Ok. Lurking here a while, gained so much I feel as though I should at least share some of what I have experienced lately in the hope that it is constructive general information. First time really posting anywhere, hope some of you guys that have helped me so much through your posts get something out of this.Feel free, of course, to comment/attack/criticise etc. I am thick skinned and I am sharing my mistakes and poor decisions as well.
Also revealing my complete ignorance of 6 liter performance. I learned a lot with my 7.3 by actually doing stuff to it. Can't get everything from the forums, as well meaning as they are. Some of my observations on my current 6.0 problems will reveal my lack of real, practical knowledge. I am learning tho...
I am pretty knowledgeable with the 7.3, I work on them for a living (well used to, now I own the shop and I am a paper shuffler...) and here is my old truck (my BABY....sigh....) that I sold to my shop manager. Big injectors, dual hpops, built trans with billet converter...etc. Lots of work done over 7 years or so.
We have been doing a lot of work on the 6.0 trucks lately. As much as I used to hate them for their problems, I started to think that if you fixed a few of the weak links there was a lot to admire about them. And I was enticed because I have long been jealous of how easy it is to make power out of a 6 liter compared to the 7.3. So I bought this:
2006 king ranch, ccsb 4wd. 128k miles. Deal came along by surprise as it was in my shop with a bad ficm, 1 bad injector and evidence of failed egr cooler. Oil cooler was original also. Customer was facing 8k in repairs and went and bought a new one. Sold it to me 10k under book, a deal I couldn't pass up. My goals were to have the same major features in a newer, nicer truck, including nice stereo and guages etc. And have it ready for a 5 thousand mile trip in 6 weeks. Got a loan on the truck (...BARF!) and the sale of the old truck would finance the new build.
After a lot of work (and money) I now have this work in progress:
Was going to post all the pics of the bulletproof conversion, stud install etc, but that has been done plenty. We chose to install complete bulletproof package, retaining the egr system (but turning it off in programming) as that is what I would do for a customer and I kind of wanted a demo vehicle as well.
Installed arp studs (one at a time), S&B intake, air dog 2, doziers regulated return, warren 175/75 injectors and got programming from IDP. Extreme street is only program I tried as I really have no need for anything else. Then drove one thousand mile trip and 500 miles or so around town. Then lifted it (fabtech, bilstein reservoirs all the way around and PMF traction bars) six inches and went with toyo 37" mud terrains. Installed MTW stage 2 and got tunes from looney, idp and gearhead for bigger turbo. Glow shift gauges. Drove one week around town. Then proceeded to drive four thousand more miles across country, from Arizona to Wisconsin, through the mountains of Colorado (Vail is ten thousand feet) and across boring flat plains as well as little mountain back roads. Speeds sometimes over 85 mph, but usually around 75-77, and sometimes as low as 65 mph. For hours at a time. Did it in 6 days with 2.5 days spent in wisconsin. Intense trip, couple days were almost 19 hours driving. Changed programming multiple times to track fuel mileage and driveability. Here are some observations/stories in no particular order.
This combo is much hotter than I expected, and smokier. Lag is more of an issue than I expected, maybe even worse than my 7.3. Climbing hills makes me nervous, can exceed 1300 degrees. Unloaded. Hmm. Looney wild is coolest tune, but not by much. This thing cruises at 75 mph and between 900 and 1050 degrees. Looney will decrease temps 100 deg across the board. Right at 1850 rpm and about 7 psi boost. Lower speeds = lower temps like you would expect, but still never cruises at 700 deg like my old 7.3. Never cleans up smoke completely, will fog out 3 lanes of traffic unless you feather it from a stop. Once the turbo lights it is a raped ape. Az heat plays a big factor, over 100 degrees and the hot, sticky pavement here does not lend itself to spinning the tires easily. Will not build boost for boosted launch without trying really hard, gave up trying in high temps. Under that temp, and at low elevations it's not so bad. Gotta get it to a track or on a dyno as subjective impressions can be so misleading.
All the tunes are good, all have weaknesses and plusses, but surprising my combo reacts differently than many. Matts (Gearhead) are my favorite. Best shifting, power feels about the same as any of the tunes I've tried, by far the best fuel mileage... the real downside is that shift to overdrive, really early and stalls the turbo. You have to learn to accellerate to freeway speeds at half throttle (which is waaay faster than normal traffic) to keep it from shifting early, or drive with traffic and let it shift at about 50mph ish, then plan on very slow, smoky procession to higher speeds. Looney wild shifts later, as does Idp extreme street, but Looney shifts softer and Idp seems to have the best compromise of later to high gear and firm shifts. For me. Still like srl best overall, just feels like every other gear is closer to perfect. YMMV.
Speaking of fuel mileage, started with stock truck height, tires and turbo, driving 75-80 mph with extreme street tune, averaged around 16 mpg. Couple runs at lower speeds didn't seem to help much, but never spent much time running lower than 65 that didn't combine in town driving also. Lifted truck, added tires and bigger turbo and went down the road with gearhead tunes...12 mpg in town. Keep in mind that there was a lot of testing and idling for all the work we were doing, i'm happy with that. First 500 miles on the highway averaged about 15 mpg (15.3 actually). Switched to Looney wild tune, immediate drop to 12.8. Verified almost that exact mileage through 4 more fillups and switched to Exteme street...same or a little less, averaging 12.8 on what I think was a little flatter ground across minnesota and into wisconsin, then back. Returned to srl tune somewhere in wyoming and left it there through colorado, new mexico and home. Averaged 15.0 with less hills as we avoided boulder/vail, but higher speeds. Fwiw, I track my mileage using gps and hand calculate. I think a lot of people don't give good info on this, just my experience. I hear about the guys that claim 20 mpg with big tires etc and I just think they are making stuff up or just use the speedo for distance reference or god knows what.
Takes me too long to type, got lots more on my experience with different vendors etc, but out of time. Will pick this back up when I have another couple hours.