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Old 04-14-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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Best turbo for 7.3 Powerstroke

My turbo is showing low boost and my mechanic says we will need to rebuild or replace it. I have a Garrett gp38; my current engine and turbo came from a 2001 F350. I'm rolling an E450 thats stock right now, but I will be chipping at some point in the near future. Has anyone found what they think is an ideal turbo replacement or rebuild kit for the 7.3? Thanks, Nathan
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:22 PM   #2
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Are you sure it's a turbo issue, rather than a turbo hose issue?




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Old 04-14-2019, 08:28 PM   #3
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I am going through this right now. The first thing you need to determine is if you are running a truck turbo or a van turbo (your post indicates truck but worth verifying in case during the conversion process they did the same thing ford did which was drop the inter-cooler for space savings and put in the van turbo to lower the EGT's). My mechanic found that the only place that does rebuilds on the van turbos (especially due to mine being a 1998 which is an odd year for the 7.3 PSD) was BDS up in Canada.

Otherwise the only option for me is the stock replacement route, but since I am in there and the cost difference isnt that much, doesnt make much sense to not go with a bit of a better setup.

My turbo is currently in route or just got there for a rebuild. If you are truly running a truck setup then you have more options. My mechanic recommends ATS or BDS for replacement/upgrades on the 7.3 PSD.

If I wanted to take a stock van 7.3 PSD and run a truck setup (including intercooler) it would be a rather expensive proposition (in the neighborhood of 6k) as everything related would have to be swapped out (manifolds, downpipes etc).

And on an interesting note, in doing some research I found its not uncommon for guys doing power builds in trucks to run the van turbo with an inter-cooler for a boost in power -- the van turbo has a larger chamber to push air in, this is how they keep it cooler for EGT's without an inter-cooler, pair that larger volume of air movement with an inter-cooler and it increases the volume of cool denser air.

EDIT:

But like BroncoHauler said, make sure its a turbo, low boost could be a lot of things (including a mal-adjusted waste-gate, the gate arm being broken or disconnected etc). The only way to know for sure if its the turbo is to have your mechanic take the dog-house off and inspect it. Mine was 100% bad, 1 bolt entirely out, 1 half way, and the third tight. Tons of play in the turbine shaft as well. But very easy to check on the vans and well worth the double check before ordering parts.

EDIT EDIT:

Also when it comes to power mods on the 7.3 make sure you know what generation motor you have. The later generation motors (2001 - 2003) had powdered metal rods vs the forged metal rods. Now for most people just doing a turbo/chip upgrade even the powdered metal rods are not likely to be overly problematic, but its good to keep in mind the limitations of the design there and the limits of the amount of power you want to add.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:35 AM   #4
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Stock replacement turbo is best. I work for Garrett and can vouch the OEM product is as capable as the engine. Long term durability is compromised due to the hydraulic vane assy, but proper air/fuel management keeps them working properly.

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Old 04-15-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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Better figure out how to keep your EGTs in check before you chip it...
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:57 PM   #6
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Member Bet on Black replaced his van turbo with a truck turbo for more power. As others have mentioned, it's more involved and more expensive.

Starts at post #63 here: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...a-20167-7.html
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:31 PM   #7
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remember that 94-99 7.3 takes one turbo and 99.5-up 7.3 takes a different one, with an internal wastegate. Guys have switched from one style to another, but the up-pipes, pedestal, one of the plenums, and maybe the outlet location are different.



Turbochargers aren't horribly complicated devices, you could buy the parts and rebuild it yourself.



I too would encourage you to make certain the low boost condition is really 'the turbo needs a rebuild'. Remember, it's a moderately high pressure system. Unlike a 8psi turbocharged gasoline engine, the possible leak paths for 35psi (peak) air on the 7.3 are more highly strained. When one connection leaks, the effect is a lot more noticeable. Loosing air pressure on the hot side is just as detrimental as the same on the cold side, as it is the 'driving force' that turns the compressor turbine. The up pipes (between the turbo exhaust housing and exhaust manifolds) are very prone to leaking at the doughnut gaskets. So common is that failure, you can buy a replacement kit in stainless steel on Amazon! The intake boots at the plenum can also leak and cause low boost. Heck, a cracked, popped off and dangling, or missing hose between the passenger side intake plenum and the MAP unit (located on top of the AC/heater plenum box on my '95) can also cause a massive leak and low boost on the cold side. Some clown had replaced mine with an oversize hose, that leaked.



or maybe your turbo is just worn out... you won't really know until you first test.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
I too would encourage you to make certain the low boost condition is really 'the turbo needs a rebuild'. Remember, it's a moderately high pressure system. Unlike a 8psi turbocharged gasoline engine, the possible leak paths for 35psi (peak) air on the 7.3 are more highly strained. When one connection leaks, the effect is a lot more noticeable. Loosing air pressure on the hot side is just as detrimental as the same on the cold side, as it is the 'driving force' that turns the compressor turbine. The up pipes (between the turbo exhaust housing and exhaust manifolds) are very prone to leaking at the doughnut gaskets. So common is that failure, you can buy a replacement kit in stainless steel on Amazon! The intake boots at the plenum can also leak and cause low boost. Heck, a cracked, popped off and dangling, or missing hose between the passenger side intake plenum and the MAP unit (located on top of the AC/heater plenum box on my '95) can also cause a massive leak and low boost on the cold side. Some clown had replaced mine with an oversize hose, that leaked.
... you won't really know until you first test.
I had many things replaced when I had my new engine installed (Ford Dealer) which included turbo hoses. About 250 miles on the engine and I lost what seemed like 1/2 the engines power on a grade outside of Reno NV - Turned out NEW intake hose developed a small tear about 3/8" in length (Defect).
Point being one small leak can easily account for your power concerns - good advise here from TomsBeast & others...may find a solution easier on your wallet.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:01 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your input!

I just logged in and found all this great input! I'll have to decipher some of it and check with what I have before I can comment further, but thanks again. The truck vs. van turbo is very interesting; I wish that I'd kept my van turbo from my engine swap now! And roger that on on the stock Garrett turbo being good enough!

One thing I do know is that the turbo needs refurbishing, I received a photo of the vanes and they are visibly worn thin, and even chipped. We're rebuilding the pedestal and buttoning everything involving the turbo up tite. All advice on the matter is appreciated!
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:03 AM   #10
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Browsing early....or is it late.....
I would be weary of photos sent showing failed parts and such. Put some eyes on it. Not saying your mechanic is trying to pull one over on you, especially if this is a trusted shop you deal with. But Iíve gone to new local shops with the intent of establishing an ongoing relationship, only to have them feed me a bunch of BS, tell me I need this or that, replace expensive parts only to have the issue remain or been charged for a part only to find out at a later date no such part was replaced.
These shops have a ton of old worn and broken parts laying around they can send you a photo of, it just might not have come out of your rig.
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