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After getting the remanufactured 7.3L short-block and heads back from L&R Automotive, John Ferguson and his team at Domestic Diesel in Chino, California, began reassembling the engine and getting the project shop truck up and running.

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The prospect of a shop truck with some reliability and performance was intriguing.  Ferguson decided to go the extra mile and add a little more power and make other improvements.

When the truck was acquired, it already had a few things done to it, such as a Banks Power Elbow kit and the ECM had some tuning done to it too. Of course, these were retained and other upgrades were added to the mix.

An Applied performance turbo that complemented the previously existing mild upgrades, but didn’t need a lot of extra fuel, was installed. In addition, some fuel system delivery improvers from Riffraff Diesel were selected too. While not needed for this mostly stock engine, an FRx fuel rail crossover from Riffraff was installed. This was to improve the idle, making it quieter and smoother, as well as offering better throttle response, over stock.  To also improve power, a new air intake from S&B filters was installed. This new and improved setup is superior to stock and the original S&B design for the 7.3L trucks.

Other upgrades included a larger intercooler and transmission cooler from a 6.0L Power Stroke. To improve battery life in this shop truck, a new 190-amp alternator from DC Power was acquired. This unit has a higher output at idle than stock. A high at idle output is needed on a truck that will do a lot of low speed, stop and go driving, as this one will while running around town, getting parts for the shop.

Once the new remanufactured engine was in and all buttoned up, it started the first time.  We expected no less, and were not surprised. The better than factory 7.3L Ford (International) V8 diesel is sure to offer years or service. With a little upholstery and a paint job, this truck will be better than new all around.

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Once the short-block was back at Domestic Diesel, it was time to begin the assembly of the engine.

Once the short-block was back at Domestic Diesel, it was time to begin the assembly of the engine. First the rear main seal was installed and then the engine was put on the assembly stand. The oil pickup and pan was then installed.

With the engine upside down, the front cover and a new Alliant Power water pump are installed.

With the engine upside down, the front cover and a new Alliant Power water pump are installed. With the front cover and water pump in place, the engine oil pump was bolted on. This is not to be confused with the high-pressure oil pump (HPOP). The HPOP is actually the oil pump that feeds the injectors and sits on the top of the engine in the valley.

Before rolling the block right side up to build the upper end, the oil cooler/oil filter mount is installed.

Before rolling the block right side up to build the upper end, the oil cooler/oil filter mount is installed. Be sure to check your cooler and replace it if needed.

First, the dowel pins are installed in the block deck and then the heads are installed.

With the pan and other lower end details handled, the block is rolled over. First, the dowel pins are installed in the block deck and then the heads are installed.

ARP head studs are installed in the block and then the head gaskets are slipped down over the studs

ARP head studs are installed in the block and then the head gaskets are slipped down over the studs, before the heads are installed.

With the heads on the block, the ARP stud nuts are torqued down to spec.

With the heads on the block, the ARP stud nuts are torqued down to spec. This can be difficult with the engine on a rolling stand. A helping hand to keep the stand from rolling, while cinching down the bolts is recommended.

cups used here are Alliant Power P/N AP63411.

Be sure that the injector cups are replaced in the heads. This ensures that the injectors have a good seal and won’t leak. The old cups can be removed with the heads on, and the new cups can be installed this way too, with the correct tools. The cups used here are Alliant Power P/N AP63411.

New injectors were installed in the motor.

New injectors were installed in the motor. With the original engine in the truck having quite high mileage, this was the best option to prevent issues down the road.

With the new injectors installed, the lifters, pushrods and rocker arms are installed. Mounting hardware was then torqued to spec.

With the new injectors installed, the lifters, pushrods and rocker arms are installed. Mounting hardware was then torqued to spec.

The injectors are connected to the harness (which is also the valve cover gasket on the 7.3L) and the valve covers can then be installed.

The injectors are connected to the harness (which is also the valve cover gasket on the 7.3L) and the valve covers can then be installed.

An important item to replace when this deep inside your 7.3L, is the IPR, a.k.a. injection pressure regulator.

An important item to replace when this deep inside your 7.3L, is the IPR, a.k.a. injection pressure regulator. The shiny new gold-colored item seen here is the APR. This is an OEM quality replacement from Alliant Power. This is their part number AP6402 and is a direct replacement for Ford P/N’s F81Z9C968AA/AB.

The 7.3L uses high-pressure oil to inject fuel, at a much higher pressure, into the combustion chamber.

The 7.3L uses high-pressure oil to inject fuel, at a much higher pressure, into the combustion chamber. This is done by the HPOP (being installed here). If there is any question as to the status of your used pump, replace it now. This unit had been installed only a few thousand miles before the engine rebuild and was reused.

The fuel filter housing is not something you would think of as a critical part.

The fuel filter housing is not something you would think of as a critical part. It does however contain a fuel heater and when this shorts out, the ECM fuse will blow. Be sure to inspect the heater wires and replace as needed. Also, be sure to install a new fuel filter drain valve.

Riffraff Diesel Performance offers two fuel upgrades for the 7.3L, in addition to the FRx.

Riffraff Diesel Performance offers two fuel upgrades for the 7.3L, in addition to the FRx. One is a High-Flow Banjo Bolt for the 7.3L. It can deliver significantly more fuel due to the larger area of the slotted hole. The other is their High-Flow Fuel CVD Fitting.

A new EBP (exhaust back pressure) sensor is a must on any 7.3L rebuild.

A new EBP (exhaust back pressure) sensor is a must on any 7.3L rebuild.

 The turbo to pedestal interface must be resealed with new O-rings any time the turbo is removed.

The turbo to pedestal interface must be resealed with new O-rings any time the turbo is removed.

The new Applied Performance turbo is almost the same size on the exterior, as the OEM unit.

The new Applied Performance turbo is almost the same size on the exterior, as the OEM unit. However, the internals are built to move more air. The intake side is has an 80-percent increase in volume capacity. More air equals more potential for power. It can also help lower EGT.

Here you see the Banks Power Elbow housing that was on our 7.3L Ford when the truck was acquired.

Here you see the Banks Power Elbow housing that was on our 7.3L Ford when the truck was acquired. This power part package is said to reduce “stock outlet and pipe backpressure by 40 percent.” Good parts like this were retained for reuse on this remanufactured 7.3L. It fits the new Applied Performance turbo as well as it did the stock one.

It’s common to find that the intake plenums on your 7.3L are crimped or otherwise damaged.

It’s common to find that the intake plenums on your 7.3L are crimped or otherwise damaged. The solution in the past has been to replace them. Now you can install a set of Riffraff’s RDP plenum reinforcement inserts. These can revitalize your damaged plenum intake openings and make them better than new.

With the engine partially assembled, it’s ready to be dropped into the truck.

With the engine partially assembled, it’s ready to be dropped into the truck. Final assembly and upgrades will be with it in place.

 A quick tip to help eliminate squeak from the serpentine belt is to mask off the pulley and lightly bead blast the belt surface only.

A quick tip to help eliminate squeak from the serpentine belt is to mask off the pulley and lightly bead blast the belt surface only.

The intake Spyder is installed with new boots from Riffraff.

The intake Spyder is installed with new boots from Riffraff.

The OE alternator was small and well used. A more powerful unit from DC Power was selected over a stock replacement. Seen here is their 190-amp HD series, and it’s said to provide a 15-percent amperage increase over stock, with 140 amps at idle. It has a 190-amp max average output.

The OE alternator was small and well used. A more powerful unit from DC Power was selected over a stock replacement. Seen here is their 190-amp HD series, and it’s said to provide a 15-percent amperage increase over stock, with 140 amps at idle. It has a 190-amp max average output.

Here you see a comparison between the 7.3L and 6.0L intercoolers.

Here you see a comparison between the 7.3L and 6.0L intercoolers. The larger unit is a stock 6.0L Power Stroke part. With very little work, this unit can be swapped in to the older truck. Of course, this upgrade was done.

When upgrading a 7.3L to the 6.0L intercooler, the power steering cooler from the 6.0 must be used too.

When upgrading a 7.3L to the 6.0L intercooler, the power steering cooler from the 6.0 must be used too. This is good, because it’s also larger. Domestic Diesel offers a fitting and line kit for this swap. Note: The 6.0L power steering cooler can be swapped in to a 7.3L with the stock 7.3L intercooler as well.

The stock air cleaner housing was swapped out for a much better flowing unit from S&B Filters.

The stock air cleaner housing was swapped out for a much better flowing unit from S&B Filters. This also incorporates a new battery tray for the driver’s side.

With the better than new 7.3L under the hood, this truck is ready to roll.

With the better than new 7.3L under the hood, this truck is ready to roll.

 

Sources:

Applied Performance Products

888-959-0974

www.AppliedPerformanceProducts.com

 

Alliant Power

866-283-1785

www.AlliantPower.com

 

ARP Automotive Racing Products

805-826-3045

www.Arp-Bolts.com

 

Banks Power

800-601-8072

www.BanksPower.com

 

DC Power Engineering Inc.

951-509-5617

www.DCPowerInc.com

 

Domestic Diesel

909-627-0500

www.DomesticDieselShop.com

 

L&R Automotive Supply Co.

562-802-0443

www.LNREngine.com

 

Riffraff Diesel Performance, Inc.

866-446-3360

www.RiffraffDiesel.com

 

S&B Filters

909-947-0015

www.SBFilters.com