Cleared For Takeoff: Pusher Intakes’ Power Stroke Compound System

A few months ago, we linked up with Pusher Intakes to see about their newest parts out on the market. This included their 2017-and-up Ford Power Stroke Intake Systems that we installed on a local ’17 F-250. The results were impressive but we had one more improvement to make to help this truck breathe better. So, we’ve been testing their new ‘17-and-up Power Stroke Compound Turbo System for a few months now.

In this compound turbo system, an additional turbocharger is added to feed air into our stock turbocharger. The advantages of a compound turbo system include lower exhaust gas temperatures, quicker spool-up time, reduced turbo lag, and improved efficiency, all of which result in a better driving and towing experience.

Enclosed in the boxes from Pusher is everything we need to equip this 2017 Ford F-250 with its Power Stroke Compound Turbo System. Since we previously dressed this truck with Pusher’s Intake System, this kit will finish off the truck on the induction side. Eager to get this truck to tip-top efficiency, we unboxed all of our parts. Enclosed in the boxes from Pusher is everything we need to equip this 2017 Ford F-250 with its Power Stroke Compound Turbo System. Since we previously dressed this truck with Pusher’s Intake System, this kit will finish off the truck on the induction side. Eager to get this truck to tip-top efficiency, we unboxed all of our parts.

As expected, the quality of packaging, the design and fabrication of the parts, and the attention to detail of the finish is second to none.

When it comes to this kit, you have plenty of options. You can choose from different size turbochargers and you can choose your powder coated color based on your personal tastes. For this kit, we decided to go with an S475 turbo in the Titanium finish.

“I wanted a neutral accent under the hood and the Titanium color looked just right,” Andrew Clark, the truck’s owner, said. “Although Pusher offers many different sizes, they recommended the S475 because it complements my current modification list the best. For what I do with the truck, we’re looking for a great towing/everyday driving setup.”

How It’s Done

Excited to start the installation, we headed over to C & B Diesel in Jackson, Missouri where they were kind enough to allow us to use a truck bay for the day. When speaking with Pusher about this system, we learned that the installation process was going to be a little different than anything else on the market for these 6.7 Liter-equipped Fords.

“We feel that the space restraints under the hoods of these trucks were too tight to work within for a properly packaged compound system, much like the Duramax/ GM platform,” Jacob Allenbaugh, Owner of Pusher Intakes, said. “Hence the decision to replace the factory passenger-side battery and low-pressure AC line to make ample room for the additional turbo and its required plumbing.”

We started by vacuuming down the air conditioning system and disconnecting both of the truck’s batteries. Since this truck previously had the Pusher Intake System, we removed the cold-air-intake and the airbox as well.

After those items were removed, we continued to remove parts, including the passenger side battery, battery tray, battery tray support bracket, and the inner fender. Next, we loosened the nut on the air conditioning lines at the evaporator connection on the firewall. The factory low-pressure line will be removed at the firewall and replaced with the one supplied from Pusher.

We then removed the cold-side charge tube from both the intercooler and the intake manifold out of the valley. With some of these parts removed, Pusher instructed that we now replace that low-pressure air conditioning line with the supplied new one. With the new line, you will need to carefully bend the high-pressure line to match.

Making additional clearance for the turbocharger, we trimmed the fuse panel tab back to offer more room.

Next, we separated the downpipe from the existing exhaust under the truck. When it came time to disconnect the topside of the downpipe, we fought with the factory connection. Pry bars, hammers, and a few choice words later, we finally managed to get the clamp off and finished removing the downpipe.

This was the toughest part of the installation. You can see in the opening where the exhaust plumbing was attached and didn’t want to come off. It took some time but we finally got it off.

Using the supplied hose from Pusher, we cut the factory heater core near the firewall and made the connection. Then, we modified and rerouted the harness on the passenger side cylinder head to run under the injector lines.

With all that complete, we were then able to install our turbocharger mount by removing and reusing five existing valve cover bolts and one supplied bolt. Almost ready to install our turbo under the hood, we made our way back under the truck where we installed one of Pusher’s most well thought out ideas; the oil drain.

Pusher’s mounting location prevents the pooling of the turbo’s return oi, which is an issue on some other options. This drain accomplishes that through its higher mounting location. The drain fitting’s location is above the normal oil level which allows the oil to freely drain into the pan without obstruction. To make this connection, we had to grind down the webbing on the case and mark the location of where we will drill and tap.

Removal of the lower engine oil pan, so the debris from drilling and tapping can be cleaned out is key here. We then drilled and tapped the previously marked location using the supplied drill and tap. Once it was done, we thoroughly cleaned the pan and the surrounding area and replaced the assembly onto the engine. With the adapter now installed, we ran our drain hose from the pan to the turbo pedestal.

In the first picture, you can clearly see where we've ground down the webbing of the pan to make room for our hole. Once we got our pilot hole drilled, we stopped to capture the recommended installation location (left). In the next photo (right), you can see the hole is drilled and ready to be tapped.

At this point, things started to get exciting. We installed the turbocharger to its new home on the pedestal where we loosely fastened it and made our oil feed connection. We removed the factory pipe coming from the passenger-side cylinder head to the factory turbo, to make for an easy installation of our new intermediate exhaust pipe.

With the V-band connections at the factory turbo and new turbo loosely fastened, we then reinstalled the factory pipe. After that, we tightened the remaining connections in the sequence recommended by Pusher. After the intermediate pipe was tight, we then installed the new two-piece downpipe from the turbo to the existing exhaust.

After a quick clearance check on the new exhaust setup, we used zip ties to hold back a few harnesses for extra clearance. Since this turbo system’s placement of the new atmospheric turbo is directly where the factory airbox once was, we took the provided battery tray and battery and attached them to the fender support structure.

With the battery secure, we made our power and ground connections. The provided battery is smaller in physical size but provides more power than the physically larger battery it is replacing. We then reinstalled the Pusher intake manifold and secured the dipstick.

To connect the factory turbo to the new turbo on the cold side charge tube, we used the provided 4-inch to 3-1/2-inch coupler and its 4-inch T-bolt clamp. On the intermediate charge pipe, since it’s a V-band connection, we installed the rubber O-ring before mating the turbos. Next, we reconnected the intercooler to the intake manifold using the existing hardware.

To finish this project off, all that remained was the installation of the 90-degree intake tube, the new air filter, and the reinstallation of the mass-airflow sensor onto the front side of the new turbocharger. After we checked over all of our connections, we refilled the coolant system and filled the engine with oil for our first start. Once the truck was running, we checked everywhere for leaks to make sure all is good.

Driving Impressions

Clark and I both own and have experience driving trucks with compound turbo systems, but these Fords are a new animal. We weren’t sure what to expect compared to our Cummins-powered machines, but we were intrigued by knowing how great the RAMs reacted to more air. In fact, I used Pusher’s Cummins compound turbo system on my truck and I couldn’t be happier.

After the installation, we immediately hit the road to check for leaks and get a feel for it. Clark’s initial thoughts, after the smile wore off his face, were good ones. “So far, I am beyond happy with how the truck is reacting to its new parts. Just in the first few miles, I can tell that the truck pulls way harder,” he said. “The whistle that the atmospheric turbo makes is like music to my ears.”

Not only does this kit dress up your engine bay cosmetically, but it also offers usable, efficient power.

After a few weeks of driving, Clark has noted nothing but good results, even after hundreds of miles. This system exceeded all of our expectations and even after experiencing the Cummins kit, Pusher continues to raise the bar, in our eyes. We’re noticing improved fuel mileage, lower exhaust temperatures, and a better overall driving experience — just as advertised.

If you have a diesel truck and you’re looking to improve its efficiency, look no further than Pusher Intakes. To find out what all they offer and what fits your ride, be sure and check out the website here. For more parts reviews, installs, truck features, and event coverage, stay tuned right here at Diesel Army.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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