12 Steps to Installing a Truck Powerstroke Diesel Engine

  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 4,000-6,000

You want to put that new Powerstroke Diesel engine into your Ford truck and you want to save money by doing it yourself. This article will list the tools you’ll need and walk you through the steps to compete the project.

Required Tools:

This will be a partial list of tools that you’ll need to have handy when changing out engines in your Ford truck.

  • Engine puller, better known as a cherry picker
  • Full set of combination wrenches
  • Full set of sockets with extensions, ratchet handle and and universal swivel
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Straight slot screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Channellocks or large slip joint pliers
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Something to block the front and back of a rear wheel
  • WD-40
  • Catch pan for coolant

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery and Drain Cooling System

The first step when pulling a motor is to disconnect and remove the batteries. It’s a good idea to take pictures as you remove parts so you have an idea where the replacement goes. Place the catch pan under the radiator petcock and drain the radiator.

Step 2: Remove Starter

There are three tasks that you’ll need to perform underneath the truck. The first will be to remove the starter. On a Ford, this usually means a thick wire from the solenoid to the starter.

Step 3: Remove the Exhaust

There are either two or three bolts that connect the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipes. Remove these. You may need WD-40. Remove the Y-pipe from the manifolds and from the rear pipe(s).

Step 4: Disconnect the Transmission

There are 4 bolts, usually 7/16 or ½, that hold the driveshaft to the differential input. Remove these and slide the drive shaft out. Place something over the tail piece of the transmission or it will leak fluid all over. Remove the two bolts holding both sides of the transmission crossmember. Remove the two or three bolts holding the crossmember to the transmission.

Step 5: Remove the Radiator

Remove the clamps holding the radiator hoses and then pull the hoses off the engine block. If the power steering reservoir mounts on the side, remove it. Remove the four to eight bolts holding the radiator in and pull the radiator out.

Step 6: Disconnect Wiring and Hoses

Take more pictures. Remove the fuel lines, heater hoses, electrical wires and vacuum lines from the engine, noting where everything went.

Step 7: Pull the Motor

Wheel the cherry picker in at the front. Connect the hoist chain to 2 head or block bolts and tighten. Put tension on the jack chain. Remove the motor mount bolts from both sides. Carefully lift the engine and transmission out and over the front end.

Step 8: Lower the Replacement Motor in Place

Remove the hoist chain from the old engine and attach it to the new one. Carefully lift the new engine into place and attach the motor mount bolts.

Step 9: Reattach Exhaust, Starter and Transmission

Reattach the starter to the motor. Put the exhaust pipe components back in place and properly secure. Reattach the transmission crossmember. Slide the driveshaft into the transmission and connect the differential.

Step 10: Reconnect Wiring and Hoses

Reconnect all the wiring and hoses that you disconnected in step 6.

Step 11: Install and Connect Radiator

Place and secure the radiator. Resecure the radiator hoses. Refill the cooling system to capacity.

Step 12: Reinstall and Connect Batteries

The last step is to put the batteries in and reconnect them. Fill the engine with oil, make sure it has an oil filter and prime the fuel system. Double check all connections and fittings to make sure they are tight. Start the engine and check for any leaks.

This article has listed in 12 easy steps how to replace your current Ford motor with a Powerstroke diesel engine