AGING WORKHORSE TURNED SPRING CHICKEN
PART ONE: FUEL SYSTEM, INJECTORS & TURBO UPDATES
As a general rule of thumb, the earlier the electronically controlled diesel, the less horsepower potential you have to play with. Take the ’94.5-97 7.3L Power Stroke for example (not to mention the ’98.5-02 24-valve Cummins). Its mechanical lift pump only provides 40-45 psi of fuel pressure, the injectors flow a measly 95cc, and the turbo runs out of steam in a hurry. The good news is that upgrading all of these components won’t force you to close your bank account, and it’s exactly what we have in mind for this 22-year-old, 160,000mile ’95 F-350.
Over the course of our two-part series, the first-generation 7.3L Power Stroke will be graced with an electric fuel system from Irate Diesel Performance, a set of hybrid injectors and 66mm turbo from Unlimited Diesel Performance, and a Dieselsite Adrenaline highpressure oil pump—all courtesy of Flynn’s Shop in Alexander, Illinois. We’ll walk you through the fuel system and injector install this time, and the turbo and high-pressure oil pump upgrades will be highlighted in Part Two. We’ll also be heading back to the chassis dyno in the second installment, so make sure you tune in next month for the finale.
01 Before any mods took place, we strapped the truck to the rollers at Tri County Diesel in Godfrey, Illinois. While aboard the company’s Mustang chassis dyno, we ran the old Ford (which is equipped with the ZF-5 manual transmission) in fourth gear and ended up with 181 hp and 315 lb-ft at the wheels. While it wasn’t impressive by any stretch of the imagination, we knew it was only the starting point. With the engine rated at 215 hp from the factory, a 15% drivetrain loss is feasible, so we believe we achieved an accurate baseline.