2008 Ford F-250 - International Threat: Part 2 Photo Gallery
Bottom End Beef-Up
Mike McGlothlin –
Dec 13, 2013
Photo 1/18 | Ford 6 4l Power Stroke Block | ford 6 4l power stroke block
Photo 2/18 | River City Diesel Maxxforce 7 Style Piston | 1. Thanks to our 6.4L having low miles and being in good running condition when it was pulled apart, we were able to clean up each cylinder with a hone and retain standard bore pistons (3.87 inch). Because the stock pistons are known to crack in high-horsepower applications, we opted to run River City Diesel’s heavy-duty pistons, which are based off the units found in International’s MaxxForce 7 engine.
Photo 3/18 | Piston Comparison | 2. There is a fundamental difference between the MaxxForce 7 International piston and the 6.4L Power Stroke piston (right), but in our case River City Diesel took it a step further (left). RCD machined the lip of the bowl completely off (often referred to as de-lipping), cut 0.120-inch-deep valve reliefs for high-rpm insurance, and ceramic-coated the tops to guard against extreme heat. De-lipping the pistons effectively redirects the load on the piston upward and keeps them from cracking. It also drops compression roughly a point, to 16.5:1.
Photo 4/18 | Stage 1x Elite Diesel Engineering Cam | 3. Because we’ll be using a large single turbo to feed the engine, camshaft selection was key. This Stage 1X cam from Elite Diesel Engineering is designed to use more of the engine’s exhaust stroke to drive the turbo—perfect for spooling the S475 we plan to run. According to Elite, the Stage 1X cam extends the engine’s horsepower peak out a few extra hundred rpm, while making more power throughout the entire rpm range. It uses the factory hydraulic roller lifters as well.
Photo 5/18 | Cam Gear Welded To Crankshaft | 4. To ease the install process, the cam gear is included and timed in the optimum location. The cam gear is also marked for proper alignment with the crankshaft. For added insurance, we welded the cam gear to the camshaft in three different spots.
Photo 6/18 | Camshaft Install | 5. On 6.4L engines, the camshaft is installed before the crank. This is because, once installed, the rear nose of the crankshaft overlaps the cam gear. With fresh cam bearings in place and coated with assembly lubricant, the Stage 1X cam was slowly lowered into the block. The cam retainer bolts were then hit with Loctite and torqued to spec.
Photo 7/18 | Crankshaft Main Bearing Installed | 6. After that, the top halves of the OE crankshaft main bearings were installed (the main thrust bearing’s top half is pictured). After pulling the original engine apart and finding the bearings in great shape, we saw no need to upgrade here.
Photo 8/18 | Crankshaft Install | 7. The two-man job of lowering the crankshaft came next, and the crank gear was lined up with the engraved alignment mark on the cam gear. Prior to our build, the factory crankshaft was externally balanced using an ATI Super Damper, one of Elite Diesel’s billet flexplates, and bobweights that simulated the weight of our rods and pistons.
Photo 9/18 | 6 4l Power Stroke Bed Plate | 8. Inclusion of a bedplate is where the 6.4L really shines. Standard equipment from the factory, this robust piece of iron is the ultimate way to keep the crankshaft from moving under high load and big horsepower. With the bottom half of each main bearing installed and generously lubricated, the bedplate was ready to be placed around the crank.
Photo 10/18 | Bedplate Install | 9. Setting the bedplate on the block is another two-man job. To ensure no oil leaks surface down the road, each corner of the bedplate’s rubber seal was hit with International gray silicone prior to installing the bedplate.
Photo 11/18 | Bolting Bedplate Down | 10. The bedplate incorporates four bolts per main, and the two inner bolts (closest to the crankshaft) are longer than the outer fasteners. Just like a cylinder head, we torqued the bolts starting from the inside out, and in three stages. The first torque sequence called for 110 ft-lb, the second 130 ft-lb, and 170 ft-lb for the third and final sequence.
Photo 12/18 | R And R Racing Products Connecting Rods | 11. Since R&R Racing Products has a reputation for having the strongest 6.4L rods in the aftermarket, we decided on a set of its forged units, which we obtained through River City Diesel. The rod caps are secured via ARP 2000 rod bolts.
Photo 13/18 | Oiling Piston | 12. Before installing each rod and piston assembly, the piston skirt and rings were bathed in fresh 15W-40 Shell Rotella. A thin coat of oil was also distributed in each cylinder bore to ease the install process as much as possible.
Photo 14/18 | Piston Install | 13. After indexing the piston rings, a piston ring compressor was employed for a smooth transition into the cylinder, and the top half of the rod bearing was installed. Once each rod was connected to the crank, all rod bolts were hand-tightened first, then the block was rotated over to properly torque them.
Photo 15/18 | Marked Top Of Pistons | 14. We added a black mark to each piston to make sure the top compression ring gap lined up with it prior to being sent completely into the cylinder. Notice the ring gap’s location is away from the exhaust valves (aka heat).
Photo 16/18 | Toruqing Rod Bolts | 15. Similar to the bedplate bolts, the rod bolts were torqued in three step increments (20 ft-lb, 40 ft-lb, and 65 ft-lb, respectively). After the final torque sequence, each bolt was checked, twice.
Photo 17/18 | Elite Diesel Flexplate Installed | 16. For peace of mind, we’ll be running one of Elite Diesel’s flexplates. Made from 4140 steel, it will absorb all the torque we send to it, and we won’t have to worry about tearing the centersection out of a stocker.
Photo 18/18 | Ati Super Damper | 17. Sealing the deal on our balanced rotating assembly is an ATI Super Damper. These dampers are great at taming engine harmonics and torsional vibrations and make for an overall smoother running engine. Eventually, an additional pulley will be bolted to the front of the damper—part of the puzzle in driving a second K16 high-pressure fuel pump.