The Best 6.4 PowerStroke Performance Upgrades (2023)

The Ford 6.4 PowerStroke delivers 350 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque from the factory. While those are great numbers – especially for its era – the 6.4L diesel still pales in comparison to modern diesels. Take the 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft from the 6.7 PowerStroke, for example.

However, the 6.4 PowerStroke is among the most tuner and mod friendly diesels. A few simple upgrades can nearly double the stock output of the 6.4L V8 diesel. In this guide, we discuss the best 6.4 PowerStroke performance upgrades, benefits, costs, and more.

The Best 6.4 PowerStroke Performance Upgrades (1)

Best 6.4 PowerStroke Diesel Upgrades

The best Ford 6.4L diesel engine mods include:

  1. Tuner
  2. Cold Air Intake
  3. Exhaust / DPF Delete
  4. Turbo Upgrades

Below we will discuss each of the above performance upgrades along with benefits, hp gains, and cost. However, it’s important to add a few quick notes before jumping into 6.4 diesel mods. The 6.4 PowerStroke is a very capable engine, but it’s also known to have some reliability problems. Many of the issues revolve around emissions systems like the EGR and DPF – the latter of which we will discuss in this guide.

Consider addressing common maintenance and problem areas before spending on upgrades. Otherwise, the Ford 6.4 PowerStroke is a stout engine that can nearly double its stock power and torque without the need for major upgrades like internals, transmission, etc. Let’s jump in and discuss the best 6.4L PowerStroke mods to take your diesel to the next level.

1) 6.4L PowerStroke Tuners

This list isn’t in any particular order but tunes are first for good reason. A 6.4 PowerStroke tuner is the foundation to making more power. Not only can a tune add 150-200+ horsepower and 300+ lb-ft of torque, but it also helps maximize the performance gains from additional mods. Those hp gains are tough to beat for a ~$500 tune.

(Video) 6.4 Ford Power Stroke Diesel Stage 2 Master Over Haul Kit

The SCT X4 and Livewire TS+ are widely regarded as the best programmers for the 6.4 diesel. With the tuner you’ll receive a few off-the-shelf (OTS) maps good for up to 160 horsepower and 300 lb-ft. Even bigger gains can be had with custom tuning. However, custom tuning costs more on top of the tuning device and additional mods will require tuning revisions. As such, it’s generally best to start with the OTS tunes and move to custom tuning later.

Benefits of 6.4L PowerStroke Tunes

Some benefits of tuning your Ford 6.4 PowerStroke diesel include:

  • 150-200+ horsepower gains
  • 300+ torque gains
  • Improved throttle response
  • Better fuel economy
  • Data-logging and monitoring

Of course, highlights of diesel programmers are the massive performance and power gains. Benefits extend much further, though. PowerStroke tuners can also offer better throttle response and fuel economy. Additionally, tuning devices allow you to data-log and monitor key engine parameters such as boost, AFR, ignition timing, and much more.

Ultimately, a tuner is the single best upgrade for the 6.4L PowerStroke diesel. Whether you’re looking for just a single performance mod or dozens a tuner is undoubtedly the best starting point.

2) Ford 6.4 PowerStroke Intake Upgrades

Intake upgrades (commonly known as cold air intakes) are another excellent modification for the Ford PowerStroke. The term cold air intake doesn’t truly apply to a turbodiesel engine, though. Air enters the intake before travelling thru incredibly hot turbocharger where the air is then cooled by the intercooler. Temperature at the filter has no impact on the intercoolers ability to cool the air.

Nonetheless, a performance intake can increase power and torque via better air-flow. The 6.4 PowerStroke picks up about 5-15whp and 10-25wtq with an intake upgrade. Solid gains for an upgrade that’s inexpensive, easy to install, and looks great.

(Video) Single Cheapest Way to Increase Fuel Mileage in 6.4 Powerstroke

The Boosted Performance 4″ high-flow open intake is a great choice for the 6.4L diesel. The open design allows for maximum air-flow, and uses a high-quality S&B filter made in the United States. For only $299 (and free shipping) a 6.4 PowerStroke intake makes for a good all-around upgrade.

Check out our 6.4 PowerStroke Cold Air Intake guide for more info on intake upgrades and product recommendations.

6.4L PowerStroke Cold Air Intake Benefits

Benefits of a 6.4L PowerStroke performance intake include:

  • 5-15whp gains
  • 10-25wtq gains
  • Awesome turbo & induction sounds
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Easy maintenance, clean look

Intake power and torque gains primarily come from better air-flow. However, on stock trucks, there isn’t a real need for additional air. Once you add a tune and other mods then the PowerStroke air-flow requirements become more demanding. That’s where you’ll begin to see power gains of 5-15whp and 10-25wtq from an upgraded intake. Bigger gains are even possible on heavily modified 6.4 PowerStroke’s.

An open design, like the Boosted Performance 4″ high-flow intake, also delivers intoxicating turbo and induction sounds. Fuel economy benefits from intakes are up for debate, but it’s possible to see small improvements to MPG. Lastly, re-usable filters make maintenance simple and an intake upgrade offers a nice, clean look for the engine bay.

3) Exhaust Mods & DPF Delete

The layout of the 6.4 PowerStroke exhaust system after the turbocharger is the downpipe, DOC, DPF, and then the muffler. As such, exhaust mods and diesel particulate filter (DPF) deletes go hand-in-hand. We’ll be pretty quick in this section as we have a full guide on Ford 6.4 diesel DPF deletes.

(Video) 6.4 Powerstroke No Limit and SOTF

You can opt for a simple DPF & cat delete pipe like this one from The Diesel Dudes and leave the rest of the exhaust stock. However, removing the muffler and going to a full 4″ or 5″ exhaust will offer the best power gains. That’s especially true on higher power trucks as the restriction from the DPF, DOC, and muffler become significant at higher power and boost.

It’s important to note that it’s illegal to delete the DPF and DOC, so this should only be done on off-road, non-street legal 6.4 PowerStroke trucks. To keep your truck emissions legal, you can opt for a DPF-back 4″ or 5″ exhaust with no muffler. The DPF and DOC are the biggest restrictions, though. Without deleting those the power gains and performance potential are minimal.

6.4 PowerStroke Exhaust & DPF Benefits

A number of benefits to 6.4 PowerStroke exhaust upgrades and DPF deletes include:

  • 5-15whp gains
  • 10-25wtq gains
  • Lower exhaust backpressure
  • Lower EGT’s
  • Better turbo efficiency
  • Reliability

Most of the benefits from exhaust mods come from the DPF and DOC deletes as they’re the biggest restrictions. While power gains aren’t massive, a 6.4L diesel DPF delete does increase performance potential, maximize power gains from other mods, and improve reliability.

Exhaust and DPF mods also help reduce backpressure, lower EGT’s, and better turbocharger efficiency. All these things lead to a much healthier and safer 6.4 PowerStroke when pushing for bigger power numbers. Ultimately, Ford 6.4L exhaust mods are an important piece of the puzzle whether you’re looking for a “modest” 500whp or a crazy 700+whp build.

The Best 6.4 PowerStroke Performance Upgrades (2)

4) 6.4 PowerStroke Diesel Turbo Upgrades

A 6.4 PowerStroke with a tune, intake, and exhaust can deliver about 525-575rwhp – nearly double its factory output of roughly 290rwhp. Those are incredible gains for three simple bolt-on upgrades and likely enough power for most 6.4L diesel owners. However, for those looking for more power, 6.4 PowerStroke turbo upgrades are the next major mod on the list.

(Video) Ford 6.4L Powerstroke Diesel Bulletproof | Bulletproof Diesel | Ford Powerstroke Problems

The compound turbo design was a unique setup for the 6.4L engine as all other Ford PowerStroke’s simply use a single turbo. There are plenty of single turbo conversions for the 6.4 PowerStroke, so you can either switch to single or go with drop in compound turbo upgrades.

We’re big fans of the simplicity and cleaner look of the single turbo setups. They also make excellent power for very little cost, but tend to spool slightly slower than the compound turbos. One setup isn’t always better than the other, so it really depends on your personal preferences and goals.

Ultimately, 6.4 PowerStroke turbo upgrades can push the diesel to 600-700+whp. Depending on your goals it can be an expensive endeavor, though. When you upgrade your turbo(s) it’s likely time to start considering fueling mods, a built transmission, head studs, and more.

Best Ford 6.4 PowerStroke Mods Summary

The Ford 6.4L PowerStroke doesn’t have an excellent reputation for reliability or longevity. However, the 6.4 V8 is one of the most capable modern diesel engines when it comes to tuning and modifications. A custom tune, intake, and exhaust upgrades can push the engine upwards of 550-575whp. That’s nearly double the factory numbers of 290whp and incredible power gains for three simple mods.

Mix in some other 6.4 PowerStroke upgrades and it’s possible to inch above 600whp on the stock compound turbos. However, to push much further it’s time to look into single turbo conversions or drop in compound turbo upgrades. A 6.4 PowerStroke with upgraded turbo can eclipse 700whp and well beyond 1,000 lb-ft of torque. This starts getting expensive, though, as it’s time to consider serious upgrades like internals, head studs, a built transmission, and much more.

What’s your experience modding the Ford 6.4L PowerStroke? Leave a comment and let us know.

(Video) How Much Does It Cost To Replace The 6.4 Powerstroke Engine?

FAQs

How much horsepower can you get out of a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

The 6.4L Powerstroke's performance is well respected in the diesel world. It uses a twin turbocharger set-up from the factory. This is ideal for truck owners who want to upgrade their trucks. You can easily reach 500-600 with just tuning and minor modifications.

Who builds the best 6.4 power stroke engine? ›

DFC Diesel Rebuilders prides itself in being the highest quality 6.4 Powerstroke engine on the market.

How much does it cost to bulletproof a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

How Much Does It Cost to Bulletproof a Diesel? If you have the work done professionally with bulletproofed parts, you're going to pay in the range of $3,000 to $4,000 for parts and installation. It's really a small price to pay for what those particular parts will do to protect your engine's longevity.

What size is the stock turbo on the 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

The 6.4L Power Stroke is boosted by a stock compound-turbo setup that's sized at 64 mm on the high-pressure side and 53 mm on the low-pressure side.

How to get 500 hp 7.3 Powerstroke? ›

Bigger Injectors

Aside from adding a chip, a considerable up-sizing of the fuel injectors is mandatory to get any kind of measurable horsepower out of a 7.3L Power Stroke. For us, the only option is to upgrade to a set of hybrid injectors, and specifically the 238cc version for 500hp goals.

How much power can a stock 6.4 Powerstroke handle? ›

The Heads Can Support 900rwhp

If you were wondering if the horsepower wall for the cylinder heads was around 700rwhp, you'd be wrong. The 6.4L's factory 4-valve heads can support as much as 900rwhp.

What pressure is the lift pump on a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

Normal operating high pressure to drive the injectors is about 5,500 psi, with pressure increasing depending on load. The high pressure pump delivers fuel to the fuel rails through two high pressure lines (one per bank).

What should lift pump pressure on a 6.4 Powerstroke be? ›

The fuel system on your diesel truck is the heart of the vehicle's performance and reliability. This low pressure (10-12 psi) Powerstroke lift pump mounts to the inner frame rail using the supplied sandwich plate mounting system.

What's the fastest Power Stroke? ›

5.5 seconds later Charlie Fish broke the record for the. fastest 6.0 Powerstroke in the world!

What is the biggest problem with the 6.4 Power Stroke? ›

The factory pistons on the 6.4-liter Powerstroke are simply not very durable. Cracks often develop on the fuel bowl and then lengthen to damage the entire piston. If the crack is bad enough and you don't catch it, the piston can start to disintegrate and may cause catastrophic engine damage.

Who has the world's most powerful Power Stroke? ›

Power Stroke 6.7

Today a Ford 6.7 Power Stroke pumps out an impressive 475 hp and 1050 lb-ft of torque, which represents the most powerful light truck diesel engine on the market.

What year Fords need to be bulletproofed? ›

The 6.0L Backstory — Why We Need Bulletproof Diesel, (or what went wrong at Ford) 2003-2007 Ford 6.0L diesel engines have a bad reputation. Many early customers suffered blown head gaskets and sought Ford's help under warranty. Ford dealerships replaced the head gaskets only to have the engines melt down again.

How long is the life expectancy of a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

Powerstroke Engine Average Life Expectancy:

6.4L150,000-200,000 miles.

How much does a Stage 3 bulletproof cost? ›

This entire process takes about 5-7 days. The Level 2 and Level 3 are very thorough and complete repairs. We take our time to make sure that we have addressed all issues, comprehensive. That being said, the Level 2 is typically about $8,000 and the Level 3 is typically about $15,000.

Can you replace a stock turbo with a bigger turbo? ›

If you're looking to maximise the power and performance of your vehicle, then changing your stock turbocharger for a bigger or better model can be an effective part of the process.

Did the 6.4 come with compound turbos? ›

As you know, the 6.4-liter Power Stroke came with a compound turbo system featuring high- and low-pressure turbos.

How much horsepower does a stock turbo add? ›

A turbocharger works with the exhaust system and can potentially give you gains of 70-150 horsepower. A supercharger is connected directly to the engine intake and could provide an extra 50-100 horsepower.

How much HP will the new 7.3 have? ›

The optional, all-new overhead-valve, pushrod 7.3-liter is meant to be a bridge between the more cost-conscious base V-8 and the powerful but expensive Power Stroke turbo-diesel. Related: The Super Duty's new 7.3-liter V-8 will pump out 430 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 475 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.

How much HP does a stock 7.3 make? ›

The 7.3 Powerstroke is a two-valve behemoth which measures in at 444 cubic inches and has a maximum stock power rating of 275hp and 525lb. ft. of torque.

What happens if you run a 7.3 out of diesel? ›

What Happens When You Run Out of Diesel Fuel? When you run low on diesel, your fuel pump might send air through your fuel system instead of gas. If that happens, your vehicle will shut down and not restart until the air is removed.

How fast is a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

Mid 7's On A Tune, Exhaust and N2O (750+ HP)

The 6.4L liked it—a lot. Picking up roughly 150 more horsepower, the truck went 7.55 at 91.08 mph in the eighth-mile. Wallace says that's a 12.00 at 113 mph in the '1320.

What are the pros and cons of a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

6.4L
ConsPros
High-pressure fuel system contaminants can wreck the entire systemFactory connecting rods can handle more than 900rwhp
Failed injectors can wipe out pistonsFactory compound turbochargers can support up to 600rwhp, long term
EGR cooler failure is commonLarger diameter head bolts keep head gaskets from blowing
6 more rows
Nov 26, 2018

How do I know if my lift pump is weak? ›

Let's take a look at three signs that indicate a failing diesel fuel lift pump.
  1. The engine stalls. ...
  2. The engine overheats. ...
  3. You're hearing weird noises.
Jul 29, 2019

Does a 6.4 PowerStroke have a CP3 pump? ›

His 6.4L-powered Ford is equipped with triple CP3's. The high-pressure pumps mount in a custom gear housing and will be belt-driven off of the crankshaft.

What PSI should my Hpfp be? ›

With the key on and engine off (KOEO), you should have 55–71 psi registering on your Accessport. This pressure should hold steady for a few minutes until the EVAP system slowly drops the pressure and everything leaks back down.

What pressure is a Fass 165 lift pump? ›

Duramax 165 GPH Lift Pump Features:

New Bolt On Bracket Installation. Preset 8-10 PSI Fuel Pressure.

What pressure should diesel injectors be? ›

In order to create this reliable condition, the injection nozzles (usually built as a pump-nozzle unit) deliver the fuel into the combustion chamber at high pressure. The average pressure is 300-400 bar.

What is Ford's most powerful diesel? ›

On October 27, 2022, the Dearborn-based truck maker announced its high output version of the 6.7L Power Stroke, available beginning in '23, would turn out a colossal 1,200 lb-ft of torque. The massive milestone blows Ram's previous class-leading number of 1,075 lb-ft out of the water. But not only that, Ford's new H.O.

What is the strongest diesel truck? ›

Duramax 6.6L LBZ: The Duramax 6.6L LBZ provides up to 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, and it is one of the most high-performing diesel engines for pickup trucks.

Which diesel is fastest? ›

The Banks Sidewinder® Dakota is the official F.I.A. World's Fastest Diesel Truck @ 217 mph (two-way average) and a best one-way of 222 mph.

Can you fix a 6.4 Power Stroke? ›

The Solution for a 6.4L Powerstroke Leaking Radiator

Unfortunately, there isn't a fix for this other than replacing the radiator. Even if your stock radiator hasn't failed yet, it's a good idea to be proactive.

How much does it cost to replace the oil cooler on a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

An average labor cost to replace a OEM oil cooler can cost upwards of $1500-2500 plus the cost of $450 for a new oil cooler/turbo install kit.

What is the most efficient stroke engine? ›

Four cylinder engines are the most fuel efficient internal combustion engines. They however have lower vibration and noise levels than the two stroke engines, but have a higher vibration level than a Wankel engine.

What is the highest horsepower Powerstroke? ›

1. Aaron Rudolf: 1,987 HP/3,005 LB-FT.

What is the highest horsepower Duramax? ›

L5P. The L5P Duramax is the latest version of the Duramax V8 diesel engine. (engine code Y) Introduced in the 2017 model year it is the most powerful diesel engine GM has produced with 445 hp (332 kW) at 2,800 rpm and 910 lb⋅ft (1,234 N⋅m) at 1,600 rpm.

Is the 6.4 Power Stroke a good motor? ›

Today, the 6.4L is often referred to as a 150,000-mile proposition, a throwaway engine, or worse: a ticking timebomb. From its leaking radiators and up-pipes to the high-pressure fuel pump's propensity to self-destruct, to cracked pistons, this engine is plagued by failures both big and small.

How many miles will a 6.4 Power Stroke last? ›

Powerstroke Engine Average Life Expectancy:

6.4L150,000-200,000 miles.

How much HP can a 7.3 make? ›

The 7.3 Powerstroke is a two-valve behemoth which measures in at 444 cubic inches and has a maximum stock power rating of 275hp and 525lb.

How many miles per gallon does a 2008 6.4 Power Stroke get? ›

The 6.4 diesel engine gets 10.3 mpg.

How much power can a stock 6.4 Power Stroke handle? ›

The Heads Can Support 900rwhp

If you were wondering if the horsepower wall for the cylinder heads was around 700rwhp, you'd be wrong. The 6.4L's factory 4-valve heads can support as much as 900rwhp.

Which is better Cummins or Power Stroke? ›

The Power Stroke has more horsepower but slightly less torque, while the Cummins has the opposite. However, as noted by AutoWise, the Power Stroke ultimately produces more horsepower, which is a better indicator of engine strength in real driving situations.

How many miles per gallon does a Ford Powerstroke diesel get? ›

Ford 6.7 Diesel mpg – 21. Ford 7.3 Gas mpg – 15.

How much HP is 7.3 Godzilla? ›

Specifications
MetricValue
Bore107.2 mm
Stroke101 mm
Compression ratioTBA
Max power @ RPM430 hp @ 5,500 rpm
4 more rows

How much horsepower does a 2023 7.3 Godzilla have? ›

The new 6.8-liter gas V-8 will produce 405 horsepower and 445 pounds-feet of torque, while the 7.3-liter “Godzilla” gas V-8 is upgraded for 2023 and makes 430 hp and 485 pounds-feet, the latter an increase of 10 pounds-feet from 2022.

How much horsepower is a 7.3 Godzilla motor? ›

But last year, Ford Motor Company did just that when it released its new 7.3L gasoline V8 dubbed “Godzilla.” The big V8 is designed for Super Duty trucks and produces 430 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and best-in-class torque with 475 ft. -lb.

How many gallons does a 6.4 Powerstroke hold? ›

38.00 GALS. Use Diesel Extreme every 6,000 miles and Everyday Diesel Treatment with every fill-up.

How much oil does a 6.4 Powerstroke hold? ›

15 quarts

What fuel pump is in a 6.4 Powerstroke? ›

Alliant AP63643 High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) 08-10 6.4L Powerstroke.

Videos

1. 6.0 powerstroke and 6.4 powerstroke camshafts and heads : CHOATE PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING SHOWCASE!
(CHOATE ENGINEERING PERFORMANCE)
2. Top 5: Best Tuner For 6.4 Powerstroke Reviews 2023 [Buying Guide]
(VdoWiki)
3. Compound Turbo 6.4L Powerstroke Engine
(Engine Builder)
4. Is the 6.4 Powerstroke Worth it!?
(Custom Offsets)
5. Top 5 Mods For Your Powerstroke Diesel - [MUST HAVE]
(TopCorey)
6. The Truth About the 6.4L Powerstroke (And Why It's Not That Bad)
(Dust Runners Automotive Journal)

References

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