How to Upgrade Turbo On 7.3 IDI? (Full Guide)

The non-turbo 7.3 IDI engine already has a reputation of being very powerful and capable of great things without a turbo.

But the performance is not the same once it has gone old. Here, installing a new turbo can spice things up.

That is why I am going to describe how to upgrade turbo on 7.3 IDI to help you save money. Do it yourself using some basic tools, and bring back the old performance.

How Do I Know My 7.3 IDI Turbo Needs to Be Upgraded?

You may be facing one of two possible situations. Either your truck has already a turbo that has become faulty or you want to increase the HP more for certain reasons.

It can increase the acceleration and improve the overall performance of the truck. So, HP is a very important factor to consider.

Here, I don’t have anything much to explain if you are not satisfied with the current performance of the 7.3 IDI engine because the actions are straightforward.

Some users disagree by saying that installing a Turbo doesn’t do much good to the towing power. However, it certainly makes a difference. One thing for sure is that it will increase the airflow resulting in better acceleration.

When Should You Replace?

There are some symptoms that you should know to detect a bad turbo. Let me describe some points below.

  • In case of worn internal seals in turbocharger casing or any kind of crack can introduce oil in the exhaust. Thus, burning leaked oil can cause more blue or grey smoke than usual.
  • Sensing lack of power is another symptom of having a bad turbo. You may notice that the truck is not accelerating as expected.
  • Moreover, some users have complained about decreased fuel economy. And, changing the turbo has solved the problem. Leaking oil causes this issue.
  • Installing a turbo, people expect pleasant sounds from their trucks’ engines. But a bad turbocharger produces irritating noise which keeps getting louder.
  • Seeing engine warning lights of related bad turbo symptoms should also be dealt with care.

Always keep the engine and turbo in check by a mechanic so that it doesn’t get too late in upgrading or replacing the turbo.

How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade?

While adding a turbocharger to your 7.3 IDI engine for the first time, the product itself can cost you somewhere between $1500 and $2200.

I can’t say the exact price because the price varies from brand to brand. For example. ATS Diesel 2029302272 Turbocharger System costs slightly over $1500 which is affordable compared to the competitors.

I am recommending the product because of its quality and reliable performance. Don’t take my words for granted and check the Amazon link and see the customer reviews.

There are other reputed brands besides ATS; such as Banks, and Hypermax. After that, you have to add the cost of labor.

In total, the estimated cost of the turbo upgrade should be around $2000 if you buy my suggested product.

FYI: You may find even cheaper options in the market. But think twice before saving 400 or 500 bucks by choosing those knock-offs.

How Hard Is It to Install a Turbo on 7.3 IDI?

Considering the steps involved in installing a turbo, I can say that you can do it yourself with the help of some basic tools.

Also, a certain level of expertise and DIY mindset is required. If you don’t have enough time or the necessary tools, it will be better to leave the task to an expert.

Indeed, hiring a mechanic increases the cost but it is worth the investment. The importance of having a turbo in a diesel engine is beyond your imagination.

How to Upgrade Turbo On 7.3 IDI?

As 7.3 IDI is a non-turbo engine, lots of owners are installing a turbocharger for the first time. And, some of you may be replacing the existing one.

Here, I am going to describe the replacing procedure so that everyone can get some help regardless of their intentions.

For the job, all one needs are a metric socket and wrench set, common screwdrivers, and a torque wrench (better if electric).

Step 1: First of all, carefully disconnect the battery connections, and remove the engine cover. At the same time, disconnect the tubes of CAC inlet and outlet, AIH leads, connections of IAT sensor, MAP & waste-gate pressure hoses, and waste-gate solenoid.

Step 2: Secondly, you have to remove the waste-gate actuator along with the air intake tube and turbo housing. Then, remove the air intercooler pipe at the driver’s side. You have to loosen the clamps here using an 11 metric.

Step 3: Thirdly, loosen the upper clamps and free the spider by pulling it from the plenum. Here, you have to discard the O-ring seal but don’t worry. A new O-ring comes with the turbo set for your 7.3 IDI.

Step 4: Now, find the Marmon clamp and remove it along with the EBPV linkage clip. You have to slide the clip towards the existing turbo in order to disengage it. Here, a deep-well socket with a long extension will make the task easier.

Step 5: Then, you can successfully remove the existing turbo by loosening the two mounting bolts. You can take it out towards the front of the engine. Before moving on to the next step, clean the parts if they are too dirty.

Step 6: Finally, install the newly purchased turbo set following the same procedure of unmounting in a reverse manner.

Pro Tip: Before you mount the turbo, make sure that the EBPV actuator is properly engaged with the lever and secure it with the EBPV clip.

Thus, you have now upgraded the turbo on the 7.3 IDI engine. If you are installing one on a non-turbo 7.3 IDI, only follow the instructions in the sixth step, and keep the tip in mind. 

Though the steps I have explained in this section cover almost everything, you may not feel confident doing it yourself.

So, watch this video that removes and installs turbo on a 7.3 IDI engine. Also, you can download a written form of instructions from here, and study more.

Conclusion

I hope that you have clearly understood the process of how to upgrade turbo on 7.3 IDI. It is important to increase the towing power of your Ford truck. Also, a turbo can provide the necessary power for going uphill.

Lots of people are not comfortable putting a turbo in a non-turbo engine. But I can tell you that it is not a big deal. After the upgrade, riding your truck will be more pleasurable.

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