Power Stroke Performance

Performance Options for the Power Stroke Diesel

The sky is the limit when it comes to diesel performance. The engine platforms are typically stout enough to handle a significant amount of power over stock ratings with few supporting modifications. Being the most popular diesel platform, the Power Stroke diesel has an abundance of aftermarket support focused around increasing horsepower, torque, and fuel economy. Here's an overview of some of the modifications that can be performed to get more out of your Power Stroke diesel. This list is not comprehensive, but provides some of the more popular (and practical) modifications that won't compromise the driveability of daily drivers and tow rigs. Keep in mind that removal of any emissions device limits a truck to off-road use only - tampering with any emissions device is illegal per Federal emissions regulations.

Fuel Economy - For improved fuel economy, you'll want to focus on modifications that reduce pumping losses. These upgrades, including a free flowing air intake system and exhaust system, reduce parasitic loss and therefore can help improve fuel economy. In addition, you may choose to invest in a programmer or module that enhances fuel economy capability by altering various engine parameters. Running "Race Tunes" and heavy fuel system modifications will have negative results if the focus of your modification is greater fuel mileage.

Towing - If you are modifying your truck for better all-around tow performance, you'll want to reduce pumping losses through a free flowing air intake and exhaust system. This will also help reduce exhaust gas temperatures (EGT) on large, hard pulls. For added performance, an upgraded high pressure oil pump (7.3L & 6.0L engines) has been known to yield greater throttle response by building oil pressure more rapidly. Tuning is also an option, but be weary - towing with a "hot" tune will bare the likelihood of engine damage, as these tunes are not designed for high load situations.

Power Stroke Performance Options




Air Intake Modifications

All Power Stroke Diesels

One of the simplest modifications that is readily available for all models is a free flowing intake system. While you're upgrading the intake system, you may want to pick up a new intake elbow if one is available for your engine. Look for a system that offers improved filtration - many kits on the market are adequate, but don't filter as well as the stock system.

Free Flowing Exhaust

All Power Stroke Diesels

Exhaust upgrades are available for all Power Stroke diesels. For the 6.4L and 6.7L Power Stroke, most systems will delete the DPF, requiring tuning - these kits are not street legal.


All Power Stroke Diesels

All Power Stroke engines can be tuned via programmers, chips, modules, etc to greatly increase performance. While substantial gains can be produced on the 7.3L and 6.0L, the common rail 6.4L and 6.7L Power Stroke's can be tuned to incredible levels. Stay conservative on tuning if you tow regularly or are retaining emissions equipment (race tunes will clog diesel particulate filters).

Turbocharger Upgrades

All Power Stroke Diesels

Turbocharger upgrades include simply modifying the turbine, installing a different compressor, or replacing the entire turbocharger for better performance characteristics. Twin turbochargers are also an option for 7.3L and 6.0L engines. This is an advanced modification, but should be considered in heavily fueled trucks.


All, 7.3L Power Stroke in Particular

The 94 - 98 7.3L Power Stroke did not come factory equipped with an intercooler. There are many kits available to retrofit the engine with an intercooler, providing significantly lower EGTs and an increase in overall performance.

Upgraded Injectors

7.3L, 6.0L, 6.4L Power Stroke

Injectors have not quite come around for the 6.7L Power Stroke, though replacement injectors are available for all other engines. Larger injectors increase the maximum amount of fuel that can be delivered to the engine per injection invent, in addition to promoting better atomization. In HEUI trucks (7.3L & 6.0L), it's wise to upgrade the HPOP alongside most injector upgrades.

EBV Delete

7.3L Power Stroke

The EBV (exhaust backpressure valve) is located behind the turbocharger turbine outlet and consists of a butterfly valve that closes when the engine is cold to help it reach operating temperature in less time. The valve presents a small restriction even when it is open, and can be replaced with a delete kit. If you're really savvy, the valve can be removed and plugged using parts from the hardware store. Some owners complain the valve remains closed to long, and since there is no feasible way to disable it, they remove it.

High Pressure Oil Pump

7.3L & 6.0L Power Stroke

The high pressure oil pump is the heart of the HEUI injection system found on the 7.3L and 6.0L Power Strokes. It supplies pressurized engine oil to each injector, which is used to create the intense fuel injection pressures required. Replacing the HPOP for a performance model can yield significant gains in both stock and modified engines. Installation should be done by an experienced mechanic, but it's worth the investment if your stock pump is on its way out.

Water Methanol Injection

All Power Stroke Diesels

Water methanol injection (or just pure water injection) is a great performance enhancing modification that is relatively safe. There are an abundance of kits on the market which are compatible with any Power Stroke diesel, and the benefits are increased horsepower, torque, fuel economy, and lower EGTs.

Head Studs

All, 6.0L Power Stroke in particular

The head bolt design of the 6.0L Power Stroke is adequate for stock trucks under most circumstances. However, they are notorious for failing under the cylinder pressures produced from modifications. If you are performing any fueling modifications to a 6.0L (including tuning), it is highly recommended that you consider installing head studs to prevent head gasket failure.