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Old 10-18-2010, 04:19 AM
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Smoke switch and idle question

Ok, I have heard of a thing called a smoke switch. I did a search and came up empty with my answer. So here is my question. My buddy has a smoke switch installed (he did it himself) on his 6.0 2005. I could care less about smoke, but when he is ideling and puts the switch on, the truck loses its high pitch scream. I love how quiet the idle is when the switch in on. The question is a 2 part one. How do I install a smoke switch on a 2004 6.0 and the second half, will the smoke switch damage the truck if left "ON" while idleing. I use the truck for a lot of stationary work and would love to not listen to the screaming turbo. Its cool for a few minutes but hours of it gets old quick. Thanks for any insight.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:04 AM
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Familiarize yourself with the variable geometry turbo setup. VGT. There are vanes that open and close in the exhaust housing and depend on gas pedal position and other stuff. It's a way of creating instant boost. Well because of all the soot that passes through there and carbon, especially when idling, if the vanes are not "flexed" (i.e., flooring it every now and then to blow it all out) then they will stick, cause very laggy boost. What the switch does is just open the circuit for the VGT, keeping them stationary. So lost of fuel, little air, smoke. Yes you can set it up so it doesn't whistle idling, but if you idle a lot like that, make sure you really get on it after that just to break up all that carbon.
I think that if you get the updated PCM flash from Ford, along with having the updated heating strategy using the injectors (that's a diff thread) they also set the vanes on the turbo to open and close on a regular basis, keeping them from getting stuck if being idled for a long time. Like on ambulances, emerygency trucks, and lots of work trucks.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:20 AM
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More importantly, extended idle time can lead to wet stacking. Basically, the combustion cylinder isn't hot enough to expand the piston rings and get a good seal. You also won't completely burn your fuel. Ultimately, you end up with diesel bypassing your rings and ending up in your crankcase oil. Many, many 6.0 owners who have to idle their trucks for extended periods of time have used a high idle switch. Its a really easy mod to do (maybe 15 minutes).

If your turbo is a screamer, it might be the 10 vane 2003 turbo (I see your truck is a 2004). Another option would be to swap that turbo out for the 13 vane (I can never remember if its 13 vanes dammit) 6.0 turbo that doesn't whistle nearly as much.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
Familiarize yourself with the variable geometry turbo setup. VGT. There are vanes that open and close in the exhaust housing and depend on gas pedal position and other stuff. It's a way of creating instant boost. Well because of all the soot that passes through there and carbon, especially when idling, if the vanes are not "flexed" (i.e., flooring it every now and then to blow it all out) then they will stick, cause very laggy boost. What the switch does is just open the circuit for the VGT, keeping them stationary. So lost of fuel, little air, smoke. Yes you can set it up so it doesn't whistle idling, but if you idle a lot like that, make sure you really get on it after that just to break up all that carbon.
I think that if you get the updated PCM flash from Ford, along with having the updated heating strategy using the injectors (that's a diff thread) they also set the vanes on the turbo to open and close on a regular basis, keeping them from getting stuck if being idled for a long time. Like on ambulances, emerygency trucks, and lots of work trucks.
Thank you for the infoormation. I have a good understanding of the VGT setup, but wanted to make sure I would not damage the truck with the proposed setup. I have not had an update on this truck in three or four years and I will be honest, I am afraid to. Truck runs great and I dont want to screw anything up. Thank you again for your answer. It sheds light on to my thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake View Post
More importantly, extended idle time can lead to wet stacking. Basically, the combustion cylinder isn't hot enough to expand the piston rings and get a good seal. You also won't completely burn your fuel. Ultimately, you end up with diesel bypassing your rings and ending up in your crankcase oil. Many, many 6.0 owners who have to idle their trucks for extended periods of time have used a high idle switch. Its a really easy mod to do (maybe 15 minutes).

If your turbo is a screamer, it might be the 10 vane 2003 turbo (I see your truck is a 2004). Another option would be to swap that turbo out for the 13 vane (I can never remember if its 13 vanes dammit) 6.0 turbo that doesn't whistle nearly as much.
Thank you also for your answer. I do have the 04 turbo which I believe is 11 vains. I should say that the truck goes into a high idle mod every hours or so for a few minutes and then returns to normal. I check my oil with analist for fuel every 1000 miles. It always comes back good. Now to expaned on this smoke switch idea. Will the smoke switch keep things quiet if the high idle happens, and more importantly, will there be any damage. Sorry to keep beating the horse to death, I just want to know all angles before I do this mod. Lastly, anyone have a write up on how to install a smoke switch?
Thanks again everyone!
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:49 AM
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The short answer is "Yes, a smoke switch has the potential to damage your turbo."

And how exactly do you propose to install a smoke switch, idle your truck, and not smoke like a freight train?
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:14 AM
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VGT turbos go like this. 03=10 vanes, 04=12 vanes, 05-07=15 vanes. If you want quiet put a 15 vane turbo on it. You can hardly hear it. A smoke switch is a bad idea and I strongly suggest you don't do it. If you are idling for extended periods of time you should have a high idle switch. At high idle your turbo will scream. With a smoke switch you'll be in a constant black cloud. Put an 05 turbo on it and a high idle and you will have what you want without harming the motor.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:08 AM
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You could also try putting two MBRP mufflers on it, or if you have a straight pipe, try just putting one muffler on it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake View Post
The short answer is "Yes, a smoke switch has the potential to damage your turbo."

And how exactly do you propose to install a smoke switch, idle your truck, and not smoke like a freight train?
I was not sure about how to do it, so that is why I was looking for a write up. I didnt realize that the smoke switch would smoke while idleing. Learn something new everyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGreenSVT View Post
VGT turbos go like this. 03=10 vanes, 04=12 vanes, 05-07=15 vanes. If you want quiet put a 15 vane turbo on it. You can hardly hear it. A smoke switch is a bad idea and I strongly suggest you don't do it. If you are idling for extended periods of time you should have a high idle switch. At high idle your turbo will scream. With a smoke switch you'll be in a constant black cloud. Put an 05 turbo on it and a high idle and you will have what you want without harming the motor.
This is the answer I needed. I still dont know how the switch will damage the motor, but if I am going to chug like a fright train, then it is a no go. I will leave the truck as is since the truck already goes into high idle and I can always override the idle with the PTO control box. Thanks again to everyone for their help. This is what makes these sites so great.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:02 PM
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Glad we could help, and PGreenSVT did a nice job of accurately summarizing what I was struggling to say.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:19 PM
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Always glad to lend a hand Snake.
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