Straight piping damaging turbo?
Hello, I have searched long and hard, but perhaps not in the right places, or not long enough, or hard enough... Whatever the case may be, if the answer is already either on this site or out on the internet somewhere, then I apologize for wasting your time.
So here's the story, I'll keep it as short as I can. I bought my truck, being a '99 F-350 7.3. I drove him, worked him, and loved him for quite a while. Shortly after I bought it I straight piped it. I left the original downpipe on, made a bracket to support the end, and added a cheap 45 degree elbow to direct a little exhaust out, for whatever good it did. LOVED IT! Between the DIY 6637 and straight piping it, the turbo spooled faster, at less RPMs, felt like more boost (no gauges or scan tool at the time sadly), more power, less fuel consumption, beautiful sound like angels and gods singing together, blah blah blah. Never a problem (aside from starting the engine in a sleeping neighborhood...).
Took a job hauling horses across the country. Ran well, but the construction company that owned the truck before me ran the engine out of oil several times. The engine finally gave out, and I replaced it with a brand new from-Ford engine. Did the swap myself. Made a few trips, put several thousand miles on the engine with no problems until I was coming home on the last load for that group and I started blowing smoke, not much at first, then more.
Anyway, the turbo came apart on the exhaust side THANKFULLY, and sprayed oil in the exhaust. Took it to Ford for the warranty and they got it replaced at no cost to me. Then the tech pulled me aside and said "We weren't supposed to warranty the turbo because part of the exhaust system is removed."
His explanation almost made sense, enough to scare me from straight piping it again even after the warranty ended because IF he's right, I can't afford a new turbo. According to him, straight piping it increases flow but puts too much pressure on the turbo straight out, wearing/damaging the bearings due to increased load... in other words too much force perpendicular to the shaft instead of flowing around it. Without conducting an in-lab test on a dissected 7.3, it almost makes sense except for one glaring fact: My previous stock turbo with almost 200,000 miles on it never gave me a problem no matter how high, hot, or fast the exhaust was pouring out. Also, tons of 7.3 owners straight pipe their engines from stock DP to 5 inch high-flow hoopy-do mirror finish DPs.
I think the dealerships are full of... baloney, but again I can't take a chance on ruining my turbo at least until I have a spare sitting in a box in case they speak the truth.
Your thoughts? Expert opinions and scientific explanations are preferred, I don't care if you prove or disprove the stated concept, I just want to know. Also if you know of a place where Ford ACTUALLY STATES it as a fact rather than a tech and a former tech that I trust, that would be great.
I want to free up the engine load by straight piping not only to get more power in reserve and better MPG, but less wear and tear overall performing the same task. Not at the expense of a turbo though.
I'm open to all of your thoughts and humbly appreciate all advice you can offer.
Thanks in advance!
'99 F-350 7.3 Powerstroke, 6 Speed manual, 4X4.