Rebuild Turbo or get a Powermax? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:44 AM
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Rebuild Turbo or get a Powermax?

I have an '04 F-250 ('03 engine) that I bought new and currently has 46,000 miles. Bought it to pull a 10,000# travel trailer that I eventually bought in '07. I have suspected turbo sticking problems but put it off until this winter. Just pulled the turbo out and sure enough the turbo is badly caked in carbon and probably had little if any vane movement.

I had planned on sending the turbo in for a rebuild (around $400) but saw the Powermax replacement for $1,200. I assume if I get the turbo rebuilt I'll eventually be back in the same position pulling the turbo and rebuilding. What I don't know is if the Powermax solves or mitigates the carbon sticking problem, if so it would be worth getting the Powermax and selling the '03 turbo.

Anybody know if the sticking problem is solved with the Powermax or should I just rebuild the turbo since I'll have to pull the turbo again in the future? Thanks for the opinions.

BTW I don't have any desire to boost the performance, I want to tow and the original performance was excellent, from what I remember.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:08 AM
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If you clean out your turbo, it should work with out issues. And that's for free.
I suggest doing that until you are ready to get the powermax.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:11 AM
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You can also buy an updated unison ring from Ford that has a coating on it that helps keep it from sticking.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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Hadn't heard about an updated unison ring. How do you tell the difference? Same part number?
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfred16 View Post
Hadn't heard about an updated unison ring. How do you tell the difference? Same part number?
I think they are all the updated version from Ford.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:34 AM
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No need to rebuild it unless the seals are shot, or the wheels are chipped/damaged, etc. Take it apart and give it a good cleaning and throw it back in... There are several write ups on how to properly disassemble and clean a 6.0 turbo.

It's actually very simple to do using basic hand tools. Only thing special for the cleaning is an angle grinder air tool which can be had cheap. I bought one for $30 and for no more than it gets used it does the job fine.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the responses. My original plan was to clean my turbo until I saw the rebuild/Powermax options. After considering the options I started down the track of cleaning this morning, until I pulled the compressor side off and found a small chip off one of the blades. I know balance is a real issue so I'm not going to go the clean it route since I'll need a new compressor.

Researched the Powermax option this morning by calling a Garrett distributor. After talking to the rep the Powermax has a slightly larger compressor but otherwise according to him the rest of the turbo is same technology and really doesn't have any fix to the carbon buildup problem. Add that Garrett is behind in production and this distributor didn't expect one until sometime in April.

I chose the rebuild option. I don't know when the chip happened but they replace the bearings and install the new compressor wheel. After all said and done it will cost me half the price of the new turbo with almost as much capability.

I've got a friend with the identical truck and have shared my experience with him and posted here in case anyone else is just getting around to fixing the problem.
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