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500hp Ford Power Stroke Part 3

Turbo and Intercooler Upgrades

Mike McGlothlin
Sep 1, 2012
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
Installing a larger turbocharger and intercooler system is one of the best upgrades you can perform on a ’94½ to ’97 7.3L Power Stroke. And (as promised) that’s the direction we’re taking this month in our pursuit of 500 rwhp. We’re adding a new T4 turbo mounting system, an S300-based turbo, and a Spearco intercooler.
Photo 2/16   |   In the aftermarket, Turbonetics’ aluminum Spearco intercoolers are popular for almost every engine and are known for their ability to vastly cool exhaust gas temperature. We scored this unit off an ’00 7.3L Super Duty for next to nothing, as its original owner was actually going to scrap it. Other popular intercoolers for ’94½ to ’97 Power Strokes (which do a great job of cooling off EGT) include stock 7.3L units from ’99 to ’03 models, and even factory units off of 6.0L applications. Used 7.3L and 6.0L intercoolers can be found at your local junkyard, and they usually go for $150 to $200.
Groundbreaking Turbo Mount System
Even though the early 7.3L Power Stroke used the common T4 turbine inlet flange, the factory exhaust collector and short-length up-pipes mounted the Garrett TP38 turbocharger (which came with no map width enhancement groove) virtually on top of the driver-side valve cover. This tight packaging made it virtually impossible to mount a larger turbo using the stock pedestal, up-pipes, and collector. The 7.3L gurus at Irate Diesel Performance, who were already building complete T4 turbo mounting kits for ’99½ to ’03 Super Dutys, designed the breakthrough turbo mounting system we’re installing this month. Essentially, Irate’s T4 mount allows you to run any standard T4-equipped turbocharger on your ’94½ to ’03 7.3L (be it a BorgWarner, Garrett, or even Holset).
Photo 3/16   |   As a former ’97 Ford owner who’d installed his own intercooler, part owner of Randall’s Performance Corey Finch took on the job of fitting the Spearco behind our F-350’s grille. With essentially everything pulled off the front of the truck (grille, bumper, stone deflector, headlights), Finch located the areas of the radiator core support that had to be hacked to make everything work. He used a 5-inch hole saw blade to outline where the intercooler flanges would pass by the radiator.
In order to shoehorn the massive Spearco intercooler into place and install the new turbo system, we took our ’97 F-350 to Randall’s Performance in Gladstone, Illinois. Thanks to its expertise, our fabrication needs were a non-issue, and very few headaches surfaced when bolting on all the following upgrades. Make sure and tune in next month to see if we hit the 500hp mark on the dyno.
Photo 4/16   |   Using the hole saw blade as a template, Finch took a plasma cutter to the core support. Once the initial holes were made, the excess metal was removed with a Sawzall. Then he took a grinder to the rough-cut edges and hit the bare metal with a coat of white paint.
500hp Power Stroke Part 3 irate Diesel Performance Turbo Kit
  |   500hp Power Stroke Part 3 irate Diesel Performance Turbo Kit
A. Stainless steel bellowed up-pipe and collector assembly
B. Pedestal base
C. Intake Y
D. Oil drain
E. Intake plenums
F. Aluminized intercooler tubing
G. Downpipe (3-inch)
Our Goals
Make 500 hp at the rear wheels
Reduce EGT across the board (from cruising to wide-open throttle)
Increase turbo response with a higher-flowing charger
Installing a larger turbocharger and intercooler system is one of the best upgrades you can perform on a ’94½ to ’97 7.3L Power Stroke.
Parts List (labor not included)
Total $4,264.31
Item: Vendor: Details Price:
T4 Turbo Mount Irate Diesel Performance Stainless steel bellowed up-pipe and collector assembly, pedestal base, 3-inch downpipe, 3-inch intake plenums, 3-inch aluminized intercooler tubing, intake Y, oil lines, oil drain, oil fittings, and air intake adapter $1,325
Intercooler Turbonetics Used Spearco intercooler from ’00 7.3L Power Stroke owner; pressure and leak tested $70
Turbo Fleece Performance Billet 66/73, S300-based journal bearing turbo with billet-aluminum compressor wheel $2,297.50
Intake Plenums (2) Rodeo Ford PN F81Z-9E434-DA 3-inch-diameter inlet for better airflow $128
Intercooler boots (7) DieselSite 3-inch id x 4¼-inch-long synthetic fabric, rated for 100 psi $287
Clamps (14) DieselSite Spring-loaded, T-bolt clamps $111.86
Exhaust wrap Summit Racing Design Engineering, Inc. 2-inch x 50-foot wrap, rated up to 2,000 degrees $44.95


Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Crystal River, FL 34429
Fleece Performance Engineering
North Salem, IN 46165
Rodeo Ford (AZ)
Goodyear, AZ 85338
(866) 637-3956
Randall's Performance and Accessory
Gladstone, IL 61437
Randy’s Engine and Machine



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