Best 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Upgrade (Full Beginners Guide)

In the engine realm, the 6.7L Power Stroke is an absolute beast. Since there are 2 compressor wheels on this, you get the benefits of twin turbos here (such as having a super responsive bottom along with a strong top-end). 

But there’s a catch: as the 2 wheels are mounted on a single shaft, this turbo design sometimes results in failures.

So how can you avoid these failures? By creating your very own 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Upgrade!

Usually, the 6.7L can give you 440 HP at 2800 RPM. But with an upgrade, you can easily boost those numbers (and more) and all the while keep your engine running efficiently.

To help you improve your MPG and make your Powerstroke deliver an enhanced “power stroke,” let’s take a detailed look at everything in this research-driven beginner’s manual.

How Does The 6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Works?

The working method of the Powerstroke has varied through the years depending on the model. For example, the engine features a DualBoost turbocharger.

As opposed to the single sequential turbocharger or the SST, this is a design containing two compressors.

As a result, the DualBoost turbocharger can provide the characteristics and the performance required from that of a sequential twin-turbo system while occupying much less space.

To further improve the efficiency of this, a unique exhaust arrangement is incorporated on the 6.7L Power Stroke.

Here, the exhaust exit that is actually manifolds exit their way into the engine valley in where this turbocharger has been mounted.

When gases naturally travel to the turbine housing from the point of the exhaust manifold, very minimal energy is lost compared to traditional V-shaped engine turbochargers and less exhaust plumbing is needed as well.

Now if you come to the intake side, you will find the ports and manifolds located outside the engine block. When the turbocharger pressurizes the air, it travels through an air-to-water CAC or Charge Air Cooler.

So in total, you have 2 separate cooling ways in the Powerstroke. One of the circuits works for the engine itself (which is a high-temp system) and another one is circuit works for the mentioned CAC, along with the transmission cooler, fuel cooler, and EGR cooler.

Does Upgrading The Turbo On a 6.7 Powerstroke Increase Its Performance?

Yes. If you think about it, the 6.7 Powerstroke is a powerhouse right out of the package. But what if you want more power for your engine?

Increased power in the back wheels as a result of an upgrade will always make your driving experience far more enjoyable than it is, and the push of the throttle will see better results too.

You will find a lot of aftermarket upgrades for the 6.7L Powerstroke, like the ones we have mentioned in this article. These can radically increase the torque and the horsepower.

The factory turbo that you get on the 2015 and onwards 6.7L is quite a great platform already. You get the boost quickly and at the same time efficiently. In case you want to add more power, you will focus on the 2011-2014 Powerstroke models as the turbo on them tends to be quite restrictive.

These particular models are also more prone to failure than the ones you get from 2015 onwards. So if you take an approach with the upgrade of the former you could go easily do it with a good aftermarket and get for yourself greatly increased power, a better response, and much-improved performance.

What Size Turbo is Required On a 6.7 Powerstroke?

There are 3 different kinds of Turbos that you can use on the 6.7 Powerstroke. They are the S363, S366, and S370. Let’s take a look at each of them.

1. S363

If you want a factory turbo replacement, the S363 is an excellent choice. For someone who is regularly towing and driving, this is quite good. You will need to conduct minimal to no modifications to the fuel system of your vehicle and it will still manage to support higher power levels than other factory-style turbos.

If you want modifications, you can do them down the road. For a high-pressure pump-upgrade, the S363 can deliver an Efficient Power Range of 450 to 750 HP

2. S366

Another size that can help you is the 66mm version. If you prefer intermittent towing to frequent ones and you wish to find something suitable for street driving, this turbo works quite well.

Here too, you can leave room for minimal/no modifications. The Efficient Power Range here is 500 to 850HP.

3. S370

For the least amount of towing use, the 70mm option is the best. So you could use it in a modified truck that has a CP4 or dual pumps. Otherwise, this is also good with mild injector upgrades.

If you don’t mind a little lag in exchange for great power potential, this can be a great option. It features an Efficient Power Range of 600 to 950HP.

3 Best Turbo for 6.7 Powerstroke

Below are 3 of the top picks when it comes to a 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Upgrade. In the course of the reviews, you will learn the reasons for the claim!

1. Best Value: Garrett OEM Replacement Turbocharger for 11-14 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L

This Garrett replacement turbocharger can be used in your 2001-2014 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L diesel. It features a Honeywell DualBoost turbocharger. If you went to a dealership of Ford and asked for a replacement turbo, the efficacy of this one would present itself duly!

What is the advantage of using this replacement turbocharger as opposed to the others in the market? In this turbocharger, right from the CHRA to the stainless-steel turbine, you have a solid build. The aluminum compressor will also vouch for the craftsmanship of the turbo.

As for the size, this housing is able to incorporate an 8mm, dual-ceramic, ball-bearing cartridge. What does this mean for you? Reduced friction, faster spooling up, and more longevity. In fact, the compressor backplate acts as part of the CHRA mechanism to reduce the overall weight and size of the turbo, letting you have more power to the vehicle as it takes less space!

Pros

  • Has a narrower profile in the CHRA than previous designs for a compact and small size.
  • Beneficial for applications in engine compartments that are tight and narrow.
  • Includes dual water ports on the CHRA for better installation flexibility.
  • The turbocharger kit includes both an oil restrictor and water port fittings.

Cons

  • You have to use the old pedestal during the upgrade.

2. Best Overall: FORD MOTORCRAFT Performance M-Turbo-67 Turbo Kit for 15-21 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L

As you know from your first-hand experience, the turbodiesel 6.7L Power Stroke is an impressive engine straight from the factory. But the early models can give you only 400HP and 800 torque.

That too, after the software update. Compare this to the 2020 Power Stroke’s that can give you an insane 1050 torque! If you want to get similar numbers for your old-model 6.7L turbo diesel, here’s an answer that can be a direct challenger to the  Garrett OEM Replacement Turbocharger for 11-14 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L.

How? As for the size, compared to Garett’s 8 mm solution, this one from Ford is equipped with a 61mm pick. What’s more, it features an 11-blade compressor wheel, which is more lightweight and causes faster spooling. The unit is overall equipped with what you call a water-cooled, journal-bearing CHRA.

So when you use this replacement as an upgrade to the factory-sent turbo, you can better support the demand that heavier tunes bring about, with much more efficiency and reliability. You can expect to see any number from 30+rwhp, depending on how you completed the tuning.

Pros

  • The kit comes with a downpipe, manifold gaskets, seals, and water.
  • You have a perfect Ford Racing kit that contains all you need to upgrade a 6.7L to 2015+.
  • The construction and the packaging are both quality-assured by Ford.
  • You get a superior kit for the 2015+ turbo than any other early models.

Cons

  • You need to reuse your existing piping of the intercooler and the air filter setup when you use this kit.

3. Also See: KC TURBOS 300869 Whistler Stage 1 Turbo 2017-2019 Ford 6.7L Powerstroke

And the last one on the list is from KC! This is what you call a 2015+ direct-turbo drop-in that you can get for your 6.7 Powerstroke. Compared to the FORD MOTORCRAFT Performance M-Turbo-67 Turbo Kit for 15-21 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L, the size here of the compressor wheel is 63mm, while it also features a 10-blade turbine wheel, as opposed to Ford’s 11, at a lower budget.

So what is good about it? This Whistler Stage 1 Turbo is designed to be a drop-in replacement for your stock 6.7L turbo. You get a modified housing for the compressor that helps your vehicle achieve improved performance.

With lower EGTs and much better airflow for the enhanced HP and torque due to the upgrade, you get enhanced truck performance, no matter how infrequently you use it!

Thanks to the High-Flow Turbine Wheel, the improved boost control is what makes this replacement so desirable. Through KC, you get cutting-edge technologies and modern manufacturing techniques in your engine. With such improvements, you can be sure that there are no previous and shared components in this new turbocharger design!

Pros

  • With the help of this replacement turbocharger, you get cooler EGTs.
  • Since it features 11 blades, you get a much quicker Spool Up compared to other replacements.
  • This is a maximum Drop in Ready replacement, compatible with the Ford 6.7L.
  • You can use this replacement turbo in the models from 2011-2019.

Cons

  • For the 2015 and 2016 models, you need to have the pedestal Kit to install this Turbo.

How Much Will It Cost To Replace a Turbo On a 6.7 Powerstroke?

When you think it necessary to offer a replacement for your Turbo, you have to keep in mind whether you are getting it for your standard pickup, cab, and chassis, or others. For a failed turbo that needs core change, you will need to pay between 2700$-4000$+.

How To Upgrade the Turbo On a 6.7 Powerstroke:

If you want to learn how to upgrade the turbo on your 6.7L, then you can try this 4-step guide to making the upgrade. It starts with the Basics of The Upgrade and moves to the Reassembly in all 4 steps.

Basics of The Upgrade

You will start the upgrade by removing the air filter. At the same time, take out the tubing of the turbo inlet, the tubes of the intercooler boost, as well as the intake manifold. This will help you to access both the turbo and pedestal.

When you have disconnected the exhaust inlet and the exhaust outlet, you can remove the turbocharger with its pedestal. It is important to lock in mind that a pedestal is designed such that it can work without the EPV.

Now that you have the turbo on the bench, you can remove the housing of the compressor and replace the factory cast wheel with a machined billet. This is important and you can call it the literal heart of this upgrade.

If you get the Wicked Wheel2 or any other one for that matter, you will be at ease for less weight than the factory cast wheel. Due to the lightweight, the spooling will happen much faster. The former is also way more aggressive than the factory cast wheel part because you get 10 blades in 2 different lengths as opposed to the factory’s 9 blades in a single size.

This design allows the system to grab and at the same time, compress more air on each revolution.

EBV Removal

Now that you have buttoned up the compressor side of the turbo, you can remove the outlet flange by flipping it over and then delete the EBV flapper.

Since the flapper and the shaft are located right in the center of the exhaust flow, they restrict the flow when open. And in the worst time, that can mean poor engine performance.

To get rid of the assembly, you will grind away the rivets that hold the flapper and slide the shaft straight out of the outlet flange.

With the help of a welder, you can seal the hole in the shaft before you attempt to clean the surfaces of the mounting position and then install the outlet on your turbo one more time.

Leak Stoppage

Here’s a step that may or may not be in your way to the upgrade. Before you reinstall the upgraded turbo, you need to address the pipes and collectors that are leaking. If you get a kit from the list in this article, you will find the necessary and new installation hardware. This can help you with rusty bolts that secure the pipes to the manifolds.

Now that you are off with the bolts, the up-pipes will come out of your truck pretty easily. Next, you should check the donut gaskets. If those have failed and allowed moderate to severe exhaust leaks, you can take the help of the new up-pipe kit.

It contains bellows that can allow for contraction and expansion without causing any stress to the gaskets; a plus point that you will not see in the factory design.

This is why aftermarket parts are superior compared to the factory ones, and the new setup will last you much longer than the original would have.

Re-assembly

If you want to ease the installation process, you will need to mount the passenger side of the up-pipe to the collector located on the workbench. Then you will lower it into the right position from the top end of the engine.

Now, install the up-pipe on the driver’s side and use your fingers to tighten the bolts on the exhaust manifold below the truck. Then you will tighten the collector hardware. Leave the manifold hardware as finger-tight as possible until the turbo can be assembled and the exhaust outlet and inlet can be attached to allow for necessary movements.

Now before you reinstall the turbo, you can do it by bolting in a replacement pedestal minus the EBV actuator. Use pedestals with several O-rings that can help to seal themselves to the engine as well as the turbocharger. New O-rings will always save you from potential oil leaks.

If the factory intake manifold boots are showing any sign of leakage, you can also cut and install new silicon tubing before you plan on reinstalling the new intake manifold. Finally, the last trip under your truck to tighten all the up-pipe-reaching-to-manifold mounting bolts, and your turbo upgrade is now complete!

Final Words

Choosing the right replacement 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo upgrade can be hard for the wealth of options available in the market. 

To save you time and research (and maybe even some of your money in the process), you will have enough important information you’ll need when picking out a replacement or upgraded turbo kit for your 2017 6.7L Power Stroke engine.

The favorite remains the FORD MOTORCRAFT Performance M-Turbo-67 Turbo Kit for 15-21 Ford Powerstroke 6.7L for its excellent showcasing during testing and performance that has shown decent gains in power, with respect to the high-pressure fuel pump health.

So you have a reliable solution in exchange for the old factory turbo diesel. Hope your back wheels run as smoothly as the upgrade now!