My KC Turbos Stage 2 Review - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Cool My KC Turbos Stage 2 Review

The following are my initial impressions and thoughts regarding my recent purchase of a KC Turbos Stage 2 turbo. I have only had the turbo for a week, which is why I say this is an initial review as my opinions may change over time.

Please keep in mind my mods when reading. Highlights are: Warren 175/Stock injectors, heads o-ringed by UCF, FASS Titanium 125gph, 4Ē downpipe, no cat, no muffler, 5Ē stacks, S&B CAI, BD intake elbow. Tune is my PHP 200X which Jay has told me will work well with a Stage 2.

Obviously a turbo upgrade is a big deal and can affect a lot about how the truck behaves. Iíve read a lot and asked questions, but in the end I decided to go with the Stage 2. I wanted a turbo that would give me more power and room to grow should I need/want it in the future. I also need to be able to tow in the 14k Ė 15k range.

I knew I would either go with Barder, who is local to me, or KC. I chose KC because of the unique turbo features and Charlieís presence on the forums. Iíve been bugging Charlie asking him diesel truck questions since 2013 and he is extremely knowledgeable. I really didnít think I would be able to purchase a turbo this soon, but my wife has supported my diesel addiction and made it happen.

The Turbo: 64x88mm single plane billet wheel with extended tips, .72ar race compressor cover, 72.5x66 10 blade turbine wheel, new high flowing billet vanes, and upgraded 360 thrust bearing. 6.0 Powerstroke Stage 2 Turbo - Complete Turbos - 6.0L Powerstroke - Products

Unboxing: I placed my order on 09MAR and Charlie had the turbo shipped on 10MAR via UPS. It was delivered 17MAR (Arizona to Pennsylvania). The turbo was double boxed, surrounded with Sealed Air Instapak foam packaging, and in plastic with some anti-corrosion paper on the turbine side. The exhaust inlet, outlet, and oil feed inlet were capped. The turbo itself is beautiful. It is obvious the quality and attention to detail Charlie puts into his products. Also included was an accessory pack with new bolts, oil feed gasket, oil feed and drain o-rings, instructions, and of course a KC Turbos sticker.











Install: Nothing special, straight forward turbo replacement. No modifications, drops right in. Everything needed was included. I did loosen up my up pipe to exhaust manifold bolts for the install. Had the stock turbo out and the new one installed in a couple hours. No exhaust leaks that I could detect but I will check a few more times over the next couple weeks.





The Whistle: With the 10 blade turbine comes the whistle. Itís loud. I mean really, really loud! I never expected it to be so loud. Accelerating from a stop it sounds pretty cool. At about 15% throttle the whistle is mostly gone. However, when you let off the throttle, coasting, or coming to a stop, the whistle is back with a vengeance. This ďdecelerationĒ whistle sounds a bit different to me than the ďacceleratingĒ whistle, a little more of a screech sound to it. In my day to day driving, Iíve discovered there is quite a bit of time off the throttle and this is when the whistle can become annoying and obnoxious.



EGTs: EGTs have increased a good bit. Highway cruising, they are up about 50 to 100 (in the 650 - 700 range), which isnít too bad. On the two small hills during my commute I would see 800 previously. I now hit 1100 Ė 1200 easily. This is in 6th gear, torque converter locked. A simple tap of the brake pedal will unlock the converter, bring rpms up, and EGT back down to 800. I have concerns that my EGT will be high while towing (I havenít towed yet) but Charlie has clearly stated that you need to keep the rpms up and watch temps when towing.

Fuel mileage: Obviously not much time driving with it yet but Iíve seen a decrease of about .4 mpg on the display. I hand calculate my mileage but Iím expecting the switch to ďsummerĒ fuel soon which will make fuel mileage comparison difficult.

Performance: Hereís the big one. Is there turbo lag? Yes. Does it spool slower? Yes. When the skinny pedal is put down, does it haul azz? Oh hell yes. Iíve been a bit scared to put the hammer down, not wanting to damage my truck, specifically the transmission. Last night I went for it, 6th gear, converter locked, rolled into WOT. 38psi of boost and she just keeps pulling. I let off at 90mph. Starting from slower speeds, say 10mph, I havenít put it to the floor but maybe 40 Ė 50% throttle, 3300rpm and sheís a rocket.

Thoughts: The turbo is a great piece, no doubt about it. For a daily driver, even with minimal stop and go driving, the slower spool and less boost at lower rpms can kind of give the perception that the truck is slower. It takes a little bit more throttle to ďgoĒ. The turbo definitely shines above 2200 rpms. But with my daily driving I usually donít go much higher than 2400 rpm. With that said, it is still very streetable and daily driver friendly, Iíve just had to adjust my driving style and continue to adjust to find the right balance. The whistle is a bit much, especially with stacks. I will probably be adding a resonator or muffler. Again, most of this is not really a surprise from my research, you just donít know what you donít know until youíve tried it. Iím interested and a bit nervous to see how things go when towing. With a tow tune and tow/haul itíll run higher rpms which should put it in the sweet spot for power. I just hope it will still reasonably get moving from a stop and EGTs stay in check. Honestly, I think currently I would have been better served by a Stage 1.5. Hate to say that. With that also said though, I have no plans to downgrade. Because when it is time to play, this is the turbo to have for a street friendly, daily driver, powerhouse.

Expected future mods:
PHP FICM tuner, 30% nozzles, built trans

- Michael
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastazfeck04 View Post
What turbo were you running prior to this install? Just curious if your comparisons are between the stage 2 and the stock turbo or ?
Stock '06

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyv13 View Post
I'm still on the fence with should I do the DIY or the entire unit. Did you get the 03 version or the 04-07, new or reman?
I was really leaning toward the DIY option, mainly to save money. But when you add in the benefits of a complete, new KC turbo with .72ar compressor cover, high flow billet vanes, 360 bearing, and expert assembly and balancing, it made sense to get the complete unit. It is new, made from a new 2003 turbine section. With the 2003 based turbos on a late '04 - '07 you only use two bolts and not the third, rear bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peixinho View Post
Thanks for the review.

Your higher egts sound a little abnormal. Maybe it is just tuning or maybe it has an exhaust leak.
I wouldn't be surprised if I had a leak somewhere. Just haven't had the time to thoroughly go over everything. I'll keep this thread updated if I find anything.

UPDATE 31MAR16 So taking Charlie's advice, tried out a new tune with this turbo. Loaded up TSD SPD (Truck Source Diesel Super Panty Dropper). It has the open vane at idle and this definitely makes the whistle more bearable at not only idle but off throttle while driving.

There were some other benefits I have found with this tune and turbo combo. In my review I stated that a couple hills I drive, I was at 800 EGT and since installing the Stage 2 I was easily hitting 1100 - 1200. With SPD I am now down to 900 - 950 EGT. Again, this is in 6th gear with TC locked at low rpm. Also seems to be less lag and some more "get up and go" if you will.

I need to put some more miles on but this tune and turbo combo seems to be a winner!

- Michael
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Last edited by Gadgetguru; 03-31-2016 at 09:14 AM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 05:28 AM
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Thanks for the review! Good information. What turbo were you running prior to this install? Just curious if your comparisons are between the stage 2 and the stock turbo or ?
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastazfeck04 View Post
Thanks for the review! Good information. What turbo were you running prior to this install? Just curious if your comparisons are between the stage 2 and the stock turbo or ?
Stock '06. It has a remanufactured sticker on it so apparently it was replaced at some point. Wish I could find my OASIS report, it would probably tell me.

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OK, thanks for the info. To show my ignorance, what is the problem with 3 nipples...
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 06:30 AM
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Great review, thank you! I've been bugging Charlie as well with turbo questions up the wazoo. He's been extremely helpful and never seems to be annoyed with my questions or concerns. I'm still on the fence with should I do the DIY or the entire unit. Did you get the 03 version or the 04-07, new or reman?

I have a recently rebuilt 05 turbo sitting on my bench complete with the 360 thrust bearing...just itching to be turned into a stg 2.
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 07:16 AM
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That is a very high quality review thank you!
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-24-2016, 07:58 AM
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The numbers you're seeing look pretty close to what my Powermax with Wicked Wheel 2 setup is getting me. I wished I went with a Stage 2 since pretty much right after I ordered my PMax. Just hadn't done enough reading on here yet. Mine does Pretty good though so far. I totally think I must have a boost leak somewhere now though between this thread and some of the others I've read. Anyway, your EGTs are a little hotter but that could be the tune. When I ran my 200X tune, the EGTs were quite a bit higher than they are with my White Rain tune. I need to get some more revisions on my 200X, just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe if you try one of your other tunes, it might help your EGT concerns. Just a thought.
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damn that's loud!
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my wife has supported my diesel addiction and made it happen.
I take back my wife delete comment I made in the "what did you do to your 6.0" thread.

THAT THING SOUNDS AWESOME!!!
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ARP Studs - OEM Gaskets - Machined Heads - EGR Delete - 4" Straight Pipe Axle Dump - MBRP Up-pipes - Holder's 175/Stock Injectors - KC Stage 2 63.5mm - Custom Water/Meth Injection - Beans Diesel Sump - PHP FICM Tuner - SCT X4 - TSD Tunes - Riff Raff Boots and Clamps - Coolant Filter - Blue Spring - CCV Reroute - Custom Big 3 Upgrade - Viper Remote Start - Aluminum Radiator
Check out MPA, those guys are pretty decent
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