My 2003 6.0 Powerstroke has about 80,000 miles on it. It's had a few minor issues with it in 2004 & 2004. It had a hot start issue that was resolved with a new PCM update. Several Pcm updates later it runs perfect. The ECM took a crap and shorted out a wiring harness while I was driving with a full load. My Ford dealer replaced the ECM and wiring harness free of charge even though it was out of warranty. That's been it as far as the dreaded 6.0 is concerned. I've had to replace the ball joints with greasable ones at about 50,000 miles. The rear differential was leaking earlier on in life which was taken care of by the dealer. Original tires were replaced at 55,000 miles. The front brakes were replaced with OE rotors and pads in 2007. The rear rotors and pads were replaced in 2008.
I do however make sure I change both fuel filters twice a year. With the 6.0 regular oil changes are a must, every 4,000 miles or have a bypass oil filter... The 6.0 and 7.3 use a very antiquated HEUI Injection System. Very expensive to repair - thus it needs very clean oil to work properly. Ford no longer uses HEUI Injection they switched to Common Rail a couple years ago... Much better setup...
My 6.0 never needs to be plugged in in the winter - it fires right up even at 25 below... Much quieter than any of my 7.3. Tons of turbo power right from the start - no lag... This trucks primary duty is to haul topsoil, gravel and limestone boulders. Depending on where I'm going, it hauls approx. 6-7 tons of material. I only load 6 tons when I go on the highway. 7 ton around town. It handles the weight with no issues. When towing, I regularly gross 30,000 lbs. Heck my buddy pulls a D3 dozer with his truck. I need to reiterate that this has the 19.5" tires and bigger brakes than a 3/4 or 1 ton truck - bigger axles also... When I need to haul bigger loads I use the International which will haul 15 ton loads no problem... The 6.0 has better power and a way better tranny than the 7.3, and so far more reliable than all of my 7.3's... The torqshift tranny is hard to beat for a light duty diesel...
The 6.0 has worked very hard every day for the past 7 years. It hauls on average of 40 tons of material a day. I really work it hard but I also maintain it - that's the difference. If you baby your 6.0 all day you'll probably have EGR problems. Oh I forgot to mention the catalytic converter fell of sometime ago. Too bad...
Unless you find the end all be all of 7.3's, expect to have repairs when it hits the 150,000 mile mark or sooner. Mine all did. Parts only last so long. If your usin' and abusin' plan on some coin around 100,000 miles... After havin' a 6.0 I'd never buy a 7.3 for a work truck unless it was for recreational use...
Oh and buy the way - you might want to check with another wrench man before you get more misinformation. A 7.3 Powerstroke 1999-2003 costs about the same to fix as a late model Duramax... Don't be misled, all you have to do is lookup the parts cost. At the end of the day they all cost the same even a Cummins which is a much simpler design than either of Ford's and GM's V-8's. The 7.3 IH Powerstroke is not simpler than a 6.6 Duramax. They are both V-8's and share similar architecture though the 6.6 would get the nod for a better design and better engineering for the common rail technology it uses...
2003 F-550 Dump 6.0
2005 F-250 6.8 - Sold
2006 F-150 5.4 - Sold
2007 3500 Dump 6.7 - Sold
2005 Dodge CUMMINS
2005 International DT-466
New Holland LS160
New Holland L185
Kubota 4330 FEL
28' Continental Cargo
20' Rainbow Flatbed
Way too much other stuff to mention...