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Excursion top end upgrades

3342 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  TheBaalmans
Been a while since I posted, been enjoying the Ex for a few years. However developed a head gasket leak after she got overheated pulling boat up out of Willow Beach this fall. The bolt holding the coolant bottle disappeared and the bottle went into the AC compressor and blew coolant all over. By the time I got the rig to where I could safely pull over she was HOT HOT HOT. After getting rig and everyone home safely, replaced the coolant bottle and that effing bolt. Kept an eye on things, she ran just fine but started getting oil showing up in the coolant but not water in the oil so she got parked until I could get the time and money to fix her.

Pulled the heads last weekend, found the leak in the gasket and sent the heads off to the machine shop for inspection and decking.

While the top end is off, planned on doing upgrades to make her my ultimate boat towing rig. I wanted more power and torque, but keep stock trans. So mildish upgrades without sacrificing reliability. Here's what's going to be done outside of all the gaskets, seals, sensors, glow plugs/relay, oil cooler seals, and new tensioner assy/belt/idler that are being replaced.

KCTurbos KC300x Stage 1 (63/68) .84ar
Full Force Injectors Stage 1.5 180cc/30%
CNC Fab Stage 1 HPOP and new lines with crossover
Riffraff Diesel FRX regulated return crossover with new fuel lines (rebuild the fuel bowl with new o-rings while it's out)
Bellowed Y pipe
John Woods trans valve body

Hutch and Harpoon mods

What's been done prior
Hydra tuner
Edge CTS for gauges and pyro
Banks intercooler and pipes with new CAC boots
Intake plenum reinforcement bushings
Aluminum radiator
Mishmoto trans cooler
non-EPBV pedestal, intake heater delete
4" turbo back exhaust
Ford aluminum finned rear diff cover
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I'm a bit biased, but I'd do this fuel line kit vs the frx hoses.


Otherwise the list looks good.

With everything apart on the top, I'd inspect your under valve cover gaskets and harnesses, install a non-ebpv turbo pedestal, install plenum reinforcement bushings, inspect your CAC boots if they are squishy (oil saturated), maybe reseal your oil cooler, depending on how many miles, but consider replacing the low pressure oil pump.

I have everything on your list and the things I mentioned on the shelf.

If you want to put a list together and email me, we can quote you a package price. [email protected]

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Thanks Corey! It was a very difficult decision for me deciding between the FRX and your 4 line feed. The fuel parts were the last thing I ordered.

I forgot to put in that I'd already put in the plenum bushings, all CAC boots replaced when intercooler swapped 2-3 years ago (boots still look good), and the turbo pedestal had already been swapped for non-EBPV. I'm replacing the valve cover gaskets and harnesses along with pulling and resealing oil cooler. It has 290K miles on it now, hadn't thought of the LPOP but haven't had any issues with it.

Cleaned up and inspected all the pushrods and rocker arm assemblies. All looked good and still plenty of copper on the tops of the pushrods. Cleaned up the valley and started swapping out HPOP when went to pull out the mounting bolt next to the ICP valve it came out a little too easily. When I mounted the new CNC Fab HPOP that bolt just spun and never started to get tension. Going to try a helicoil and if that doesn't work will go to the HPOP bolt repair kit as it looks like it will bore out enough for it's insert if the helicoil doesn't work.
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Last weekend I put in the helicoil for the stripped HPOP bolt and got it torqued down square. Cleaned up and prepped the block. Cleaned and resealed the fuel bowl, replaced the drain valve assembly as the housing had a small crack. Cleaned up all the CAC boots and tubes, wrapped the cold CAC tube with DEI titanium wrap. Pulled the intercooler and cleaned it out with Simple Green and hot water. Combed out fins on the coolers that were bent from small road hits. Pulled, cleaned, and resealed the oil cooler.

This weekend will drop the fuel tank to do Hutch/Harpoon mods. Will also drop trans pan to install the John Wood valve body.

Machine shop is running behind so heads aren't ready yet. When they are ready and go to install them, will replace all the heater hose and do the CCV mod. Upper/lower rad hoses were replaced when the radiator was done prior.
Sorry, didn't do any photos. Was too busy working on it. So it took almost 8 weeks to get heads back and finally installed on the truck. Had to get another oil cooler/filter mount because a garage mishap cause my original one to get broken. One of the new valve cover harnesses was bad, had to replace that. Batteries had gone to crap, could barely turn engine or hold charge so replaced those. Finally got oil up into HPOP reservoir but no fire because ICP reading zero even though was "new" Amazon sensor. Replaced ICP with Motorcraft one, and didn't see any oil inside the heads. Replaced IPR with Motorcraft one and she finally fired up. Took forever cranking until finally enough ICP pressure to fire up. Ran rough and cackled like a mofo for a bit but started to smooth out. Only let it run for about 3-5 minutes. Let it sit overnight to let air settle out of fuel system. Went to fire up last night and took forever again to get enough ICP to fire, ran for a second and died. Did that several times until it fired and ran smooth. Waited until oil/water at temp and drove it around. Noticed that the IPR duty cycle was higher than normal. It was around 15% when idling when normally around 9-10%. Not sure why it took lots of cranking to get enough ICP pressure to fire. Maybe just from sitting for so long? Salvage yard oil cooler/filter mount didn't look damaged. Has 4 gallons of fresh Rotella 15w-40 and oil level correct. Will check the HPOP reservoir before trying tonight to see if it's empty before firing up tonight. Hopefully won't take 15+ seconds of cranking to get enough ICP to start. What might be the cause? It did sit for 8 weeks with no oil in the engine, waiting on heads. Has new CNC Fab stage 1 HPOP and lines (including crossover). Have not replaced LPOP as oil pressure has been good (forgot to put plug back into HPOP reservoir and shot oil all over), also had no issues prior with slow ICP pressure at start.
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It fired up fine last night, only spun the starter about 5 seconds before it lit up. Ran smoothly and without issue during the drive home. This morning fired right up after spinning the starter about 3 seconds and drove the 20 miles to work without issue. It rolled coal getting on the highway, but engine was still not at running temp, computer probably still learning everything, and new parts settling in. It didn't smoke later on when getting on it and was at temp. All looks good so far, was just a bit nervous about slow ICP pressure build up at first. Put a lot of $$ and new parts into her and wanted to make sure no more issues. So far, haven't really pushed it or tried any other tunes beyond modified stock. Will run her for 500 miles and an oil change before trying other tunes and pushing her so she has time to settle into all the upgrades.

Many many many thanks to the fine folks at CNC Fab, Riffraff Diesel, and KC Turbos! I called all of you asking questions before and after purchase of the parts and everyone was very helpful. THANK YOU!!

On a side note, my 69 year old mother thought that the KC Turbos KC300x turbo was the neatest thing. Kept spinning the compressor wheel and poking at the anti-surge holes. Every time she came out into the garage while it was sitting on the bench, she had to play with it.
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It's been running well for a week now. No more issues with IPR slow pressure build at start. Runs amazing, lots of power and pickup. Did have a leaking connection with a fuel line that I resealed and stopped the leak. MPG while running back/forth to work was 13.7 MPG, but since the upgrades has been between 19.3 and 20.2!! That's about a 50% increase in MPG!!! Very happy about that! A weeks worth of 20 mile each way to work used up just over half a tank, so far a full week of driving has used between 1/4 and 3/8 of a tank. Can't wait to see what it does towing the boat. It has been throwing P1000 and P1249 codes. Not sure why still getting P1000, not enough data for the computer as it's driven about 200 miles. The P1249 is wastegate circuit, will double check the red/green tubes and wastegate solenoid. May have to call KC Turbos about that one.
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