Part 1: Installing Fleece Performance Engineering’s 2nd-Gen Swap Kit
Right off the assembly line, the 6.7L Cummins is a beast of an engine. Siamese cylinders, increased bore and stroke over the 5.9L, common-rail injection, and a factory exhaust brake all combine to make it a robust torque monster capable of towing just about anything. Still, the 6.7L has its drawbacks, one of which is the variable-geometry Holset HE351VE turbo’s propensity to seize up after the exhaust side succumbs to soot and carbon buildup. One of the more common solutions for a stuck turbo is to do away with the VGT altogether and install a fixed-geometry unit. Thanks to the 6.7L Cummins’ displacement advantage over its 5.9L predecessor—and when used in conjunction with a ’98.5-02 style exhaust manifold—a moderately sized BorgWarner S400 can be run with very few trade-offs in drivability.
Fleece Performance Engineering is one company that has all but perfected the fixed-geometry turbo swap process on the 6.7L. The company’s second-gen swap kit relocates the turbo mounting location to the center of the manifold with the outlet flange angled downwards. The result is added reliability, more horsepower, improved driving characteristics, as well as lower EGT and drive pressure. Once in possession of a lightly modified ’12 Ram 2500 with an ailing factory turbo, we consulted the folks at Fleece about our predicament and soon found one of the company’s ’10-12 second-gen swap kits on our doorstep. After removing the original turbo system, the Fleece kit was seamlessly installed in just five hours’ time.
This marks the beginning of a three-part series in which we’ll optimize the performance of the aforementioned stock-injector, stock-CP3, stock-transmission ’12 6.7L Cummins test mule (i.e., a tune-only truck), but also prep it for bigger and better things in the process. The scope of the project is to free up horsepower, enjoy optimum towing functionality, and support future injection system upgrades—all of which will be accomplished by installing Fleece Performance Engineering’s second-gen swap kit, Fleece’s groundbreaking exhaust brake for fixed-geometry turbo applications, and a PowerFlo in-tank lift pump. Stay tuned for the exhaust brake and lift pump installs in the coming months.
Fleece Performance Engineering