rather than run a ton of analog or individual gauges, lots of guys are now opting for displays like the Edge Insight CTS, or SCT Livewire TS, that monitor a couple dozen parameters and take up just a few square inches of real estate...plus the sct can also double as the "tuner/programmer" that holds custom tunes. I have one, I'm pretty happy with it, the touch screen is a little finicky, but otherwise, from a cost standpoint, it's far most cost effective than buying half a dozen analog gauges.
You need to monitor EGT, the best place to do so is in the cylinder, since that's not really attainable, the next best place for the probe is pretty much in the exhaust port in the head, or as close to it as possible. The closer to the exhaust valve, generally the more accurate it will be. Also need to monitor engine oil temp (EOT), engine coolant temp (ECT), trans temp, boost, FICM (fuel injector control module) voltage is handy to have, and a half dozen others that are just convenient, like fuel pressure, but those are the big ones. One of the aforementioned monitors can monitor all of them at once.
You can use grease on the tap into the exhaust manifold, that'll catch about 80% of the metal shavings, if you take the up-pipe loose you can usually vacuum out another 10% but the only way to get 100% out is to take the manifold off, but no one does.
If you have any type of muffler, or the catalytic converter, drone shouldn't be an issue. I've run mine open down pipe, then with a cat, then without, then with a muffler - no cat. Honestly the turbo whistle is more annoying to me than a slight exhaust note...but there's a fine line between that and drone. Mine has a banks 4" turbo back that I cut and modified to side exit, before the rear tires, no cat. There's no drone, it's relatively quiet till you put it to the wood, then a decent exhaust tone. I'd like to hear what 5" would sound like for comparison, but honestly there's probably not much performance difference at all.
I would say that even though it costs like 200% more, if you wanted to delete the ege, pick up performance, drop egt's and were going to have the up pipes off anyway, I'd consider an aftermarket up pipe from RCD (River City Diesel), or Cutting Edge, along with a ported intake manifold, with the EGR stuff totally cut out and welded back up...pretty common, a few people on here can do this for you, as well as other companies, Apex, and Elite Diesel, among others. This way, you don't buy a "Delete Kit", you actually literally just delete it...figure stock replacement up pipes are about 300, and a ported manifold is around 3-800...if you put the 150-200 that an egr delete costs towards that setup, you'd be 1/4 of the way there. You have to go 70% of the way of pulling the intake manifold in order to install an egr delete anyway, why not also drop egt's 10-20% and eliminate the stock up pipe bellows that crack occasionally in the mean time. I wish I did this from the start...I have a sinister EGR delete, and it's ok, but I'm probabaly going to swap up pipes and intake in the very near future making the egr delete purchase kinda of unnecessary.
Also, while we're on EGR systems...I'd recommend (after monitoring your EOT and ECT for a while, to ensure there's not an issue with the factory oil cooler) swapping to ELC (extended life coolant) and a coolant filter. The high temps of the EGR cooler break down the ford gold coolant these trucks came with, lots of guys, me included, use ELC like the bigger diesels do, as it handles the higher temps better, and for a bunch of other reasons. FWIW, the you should have no more than a roughly 15* temp difference between engine oil temp and engine coolant temp.
Thats just some stuff to think about for a while, lots of options out there, and lots of good info on the ORG. Do your homework so you don't have to redo the same thing twice.
Last edited by Gearhead2012; 10-22-2013 at 08:09 PM.