Diesel Ford trucks use Powerstroke engines, which offer plenty of power and are extremely reliable. However, and even though they are fine engines, there is some room for improvement. In this article, I’ll show you some 6.4 Powerstroke upgrades to enhance engine performance and improve the overall experience with your vehicle.
Popular upgrades range from exhaust modifications to fuel injectors and water pumps. If it’s applicable to the engine, then it’s on the list. Keep reading on to find out the best upgrades for the 6.4 Powerstroke.
Upgrades for 6.4 Powerstroke — Comparison Table
Maximum control over your vehicle
|Bully Dog 40420|
The acceleration increaser
The recommended fuel filters
The acceleration increaser
Extremely Durable Exhaust Manifold
Better than the stock oil cooler
|DK Engine Parts DK-FD6.4-OC|
Cleaner Recycled Gases
|Sinister Diesel EGRD-6.4-IE|
As good as stock
|DCP Products 101-564-ST-DN|
The Aftermarket water pump
The maximum performance enhancer
|MVP Auto Parts|
Review of Top-Rated Upgrades for 6.4 Powerstroke
1. Bully Dog 40420
A tuner talks with the car’s computer to get the most out of the vehicle. This Bully Dog tuner is one of the best due to being compatible with a variety of vehicles and having several preloaded setups.
The GT Platinum not only allows you to decide how your vehicle will perform, but it also lets you check for problems. Since it uses the OBD2 port it can display error codes from the computer to let you know what’s wrong with the vehicle.
Some of the preloaded tune-ups in the GT Platinum include fuel economy both for long distances and daily commutes, max speed limiters and long-haul and off-road maximum performance tune-ups.
The Bully Dog GT Platinum is one of the finest upgrades for the 6.4 Powerstroke due to its sheer versatility and several preinstalled tune-ups.
- Comes with over 10 preinstalled tune-ups
- Allows you to decide how the vehicle will behave
2. K&N 57-2576
A cold air intake increases airflow, decreases temperatures and changes the engine sound. It's not the most popular Powerstroke modification, but it is one that makes a big difference.
This K&N cold air intake boosts airflow by up to 50% and allows for more horsepower and torque at high RPMs. Unlike many other popular modifications, this K&N cold air intake is legal throughout the USA.
Besides being super easy to install, the main advantage of this cold air intake kit is the lack of maintenance it needs. The filter on the K&N cold air intake protects the engine from dust and other contaminants for up to 100.000 miles. Then you just need to clean it and it’s as good as new.
The higher torque and horsepower are also handy if your truck is used for towing. The cold air intake expands uphill performance and acceleration.
- Increased torque and horsepower
- Good uphill performance
3. Motorcraft FD-4617
Filters are a necessary component in any vehicle, to be replaced in fits and starts.
Ford trucks have two fuel filters that need to be changed, and the Motorcraft pack includes them. Besides the two filters, this kit also includes the necessary O-rings.
It should be noted that Motorcraft is the Ford brand and these are not considered aftermarket fuel filters, which isn’t necessarily terrible. Aftermarket fuel filters don’t provide major advantages and have some issues that may hinder the vehicle’s performance.
Whenever you need to change the fuel filters, definitely use Motorcraft.
- Ford recommendation for fuel filters
- Everything necessary comes in the kit
4. Motorcraft FL-2016
What was said for the fuel filters also applies to the Motorcraft oil filter. The main difference in Ford trucks is the single oil filter.
Oil filters should be replaced when you perform an oil change and are an absolute necessity. These oil filters keep the oil clean from abrasives.
As with the fuel filters, these OEM oil filters come with everything necessary and should cause no issues whatsoever. There’s no advantage in using aftermarket oil filters and it’s tough to compete with Ford’s price.
It’s endorsed by Ford, it’s cheap and it causes no problems. What more could you want from an oil filter?
- Recommended by Ford
- Everything needed for assembly comes in the kit
5. GPP GPP-MGRMGL
Besides the cold air intake kit, the exhaust manifold is another part that will greatly boost airflow. Ignoring cat-back exhaust systems and not accounting for straight pipe kits, the exhaust manifold is perhaps the most crucial part of the exhaust system when it comes to performance increases.
This Ported High Flow Exhaust Manifold fits Powerstroke Ford trucks from 2003 to 2010 and will enhance their performance. GPP doesn’t make any statement, but it should be noticeable.
Unlike Ford’s stock manifold, the manifolds on this exhaust are extremely durable and aren’t prone to corrosion or other types of deterioration. This exhaust manifold is built to last and to raise the engine’s performance.
- Extremely durable
- Greatly increases airflow
6. DK Engine Parts DK-FD6.4-OC
The engine oil cooler ensures the oil in your vehicle won’t overheat, which in turn prevents the engine from overheating as well.
This DK Engine Parts cooler kit chills oil faster than the stock oil cooler, but only by a marginal amount. This is one of the often overlooked parts for a reason: it doesn’t affect performance that much.
If you have any problems with the stock oil cooler and need to change it (which is a problem in itself due to the placement of the oil cooler) then buy an aftermarket oil cooler such as this one. If you don’t have a problem with the oil cooler, then I’m you should reconsider upgrading it.
The stock air cooler is fine, but this one is better. Even if you want to change the oil cooler without any problems with the current one, remember that it can be a complex task.
- Cools oil quicker than the stock oil cooler
7. Sinister Diesel EGRD-6.4-IE
When people discuss EGR kits, they’re probably talking about EGR-deleting kits. It’s a popular modification and one that can increase the longevity of the engine. However, it’s also a modification that severely harms the environment and one that might not be legal.
Thankfully, this doesn’t apply here. The Sinister Diesel EGR kit replaces the stock EGR valve and cooler with a nickel-plated steel one, which significantly improves airflow. Besides boosting airflow, this EGR valve also provides cleaner recycled air than the stock EGR valve.
This modification will also increase the longevity of your vehicle by minimizing carbon deposits in the engine while complying with emissions regulations and augmenting the overall airflow. It offers some advantages of an EGR-delete kit without environmental issues.
- Reduces carbon-deposit build-up in the engine
- Increases airflow
8. DCP Products 101-564-ST-DN
Fuel injectors should only be replaced when they’re faulty. They’re a crucial part of the combustion process but have little room for improvement. If you notice smoke in the engine, then an injector might be at fault.
When it comes to replacing an injector, use an OEM, or one that’s close to the stock injector. Such is the case with the DCP Products injector. It’s cheaper than the OEM piece while having equal performance.
This fuel injector fits any Powerstroke engine built between 2008 and 2010.
- Same performance as an OEM fuel injector
9. OAW F3000
Regrettably, the water pump is a part most likely to cause problems in any vehicle. It’s constantly under stress and it is prone to failure. Fortunately, plenty of aftermarket options are not only frugal but perform better than the stock water pump.
The OAW F3000 pumps at a higher flow than the OEM water pump while having the exact same measures. It’s also considerably cheaper than the OEM.
This particular pump comes with the gasket included for ease of installation.
- Higher flow than the stock water pump
10. MVP Auto Parts
First of all, this exhaust kit was not made for everyday usage. It was designed for off-road and competition racing. In other words, it was built for the highest possible amount of power.
Although this might sound appealing, due to its nature, it comes with problematic tradeoffs. This exhaust pipe produces a loud noise with lots of drones and will most likely not comply with the emission standard due to deleting the catalyst.
Once you consider the compromise, what we have here is an exhaust pipe that will push your 6.4 Powerstroke to the absolute max. The straight pipe provides the maximum amount of airflow and reduces backpressure, resulting in a boost in horsepower and torque.
This version is made out of aluminized steel and might deteriorate with intense usage. As a bonus, you can get this same product in stainless steel, which should last longer. There might be some fitting issues as well, but nothing too complex.
This performance race exhaust straight pipe will only fit vehicles with an automatic transmission.
- Greatly increases both torque and horsepower
- Relatively simple to install
Upgrading the engine is always an exciting project. We all like to play with our new toys and it’s always good to see our vehicle improving. The main problem is a large number of possible upgrades — things can quickly get confusing.
Several different types of possible upgrades exist, we could take another article defining the upgrade types. Prior to that, it’s nice to have an overview of the upgrade types and the best possible product in each category.
If at the present time you can only make a single improvement to the engine, then upgrade the exhaust system. If you use the vehicle off-road or just push it to the max, you can’t go wrong with the Performance Race 4" Turbo Back Race Exhaust No Muffler Straight Pipe System With Downpipe Down Pipe Included For 08-10 Ford F250 F350 6.4L Diesel Pickup Truck.
Any other upgrade should be considered as well. If you’re worried about emissions, fine-tune your car to get the most out of every situation. If that’s the case, then you can’t go wrong with the Bully Dog - 40420 - GT Platinum Diesel Diagnostic and Performance Tuner with 4-Preloaded Tunes.
With time I’m sure you’ll get to every upgrade category and have a beast of a vehicle. Until then, keep checking my articles!
Upgrades for 6.4 Powerstroke — Buyer’s Guide
How much HP can a 6.4 Powerstroke handle?
The horsepower handling capabilities of a certain engine will depend on the overall engine setup.
If you haven’t made any modifications to your 6.4 Powerstroke, then you are safe up to 1.000 rear wheel horsepower. After that, parts might fail and most likely, you will need a tuned engine to constantly output so much power.
6.4 Powerstroke engines constantly push up to 900 horsepower in factory stress tests and there’s no problem with the extra 100 hp.
How can I make my 6.4 Powerstroke reliable?
As with any other vehicle part, the reliability of the engine depends on how you care for it.
Every car owner should ensure its engine longevity by changing the oil at regular intervals. Routine oil changes protect the engine from wear and keep things running smoothly.
Different oil brands may have varied service intervals. Check the owner’s manual to see what Ford recommends.
Other than that, systematic checkups and proper handling should make the engine last for a long time without major failures.
Is the Powerstroke 6.4 a good engine?
Yes. Ford has consistently used the 6.4 Powerstroke for their diesel trucks due to its reliability and overall performance.
Are 6.4 Powerstrokes fast?
Affirmative. 6.4 Powerstrokes can outperform 6.7 Cummins when it comes to speed. The speed is mostly due to the engine’s high air intake and Ford’s transmission.
How many oil filters does the 6.4 Powerstroke have?
The 6.4 Powerstroke has a single oil filter. Replace it every time you change the oil.
How often should the fuel filter be changed on a 6.4 Powerstroke?
Ford recommends changing the fuel filter once every 15.000 miles. Some owners perform this change once every 10.000 miles (or at every second oil change), but it should be fine if you want to push it to the recommended interval.
I don’t advise going over the 15.000-mile mark, but there is no need to change it every week either.
Do aftermarket exhaust manifolds improve the performance of the 6.4 Powerstroke?
Yes. The exhaust manifold is the part that connects the engine to the rest of the exhaust system and allows gases to flow from the engine to the exterior. An aftermarket exhaust manifold can boost airflow and minimize backpressure, resulting in extra performance.
More air in the engine means more combustion, which means more power.
Why is oil present in the 6.4 Powerstroke cooler?
Some oil in the cooler is to be expected due to the Powerstroke ventilation system. Nonetheless, a large amount of oil (enough to drip or pour) might indicate a high-pressure fuel leak and you should take the vehicle to a shop.
Should I get a tuner for my 6.4 Powerstroke?
Tuners are not for everyone. They’re designed for people who want to get the most out of their vehicle since they optimize the engine while providing an overwhelming amount of data.
To discover everything about your engine and to boost its performance to the absolute max, then a tuner isn’t a commodity, but a necessity.
Do cold air intakes increase the performance of the engine?
Indeed, they do. Air intakes improve airflow, allowing for higher combustion and lower temperatures. Some cold air intakes also come with filters that protect the engine from dust and other small particles.
Is an EGR-delete kit good for the 6.4 Powerstroke?
First of all, notice that an EGR-delete kit installation will result in the check engine light constantly being on. That alone is enough to demotivate some folks.
The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve recycles some of the exhaust gas into the engine. This reduces the emissions of the vehicle but reintroduces carbon-contaminated fumes into the engine.
Over time, these gases will create carbon deposits, resulting in performance and longevity decreases. They might even cause total engine failure.
Although some things can minimize the damage from these carbon deposits, they will continuously build up. Of course, the other option is increasing your environmental footprint by releasing more noxious vapors to the atmosphere. Thus, I recommend not using an EGR-delete kit and the persistence of the engine light.
It should be noted that some countries, such as the UK, have banned the removal of stock emissions equipment.