Custom intake for ATS 088 turbo 2.0 (WIP)

As I've written previously, I own a 1992 F250 with the pre-Powerstroke 7.3 liter V8. My truck is equipped with an ATS 088 turbocharger kit and the matching 3" exhaust. The previous owner did not take any care of the truck whatsoever, and many leaks were "fixed" with an overgenerous application of silicone. Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way that the turbo oil return was open to the air when I found a great deal of water in my oil pan which could only have come across the hood, behind the water seal which I'd disturbed while replacing the wiper motor, and run down through the oil return grommet. This prompted me to tear into my truck again, and while I was there fixing all the other leaks, I decided to finally trim up my custom intake.

The intake is based on a cheap and cheerful Aluminum 3" intake kit for a 1997 Impreza which I formerly had modified and mounted to my 1993. However, I now have a stainless pipe coming with a one inch tap for the CDR, which functions as a sort of combination PCV and oil separator. The problem then became where to mount the sucker. On the van I got it from, it's mounted alongside the engine some ways towards the rear. I had previously mounted the CDR in the most trivial location on the top front of the engine, but I have now adopted a similar strategy for my truck.

GM CDR on Ford 7.3 D/S valve cover

The CDR bracket was pressure-washed to remove most of the filth, then shortened by beginning a cut with shears from both ends, then clamping the bracket in a vise and bending it back and forth until it broke. The resulting ragged edge was cleaned up on a grinding wheel. A new 1/4 inch 9/64 hole was drilled through the bracket, which was placed against the valve cover. The valve cover was center punched, and drilled out to 9/64. The bracket was temporarily bolted on, and the process repeated to add another hole. Studs were fashioned from 1/4-20x3/4" slot-head machine screws and matching low-profile hex nuts, sealed with blue RTV (beneath the head of the screw, and over its edges) and locked with red thread locker. Then the process was repeated to add the third stud, for the top of the bracket. The top nuts were secured to the studs with ultra-low-yield thread locker, i.e. nail polish.

Before any of this could be done, though, the valve cover had to be prepped. It was a pull from a 6.9 liter truck. This is actually a better match for my purpose because the 6.9 has two flats and the 7.3 has three, and the two-flat design better accomodates the non-standard CDR. The old cover was pressure-washed, then wire-brushed on my crusty old drill press to remove most of the paint and rust. Some of the rust around the edge had to be removed with naval jelly. A 1.5 inch hole was drilled with an Erwin hole saw, on the drill press with a piece of lumber beneath the cover, and the pilot hole pre-drilled to 1/8".1 The cover was then treated with MetalPrep2 and permitted to dry before painting with Dupli-Color engine enamel.

To complete the intake I ordered a tee consisting of 3" OD stainless tubing with a 1" OD tubing center tap. This can be installed into the intake with silicone sleeves in order to provide someplace for the intake to attach. It is also possible to source a silicone joiner tee from eBay (or elsewhere, but so far for me that's cheapest) with a 3" ID and a 1" ID tap, which I think is probably a better solution. Your local hardware store will likely have 1" OD anodized extruded aluminum tubing, which is very long-lasting stuff and which can be used as a splice for 1" ID hoses. You will also need a small amount of one inch hose and any appropriate grommets and/or splices to finish up this job, but the heat involved is well within the range of garden-variety PVC. You may well need fitted hose; any decent local parts store will help you find a fitted hose which can be used or modified for this application. You could instead order some flexible 1" ID silicone tubing.

CDR relocation is always a major problem for IDI Ford custom turbo intakes. This approach places the CDR in literally the only convenient location in the engine bay other than its original location, or attached to a factory air box. If you lack the air box or don't want it, perhaps because it's fifteen pounds of Aluminum that turn the valley into an oven, this is one way to handle CDR relocation.

  • 1. To find the center of a circle, draw a straight line across it and then bisect the line, then bisect that line. The place where the new line and the second line cross is the center. I used a school compass with a golf pencil in.
  • 2. Mix MetalPrep with water in a spray bottle per instructions, spray onto steel, zinc or galvanized steel, scrub with green scotch-brite until rust is removed or converted. Wash clean and scrub with plastic brush before metal dries.

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