of the keys to designing a power package that optimizes performance
while enhancing drivability is have access to a good development
vehicle. For this project, a '97 Ford F- 350 Power Stroke owned
and operated by Bill Young of El Segundo, California, was selected
as the development workhorse. As the owner of Bay Fifties (a custom
car cover manufacturer), Bill needed to be able to tow his huge
fifth-wheel trailer 1 to and from car shows and special : vacation
trips. The turbocharged 7.3- I liter diesel engine produces a moderate
143.5 horsepower to the rear i wheels in stock trim. This power
level 1 wasn't enough for the huge 34-foot 1 fifth-wheel trailer
and the '72 Detomaso Pantera that is carried inside it.
From the factory, the Ford F-350 1 Power Stroke comes with a relatively:
restrictive exhaust system, so TTS replaced Bill's OEM equipment
with a' new free-flowing downpipe. The TTS 1 downpipe is made from
three-inch aluminized steel and is mandrel-bent to ensure a crush-free
bend. In addition to mandrel-bent design, TTS welds an EGT sensor
bung into the downpipe for a cabin-mounted exhaust gas temperature
gauge. TTS tested its new downpipe and noticed a 20-25 degree lower
exhaust gas temperature and an additional one psi in boost pressure.
The TTS downpipe kit comes with all hardware needed for an easy
installation and an aircraft-quality heat shield.
Although the TTS downpipe does contribute to the improvement of
horsepower from the Powerstroke, the key ingredient of the upgrade
is the TTS Power System Module. This module was designed to improve
0- 60 times, gas mileage and especially horsepower. These three
areas are important for normal street driving. However, they become
crucial when it comes to towing.
By changing the injection timing curves, fuel maps,
boost levels, automatic transmission shift points and other top
secret goodies, TTS has designed a module that is perfect for the
Ford F-350 Powerstroke. With the addition of the module, boost levels
rose from 18 psi stock to 21 psi at the intake manifold and exhaust
gas temperature moved from 975 degrees Fahrenheit to 995 degrees.
Combined with the TTS downpipe, boost levels jumped to a maximum
of 22-23 psi and the exhaust gas temperature dropped back to 975-degrees.
With both the Power System Module
and TTS downpipe installed on Bill's F-350, the TTS crew took the
4 truck, the 34-foot trailer and the Pantera combo down the 101
freeway southbound from Ventura, California. On this particular
three-mile section of freeway, a seven-percent grade of inclination.
At the beginning of the test, TTS removed all of the aftermarket
components and placed the Power Stroke back to stock trim. With
the cruise control set to 62 mph, the Ford F-350 started up the
hill. Shortly after, the Ford slowed down to 42 mph in second gear
and the cruise shut off. Once the truck crawled to the top of the
hill, TTS stopped at the local gas station and reinstalled the downpipe
and Power System Module. After- ward, the test was performed and
the results were documented. With a steady speed of 62 mph set on
the cruise control, the F-350 slowed down to 58 mph in third gear
and the cruise worked perfectly. Anyone who has towed in the mountains
can appreciate the magnitude of this improvement.
On the way to and from the shop, TTS checked the
gas mileage. In stock fonn, the Power Stroke got 8.1 miles per gallon.
With the Power System Module installed, the mileage jumped to 10.3
miles per gallon. Moreover, with the Module and downpipe installed
together, gas mileage went to 10.5 miles per gallon. To top that,
TTS visited Jackson Racing's Dynojet dynamometer in Westminster,
California and tested the F-350. With all stock components, the
Ford made 143.5 horsepower to the rear wheels. With the TTS equipment
installed, horsepower figures climbed to 218 horsepower. Furthermore,
0-60 times were measured with a Vericom VC2000 and the results were
13.97 seconds stock and 9.81 seconds with the TTS equipment. Not
too bad for a module that retails for $495 and a 1 downpipe that
costs only $250.
For the interior of the Ford, TTS installed its
new overhead center console. These consoles are made from formed
mild-steel sheet metal that has been welded together and covered
in matching material. Depending on the year, make and model of the
truck, 1TS can match just about any interior color. The center console
comes without any holes cut out for gauges. This allows the customer
to choose how many and what kind of gauges they want to run. Bill
chose three VDO instruments -boost gauge, exhaust gas temperature
and automatic transmission temperature. This way Bill can see exactly
what is going on with the engine and slushbox while driving and/or
Where can you get this kind of performance for so little money?
Also, where can you get such a huge performance gain with so little
work? It's obvious TTS did its homework before releasing the Power
System Module and downpipe. From 143.5