There is no denying that the Power Stroke diesel is a great engine. It delivers a ton of torque, is reliable as all get out, and can run for a million miles if properly cared for. However, there are some ancillary components that are not as durable (ahem, CP4 fuel pump). But another issue that we have heard about from several Power Stroke owners concerns the turbo tubing.
Where they connect with the turbo is a plastic sealing ring that eventually gets dry and brittle. Once this happens, it no longer seals around the turbo and your boost goes away as it leaks around the seal. Then there is the issue we’ve heard about of the tubes cracking over time. I know that sounds strange, but, since Ford chose to use plastic to make the tubes, it’s no surprise. While this keeps weight down, how long do you think the tubes can survive in a heated environment? Eric Bacon of Lakeland, Florida learned first-hand what happens to the tubes over time, the plastic cracks, and the seal at the throttle valve hardens and then allows boost pressure to leak out.
In case you don’t remember, we recently added an S&S Motorsports Disaster Prevention Kit to Eric’s truck and that is when we noticed the cracked tubing. We couldn’t let it go, so a quick call to Pusher Intakes got us a new set of better-than-OE hot- and cold-side tubes for his 2011 Power Stroke.
The first thing we like is the Pusher Intakes’ turbo tubing is, it doesn’t violate any emissions laws. Let’s face it, it does not alter anything, it just looks better and helps smooth airflow into — and out of — the turbo. The TIG-welded-steel 3-inch cold side charge tube comes with an anodized throttle valve adaptor with a titanium finish. It looks good and will stay that way for a very long time. The tubes also include all-new HD silicone connections and full stainless T-bolt clamps. When installed, this setup is proven to hold compound turbo system boost levels.
“A lot of people make the assumption that aftermarket parts are strictly performance-based upgrades, but our HD Hot and Cold Charge Tubes for the 6.7-liter Power Stroke are a really good example of what we consider future-proof replacement parts,” says Elizabeth Allenbaugh of Pusher Intakes. “The stock charge tubes, particularly the cold side, are notoriously failure prone and have left a lot of people stranded on the side of the road. Super Duty owners are continually having to cough up money for stock replacement parts. It’s not unusual to hear of an owner who is on their third OEM stock charge tube. Offering the 6.7-liter Power Stroke community a steel version with heavy-duty silicone connections that can handle far above and beyond what the truck is capable of throwing at it means the charge tubes will outlast the truck itself. We overbuild them so they never have to be replaced again.”
The hot side charge tube (turbo to intercooler) is a direct replacement for the restrictive factory hot side charge tube and its failure-prone couplers. The tig-welded Pusher turbo tubing is mandrel bent and connects to any turbo that uses a factory compressor housing. Again, securing the tube are heavy-duty silicone couplers with stainless T-bolt clamps. It has been proven to hold more than 100psi of boost.
Again, the one-piece configuration was designed to work with the factory intercooler and turbo, and as such, will work with aftermarket intercoolers/turbos that mimic the factory inlet/outlet locations. If you have aftermarket parts that may differ, Pusher recommends purchasing their two-piece configuration or calling for compatibility advice.
On With Turbo Tubing
While knowing all there is to know about a product before you buy it is a good thing, you probably want to know how the installation went. We started installing the tubes around 9:30 in the morning and were completely done by 11:30. While the installation is relatively easy and straightforward, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
First and foremost, silicone spray can be your best friend. Sliding the silicone couplers onto the steel tubes is a snug fit, so coating the inside of the silicone with the spray makes it exponentially easier. Next, we learned that clamping the turbo inlet tube to the turbo is much easier if you clamp the silicone “hose” to the metal tube before you slide it onto the turbo. However, positioning of the hose clamps is vital as it is a tight fit. Other than that, the install is something that anyone can do at home in their driveway with a few simple hand tools.
“Fitment is our sweet spot,” Elizabeth assures us. “We are incredibly focused on putting out products that are routed for optimum fitment and aerodynamic flow path in the customer’s truck, rather than taking the easy road and designing whatever is simplest to build. We also stock our parts in seven signature colors, which is less common than you would think.”
Finally, if you’re not sure whether you need to upgrade your truck with the Pusher tubes, Elizabeth finishes with, “I really do consider our charge tubes like an insurance policy against charge tube failure. The stock 6.7-liter Power Stroke is a fantastic platform, but it’s really proven over the years to have an undeniable weak spot. Choosing to address that prior to any failure can give you peace of mind. But if it does come to failure, we’ll be here with multiple colors and options for you in stock.”