2011–2014, and is widely considered the most unreliable. The second generation, from 2015–2019, made a ton of improvements to increase reliability. They still had some issues, but produced outstanding performance. In 2020, Ford launched the third generation 6.7 Powerstroke, boasting 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque.
For 2023, Ford brought out the high-output version of the 6.7, putting down 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque. It’s yet to be seen just how reliable the newest “Six-Sevens” will be, but all signs point to them being the best yet.
Ford 6.7 PowerStroke Specs
|Engine:||Ford Motor Company 6.7L Powerstroke diesel V-8|
|Displacement:||6.7 liters, 409 cubic inches|
|Block Material:||Compacted graphite iron engine block (CGI)|
|Head Material:||Aluminum cylinder heads|
|Compression Ratio:||16.2:1; 15.8:1 (2020+)|
|Horsepower Output:||270-500 horsepower|
|Torque OUtput:||660-1,200 lb-ft|
|Bore & Stroke:||3.90 inches (99 mm) x 4.25 inches (108 mm)|
|Fuel Injection:||Direct injection, 30,000 psi high-pressure common railDirect Injection, 36,000 psi high-pressure common rail (2020+)19mm Piezo actuated injectors with 8 hole nozzlesBosch CP4.2 high pressure injection pump|
|Valvetrain:||Conventional pushrod OHV, cam in block, 4 valves/cylinder (32 valve)|
|Cooling System:||Dual cooling systemsHigh-temperature circuit for engine coolantLow-temperature circuit for intercooler, transmission cooler, EGR cooler, etc|
|Oil Capacity:||13 quarts w/ filter (2011–2016)15 quarts w/ filter (2017+)|
|Oil Requirements:||CJ-4 or CJ-4/sm engine oil is required to ensure emissions system compatibility10W-30 is the preferred motor oil viscosity for normal use5W-40 or 15W-40 engine oil is recommended for severe duty or biodiesel applications. Viscosity recommendations vary with ambient temperature; refer to owners manual|
|Engine Weight:||Approx. 1,100 lbs w/ oil, 990 lbs dry|
|Emissions Equipment:||Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR), Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)|
- 2011-2023 Ford F-Series Super Duty (F-250/F-350/F-450)
- 2011-2023 Ford F-Series Chassis Cab (F-350/F-450/F-550)
- 2015-2023 Ford F-Series Medium Duty (F-650/F-750)
Ford has produced the 6.7 Powerstroke for more than 10 years beginning in 2010 for the 2011 models. They nicknamed the engine the “Scorpion,” which is due to its unique turbocharger mounting. Ford mounted the turbo inside the valley of the V-engine, which gives it somewhat of a scorpion-like appearance.
Engineers at Ford made the block from compacted graphite iron, which is strong but also relatively lightweight. The block uses a deep-skirt design without a bedplate (like the 6.0 Powerstroke). It also has nodular iron, cross-bolted main bearing caps with six-bolts per cylinder. The cylinder heads are reverse-flow heads, with the intake manifolds on the outside of the heads and the exhaust manifolds exiting into the valley of the V. This is due to the unique location of the turbocharger, inside the valley, and is supposed to aid the turbo’s thermal efficiency.
Ford made the original connecting rods were forged but not powdered metal, with fractured caps, and the pistons were cast-aluminum. To help with longevity, Ford installed oil-squirting jets to cool the pistons.
Compression originally sat at 16.2:1, and the engine held a healthy 13 quarts of 15-40 oil. For colder weather starts, which were notoriously bad problems when the Powerstroke first came out, Ford used “Instant Start” glow plugs to aid combustion. For the 6.7, Ford uses a conventional overhead valve train (OHV) with pushrods and a single in-block camshaft. There are four-valves per cylinder for 32 total, and there are four rocker arms and pushrods per cylinder.
Turbo and Injection Systems
For the turbocharger, Ford originally used a Garrett GT32 DualBoost single-sequential turbo (SST). It is a variable geometry (VGT), twin-scroll turbo, with an externally actuated wastegate. Making the turbo unique is the SST design. This uses a dual-compressor with two-wheels that are both driven by the same shaft. Essentially, the dual compressors allow the single turbo to act like a sequential twin-turbo system. The turbo runs a healthy maximum boost of 30 PSI,and uses an air-to-water intercooler.
For fuel injection, Ford uses a direct injection system that originally ran up to 30,000 PSI of fuel pressure. The piezo electric injectors are third-generation Bosch common-rails, and the fuel pump is a Bosch CP4.2. These had 8-holes in the tip to allow for the best atomization and up to five-injection events per combustion cycle. This allowed the engine to run B20 biodiesel, a greener option than standard diesel.
Originally, Ford announced the 6.7 Powerstroke was going to produce 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque. However, shortly after production started they announced the engine would actually produce 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. Ford gave owners who bought early 390 horsepower versions free PCM updates to produce the new 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque output.
Emissions System Overview
For the 6.7 Powerstroke, Ford uses four different emissions systems. The first is the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. The EGR system on the 6.7 is unique, which we’ll get into below, and is more efficient than the fault-prone 6.4 EGR system. The 6.7 also uses a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), which is a ceramic catalytic converter that oxidizes hydrocarbons for improved emissions.
Ford also installed a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) system. The SCR injects diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the exhaust stream which breaks apart nitrous oxide into water and nitrogen molecules. This again helps improve emissions. Finally, the PowerStroke also uses a diesel particulate filter (DPF). The DPF captures soot (or diesel particulate matter) and burns it off in a clean way. Unfortunately, DPF systems are notorious for being premature failure points.
2012 Engine Updates
For the 2012 model year, Ford made a few small improvements. These included a new oil pan with a new oil drain plug, as well as a revised oil cooler. They introduced a crankcase ventilation sensor for the 2013 model year, and also updated the DPF system. Updates were pretty minimal, but the engine was still only a year old at this point.
2015 Engine Updates
In 2015, Ford updated the 6.7 Powerstroke to make a host of improvements. The most notable changes they made were to the turbocharger. Ford removed the wastegate and dual-wheel compressor, and added a larger Garrett GT37 VGT turbocharger with a 72.5 mm turbine and single 88 mm compressor. Ford made both the turbine and compressor wheels larger to compensate for the lack of a dual-wheel design. In 2017, Ford again replaced the turbocharger, reverting to the SST design of the first generation.
Also for 2015, Ford improved the Direct Injection system to run even more PSI. It allowed for cleaner emissions, improved horsepower, and improved efficiency. This also allowed for improved power outputs of 440 horsepower and 860 lb-ft of torque. In 2018, this again increased to 450 horsepower and 935 lb-ft of torque in the most powerful versions.
Other changes for 2015 included the use of IROX coating on the lower main bearings, a heavier crankshaft damper, updated fan clutch, and updated EGR system. Ford also updated the up-pipes and downpipe in the exhaust, and increased oil capacity to 15 quarts.
2020 Engine Updates
In 2020, Ford once again updated the 6.7 PowerStroke in a variety of ways. Ford upgraded the fuel delivery system again. The new system can provide a maximum of 36,000 PSI – up 7,000 PSI from before. This is due to Ford adding new fuel injectors, which can now produce 8 injection events per combustion cycle instead of 5.
Ford also changed and updated the piston design to be steel instead of aluminum. This increased weight, so Ford engineers made the piston smaller to compensate. This offers increased strength and lower friction, but also dropped compression to 15.8:1. These pistons also use split-stream cooling jets, now. Ford updated the design on the cylinder heads, connecting rods, and engine block, and they introduced a new two-piece intake manifold.
Due to all of the changes, Ford once again increased the power output on the 6.7 Powerstroke. Since 2020, the standard 6.7 has produced 475 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. In 2023, Ford introduced a high-output version of the engine, putting down a whopping 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque.
6.7 PowerStroke Longevity and Reliability
Probably the biggest knock on the PowerStroke engine family has been their reliability, or lack-thereof. Much of this comes from the much maligned 6.4 Powerstroke, which was notorious for being problem-prone. And while the 6.7 PowerStroke does have some problems that we’ll get into below, it is a much more reliable engine than the 6.4. By far, the first generation (2011–2014) were the most problematic, and the most recent 6.7 PowerStroke diesels are more reliable.
The first generation of the 6.7 was not the best, but Ford’s updates in 2015 and 2020 really improved things. Overall, we consider the 6.7 Powerstroke to be a reliable engine. They are capable of well over 200,000 miles even when doing extensive towing. Many of the problems related to 6.7 Powerstroke Super Dutys are external parts, like the radiator, which don’t really reflect problems with the engine.
EGR and Cooling Improvements
When creating the 6.7 Powerstroke, one of Ford’s biggest goals was to improve the much maligned EGR and cooling systems from the 6.4 Powerstroke. EGR problems are not new or unique to the these engines, and in fact they are one of the biggest fail points on many modern diesel engines. So much so, that many people opt to either disable or remove their EGR systems to avoid any potential issues.
For the 6.7, Ford engineers used a dual-cooling system to improve reliability and longevity. They are both belt-driven, and there are both high and low-temperature systems. Ford only runs the coolant on the high-temp system at 194°. The low-temp system runs at 122° and is responsible for the intercooler water, transmission fluid, fluid cooler, and EGR cooler.
The dual-system eliminated many of the problems created by too much heat on the other Powerstroke engines, but the EGR cooler can still be a problem – as we’ll outline below.
Common 6.7 Powerstroke Problems
Below are a few of the common issues with the 6.7 Powerstroke engine. Make sure to also consult our 6.7 Powerstroke Common Problems Guide.
1) Exhaust Valves
This is restricted only to very early model year engines. Basically, exhaust valves could crack and fall off into the cylinder, cracking the glow plug. This was really a very limited issue on engines built in the first few months of 2011, and should not affect post-March 15 build-dates.
2) Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) Sensor Issues
The next big issue was the failure of EGT sensors. Ford had to extend the warranty because so many people had issues with their sensors failing and throwing check engine lights. Ford eventually updated the sensor, and second generation PowerStrokes largely do not have this problem.
3) EGR Cooler Problems
Even though Ford updated the EGR system, there are still some problems with the EGR cooler itself. It can become restricted due to carbon deposits. When Ford designed the new EGR cooler, they reversed the EGR valve to be on the hot side. This stopped carbon deposits from building up on the valve, which was a problem before. However, it inadvertently created a problem with carbon deposits in the EGR cooler.
The most common DTCs are the P0401, and indicate the cooler has become clogged. Once again, Ford updated the EGR for the second generation 6.7, largely eliminating the problem.
4) Coolant and Oil leaks
Another set of problems that mainly hurt early 6.7’s were radiator and oil leaks. The radiator, turbo coolant seal, turbo coolant inlet, and water pump were all known for being leak prone. The biggest problem are the radiator leaks, which come from the primary of the engine’s two radiators. Luckily, it’s a pretty straightforward fix, and updating to an aftermarket radiator can be a good idea for those who do extensive towing, anyways.
5) Injection Pump Failure
One of the most common issues on pre-2020 6.7 Powerstrokes was the failure of the Bosch CP4.2 fuel pump. These usually fail due to a lack of lubrication and metal-on-metal contact, which destroys them. One of the most common reasons for failure is due to not replacing the fuel filter every 15,000 miles. The Powerstroke fuel filters need diesel fuel for lubrication, and without them the metal will hit each other and wear. This can destroy the entire system, so it’s best to keep on maintenance.
6) Turbocharger Faults
The various 6.7 Turbochargers, while powerful and very innovative in terms of design, have unfortunately been very failure-prone. Many people have experienced problems with oil and coolant lines leaking, to outright turbine or compressor failure. Many people argue the turbocharger is undersized for the massive torque outputs of the Powerstroke, and point to that as the main cause of the failures.
Top 6.7 Powerstroke Performance Upgrades
One of the most popular things 6.7 Powerstroke owners love are performance upgrades. While the engine already makes pretty considerable horsepower and torque from the factory, there are also many upgrades owners can add to squeeze out even more juice. The best 6.7 Powerstroke mods are tuning, intake upgrades, exhaust upgrades, turbocharger upgrades, and charge pipes and intercooler upgrades.
Luckily, we already have you covered with a variety of mod guides for the PowerStroke. Make sure to check out our top 6.7 Powerstroke mods guide to find the best recommendations for tuning, intake upgrades, exhaust upgrades, turbocharger upgrades, and charge pipes and intercooler upgrades.
We also have several individual guides that go even more in-depth on some items. First up is our 6.7 Powerstroke intercooler upgrade guide, which provides excellent options for both intercooler upgrades and charge pipe upgrades. The charge pipes lead from the turbocharger to the intercooler, and from the intercooler to the intake manifold. Upgrading them will increase airflow to go along with improved charge air (boost) cooling from the intercooler.
Next, we have a cold air intake guide. These are led by the Boosted Performance open 6.7 Powerstroke intake. BP is an affiliate of ours, and we have had a lot of success using their performance intake. It’s a direct bolt-on fit, provides a serious increase in horsepower and air flow, and looks great in the engine bay.
Finally, we also have a DPF delete guide for those looking to get rid of their problem-prone DPF. Deleting the DPF will definitely increase horsepower and torque due to the reduction of back pressure and exhaust restriction. However, DPF deletes are only available for off-road or non-street driven cars due to them removing federally mandated exhaust equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Overall, we consider the 6.7 Powerstroke to be a solid engine. It produces outstanding performance, including as much as 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque. Early engines were not quite as reliable, but subsequent updates by Ford over the years have really improved the engine’s reliability.
This is a common misconception, but the 6.7 Powerstroke uses a single-sequential turbo (SST). This kind of turbo uses a dual-compressor wheel that mimics a twin-turbo setup. The 6.7 Powerstroke does not use a twin-turbo, but the SST is as close as a single-turbo can get.
Depending on the specific model, the standard Powerstroke has put out 270-475 horsepower and 735-1,050 lb-ft of torque. In addition, there is also a high-output 6.7 Powerstroke, which has put out 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque since its debut in 2023.