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How to Keep Your 6.7 Cummins Turbo from Failing

Posted by J&S on

Get a Replacement 6.7 Cummins Turbo from J&S Diesel

During the mid-2007 model year, Dodge began equipping the 6.7L Cummins with a new variable-geometry turbocharger, or VGT. Although it adds great features like fast spool-ups, reduced lag, adjustable output, and exhaust braking, this 6.7 Cummins turbo is far more complex than fixed geometry-turbos. This leads to more maintenance issues, as well as premature failures.

What Causes VGT Failure?

The 2007.5 and later Dodge Ram 6.7L Cummins engines feature not only the variable-geometry turbo, but also exhaust gas recirculation to reduce emissions. This means that a portion of the exhaust gases are being routed through the turbo, and with the soot, carbon, moisture, and unburnt fuel contained in the exhaust, interior components of the turbo can become quite dirty. As soot, rust and carbon accumulate on the adjustable vanes and ring of the turbo, these parts stick or become totally frozen in place, eliminating the turbo's ability to adjust to engine load. At best, the engine may suffer from reduced power and performance, or at worst, excessive pressure can be directed into the combustion cylinders, causing the head gasket to fail.

Another cause of VGT failures is aftermarket tuning and performance upgrades. The VGT is tuned for stock performance and works reasonably well in such situations, but when power is added through a custom tune or upgraded injectors, the VGT may be driven to excessive speeds or excessive pressures, causing accelerated wear of the bearings and eventual failure of the turbo. Finally, the VGT actuator can fail, which is the electronic module that is responsible for adjusting the turbo.

How to Prevent VGT Failure

The VGT is more prone to failure than its fixed-geometry counterparts, especially earlier models, but there are a few things that you can do to prevent failure and prolong its lifespan:

  • Follow OEM Service Guidelines
    Dodge recommends disassembling and cleaning the actuator assembly periodically, including the vanes and ring, to remove soot and carbon. Likewise, the EGR valve should be cleaned according to the OEM schedule to minimize soot and carbon deposits.

  • Use Exhaust Braking
    One of the best ways to minimize the soot accumulation on the exhaust side of the turbo is to use the exhaust brake frequently. Between the pressures, and the movement of the vanes and ring, significant portions of the soot and carbon deposits are worn off.

  • Maintain Stock Performance
    If you are using the stock turbo, it is best to avoid any upgrades that will significantly increase fueling and power. This will keep the turbo operating at recommended speeds and pressures. If you would like to increase the performance of your Cummins engine, it is best to upgrade to an aftermarket, high-performance VGT or a conventional fixed-geometry turbo first.

6.7L Cummins Turbo Replacement In Las Vegas, NV

Do you need a replacement 6.7L Cummins turbo? At J&S Diesel, we feature remanufactured diesel turbochargers for the 6.7L Cummins, including our 5326057HX VGT turbo for the 2013-2018 Dodge Cab & Cassis.

Call 702-736-8526 or contact us online to order your remanufactured diesel turbocharger today.