Ford’s highly anticipated diesel engine for the F150 truck launched as the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine in 2018 received favorable ratings for its excellent fuel economy. Apart from that, this engine shed light on trucks powered by smaller engines emphasized by other engine families introduced by Ford.
It is an excellent gift for diesel fans who don’t have the resources for a larger 6.7 Powerstroke in the F350 and F250 models.
What are Ford 3.0 L Powerstroke Engines?
While Ford already has the 2.7 and 3.5 V6 engines that provide an excellent fuel economy, their contention was in question since they could not match the mpg of Ram’s EcoDiesel.
Their response made the way to a new engine that would soon level the playing field for both of them. This engine is rated at 250 HP, 440 lb-ft of torque, and achieves 30 mpg on the highway.
The Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine’s campaign started in 2018 when Ford’s most famous F150 truck adopted the engine for its model year 2018. Initially, the Powerstroke badge was only found on heavy-duty Ford F-series trucks.
However, in 2018, it all changed when the 3.0 Powerstroke diesel joined the F150 lineup.
The engine adapts the Ford 3.0L Lion V6 TDCI engine found on various SUVs overseas like the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover.
While these two engines are almost identical, some changes were made to meet the need of F150 trucks in the United States, including a new CGI iron block for weight reduction and durability similar to the 6.7L Powerstroke engine.
Furthermore, the additional weight saving is made for the components and increases the strength and durability.
The Ford 3.0 Powerstroke features a dual overhead camshaft design with four valves per cylinder, a diesel particulate filter that controls the emissions, and a selective catalytic reduction system using diesel exhaust fluid and exhaust gas recirculation.
Engine Specifications and Design:
- Production Run: 2018 – Present
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Block Material: Compacted Graphite Iron
- Configuration: 60-degree V6
- Bore: 84.05 mm
- Stroke: 90 mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 3.0 L (2993 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 16.0
- Weight: 501 lbs. (Wet)
- Maximum HP: 250 HP at 3,250 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 440 lb-ft at 1,750 RPM
Like its sibling, the 6.7L Powerstroke engine, the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke turbodiesel engine block is made from a weight-saving compacted graphite iron. The consideration of weight reduction design is to keep the engine’s dry weight at 500 lbs maximum.
The block has a V6 orientation with a 60-degree angle for each cylinder bank.
Inside the block are new bearings, forged steel crankshaft, and lightweight aluminum pistons for added strength and durability.
Piston oil jets atomize oil on the underside of each piston, regulating temperature and improving longevity. In addition to that, attached from the bottom of the block is a die-cast structural oil pan.
It has a rigid build and manages the operating noise to a tolerable amount.
Mounted on the block are lightweight aluminum cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder – two for each side, intake, and exhaust. The Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine features a dual overhead camshaft design and hydraulic lifters.
The timing belt, instead of driving both the camshafts, only drives the exhaust camshafts.
Each exhaust camshaft is linked to the intake camshaft through a low-friction cam-to-cam chain. Furthermore, quick start spark plugs are installed to aid the start of the engine, especially in cold conditions.
A twin-cylinder high-pressure fuel pump is placed at the rear of the engine. At that position, a driver-side intake camshaft drives it via a cogged belt.
Like the majority of fuel pumps used by Ford, the high-pressure fuel pump has a a high volume rate producing 29,000 psi as its maximum injection pressure for its common-rail direct-injection system integrated with piezoelectric fuel injectors.
The ford 3.0 Powerstroke common rail system has the ability to improve fuel efficiency, power output, reduce noise and unnecessary vibrations.
The Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine has twin Honeywell Electrically actuated variable geometry turbocharger featuring electronically actuated wastegate and ball bearing design; this engine is also intercooled.
Apart from that, the Gold standard Bosch manages the high-pressure common rail, which we mentioned above. The turbochargers send compressed air to the intake manifold through its intercooler.
In compliance with emission requirements, the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine has a sophisticated exhaust after-treatment system including diesel particulate filter (DPF), high pressure cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
Engine runs on an ultra-low sulfur diesel resulting in a more practical and economic balance between fuel economy and performance.
Engine Tuning, Upgrades, and Modifications
Since the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke is only an up-and-coming engine, some aftermarket manufacturers are still developing parts. However, given the limited options that we have today, you can select depending on your preferences.
You can remove the clog-prone DPF and EGR, so your truck will have a smoother intake and exhaust tract. As a result, it will increase the longevity and reliability of your truck. Further, once you remove the DPF, you will no longer use DEF, costing you lesser now and then. After the deletes like this, you can gain an extra five mpg.
Another advantage of removing DPF is that there is no more limp mode associated with clogged DPF or frequent DEF system failures. Benefits include a lower maintenance cost.
Problems Surrounding Ford 3.0 Powerstroke Engines:
Ford began its automotive career decades ago now, and even with the longstanding record of excellent engines – and even gathering multiple awards, their machine is on point but not perfect. There are no perfect engines.
With that, we can say that even as a young and upcoming engine like the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke has its tale of shortcomings and issues.
1. Exhaust Gas Recirculation Problems
Ford integrated EGR or the Exhaust Gas Recirculation in their Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine. The issue is that some MY 2018-2019 F150 have troubles with the screws in the EGR by-pass valve flap.
Ford issued a recall, so the majority, if not all, of the vehicles, affected are already fixed.
In addition to that, the EGTR system itself is a common target for problems in most modern diesel engines. Though not in the 3.0 Powerstroke, other Powerstroke engines like 6.0, 6.4, and 6.7 frequently suffer EGR cooler faults.
However, on the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke, the only concern regarding EGR is the long term.
Carbon deposits may form in the EGR cooler core. If not addressed, the deposits may entirely clog the area and may need the replacement of the EGR cooler.
2. Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Failure
As we mentioned above, the Ford 3.0 Powerstroke has a lot of sensors, and one of those is the exhaust gas temperature sensor. The typical sensor problems do not occur on the 3,0 Powerstroke most of the time but mainly on the larger V8 Powerstroke engines.
Even though it’s not as common in the 3.0 Powerstroke, we should still consider this issue, especially if the engine is getting old.
3. Diesel Particulate Filter Clogging
Another issue that affects the 3.0 L Powerstroke is the Diesel Particulate Filters. These guys are pieces of emission equipment susceptible to premature failures.
With that, diesel engines have this DPF clogging issue that’s been nagging them for a while now, especially in the absence of diesel exhaust fluid. Fortunately, Ford 3.0 uses DEF. But, it adds maintenance and more potential issues.
Furthermore, in regards to the DEF, it must be refilled or changed every 5,000 miles. As for the 3.0 diesel EGR system, some just abandon the DPF/DEF system due to its maintenance nature.
4. Crankshaft Bearing Issue
I have to say that this issue is merely a conjecture, and no official report has been published for this; let’s just say it’s anecdotal. To proceed, this issue surfaced even before Ford designated the 3.0 diesel engine in the Powerstroke family and the famous F250.
So far, it does not have to do with the crankshaft bearing issue affecting the 3.0 Powerstroke.
With that, prior versions or releases of the engine did experience premature crankshaft bearing failure. These are more commonly known as main engine bearings. Ford responded by updating the crank and bearings for the 3.0 Powerstroke.
As of the writing, no failures yet, so I guess the update did the 3.0 Powerstroke justice.
We said it many times, but I’ll repeat it: always use high-quality engine oil and replace standard maintenance items to maintain the engine’s longevity, durability, and road integrity.
The Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engine strikes a balance between the economic and performance line of what we want for a machine. Being in the lineup of the Powerstroke family has its list of pressure since its displacement was put in question.
Even with that, the 3.0 Powerstroke remained a mainstay engine for the F150. And mind you that it will stay longer due to the nature of its efficiency and low emissions—ideal for city driving, cross-country, muddy roads, and towing.
It is a reliable and solid engine. With its size even smaller compared to the larger ones, it can compete and make them sweat like a madman.