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December 2010 Letters to the Editor

September Cover
Posted December 1, 2010

The Skinny on 6.0L Diesels, Good Snow Rig and More

Best Bargains, Beaters, and Range Rovers
When I picked up your latest issue and read the article about "Best Beater 4x4s" (Sept. '10), I was laughing to myself because I had recently purchased a '91 Range Rover with a 2-inch lift, bigger tires, and some off-road lights, and-I kid you not, a Great Divide edition-all for (yes) $1,000. If you don't know, there were only 400 of these vehicles ever made, and you're probably thinking that it's a pile, but it turns out to be a great rig-only 137K on the motor, and I will bet $1,000 that it will out-wheel any of the ten vehicles in your article, lifted or not. I would like to see a Range Rover mentioned in the future for being a great $1,000 rig, or just a budget rig at that. Thanks for reading, and looking forward to the next issue.
Perry Kleespies
Via the Internet

Looks like you found the proverbial needle in the haystack. Either that, or the person who sold it to you had no idea what he or she was giving up.

The purpose of our article was to review the vehicles you'd be most likely to find on sale for a grand at your local junkyard or through Craigslist or the classifieds. Based on our own experiences, Range Rovers don't really qualify as a "best beater," not by a long shot. But we're happy for your good fortune all the same, and yes, your Great Divide Rover will wheel as well as anything else we included in our story.

The Skinny on 6.0L Diesels
My dad shared an article with me about what it takes to make a 6.0L Power Stroke diesel reliable, from the Sept. '10 issue. I have a 2003 6.0L (transition year from 7.3L to 6.0L) with 81,000 miles, and my dad has two 2007 6.0Ls with 20,000 to 30,000 miles. Anyway, in the article it doesn't say anything about differences in the production years as far as how many problems or how severe the problems are with the motors. I thought 2004 to 2006 were the biggest problem years. If you could elaborate on this (whether there are truly differences or not), I think readers would really benefit.
Kenny Anderson
Ashland, WI

Robin Stover replies: You're right-due to space limitations, I wasn't able to squeeze in the additional information you mentioned. As to the 6.0L engine differences from year to year-there really isn't a better year to own. They each have their own set of problems, but all of them can blow head gaskets, all can crack heads, all have EGR coolers that can fail, all will have restricted oil coolers, all have compromised oil coolers that can fill the cooling system with oil, all can have high-pressure oil system issues, and all can have injector problems. Here is some additional model-specific information that didn't make it into the story:

  • In 2003 trucks, the EGR coolers were better than in later years. These coolers have a round housing rather than square housings like the later trucks.
  • Late '04 models changed to a square-style EGR cooler, a different intake manifold, a relocated high-pressure oil sensor (to the passenger valve cover) and a different fuel injector oil rail style.
  • 2005-07 models have a different high-pressure oil pump system.
  • Late 2004-07 models all use the rectangular EGR coolers that are problematic.
  • All 6.0Ls use the same oil cooler that is problematic.
  • An improved turbocharger drain tube recently became available for all 6.0Ls.
  • An improved high-pressure oil pump outlet fitting became available for 2005-07 6.0Ls recently.
  • An improved high-pressure oil pump filter screen became available for all 6.0Ls recently.
  • Recently, Bulletproof Diesel released a new line of upgrades for the 6.0L engines found in van applications.

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