My install, AFE CAI, DPF delete and Livewire
I'm sure that others have done write-ups on their installs, but I thought I would give my experience and opinions about the whole experience. I have always had a gasser until April of '07 when I bought my '08 F-350 diesel. I love this truck, it does everything I need it to and more.
Well, it has been stock up until last wednesday. I had been doing a lot of research on what to do to this truck and what I landed on was an AFE CAI, AFE DPF delete and the SCT Livewire. I don't race or thrash my truck, I just wanted something that will tow my 5th wheel a bit better.
So, to start out with, I forgot my gloves. I had no mechanics gloves or nitrile gloves or anything. If you are planning this type of mod, GET SOME GLOVES! My hands are still dirty. Anyway, I started laying everything out to make sure I had all the parts I needed. I did like the quality of the AFE products, however I don't believe the AFE pipe is as thick of gauge metal as the stock pipe. Hard to tell really since the DPF has all kinds of heat shields on it and weighs about 9000 pounds. I will note that I did this without the help of a lift. If you have access to one, use it. If you have a buddy that will lend a hand, use him also.
With everything accounted for, I began my install. First thing I did was bootup my laptop and plug in the Livewire. I wanted to get it updated and ready to flash my truck while I did the rest of the install. I then got underneath the truck and sprayed penetrant on all four sensors on the DPF pipe. After that, I started installing the CAI. No surprises here and all went in very well. The instructions that come with the unit are pretty good. During this install I kept going back to the laptop to make sure everything was updating properly. I finished the CAI install and began the flash of the truck. I wanted to start this early because it said it could take up to 20 or more minutes. I chose the extreme tune under advice from the shop where I bought my parts. I started the reflash and off I went under the truck to tackle the DPF.
This is where things get a bit difficult. I began by unplugging all of the sensors and unmounting the DPF pressure sensor. I then began loosening all of the connections starting at the back and working my way forward. Once everything was disconnected, the DPF split apart pretty easy and I was able to wiggle the front half out with ease. The back half, where it is clamped to the pipe, was a bit more difficult. I ended up laying on my back with my head to the rear of the truck. I put my feet on the flange of the DPF and wiggled the unit to loosen it from the pipe. It slid off with a few good shoves. Be careful doing this because the whole thing is going to land in your lap and I would guess that it weighs 30 or 40 pounds. With the DPF off I thought I was more than half-way finished. No way. The O2 sensors would not come out. 1 came out without too much trouble. The other 2 were just not coming out. I sprayed, I heated, I threatened them with physical violence. Nothing worked. I had used vice-grips on them and now I had a nice rounded fitting. After digging through the toolbox, I found my pair of brand new large vice-grips. I cranked those down on them as tight as I could physically get them and put the pressure to them. “CRACK”, they let loose! Finally, after an hour of screwing around with these 2 fittings I had them off. Fortunately I had not damaged the sensors themselves and was able to use them. I put all four sensors into the new pipe and began installing the new pipe into the truck. It went very smoothly for the most part. You have to move the existing tailpipe around enough to get the new pipe in, but with a good pry-bar, anything is possible. I left it all loose until it was all positioned and then began to tighten all the fittings beginning at the front and working my way back. Of course once that was in, my computer was finished flashing.
I had set the parameters when flashing my truck to having a CAI, DPF delete and turn off the EGR. I had been told to turn off the EGR by the shop that I bought my parts from. Anyway, now came the moment of truth. I started her up. Nice idle, everything works, good. The first thing I noticed, it was a bit louder at idle. Nothing bad, just a different sound. Without all that DPF to go through it lets more sound through. Good, I thought, I’ll just get my stuff together and go take her for a spin. Packed up my tools while the truck warmed up a bit. Just a note, the install from beginning to this point was approximately 3.5 hours. I did not hurry and took my own sweet time. Anytime I get in a hurry, things go very badly and there is lots of swearing.
The first impression of driving with this new tune was how the pedal feel was. Just barely touching the throttle, it seemed to be much more responsive. Inside the truck, the noise level was just a tad bit more than stock. With my bad hearing it doesn’t make a bit of difference. After driving to get it fully up to temperature, I let ‘er have it. WOW! It’s like a different truck. Mind you, I have had a Mustang Cobra in the past with over 500rwhp so I know what hard acceleration is. The truck is no Cobra, but it will certainly keep up with most anything else on the road. I have yet to do all the performance testing with it and I may followup this post later with any info I get.
Now the most impressive thing I found was my mileage. The next day I had to drive from my house to Tacoma. A distance of about 55 miles. I waited until I was on the freeway in Bellevue cruising at approximately 68 mph and reset my dash computer. By the time I reached my destination, it read 29.4 mpg. Ok, I know what everyone will say, it is the Lie-O-Meter. I may not be actually getting near 30 mpg, but before installing these parts, if I had done the same thing the computer might read 17, if I were lucky. I have never hand calculated my mileage, but probably will now. On the return trip I went a different way home and went over Tiger Moutain, at about 1400’ and saw the mileage drop to 26. After driving around normally for the past few days, combined highway and city driving-mostly city driving, the mileage has settled to 21.4. Compare this to maybe 14 when it was stock. Needless to say, I am quite pleased. I have yet to tow my 40’ 5th wheel, but that is coming soon. I’ll report back when that happens.
Hope this helps someone who is contemplating the change or at least entertained some with the info provided.