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Old 07-20-2014, 03:01 PM
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trime to clean the turbo?

My 2003 has gotten sluggish over time.
Before I get into it too far, here is the truck:
2003 F250 4X4, 4 door w/8ft. bed. Closing in on 180,000 miles.
Motor has the K&N air cleaner system and a Diablo tune in the economy setting.
The fuel pressure regulator has been upgraded. Amsoil lubricants, the truck is carefully maintained.
No real issues with the motor to this point. It still has all the original hoses, etc... No smoking, missing, etc...
Anyway, over time the truck has grown sluggish, especially at start up. It runs better once the truck warms up. Outside temperature isn't an issue here, as it never gets cold. I dump Cetol in it from time to time.
I have cleaned the EGR valve a number of times, recently when it was performing like a real pig. It helped, but it still isn't what it should be.
I'm thinking the turbo needs cleaning. Are there signs that I am not seeing that indicate the vanes are stuck?
I have seen the video on removing and cleaning the turbo and it doesn't seem like something I can't handle.
Questions: 1) since I will have taken the turbo, etc... off, would it be worth my time and $ to go ahead and install an EGR delete and replace the oil cooler?
My truck has the round EGR cooler that isn't a troublesome as the square ones, at least what I have heard. Emissions aren't an issue here in Florida.
2) If I go this route, would I also want to upgrade the exhaust from stock to 4"? I plan on replacing the catalytic converter with a straight pipe anyway.
Ideas and suggestions appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:26 PM
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Cleaning the turbo wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Check the condition of the compressor wheel fins real good, K&N filters are known to not be a very good filter for our trucks since they don't filter as well as some others and can lead to damaged turbos. Also, I would suggest getting rid of the Diablo and getting an SCT with some good custom tunes. Custom tunes will tune the transmission, unlike other tuners like the Diablo, Bully Dog, Edge, etc.

If you do not have to worry about emissions than I would definitely get an EGR delete. Getting a 4'' exhaust would be beneficial no matter what you end up doing.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:45 PM
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Hey keysrat - I hope you dont mind me kinda hijacking your thread but I have the same question and I dont think staring a new thread would be in order...

A bit about my truck (at least the stuff that matters for this): 168K miles, EGR delete, AFE 4" turbo back exhaust (w muffler, w/o converter), PHP Atlas 40, SCT canned performance tune (I know, custom tunes are on the way - just waiting on the email with the files).

Overall the truck is running good but it seems like it is becoming a bit sluggish when I first hit the pedal. I am getting much more black smoke on initial acceleration than I used to notice. I am also staring to hear more of a deep rumble in the exhaust instead of the "hair drier" that I used to hear. After the turbo spools up and the black smoke clears up I am getting between 25-28 PSI of boost according to the factory dash gauge.

I hooked up the autoenginuity scanner and did not have any turbo related codes (FICM performance was the only engine related code). Autoenginuity says the FICM is at 52v (I think that is the max it will read) with my 58v FICM so I am not too concerned with that. I got the engine up to operating temperature and cycled the VGT. I could audibly hear the turbo spool up and down as I cycled it. The EBP and MGP would also increase and decrease when I cycled it.

I guess my real question is this: can the vanes in the turbo not completely cycle yet not be frozen? Nearly everything I have read deals with VGTs that are completely frozen and result in overboost or underboost. I feel like I am getting the right boost pressures just not spooling as fast as it should.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:19 PM
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I think that they will start to get sluggish before they freeze up. I could be wrong but figure its worth cleaning it out.

I did the same thing on my 03. When I got the turbo apart it looked like some of the exhaust side turbine had broke off and basically rattled around in there for a little bit. Granted this was a used truck so who knows. It had 170k miles on it.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:39 PM
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OK. I think you might have talked me into it. Sounds like I have a project this weekend.
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