How to Install a Turbo on a 1992 7.3 IDI


Boosting engine power by increasing airflow to the combustion chambers, a turbocharger is a turbine-style air pump powered by gas leaving the exhaust manifold. The 7.3 liter indirect fuel-injected (IDI) diesel engine was designed by Ford Motor Company for light-duty truck applications; prior to 1993 the engine was not factory-equipped with a turbocharger. For drivers seeking an increase in performance, aftermarket turbocharger systems are available for the 1992 7.3 IDI engine.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Wrenches
  • Turbocharger oil pan and gasket
  • Oil filter
  • Oil-filter wrench
  • Oil-line T-fitting
  • Turbocharger
  • Turbocharger manifold
  • Torque wrench
  • Turbocharger oil-intake line
  • Turbocharger oil-return line
  • Turbocharger boost sensor line
  • Hose clamps
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Turbocharger air-intake adapter
  • Turbocharger exhaust hose
  • Place a drain pan under the engine and remove the oil plug from the oil pan with a wrench. Allow the oil to drain from the engine and remove the oil pan and wrench. Install a turbocharger oil pan and gasket specific to the 1992 7.3 IDI diesel engine with a wrench.

  • Remove the oil filter with an oil-filter wrench. Screw a new oil filter in place with your hands until the filter is a tight as possible; tightening the oil filter with a wrench will make removing the filter extremely difficult at the next oil change.

  • Unbolt the exhaust pipes and exhaust manifold from the engine with a wrench.

  • Remove the oil line from the oil-pressure port on the engine block with a wrench. Attach a T-fitting to the oil-pressure port on the block and then attach the oil line to the top of the T-fitting with a wrench.

  • Bolt the turbocharger to the turbocharger manifold, then bolt the turbocharger manifold to the exhaust port on the engine with a torque wrench adjusted to the 34-foot-pound torque setting.

  • Connect the oil-intake line from the turbocharger to the side connection port on the T-fitting, connected to the oil-pressure port, with a wrench.

  • Attach the oil-return line from the turbocharger to the oil-return port on the turbocharger oil pan with a wrench.

  • Plug the turbocharger boost sensor line into the turbocharger wastegate actuator and secure the line with a hose clamp and flat-head screwdriver. Remove the plug from a vacuum port on the intake manifold and attach the other end of the boost sensor line to the vacuum port with a wrench.

  • Unscrew the wing nut from the air-cleaner assembly with your fingers and wiggle the air cleaner free with your hands. Place the turbocharger air-intake adapter over the engine air-intake port on the fuel-injector body. Attach the turbocharger exhaust hose to the intake adapter with a hose clamp and flat-head screwdriver. Set the air-cleaner assembly over the air-intake adapter and tighten the air cleaner in place with the wing nut. Connect the turbocharger intake hose to the air-cleaner intake hose with a hose clamp and flat-head screwdriver.

  • Replace the oil-pan plug with the wrench and fill the engine crankcase with new oil. Start the engine and check the oil lines, pan and filter for leaks and tighten the connections further if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • To protect both the turbocharger and engine, install an external oil cooler if driving conditions or habits dictate the turbocharger will be engaged over 20 percent of the time.
  • Sudden bursts of power can cause a vehicle to spin violently out of control. Set the turbocharger boost at the minimum level, according to the manufacturer’s instruction, and gradually increase boost as you become accustomed to the system.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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