A Better 6.0L Power Stroke Turbo
ATS Diesel offers help for the maligned Ford engine
Ford’s 6.0L Power Stroke comes from the factory with a variable-geometry turbo, or VGT turbo. The concept is a good one: The exhaust impeller’s vanes can be turned to different angles on the fly to maximize turbo response and minimize turbo lag. This is a great concept, and it makes the 6.0L quicker off the line than the 7.3L Power Stroke it replaced. The bummer is that the VGT turbo is famous for its vanes sticking in one position. When the vanes stick, the turbo’s performance evaporates. Enter ATS and the Aurora turbo for the 6.0L.
ATS Diesel Performance offers a complete kit to replace the stock VGT turbo with a non-VGT model. This simplification means the turbo vanes will be fixed in one position and can never stick. It also means the potential benefits of the VGT system aren’t there, either. Those who want a VGT turbo can still turn to ATS for their product needs, as ATS also offers a VGT turbo.
We headed to Diesel Tech in San Jacinto, California, to watch an ATS turbo being installed on Diesel Tech owner Loren Taylor’s ’03 Super Duty, which is factory-saddled with the 6.0L Power Stroke. We had every confidence that the ATS turbo would be reliable, so our big question was whether or not the non-VGT ATS turbo would perform as well as a functional factory VGT turbo.
Here’s a slice of reality: The complete kit retails for about double the cost of a stock replacement turbocharger. We’ve replaced the turbocharger three times on our cursed ’03 STD Super Duty. When you add up parts and labor to replace the stock turbo three times, it doesn’t take a genius to see that we’d be way ahead if we’d gone with an ATS 3000 kit in the first place. Reality has been known to bite.
"The VGT turbo is famous for its vanes sticking in one position. When the vanes stick, the turbo’s performance evaporates. Enter ATS and the Aurora turbo for the 6.0L."
Diesel TechSan Jacinto, CA 92583