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The Silent Service
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Purpose:

What I have been looking for in a turbocharger, and what the aftermarket vendors offer for my build are two very different things. About two years ago I started doing the research and seeking out a few experienced members on the ORG and other sites to build a one-of custom ‘charger with the explicit intentions of handling the air challenges of the higher altitudes while towing. Further I intended this turbo to be compatible with Fords stock programming and strategies, just to see if it could be done.

I wouldn’t be happy with just any Powermax turbo swap, unfortunately the whistle of the ’03 6.0Ls and the Powermax 10-blades isn’t what I am looking for here. So we’re keeping the 13 blades, both for early spooling, and my sanity.

It has become a standard in the 6.0L community that the 63.5x88mm – 64x92mm compressors are the largest one can really run with for stock injectors. I’ve matched that airflow to the largest 13 blade turbine shaft that I am aware of that will fit in the 6.0L single VGT’s. Depending on variables collected once this turbo is dialed in, I may attempt a second version with an even larger compressor wheel after an upgrade of injectors.

Parts:

I selected a Garrett 6.0L Powermax turbo (GT3788VA) as the foundation for this build. It gave me a larger exhaust housing and vanes to assist in maximizing airflow over simply upgrading the compressor side only of my stock unit. When weighing the options and cost between the Powermax and upgrading the vanes of the stock unit for around, I felt the additional expense would pay off.

Next was the selection of the compressor and housing, and though the original plan has always been a Garrett GT4088 slapped into the front end, I ended up finding Charlie and KC Turbos after my search for an affordable GT4088 came up short. I went logically to their Stage 2 DIY Kit which includes 64x88mm 11-blade single plane compressor wheel, matched to a unique .72A/R race housing with drilled silencing ring.

The DIY kit from KC Turbos also included the 360* Thrust Bearing rebuild kit. At the same time I added the option of stainless steel Unison ring offered by KC Turbos to complement the build, and avoid future issues.

Here’s where the build may get some push back, and it went a different direction than most might expect. This turbo still has a 13-Blade exhaust turbine to aid in spooling this turbo up early in the RPM band. It turns out that Duramax crowd have been swapping Powermax exhaust turbines into their LLY 6.6L for a while, and the reverse is being applied here with a new OEM replacement turbine.

How the Powermax compares:

Compressor:
Stock: 57x82mm Cast wheel, 6 single plane blade.
Powermax: 63.5x88mm Cast wheel, 12 dual plane blades. Blade depth: 29.6mm/22.2mm
KC Turbos: 64x88mm Bilit wheel with tips extended out to about 92mm, 11 single plane blades. Blade depth: 36.5mm

Compressor Housing:
Stock: .58 A/R for a 57x88mm wheel. Stock Silencing shroud.
Powermax: .58 A/R for a 63.5x88mm wheel. Garrett Silencing Ring.
KC Turbos: .72 A/R for a 654.88mm wheel. Drilled Silencing Ring.

Turbines:
Stock: 64x72mm, 13 Blade.
Powermax: 66.8x72.5mm, 10 Blade, 0.76mm thick.
DMAX LLY: 66.5x72.5mm, 13 Blade, 0.88mm thick.

Unison Ring:
Stock: Steel
Powermax: Steel, 5.56mm thick
KC Turbos: Stainless Steel, 5.48mm thick

Thread Focus:

NOTE: Still working on getting the turbo put together, I know you all want to see the pictures – and I’ll post those later this weekend.

Though not meant as a technical step-by-step procedure on the modifications to turn a Powermax turbo as listed. I can provide the source that I used in referencing as I conducted the rebuild upon request. Basically, if you follow the thread referenced above, and you omit the steps concerning the cleaning of the internals you will be able to handle this job.

Site the Rebuild Thread:

http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/general-6-0l-discussion/465706-reconditioning-6-0-turbo.html
 

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The Silent Service
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5,390 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Installation:

I wouldn’t be going through all this trouble if I wasn’t looking to get exact numbers for everything going on.

There are two main things that are being added to the truck along with this new ‘charger (neither should have any impact on the results). First, I’ll be upgrading to the metal cold IC piping and replacing the boots as a precautionary measure. Second is a mechanical boost gauge, as the dash doesn’t provide anything useful and the Insight I use to monitor is a altered indication when I load my SCT files.

I will also be maintaining my stock Donaldson air filter. I want to see what the turbo is capable of before I change something else in the truck.

Videos:
First video: Interstate behavior, tune WPE White Rain.

Second video: Side Street behavior, tune WPE White Rain.

Third video: Interstate with 35# Boost segment, tune WPE White Rain.
 

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The Silent Service
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Testing Plans:

The first start up will be under factory programming, we’re going to be looking to trip the overboost trouble code, observe fuel economy and throttle response along with EGT’s on the interstate, crusiing around town, and towing.

Second batch of numbers will be with the addition of a mild FICM program only. This will be ment as the standard towing arrangement, as the FICM programmer plays big in the low RPM bands, getting the turbo spun up and the load moving.

Third, we’re going to load up the towing, followed by the racing files on my SCT as they are written now for the stock turbo charger. I will discuss what I see in relation to boost and power, and generally how these tunes work out for me. I know there are plenty of members who like the tunes they have now and don’t want to bother getting things changed and re-written.

Finally, I’ll work on getting my racing (which I use as the daily driving tune) along with a new towing file written for this specific set up and working with the tuner(s) to see just how much power this setup is going to build.

Results:

Observations (Stock Programming): (Note: these are initial, factory FICM, ECM, and TCM files, factory air filter; further I am still waiting for a few days to really nail it and allow the VGT relearn to complete.)
Power: Smoother power band, as observed by the wife and myself (she was a great sport and helped me with the installation today). Between the IC Boots and the VGT relearn, I'm anticipating more power. The VGT duty cycle leaned further to the shut position (say 5-7% over what I'm used to observing). Plenty of power awaiting the tuners with this one.

Lag: Equal to stock, perhaps a little quicker based on a greater draw of air by the compressor. If you hit it on a rolling takeoff (say already on the interstate), boost is built quicker than stock.
Sound:
Here was second largest reason I didn't run a traditional Powermax and call it a day. Under 10psi, you find a deeper exhaust tone. Between 10-20psi its spooling is more aggressive. Over 20psi (I nailed to the floor just once to see) there is definitely something different in the tone produced. Deeper than Stock, and none of the deafening whistle of the 10-Blades.

Numbers: Stock Programming, altitudes of 0-1200' above sea level.
Speed - Turbo - RPM -EGT - VGT% - Load - MAF - Boost - Exhaust BP (Note: not all testing included this parameter)
45mph - Stock - 1650 - 800 - 54% - 48 - 80 - 5
45mph - Mod - 1650 - 750 - 57% - 46 - 88 - 5
45mph - FICM - ?
45mph - X-Race - ?
45mph - WPE - 1650 - 650 - ? - 38 - 115 - 4 [Just loaded this file - initial numbers, not data logs.]

55mph - Stock - 1900 - 750 - 51% - 40 - 106 - 6
55mph - Mod - 1900 - 725 - 56% - 40 - 115 - 6
55mph - FICM - ?
55mph - X-Race - ?
55mph - WPE - 1900 - 700 - 46.0% - 16% - 120.6 - 4# - 7#

65mph - Stock - 2240 - 700 - 40% - 30 - 110 - 5
65mph - Mod - 2240 - 675 - 45% - 30 - 125 - 5
65mph - FICM - 2252 - 675 - 45% - 30 - 128 - 5
65mph - X-Race - 2252 - 750 - 45% - 28 - 146 - 6 [This X-Race file was written for the stock turbo and FICM tune]
65mph - WPE - 2100 - 700 - 46.6% - 20% - 138.9 - 5# - 9#

75mph - Stock - 2500 - 1000 - 48% - 20 - 110 - 4
75mph - Mod - 2500 - 950 - 46% - 18 - 125 - 4
75mph - FICM - ?
75mph - X-Race - ?
75mph - WPE - 2450 - 850 - 40.9% - 20% - 182.6 - 7# - 10#

Near WOT peak numbers (short run 5th gear, ~90% throttle):
2754rpm - 1100*egt - 46.7%vgt - 61%load - 461maf - 35# boost - 38# EBP

Observations (IDP X-Race paired with IDP Performance FICM tune, written for Stock Turbo/FICM): Smoother power band, I'm not feeling that jerk when the truck starts building boost over 3-4#. Hitting from 65mph to 80mph and there is significant power on tap almost immediately. As for smoke, virtually none, a haze under my X-Race when I initially spooled the turbo and clear from that point forward.

There is around 4 phases of whine (though it is deeper than any other Powerstroke turbo I've come across):
1) Under 3#: Nearly no whine, but the rumble of a large V-8 Gasser. Very noticeable during deceleration when Tow-Haul is engaged.
2) 3-5#: Noticeable low grunt whine as the turbo spools - louder over stock.
3) 5-12#: Similar to stock in this band, although a little lower in tone - and louder.
4) 13# and Above: You start to hear the higher-pitch Pmax caliber whine with a noticeable power difference.
 

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There was a thread on here about a guy doing turbo conversions for the powerstroke using Disastermaxx turbo parts. He bowed out when KC came along, if I remember correctly.
 

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Do you still have stock injectors? I am interested what your egt's will be towing if you are running stock injectors.
 

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The Silent Service
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Discussion Starter #8
want to sell me that unison ring from the powermax?
I'll get back to you.

Do you still have stock injectors? I am interested what your egt's will be towing if you are running stock injectors.
I am still running stock injectors. I want to see how far I can push those before I upgrade.
 

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AMERICA!
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What are you going to be towing and where will you be towing?
 

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The Silent Service
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Discussion Starter #10
What are you going to be towing and where will you be towing?
Towing numbers are going to be harder to come by. First where I'm stationed doesn't afford much of a decent load to get the heavy numbers I'm looking for until I transfer again. Second, its the east coast - not nearly the altitude and terain I am looking for.

However, the numbers I can put together with what I can do - daily driving and maybe a decent dyno, I should be able to put together a great tune before I PCS again.

I have a way to get some great towing numbers, but I need to drive to my father-in-laws to load up and run the tests. (Almost half a days drive each way) Stay tuned.
 

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AMERICA!
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What altitude are you at now and what's the heaviest load you can hook up to after you get everything back together?
 

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AMERICA!
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AMERICA!
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All of the above, see what it compare to my powermax with billet wheel.
Just cruising I see around 700 or so, last weekend on my way up into the mountains I saw 1,400 max a couple times on the steep grades. On average when I'm getting on it for short periods of time I see 1,000-1,200.

What do you see with your setup?
 

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Just cruising on flat 700 to 800, when towing with my water methanol injection off going up to westcliffe I seen 1400 few times. With my water injection on I never see over 1300.

So are number are about the same.
 

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Just cruising I see around 700 or so, last weekend on my way up into the mountains I saw 1,400 max a couple times on the steep grades. On average when I'm getting on it for short periods of time I see 1,000-1,200.

What do you see with your setup?
Is this with a tow tune or stock fueling?
 

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AMERICA!
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Interesting. So it's a Powermax + KC Stage 2 kit + Duramax turbine.

In other words, a KC Stage 2 and then change the turbine back to a 13 blade that is a bit larger than stock.
 

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Interesting. So it's a Powermax + KC Stage 2 kit + Duramax turbine.

In other words, a KC Stage 2 and then change the turbine back to a 13 blade that is a bit larger than stock.
It sounds like a kc 1.75
 
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