13 Best 6.4L Powerstroke Performance Upgrades
How to Improve your 2008-2010 Diesel Ford Superduty
The 6.4L Powerstroke is a powerhouse, with almost unmatched potential. Tons of horsepower and torque can be added very easily to the 6.4L Powerstroke with a number of different Performance upgrades. Even with emissions in-tact, you can cross 500 horsepower without breaking the bank. Horsepower and torque aren’t all that is important though. Fuel Economy and Reliability are just as important.
While the 6.4L Powerstroke features great performance potential, there is a lot to be desired from a fuel economy and reliability standpoint. There are a number of 6.4L Powerstroke accessories and aftermarket parts that can not only make these trucks more reliable, but also increase horsepower, torque and overall fuel economy. To help our readers, we compiled a list of the 13 best 6.4L Powerstroke Performance Upgrades. Here they are!
13 Best 6.4L Powerstroke Performance Upgrades
- Performance Monitors & Digital Gauges
- Engine Coolant Filtration Systems
- Aftermarket Radiators
- Tuners & Programmers
- Cold Air Intakes
- Replacement Up-Pipes
- Aftermarket Intercoolers
- Exhaust Systems
- Performance Lift Pumps
- Aftermarket “BulletProof” EGR Systems
- Head Studs
- Aftermarket Oil Coolers
- Exhaust Brakes
1. Performance Monitors & Gauges
Monitors are number one on my list of the best 6.4L Powerstroke performance upgrades. Everyone can benefit from a monitor or gauge display in their truck. They give you real time data and analytics about your truck’s performance. They also let you read diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs. This makes identifying many common problems very easy as the DTC will point you in the right direction.
Some 6.4L Powerstroke problems aren’t easy to identify however, like a clogging oil cooler. A DTC code may present itself or may not. If you observe a high delta between the engine coolant temperature and oil temperature, it can usually be traced to a clogged oil cooler. With the right parameters displayed, you could easily identify this problem.
Here are some of our favorite diesel performance monitoring devices.
Edge CTS3 Insight
Monitors like Edge’s CTS3 Insight give you real-time data and parameter monitoring. You can keep an eye on important parameters, adjust numerous truck settings, and even connect a rear-view camera to the Edge CTS3 Insight. Read my full Edge CTS3 Insight Review for more information.
Banks Power iDash 1.8 DataMonster
Bank’s Power iDash 1.8 DataMonster is the tiniest digital gauge display and monitor on the market. It offers tons of different data parameter monitoring options and is a great option to pair with their Six-Gun Diesel Tuner.
2. Engine Coolant Filtration Systems
Number 2 on our list of the best 6.4L Powerstroke performance upgrades is engine coolant filtration systems. Engine Coolant filtration systems are a must-have for any 6.4L Powerstroke. The EGR emissions system uses coolant/anti-freeze to lower the temperature of hot exhaust gases that are re-introduced into the engine. While this process greatly reduces the amount of nitrogen oxides being emitted from the tailpipe, engine coolant break down occurs from the hot temperatures that it’s exposed to.
Engine coolant filtration systems help maintain engine coolant quality by catching any particulate or break down in a filter. This can greatly reduce the amount of problems, and extend the life of your coolant, oil cooler, EGR, and water pump.
Here are some of our favorite 6.4L Powerstroke Coolant Filtration Systems you should consider.
Mishimoto Coolant Filtration Kit (Black)
The Mishimoto Coolant Filtration system filters solid particles from coolant. This helps extend the life of your oil cooler, EGR, water pump, and coolant. As with all Mishimoto products, it comes with their lifetime warranty.
Sinister Diesel Coolant Filtration System
The Sinister coolant filtration system helps extend coolant life and lifetimes of critical components like the EGR system and oil cooler. They offer both a WIX and a CAT Filter that are available with their filtration systems. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. Aftermarket Radiator
2008-2010 Ford Superduty trucks with the 6.4L Powerstroke diesel engine are notorious for cracking radiators. The plastic ends of the radiators are prone to cracking over time from vibration and stress. If you’re eventually going to have to replace your 6.4L Powerstroke’s OEM radiator anyways, why not give your truck an upgrade? Check out our favorite aftermarket 6.4L Powerstroke all-aluminum radiator.
Mishimoto Aluminum Replacement Radiator
The answer to 6.4L Powerstroke coolant leaks stemming from a poorly designed OEM radiator . Mishimoto designed an all-aluminum radiator, backed by a lifetime warranty. Mishimoto’s aluminum radiator features an updated mounting design to reduce radiator stress and a magnetic drain plug. Can be paired with an upper support bar kit for greater reliability.
Mishimoto Upper Support Bar
Want a better secured radiator? A significant contributor to the 6.4’s leaking radiator problem is a lack of support for the factory radiator. It experiences excess vibrations, twisting, and movement that can make short work of the plastic end caps. The Mishimoto Upper Support Bar adds rigidity and support to the factory radiator to improve long term durability.
4. 6.4L Powerstroke Tuners & Programmers
The quickest way to add horsepower and torque to your 6.4L Powerstroke is by purchasing a tuner or programmer. Tuners and programmers adjust different engine parameters like fueling to improve performance. They can also adjust transmission parameters to improve shift points. There are a lot of tuners out there, but the best results will be achieved by custom tuning.
Be cautious though as tuning can result in costly repairs. There are often other parts that need to accompany tunes like head studs, beefier transmission parts, and fuel system upgrades. Here are some 6.4L Powerstroke tuners we recommend.
Bully Dog/SCT BDX Programmer
Want tuning and data monitoring from one unit? Bully Dog/SCT’s BDX programmer is the perfect solution for you. Tune delivery can be done over the cloud too which is a huge plus!
Banks Six Gun Diesel Tuner
If you want clean, reliable performance for your 6.4L Powerstroke, who better to trust than Banks Power. The Banks Power Six Gun Diesel Tuner offers gains of up to 101 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque. It’s even 50 state carb-compliant!
Bully Dog GT Diesel Tuner
Bully Dog’s GT Diesel tuner offers box tunes with multiple power levels. This tuner will help improve drivability and throttle response on your 6.4 diesel. It also can be used as a monitor and code reading device!
Bully Dog GTX Programmer/Monitor
If you’re looking for a a tuning device that is custom tuning capable, this is a solid option for your 6.4L Powerstroke tuning needs. Bully Dog’s GTX also offers real-time parameter monitoring and code reading/clearing capabilities.
5. Cold Air Intake
A cold air intake will give your 6.4L Powerstroke cooler, denser air which translates to performance gains and better fuel economy. They’re also very affordable and easy to install. This makes cold air intakes one of the best basic 6.4L Powerstroke performance upgrades, especially for first-time diesel owners who want to install aftermarket parts by themselves. Check out our favorite 6.4L Powerstroke cold air intakes below.
Banks Cold Air Intake System
This cold air intake has been proven itself capable of outflowing the stock air intake by up to 31%. Banks 6.4L Powerstroke Ram Cold Air Intake gives your engine the cold, dense air it needs to be more efficient. It’s also easier to service and it’s more flexible than the stock air intake, providing better durability.
S&B Cold Air Intake
Want noticeable performance improvements that looks great underneath the hood? The S&B 6.4L Powerstroke Cold Air Intake system looks great, performs well, and is easy to service! The see-through top makes it easy to know when your air filter needs to be changed. They also washable filters on their cold air intakes!
6. 6.4L Powerstroke Aftermarket Up-Pipes
Are you finding absurd amounts of soot on the inside of your hood, on your firewall, or covering the transmission casing? You could also be hearing a loud hissing noise. The 6.4L Powerstroke’s factory up-pipes are prone to failure at the expansion joints. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when you are going to replace them.
If you are looking to prevent failures before they happen, investing in a good set of aftermarket up-pipes is a great idea. They offer greater durability and can prevent the issue from ever happening.
Rudy’s Diesel HD Replacement Up-Pipes
Replace those old, cracked up-pipes with Rudy’s Diesel HD Replacement Up-Pipes. This kit is designed for an OEM fit and offers significantly better reliability than the stock up-pipes.
MBRP Up-Pipe Kit
Another replacement Up-Pipe kit is made by MBRP. MBRP’s Up-Pipe kit offers improved durability over the factory units without breaking the bank!
7. Larger Intercoolers
Aftermarket Intercoolers make an excellent addition to any diesel truck. They provide cooler, denser air to the engine that can lead to respectable power improvements. They also lower EGTs and increase fuel economy. It’s hard to think of a reason not to invest in one. Here are some aftermarket intercoolers we recommend as an upgrade for your 6.4L Powerstroke.
Bank’s Power Techni-Cooler Intercooler
Want cooler, denser air and a 14% improvement in air flow over your stock intercooler? The Bank’s Techni-Cooler Intercooler Upgrade for the 6.4L Powerstroke is an upgrade that will give you more power, reduce EGTs, and even improve fuel economy.
Mishimoto Intercooler Upgrade
Another Mishimoto product makes our list of the best 6.4L Powerstroke upgrades. Mishimoto’s 6.4L Powerstroke intercooler upgrade helps lower egts, increase fuel economy, and improve power.
AFE Bladerunner Intercooler
Want lower EGTS and improved performance and reliability? AFE’s Bladerunner Intercooler is an excellent 6.4L Powerstroke upgrade for modified trucks or trucks used frequently for heavy towing!
8. Exhaust Systems
Factory exhaust systems are very restrictive. Emissions are a huge contributing factor to exhaust system inefficiencies. A true straight-pipe style exhaust is the best way to improve overall exhaust flow. Unfortunately, it’s federally illegal to remove emissions devices from your vehicle, so unless your vehicle is strictly used for offroad racing or events that’s not an option. What you can do however, is purchase a DPF-back exhaust system. It won’t require the use of delete tuning, and it won’t void any factory warranty you have.
Banks Monster Exhaust
Reduce backpressure and increase exhaust flow from the DPF-back. The Bank’s Power Monster exhaust system is a true 4″ DPF-Back exhaust system for the 6.4L Powerstroke. All necessary hardware and clamps included for a bolt-on installation!
Banks Monster Exhaust /w Dual Tips
Want a quality DPF-Back exhaust with dual tips at the exhaust exit? Check out the Banks Monster Exhaust with Dual exhaust tips.
9. Lift Pump Systems
The factory common rail fuel system provides impressive performance, but it has it’s weak points. One of the most common 6.4L Powerstroke Problems is its susceptibility to fuel injection pump self-destruction. If you neglect common 6.4L Powerstroke maintenance, like draining the water/fuel separator, water can accumulate, eventually leading to rust in the fuel system. This then travels to the injection pump.
The Siemens K16 injection pump is very sensitive to poor fuel quality and can self-destruct. This sends metal shards to the injectors which could lead to expensive repair costs, especially when you factor in the added costs of raising the cab to access the fuel injection pump.
Aftermarket lift pump systems offer better fuel filtration than the OEM fuel filter and water/fuel separator. They also offer a constant supply of fuel pressure, which is especially important when tuning your vehicle. The factory fuel lift pump often can’t sustain fueling needs, essentially starving your fuel injection pump. This can also create problems and a loss of power. Here are some of our favorite lift pump systems available for your 6.4l Powerstroke.
Air Dog II-4G 100 GPH Lift Pump System
Want to extend the life of your 6.4L Powerstroke’s entire fuel system? Help protect your injection pump, injectors, and more with the Air Dog II-4G 100 GPH Lift Pump System. This system gives you significantly better fuel filtration than OEM filters meaning a cleaner fuel burn, more power, and greater fuel economy. This system will support up to around 500 horsepower.
Air Dog II-4G 165 GPH Lift Pump System
If you want the benefits of a fuel lift pump system but your truck is more in the 500-700 horsepower range, you need a little more flow than the 100 GPH unit offers. The Air Dog II-4G 165 GPH system is the perfect solution.
10. Aftermarket EGR Coolers
The 6.4L Powerstroke suffers from similar EGR-related problems as the 6.0L Powerstroke. The factor EGR Coolers are can crack or plug up, resulting in overheating and other problems. Unlike the 6.0 however, the 6.4l Powerstroke utilizes two EGR Coolers. This means there are two opportunities for these problems to occur.
While the ultimate solution to make sure no EGR failures ever occur again is just deleting the EGR system altogether, it is not legal on street-driven vehicles. This means if you are not using your 6.4L Powerstroke exclusively for off-roading or competitions, this is not a valid option. You are not allowed to remove federal emissions devices. So instead the aftermarket has created more reliable EGR Coolers that last significantly longer.
There is one company in particular we have in mind, BulletProof Diesel. These guys make a number of solutions for both the 6.0L Powerstroke and the 6.4L Powerstroke. They are the experts in “Bulletproofing” these trucks. Here’s their EGR replacement solution.
11. ARP Head Studs
If you’re going to be increasing performance above stock performance levels, one 6.4L Powerstroke performance upgrade that you should consider is aftermarket head studs from ARP. While the 6.4L Powerstroke doesn’t suffer from the same blown head gasket problems as the 6.0, the twin sequential turbochargers make adding horsepower and torque so easy that you can reach levels that are unmanageable for the factory head bolts pretty easily.
Even if you don’t have high horsepower/torque aspirations, if you are rebuilding your 6.4L Powerstroke engine, it just makes sense to invest in some ARP head studs. Here is the kit we recommend.
12. Aftermarket Oil Coolers
Oil Coolers are a common weak point in the 6.4L Powerstroke. They’re prone to clogging or leaking. When it’s time to change out your oil cooler, there are a number of aftermarket oil coolers out there that offer great performance and warranties should you have problems again!
Here are some quality aftermarket Oil Coolers for Ford trucks with the 6.4L Powerstroke Diesel engine.
Mishimoto Oil Cooler
Want a quality aftermarket Oil Cooler? Check out the Mishimoto Oil Cooler kit, it has awesome reviews online and it costs about half the price of the OEM oil cooler.
PPE HD Oil Cooler
PPE’s Oil Cooler is another unit worth considering. It’s also cheaper than the factory Oil Cooler.
13. Exhaust Brake
The 6.4L Powerstroke didn’t come with a factory exhaust brake, which is an invaluable feature when towing. It basically uses your variable vane turbocharger to slow the vehicle down, without using your brakes. Many aftermarket exhaust brakes can also call on the transmission to aid in slowing down via downshifts.
Adding an exhaust brake makes maintaining speed in downhill situations much easier and also lets you keep your feet off the brakes. This extends brake system life. If you tow frequently, this is one of the absolute best 6.4L Powerstroke Performance Upgrades you can get. Convinced yet? Here are two exhaust brake systems for Ford Superduty trucks with the 6.4l Powerstroke Diesel engine that you should consider!
AFE Brakelogic Exhaust Brake Controller
Get up to 130 retarding horsepower to make driving down slopes easier and safer! The AFE BrakeLogic Exhaust Brake Controller gives your 6.4L Powerstroke exhaust braking capabilities.
BD Power Variable Vane Exhaust Brake
Another exhaust brake system for the 6.4L Powerstroke is the BD Power Variable Vane Exhaust Brake System. It also gives your 6.4L exhaust braking functionality without breaking the bank!
Learn More About the 6.4L Powerstroke
Check out our other 6.4L Powerstroke resources. Click on one of the links below.