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Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Maintenance Guide

1983-1987 Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Maintenance Schedule, Fluid Capacity, and Parts List

Ford’s 6.9L IDI, found in their 1983-1987 Heavy Duty trucks and vans, are the epitome of “built tough”. These engines can withstand abuse and their simplicity makes them easy to service and maintain by yourself. My maintaining your 6.9 IDI, you can make sure it has the right fluids, filters, and parts necessary to keep it on the road for a long time. Oh yeah, you’ll also save a fortune compared to taking it in to a shop. To help the owners of Ford 6.9L IDI diesel trucks, we put together this comprehensive maintenance guide. In it, we go over 6.9L IDI Diesel maintenance schedule, fluid capacities, and we even give you the part numbers you’ll need and where to find them. If you’re after the best IDI maintenance guide around, look no further. Let’s dive in to it.

Ford 6.9L IDI Maintenance Guide
Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Submitted to our Instagram from @CH_Trucks

6.9L IDI Diesel Maintenance Schedule

How Often Should I Service my 6.9L IDI?

How often you need to service your 6.9 IDI diesel depends on how you use it. If you use your vehicle for towing lighter loads, tow infrequently, or travel mostly highway miles and use it as a commuter, you should follow the normal operating conditions service schedule. On the reverse end, if you tow frequently, tow heavy loads, or are constantly idling and driving in city traffic, we recommend using the severe operating conditions service schedule.

Normal Operating Conditions

Maintenance/ServiceMilesKilometers
Change Oil5,000 miles8,000 km
Replace Oil
Filter
5,000 miles8,000 km
Change Fuel
Filter
15,000 miles 24,000 km
Drain Fuel/Water
Separator
5,000 miles8,000 km
Replace Air
Filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Flush Cooling
System
30,000 miles or once
every two years
48,000 km or once every
two years
Check Coolant
Nitrile Strength
15,000 miles or once
a year
24,000 km or
once a year
Adjust Drive Belt15,000 miles24,000 km
Inspect CDR
Valve
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Auto
Transmission
Fluid
30,000 miles48,000 km
Change Auto
Transmission
Filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Manual
Transmission Fluid
60,000 miles96,000 km
Drain & Replace
Transfer Case Fluid
60,000 miles96,000 km
Replace Rear
Differential Fluid
100,000 miles160,000 km
Replace Front
Differential Fluid
100,000 miles160,000 km

Severe Operating Conditions

Maintenance/ServiceMilesKilometers
Change Oil3,000 miles4,800 km
Replace Oil
Filter
3,000 miles4,800 km
Change Fuel
Filter
7,500 miles12,000 km
Drain Fuel/Water
Separator
3,000 miles4,800 km
Replace Air
Filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Flush Cooling
System
30,000 miles or once
every two years
48,000 km or once every
two years
Check Coolant
Nitrile Strength
15,000 miles or once
a year
24,000 km or
once a year
Adjust Drive Belt15,000 miles24,000 km
Inspect CDR
Valve
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Auto
Transmission
Fluid
30,000 miles48,000 km
Change Auto
Transmission
Filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Manual
Transmission Fluid
60,000 miles96,000 km
Drain & Replace
Transfer Case Fluid
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Rear
Differential Fluid
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Front
Differential Fluid
30,000 miles48,000 km

Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Fluid Capacity

Now that you know how often you need to service your 6.9L IDI, you need to find out how much fluid and oil your truck calls for. The chart below tells you how much fluid or oil the different components of your vehicle calls for. Just pay special attention, because slight differences may exist in fluid capacity between model years. You always want to check dipsticks or fluid reservoirs and make sure you have the perfect amount of fluid present. It’s also not a bad idea to have an owner’s manual or diesel supplement handy to double check.

Oil/FluidCapacity – QuartsCapacity – Liters
Engine Oil /w Filter10 Quarts 9.5 Liters
Auto Transmission Fluid
3-Speed Auto C-6
4-Speed Auto A0D
See Below
12-13.5 Quarts
12.3 Quarts
See Below
11.4-12.7 Liters
11.6 Liters
Manual Transmission Fluid
T-19 4-Speed Manual
ZF 5-Speed Manual
See Below
3.5 Quarts
3.38 Quarts
See Below
3.3 Liters
3.2 Liters
Transfer Case
BorWarner 1345
3.25 Quarts3.0 Liters
Coolant29-31 Quarts 27-29.5 Liters
Front Differential Fluid
Dana 44 IFS
Dana 50 IFS
Dana 60 MonoBeam (F-350)
See Below
1.9 Quarts
2.05 Quarts
2.9 Quarts
See Below
1.7 Liters
1.9 Liters
2.8 Liters
Rear Differential Fluid
Ford/Sterling 10.25
Dana 60
Dana 70
Dana 70 HD
See Below
3.75 Quarts
3.15 Quarts
3.3 Quarts
3.7 Quarts
See Below
3.5 Liters
3.0 Liters
3.1 Liters
3.5 Liters

Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Maintenance Parts, Fluid & Oil

Part TypePart #
Engine OilNormal Conditions (preferred): SAE 15W-40
Motorcraft 15W-40
Shell Rotella 10W-30 T4
Temperatures < 60 Degrees F: SAE 10W-30
Shell Rotella 10W-30 T4
Engine Oil FilterMotorcraft FL-784
Fuel FilterMotorcraft FD-811
Engine Air FilterMotorcraft FA-1057 / Ford E7TZ-9601-A
CoolantMotorcraft VC-5 (Green)
Motorcraft VC-5 Prediluted
Motorcraft VC-5 Concentrate
SCA/DCAMotorcraft VC-8
Test StripsFleetguard Test Strips CC2602A
4-Pack CC2602A
50-Pack CC2602A
ThermostatMotorcraft RT-1049
Thermostat Housing
Gasket
Motorcraft RG-531
Radiator CapStant 10229
CDR ValveFord E3TZ-6A665-A 
Auto Transmission Fluid
C6 3-Speed Auto
AOD40 4-Speed Auto
E40D 4-Speed Auto
All Compatible with
Motorcraft Mercon V ATF
Manual Transmission
Fluid
GL-4 80W-90 Gear Oil
Auto Transmission Filters
C6 3-Speed Auto
AOD40 4-Speed Auto
See Below
Motorcraft FT-52
Motorcraft FT-58
Transfer Case FluidMotorcraft XL-12 Transfer Case Fluid
Front Differential FluidSAE 80W-90 Gear Oil
Motorcraft XY-80W90-QL
Rear Differential Fluid**
Ford/Sterling 10.25
Dana 60
Dana 70 & 70HD
See Below**
SAE 75W-140: Motorcraft 75W-140
SAE 80W-90 Gear Oil: Motorcraft 80W-90
SAE 80W-90 Gear Oil: Motorcraft 80W-90
Glow Plugs
1983-1986 (Spade)
1986-1987 (Bullet)
See Below
Motorcraft ZD1A / Ford E5TZ-12A342-B
Motorcraft ZD9 / Ford F2TZ-12A342-A
Glow Plug ControllerMotorcraft SW5421
DieselRX Glow Plug Controller
For limited slip or traction-lok axles, add Motorcraft XL-3 Friction Modifier Additive

Drivetrain/Steering/Suspension

Recently, i’ve begun to restore a 1984 Ford F-250 with the 6.9L IDI engine that I picked up for $1500. Let me tell you, you’re in for some serious headaches when it comes to finding parts for your IDI if you’re trying to restore it to it’s former glory days. The one company that has played a huge role in helping me is TorqueKing4x4. I searched everywhere for wheel hubs and dust shields. Thankfully, they still carry a ton of these products and even manufacture some in-house. Their customer service is top-notch and they are the pros when it comes to these old trucks. Tell them I sent you!

Learn More about Ford’s 1983-1987 IDI Diesel

Check out some of our other Ford 6.9L IDI Diesel Resources by clicking on one of the links below.

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ABOUT Kamil

Founder of Diesel Resource and a complete diesel head. Has a little bit of problem buying too many trucks. Learn more about him by checking out his truck.