Turbo Upgrades for Cummins
These products are popular turbo options for your Dodge Rams with a Cummins diesel engine. However, to see all of the available options, please select your vehicle application from the top menu and n ... read more
These products are popular turbo options for your Dodge Rams with a Cummins diesel engine. However, to see all of the available options, please select your vehicle application from the top menu and navigate to the appropriate category.
One thing is for certain, the Cummins power plant is one of the most popularly upgraded light duty diesels of all time. Maybe it started with the simplicity to add extra power to a P-Pump 12 valve by merely adjusting the AFC Spring and sliding (or removing) the fuel plate. Or maybe its the innate ability for these engines to reliably handle the additional power without faulting (to a certain degree). Whatever the reasoning, the fact that you can very simply add 60+ horsepower to a Cummins in a matter of minutes no matter the model year is pretty astounding.
That being said, what these "simple" modifications don't take into account typically is airflow, only fueling and sometimes timing. Sure, the new cold air intake you bolted on helps get more cool, dense air to the turbo, but what about after that? In all reality, when you add fueling, in order to keep EGT's (Exhaust Gas Temperatures) down and reliability at its peak, you need to balance that with extra airflow, and merely upgrading the cold air intake is simply not enough once you've increased by an average of 60 horsepower. The fix? Upgrade your turbo. And on a Cummins especially, it may be a heck of a lot simpler than you think!
Due in large part to the inline design of a Cummins engine, you have a pretty basic setup of turbo design and a relatively "universal" style of exhaust manifold. Other applications require two manifolds, up pipes, a pedestal, etc. With a Cummins, you've got an exhaust manifold with a turbo hanging off of it....pretty straightforward really. And what this means is that many turbo upgrades merely bolt in place of the stock turbo, where other applications necessitate new uppipes, downpipe, cold air intake, and the list goes on. Furthermore, it means there is an absolute plethora of options out there to perfectly suit your exact horsepower level, driving habits, and numerous other factors which we'll discuss soon enough.
Okay, so now that we've convinced you that you need a new turbo, why do you need a new turbo? Beyond the fact that your original turbo may be showing its age, if you've added power through larger injectors, chip or programmer, or any other fueling enhancements, basically your air-fuel ratio is "off" from what Cummins originally intended. By going to a larger turbo, you'll regain that balanced AF ratio to keep exhaust gas temperatures at bay, MPG's up, and get yourself an entirely new, broader powerband for climbing those big grades or edging out that Camaro at the stoplight.
By far the most important thing to do when selecting your turbo upgrade is to make sure its appropriately sized for your particular truck. If you go too big, it will be laggy and drivability will suffer. But if you go too small, you'll get excessive smoke and EGT's. Really, the art of sizing a turbo involves your engine displacement, fueling upgrades, engine internal upgrades (such as aftermarket camshaft), even gear ratio, tire size, and transmission type. What many fail to think about is that a manual transmission, or at least a six speed auto, can run a larger turbo than their four speed automatic counterparts because there is less RPM drop off between gears. Further, for those running oversized tires with tall gears, guess what, your RPM is already relatively low, meaning airflow is down which can't speed the turbo. If you run too big of a turbo, it simply won't light. Its amazing what dropping in a set of 4.10 gears (or lower depending on tire size) can do to deliver turbo speed. These factors coupled with the obvious fact of what you realistically use your truck for can really aid in selecting the right charger, or chargers, for your Cummins. If you need assistance in selecting the right one, don't hesitate to give us a call or shoot an e-mail and we can discuss what's right for you.