Buyer’s Guide: 7.3L OBS Powerstroke Turbos

Diesel Performance Parts, F-Series, Ford Powerstroke, Products, Tips and TricksTags

With any diesel pickup, there comes a time when replacements or upgrades become not just a desire but a necessity. And when that time is for your turbo, the choices can be, quite literally, overwhelming.

That’s where we come in.

Welcome to our turbo buyer’s guide tailored specifically for 1994.5-1997 OBS (old body style) Ford Powerstroke’s. Whether you’re looking for a stock replacement on your work truck or high performance upgrade, we’ve got you covered. Our guide will dive into three distinct tiers of turbos; stock replacements, moderate upgrades, and high-performance T4 turbo conversions.

Stock Replacements (Tier One)

When it comes to maintaining the original feel and performance of your 6.7L OBS, a stock replacement turbo is the way to go. With this choice, you won’t experience any power gains or internal machining modifications. What you get is a faithful replica of what your truck originally came with. It’s design mirrors the stock one to a tee, ensuring its installation fits precisely where the old one resided.

Another advantage of going the stock replacement route is the absence of a CARB number requirement, primarily because it mirrors the stock specifications. If your main objective is to swiftly get your truck up and running again without getting into power enhancements, this turbo tier is your best bet.

Stock Replacement Turbo Recommendations:

Rotomaster Remanufactured Turbo

River City Turbo Remanufactured Turbo

Moderate Upgrades (Tier Two)

For those seeking a bit more kick, a tad more whistle, and a noticeable boost in performance without going all out, this tier is for you.

KC Turbos is a manufacturer that stands out in this category. They have larger compressor wheels, larger turbines, different exhaust housings, and all kinds of good stuff to make sure that you’re getting a little more power out of your truck. The end result of a drop in upgrade? Improved drive pressure, enhanced boost, and an overall enriched performance that every truck owner dreams of.

One of the main attractions of these moderate upgrades is their installation ease. They are designed to fit precisely where the original stock turbo was positioned, often retaining a stock-like appearance.

While they don’t demand any other modifications to your truck, to unlock their potential we’d recommend getting a tuner, cold air intake, and upgraded exhaust. Not only do these upgrades complement the turbo, but they can drastically increase it’s performance. For those of you wondering, these turbos don’t require custom tuning – but if you want to go the extra mile and squeeze a little more out of it, you certainly can.

One of our top recommendations to pair with a moderate upgrade is the TS Performance 6 Position Chip. Install is simple and quick, just slide the TS chip into your truck’s computer port and start enjoying the added power. The rotary style switch can be mounted almost anywhere and allows you to switch between the six included tunes easily.

Moderate OBS Turbo Upgrade Recommendations:

KC 300x Stage 2 Drop-In 63/73 Turbo

High-Performance T4 Turbo Conversions (Tier Three)

Now let’s talk about high performance T4 conversions. These aren’t your plug-and-play options. If you’re in pursuit of a solution that effortlessly fits into the stock slot, you might want to revisit the first two tiers.

You’re going to be changing the up-pipes, intercooler piping, and likely your injectors. However, if you’re chasing a whole bunch of power and ultimate performance, this is going to be your best option. These turbos are best paired with other upgrades; cold air intake, exhaust, tuning, cooling, etc.

Fun Fact: Powerstroke turbos on the 7.3L Powerstrokes spin the opposite direction as all other turbos.Thanks Ford…But if you convert to a high performance T4, its more than likely yours will spin in the same direction as traditional turbos.

High-Performance T4 Turbo Conversion Recommendation:

Irate Diesel T4 Basic Mount

Finding The Right Turbo For You

From stock replacements to high-performance upgrades, there are tons of turbo options for the 7.3L OBS Powerstroke. No matter where your needs lie within the spectrum, rest assured there’s a turbo just right for you.

If you’re still on the fence or suspect you might be in need of a new turbo, our “How To Diagnose and Repair A Failed Turbocharger on Your Diesel” blog is a must-read. Remember, we’re always here to assist! Whether you’re curious, concerned, or simply want to chat about diesel dynamics, our experts are just a call, email, or live chat away. Dive into the world of diesel with confidence, knowing you’ve got a team of professionals by your side.

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