The purpose of this thread is to share my thoughts in a review format to provide actual feedback to Madpowerstroke’s thread labeled “TURBO EXPERIMENTING POLL”.
Wow where to start. Well how about at the beginning?? That seems like the best place to me.
Ok I have to admit that when I first came across his thread I was like who in the world is this guy (Madpowerstroke, real name Adrian) and why is he trying to reinvent the wheel (no pun intended) so to speak with VGT turbos?? Doesn’t he know that everything he is thinking of has been tried already?? Well after following his thread for a while, talking to him on the phone, and finally going over to his place of operation to get the low down on what he is actually accomplishing; I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a very firm grasp of what he is doing and on top of it he is a super guy to talk to and hang out with.
When I first came across his thread here, I was pretty much sold on the fact that a non-VGT turbo was the way ahead for me. I had talked with several guys about various setups, I had been having trouble with the VGT doing weird stuff on my rig and with VGT turbos running out of air up top; it seemed like the way to go even though I know drivability would probably suffer if I went this route.
I would also like to note here that I was pretty much sold on 190/100 injectors being my future fuel delivery mod until I had talked to Adrian and went over and tested his truck, which he was SO gracious in allowing me to do BTW. After my experience there today, I am very convinced that unless you are running stock nozzles or something on your injectors, 190cc injectors are just too much of an injector for any turbo that is close in size to the Powermax turbo or smaller. This isn’t to say that they can’t be ran with these turbos but rather that their full capacity will not be able to be realized as there just isn’t enough air available to clean them up. IMO, 175/75s are the absolute limit that is still streetable and even then there is A LOT of fuel left over for even more air (aka larger turbo).
Ok so what is Madpowerstroke up to exactly here?? IMO, what Adrian is trying to do is offer reasonable alternatives to guys looking to increase the air flow into their truck’s engine, without dropping the coin for the Powermax turbo or other manufacturer’s highly priced turbos. He does this by modifying/combining a stock duramax turbo with a powerstroke turbine housing. It should be noted here that he is performing a turbo modification/rebuild as opposed to actually manufacturing a brand new turbo. What he HAS come up with is something, that IMO is better than the Powermax because not only do his turbos have the same specs (the 63.5/88 one anyways aside from turbine blade count), but he modifies them for much much less than a Powermax. I keep bringing up the Powermax as the turbo to be compared to as that is because his two turbo offerings come with a compressor wheel size of either 62.7mm x 88mm (LBZ Dmax compressor wheel) or 63.5mm x 88mm (LLY/Powermax compressor wheel) and the turbine wheel is the same size as the powermax (and stock turbo) but has 13 blades (like an 04-07 stock turbo) as opposed to the 10 blade wheel on the powermax/03 turbo. The end result is a turbo that flows just as much as the powermax, spools just as fast if not faster than the power, but doesn’t whistle like the powermax. In fact, all I could tell that was different from a regular stock turbo was a very slight intake whistle. I honestly don’t think anyone could ever tell while standing next to it outside while at idle. Either way the truck sounded great and ran even better IMO.
Ok, so now on to the results/impressions. Adrian has a 04 Extended Cab Short box with 355/65/R18 (36.7in tall x 14in wide) Nitto terra grapplers and a limited slip differential with 3.73 gears. With these size tires and his MBRP exhaust, his truck looks like every other jacked up powerstroke that simply has an intake and exhaust for upgrade. I should also note that he does have the proverbial “Piss on Chevy” and “Piss on Dodge” stickers. I am sure they made all the difference in our runs today as well.
With the tall and wide tires, he has LOTs of power. On your typical express way on ramp, using ~30% pedal, the truck produces about 8-10psi of boost tops and takes you to 70mph by the time you enter the freeway. For 8000lbs worth of truck, it feels muscle car light. My truck is the exact same body configuration but has stock tires and wheels and even with Matt’s SRL Extreme on mine, Adrian’s truck feels like it has an easy 50Hp more than mine if not more. However fast you push the pedal down is how fast the speedo needle will move, all the way to over 100mph. Cruising at 70mph, boost level was 5-6psi and EGTs were 750-800F. As far as smoke goes, I would liken it to a fairly dark haze (almost completely black but not anywhere near being pure coal), hence why I say that 175/75s are largest I would run with this turbo and he has had Matt revise his tune 3 times so far to pull fuel back. Spool up time was non-existent. The truck responded just as fast as a gasoline V8 (of course it didn’t sound the same).
We did run into two dodge boys while testing on the hwy. One had a hemi and the other had a cummins (not sure if it was a 6.7 or 5.9). The hemi guy first caught our eye by driving very spritely so we dusted him and when we did, the cummins came out to play so we slowed down and let him catch up as we were doing about 80mph at the time. As he approached the rear of the truck, we punched it to the floor and he just couldn’t quite keep up. He did have some stuff done to his truck, as when he punched it he blew a good cloud of smoke and had a pretty large pipe coming out from under the truck.
After driving his truck and letting mine cool down a little, Adrain was awesome enough to help me install his 63/88 turbo onto my truck for me to try out. We took it out for a spin and even after the hour drive home, I have to say that I am VERY impressed with this turbo and really like how it makes the truck feel. The turbo spools up just as fast if not faster than my stock turbo (it was very responsive with Matt’s SRL Extreme tune) and while top boost level is still the same at 26-27psi for a WOT run from a stop but over 30psi with WOT while cruising down the high way, I am confident it is flowing more air as the truck feels like it pulls a lot harder now. EGTs while cruising, are about the same as the stock turbo maybe just slightly above. Stock EGT levels were 650-700F and this turbo is 680-720F while cruising but this could also be because it was slightly warmer this afternoon when I had this turbo as compared to this morning when I had my stock turbo. Cruising boost levels are as follows:
45-55mph in O/D - 1-3psi
55-63mph – 3-4psi
63-70mph – 4-7psi
70-75mph – 7-8psi
Adrian, I hope this is a sufficient review of your stuff. If anyone would like more information, please let me know and I will give you what I can. Bottom line here, IMO, is that there is just SO MUCH misinformation being thrown around these forums and there are A LOT of guys (myself included) who are doing their best to read all they can to see what is the best way to go for their build ups and I think Adrian is doing a lot to dispel of the myths and misconceptions of the powermax turbo/injector combinations. Even if his truck wasn’t putting out a full 500hp (IDK as we didn’t have a dyno or track to run on), it was a BLAST to drive and smoking the dodge boys just never gets old. I firmly believe these turbos make awesome daily driving/street/towing trucks. Hope this helps.