Dyno Test: Ford 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 Diesel After Factory Power Update

Dyno Test: Ford 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 Diesel After Factory Power Update

Update #1 September-10-2010 02:41 PDT:
With apologies to Ford and our readers, we could have tested lower into the RPM range (below 2,000 rpm) on the 2011 Super Duty.

Ford's all-new 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission includes a new manual mode feature that would have let us select and hold the gear we wanted all the way down to about 900 rpm, when line pressure would be too low for the torque converter to stay locked.

We dynoed the truck using range-select, setting fourth gear as the uppermost gear. In that mode, the transmission held fourth until about 1,950 rpm, at which point it wanted to downshift to third -- hence the 2,000 rpm floor found below in our results.

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We've retested a 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty after updating its diesel powertrain with new software calibrations from Ford that the automaker says gives it class-leading power ratings among heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Last week, Ford released the free power upgrade as part of a customer satisfaction program. For the next 12 months, early buyers of the 2011 Super Duty with the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 can have their engine control unit and transmission control unit software updated for free at their local Ford dealer.

The upgrade process is similar to a firmware update in a smart phone or PC and is expected to take about 30 minutes. Afterward, the 6.7 diesel is rated at 400 horsepower and 800 pounds-feet of torque – an increase of 10 hp and 65 pounds-feet over the initial "Job 1" 390-hp (@ 2,800 rpm), 735 pounds-feet version (@ 1,600 rpm) of the engine that was announced in February.

“Job 2” trucks leaving the Super Duty factory in Kentucky are being shipped with the new power settings, and dealers are updating unsold trucks on their lots.

Before we updated the ECU and TCU in a 2011 Ford F-350 King Ranch Super Duty, we tested it Aug. 31 on the chassis dynamometer at Gale Banks Engineering to measure power output from the 6.7 at the rear wheels.

6.7 Job 1 Dyno Chart Courtesy of Banks Engineering
Graphed results of the best of three dyno runs at Banks with the Job 1 calibrations.

Banks Engineering is a well-known technical leader in the diesel- and gas-engine tuning aftermarket. The company offers software and hardware performance enhancements for diesel engines and has set the world land-speed record for the fastest diesel-powered vehicles.

Overall, the Job 1 6.7 dyno numbers we gathered at Banks tracked closely with the power curves that Ford provided to us earlier this year, though we noted a slight but consistent drop in engine output between 2,400 and 2,800 rpm during three separate dyno runs. We’re not sure of the cause. It could have been from the exhaust gas recirculation system, which is used to help reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by cooling combustion temperatures.

We also used the dyno to measure zero to 60 mph times, which came in at a best time of 9.05 seconds and an average of 9.12 seconds after three runs.

To obtain the Job 2 software update, we visited Colley Ford in Glendora, Calif., just like any other new Super Duty owner. Working with the excellent service team at Colley, we had the truck flashed and ready to roll about 30 minutes after our appointment started.

We wondered if we’d be able to tell using our butt dyno if the truck had more power after the Job 2 update. While it was difficult to say that the truck had extra oomph, it was apparent to us that the software upgrade gave the 6.7 Super Duty powertrain a new sense of refinement and confidence. Gear shifts were smoother and less noticeable after the update than before getting on the freeway and driving on surface streets. The truck didn’t feel as jumpy as it had running the Job 1 calibrations.

Ford 6.7 crate engine on the shop floor at Banks
6.7-liter Ford Power Stroke V-8 crate engine on the shop floor at Gale Banks Engineering. Two 6.6-liter Duramax V-8s were sitting next to it.

We also liked that the gearshift indicator -- engaged with a tap of the +/- select shift button on the gearshift stalk when the truck is in full automatic mode -- remained visible in the Super Duty’s new 4.2-inch LCD trip computer after we started the truck, shut it off and restarted it. Before the update, the gearshift indicator had to be manually requested with a button push after the start of each new key cycle. However, we wondered most if Ford could deliver on its promise of extra power? Back to Banks Engineering we went.

Instead of measuring power output using a standard sweep acceleration test -- like you might on a Dynojet chassis dyno -- Banks tested using a steady state step test on a Mustang dyno.

We started at high rpm with the diesel powertrain at full operating temperature, loaded the engine for a minute, and then dropped it in 200-rpm increments. We measured performance again and repeated the process to as low as it would go – approximately 2,000 rpm, when the torque converter would no longer stay locked.

The Job 2 results presented below (versus Job 1) are the average horsepower and torque from three dyno runs.

With the transmission in 4th gear (1.15 transmission gear ratio), maximum torque was measured at an average of 643.9 pounds-feet at 2,000 rpm, and horsepower peaked at 306.8 hp at 2,800 rpm. Both measurements were made at the rear wheels instead of at the crank, which is about 20 percent below Ford’s official figures.

A 15 to 20 percent power loss from the crank to the rear wheels due to friction and rotational parasitic forces is a fair number to use, gauging the relative difference between claimed and dynoed numbers.

Compared to the results of our Job 1 dyno, Ford has definitely delivered on its promise.

Measured Power Increase Before and After Ford's 6.7-liter Software Upgrade
Graphed results of Job 1 vs. Job 2 average horsepower and torque measurements (after three runs with each calibration) on the dyno. Note the increase in power lower in the rev range after the ECU and TCU flashes.

We saw a max torque gain of 45 pounds-feet at 2,000 rpm, or 7.5 percent higher than the average torque measured during our earlier dyno session. We suspect we would have seen an even greater increase in torque had we been able to measure below 2,000 rpm, closer to the 6.7’s max torque peak around 1,600 rpm.

The biggest horsepower gain we measured was 21.4 hp higher at 2,600 rpm than the average hp measured last week.

We did notice power drop-offs after the Job 2 flash at the very high end of the power band, between 3,200 and 3,600 rpm, compared to Job 1.

Overall, it seems that Ford has shifted and increased power to lower in the engine’s rev range. We’re doubtful that we could tell there’s less power high in the rpm band because above 3,200 rpm the engine is getting ready to upshift to the next gear to regain its power sweet spot. Ford also appears to have corrected whatever factor might have been responsible for the slight power drop we saw during the Job 1 test between 2,600 and 2,800 rpm. The Job 2 power curves have smoother arcs.

Perhaps the best indicator of improved powertrain performance was a solid drop in measured zero to 60 mph times on the dyno. Before the flash, the average zero to 60 time we measured was 9.12 seconds. Afterward, the average was 8.82 seconds, or a net decrease of .3 seconds.

Comments

I want one so bad... Just can't part with 60 grand though!

yep, I agree, 60 Grand is way way to much for a truck. Even if it is a Superduty. Its just un realistic.

640 lb-ft, To the Ground, Stock, with a warranty. That is just incredable. Even the DMAX is incredable. I remember when these motors couldn't make that output at the crank.

With close to, or better gas milage. Incredable.

Amazing.

To update my previous comment, I just went onto the Ford "Build and Price" website and in fact a Superduty can be had (XLT version) pretty much loaded to the gills F-250 with the 6.2 liter for around 38 grand and thats before the haggling. Thats not a bad price..in fairness to Ford anyway. Bottom line is that unless your looking for a 60K King Ranch version of this truck you can still get a decent truck for reasonable amounts of cash. I think the prices on these may actually have come down from previous years. Not certain on that though.

@Shawn and Dan
The SD is not a $60K truck. Can you spec out a $60K model? Of course you can, but you have to check a lot of option boxes to get there. You can get a PSD powered F250 for as low as $36K before incentives. An XLT 4X4 with a Crew Cab and a PSD starts at around $46K before incentives. Yes, that is still a lot of money, but it isn't unreasonable considering what you are getting. A Ram 2500 with the Cummins and a Silverado 2500 with the Duramax are both comparatively priced.

Great article. Thanks Mike!

It's good to see that Ford did more than increase peak power, they improved power in the most useable parts of the power range and smoothened out the power curves. This was a very update.

More fuel to the brand war bonfire.
Would the reflashed Ford win the shootout?

I too would have like to have seen the peak torque number to the rear wheels at 1600 RPM as Mike mentioned, I bet it's impressive...Hopefully there will be a tow test article with the Job 2 update soon to follow.

I'll bet GM will try to issue a software upgrade as well. But they probably blew a few 6.6L in the process. Ha!

The rubberband is tearing.

Good job ford, give us power where we can use it.

Im going to give Ford a year to see if any issues come up, if its still solid im going to have a heck of a time picking a Duramax over the Ford being a diehard GM guy.

@Frank,

Ha Ha. Good one! Except Ford can't make an engine that lasts to save their lives.......

@ mike l do you know if this upgrade will make the fuel mileage better. Ive been told real world numbers around 16-17 highway and 12 when pulling a big camper and boat.

@ bottom mutt and the rest of the ford bashers that keep saying ford cant make a real motor. this is the first ford built diesel and unless you have inside knowledge of longevity problems stop talking about it. Im pretty sure theres been problems with the durumax and the cummins out there, theyre not all perfect.

LS1POWERED, You mean you are dieeasy? For the past 7 years ford SD's been POS witgh their diesels, most problems a diesel engine EVER HAD in a pickup truck. And finally ford comes out with 3 more horses and 35 more lb. ft. of torque and you are sold?

Great article!!!

Great follow up Mike. Now the comparison of GM and Dodge please.

Mike. You realize that we will expect all the trucks you test now to pass over the Banks Dyno. I love to see these real numbers. I would like to see the Chev, Ram & Fords dyno numbers gas & diesel. It won't change what I would buy but it makes for good water cooler talk.

I see, so whether an engine is made by International or made by Ford, it's pretty much the same thing? LOL. No wonder GM fans give GM credit for "making" the Allison, and Dodge "makes" a great Cummins engine. It's all making sense now. :)

Boy are there aluminum heads on that thing.I remember all the Ford lovers when the Dmax came with them it was a POS. But now that Ford has them it's alright. ( Hypocrites)

Alex, Agreed. By the way I have had 3 Ford F-series engines and no problems. Can't say so for my family members who have owned Chevy and Dodge.

@TopDog,

Which Ford engine are you referring to when you say they can't make one that lasts?

maddog, I did a quick search of the site and the only complaining about aluminum heads are coming from the GM fans crying about the new Ford engines.

Say what you want - I'm done with GovernmentMotors (GM) and Chrysler. My next will be a Ford or Toyota if they have a heavy truck. The same goes for cars.

This 06 is my first and will be my last GM. It's been very reliable, but I have rust under the doors they won't fix unless it's rusted through and they currently are out of stock of differential covers and have no supplier, so my truck has been sitting for a week and will stay there until the cover arrives.

A quality product is worthless without good support.

Ford has had some issues recently (which is the only reason I'm in a GMC), but they are the ones that brought us diesel engines in pickups. Let's not forget that it was GM that put the 350 diesel out there in the 80's and ruined the public's opinion of diesels for years to come. Ford came out with the 6.9 in 1983 which was a great engine, and the powerstroke in 1994 - which was head and shoulders above anything from GM and Dodge. The old 7.3 powerstroke is probably one of the most reliable and fuel efficient engines out there. GM didn't have a diesel option again until ford came out the the powerstroke (ten years after the IDi came out) and didn't have a comparable offering until the duramax came out in 2001.

This new diesel looks complicated, but it seems the technology is not a whole lot different that what's out there now. I am excited to see that Ford really started over and came out with a new platform with some real innovation. That's really the only way to fix their problems of the last few years.

Been a Chevy/GMC man all my life. But....I am sick of these low quality, small, rattling interiors. I may be interested in a Ford in a few years. It would be my first car other than GM.

If this was the most expensive motor ever built by Ford and since Ford has not opted for any bail out money they could have the resources to design a great diesel motor. Money talks and if they spent enough just imagine who they could have hired to help build this thing? I won't be afraid to buy any Ford engine, F150 or Super Duty. The new Ford has been putting out some great quality products lately.

@Mike,
I am not Topdog but I can give you my 2 cents,Ford engines are not that good.My 5.4 ticks and knocks,my Dodge Hemi (more miles than the Ford)runs smooth and tick knock free.I dont know how many visits to Ford I have done,I had a whole new engine put in it was better but it now knocks like a box of marbles after 3 years and 40,000 miles.My daughters 2009 Ford Fusion has the problematic v-6 that the left side of the engine goes bye-bye,yep it did,my son beats on his 2006 Hemi Charger and it never broke down and runs strong after 100,000k.Then there is the whole line of broken plug in head from the 4.6,5.4 and V-10 engines that is not good,it doesnt last.I was pretty much a Ford guy but the last few were very bad,my Dodge never seen the shop.I said before I was going to wait awhile before I bought a new truck,but I cant stand this anymore,a new Ram is in order next month. I looked at a new Ford f-150 you could hear the bottom end knocking.Quality I assure you not !

@ Mike Levine

Can we PLEASE see and article like this on a Chevy or Ram!? Its seems ur only doing things with, and posting article about Fords. I know Ford is making the most noise right now, but still. Take the Chev for a drive, off road, over to banks, fart in it, I dont care just do SOMETHING with it. And tow the Ram along for fun,lol. There are more than just Ford fans on this site, granted they are the majority.

@Allen I don't know where you live but when I go on the Ford Website, put in my zip code, then build an XLT crew cab with 8' bed 4x4 with only the options I need to get the productivity screen and the sync system (no navigation either) it tells me MSRP is around 48K . Thats with the 6.7L. So I may have been off a few grand but that is still a lot more than what I paid for my 2002 7.3 With the same setup sans the screen and sync of couse. Back then I walked away with it for 30 even. Now when I go the top three dealers here in the Delaware/Maryland area (Hertrich's Ford, Winner Ford, and Preston Ford) all of them have the same trucks sitting on their lots for 58K... so yea either way I was close.

@Gooey sorry for all your problems bud. Sounds like you have had a bad run of luck. The last 5 vehicles I have had were Ford trucks and I have yet to have a single issue. My current truck 04 4.6L reg cab 6' bed has 95,000 mi and the motor still sounds great with plenty of get up and go (for that weak motor though) I just changed the spark plugs myself with no problems whatsoever and other than needing a tune up very soon the truck still runs great. I wish you all the luck with your Dodge. The new Rams look awesome.

@Greg: Stay tuned. We're taking the 2011 GMC Sierra 3500 to Colorado next week to pull a giant fifth wheel RV through the Rockies! Working on a dyno run for the LML Duramax too.

@Allen I don't know where you live but when I go on the Ford Website, put in my zip code, then build an XLT crew cab with 8' bed 4x4 with only the options I need to get the productivity screen and the sync system (no navigation either) it tells me MSRP is around 48K . Thats with the 6.7L. So I may have been off a few grand but that is still a lot more than what I paid for my 2002 7.3 With the same setup sans the screen and sync of couse. Back then I walked away with it for 30 even.

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Shawn,

This is due in part to inflation...

$48,000.00 today minus typical 18% discount equals $39,360.

$30,000 in 2002 is about $36,000 today due to inflation

$39k - $36k = $3000. difference + you get all the new stuff.

Also, what cost $58000 in 2001 would cost $70420.10 in 2009.

Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2009 and 2001,
they would cost you $58000 and $46830.09 respectively.

All due to inflation.

@Mike...I had a 1996 Mustang GT. At about 32000 miles, I did a burnout, and the plastic coolant crossover tube on the intake manifold broke in two. Ford has since changed this to aluminum for this reason. Also, my buddy has a 2005 F150 with the 5.4l and at 43000 it spun the drivers side cam bearing. That, and his driver side window busted. Luckily for him, Ford paid for the out of warranty repairs. Additionally, at work we had an F350 with the same 5.4l, and same problem with it.

Make no mistakes, I know GM and Dodge have their problems to. I am just speaking from my experiences with Fords.

And then there is always the lack of power Ford engines have. Fords don't make power unless they have forced induction, well at least until recently with the 6.2 and new 5.0.

I like the fact that Ford has gone with their own Powerstroke design....But I will wait to see the quality record for this engine before I say they are "king" of the diesel world. Until then, I have to give the diesel crown to the Isuzu Duramax (although it hasn't been an Isuzu in quite a few years) and Allison combination. Say what you want about the GM diesel trucks, but as they say in racing, "when the green flag drops, the BS stops", and this has been proven in Pickuptruck.com's shootout for the Diesels.

From a conversation we had with Gale Banks on Friday: The 6.7 is optimized for low-end power, not speed.

@Mike Levine.. That is the best place to have your torque in a Diesel, is it not? Good job on Ford for that.

Good to see Ford resorting to the same gimmicks that led to all of the issues with the 6.0 PSD.

Because all Ford is concerned with is making the "truck" look good on paper...they will push the power limits more than they should thus making the (terrible) 6.7 even less reliable.

It's interesting that Navistar didn't have NEAR the problems with the 6.0 that Ford did...of course...Navistar capped the power below 250...Ford demanded, against Navistar's advice (why listen to them anyway, right?) to 300+.

Ford builds the most overhyped and under-delivering, mediocre trucks on the planet. But hey...if you measure a tad short and need some help in the pants...get a Ford...that's all they're good for.

@P, it's a CGI block which is much tougher than cast iron. 397HP was the introductory power specs, do you think 3 extra horse power is seriously going to hurt it? Ford could have brought this engine out with bucket loads more power. The average 3L diesel now has around 250HP, you think 400 from a brand new 6.7L is pushing the limits? We should be looking at more than 550HP+ before we start thinking about engine reliability problems.

The 5.4 has been a very reliable engine for our company and probably the most reliable V-8 out there. I work for a fortune 100 company that uses all 3 makes of trucks. The Fords spend less time in the garage than either the Chevy's or Dodges. These are 1 ton trucks with utility beds. Chevrolet frames are a joke we have replaced allot of engine mounts and the floorboards develops holes because of weak floors and chassis flex. The Dodges have so many electrical problems it hard to keep them running. We had a new ram with 4500 miles blowup a battery because of a electrical short not uncommon with them. I have a friend who delivers new buses around the country which he has to drive to different locations around the Country. He drives buses made from both Ford and Chevy chassis. His experience with the Duramax Chevy chassis has caused him to spend more time on the side of the road something he has not experience in the Ford chassis these are brand new chassis. There is a reason Ford owns the heavy-duty market they make the best work truck period they are just tougher. At our shop they fight over who gets to drive the Fords only the hardcore Chevy guys will drive the Chevy's. All my friends from work drive Fords now and two of them already have over 300,000 miles on their 5.4's and they still do not burn any oil and never been in the shop except for wear items like belts and brakes.

@'P' Okay I know the 6.0 didn't get off to a great start and most of that blame can be laid at Fords feet I will give you that, but to say the 6.0 was junk? The 6.0 after the 05 MY turned out to be the most reliable motor of any motor (gas or diesel) for Ford Motor Company with the lowest amount of warranty repair work done to it. Any new motor will have its teething problem and this one did as well when it came out in 03 but look what they were comparing it to, the 7.3 arguably the best diesel ever put into a pickup. Once the Ford techs got up to date with the motor and a few tweakes here and there it became a good motor, only a good motor that couldn't overcome the bad reputation it developed early on. I know plenty of 6.0 users that have never had one problem with their trucks and they soldier on like the 7.3 of old.

Mike Levine what do you think about the 6.0 Ford?

@ graveman --- lets not forget it was dodge who bought us the first turbocharged diesel in a pickup with gobs more torque than the other two. $00 lb ft at the time was great when compared to the other two (diesels) And as far as milage; no problem seeing 22+ mpog on the highway with the right gears. If the 5.9 Cummins isn't reliable why have they still used the same configuration for the past 20 years?? The other two have had multiple attempts at deisel engines

400 lb ft**

We're planning a similar dyno run at Banks Engineering with a GM HD pickup with the 6.6-L LML Duramax V-8.

Watch this clip from CNBC, just after the 5 min mark Alan Mulally says "New Ranger" while talking about upcoming and current new vehicles in the USA.... makes one stop and think for a minute.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1551857064&play=1

@ Mike Levine,

Quote "Update #1 September-10-2010 02:41 PDT:
With apologies to Ford and our readers, we could have tested lower into the RPM range (below 2,000 rpm) on the 2011 Super Duty."

Any chance you could arrange another test pre- and post- update using the manual mode to substantiate the low end torque improvements? Also, this would allow a comparison of two different trucks to show how much numbers can vary (or how close to the same they can be)...

One more point... are these tests performed immediately after a DPF regen cycle? For comparing pre- and post- update, it probably wouldn't matter too much as long as the DPF was equally dirty; however, this could easily be a factor in overall & peak torque/power numbers (e.g. comparing different brands)...

@Tony: I'll see what we can do but it's going to be difficult to find a truck with Job 1 firmware. Regardless, I think our test proved Ford has delivered. It won't be possible to dyno with all the DPFs cleaned out (like we did for the Shootout). We'd need service computers for that.

@Mike

Really appreciate the effort you are putting into all this, keep it up!

@Tony: Thanks!

I want the new Duramax. It has been good for many years and has a better frame. I love the Ford too but is an ugly duckling. Actually if i wre to get a diesel it would be the almighty super durable CUMMINS, may not be as fast this year but Easily powered up and ultra reliable.

@Mike

Why is it in the first chart, the peek power is 305.4 @ 2800 rpm but a supposed reprint of that on the second chart has a peek of 298.5 @ 3000 rpm? What am I missing?

@Charlie: The first chart has numbers from the *best* of three runs. The second chart (comparing before and after the flash) has the *averages* of the three runs before and the three runs after the flash.



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