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Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

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88F15088
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Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #1 by 88F15088 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:40 am

While I am still researching and waiting on parts for my turbo 300 build, I want to work on turboing the stock 300 currently in the truck. This can give me an idea of setting up the turbo and intercooler piping, as well as a little more fun out of the truck until my build is completed. I only plan for 4-6 lbs of boost on the stock motor.

Since my truck is an '88 model year, it comes with the fragile cast pistons prone to cracking. A few months ago out of curiosity, I sent in an oil sample from the last oil change. The results confirm there may be issues with the pistons, as the lab notes
"This engine has a problem. Chrome is from the piston rings and it's very high at 47 ppm. That may show a stuck or broken piston ring.
Aluminum, iron, and copper (which were also high) are from the pistons, steel, and brass/bronze parts."

Another symptom possibly pointing to cracked pistons is a slight tapping/knocking sound that goes away after the engine is warmed up.

This is not a prime candidate for turbocharging, and I would prefer not to send broken piston bits through the exhaust into my freshly rebuilt turbo. I want to spend as little time and money as possible to strengthen the stock engine for low boost.

My plans are to disassemble the engine while still in the truck, remove the pistons and connecting rods, have a machine shop install a set of Speed Pro H519P hypereutectic pistons on the rods with Sealed Power E-229K rings, ball hone (if necessary), new headgasket, and call it good. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get new head bolts, but it adds expense.

Is there anything I should add? Any input or other suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #2 by pmuller9 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:47 am

Replace the timing gears if the cam gear is fiber.

I understand what you want to do but you may find that the cylinders have too much wear and are too oval to use a new set of rings and pistons.
Also consider that new Hyper pistons are supposed to be installed with a .002" max clearance not .020" to .030" in a worn cylinder.
That's my disclaimer.

So if you do proceed anyway
Cut the ridge at the top of the cylinders so you don't damage the new top piston rings.
Also check the piston ring end gap 4" down in the cylinder where the gap will be the tightest due to worn cylinder taper.

Chances are the rod bearings and crank journals are worn.
Last edited by pmuller9 on Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #3 by Mdixon300f100 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:40 am

Use arp head studs and rod bolts. It’s cheap insurance

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #4 by pmuller9 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:06 am

Mdixon300f100 wrote:Use arp head studs and rod bolts. It’s cheap insurance


If you use ARP rod bolts you should check the rod bore for roundness. The rod ends may need to be resized.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #5 by 88F15088 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:21 am

I already have ARP head studs and metal timing gears for my build, so I can use those at no "added" cost. I am hoping to have my build finished over the summer, so this turbo'd contraption will likely never see more than 10k miles. It will, however, see lots of higher RPMs in boost. :D

The original plan was to turbo the stock motor without doing anything to it. With the information I have now, this would almost certainly lead to failure. It would also be a fun experiment to see what the stock motor can handle.

Perhaps my first step is to remove the head and use a dial bore gauge to check cylinder bore, then decide if I should proceed.

If the cylinder walls are too far gone, since the head would already be off I would have a chance to clean up the ports and have a valve job done to perk it up a little.

It may be a good idea to check compression this weekend to check the health of the motor.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #6 by Max_Effort » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 am

pmuller9 wrote:
Mdixon300f100 wrote:Use arp head studs and rod bolts. It’s cheap insurance


If you use ARP rod bolts you should check the rod bore for roundness. The rod ends may need to be resized.



X2, stock used rods rarely measure OK.(although often reused without measuring) They’re not going to be ok after installing new bolts.

Anytime I’m upgrading to ARP bolts, the rods get resized. Press out the old old bolts, clip the caps and rods, press in the new bolts. Torque/stretch the bolts 2-3 times, then hone to size.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #7 by Mdixon300f100 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:20 am

88F15088 wrote:
The original plan was to turbo the stock motor without doing anything to it. With the information I have now, this would almost certainly lead to failure. It would also be a fun experiment to see what the stock motor can handle


A healty stock engine can handle a lot of boost. There are numerous examples of 300s running turbos with very little bottom end modification.

It’s detonation that kills engines. As long as it’s kept out of detonation it will perform far better than you’d expect. Google the 10 sec maverick. Or search the turbo forum. There are plenty of ways to make power without serious engine mods.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #8 by 88F15088 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:51 am

Mdixon300f100 wrote:A healty stock engine can handle a lot of boost. There are numerous examples of 300s running turbos with very little bottom end modification.

It’s detonation that kills engines. As long as it’s kept out of detonation it will perform far better than you’d expect. Google the 10 sec maverick. Or search the turbo forum. There are plenty of ways to make power without serious engine mods.


The problem is this is not a healthy engine, as indicated from the oil analysis results. There were larger than normal amounts of piston and ring material found in the oil sample.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #9 by Mdixon300f100 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:11 am

Agreed, but a fairly stock rebuild can get you where you want to go, is what I’m getting at.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #10 by pmuller9 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:51 pm

Mdixon300f100 wrote:A healty stock engine can handle a lot of boost. There are numerous examples of 300s running turbos with very little bottom end modification.

It’s detonation that kills engines. As long as it’s kept out of detonation it will perform far better than you’d expect. Google the 10 sec maverick. Or search the turbo forum. There are plenty of ways to make power without serious engine mods.

This is true but not the total picture.
In every case on this forum where there was loss of boost control there was engine failure.
It appears that allowing the boost to go past 20 lbs on a stock piston is about the limit.
So 8 to 10 lbs of boost on a stock engine is reasonable providing the engine is in good health.

Back in the day when these engines were plentiful you simply added a turbocharger for racing and when the engine failed (and they did for sure) you just got another 300 and kept racing. Same went for the Ford 2300 four.
That's what started the throw away mentality but the 300 six is no longer plentiful and should get higher regard.

All the examples posted show full boost for just seconds at a time where there isn't time for significant heat buildup.
If a turbo 300 is being used for hard duty against heavy loads for long periods of time the engine needs to be purpose built.
The stock engine will not survive.

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #11 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:31 pm

88F15088 wrote:"This engine has a problem. Chrome is from the piston rings and it's very high at 47 ppm. That may show a stuck or broken piston ring.

I find this curious.
The 300 didn't use chrome rings. They use iron rings with a moly-faced top ring. Maybe they were changed out somewhere in its
life???

Shades of "My Cousin Vinnie"?
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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #12 by Phase3 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:08 pm

Resurfacing the block and head would be pretty high priority id say. Would help keep the headgasket on and the fel pro 1024 gasket. Also would consider only tightening the head studs to factory bolt specs as to prevent pulling up on the deck too much. Just a theory ive been using. I would think you would save alot of time pulling the motor from the truck in most of this process, as a suggestion.
1996 f150 turbo 4.9 OBD2 M5OD 4x4 12 lbs on 93
1997 f350 351w cclb

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #13 by xctasy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:50 pm

Elemental Analysis of oil is usually performed using Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) spectroscopy, and some of the moly could be from other parts, especially if someone has done the hydraulic lifters and used cam paste. Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a new way to make common grey iron work like a higher quality ring, and if its broken, then it'll show up even if its just one ring land thats got a top ring problem. If they used the reference ISO cleaness or particle count micron levels, (an example of the various reported micron levels includes those greater than 4, 6, 10, 14, 21, 38, 70 and 100 microns), they pick up oil change to oil change proof of wear. The used filter anaylsis is also an excellent indicator.


The whole part of getting Thinwall Henries to work in a modern performance world is ensuring the rings bed in by doing all the basic work to ensure your percentage shots work in your favour.

Form my readings, indications are that even back with the Ford Performance Big Six project, Bruce Sizemore was final plateau honing the bores of the Preparation H Maverick with 600 micro inch grit back in 1972, and that's where you should be headed too.

I'm adamant that you cannot safely re-hone a modern cylinder bore in a thinwall Ford, as the distortion exists in everything made that way. Piston slap is probable in those cases, irrespective of what type of piston you use. You can grab a Truck, Taxi or Police Cruiser engine, toss in a blister pack bearing, ring, bolt and new piston kit, and turbo it and win races, or go oval track, and do the same, but an engine like that gets watched and striped fairly regularly. WorkenToo Much will tell you how good a later hyper 1994 on 4.9 is.

If your going to use it as a dual or triple use truck engine, then you have to rebore it. You don't have to align hone, you don't have to do the crank mains, or re hash the crank bearings, that introduces other matters to contend with. You don't have to put it on a Humbolt vibrating table, and shake and rattle it for a couple of hours or days, but all of that can be done, and pays off if you do it right.

My opinion, is the same as the ProDrive and Tickford did when re animating the ancient 302 EFi Explorer Mountaineer engine for the 1999 to 2003 295 and 335 hp 5.0 and 5.6 stroker engines. They took a fast cast thinwall Cleveland foundary WCP casting, and just plateau honed it, and used HyperEutectic pistons, and to do that they focused totally on getting a good bore finish, using some ages old technique with some new focus points.

You need to use common sense and do the following:

1.Use a good bore gauge.

2. Have the block carefully to honed straight.

3. Keep the bore geometry within .0005˝ or less of being round and straight, ideally within .0002˝ to .0003˝ of specifications.

4. The modern focus is to brush the cylinders after honing with a good quality soft brush tool to clean away the torn and folded metal debris.

5. To get there, often three kinds of modern kit are used, some final stages use a Bruce Sizemeore style 600 grit hone. It all varies, because the measure of succes is actually


These six following quotients:

Image

The units above, in my opinion, are not important since the term micron and the place holder in(,) are not used as per the European book I got the info from. The angle is the horizontal angle, not the vertical included angle, so some conventions vary.


And Ra, not an Egytian deity, but a dreaded Roughness Average which is bandied about, isn't one of them, but its used as a final reference.

The type of honing media and finishing procedure you should use depends on the application, and I've got the figures below.

The basic process is in https://www.aa1car.com/library/plateau_finish.htm

Lyle Haley of Peterson Machine Tool says #280 grit stones are a good choice for most applications, but are a little on the coarse side and by themselves won't give you a plateau finish. He uses a #400 grit stone for at least .0004˝ to .0005˝ of conventional subtractive stock removal, but not much more than that or you will be down to base metal. He then plateau the surface with a soft brush tool to finish the job. Others use up to 600 grit diamond brush or silica do do that, and the goal is a target rating of specfications that produce a plateau for the modern ring packs to ride on without it ever collapsing.

After that, you consider stock cast, hypereutectic, Forged 2618 or 4032, or whatever, and then do the standard ring clearance per inch of bore, or go Sizemores Gapless rings, and look at blow by prevention, and decide on running in procedures. If you want to lean on it in the first 1000 miles, then you have to look at clearances and end use. If you baby it over 5000 miles, you can make it practically indestructable.

A bore that has been in constant use without detonation, might cope with turbo pressure or nitrous, but you certainly cannot realiably create a dual use engine that allows Mommy to fetch the Soccar Squids, and then bash the meanest street fighter in Gotham City with 20 pounds of boost or 900 psi of Giggle Gas on the Sunday 1320 dash. Ring lands, thermal stress, and a thrust face thickness 130 thou think cylinder wall from a 30 thou overbore won't let you cope with an 11:1 effective compression ratio under boost or chemical assistance. But you can get close if you know what final ring and piston to wall clearance you end use is going to require. That means thinking about real boost ratio with Low Pressure Turboing or High Out put Turboing. 7psi is easy, and then same as the best nitrous boost ratio at about 1.47 power and torque boost. For that 20 psi, you've got a potential 2.3 power and torque boost ratio. Blow by goes up proportional to that, and it is sudden an violent, and its a waste of time arguing if if was the detonation or the mechanics of the rings, piston clearance or thermal loads, when its containing a chemical reduction.

IMHO, you cannot do both safely for dual or triple purpose at the outer limits unless you shrink the usage. If its on the bottle, then an in operation chemically stoichometric 1.47 factor from stock un gassed verses the maximum gased Hp is the practical limit due to oxygen pecome the touch paper in the combustion chamber, just like a 7 psi turbo with an intercooler. In the other way, the fuel loads from exotic detonation reducing alcohol or heat promoting blends of heavy chemistry fuel need a different tact for clearances. A supercharged engine differs from a turbo engine due to the unloaded state hitting on the ring lands hard for a turbo, while a Rootes, Screw or axial flow belt driven Supercharger requires other kinds of piston to bore support. The blow by level is very easy to calculate, and dyno tuner David Vizard says he can determine exactly how many hours life remain on a dynoed engine by blow by and leak down analysis.

A cammed up engine, like a Mustang OHV 5.0 EFi with a modern aftermarket cam that makes 430 hp at 6500 rpm and 365 lb-ft at 4800 rpm needs to be safe to over speed 10% over the peak power level, people do acidentally miss gearchanges, or get wheel spin, so a stock Windsor style V8 Ford block will eventualy crack down the center, or split bores or bulkeads if it ever does even 7100 rpm. A lack of bore support and flex will have a person asking...was it the block, the bores, the rings, the pistons, the main bearings or the combustion chamber that killed my stock engine block?

The converted Look-up specs for a standard cylinder liner are:-

Image

Ra, Rpk, Rk, Rvk, and Horizontal angle are mapped in the modfied table above, with the horizontal trench margins d1, and the cross hatch distances shown d2.

A cross check is that Rt is close to (but deeper than) the sum of Rpk, Rk and Rvk.

The Rpk, Rk and Rvk values are associated with the compression and oil ring tensions for the kind of ring pack you use. Ra is for descriptive purposes only.

Yellow zones haven't been exactly confirmed yet.

Image

Sourced:-https://www.sunnen.com/graphics/assets/documents/e2e25e493b00.pdf
Image
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FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
X-Flow Engine Components Ltd http://www.xecltd.info/?rd=10

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #14 by 88F15088 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:28 am

I have another engine I am fully building for this truck with forged internals and a ported head. That being said, I want to spend as little time and money as possible to prepare this engine for light turbocharging, since it will only be in the truck a few months while I complete my build. I would like to keep it under $400.

Next weekend I will check compression in all cylinders. The next step I believe would be to take a dial bore gauge and see how far off the bores are from the factory 4.000", measuring taper and out of round. Based on those numbers, I can determine if removing the block and boring the cylinders is necessary. The block can then be reassembled with oversize hypereutectic pistons and appropriate rings.

Since I do not really want to remove the engine from the truck at this stage, I may end up lightly porting the cylinder head and reassembling everything.

For reference, here is the oil analysis. I am considering doing a follow up test in the next few months or next oil change interval.
88 F150 4.9 Oil Analysis.png
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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #15 by sandboxer » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:17 pm

Not to hijack, but I have a similar issue. Bore measures 3.98 in all holes, with crosshatch visible but worn on thrust side. Dingle hone and new rings?

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #16 by xctasy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:41 pm

sandboxer wrote:Not to hijack, but I have a similar issue. Bore measures 3.98 in all holes, with crosshatch visible but worn on thrust side. Dingle hone and new rings?



No, I wouldn't. I'm not saying that you can't, though, but its a risk of putting money into something that won't pay off.

The deep scores in every finished bore aren't taken out by a re-hone, the vital plateau zone, that skiff of 0.4 to 0.5 thou circumferential wall support zone that allows the rings to preform good static leak-down and hold blow by, that IS normally ruined if the machinist has honed just a little too much , like more than 15 turns of a moderate 750 watt hone. Its hard to judge that unless you have a process to measure that R micro texture stuff. In the old days, we just reassembled the ring pack, and did 7 to 12 pound pull out tests, and that set the buffing up of the cylinder bore, but that is not accurate enough with lower tension rings and smoother textures the ring makes and piston producers recommend. A customer needs to be looked after by good process.

The thrust side is going to be the ovalaity and tapper part that ruins ring bed in, and ring bed in requires a nice, uniform thin buffer zone to support it properly.

Before that, bore tapper and ovalarity stop new rings bedding in, and you get ring land failure, and cracked pistons.

Great engines don't just happen, they are made.

Although you can easily find a block that checks out for tapper and ovalarity, the vital settings for

1. ring gap,

2. plateau bore texture and

3. figuring out how to run the ring gaps without getting piston slap from the run in process is all about how you condition the 23 thou of cylinder wall that touches the rings.

That so called 3 to maybee 22 Ra zone is actually really 23 thou deep from peak to trough buffer zone on the circumference of the whole cylinder wall, or 46 thou.


Even a 20 thou over bore won't give the builder the margin to control texture if an I6 block has been in service.

The exception is a babied engine that has EFi, no incipient detonation exposure in day to day running. The Big Six 4.9 EFi isn't one of those engines, even with a knock sensor, they really are not going to be kind to the bore texture in a loaded truck that might carry GVW's of over 5000 pounds of more.


Eg 1. A good example is the 1996-2001 Explorer 5 liter V8 that has been looked after, even in a 4200 pound XLT or Mountaineer, they usually survive well. You can just get away with re-ringing those with a moderate hone with the right grade abrasives.

Eg 2. Another is the forged piston 5.0 carb and EFI 5.0's in a light 3250 pound car like the Mustang and Capri. They have great bore texture in most cases, because even hammered, they a fueled and timed to keep out of the detonation zone, even 86 Speed Density Stangs with 9:1 compression.


Eg 3. Ford Australia, for 3 years from late 1999 to early 2003, were able to just lightly 600 grit hone out brand new machined 1999-2001 era 5.0 215 hp SUV blocks to turn them into 295 and 335 hp pavement burners, but with those, a new, virgin cylinder wall gives you total scope, and they used torque plates and really did some magic stuff, especially the 342 stock bore stroker 5.6. With very mundane 1.169" compression height height silicon Hyper Eutectic pistons with metric ring packs and really focused cylinder wall preparation, it was rare for those engines to split bores or blocks, even though they had IIRC, the standard EECV 6250 rpm rev limits with the 5.6 strokers.
Image
XEC Ltd ICBE's Inter Continental Ballistic Engines-
FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
X-Flow Engine Components Ltd http://www.xecltd.info/?rd=10

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Re: Turboing a stock 300, how to make it last?

Post #17 by philford » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:59 pm

if you pull the block , send it to be rebored, stick new pistons and bearings in then you'll have something worthy of your time. send it for balancing wiht the crank , flywheel, con rods, new pistons etc.. and then if you want to spend time and money on mods at least you have a good base. I did that with my old volvo, it really screams after a few mods like polishing ports, hotter cam slightly larger jets. as a bonus I increased displacement by 200 CC. the balancing made a huge difference and wasn't expensive.

Ive seen so many try to do a half a job, pull the head fix up the valves put it back together and all you do is increase the compression a little and make it burn oil. by then they dont want to pull it apart again to do a proper job of it. and it costs almost as much and still takes about the same time.

trying to do a good job of honing and ridge reaming the block in place sounds like an exercise in frustration. If it's re bored it'll fit right, run smooth , not smoke, and give you many years of fun. want more power? see how far you can bore thing thing out. Then do mods like turbo later..
all you need to do is pull the motor and that wont; take you longer than messing around trying to get new rings in there. send it for boring and youll have new rings and pistons that fit properly. Changing bearing shells is easy and I bet you can get by without touching the crank, just do a little polish to the journals. sending the head out rather than lapping valves it is probably money well spent.

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