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Old 08-25-2020, 08:16 AM   #1
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High Altitude massive loss of power

I have a 2003 7.3 e350 turbo 4x4 van. Took it on a camping trip this weekend in Utah at high elevation of 9500-10000 feet up. Prior to this I have had it at 8500 with no issues. However on this trip climbing a trail with I hit a lack of power. Almost got stuck there. Managed to get back to camp and ran some tests. Once we got off the hill it was back to normal. Questions are, is this normal? If so what can be done about it?
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:25 AM   #2
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What was your transmission temp?
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:34 AM   #3
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No idea did not have that gauge programmed in my obdlink app. When I first noticed the issue we had been driving for a few hours. However I ran some tests when we set up camp and the truck had been off for a day, so totaly cold. I came up with an easy power test by trying to drive with the parking break. Normally, if I forget to take the break off the truck drives with it on no prob. At alituted I did this and full thottle the truck did not move at all.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:16 AM   #4
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Do you have a boost pressure gauge? I'm wondering if you have a leak in one of your turbo hoses.


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Old 08-25-2020, 09:49 AM   #5
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the boost is interesting. I noticed on the way up that my boost was lower then usual. After noticing the power loss I checked the boost and it was reading around negative 4. Which really tripped me out since I dont think negative is even possible unless the turbo spun backwards. When I stepped on the exelorator the bostt would go up and even get into possitve but not a 10psi jump. Forgot to check boost once off the hill but will today. Suspect it will be back to normal

btw all my guages and data come from odblink2 device and app.
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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Howdy,
OBD boost is not reading same as true boost. Fake boost but I digress.....

OBD boost reading is MAP Manifold Air Pressure minus X (fixed number for air pressure) which in this case was likely 14 for sea level. At 10k ft elevation air pressure is 10.1. This is how you saw -4. It is also why you did not see 10 plus. The decline in X per attached link needs to added to what your OBD reading says. This is why a true mechanical boost gauge is preferred.

https://www.avs.org/AVS/files/c7/c7e...de54f87b9e.pdf
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:26 PM   #7
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Yeah kind of figured it was something like that.
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:31 PM   #8
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On that note... MAP sensor could be on its way out. It would a good sensor to keep an eye on, and see if your power loss corresponds with a sudden change in MAP value.

And... sometimes the CPS also causes a loss of power when it starts going out. Unfortunately the diagnosis basically consists of “rule everything else out then try swapping it”

I wondered about a boost leak but pretty unusual for those to be intermittent.
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Old 08-25-2020, 01:08 PM   #9
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checked for boost leaks and all was good there. Have read elsewhere that these engines do not like high altitude. There were no error codes so hoping its not any sensoer etc.
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Old 08-25-2020, 01:09 PM   #10
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the cps has been replaced, already went thhrought that hell
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