Some of you know I built my own Stage 1 turbo a year ago and it ran very well on both stock injectors and 190/50s. I had intentions of building my own 2.5 or Stage 3 turbo, but time started to be my enemy. I had even cobbled together many of the parts, but I was still not sure of what turbine size I wanted to use, except it would need to be larger than stock or the turbo would not support the larger 67.8x94mm compressor wheel. Then along came Charlie (the) Fish (Peixinho) with his turbo. I was initially drawn to the simplicity of the insert he had made for the compressor housing and the slightly larger, but higher flow turbine wheel. I had tossed around the idea of getting a Stage 3 from both Madpowerstroke and Barder, but both were waiting for parts and Charlie had one he needed testing on, so the deal was set.
It arrived in early December and I wasted little time giving it a spin, really!
Installation was as expected with no problems with any connections, except for the darn CCV, which just didn't want to go back in the valve cover with the new o-ring on it. Of course I also broke the VGT clips due to them becoming brittle over the past 7 years. :doh
The turbo came without a VGT, so I had to re-install my old one. This turned out to be point of frustration for the first few hours as the vanes would close, but would go back open and not close. This is an 07, so a turbo relearn should not have been required, even though I did let it idle for 5 minutes prior to taking it for a drive. I tried a number of tunes, including stock with none really curing the wandering vanes. If I shut it down and restarted, it seemed to work better, but it would still go toward open at idle. In any case, when I got back home I hooked up the AE and cycled the vanes about 20 times and it has worked fine since. It may have just been air in the hydraulics of the VGT.
So how does it run? I can say without a doubt that this turbo met or exceeded all of my expectation for operation.
It spools as fast as stock or my stage 1 did. There has been no surging or barking at all. With the stock tune there is no smoke or haze and that surprised me given my 190/50s. With the Spartan Agg130 it was clean at WOT with slight hazing at the lower RPM under the turbo, less than my Stage 1 (my comparison to the old turbo result - this is the tune that used to give me the best mpg, empty or towing). There is a noticeable whistle at high idle and while driving at 1500-1800 RPM. The turbo and injector combination is pretty much smoke and haze free using any tune, even ones that are not the best for larger injectors. I have seen 40 psi boost on mid level and race tunes, including those from Wildman and Innovative. The race tunes showed lots of power, fairly low EGT (lower than what Charlie told me to expect), no smoke and no haze. However on one WOT run I saw vapour (white smoke at -25*C), coming out from under the truck. As it turns out, the degas was puking. It hasn't puked since, so I either have an impending problem or it was the cap malfunctioning. I have vacuum and pressure tested the system and it appears to be working correctly. I replaced the cap just so I can't blame it if it happens again.
The turbo definitely helps create more power, but traction was somewhat limited due to the cold temperature. I was a little surprised the wheels broke loose at 55 mph on a punch.
FWIW, I haven't seen a temperature over 1300..... yet
Charlie asked me to take it apart for some photos to ensure there were no problems. I was a bit hesitant since it is working so well. I did take it apart today and I can confirm that all the big parts are in great shape. The only issue that did come up was the compressor housing insert has an area where it had a small hole develop just outside of the compressor wheel radius. It was opposite the side where the clamps bit too deep into the aluminum insert for milling and was very thin in that area. I fixed the hole and do not expect it to be an issue going forward. Charlie did offer to send me another housing either now or later if required.
The specs on the turbo are:
67.8x94mm 11 blade extended tip billet comp wheel
new 2 piece insert for the compressor scroll
74x70mm proprietary turbine wheel
Turned out turbine housing to accept the larger wheel
All made from a rebuilt Powerstroke Turbo
Pictures to follow.
Cruise at 65 mph