Turbos for 5.9 Cummins – Buyer’s Guide!

Turbochargers are sometimes confused for being complex, but they are a simple mechanical fan that provides air compression. Turbocharger units connect to the exhaust system, capturing and diverting the fast flow rate of the expended exhaust as it leaves the engine to drive a turbine air compressor that pushes additional air into the cylinders.

List of Top-Rated Turbos from 5.9 Cummins Comparison Table

PhotoModelYearDimensionsDescription
1. ATS Diesel 2029302272 Turbocharger SystemATS Diesel 20293022722003-200726” x 18” x 14”View on Amazon
2. aFe Power 46-60052-1 BladeRunner GT Series TurbochargeraFe 46-60052-12003-200729” x 7” x 7”View on Amazon
3. Stigan 847-1044 New TurbochargerStigan 847-10441998-200712.5” x 9.5” x 12”View on Amazon
4. Fleece Performance FPE-351-0407 TurbochargerFleece Performance FPE-351-04072004-200712” x 12” x 12”View on Amazon
5. BD Diesel 1045286 Turbo KitBD Diesel Performance 10452862003-200715” x 15” x 15”View on Amazon

5.9 Cummins Engine and Turbocharger

The 5.9L Cummins engine started in 1989, but it was not until 1998 when the first 24 Valve engine with common rail injection including the Holset turbo that provided a magnificent addition of 100HP over the previous models. This upgraded engine provided unrivaled power and performance for nearly a decade until it was replaced by the 6.7L Cummins engine.

The Best Turbos from 5.9 Cummins Reviews

1. ATS Diesel 2029302272 Turbocharger System

Description

The Aurora 3000 Turbo System is an OEM and towing performance replacement for 2003+ Dodge 5.9L Cummins.

Performance

The Aurora 3000 is a quick spooling turbocharger, this model comes with a 58mm inducer on the turbo, and provides an exceptional stock performance replacement for your old turbochargers.

This model weighs 36 Lbs. is made of cast aluminum and forged steel blades.

Features

  • Quicker spool-up with reduced lag
  • More efficient and usable torque curve
  • Designed for towing and daily driving
  • Increased fuel economy
  • Safe for stock motor and components
  • Decrease in stress on the motor due to better combustion
  • Reduces turbo “bark” due to ported compressor housing design
  • Great all-around performance gains

Recommendations

This is a classic 59L replacement part that works like stock but gives added benefits for towing.

2. aFe Power 46-60052-1 BladeRunner GT Series Turbocharger

Description

The aFe Power 46-60052-1 BladeRunner GT Series Turbocharger stock replacement

Performance

This amazing turbo comes with a 60mm trim compressor inducer and an 89.7mm compressor exducer with a 65 mm turbine inducer and a 58mm turbine exducer all housed in a 12 CM2 housing.

The compressor wheel is made from gold anodized 7/14 bladed billet aluminum, and the comes with a 60mm inducer and 89.7mm exducer. This design provides improved turbo spool-up, high wheel speeds, and boost pressures. You also get a wastegate actuator made from CNC-machined, black anodized billet adjustable aluminum.

This is a direct replacement part that provides stock performance as well as increasing your power by an addental 51 HP and +124 lbs. x ft. Torque max gains, all dyno proved.

Features

  • Stock replacement with no core charge
  • A direct bolt-on replacement; all connections to the vehicle are compatible with the OE geometry
  • Additional fueling is not required
  • Billet adjustable wastegate actuator included, comes preset to 40 PSI

Recommendations

This is one exceptional model, it comes at a reasonable price but delivers beyond expectations, well worth the investment and will extend your 5.9L Cummins life by a few more years easily.

3. Stigan 847-1044 New Turbocharger

Description

The Stigan 857-1044 is a Holset replacement turbocharger that matches the design and performance for 1998-1998 Dodge Pick-up Truck – 5.9L Diesel – 24 Valve Engine

Performance

This original and new Stigan turbocharger unit comes in billet aluminum alloy housing using all aluminum alloy and steel components for solid and stable stock performance.

Features

  • Stock replacement with no core charge
  • A direct bolt-on replacement; all connections to the vehicle are compatible with the OE geometry
  • Additional fueling is not required

Recommendations

A very reliable and budget-friendly product, and to be blunt, the most inexpensive replacement part for the value you can find on the market today.

4. Fleece Performance FPE-351-0407 Turbocharger

Description

This is the Fleece Performance® FPE-351-0407 – Billet Holset Cheetah Turbocharger for Cummins 2004-2007

Performance

The Fleece Turbocharger FPE-351-0407 is a drop-in replacement turbocharger for 5.9 Cummins.

This model comes with the standard Fleece 63mm compressor wheel and mounting gasket with the wastegate.

This is a drop-in replacement part.

Features

  • Billet aluminum alloy and quality parts
  • OEM plus
  • Budget-friendly price

Recommendations

This is a high-quality brand name so you will pay much more than expected. However, you will receive a perfect performance part that delivers to stock performance and lives longer than most of its competitors.

5. BD Diesel 1045286 Turbo Kit

Description

This is the Super B Killer SX-E S361 Turbo Kit Dodge 2003-2007 5.9L Direct Drop-In

Performance

The BD Single Turbo kit model SX-E S361 is an OEM turbo designed to provide much more efficient performance. This stock style component comes with a 360 thrust bearing and enhanced compressor wheel and housing. The smaller inducer with the larger compressor blade surface delivers quicker spooling with more flow than other wheels of a similar size.

These are high strength FMW Forged and Milled Wheels that come with a heavy sprung waste-gated T3 turbine housing. This complete unit mounts onto stock exhaust manifolds. The wastegate and bracket holds boost and also prevents damage from over speed, and the turnbuckle Boost Control gives you easier altitude adjustment for extreme tuning

Features

  • Comes with wastegate fooler
  • Comp Wheel: 61.44mm 2.42in
  • Turbine Wheel: 76mm 2.99in
  • A/R Ratio: 0.80
  • Flow: 77 Lb/min
  • Approximate rated 500hp (depending on truck configuration)

Recommendations

A great little unit appropriately priced for its tuning capabilities and ready to install (drop-in).

5.9 Turbo FAQ

As with all electromechanical products, the 5.9L suffered from its own set of issues, and with the turbocharger these problems were lead by the higher mileage vehicles that would eventually lead to a lack of boost pressure in the intake, leaving the engine down on power. If left unchecked the issue would deteriorate and eventually lead to catastrophic engine failure.

The main fault in these early Holst turbochargers were the oil seals in the center hub rotating assembly. These seals were prone to wear over longer distance use, and the wear would lead to lubricating oil seeping into the intake as well as the exhaust. The issues with an engine oil leak are some of the worst you can ever face; they include clogging your intercooler, increasing your RPM that will go beyond the throttle input, as well as damage the oxygen sensors and leave a bluish smoke trail from the exhaust pipes. Now, seeing smoky pipes is one thing, but you can’t see the build-up of gunge inside the intake that leads to a worn turbo and damaged engine.

The second issue that was observed with the OEM turbochargers was when the center hub rotating assembly bearing wore down. This is generally caused by high mileage and age but is also caused by the issue described above, as well as a lack of lubrication as well as a clogged oil feed line. Just take heed that a turbocharger fan is rotating at around 200,000RPM (Yup, we wish our wheels would do that too, but they don’t). As such, when the bearing wears down, the sides of the fan touch the housing, this leads to additional wear, and in the most severe cases, fan breakage that sends shards of metal flying like bullets through your engine, and other parts. Needless to state, this is a life-threatening situation at the worst, and an engine destroying the issue at the best outcome.

You will be given fair warning from your turbocharger since it will start to fail as well as let out a loud whistle or whine while accelerating. In this case, stop your vehicle immediately. You can check this out by visually inspecting the turbo for excessive bearing play. You do this by removing the intake tube that feeds the turbo and then moving the compressor fan with your fingers. If the fan moves ever so slightly to the sides as well as rotationally, it means its bearing is worn, and you cannot drive until you replace the turbo.

How to replace your turbocharger

If you have a knack for car mechanic work and like to replace your aftermarket components, then this one will be a two-hour job, and easy if you follow the instructions properly.

I have included a video which is one of the better ones to find on the internet.

Just remember some safety preparations that need to be performed before each car job:

  1. Always make sure you work in a clean environment.
  2. Always make sure every tool you need is available and at hands reach.
  3. Always secure your vehicle with tire blocks for extra safety.
  4. Never work under a vehicle that is not properly raised and secured.
  5. Always uncouple your battery or batteries, never work with an electrified car.
  6. Its best to have a pail or can for water and oil, just in case, you never know when you need it.

Here is a great how-to video from YouTube:

About the author

Jim Malkovich

If you have any ideas or seek cooperation in any way, contact me today and let’s see where this leads us to. You can reach me at jimmalkov@gmail.com

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