Intercooler upgrade - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up Upgrades and Aftermarket - 7.3L Engine Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1999-Up Super Duty or Excursion with 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Intercooler upgrade

Looking at upgrading my intercooler on my 2000 7.3 wanting some real world experience from owners that have done this. Iíam in Colorado and do a lot of mountain towing and need to find the bet one to work for the situation. Thanks.


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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 11:52 AM
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Honestly the stock intercooler is very good.

Dan K uses the stock intercooler on his 1250hp 7.3

What mods have you done to combat egts?
What tuning?
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 09:03 PM
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Which tunes do you have on your TS chip? I used to have egt issues and thought about an intercooler upgrade but never went through with it. Cost of an aftermarket intercooler usually isnt worth the cost compared to any benefits. I think a compund turbo setup is supposed to be more beneficial for us high altitude guys. Many people do not realize how 6500-8500+ ft elevations effect us compared to those closer to sea level.

I think one of the better intercoolers is spearco. I was just looking at a few the otherday but don't recall what I looked at. an expensive intercooler might only give you 200-250 deg benefit. Proper tuning for your injectors is more important for keeping egt's down. hauling here in Colorado will always get the egt's up there. I fixed all my egt issues and fuel economy issues years ago, but then decided on bigger sticks and turbo, so I have fallen back off the ladder. Haven't really looked into it the past several years i have been away from here.

If you have DP tuning, I highly suggest someone else's tuning for use in Colorado.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Which tunes do you have on your TS chip? I used to have egt issues and thought about an intercooler upgrade but never went through with it. Cost of an aftermarket intercooler usually isnt worth the cost compared to any benefits. I think a compund turbo setup is supposed to be more beneficial for us high altitude guys. Many people do not realize how 6500-8500+ ft elevations effect us compared to those closer to sea level.



I think one of the better intercoolers is spearco. I was just looking at a few the otherday but don't recall what I looked at. an expensive intercooler might only give you 200-250 deg benefit. Proper tuning for your injectors is more important for keeping egt's down. hauling here in Colorado will always get the egt's up there. I fixed all my egt issues and fuel economy issues years ago, but then decided on bigger sticks and turbo, so I have fallen back off the ladder. Haven't really looked into it the past several years i have been away from here.



If you have DP tuning, I highly suggest someone else's tuning for use in Colorado.


Ya I need to upgrade my signature I have a hydra with 1023 tunes and that has helped a ton with my egtís but just hoping to drop it a bit more I been looking at Mishimoto intercooler but just donít know yet wanting to make a good move. I donít want to do compound turbos donít have the budget to beef up the trans and engine to hold that.


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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 11:08 PM
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What are your mods?

Their is probably quite a few things to do before an intercooler swap

99.5 f250 7.3 4x4- 277k FF 160/30, Hydra w/SDK Tunes, S&B CAI, 4" Exhaust, Van turbo w/Riffraff Billet wheel, Autometer Gauges, Built Trans, Trucool Max, 08 Tow Mirrors.


Dads-2000 f250 7.3 4x4- 118k K&N Intake w/Amsoil Filter, 4" Exhaust, Autometer Gauges, Superchip 1705 (Tow Safe), BD Billet Wheel, TruCool Max, 08 Tow Mirrors.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 03:41 AM
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what are your egt's like when not towing? wondering if you have a leak somewhere or if it's because of your bigger injectors. or just towing in the mountains.

Back before i upgraded my turbo and injectors; i finally had everything where i wanted them. I could go WOT 100+mph pedal to the floor on highest setting and keep egt's between 1100-1200max IIRC then I wanted to get a bigger turbo and injectors. now my egt's are high again. haven't looked into it much. I know temps will be higher with my current setup but really liked not having to worry about temps when empty.

I also (when things were dialed in) was getting 14-15mpg in city and 17-18 hwy in my dually listed in my sig. I was running a turbonetics turbo, stock injectors and PHP tunes. now I'm back to 10-12 no matter what. I also had lifted my dually and put 315's on. took those off thinking the big tires were the cause of my fuel mileage, didn't change; so i think it's my injectors or possibly my injectors and turbo setup. a few years back I met up with a guy from Colorado running large tires, 238/100 injectors on a 38R; he said his fuel mileage didn't change from stock turbo/injectors and improved mileage on the hwy IIRC.

anyway, enough about that. Mishimoto makes some very good products. I recently picked up one of their aluminum degas tanks cause i keep loosing the factory plastic POS's. Very nice quality products. But i think a mishimoto intercooler will set you back around a grand. Maybe talk to the place that did your tunes and ask what they recommend. I've always been told intercooler upgrades aren't worth it unless you are doing one hell of a build.

there used to be a member here from Colorado that lived around 8500ft that had some sort of compound setup and loved it. I don't think it was a huge build just something to help with towing and keeping egt's down.

I'm not really sure what to suggest. I'd like to know how this all turns out for you though.

I'd say if your egt's are in check when empty, then you might be onto something. What setting do you use when towing? I have towed up I-70 before and it definitely doesn't take too much to get the temps way up there. at that time, I just had to back out of it to keep my temps under control.

any additional info you can provide would be helpful, as blue 99 has been trying to get from you.


EDIT: I should also point out that people used to mention upgrading to a 6.0 intercooler. I had the chance to get a free one. I installed it and didn't see the claimed gains. It was negligible, so I didn't go through with the swap, cause i would have had to make my intercooler go back into the 6.0 and it wasn't worth my time.

I don't know the true results from the aftermarket coolers. some show stated claims and others don't. so it's hard to say really. I think innovative diesel's cooler claims at least 200deg drops in temps but it's pricey. spearco is similar. mishimoto makes a great product at lower costs than competition, but i don't know how much improvement they claim over stock.

I still am not sure they are worth the cost or would help enough to benefit your use.

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Last edited by INFRNL; 11-23-2018 at 03:49 AM.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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My temps are measured after turbo. I have plans of moving it to driver side manifold but I feel it better to watch what the hole engine is seeing I can see 1000 real quick in the mountains unloaded I try not to go over that cause it is after turbo. I have new intercooler boots 6637 mod I have checked for boost leaks I have none my up pipes are the bellow style and not leaking new filters I droped the fuel tank a year ago and clean and did the mods there. Wile towing I have not had a chance to yet on my new tunes so I have no egtís numbers with that.


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 08:16 PM
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I agree with inferno. the 6.0 intercooler doesn’t drop egts much.

You really need to move it to the manifold.

The sensor in the downpipe is terribly inaccurate.

The Napa 6637 is not waterproof and doesn’t flow well. The Baldwin and Donaldson versions are much better.

Low fuel pressure, low icp, sticking ebpv valve are the usual issues if no boost leaks are present.

99.5 f250 7.3 4x4- 277k FF 160/30, Hydra w/SDK Tunes, S&B CAI, 4" Exhaust, Van turbo w/Riffraff Billet wheel, Autometer Gauges, Built Trans, Trucool Max, 08 Tow Mirrors.


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:10 PM
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I don't remember exactly but if you are reading 1000deg after the turbo, that could be very bad. As blue99 said readings will not be accurate and will be inconsistent. I could have sworn the limit for post turbo was somewhere around 800-900deg but i could be mistaken.

going off of what blue99 said about the ebpv, that could cause high egt's. I would also imagine it would seem like a lack of power depending on if and where the valve is sticking. I am not familiar with the tunes you have. Not sure if they are actually their tunes or stock PHP tunes. Does the truck seem like the power is what it should be, or does it seem like there may be a loss?

What happens if you unplug the chip or put it on a stock tune (if you have it programmed that way)? I have a stock tune so i don't have to unplug it for emissions or if I have to drive in bad weather (although my stock tune with my setup is over 100hp above stock)

I just want you to be 100% certain your truck is in top running condition so everything is ruled out before you drop a bunch of money.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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I don't remember exactly but if you are reading 1000deg after the turbo, that could be very bad. As blue99 said readings will not be accurate and will be inconsistent. I could have sworn the limit for post turbo was somewhere around 800-900deg but i could be mistaken.



going off of what blue99 said about the ebpv, that could cause high egt's. I would also imagine it would seem like a lack of power depending on if and where the valve is sticking. I am not familiar with the tunes you have. Not sure if they are actually their tunes or stock PHP tunes. Does the truck seem like the power is what it should be, or does it seem like there may be a loss?



What happens if you unplug the chip or put it on a stock tune (if you have it programmed that way)? I have a stock tune so i don't have to unplug it for emissions or if I have to drive in bad weather (although my stock tune with my setup is over 100hp above stock)



I just want you to be 100% certain your truck is in top running condition so everything is ruled out before you drop a bunch of money.


My ebpv is deleted I have the afe big boost washable filter. Truck is running great no power problem there I have not tried a stock tune on it. Fuel pressure is holding at 58psi at wide wot. I just cleaned the exhaust back pressure tube and sensor put a new icp sensor maintenance reason and ipr do to a coil not working when hot and a icp do to oil in the plug. Truck runs and drives like a top. I did the 180/30 single shots two years ago with a 38r turbo and adrenaline HPOP rebuilt fuel bowl and new fuel pump and new intercooler boots from riffraff diesel and a frx fuel cross over.


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 08:31 AM
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Yeah, pre turbo egt measurement required...

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:50 AM
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Who’s tunes?

Did you tighten the 38r’s wastegate down 4 turns before install?

99.5 f250 7.3 4x4- 277k FF 160/30, Hydra w/SDK Tunes, S&B CAI, 4" Exhaust, Van turbo w/Riffraff Billet wheel, Autometer Gauges, Built Trans, Trucool Max, 08 Tow Mirrors.


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Intercooler upgrade

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Whoís tunes?

Did you tighten the 38rís wastegate down 4 turns before install?


No I did not tighten it. Do I tighten it counter clockwise? I am running 1023 tunes on a hydra way better setup from my old TS 6 chip made it way more manageable to. What can I expect with adjusting the waste gate


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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 05:19 PM
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My temps are measured after turbo. I have plans of moving it to driver side manifold but I feel it better to watch what the hole engine is seeing I can see 1000 real quick in the mountains unloaded

It's understandable to want to see the EGTS of the "whole" engine, rather than just one bank. What if there is a problem in the right passenger cylinder bank, and you only have a probe in the left driver's bank? The right bank could be melting pistons, and you'd never know until the block windowed. So, your point of view makes sense. So does your mental math, where it is clear that you are adding another 300F mentally to your post turbo EGT gauge readings, where if the rule of thumb max exhaust manifold EGT's pre turbo is 1,300 F, you are limiting your push to just 1,000.

Still, 1,000F post turbo, "real quick", and "unloaded" at that... is rather high, even in high altitude. A new intercooler of the same size will not fix that. Not even the Hypermax Tapercore, at $1,775.00, which is inarguably the quintessential "intercooler upgrade" for the 7.3L, and which is undoubtedly the largest intercooler that will fit between the frame rails of a 99' up Super Duty, has enough additional surface area to bring that 1,000F down to something in the range of 600 post turbo unloaded. If the stock intercooler rejects 200 degrees, and the HyperMax TaperCore flows 30% more than stock, and for the sake of simplicity we ignore reality and blindly assume a direct correlation between an increase in flow through intercooler and an increase in heat rejected, then maybe we might see a 260 degree reduction in compressed combustion air temperatures.


Don't get me wrong, I'll take that 60 degree reduction... but I'm looking for a 400 degree EGT reduction. I know that the 60 degree reduction in intake air is not a direct number to number correlation, because the real benefit of a better intercooler is an increase in oxygen density per volumetric unit of air ingested, and the denser oxygen content will be a better match for all the fuel you are pouring in the cylinders with the Full Force single shots, tuning, high flow banjo bolts, bored out check valves, etc. And thinking about all that fuel... that would appear to me to be where the EGT problem is.


Yet, dialing back fuel may not be the only solution. Just because a person wants to lose weight doesn't mean they have to give up ice cream. There is obviously a reason you went through all the trouble to make sure your cylinders got plenty of fuel. The question of how much of that fuel is making power, and how much is being wasted in heat, afterburning in the exhaust manifold, and exiting the tailpipe as smoke is immaterial if you want ice cream once in a while.


So the questions that came to my mind when I read 1,000 degrees unloaded are:


1. What is your tire size?

2. What is your rear axle ratio?

3. What is your rpm when you hit 1,000 F "real quick" when unloaded?

4. Can you drop a gear when that happens?

5. Is your tire size and rear axle ratio putting you in a non optimal "automatic" shifting range for high altitude gear climbing?



Which brings us back to the location of your pyrometer probe post turbo... It is also "reading" the amount of heat that was converted to mechanical energy to spool the turbine. Yet that reading is muddied by both the volume of gas flow, and the velocity of gas flow, through that turbo. When you are unloaded, the exhaust flow is likely a lot less than when you are loaded, and in that case, the temperature differential between pre and post turbo pyros could be as much as 500F.


The variation in gas flow volumes and velocities through the turbo could be why people report that post turbo EGT probes are not as "accurate" or as "consistent" as pre turbo pyros. And if, in your case, there is 500 degree differential between pre and post turbo EGTs under some part throttle or unloaded conditions, where you were previously relying on a 300 degree rule of thumb difference, then at 1,000 F gauge reading, could you be pouring 1,500 degrees onto the tender tips of your turbine, turning the thin corners of the blade edges into a plasma that eventually vaporizes into the exhaust stream, leaving you with an unbalance wheel that takes out the ball bearing cartridge of your non rebuildable 38r? Ok, now I'm just fearmongering, not really helping.


I think if you are running a tire over 32" in diameter, you will need to manage your own shifting with your 4R100, no matter how built up it is. Do whatever it takes to elevate your engine rpms between 2250 to 2650 (the "50"s are just random additions to make this advice sound more credible), and that will be a much more immediate (and cheaper) way to reduce runaway EGTs on those hill climbs.... that is, assuming that you haven't already pulled that trick out of your already well worn hat, given that you live in the mountains.


If you are already gearing down to get the rpms screaming, then the questions turn back to the tailpipe. How much smoke? Tune the fueling back? Too much ice cream?


A new intercooler, however, would be much further down on the list of things to do. And if you do decide on an intercooler, most of them are simply lateral steps... to solve cracking or blown off plastic end tanks. I have a Banks intercooler on my truck... with high flow, smooth radius, solid cast aluminum end tanks. I'm not fond of plastic. But I'm not delusional to believe that a smoother flowing intercooler of only slightly larger size than OEM will reject so much more heat as and increase that much more air density so as to make a 400 degree difference in EGTs.


Yet if you are going to go all out, then get the Tapercore. No other intercooler on the market is larger, and the physics of a larger heat exchanger can be expected to have the capacity to reject more heat. The only issue for me many years ago was, the Tapercore intersects with the transmission cooler, whereas the OEM and Banks and I assume the Mishimoto intercoolers all terminate above the (stock and slightly larger V10) oil to air transmission cooler. Thus, I beleived the efficacy the OTA tranny cooler could be compromised. But that issue doesn't effect you, because you are running a 6.0L OTA transmission cooler (which wasn't invented at the time I installed a V10 cooler), and which is so much taller, it intersects with the OEM intercooler as it is. The Tapercore won't add much more of an insult to that injury, and experience has shown that the intersection of the heat exchangers hasn't cause measurable injuries anyway.

Last edited by NYB; 11-24-2018 at 05:28 PM.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 07:52 PM
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The 38r comes with the wastegate set so loose you blow off a ton of drive pressure.

With 180/30’s you don’t need this.

I bet if you tighten the wastegate down (shorten the rod) you will see a several hundred degree reduction in egts.

If the ebpv is intact I would remove it as well for a cheap egt reduction.

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Dads-2000 f250 7.3 4x4- 118k K&N Intake w/Amsoil Filter, 4" Exhaust, Autometer Gauges, Superchip 1705 (Tow Safe), BD Billet Wheel, TruCool Max, 08 Tow Mirrors.
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