With over 16 years experience in turbo charging design and manufacturing, The Turbo Shop (TTS) out of Compton, California is recognized as a leader in manufacturing performance products for most makes and models of trucks. No matter if the truck is used on the street, off J road or for towing, TTS offers components that will best suit any sport truck or SUV owner's needs. With the growing popularity of the Ford F-350 Power Stroke turbocharged diesels, TTS decided to design a complete performance upgrade package for the, "Ultimate Towing Machine."

One of the keys to designing a power package that optimizes performance while enhancing drivability is have access to a good development vehicle. For this project, a '97 Ford F- 350 Power Stroke owned and operated by Bill Young of El Segundo, California, was selected as the development workhorse. As the owner of Bay Fifties (a custom car cover manufacturer), Bill needed to be able to tow his huge fifth-wheel trailer 1 to and from car shows and special : vacation trips. The turbocharged 7.3- I liter diesel engine produces a moderate 143.5 horsepower to the rear i wheels in stock trim. This power level 1 wasn't enough for the huge 34-foot 1 fifth-wheel trailer and the '72 Detomaso Pantera that is carried inside it.

The Upgrade
From the factory, the Ford F-350 1 Power Stroke comes with a relatively: restrictive exhaust system, so TTS replaced Bill's OEM equipment with a' new free-flowing downpipe. The TTS 1 downpipe is made from three-inch aluminized steel and is mandrel-bent to ensure a crush-free bend. In addition to mandrel-bent design, TTS welds an EGT sensor bung into the downpipe for a cabin-mounted exhaust gas temperature gauge. TTS tested its new downpipe and noticed a 20-25 degree lower exhaust gas temperature and an additional one psi in boost pressure. The TTS downpipe kit comes with all hardware needed for an easy installation and an aircraft-quality heat shield.

Mastertune Software
Although the TTS downpipe does contribute to the improvement of horsepower from the Powerstroke, the key ingredient of the upgrade is the TTS Power System Module. This module was designed to improve 0- 60 times, gas mileage and especially horsepower. These three areas are important for normal street driving. However, they become crucial when it comes to towing.

By changing the injection timing curves, fuel maps, boost levels, automatic transmission shift points and other top secret goodies, TTS has designed a module that is perfect for the Ford F-350 Powerstroke. With the addition of the module, boost levels rose from 18 psi stock to 21 psi at the intake manifold and exhaust gas temperature moved from 975 degrees Fahrenheit to 995 degrees. Combined with the TTS downpipe, boost levels jumped to a maximum of 22-23 psi and the exhaust gas temperature dropped back to 975-degrees.

With both the Power System Module and TTS downpipe installed on Bill's F-350, the TTS crew took the 4 truck, the 34-foot trailer and the Pantera combo down the 101 freeway southbound from Ventura, California. On this particular three-mile section of freeway, a seven-percent grade of inclination. At the beginning of the test, TTS removed all of the aftermarket components and placed the Power Stroke back to stock trim. With the cruise control set to 62 mph, the Ford F-350 started up the hill. Shortly after, the Ford slowed down to 42 mph in second gear and the cruise shut off. Once the truck crawled to the top of the hill, TTS stopped at the local gas station and reinstalled the downpipe and Power System Module. After- ward, the test was performed and the results were documented. With a steady speed of 62 mph set on the cruise control, the F-350 slowed down to 58 mph in third gear and the cruise worked perfectly. Anyone who has towed in the mountains can appreciate the magnitude of this improvement.

On the way to and from the shop, TTS checked the gas mileage. In stock fonn, the Power Stroke got 8.1 miles per gallon. With the Power System Module installed, the mileage jumped to 10.3 miles per gallon. Moreover, with the Module and downpipe installed together, gas mileage went to 10.5 miles per gallon. To top that, TTS visited Jackson Racing's Dynojet dynamometer in Westminster, California and tested the F-350. With all stock components, the Ford made 143.5 horsepower to the rear wheels. With the TTS equipment installed, horsepower figures climbed to 218 horsepower. Furthermore, 0-60 times were measured with a Vericom VC2000 and the results were 13.97 seconds stock and 9.81 seconds with the TTS equipment. Not too bad for a module that retails for $495 and a 1 downpipe that costs only $250.

For the interior of the Ford, TTS installed its new overhead center console. These consoles are made from formed mild-steel sheet metal that has been welded together and covered in matching material. Depending on the year, make and model of the truck, 1TS can match just about any interior color. The center console comes without any holes cut out for gauges. This allows the customer to choose how many and what kind of gauges they want to run. Bill chose three VDO instruments -boost gauge, exhaust gas temperature and automatic transmission temperature. This way Bill can see exactly what is going on with the engine and slushbox while driving and/or towing.

Bottom Line
Where can you get this kind of performance for so little money? Also, where can you get such a huge performance gain with so little work? It's obvious TTS did its homework before releasing the Power System Module and downpipe. From 143.5



 

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