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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
    Posts
    4,725

    Default anyone here with a tricked out diesel truck?

    i will be picking up my new to me truck this evening and have someplans for it already.
    first will be pressure wash and a good thick undercoating and any little rust spots will be remediated at that time.
    i'll also add wheel covers and mudflaps and a wood grain dash, which my current rig has and which i really like.
    but i'm also thinking of something to boost the milage, and have been surfing the diesel boards for information.
    seems gauges are in order also, and a device which boosts take off power. so much to learn!

    what i really need is to find a place to learn all this stuff, so far most of the terminology is pretty indecipherable,lol.
    but i'll get there!
    meanwhile, tell me what you've added and why please?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2010
    Posts
    2,152

    Default

    Nuttin. It's stock.

    If we hauled more regularly, I'd think about a chip... but frankly, I'm completely happy with the performance and so's K :=)

    If we were in steeper mountains or higher altitude, I'd consider putting a temp gauge on the tranny.... but we don't, so I won't.

    Congrats again on the truck though :=)
    Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
    http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,463

    Default

    Yep. DH's best friend is a diesel mechanic who specializes in custom and performance work. I actually couldn't list all the stuff that has been done to my hauler truck (a F550, '07 model), nor do I think I want to know!

    It has different injectors, a non-VGT turbo (think it's a big honkin' fixed vein jobber), head studs (instead of usual bolts), EGR deleted, SCTcustom tuner, a programmed FICM, a NADP (think?) trans kit with extra clutches, custom exhaust & downpipes, push rods, the aforementioned gauges (boost, pyrometer, fuel pressure and I think trans temp), water meth injection, blah, blah, blah. I can find out specifics for you if you would like. I have seriously lost track and it is all greek to me so to speak.

    Cosmetically it has wheel simulators and a custom aluminum diamond plate hauler body (formerly a dump truck), and tint, of course.

    The power it has is actually totally unnecessary but incredibly fun. It's a sleeper that can actually smoke most sports cars off the line up to about an eighth-mile. It has .488 rears so it runs out of legs at the top end, but launches and pulls like, well, a horse.

    DH is also in the process of building a pull truck for next year's competition season. He's got the diesel toys, I have the equines!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    I would guess $50,000 in options if you had to pay the retail price for them.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
    Posts
    955

    Default

    I was told not to chip it or mess with the transmission because that's when you start to see problems!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    I have been told the same thing by owners that had a chip.

    But I think the best answer was from a neighbour who has several F350's and a very large horse operation.

    I asked him if he had chipped any of his trucks. At the time, I had a '99 F350. I knew that he made trips from the east coast to the Montana, Wyoming area pulling six horses.

    His reply: "It will get you a speeding ticket the way it is."

    Made sense to me.

    So mine was left stock as was my 2008 and the 2012 I have today.

    I drove that '99 357,000 miles with no major problems. Would it have gone that far chipped? Don't know.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,398

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cutter99 View Post
    I was told not to chip it or mess with the transmission because that's when you start to see problems!
    And that's what gauges are for.

    My 2001 7.3L had some stuff done to her by the boy children who tarted her up before I got her.

    Tool box-- I didn't know how much I'd like having one of these. Luv it.

    Straight exhaust-- larger diameter pipe and no muffler. The logic is that the engine doesn't waste energy pushing exhaust out.

    A so-so chip. Mine has 6 pre-fab settings. Good enough for me and dirt simple to use (but not legal in all states). Tuners are better but more complicated. You can have pro guys install one and then create programs that modify engine performance just as you like it. Some will sit in your truck while you drive with their laptop talking to the tuner as you guys drive and talk about what you like best. They usually have a few settings, but you often need to stop the truck in order to reboot a different setting. On the diesel forums some of the guys that do this are referred to by first name and given guru status.

    Back to my truck: Gauges!

    EGT (exhaust gas temp) or Pyrometer. A good measurement of engine temp, far better than what Ford offers.

    Boost-- how many pounds of pressure the turbo is producing.

    Tranny temp-- The importance is not to be underestimated if you haul. I have never been one to blow up transmissions and drive by the sound and feel of the engine. But after I got this gauge, I could see far more accurately what was happening, even as I still drove by ear and by fanny feel.

    These are the basic gauges folks recommend. Their purpose is to help you see how to use your chip/tuner without creating problems. They are also good for trouble shooting even a "stock" (unmodified) engine. You'll know something isn't right somewhere in your engine before it becomes a butt-kicker of a problem. Some chips or tuners also allow you to read basic codes from your engine. If you know what to do with that information it can save your a tad of money. The code readers used by professional mechanics are several thousand dollars a pop.

    Last and not least, I have some sheepskin seat covers. Call 'em girly if you like, but my tuckus is always swaddled while I cruise along in my butch-looking/sounding truck.

    ETA: WARN hubs on the front for reliable 4WD.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,463

    Default

    cssutton, thankfully, DH does most of the work himself and gets the friend wholesale discount.

    Re - chips: yeah, if you are indiscriminate and don't have gauges, bad idea for sure. MVP has a very common type of chip and was smart to do gauges. They really can improve performance and MPG when done correctly.

    We have custom tunes built for our particular trucks which is a bit different, allows total customization right down to when the trans shifts. However, we do have a race-built trans and the heads are studded, so no worries about gaskets.

    Bottom line is that there is a plethora of things you can do to a diesel, from increasing efficiency and MPG to creating insane amounts of power.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,807

    Default

    DH is waiting for his warranty to run out to chip his custom built diesel, otherwise it voids the warranty. He's going with a Banks, and also talking straight exhaust.

    I am a simple person. I buy the truck I want, and the only thing I want to add to my truck when it's paid off it a tint for safety. Not to bash anyone on here, but all that cosmetic stuff? For a truck? I just don't get it.

    I did buy a canopy for my truck, off a fire fighter who has almost the exact same truck (model and color). Paid $300 for it, it matches almost exactly, and would have cost $1200+ new. And I got it for my dogs, not me...I personally hate the way they look, even though I will admit they are insanely useful.
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2001
    Posts
    6,711

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suz View Post
    ...
    but i'm also thinking of something to boost the milage, and have been surfing the diesel boards for information...

    If you really want to boost mileage, FIX the AERODYNAMICS. Get rid of brush guards, lift kits, any thing that sticks out in the wind, cover up the drive shaft and axles.

    A 4x4 with the front axle, transfer case and drive shafts exposed will lose 20%-30% of the rated mileage for the engine. A front axle alone, hanging out in the airstream, cuts mileage by 10%.

    A tonneau cover or cap for the bed is a good mileage booster (I have a custom one I welded up so I can still hook in my gooseneck). I dropped my truck and have a front valence that covers the front axle, pushed the drive shaft up between the frame rails as well. The mud flaps are aligned with the sides of the truck to even out the airflow and I added skirts to the sides.

    It is nice to get 17 or more mpg hauling with a loaded trailer.

    Yes, a good intake and exhaust mod is nice to get the engine to breath. I have a Stage II intake and a 4.5" exhaust, turbo back. At least with the Ford 7.3 you don't need larger unless you are developing 450+ hp. You NEED some back pressure in the system to spin the turbo efficiently. You don't really need the chips if you are hauling in the rated limits of the truck and trailer.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,398

    Default

    Oh yeah, air intake.

    Mine also has a K&N air intake. Not the smartest/best one out there, but better than stock. The point here is to keep the engine cool.

    To recap:

    Most people want their diesels to be quicker off the line. Fine, but that means you change the engine and tranny from the original engineering. All the engine-related stuff is about getting that power without blowing it up.

    And the rest is about not blowing up the engine or tranny too, or more properly, keeping temps low so that the sucker will last forever.

    And then you get into Bling-- either of the RAyers variety where you are modifying for aerodymanics more, more common, throwing that to the wind and going Mud Monster with elaborate lifts, shocks and whatnot.

    For those of us who want to optimize towing, I'd say spend the money on a nice tranny cooler.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2012
    Posts
    1,367

    Default

    Just a funny- *MY* Dodge isn't all that tricked out- but today the whole family was out running errands with my husband at the wheel + 4 kids in tow, and an hour from home we happened to pull up at a redlight alongside a new mustang with vanity plates spelling out the nickname of my husband's shift coach at work. The windows were tinted and my husband knew he had a black mustang- so even though he wasn't 100% positive that it was him- well... you can imagine...apparently he had complained to my husband how hot heads are always challenging him to race whenever he drives the mustang... the mustang didn't even try off the line at the green- he didn't recognise my husdband in my truck- but it was still fun to feel the truck take off because I would NEVER do that or know what it could do. I'm just glad we didn't get a ticket because I can't imagine the cops expression with all the kids looking at him like- "why did you pull over our dad?"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2009
    Location
    far side of the moon, Utah
    Posts
    104

    Default

    I can't believe nobody said Jake brake. if you pull up and down hills and have a stick shift it's worth it. the mountains we hunting in, its 9% grade for 9 miles. it's nice to just put it in third gear and never have to step on the brakes.
    we also have the air intake, gauges, and exhaust system. we also have semi airbags on the back springs, this helps when you're pulling a really heavy load. I was also taught to drive by sound and feel as well.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Oh yeah, air intake.

    Mine also has a K&N air intake. Not the smartest/best one out there, but better than stock. The point here is to keep the engine cool.

    To recap:

    Most people want their diesels to be quicker off the line. Fine, but that means you change the engine and tranny from the original engineering. All the engine-related stuff is about getting that power without blowing it up.

    And the rest is about not blowing up the engine or tranny too, or more properly, keeping temps low so that the sucker will last forever.

    And then you get into Bling-- either of the RAyers variety where you are modifying for aerodymanics more, more common, throwing that to the wind and going Mud Monster with elaborate lifts, shocks and whatnot.

    For those of us who want to optimize towing, I'd say spend the money on a nice tranny cooler.
    There is one series trucks that you need to be careful about air filters.

    Diesels in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 years.

    They have that exhaust regin thing where the pipe collects the soot and is after so much is collected, burned out by dumping raw fuel into the exhaust.

    I saw a truck in my dealer's shop that would not run at all. Reason? The owner installed a filter that upset the fuel burn ratio and it stopped the exhaust system up to the point that it would not run.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,398

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cssutton View Post
    There is one series trucks that you need to be careful about air filters.

    Diesels in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 years.

    They have that exhaust regin thing where the pipe collects the soot and is after so much is collected, burned out by dumping raw fuel into the exhaust.

    I saw a truck in my dealer's shop that would not run at all. Reason? The owner installed a filter that upset the fuel burn ratio and it stopped the exhaust system up to the point that it would not run.
    Good to know. So any mods to air intake ramps up the known problems with the 6.4Ls? Did not know that.

    Oh, and for the rest of you even thinking about buying a Ford 6.0 or 6.4L (model years 2003.5-2011), you *must* buy a series of expensive mods often packaged as a "bullet proof" kit of things. Google it.

    These trucks do ok if you are treating them like abused pack mules-- loading them up and galloping them hard. That burns out the soot in the system. Otherwise, include the modifications in the purchase price of the truck.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,398

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    Another PSA: Not all lifts are created equal. You need to know some stuff if you are going to buy a talled-up truck and shrink it back down to size.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Good to know. So any mods to air intake ramps up the known problems with the 6.4Ls? Did not know that.

    Oh, and for the rest of you even thinking about buying a Ford 6.0 or 6.4L (model years 2003.5-2011), you *must* buy a series of expensive mods often packaged as a "bullet proof" kit of things. Google it.

    These trucks do ok if you are treating them like abused pack mules-- loading them up and galloping them hard. That burns out the soot in the system. Otherwise, include the modifications in the purchase price of the truck.
    A word for anyone thinking about buying a truck in those three model years, 2008, 2009, 2010.

    I had a 2008. I had 127,000 on it and was riding down the highway going to eastern VA and thinking what a fantastic truck it was. Good ride, quiet, pulls anything you can hook up to it...I had been going to a place in western VA that required pulling a 9% grade, pulling my 4H trailer. Great going up or down.

    So anyway, on the way back from that trip to eastern VA, a matter of hours after my praising the truck, it stopped dead on me in the middle of the highway.

    85 degrees, bright sunshine, 18 hounds in the trailer that had been run hard and needed shade and water.

    To make the story short, I got one of those king sized wreckers that pulls fully loaded 18 wheelers to take me home.

    The next day I had my mechanic look at it and he determined that a sensor in the exhaust system lied to the computer and that is what shut everything down.

    When I say everything, that computer does just that. All I had was four way flashers. Period.

    And of course lights.

    So if it had been night, I would have had parking lights and flashers.

    Those models have the so called regeneration method of cleaning up the exhaust.

    An over simplified explanation, for those who know not how that works, is that there is a chamber in the exhaust system that catches the particulate. Or in our vernacular, the soot.

    When there is enough particulate in the system that it needs cleaning, there is a sensor that tells the computer. The computer then tells the fuel injection system to dump raw fuel in one of the back cylinders. That raw fuel hits the hot exhaust from the other cylinders and the exhaust system becomes a flame thrower.

    When the first trucks were built, there were pictures on the internet with 3 ft. or so of flames coming out the exhaust. Of course, they fixed that.

    When the exhaust system is cleaned out, a second sensor tells the computer to return the fuel injectors to normal.

    The third sensor is there to determine that the exhaust system is not going to melt down. If things get too hot, it tells the computer and the computer shuts everything down.

    And that is what shut me down. The exhaust system was not in danger of a melt down. It was a sensor gone bad.

    It cost me $1,200 to get the hounds home and the truck to the dealer.

    I swore I would never pull the trailer even one more time if a $68.00 sensor would cause me all of that grief.

    So I traded that week for a 2012.

    The 2012 does not have that system. It feeds minute amounts of urea into the exhaust and in some manner that makes it clean enough to satisfy the EPA.

    But the real selling point is that if you run out of urea, the computer warns you many miles before. My book says 800 miles I ran it dry on purpose and my first warning came at 400 and something.

    Another one at 200 and something and then lots of warnings the last 100 miles.

    But this is the bell ringer. When it goes totally dry, it does not stop in the middle of the road. 50 MPH for 50 more miles. Plenty of time to get out of the highway and find a source of urea.

    When it stops dead, you can idle the engine, which means heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.

    I did not do it, but the book says that after it stops, you can restart it and drive it to a destination where the urea is available.

    The 2008 could cost you your life in the far north in a snow storm.

    So that is why I have a 2012 today.

    That said, I love it. I have never driven anything that was that much fun, including Mercedes, Lincolns, Mustangs...and quite a few others.



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