When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.

What’s The 3 Best Ford Diesel Engines? (and 2 To Avoid!)

Ford’s diesel trucks have been popular with customers for decades.

But when it comes to reliability, torque, and power, what is the best Ford diesel engine?

Like other vehicle manufacturers, Ford has had some good and bad years.

Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best diesel engines that Ford has released, as well as some that are better off being avoided.

Don’t forget to check our Facts section below as well to learn more about the most reliable Ford diesel trucks.

The Best Diesel Engines From Ford

ford diesel truck

When deciding which Ford diesel engine to go for, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, such as towing capacity, power, and reliability.

All of these factors are crucial when choosing your diesel engine, but some of them might be more important to you depending on your driving needs and preferences.

Take a look at some of the best Ford diesel engines available.

3.0-Liter Power Stroke V6

The V6 is a relatively new engine, only being released in 2018, so it’s difficult to say what its reliability is like.

But, if you take a chance on it, you’ll have a truck that combines excellent fuel economy with a great towing capacity – Ford says that the 3.0 liter Power Stroke will get up to 30mpg.

The drawback of this V6 is its price.

You can expect to pay an additional $4,000 for the diesel model over its gas counterpart.

This also begs the question, is the diesel version worth the extra money?

6.7-Liter Power Stroke V8

Arguably one of the best ford diesel engines, the newest version of the 6.7-liter power stroke boasts an incredible torque of 1,050 lb-ft and 475 HP.

Because of this, the V8 can comfortably tow 20,000 lbs.

It’s also a solid and reliable engine and shouldn’t give you any issues.

That said, the years you may want to avoid are from 2011-2014, as these were known to have emissions and EGR problems, as well as turbo failures.

7.3-Liter Power Stroke V8

Produced between 1994 and 2003, the 7.3-liter power stroke V8 was among the most powerful diesel engines during those years.

Even these days, the V8 is still incredibly powerful, with a maximum HP of 250 and roughly 500 lb-ft of torque in the later years.

The V8 also has a straightforward construction, making it reliable.

Lots of owners have driven theirs more than 300,000 miles with virtually no issues.

It’s also perfect for towing thanks to its 15,000lb towing capacity.

The Ford Diesel Engines To Avoid

Now that you’re familiar with the best Ford diesel engines let’s look at the ones that you should avoid.

These engines lacked reliability, resulting in rather large repair bills.

Check out these models below.

6.0-Liter Power Stroke V8

You’ll find the 6.0 liter Ford power stroke V8 for sale in many local dealerships and online.

But this isn’t the sign of a good reliable vehicle.

They’re super cheap to buy and can frequently be seen for sale because they tend to come with a lot of issues.

Some common issues include the oil cooler, head gasket, EGR, injection system, and turbo.

These parts have been known to fail, costing a small fortune to fix.

Many people who bought this model ended up relying on repair kits.

Although this does improve the engine’s reliability, it’s inconvenient.

The 6.0 liter does have some good points, such as immediate throttle response and useful power.

Although there are a few good years, it’s better to avoid the 6.0 liter V8 completely, even if the price is tempting!

6.4-Liter Power Stroke V8

Although the 6.4-liter engine doesn’t harbor as many faults as the 6.0 liter, it’s still among the worst Ford diesel engines because of its bad fuel economy.

The only way to avoid upsetting your bank account when stopping for gas is to install an emissions delete.

Common issues customers have experienced include injection system problems, failure of the emissions controls, and cracked pistons.

These can be expensive to repair, and they’re just not worth the trouble.

As well as that, the 6.4 liter won’t last as long as other diesel engine models before serious repairs are needed.

Once you get to 200,000 miles, you can expect the fuel pump, pistons, and fuel injectors to need replacements.

Are Ford Diesel Engines Powerful?

Because it has a higher compression ratio, a diesel engine produces more torque than a gas engine.

The high compression ratio comes from the pressure and the high temperature in the cylinders.

A diesel engine also has a larger injector and turbocharger, which helps to boost the power output.

The only drawback is that they’re usually more expensive than gas engines.

Although diesel engines aren’t always the most powerful, they provide more torque which is good news for those who want to tow.

How Do Ford Diesel Engines Have Increased Power?

Improved fuel injectors

If your engine has upgraded fuel injectors, it will provide more fuel, creating a powerful explosion in the cylinders.

This means the engine will produce more torque and power while still using diesel fuel.

As well as that, you might see an improvement in fuel efficiency.

Performance turbocharger

By installing a performance turbocharger, the diesel engine’s power output can be increased.

A turbocharger will increase the pressure in the air intake, providing the cylinders with more air.

Performance exhaust

A performance exhaust system can improve the airflow.

The reduced back pressure means the exhaust can let out the exhaust gases more economically.

This gives the engine more breathing room, so it can create more power.

A tuner

A tuner can change the performance of the engine to your liking.

Modifying the tune can help the diesel engine to produce more torque and power.

This tells the computer to add boost pressure and inject additional fuel.

Air intake kit

Like the performance exhaust system, an air intake kit can improve performance and boost airflow.

As well as this, an air intake kit will take in the outside air and give the engine cooled air.

This cooler air is thicker and contains more oxygen, making the engine more powerful.

Ford Diesel Engine Facts

Is the Ford 7.3 liter a good engine?

Yes, even though it’s an older model, the 7.3l power stroke is still a powerful and reliable diesel engine.

However, it’s best to avoid the years 2001-2003 because the PSMs and camshaft position sensors often fail.

Because it’s an older engine, it’s a good idea to ask the previous owner for any maintenance records.

The best years to buy are either the 1999 or 2000 models.

These trucks are fitted with forged steel connecting rods that can handle the extra power.

As well as that, you’ll have the latest turbo with 3-inch piping and with careful maintenance, they can last for years.

What is the best Ford Power Stroke?

The 6.7 liter Ford trucks are among the best that Ford has produced.

The best models are from 2015 onwards – these are capable of driving many miles with some basic maintenance.

What is the most reliable Ford diesel engine?

Despite its age, the Ford 7.3 liter V8 has proven itself to be one of the most reliable Ford diesel engines.

Thanks to its sophisticated features, it stands out among other diesel models, and it’s still loved by Ford enthusiasts today.

Final Thoughts

So there we have the best and worst diesel engines from Ford.

As this article shows, each engine has its pros and cons, so doing your research before parting with your hard-earned money is a must! If you don’t, you could end up with a truck that spends more time in the repair garage than on the road.