Up-Pipe/Turbo Re­place­ment Tricks

Diesel Power - - Contents - Words by BRUCE W. SMITH

The low­down on stop­ping per­for­mance-rob­bing up-pipe and turbo-re­lated ex­haust leaks on 6.4L Ford Power Stroke en­gines

EX­HAUST FUMES leak­ing into the cab, hiss­ing noises com­ing from the back of the engine com­part­ment when boost starts build­ing, and some­times just the in­abil­ity to make boost at all are signs that point to­ward one of the most com­mon main­te­nance is­sues Ford diesel own­ers ex­pe­ri­ence: failed up-pipes, and ex­haust leaks stem­ming from bad bolts, gas­kets, and clamps that no longer keep the hot side of the tur­bocharger sys­tem tightly sealed.

There’s no magic mileage or time in­ter­val for when the is­sues arise. Some of the 6.0L and 6.4L Power Stroke en­gines in ’03-to’07 and ’08-to-’10 Su­per Du­tys ex­hib­ited signs of failed up-pipes while still un­der war­ranty (5 years/100,000 miles), but the ma­jor­ity of the prob­lems seem to come be­tween 150,000 and 200,000 miles.

Re­plac­ing up-pipes on a 6.4L is a ma­jor pain due to their lo­ca­tion and their close prox­im­ity to the fire­wall. There’s just no

room to work or see, be­cause space be­tween the fire­wall and the rear of the tur­bocharger is vir­tu­ally nil.

When ex­e­cut­ing an up-pipe re­place­ment, some DIYers drop the trans­mis­sion cross­mem­ber to let the rear of the engine tilt down­ward to gain a few inches of wrench­ing room. Oth­ers re­move the pas­sen­ger-side cab-mount­ing bolts and jack the cab up a foot to gain ac­cess to the fas­ten­ers se­cur­ing the up-pipes to the turbo. The most ef­fi­cient method is to lift the cab off the frame, which can be done in a cou­ple of hours if you have ac­cess to a hoist.

Like most good diesel-ser­vice cen­ters, the tech­ni­cians at Mo­bile Diesel Ser­vice have learned cab-off makes life far eas­ier when ad­dress­ing Power Stroke ex­haust-man­i­fold leaks and failed up-pipes. When a cus­tomer rolled in with an ’08 F-250 that showed all the symp­toms of bad up-pipes and a worn-out turbo, we fol­lowed along to see what tricks and tips they have for read­ers who are mak­ing sim­i­lar re­pairs or up­grades.

For our project, Mo­bile Diesel Ser­vice al­ready had a re­place­ment up­grade BorgWarner V2S com­pound turbo from In­dus­trial In­jec­tion (PN 479514T) and MBRP up­pipes (PN FAL2761) at the ready. The new turbo came with a com­pact brush­less ac­tu­a­tor that re­places the trou­bleprone, wa­ter-cooled smart re­mote ac­tu­a­tor found on the ’08-to-’10 en­gines. (Ford no longer of­fers the SRA, but they can be re­built if nec­es­sary.)

MBRP’s heavy-duty up-pipes have ex­tra lay­ers of knee-pad–like steel welded at the bends of the ex­haust man­i­fold where heat gen­er­ated by “tuned” trucks can burn through sin­gle-layer tubes. MBRP also uses mild steel in­stead of stain­less for the pipes be­cause ex­pe­ri­ence shows the for­mer holds up bet­ter un­der high-heat op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. All tubes are man­drel bent to re­duce stress, and the flex por­tions use dou­ble-wall 304 stain­less bel­lows with in­ter­lock­ing in­ner liner and mesh outer liner for a long-last­ing, quad-layer de­sign.

With a new turbo, up-pipes, and a lot of at­ten­tion fo­cused on in­stalling gas­kets and con­nect­ing hard­ware, this as­pect of the 6.4L’s ex­haust prob­a­bly won’t need to be touched again for many years!

+ Photos by BRUCE W. SMITH

2. A re­place­ment BorgWarner com­pound turbo from In­dus­trial In­jec­tion, and MBRP’s heavy-duty up-pipes were the cure for our ’08 F-250’s per­for­mance and ex­haustleak is­sues. Parts and la­bor amounts for such re­pairs are up­ward of $4,500 and re­quire two days to com­plete.3. A com­mon fail­ure on 6.4L Power Stroke en­gines is the pas­sen­ger-side up-pipe break­ing off at the turbo flange. MBRP uses man­drel-bent steel tubes and heavy ex­ter­nal welds to en­sure its heavy-duty re­place­ment doesn’t suf­fer the same fate as the stock pipes.4. MBRP’s heavy-duty up-pipes are con­structed with an ad­di­tional layer of steel welded around the bends near the ex­haust-man­i­fold flanges to pre­vent blowout from the heat gen­er­ated by “tuned” en­gines.5. The top of the 6.4L doesn’t need to be touched when the up-pipes are re­placed. How­ever, as our engine needs a new turbo, Mo­bile Diesel tech­ni­cian Mat John­son re­moves the in­take and re­lated lines.

1. Ford Power Stroke diesel en­gines are prone to ex­haust leaks at a va­ri­ety of lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the up-pipes, ex­haust man­i­folds, EGR pipe, and down­pipe. The 6.4L shown here has ex­haust-re­lated is­sues at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions (ar­rows). Re­mov­ing the cab fa­cil­i­tates easy, quick ac­cess that speeds up the re­pair process.

8. One rea­son Ford 6.4L up-pipes are tough to work on is be­cause there are sev­eral mount­ing bolts tucked in lo­ca­tions that are very dif­fi­cult to ac­cess un­less the cab is off (es­pe­cially the pas­sen­ger-side up-pipe).

9-10. Our ’08 F-250 is stock, so the EGR DPF EGT sen­sor has to be re­moved be­fore we take out the pas­sen­ger-side up­pipe, which de­vel­oped a leak in the flex joint. This sen­sor can be a bear to break loose from the bung un­less a pen­e­trat­ing lubri­cant is used.

6. TECH TIP: Spray co­pi­ous amounts of lubri­cant on ev­ery 13mm nut, 10mm bolt, and clamp the day be­fore re­plac­ing the up-pipes and/ or turbo. The first, and eas­i­est, tube we re­move is the EGR-cooler pipe.

7. The proper se­quence for re­mov­ing the up-pipes is tak­ing out the EGR-cooler pipe, driver-side up-pipe, and fi­nally, the pas­sen­ger­side up-pipe. Re­in­stalling in­volves do­ing ev­ery­thing in re­versed or­der. Again, us­ing a good pen­e­trat­ing lubri­cant hours be­fore (or even the day be­fore) work be­gins is a big plus.

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