• Mar 27, 2007
This video of a 2008 Ford Super Duty pickup shooting flames from its tailpipes surfaced last week over at forddoctorsdts.com, a forum only open to registered Ford diesel technicians. It made its way to some other forums before finally popping up on more mainstream sites today. Literally nothing is known for sure about the video, like who uploaded it, whether or not the truck spewing flames is one of the three Ford refers to in its recall notice, or even if the light show is the result of leaky injectors or a cracked turbo, the two issues that supposedly prompted the recall of all 2008 Ford Super Dutys equipped with the new 6.4L Power Stroke diesel in the first place.
What we do know is that it's pretty shocking to watch a truck throwing flames in idle, even more so when it's revved. We think it's important to be clear about what may be causing this and why Ford issued the recall in the first place. Fortunately, the purveyor of forddoctorsdts.com published a very clear, concise explanation of why the recall was issued and what may be going on in this video.

See the video and continue reading our account of this hot situation after the jump.

[Source: YouTube, forddoctorsdts.com, Automotive News, Pickuptruck.com]



Basically, the new 6.4L Power Stroke uses a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to collect and burn off particulate matter in the truck's exhaust. On occasion, the engine will intentionally inject a metered amount of fuel in the exhaust cycle that will raise the temp in the DPF high enough to burn off the collected particulates. This is called regeneration, and it's a process that diesel engines from GM and Dodge do, as well. What you see in this video is a rare case in which leaky injectors or a cracked turbo has allowed an unmetered amount of either fuel or oil to reach the DPF and raise the temp to combustible levels. The fuel or oil then ignites and you get this "thermal event", otherwise known as flames shooting out your tailpipe.

Recall 07S49 was issued to address the cause of this thermal event. Again, from what we can tell, the engine management system on over 37,000 trucks that have been built and/or sold will be reflashed. The new program monitors temperatures in the DPF, and if temps spike when they're not supposed to, the system will restrict the engine's power and alert the driver. This, we assume, will save the engine from damaging itself further, giving the owner enough time to reach a technician where the cause of the spike can be discovered and fixed.

If we were owners of a 2008 Super Duty with the 6.4L Power Stroke, we'd be calling for Ford to not only reflash our engine management system, but also carefully inspect the injectors and turbos to ensure there's not a problem waiting to happen. Ford engineers claim that fuel could leak into the exhaust system if these trucks are started in subzero temperatures and not warmed up properly. They also say no parts in the engine are defective. Nevertheless, inspecting injectors and turbos would go a long way in creating peace of mind for owners of these very expensive, and profitable, trucks.

Considering the quality issues that dogged the last generation Power Stroke diesel and this new recall that, while more isolated, is still damaging to the Super Duty's reputation, it's not surprising we've learned that Ford is accelerating its own development of a new diesel engine that would eventually replaced the Power Stroke that's designed by Navistar International. The bad blood between Ford and Navistar is well documented, and it would obviously be best for both parties if this relationship were no more.

[Much thanks to Mike Levine from Pickuptruck.com for following this story with us and teaching us Diesel 201]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shoot. I loved it when my WRX did that especially at night.
      • 7 Years Ago
      some people would pay extra for such a feature. yeeeeehawwwwww!
      • 7 Years Ago
      That doesn't look like a 2008 to me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @7: Super Duty Territory != Tundra Territory.

      Yet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Look at the new and improved reverse lights, they light up the sky.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is definitely an option that would sell well where I grew up.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Market it as an optional "show feature" and charge extra for it! Then when people call in that they didn't order it, tell them they must have gotten lucky, but since they already bought the car, it will cost extra to have it removed.

      That's the American way!
      The
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes this is going to be the last product Ford Buys from Navistar...especially when Ford itself makes better more powerful per liter motors... I think Ford is stuck with bad suppliers for components.... First a Texas Instruments switch in the Cruise control ignites a nearby flammable line by sparking... causing fires... then the Firestone tire fiasco... then the 6.0L injector failure... now this... I think it's about time every part on their vehicles should have "Ford" printed on it... just like the Jeeps Henry's company manufactured in WW2... even the bolts lol.

      Ford makes AWESOME diesels themselves... heck, the 4.4L they are putting in the F-150 is slated to have about as much torque as the 7.3L Powerstroke of old... about 515-520 lb ft.... from a 4.4L!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The ultimate truck accessory! Flames!
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL I know it is bad but that is so cool! What was that noise in the background? That was not the engine because I have heard the new engine running and it is super quiet! I am still glad is turning in house to make their own engine. They seem to do a better job than most, just look at the 4.6, 5.4, and new 3.5. All great engines. Having Volvo makes it even better!
      • 7 Years Ago
      if I could have that done safely, I would pay THOUSANDS for that as an option on my STi or EVO (I dunno which I'm gonna get yet - gotta go do test drives)
      • 7 Years Ago
      It has to be hot in the whole area, you can see steam rising from the asphalt - which eventually seems to dry up. How many homes or banks will be burned down by this truck? I see these HD trucks idling in the commercial banking drive through lane in Texas all the time. Ford's got a real problem on their hands if this goes widespread.
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