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bmgiese

Considering adding Intercooler to 7.3 Powerstroke

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I have a 1995 F-250 with a 7.3 Powerstroke which came without a turbo intercooler. I found an intercooler and was seriously considering installing it.

So the questions: Do I need to worry about any programming, controls or instrumentation? I am under the impression you can just install it without modifying anything beyond the piping and intercooler itself.

Has anyone seen much of an increase in fuel economy by installing an intercooler? I know you will get some power and that would be nice towing, but that would not be my primary reason for doing it.

Are there any negative aspects to installing the intercooler?

Any help would be appreciated.

Bernie

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they do help but if its a used cooler you must be carfull it could have been on somthing that bloow a turbo or other engine component that went through the cooler and if it did its impossable to get all the pieces out causing them to get sucked through into the engine

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I installed a Banks Power Pack on my 97 back in 2003? which includes a intercooler . Wasn't too bad of a job overall but the whole front end has to come off (grill ,headlights , bumper , ect.) and you have to sawsall the holes in the radiator support ;) .

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I would do it. Go over to ford-trucks.com and search around and you will find plenty of reading material on this. I suggest on looking at the OBS (Old Body Style) section. Their search also works a lot better than most. They are REALLY great guys over there and very helpful.

Like the one poster said, if you buy a used one you should get it cleaned and pressure checked to save problems.

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I had not thought of the possibility of garbage in the intercooler. That is a good tip. Thanks ID.

Scott, I did as you suggested and went to ford-trucks.com. Amazing stuff there. There was a detailed picture sequence showing each step to add a later intercooler to the 95's.

I don't think my welding is good enough to make the modifications to the air tubes. The banks intercooler kit is about $1400, and I don't want to spend that much on this old of a rig.

Based on what I read, I might be better off getting a chip. A lot easier and a lot cheaper. I won't get the reduced temperatures, but I don't think that is too much of a problem for me.

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Don't forget there are shops that specialize in welding and fabrication and cash in hand goes a long way when you walk in the door.

What do you need to do? On the 7.3s when you want a 6.0 cooler they make special reduction boots so you don't need to do anything.

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I stayed up too late last night reading on ford-trucks.com. I finally got smart and googled 'best mods 7.3'. Took me right back to ford-trucks.com.

Based on comments from several people, I am thinking of the following:

  • replace the exhaust down pipe in front of the fire wall to remove the restriction; this requires bending the firewall. cash in hand at the local diesel performance shop is the likely method
  • replace the air intake and filter with an 'open' filter. I need to do a bit of homework to convince myself that I won't suck in water out hunting, but otherwise this seems to make a lot of sense. More than one person said the down pipe and the filter together made a noticeable improvement in performance.
  • install a chip. There are some really good ones that allow you to select the type of performance you want: economy, towing, heavy towing, etc.
  • install instrumentation. (I was planning to do this anyway). Exhaust gas temperature is important for longevity, and it would give me an indication if inter-cooling was worth spending money on.

I believe I can do all of the above and receive more bang for the buck than with the inter-cooler. Plus, I would have toys to play with and gauge needles to keep me entertained while driving. :) If I had the time and welding skills, I would tackle the intercooler myself. Maybe some day, but not today.

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Yep, I did all of those. I have a Super Duty, but the same principles apply. We don't have to bend our firewall for a 4" turbo back.

I rock a 4" Silverline turbo back with muffler, 4463 homemade air intake, DP Tuner, and Banks gauges. I would guess I have about $1000 in all of that stuff. I scoured the internet for deals on the exhaust. I bought gauges from a guy who never installed them in his truck. The only time DP Tuner is ever on sale is right before Christamas and they have a 10% off sale. The filter I bought at NAPA. Some companies are doing packages now where if you buy all that stuff together you get a deal. ITP Diesel (?) is a good one. Look for sponsers of FTE, they are all pretty good prices from what I have seen.

The filter doesn't suck in water. I replace mine once a year, but don't drive my truck much more than 10k in a year. I hunt, I plow snow, I do it all and I have never had it wet. If you are super concerned about it build a cold air intake around it or buy an AFE cold air intake.

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Thanks Scott.

I'm going to start with the down pipe. It is really small. There is a diesel performance shop in Billings. I see they sell the AFE intake and do exhaust work. I'm going to talk to them about installing the down pipe and see what their experiences with the intakes have been.

Last fall hunting, we crossed a creek bottom that was probably 75 feet long and about 6 to 12 inches deep in water. There were ruts, so the water really came up. A guy I know got water into a Dodge Dakota engine and it came apart. His son was driving, so we don't know for sure what happened (might be a bit of coverup involved :ph34r: ) but would hate even more to have that happen to a diesel $$$.

Bernie

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I have had water up to my door sills and no problems. I saw a guy waterlock a V-10 Dodge just a few crossings down from the one I went across. He goosed it to show off his new truck and there she locked. Pulled the plugs and pushed the water out and she lived.

Talk to Cowboy Steve. He is in Montana (or somewhere way over there) and is an OBS nut. I talked to him many years ago when I started playing with my truck. His number is five zero nine - seven two seven - 8922 He is a really nice guy and he might just have some take off parts for you. ;)

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I can tell you exactly what happens to a 6.9 when it gets water in it, one rod turns into an S. On the 83-84 Ford 6.9's the air intake hose went right down just above bumper height on the left side. I had a place on the crik where I had been crossing all the time. Well...one morning I pulled off the crik bank into the water and the front end went right on down into the water. The water had got swirling against the bank and washed a big hole that hadn't been there. Engine gave a big ole Wam! and that was all she wrote. We pulled it apart and replaced that rod and piston, stuck it back together and drove it many years after that.

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farmall57 - I got a bit of water in two holes of a 903 Cum-a-part while unloading a load of groceries in Chicago years ago. Couple loose intake manifold bolts let the water leak in. No wonder the old horse wouldn't pull anymore, wonder how much boost I was loosing?!?! Tractor had an air starter, the whole cab rocked side-to-side when the piston came up on that water and the engine stopped right now. Surprisingly it started the next time I hit the starter button. But it was knocking more than normal. Mr GOODWRENCH had me drive 20-25 miles down to the south side of Chicago to wait for a wrecker to pull me home. I was short-shifting the whole way around 1400-1500 RPM. About half way there I noticed the knocking had stopped.

Fast forward about a week, Mr. GOODWRENCH showed me the two piston/rod assemblies, the rods were bent into a "C" shape, the beam of the rod distorted about 1/2 to 5/8 inch to one side. That shorted the rod enough the wrist pin bosses of the two pistons were hitting the counter weights on the crankshaft causing the knock, You could see where the counterweights ground off grooves 1/8th inch deep on those wrist pin bosses. Two new rods, two new pistons, two new liners and the engine was running again.

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I have had water up to my door sills and no problems. I saw a guy waterlock a V-10 Dodge just a few crossings down from the one I went across. He goosed it to show off his new truck and there she locked. Pulled the plugs and pushed the water out and she lived.

Talk to Cowboy Steve. He is in Montana (or somewhere way over there) and is an OBS nut. I talked to him many years ago when I started playing with my truck. His number is five zero nine - seven two seven - 8922 He is a really nice guy and he might just have some take off parts for you. ;)

Thanks Scott!

I talked to Steve. He helped me with a few items. He explained how the AFE filters keep water out of the engine, particularly with an oil type filter versus a paper one. He referred me to a good forum: powerstrokearmy.com.

He is in Washington about 650 miles away from me, so I wont be swinging by his shop this afternoon. <_<

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The turbo-downpipe is the best $$$ spent for starters . Wait till you see the factory joke :blink: .

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Boomer,

Good point. I have not seen it yet! It is in such a tight spot, right next to the exhaust from the left side, that you cannot even see it!

I called a diesel shop yesterday about doing it. They said their mechanics don't like to work on them because it is a tough job. They quoted me about $400, parts and labor, but with an aluminized pipe. I want stainless. I found kits that bolt in (no welding) so I might do it myself. Then I can find out how they planned to earn their $300 for labor. I think you can get a mashed :wacko: finger repaired for that much. :rolleyes:

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Here is a picture. I couldn't get it to post, but the link works.

http://www.google.co...=1t:429,r:2,s:0

Might as well do a full exhaust. If you don't I would straight pipe it. Those two things should help it spool up way quicker. Stainless isn't that big of deal on a diesel because they run so hot compared to a gasser. The turbo makes the truck pretty quiet even when straight piped.

You might want to check out Pinnacle Exhaust. They are the guys who invented Hooker headers. They have an aluminized

exhaust with a lifetime warrenty. The owner told me they have not ever had to replace a system. They are out west somewhere, too.

http://www.pinnaclepowerexhaust.com/

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Here is a picture. I couldn't get it to post, but the link works.

http://www.google.co...=1t:429,r:2,s:0

Might as well do a full exhaust. If you don't I would straight pipe it. Those two things should help it spool up way quicker. Stainless isn't that big of deal on a diesel because they run so hot compared to a gasser. The turbo makes the truck pretty quiet even when straight piped.

You might want to check out Pinnacle Exhaust. They are the guys who invented Hooker headers. They have an aluminized

exhaust with a lifetime warrenty. The owner told me they have not ever had to replace a system. They are out west somewhere, too.

http://www.pinnaclepowerexhaust.com/

The picture is amazing! Amazing it runs at all. I had seen pictures of the stock down pipe, but none that show the cross-section like that. I don't think this was one of Ford's better ideas.

I was looking at stainless because several sites show a 1 year warranty for aluminized versus a 5 or 6 year warranty for stainless. Pinnacle shows an aluminized for my truck, so I will definitely talk to them about it. Up til now, none of the sites I have seen show a life-time warranty.

I looked at a video and a write-up with pictures on replacing the down-pipe. There is no doubt I can do that job. For what the shop wanted to replace the down-pipe, I can have a complete exhaust. Diamond Eye turbo-back stainless systems are available for $375, freight included.

One last thing. Were getting closer to home. Pinnacle is in Dubois Wyoming, only 305 miles from me.

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You will need a buddy to help you get the downpipe lined up, but other than that it is an easy deal. Get a few sawsall blades and cutoff wheels for the grinder.

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