The Turtle V – Update #1 – Engine – 2019

May 17, 2019

The latest in the 48-year dynasty of Turtle Expedition research trucks, The Turtle V and its European-style Tortuga Expedition Camper have gone through a continuous process of refinement since it was conceived in 1999. Back then it was an experiment. Now, with over 200,000 miles on the odometer including a two-year/40,000-mile expedition through 26 countries following the SILK ROAD, The Turtle V has proven itself beyond any doubt. It has met and surpassed our initial goals: Safety, Comfort, functional Performance, and above all, Reliability.

Following one of our favorite roads in Uzbekistan.

Following one of our favorite roads in Uzbekistan.

Ford’s Super Duty F-550 4X4, powered by the International One Millionth Power Stroke 7.3 liter Inter-cooled Turbo Diesel, puts this truck in a class by itself, while still maintaining the comfort and maneuverability of the American pick-up. The cab is the same as an F-350, but a closer look reveals a massive Dana 135s differential in the rear, with a frame and suspension designed to carry a GVWR of 17,500 pounds!! Kind of like an F-350 on steroids!

The Turtle V sports the One Millionth Power Stroke 7.3 Liter Inter-Cooled Turbo Diesel

The One Millionth Power Stroke 7.3 liter Intercooled Turbo Diesel, puts this truck in a class by itself.

The One Millionth Power Stroke 7.3 liter Intercooled Turbo Diesel, puts this truck in a class by itself.

The 7.3 Navistar diesel is universally known as one of the most reliable of the Power Stroke line, and with no catalytic converter or other smog filters, it will run on any type of diesel, with or without sulfur. The engine was retrofitted with an ATS 3000 turbo which has improved mid-range, better exhaust manifold gaskets and no waste gate. Our goal was not more power. More important, reliability.

With that same goal in mind, we installed a Dieselsite Adrenaline HPOP high pressure oil pump. The oil pump is the heart of the engine. Starting a 7.3 L Power Stroke engine requires turning the engine at a speed high enough and long enough to raise the oil pressure to 450 psi to open the fuel injectors. Especially in cold weather, the factory starter really had to work. The MPA (Motorcar Parts of America) Xtreme HD starter is a direct bolt-in replacement. With 4.0-KW of power compared to OE’s 2.5-3.0-KW, it spins the engine like a top.

Under the Hood of The Turtle V

We upgraded to a K&N Performance washable air filter and added more life and protection with an Outerwears pre-filter cover.

We upgraded to a K&N Performance washable air filter and added more life and protection with an Outerwears pre-filter cover.

The only other changes we made were to upgrade the starting batteries to larger Odyssey Extreme group 34s. We swapped the factory air filter for a K&N Performance washable air filter and added more life and protection with an Outerwears pre-filter cover. A Dieselsite coolant filter keeps contaminants out of our Gates water pump.

Installing the Amsoil Dual Remote Oil Filtration System dramatically extends drain Intervals. The Amsoil Ea Bypass Filter typically filters all the oil in the system several times an hour, so the engine continuously receives analytically clean oil. In addition to the factory fuel filter/water separator, we installed a Racor fuel filter/water separator/fuel pre-heater with a clear bowl to allow inspection for dirt or water in the fuel before it even reaches the Airtex fuel pump.

The exhaust system was engineered by Magnaflow Performance Exhaust with a flow-through muffler and custom pipes to minimize problems with deep water crossings and provide clearance on fuel tank and mud flap. 

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