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Hey guys,

So I bought a white OBS truck and I love it. Probably going to try and give it to my grand kids if that ever happens. Has 142k miles, ZF-5 trans, and it's a 4x4. Previous owner did some upgrades and some routine maintenance stuff. It has a 3" down pipe to 4" exhaust, 285/75/16 tires, recently grease packed wheel bearings, new rear lsd and fresh oil in both, TS 6 position (stock/+25/+50/+100/high idle/security), new water pump, new organic luk clutch, aFe big boost filter from rifraff, post turbo pyrometer (will be switching to header pyro asap, as is I won't run it past about 750°F on the post turbo temp), and supposedly injectors. No idea what the injectors are or if they are even replaced. After I bought it I asked the last owner if the injectors were stock and he told me he had seen paperwork form the original owner for the labor/parts but couldn't find it. I suspect I will have to pull a valve cover to determine if they are stock injectors or not but if someone knows a way to determine this without opening the top end that would be awesome.

As stated in the post title I want to make between 400 and 550 horse. I also want to get 20+ mpg unloaded.

There's a couple of things on my short list before I start digging into performance stuff. First and foremost there are two things I need to fix. One is the front fuel tank doesn't read fuel level, I suspect a cracked float. Might use it as a reason to do an SD tank swap. The other is a very slight surge at idle about half the time when I start the truck warm. The surge is probably about 50 RPMs but I can feel the whole truck vibrate and kind of rock itself. I suspect it's one to three of three things, the HPOP oil needs to be changed/cleaned out and I need to run some archoil ar9100 to clean off any varnish that may be there, and/or the IPS needs to be replaced, and/or it's something to do with the tensioner pulley (all things I found trying to figure out what the problem is). I will unplug it and check for the telltale oil in the connector later today.

The next things on the short list are the header pyro, and an intercooler to keep my temps down. My headers are pretty rough looking, which makes me wonder if I should go for after market headers and potentially up pipes. Will I see gains from headers and up pipes?

My dream would be a compound turbo setup, but I think that might be overkill for my power goal, although I really like the idea of boost everywhere and lower EGTs. What is the range on power goals for a compound turbo?

On the long list to reach my power goals I suspect I will need at least 200/200 injectors. To get the economy I am looking for I suspect I will need an upgraded HPOP. Maybe even a dual HPOP? Certainly at some point I will need to upgrade the clutch, too. I like the idea of going to the super duty PCM for better fuel tables and engine tuning ability (I know I will need to retune the PCM to run single shot injectors). I want the truck to be a reliable daily driver. To me this means I will need to sort out the fuelling system a bit too. I've looked at doing the hutch mod, but if I do a SD front tank is this still required? I am also considering going for the poly Bronco tank in the rear for a whopping 73 gallons under the bed. Likely I need to pull my current fuel senders and clean the pickup screens, again I might just use this as an excuse to upgrade the tanks and be done futzing with dropping tanks or lifting the bed. I'd rather do a bit of an upgrade to never have to deal with it again. Is an efuel setup necessary for my power goals? Will it make the truck more reliable and serviceable? From what I understand the stock internals in these engines are good to about 600hp, after that it needs stronger push rods and valve springs. Is this true, or is that something I need to consider before moving towards my power goals? At what power levels do I need to start looking at flame rings? Maybe the biggest question, if I'm already going down this path, would I end up spending a whole lot more to aim higher?

I know there is a huge load of questions and thoughts in here. Thanks for reading it and any advice you can give.
 

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Project Shamu
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238/80 seems to be more and more common and a good all around injector, it's what I will be doing as well.
 

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First of all big gap of power. The mods needed for 400hp are very different from 550hp.
No need for a SD PCM your current PCM can be chipped/tuned to do what you need it to do. Especially being a ZF5 truck a SD pcm will be pointless.
238cc injectors will be a good choice. Even 200cc will get you to your goals. An upgraded Hpop is not exactly needed with hybrids of those size. Your 15° hpop will keep up with good tuning. If it dosent hold ICP desired then you can upgraded the hpop later. E fuel is a must. Low fuel pressure can damage the injectors. The mechanical pump can barely supply 160/100s. E fuel is easier to replace a failed pump. I would recommend the T4 kit and a S366SXE or S369SXE the 369 being a little larger to spool up. S364.5 if you want a faster spooling turbo. Or Compounds as they work great for tow rigs.

Here is what I would do first.
Hydra chip with good tuning
E fuel system
T4 with SXE 300 series turbo
238cc injectors (if you can afford opt for new over remans)
Stronger clutch as your LUK will be toast. I roasted a stock level LUK with only a few hard pulls.
Diagnostic equiptment to troubleshoot and see PIDs in real time.

Have a god tuner build you a 400-450hp tune. If you go higher you will want headstuds and valve springs for insurance.
 

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"As stated in the post title I want to make between 400 and 550 horse. I also want to get 20+ mpg unloaded."

LOL, A unicorn for sure, esp the 20 mpg. Stick with the 400 HP goals unless you have unlimited time and money. Fast, cheap, and reliable don't all come together. Pick two of the three.

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Discussion Starter #8
From what I have read with an upgraded fuel pump peoe have seen 20-23mpg with these trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
People* and not fuel pump HPOP. More HPOP pressure means finer atomization of fuel and better MPGs
 

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From what I have read with an upgraded fuel pump peoe have seen 20-23mpg with these trucks.
Well, what you have "read" and what is real world with the 7.3 are entirely different. I have owned 5 of these myself and had countless friends who have owned them. 18 mpg is a good day. 20 is the Cummins, not the 7.3....

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There are many variables to fuel economy. On the highway 20 mpg unloaded on flat land is not a problem depending on setup. The manual trucks get typically better fuel economy. Now average or city driving the real world is closer to the 14-18 range. My heavily modded 97 ZF5 truck with 3.55s can easily see over 20mpg even when it was unmodified years ago.
 

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Thanks boosted, I knew it wasn't crazy. I'm running a ZF-5 with a 4.10 right now and getting about 16-18MPG now. I didn't think it would be unicorn level difficult. So at this point I have a couple of questions. Will an upgraded HPOP or dual HPOP be too much for hybrid injectors? Is it even possible to damage injectors with too much oil pressure? Is there a point where excess oil pressure is actually detrimental to reliability without any sort of gains? My thought is that hybrid injectors with the extra high pressure oil would be about as atomized as you could get. I could see where creating 4k+ PSI could be rough on seals and injector nozzles. On a related yet different subject what would be a reasonable power goal range for compound turbos on a 7.3? Is it absurd to build a compound turbo setup for a 500 horse build?
 

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Project Shamu
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I have a pretty molded 7.3 auto, with just about everything before larger injectors, and I can squeak 16mpg city and about 19mpg highway at 60mph on flat ground for 500 miles. If you lowered it, put some narrow, tall tires, and had it running right, you might be able to squeeze 21 out of it, but it's definitely NOT easy. 23? Forget it
 

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With my '96 3.55 automatic F250 that is stock except for a few touches like a downpipe and a Tymar air cleaner, I achieve Cummins-level fuel economy. To wit:

23 mpg at 60 mph on flat highways and no wind. The engine is loafing at a tad over 1500rpm and the boost maybe at 2 pounds and EGTs maybe 400-500F.

21 mpg at 70 mph on the flats and no winds.

14 mpg towing a 27-foot Jayco travel trailer at about 55 mph and just a touch over 1400 rpm.

These ole trucks can achieve amazing fuel economy, stock. For me, the secret is throttle-control and a 3.55 axle.
 

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Thanks boosted, I knew it wasn't crazy. I'm running a ZF-5 with a 4.10 right now and getting about 16-18MPG now. I didn't think it would be unicorn level difficult. So at this point I have a couple of questions. Will an upgraded HPOP or dual HPOP be too much for hybrid injectors? Is it even possible to damage injectors with too much oil pressure? Is there a point where excess oil pressure is actually detrimental to reliability without any sort of gains? My thought is that hybrid injectors with the extra high pressure oil would be about as atomized as you could get. I could see where creating 4k+ PSI could be rough on seals and injector nozzles. On a related yet different subject what would be a reasonable power goal range for compound turbos on a 7.3? Is it absurd to build a compound turbo setup for a 500 horse build?
ICP will be controlled by the ICP desired table in the Calibration. The PCM uses the IPR to control ICP pressure. Typically performance tuning is set to around 3000 psi. If your current hpop can hold whatever ICP is desired there is not exactly any gain. A larger hpop can deliver pressure faster at lower rpms. Dual hpops are expensive and honestly un needed for a set of smaller hybrids like the 200cc or 238cc. Hybrids move more fuel per time with less high pressure oil. Nothing wrong with compounds on a tow rig many have done that. A single SXE T4 turbo will get the job done.
 

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This sounds very similar to my truck, I went with the 238/80s from rosewood and with the right tunes from Gearhead and the php HYDRA it is a great combo. The biggest factor of injectors and mpg is self control... Once you know how quickly your truck can accelerate it is hard to keep your foot out of it.. As for the turbo I was saving for a KC drop in. I have had a few conversations with the guys over there and from what I have read it is a great turbo and a lot cheaper to install etc than the T4.
 
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