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  1. Originally Posted on July 23 2015 What's up Tech and Travel forum people of 4WD Mechanix Magazine? Hopefully you guys are ready to follow along on a build I have going this summer/fall. Okay here is the skinny. I have a customer that drives a 2008 Ford F-350 Harley Davidson Edition with the 6.4 Power Stroke and automatic transmission with 100k+ miles. Beautiful truck I might add both inside and out. Over the past couple of years we have done a few things to match his needs. Air intake, exhaust system, hand held programmer, intercooler and boots, EGR and DPF delete. Plus a list of cosmetic things like Amp Research running boards, roll out bed cover etc. With the exception of the intercooler and deletes, its what the average person would do to any vehicle. Bolton's if you will. All of the previous things done had added small amounts of performance and made the truck more personal to the owner. Now, I know the deletes will always be a touchy subject due to the EPA, but from an owners standpoint, well these factory systems lack in function and durability. After he had already had the factory replace the system once due to failure, and then they failed again, he wanted them removed. Cant blame him because they can cause damage to your engine when they fail and since the factory warrant was up, well you would probably do the same thing to ha-ha. Trust me, proper tuning and parts with proper driving and responsibility will make this truck as environmentally friendly as any other older diesel on the road but that's another topic for another post.. Moving on.. The build: Given the price of a brand new 2015/2016 floor model of the same options, he has decided that the same money spent on his current truck would make it better than new and it would be customized to his liking (plus a bit cheaper in the end given all he would end up doing to the new truck). Customer wants more power (don't we all) but he plans on towing a few heavy loads through out the year. Dependability is a no brainer and I wouldn't build anything for anyone that didn't put that high on the list. Not making them put the right hard parts in is a good way for people to spread your name around as a bad builder when things do break. Even though its not your call, don't give in on a build for someone else. If its not something you would put on your own truck don't let them use it on theirs. No one ever blames the cheap parts, they blame the builder. As always I will start out with my usual "Warning". I'm not a certified mechanic by Ford or any other vehicle manufacturer. This is not a step by step "How to" but I will highlight things that I think may be a trouble saving tip for anyone else doing the same thing. Like 99% of the people on this forum, I am a lover of all vehicles and an extreme DIY guy. My methods or procedures are just what I have experience with. As always consult with your local dealership or mechanic before starting any of the work you are about to see. **No animals were harmed in the making of this post and this post is not known to cause cancer in California members** Now this build is going to take a while due to customer supplied parts, time for outsourcing certain things like head and block machine work etc.. I don't post here everyday but I will follow it through until the end. Just check back and I will update when time allows. Also, if this creates any questions feel free to ask and I will answer when I get the chance or maybe someone else may chime in. And as always keep the negative stuff to a minimum. We are all hear to learn from each other and the choices and taste of one person shouldn't be criticized by another. I'm sure many of you will have questions about the durability and usefulness of certain parts. I will answer what I can when time allows. On with the show... First up is a stop at the local shop to evacuate the AC system properly. This is something I do not have the ability to do at my shop yet but it must be done in order to remove the cab. They generally don't charge much and its way safer for the environment (see told you I didn't hurt any animals doing this). Truck was already leaking fluids pretty bad so we did this by way of the flatbed in order to save any parts that may be used as a core from damage. Next up is hood and cab removal. Pretty much Ford and Chevrolet require cab removals for any real invasive engine work (Dodge/Ram is hanging on by a thread but some people will do it anyway and I don't blame them). Plus it really makes it easy to work on them so its strongly suggested. This process is what will separate the average guy from doing most things of this caliber. That being said I'm sure you could pull a motor and transmission from these trucks with the standard engine hoist/lift, but I assure you that's the harder way. Lucky for my I have a two post lift so for me this is the way to go. Cab removal is really not as bad as it seems. First up (with any work on a vehicle) is battery removal. NOTE: These newer Ford vehicles do not like to have their batteries removed. It can put the ECU/PCM into an anti theft mode that will not allow you to restart it. There is a procedure you can follow to reverse the effects or the dealer will do it for you, at a cost of course. I learned this on this truck last time I worked on it lol Dealer 1/ Me 0 ha-ha. Battery removal is easy and any one can handle it. Remember, the battery is free to disconnect but replacing burnt electronics and fire damage to other parts isn't free... Food for thought. Next (and in no particular order) is drain the radiator, air intake, coolant lines and reservoirs, battery trays, various wiring harnesses, passenger side headlight (yes, the factory put the horn wiring through a tight spot so out with the headlight), power steering lines, steering shaft, brake hydra boost assembly, ac lines between pump and truck and pump and core support, various ground straps and starter leads, parking brake cable, shifter linkage, transmission lines at the core support and more plugs and wires. ***NOTE you will NOT need to cut anything anywhere**** These trucks are designed for this procedure and if you take your time no plugs or wires will be damaged. You will learn to master the Ford wiring harness plug before this is over.. Patience.. It should take you the better part of the day to learn you way around and get every stubborn clamp and hose fitting off. I'm sure the pros have this down to a few hours, me I just keep it steady and don't break anything, nothing like buying parts for someone else's truck when you break them lol. I cannot put enough emphasis on organization of removed parts, bolts etc.. Label each end of every connection and use some zip lock bags and a sharpie to help remember. Write on the bag and if it has one bolt in it so be it, you know exactly where it goes. Trust me, when a project of this size stretches out for a bit, even the sharpest mind can forget the little stuff. Take plenty of pictures during each phase to help you. After 4 or 5 cab lifts then you probably will have every nut and pig tail memorized, but not on your first one. Got all those wires, coolant hoses and linkages off yet?? Lift the cab and you will find out real quick what you missed lol. Next part is cab bolts. Now I'm not sure what year ford switched the design but during the 6.0 cab removal days the bolts went down through the cab into the mounts. This required you to all but remove the interior to get to the bolts. Well on the 6.4 the bolts go up so no need to get into the truck for anything. However this was my first run in with Murphy and his laws on this build.. Apparently thread locker is cheap for Ford, and they get the good stuff.. There are 8 cab bolts in this four door truck. 2 under the core support and 6 under the drivers compartment. The 2 under the core were so hard to break loose that they actually spun the nuts in the frame core support out of the welded enclosures. Sooo.. This required me to remove the radiator and additional hardware out of the way to gain access to the spinning nuts so I could remove the bolts. Ford 1/ Me 0.. After this set back on the first 2 bolts I adopted a recently studied method of applying some extreme heat to the bolt head in order to loosen the thread locker. This had mixed results on the remaining 6 cab bolts. 5 of them responded with success but one did not. Luckily it was under the drivers floor board so a simple flip up of the carpet and a plug removal got me on track with removing that one. Back on track.. At this point you have to evaluate each component and decide that when you lift the cab if it stays with the frame and engine or if it lifts off with the cab. Some bungee cords are very helpful in securing hoses and lines in the correct direction for removal. Just take the time to trace out each line and wire and decide if it stays or goes. For this truck there was only one ground wire under the passenger side floorboard that went from the frame to the cab (other than the ones on the engine and on the ecu). The parking brake is tricky but use a set of vise grips to hold the line out and give your self some slack to work the coupler. Transmission linkage is a bit tricky and be careful not to break it. Once the clip is loose it will pop of the arm sticking out of the transmission. Next is securing the cab to the lift so when you go up your lift arms don't get caught on the frame rails or any parts on the frame. Once you are happy and everything seems safe give it a lift. Go an inch or two and check lines and clearance. Like me you will find something you forgot ha-ha. Mine was the two power steering lines at the hydro boost on the fire wall. I miss judged what stayed and went. But no harm no foul grabbed a couple open ended wrenches and got it loose. Now I didn't show or tell you about every connection, but this is not a "how to" mainly I diary of my build. I will post some great videos from YouTube that cover it down to the plug and socket made by Ford techs. Give those videos a like and subscribe. Those guys are good at what they do. Once the cab is up and clear of the chassis you can now see the awesome power that is the Ford 6.4 Powerstroke.. That and a blown turbo seal with about 2 gallons of oil streaming down the back of the engine and across the transmission hahaha. Up until this point I have mixed feeling on this truck and its design. The chassis and cab seem great but the engineering and meshing of engine systems seems cart before the horse to me. Its like each department just stacked something on something, this component is running through this one and over this one.. Its like there was no meetings between departments before design. This engine still wears the International logo, but I think that stopped at the valve covers.. I do like the fact that this system is a common rail and does not require the high pressure oil pumps to operate the injectors (glad you made it into the 21st century), but man does it seem over engineered to achieve what function it does have. Sorry to seem down on Ford because I'm not. This truck is a brute and it makes power, its just crazy looking at all these tubes, hoses, coolers for this and that, sensors and components, turbos attached to turbos etc... Compared to my old 5.9, well this thing seems like it was built by NASA ha-ha.. O well the build must go on and im sure in the end it will be even better. All righty then.. Where to begin.. In no particular order to the build I will give a quick rundown of the parts we have waiting to be bolted up to this 2008 Ford Power Stroke F-350 Harley Davidson Edition pickup truck. Now, when you read this understand these parts were not purchased over night. I have been working with him over the past couple years on what would should do and which way he should go with his build. Some of these parts have been waiting a while to be installed. The anticipation is killing me, but we decided to amass everything we could get on the list prior to starting. The last few things to get required removal of the engine so that's leads us to the current date and time. First on the list: Elite Diesel Engineering Z-Max Fully Ported Intake for the Power Stroke 6.4 Diesel. As you can tell by the pictures its starts life as a stock intake manifold and then it is completely redone for max airflow. We all know it takes more air to make more power. Quality is top notch and it included all hardware for instillation. If you notice the new design eliminates the pass through bolts going through the airway of the manifold. They have cut out and replaced the factory restricted areas in the runners as well. Should be a nice addition to the performance sides. Only notable downfall is with this design special attention will need to be given to location and mounting of brackets that once shared the factory style hardware holding the original intake down. Not a big deal but something to watch out for when choosing this option. They do offer a more factory friendly setup for those looking to retain some of the original design but get better flow. Currently I can give no answer to performance gains. Once the truck is running we will post MPG's and EGT's and any findings we have on this part. To be honest its a intake manifold and given the extent of this build it will be hard to single this part out for any gains or loses. Judging by its construction I believe it will be part of the gains though ha-ha. Going forward I will add a new comment for each part. Little easier and safer should I have to step away from the desk..
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