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2003 Ford F-250 - Project Outcast: Part 8

Oxygen Overload

Mike McGlothlin
Dec 30, 2013
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
After coming up just shy of 500 rwhp in Part 7 (“More Fuel For The Fire”) despite having 185cc injectors in the mix, we had a hunch that the Powermax turbo was holding our ’03 F-250 back. So this month, we installed a larger turbo from Elite Diesel, called the Powermax-SSX, which was specifically designed to complement the Stage 2 Tow Power injectors residing in our 6.0L Power Stroke. After the install, the truck was once again run on the dyno at Randall’s Performance, and then tested out on the street. Although we weren’t able to get the truck to the dragstrip before going to print, look for our eighth-mile results on www.dieselpowermag.com.
So far, we’ve experienced the typical back and forth balance everyone who modifies a diesel struggles with: adding fuel requires more air, and more air usually calls for more fuel. This teetering process is typical, and one change to the fuel/air equation can completely change the driveability of your truck. Luckily, this month we’ve restored our 6.0L’s driveability with this turbo. The slight haze out the tailpipe while cruising is gone, and the new charger cleans things up in a hurry once you hit the go pedal. If you’re looking for the ultimate 500 to 550hp combination for your ’03 to ’07 Power Stroke, look no further than the combination of parts in this month’s installment.
Turbo Details
Turbo: Vendor: Compressor Wheel: Turbine Wheel: Price:
Powermax-SSX, variable-geometry Garrett GT3788VA based (Powermax) Elite Diesel Engineering Inducer: 64.4mm Exducer: 86.6mm Precision Turbo & Engine competition-engineered aerodynamics wheel Inducer: 72.5mm Exducer: 66.5mm Housing: .90 A/R $2,050
538hp Mods List
Modifications: When: Price:
SCT Touch Screen Extreme with Elite Diesel Insanity tune Part 1 (Aug. ’12) $1,130
AEM Brute Force intake Part 1 (Aug. ’12) $277.07
Silverline dual-exit 4-inch exhaust from XDP Part 1 (Aug. ’12) $642.71
River City Diesel EGR delete Part 2 (Oct. ’12) $199.99
ARP head studs from MKM Customs Part 2 (Oct. ’12) $468.71
Elite Diesel 58-volt Stage 1 FICM Part 4 (Dec. ’12) $635
DieselSite billet high-pressure oil pump Part 6 (May ’13) $999
Elite Diesel Stage 2 Tow Power Injectors (185/70s) Part 7 (July ’13) $3,250
Strictly Diesel regulated return Part 7 (July ’13) $674.95
FASS Titanium Series 125-gph fuel system with 75-psi pump regulator spring from Strictly Diesel Part 7 (July ’13) $698.50
CFM Plus Large Mouth kit Part 7 (July ’13) $439.95
Elite Diesel Powermax-SSX Part 8 (Jan. ’14) $2,050
Total $11,465.88
*Dyno pulls were made in Fourth gear (converter locked). Dyno runs began at 55 mph and ended at 95 mph. 35 percent load applied. DynoJet correction factor.
Final Thoughts and Driving Impressions
Just when we thought the factory Powermax was a good match for the 185cc injectors, Elite’s Powermax-SSX blew it completely out of the water. We have to say, the company really did its homework with this charger. It combines the quick-spooling, variable-geometry turbine side of the Powermax with a high-flowing, billet compressor wheel, and should have rock-solid durability thanks to the 360- degree thrust bearing upgrade in the center cartridge. With great off-idle response, strong midrange, and horsepower holding steady all the way to 3,600 rpm, this turbo is the latest and greatest for the 500 to 550hp 6.0L Power Stroke crowd. Cruising EGT is also 100 degrees cooler than it was with the stock Powermax in the mix (800 degrees vs. 700 degrees with the cruise set at 70 mph).
On another note, the stock, 72,000-mile transmission hasn’t skipped a beat, even though we’ve been beating on it. Our plan is to see how far we can push the factory 5R110 before it slips. Will it be next time, or will it handle 600 rwhp and more than 1,000 lb-ft of torque before a problem surfaces? Keep following Project Outcast to find out.
Photo 11/11   |   With the 6.0l's PCM loaded with the same insanity dyno file from lat time (July '13), the truck made 53 horsepower than it did with the stock Powermax - pretty impressive for a simple turbo change. This month's numbers definitely show the difference between the restrictive factory Powermax and Elite's higher-flowing, modified version. Tune in next time to see how well it supports a set of larger injectors.


Garrett Turbo
Denver, CO 80216
Elite Diesel Engineering
Pueblo West, CO 81007
Precision Turbo & Engine
Hebron, IN 46341
Randall's Performance and Accessory
Gladstone, IL 61437



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