6.0 Powerstroke Lifter Replacement Without Removing the Head Step by Step

The 6.0 Powerstroke engine is known for its durability and power, but like any engine, it can develop issues over time. One common problem is lifter failure, which can lead to a variety of performance problems.

While fixing this issue may seem daunting, it’s possible to replace lifters without removing the cylinder head. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of 6.0 Powerstroke lifter replacement.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

  1. Socket and ratchet set
  2. Torque wrench
  3. Lifter puller tool
  4. New lifters
  5. Gasket sealant
  6. Engine oil
  7. Drain pan
  8. Shop towels

Step 1: Prepare Your Work Area

Ensure you’re working on a level surface in a well-ventilated area. Lay out your tools and materials for easy access. Make sure the engine is cool before you begin.

Step 2: Disconnect the Battery

Safety first. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery to prevent any accidental starting of the engine while you work on it.

Step 3: Drain the Engine Oil

Place a drain pan under the oil pan and remove the oil drain plug to drain the engine oil completely. Dispose of the used oil properly.

Step 4: Remove the Valve Covers

To access the lifters, you’ll need to remove the valve covers. Use a socket and ratchet to remove the bolts securing the valve covers and carefully lift them off.

Step 5: Identify and Mark the Rocker Arms

Identify the rocker arms associated with the lifters you want to replace. Mark each rocker arm so you can return them to their original positions during reassembly. This is crucial for maintaining proper valve lash.

Step 6: Remove the Rocker Arms

Use your socket and ratchet to remove the bolts securing the rocker arms. Gently lift off the rocker arms and set them aside.

Step 7: Remove the Pushrods

Carefully remove the pushrods that sit on top of the lifters. Keep them in order to ensure they go back in the same position.

Step 8: Remove the Lifters

This step requires a lifter puller tool. Insert the tool into the lifter bore and gently pull out the old lifter. Be patient and take your time to avoid damaging the lifter bore.

Step 9: Install the New Lifters

Coat the new lifters with engine oil to ensure proper lubrication upon startup. Insert the new lifters into their respective bores, making sure they are properly seated.

Step 10: Reassemble the Engine

Reverse the steps you took to disassemble the engine. Start by reinserting the pushrods, then the rocker arms, and finally the valve covers. Torque the bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications using a torque wrench.

Step 11: Refill Engine Oil

Fill the engine with fresh oil, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the correct oil type and capacity.

Step 12: Reconnect the Battery

Reconnect the negative battery terminal.

Step 13: Start the Engine

Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Listen for any unusual noises and check for leaks.

Step 14: Test Drive

Take your vehicle for a test drive to confirm that the lifter replacement has resolved any performance issues.


Replacing lifters in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine without removing the cylinder head is a challenging but manageable task. By following this step-by-step guide and exercising patience and precision, you can successfully replace faulty lifters and restore your engine’s performance.

If you are uncomfortable with any of these steps, or if you encounter unexpected difficulties, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional mechanic for assistance.

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