So a little over a month ago we got this 04 F250, CC/SB, FX4, 6spd manual. Fairly low miles, bone stock. First order of business was to return it to the dealership, since it started puking coolant before we even got home with it. Got new oil and egr coolers installed at their expense. Put a Scangauge II in, deltas about 6* max at cruise, FICM voltage stable at 48.0 +/- 0.5 and everything else looking good. Unable to make head gaskets leak. Put a 9T trailer on and ran it hard about 900 miles, then return trip with 3500 lb. empty trailer. Runs great, max temps were 221 EOT / 212 ECT going west out of Needles on 40 at the top of the long hill. Scangauge failed so it went back, and was replaced with an Edge Insight CTS.
Edge arrived on Friday, along with an SCT SF3, an egr delete, pair of Fumoto F108Ns, and box of assorted stuff from Tousley. Between Friday evening and the end of the weekend, it's received some quality time.
Oil drained and replaced with T6, new Motorcraft filter. Fresh grease in all zerks.
Fuel filters replaced, blue spring installed.
Pulled the starter, drained the block, installed the Fumoto valves. Put starter back on, added hoses to the valves.
Pulled the turbo, disassembled and cleaned thoroughly. Housing was rusted from the failed egr cooler, unison ring OK and only a bit of rust on the VG vanes.
TIG welded a threaded bung in the new RH up-pipe for pyrometer probe; installed.
Flange on the new up-pipe which connects to the Y pipe was not even remotely close to flat. Draw-filed until it was.
Removed thermostat, flushed with 20 gal. distilled water, replaced thermostat and refilled with 3.5 gal. Delo ELC + distilled water.
Road test; no leaks or other problems. Deltas still 6* max steady-state @ 65mph, typically more like 3-4.
I'd assumed that the dealership would have flushed everything thoroughly, but what came out of the block drains initially looked like dark apple cider. Also had assumed that they'd clean the turbo, but that didn't happen either. Fuel filters had clearly been in there for a long time. Final flush water came out fairly close to clear. Transmission fluid etc. all looks relatively fresh, will finish changing out all the remaining fluids next time. Still need to get the pyrometer hooked up, the sender and bung came with an Autometer gauge that we've had on the shelf for a few years. Need in-cab fuel pressure gauge, not sure whether to couple that to the CTS or do a stand-alone.
Currently it's running the canned SCT street tune, mainly for egr. See lots of recommendations for Innovative, the SRL from Gearhead, and Looney. It hauls kids to school 5 days a week, and assorted stuff (usually not over a ton at a time) on weekends, but in a mountainous area. Generally lives between 7-10k feet elevation, perhaps once a week or less it gets down below a mile in elevation. Do any of the "standard custom" tunes have an advantage for high altitude, or would we be better off with a full custom? Heavy towing is so infrequent that changing the tune for those occasions isn't a major inconvenience.
Exhaust is on the short list also. Initial plan was to convert the stock pipes to a straight through configuration. Looked at a few mufflers, the Dynomax and Flowmaster direct-fit offerings look easy and fast to install. Donaldson has an "off-road" unit which is about as close to direct replacement of the Ford muffler as one could ask for (M091047) it's supposed to be good for 12-18 dbA, 1525 cfm @ 3" Hg. My concern is that straight pipe may be too loud for my wife, and some mufflers may not give a sound that I find satisfying. Input here would be greatly appreciated. Not sure that I see a huge benefit to replacing the entire system for our use.
What else? I'm sure that someone will say a coolant filter should have gone on first, but due to warranty issues that didn't happen. At this point, I think that the cooling system is fairly clean and any casting sand that's going to come out will have done so already. Is it worth it? Dunno. Don't race, so can't see the need for bigger injectors, turbo etc. Mainly interested in reliability, anything that improves mileage and/or power without adversely affecting durability deserves looking into. And sound, I would rather listen to a good exhaust system than a good stereo system most of the time.
Advice, comments, suggestions? Thanks in advance.