Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics


My latest project is to replace the turbo pedestal o-rings, in doing so I decided to delete the EBPV as well as gut the outlet flange and ended up using a 3/4" freeze plug, it went in all right, but I have read opposing views that 20mm would be better. We'll see how the freeze plug works out.

To be fair to any future OBS 7.3 owners the turbo collector nuts can be a pain to get to, there's not much room and swivel sockets and crow foot attachments are necessary to the Average-Joe that does not fab up special tools.

Here's where the rabbit hole begins. After pulling the turbo, the collector is fairly loose on the up-pipes, and of course there is a little soot on the upper up-pipe. To everyone's advice, I soaked the bolts that I have access to, I don't know how anyone is soaking the rear up-pipe to collector bolts because there is absolutely no access to them. I started on the front passenger up pipe bolt as that one was closest and I wanted to get an idea of how badly they were seized in there.

The bolt broke free with a substantial amount of force for such a small bolt as much exhaust bolts do, after several turns there was a little resistance and with another forceful turn the bolt sheared off. I'm having a hard time understanding the resistance it was fighting if it was turning out just fine, granted with a lot of force. In any case, I'm not sure how much bolt is left, the amount that sheared off was roughly an inch long.

Without a lot of experience with this type of work, I cannot visualize the relationship between the bottom flange and the flange that it bolts to.

With part of the bolt broken in the upper portion what are my option going forward? I know I should have just gotten new up pipes, but I had just placed an order prior, and it looks like the bellowed pipes are about $400 from Clay at Riff Raff diesel. That is pretty steep for me right now, and I opted to get the oversized gaskets to try and help seal it as good as possible for the time being.

After doing the turbo removal once, and with a bunch of anti-seize on the bolts and studs along with a deleted pedestal, I am not too scared to have to do it again as it should come out much easier the second go around. the up-pipes however look to be an absolute nightmare as far as access to the upper bolts, especially the driver side.

I've been searching high and low all of the the forums and am still a little dumbfounded how people are reaching the upper bolts. I read that a couple feet of 1/4" extensions will be low profile enough to sneak through and reach the upper bolts, but how can the 1/4" be strong enough to break these seized bolts free. Rust ins't a huge issue for this California truck, just access at this point. I'm probably being a sissy about the whole process, but man what a pain in the tuckus this is.

As a side note, The turbo shaft has no play in and out and almost none side to side. It does appear at one point something foreign made its way through the intake as there is slight deformation of the outer edges of the compressor wheel. This is my first turbo and diesel and learning what is normal and what is not has taken countless hours of reading on these forums and I'm still just starting to get the hang of it.

Thank you all for your time and I hope I can contribute to these forums at one point to help some of you as much as you have helped me.

I might have to add the photos to an external website and post the link as the photo size that the forum resizes to is pretty much useless


97 7.3 4x4 E40D
Riff Raff intake
3" Downpipe
Deleted Pedestal and EBPV

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Last edited by Grassfed; 03-06-2019 at 08:49 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:01 PM
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

Time for a new engine there bud. But seriously, maybe you might try removing the inner fender covers to get some extensions up there better. I know you have plenty of room for 3/8 on the super duties, but obs' are substantially tighter. Maybe you could squeeze them in there.

If the collector is loose, you might be able to loosen the pipes a little at the exhaust manifolds, and then simply pull the collector off of the pipes.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

I might have to try the inner liners. Also, the lower bolts at the exhaust manifolds look much easier to worth with, I'll try that and see how lucky I am. In any case I appreciate the help, when we get a break in the rain I'll have to get out there spray some penetrating oil on the lowers and see what I'm working with.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:44 PM
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

I’ve redone a couple 3 sets of up pipes, so I feel your pain. To get at the up pipe bolts up top on the drivers side I used a series of long 3/8 and 1/4” drive extensions, using swivel part way down. To spray, penetrating oil I used the attached straw that comes with some brands to direct it at the threads. From underneath you can push the extensions and socket up parallel along the up pipe to get at the bolts as I recall, this is one way I accessed the bolts. ‘‘Tis a pain for sure.

On some trucks I’ve had to cut the bottom bolts at the manifold to up pipe connection, ONCE I had the upper bolts off. So once you get the up pipes out, I take the time to bend the pinch weld back as much as possible and push space between the cab and back end of the manifolds to make it easier to install remove up pipes.

Ok once pipes are out you’ll see where they are eroded at the doughnut interfaces on the top end of the up pipe. What I do is get a piece of large solid round stock and put in a vice to use as an anvil. Once stock is in vice I slide the up pipe over the stock and using a hammer tap the ridges of erosion out of the pipe. You will have to turn (rotate) the pipe on the stock to evenly tap out and stretch the pipe back to original size or slightly larger. I use a felt pen to run a mark around the full circumference of up pipe and then tap the mark off, in this way you can control where you are tapping with hammer. You will need to periodically test fit the doughnut as the pipe will enlarge where you hammer it. I enlarge the up pipe such that it is a very snug even fit. Have always just reused the original doughnuts too.

I’ve read where some guys have milled or ground off a slight thickness on the sliding flange so it will snug up tighter to the collector.

Lastly coat everything with a quality anti seize paste.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

Jcart thank you for the detailed response. When I disconnected the bottom nuts the collector slid right off of the up pipes. I bought new oversize gaskets and plan to use those, when I put them on the up pipes and start to tighten the sliding flange it still feels loose, as I tighten the flange more, should it squish together and become tight? If it is not tight right away should I stop now and figure out a way to expand the up pipes like you mentioned?

If that is the case I might try a tail pipe expander as well if I can find one cheap enough. I don't have a whole lot of room to work in my garage, though the cost of a piece of round stock to do something like this might be similar to what the expander costs.

I guess to boil it down, will the up pipes and sliding flanges become snug as I tighten the oversize gasket up to the collector? I reckon they would have to otherwise what would be the purpose of the gasket?

Thanks again for the help everybody. I'm a definite new guy when it comes to all of this but am trying to learn as much as possible from all of you.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 12:47 AM
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

Originally Posted by Grassfed View Post
I guess to boil it down, will the up pipes and sliding flanges become snug as I tighten the oversize gasket up to the collector? I reckon they would have to otherwise what would be the purpose of the gasket?
The "sliding joint will allow for some expansion and should get tighter around the uppipe as it is tightened. Erosion of the uppipe surface due to leakage will cause it to leak, hence the methods Jcart describes (hammering the pipe while slightly expanding it and removing the "thickness" of the clamp flanges to let the joint get tighter before the bolts bottom out. They really should have just used the bellowed uppipes that the Internationals came with (and too bad the factory IH parts for the oBS are uber expensive).


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Up-Pipe Upper Bolts and Turbo Pics

Thanks for the reply Patrick, I don't know how any of you get by with the methods described. I was able to make about 2-3ft of wobble extensions off of my 1/4" drive ratchet and had a very tough time getting to the bolts from below. The access is just about there but the sockets won't quite seat properly on the bolt head. Nonetheless after hours of work I was able to get them pretty darn tight. I don't have the torque values for the upper bolts but read somewhere around the 25ft-lb range. I really just got them as tight as I could with the small grade tools used.

I did not however expand the pipe and I know this is a major pitfall of the operation. There was minor pitting on the up pipes, but with the tools described round stock which is basically a metal rod? and a tailpipe expander would have required an extra trip, and another car to do so which was not a guaranteed asset. That mixed with the truck being down for a couple of days I am really jonesing to get it back. Also, the leak was pretty minor before as I had no trouble boost ~18 stock and with the chip mid to high 20s.

In any case, I know I will have to do this again, but the first time is always the hardest and with the EBPV delete from the pedestal and outlet flange it really was not too hard getting it all back together. Yanking the turbo will be a breeze now I can definitely say that. Until I pull the trigger on up pipes this will be the cards I have to play.

For all of you that have upgraded your up-pipes, don't you still run into the headache of tightening the upper bolts unless you get the one piece design where the collector is welded to the upipes? Maybe with the sliding flange and doughnut out of the equation it is much more straight forward tightening the up pipes.

Thank you all again for the help. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

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