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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #81
First things first. The Autoguide management of this forum sucks. I originally joined this forum in late 2005 after I purchased my '05 F350. I try to log in and occasionally update but it's become highly frustrating. This post required downloading the former version of the Autoguide app, one that had quit working some time ago but appears to work again. I'm just not sure how long I'm going to keep putting up with this. My attempts to access this thread through Safari or the Google browsers on my iPhone 5S send me to some advertisers site no matter what I try, I can't read my own thread using that method. My lack of participation is not for a lack of trying. I hope someone at Autoguide reads this because if others are having the same experience I am, they too are probably transitioning to other forums or Facebook groups.


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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #82
Updates.

I haven't done much to the truck other than rack up miles, it just passed 193k the other night. It's age is showing (kind of like its owner) and little things aren't working quite right and some things need some attention.

I've been getting a p1395 glow plug code for a while now, and I haven't had the time or motivation to do anything about it. I also broke the waste gate actuator rod and have it locked shut with a fixed rod solution. The turbo pedestal continues to leak a bit and it's about time I get to that annoyance, I have all the necessary o-rings to fix the leak.

Last month the truck shredded a belt. It was an older belt if not the original, so I stuck a new one on and motored. This past Wednesday it shredded a second belt, and this time it took out the dipstick handle, destroyed the hood pad and nearly ripped out the CPS wiring. I parked it and borrowed a backup vehicle and got to it Friday. ImageUploadedByAG Free1450684027.533384.jpg
You can see the old tensioner on the left has failed on its pivot axis and is about 10° askew. The new design is an update from Gates and requires a 1" longer belt. It maintains one pulley in a fixed position and only one pulley provides the tension. Works good, truck is back on the road.

If I can get back to post, I'll update with photos on the turbo pedestal leak repair and glow plug findings. Also, I'll finally be getting around to the rear suspension, so I'll post some pictures of the shackle flip and a proper review of the ride quality.


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The angling worn belt tensioner is something we see often at my work, walks the belt off and starts shredding it.

My 6.0L is becoming a weekend truck now, wife has a new ride that's more practical for running around town in. We have had a good load of snow and cold this winter, trees falling + breaking and a big mess.

Thanks for the updates Idaho, I also appreciate your threads, and yeah, it's been hard to get excited about autoguide and all the advertisement bombardment.

Harry
 
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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #84
Well, the truck is just shy of 202,000 miles. About the only exciting things to happen to it have been a rear bumper swap for one without any dents, a couple flat tires, and the rear view mirror fell off the windshield. I've picked up a cheap commuter car to take the burden of all the miles I drive daily off the truck, but now I really miss driving the truck, so I make it count on weekends.
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #85
I've finally given in to the allures of simplified social media. This build can be followed on Instagram @e99_7.3l_f350 for regular updates. I'll still try to check in here occasionally, but Instagram and Facebook are where everyone has gone and where new owners are turning first.

As for the truck?

Well, the turbo failed a couple weeks back when one of the backing plate bolts came loose and contacted the compressor wheel. They were friendly for a while because the 8mm 12pt head of the bolt was worn down to the shoulder and the compressor wheel was trashed. When I cleaned out the intercooler, it appeared that everything that wasn't dust was trapped in the oil of the cooler. I washed out probably 18-20 pieces ranging from 1/8"-3/16" and I'm comfortable putting it back together now.

While it was down for the turbo, I decided to replace the bad glow plugs and toss a set of new o-rings on the injectors. Three glow plugs were bad. All of the top injector o-rings were installed wrong causing damage to the o-ring and on half the injectors resulting in split o-rings with the rest soon to follow. Explains the longer crank times I've been experiencing. Also while the turbo was off, I found a fuel leak on the rear passenger side feed line fitting. I replaced the compression o-rings on both ends of that line and bought a couple spares because it's not the first time I've had one leak.

As for the turbo, I did a bunch of research, considered a Chinese drop-in, looked at Van turbos, contemplated a late-99 conversion, but did none of those. Instead, I opted for a D66 center section and exchanged my compressor cover for one machined for the 66mm/88mm compressor wheel. I reused the .84 A/R turbine housing because m still on stock injectors, but I eliminated the exhaust backless sure valve and the hydraulic actuator for it in the stock pedestal. I did a slick job of making it look stock too, so it would take an inspection camera to see its not.

It's almost back together, I'll update on how it runs in a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
3000 miles on the new turbo, things to report.

The D66 upgrade cleans up the smoke from the tuning nicely once it's spooled up. The issue is the bigger wheel doesn't like to spoil up as easily as the original and that is creating some new challenges. I decided to start with the stock 0.84 A/R turbine housing, in the hopes it would help generate the "lightning fast" spool up promised by many of the Early-'99 D66 Turbo peddlers. In a couple of pay checks, I'll order a 1.00 A/R housing, I realize it's not as "tight" and doesn't create the same drive force on the turbine wheel as the .84 but I don't really care.

And that's because the EGTs went up by 250-300° under hard throttle. Now part of that may be that I'm actually getting the fuel I'm commanding into the engine now with the fresh injector o-rings (not a single HPO code or light for uncontrollable pressure). The other investment I want to make is in a set of bellowed up pipes, if I can't get an Early-'99 set (they're on back order everywhere), the Chinese Late-'99-03 sets can be had so cheap that I'll modify a set to fit (I've got the skills to do that).

The truck just passed California emissions today thankfully, two years of freedom from the oppression of laws that don't accomplish any meaningful pollution reduction from these older trucks. I redid the exhaust from the turbo to the T-pipe for the stacks to accommodate the easy installation and removal of the factory catalytic converter. With late trucks having no catalyst along with larger injectors, larger volume oil pumps, bigger charge air components, and essentially a slower spooling turbo, it seems really stupid to run the catalyst on the Early-'99. The bright side of reconfiguring the exhaust is it did bring the EGTs down about 100° going from the 3" down pipe to a 4" down pipe. The truck also has a slightly deeper exhaust note. When I reconfigured the system, I also made provisions for the Walker Mega Flow muffler I plan to install, it should render the truck quiet, since the unit I'm looking at can make a Class 8 rig meet the 83dB test limit with ease.

As for the driving experience, the D66 is a little soft until it spoils up, then when you push it it gets a nice turbo scream going and pulls hard. If I keep my right foot in it clear into overdrive, the EGTs will climb to 1300° at about 95mph, but I don't drive there, so I'm not too concerned, on a 6% grade, about 5 miles into the climb the temps settle at 1150° at about 70mph, still a little warm but that's on a 100(ish)hp tune.

So, next mods/upgrades will be the up pipes and turbine housing. After that, I've got to finish the rear axle swap and rear suspension. From there, I'm going to start looking into a transmission and torque converter for towing and for more power, the last thing I'll do will be HPOP and injectors. That should pretty much wrap up the mechanical changes. Then I can start on the interior and exterior, both are showing their age quite a bit.
 
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Nice update Idaho!

You have very good writing skills, magazine material, seriously!

Your turbo tuning and dialing in sounds similar to the encounters I had when getting my Powermax 6.0L turbo set up correctly. New reman injectors can do wonders for these older trucks and turbo performance.

Harry
 
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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #88
Nice update Idaho!

You have very good writing skills, magazine material, seriously!

Your turbo tuning and dialing in sounds similar to the encounters I had when getting my Powermax 6.0L turbo set up correctly. New reman injectors can do wonders for these older trucks and turbo performance.

Harry
Thanks for the compliment on my writing Harry, it's all done from my phone, and autocorrect and predictive text occasionally get the best of me, otherwise there wouldn't be the occasional oddity.

Let's talk about that turbo tuning. After I put the D66 on the truck, I installed a set of 37" tires. The truck cruises down the highway fine on the flat but hills the EGTs would creep up to 1250°F-1300°F, and that's a little high for a sustained pull up a grade. With more RPM came lower EGTs but try pulling a 6% grade with heavy truck traffic at 75mph and you'll feel my frustration. If the RPM is down around 1600, the truck wasn't making enough airflow from the turbocharger to keep the EGTs in check.

Initially I was playing with the engine tuning, and a little bit of timing change helped with the EGTs and the turbo spool up. But without doing anything too drastic, I was beginning to think it might be time to re-gear or go back to 35s. Then it occurred to me that it's not just an engine tuning issue, so I went back through my transmission tuning and completely reworked the shift schedule and converter lockup points to keep the rpm up in a more usable range. I haven't been able to recalibrate the speedometer and odometer to the new tire size yet, so I played around with the tune until I got it to the point where it holds first and second long enough even at light throttle that after the shift I'm above 1500rpm. At speed, the truck shifts from overdrive down to third (1:1) to kick up the rpm and avoid excessive heat build in the EGTs. The transmission tuning is helping a lot.

Now, I thought I had it figured out, at least well enough to get by. But, I'm never happy with "good enough" so right after the last oil change a couple weeks ago, I measured out a full dose of Archoil AR9100 and added it to the oil. It occurred to me that when I put I in my 6.0L, it improved turbo response, and since I haven't been running it for a while, it might be worth a shot again. Clearly it is magic turbo elixir, because the turbo lights about 100 rpm earlier, and EGTs dropped 50°F on average across the range. The truck also responded with an average improvement of 0.35mpg over 900 miles of daily abuse, so that's a perk too.

Finally, I'll share the oddest revelation in the EGT war to date. Last Friday I was working clearing out my storage and as I have frequently in the past, I had the key in the auxiliary position and the stereo on for a little music while I worked. Keep in mind, I've done this before and run the stereo for as much as five to six hours without issue. Well, to my unwanted surprise, the truck didn't want to start after about four hours. After making my first ever at call for roadside assistance in 26 years of driving, the tow truck driver hooked up, my truck started, and I was on my way. Fast forward to Monday morning and the truck had sat since Friday night's 100 mile drive home, I cycle the glow plugs, turn the key, and it cranks and fires, but it didn't sound "crisp" when cranking, it was just a little lazy. Monday afternoon was normal. Tuesday morning was a repeat of Monday's lazy crank, but Tuesday afternoon, the truck actually struggled to start at work. Pulled it into the shop, popped the negative cables off and load tested the batteries, and sure enough, the primary passed with flying colors, the secondary failed the load test. Where this story gets interesting is what happened after I put the new batteries in yesterday afternoon. I started home, and to my surprise the EGT's are down 50-100°F everywhere. The best I can figure would result in this is one of two things, 1.) the pyro readings are being skewed by the reference voltage not being in range for the design, or 2.) the bad battery may have been impacting the function of the PCM and IDM, the tuning doesn't have offsets for battery voltage that I recall, unlike gasoline engines where injector performance changes with voltage and there are tuning tables to adjust for those variations.

In the end, I'm really happy with everything about the truck except for the EGTs. That issue is probably going to require re-gearing the axles to resolve it. If I go that route, the next performance enhancement is going to be to upgrade the transmission, but I think I'm going to buck the system and not use the 4R100. I've been looking at swap possibilities, and while everything exists to be able to swap in an Allison 1000 5 or 6 speed, I've also recently discovered the info that there is a stand alone controller for a Mopar 68RFE, and that unit has, by far, the best ratio set in the pickup truck market. If it can handle 400 horsepower and 900 torque from a 6.7 Cummins, it should be able to handle my plans for this lowly old 7.3L including any power increases from injectors or more turbo, I doubt I'll ever exceed that power level.

So time for more research, and maybe an adult beverage to relax with this evening.
 
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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #89
Oh, and since it's a royal pain in the rear to post pictures to this forum now, the truck has its own Instagram account, @e99_7.3l_f350 just I case anyone actually comes here and reads my drivel.
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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Discussion Starter #90
Long term update, still own the truck and at 266k now. Axle swap has been flawless. 7.3 leaks a little and likes to eat injector o-rings but it’s good otherwise. Stock transmission is still going. Occasionally update to Instagram.
 
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