12 Valve Cummins Turbo Upgrade (+How to Install) In 2023

Replace your old turbo with our favorite 12 valve Cummins turbo upgrade. It is by far the best turbo replacement you can buy.

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to upgrade your turbo. Perhaps, you’re trying to increase the horsepower just for the sake of it.

Or, you’re trying to get into car tuning and figured it’s about time to change the turbo.

Whatever the reason might be, we have you covered.

Not only are we going to go through the best turbo upgrade, but we’ll also teach how you can install the new turbo.


What is a 12V Cummins Engine?

Cummins is one of the most well-known engine manufacturers in the world.

It has been around since 1919, and they’ve only grown ever since. The 12V Cummins engine is one of the most loved engines by Dodge owners.

Even though its successor, the 24V Cummins engine, somewhat took its place since its release, the 12V engine is still considered by many to be the best engine.

It is efficient, reliable, and produces a lot of power, ideal for drag races and sled pullers.

What is a Turbo Upgrade?

To get more power from an engine, the vehicle needs to burn more fuel faster. However, the cylinder needs to breathe more air for this to happen.

But this is not flying colors. By default, the cylinder is limited by the amount of air it can breathe.

Back in the day, mechanics got around it by adding bigger cylinders, which resulted in ridiculous large engines.

But nowadays, things have gotten easier. You no longer need to add large and bulky engines.

The best turbo upgrade for 5.9 Cummins makes the air denser to have more oxygen, which allows it to burn more gas more quickly. As a result, your vehicle has more horsepower.

Best Cummins Turbo Upgrade

Trying to pick up an excellent 12v Cummins turbo upgrade for your vehicle, but don’t know of any that is good enough for your car?

Well, here is our favorite turbo upgrade that will change your mind:

Turbo Turbocharger Upgrade


Highlighted Features:

  • Horsepower improvement
  • Journal bearing turbo
  • Made of durable steel

If you want a cheap turbo upgrade for 12 valve Cummins that allows you to significantly increase your vehicle’s speed, then the turbo upgrade is your best bet.

To start off, this model sets itself apart from the competition by being super durable.

It is made of resistant steel to ensure the turbo upgrade remains in great shape over the years.

If that were not enough durability, this brand has also ensured a sturdy turbo seal to seal the crankcase pressure.

Furthermore, this is a journal bearing turbo. This type of turbo suggests that it has shaft play, which leads to that sweet whining noise race car enthusiasts love so much.

The unit is also equipped with a significantly better spool time, meaning the turbocharger will have a much easier time reaching full turbo pressure.

Overall, consumers have been pretty happy with this model. This one delivers that top-end turbo power you need to modify your vehicle for an affordable price.

What We Liked

  • Significantly increases horsepower
  • Whining noise
  • Holds up pretty well over time
  • Seals crankcase pressure

What We Didn’t Like

  • The gasket feels cheap

How to Install a Turbo Upgrade?

Now that you know how powerful the 12 Valve Cummins turbo upgrade is let’s get our hands dirty.

Here, we’ll go over the steps you need to install a 12 valve compound turbo upgrade. That said, let’s take a look:

1. What You Will Need

Before getting started, get these tools for this job. Depending on your vehicle, some of these might change:

  • A screwdriver—since you’ll have to remove the old turbo, you’ll need a screwdriver to unscrew a couple of screws.
  • A ratchet—use a ratchet to remove the bolts from the vehicle.
  • WD-40—since you’ll be removing a couple of bolts, use penetrating fluid.
  • A rag—consider using a rag for this job. You’ll be disconnecting the oil and water lines, which can sometimes make a mess.
  • A floor jack and jack stands—at some point, you’ll have to jack up the vehicle to remove the downpipe. For this, use a floor jack and jack stands.
  • Coolant—we suggest bleeding the system out after installing the new turbo, so go ahead and get some coolant.
  • A funnel—use a tube to pour the coolant into the radiator.

2. Pop The Hood

First and foremost, pop the hood of the vehicle. Now that you have access to the engine, remove the engine cover, intercooler, and blow-off valve.

All these parts need to be removed before installing the turbo upgrade.

Also, when removing the intercooler, make sure to put the bolts somewhere you can find them. You’ll need them later on.

3. Cover The Holes

You need to know when working on a vehicle that if there are any holes, there is a chance that some stuff might fall in there.

It could be bolts or anything that might be important. As such, we suggest using a rag to cover the holes. So, use a rag and put it inside the turbo.

4. Remove The Heat Shield

We also suggest spraying the bolts with some penetrating fluid before removing the turbo.

If you’re working on an older car, then this step should not be skipped. It’ll make the job easier.

With that out the way, proceed to remove the vehicle’s heat shield.

5. Jack Up The Vehicle

Now that you’ve removed the cover from the turbo, you need to remove the downpipe.

To do this, jack up the vehicle. Don’t forget to use jack stands for this job.

Even though the floor jack can lift up your vehicle, you don’t want to risk it. For example, the car could fall on you.

With that out of the way, get underneath the vehicle and remove the downpipe.

To do this, disconnect it from the gearbox, so go ahead and remove all those bolts. As you’re removing the bolts, disconnect all the sensors from the exhaust.

Next up, unscrew the bolts on the back of the turbo. You might need somebody to help you out.

Some of the bolts on the turbo are easier to remove from above, but some are far easier from below.

Once you have removed all the bolts holding the downpipe together, please remove it from the vehicle.

6. Remove The Feed lines

Next up, remove the oil feed line from the top of the turbo. Once you’ve taken off the feed line, remove the water supply lines.

When removing them, put in some bolts to stop the water from leaking out. With all those parts out of the way, you should now be able to pull the turbo out.

7. Install The Turbo Upgrade For 12 Valve Cummins

Depending on your model, you might have to swap both the turbo’s oil and water lines.

And in some cases, you might also have to do a little bit of tweaking before you can fit them in.

Put the gasket on the vehicle. Make sure to line it up correctly. Now, put the new turbo on top of the gasket.

It might be a little bit hard to put it into place properly, so apply a little bit of strength to get it in.

Next up, bolt the turbo down. Now, put all the oil and water lines back on. Make sure to tighten everything. You don’t want to damage the engine.

8. Install The Downpipe

Get underneath the vehicle and then install the downpipe. Have somebody on the upper side and tell them to put the bolts back on to secure the unit.

Now, put the heat shield back on. From there, install the intercooler and the blow-off valve.

Don’t put the engine’s cover back on just yet. After that, start the engine to make sure everything went well.

9. Raise Up The Car

You might want to start up the engine and go down the road. However, there’s still some work ahead of use. You now have to bleed the cooling system.

Raise the support of the car on jack stands. This will make the process easier.

Next, hop in the vehicle and set the heater to the maximum. This setting should allow you to get all the bubbles out of the system.

10. Bleed The Air Out Of The Vehicle

Now open up the radiator cap. But before removing it, make sure the engine is cold. If the engine is hot, boiling coolant will come out.

After that, put the spill funnel on the radiator. Make sure you’ve correctly put it in place. Otherwise, the coolant will come out of it.

Now slowly pour coolant into the funnel. As soon as you see coolant on the bottom of the funnel, stop pouring it. From there, squeeze the radiator hoses.

By doing this, you might be able to add more coolant, though that’s not always the case.

If you can’t add more coolant, start up the engine.

The coolant level should now drop with the engine running. Add more coolant, and squeeze the radiator hoses.

Rev the engine up and down. Keep doing this until the cooling fans come on and off at least twice. This process can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes.

If the coolant is not going down anymore, turn off the engine. Now get a rag and wrap it around a large screwdriver.

Next, stick it at the bottom of the funnel. Next up, grab the funnel and take it off as you hold the screwdriver.

Be careful, though. The coolant is boiling after running the engine for that long.

You’re done now. You’ve successfully installed the turbo upgrade and bled the air out of the vehicle.

If you’d like to watch a video for this process, watch these two guys install a turbo upgrade for a Subaru:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ready to install the 12 valve Cummins cheap turbo upgrade?

Well, here are some common questions about it that you might want to know before installing a turbo upgrade:

How can I get more power out of my 12 valve Cummins?

The best way to get more power out of the 12 valve Cummins engine is by replacing the old turbo.

There are plenty of replacements out there that can dramatically increase your vehicle’s horsepower.

Is a 12 valve Cummins better than a 24 valve?

Both the 12 valve Cummins and the 24-valve have revolutionized the automobile industry.

Even though the 24 valve Cummins has some significant improvements over the 12-valve, such as better airflow and coolant flow in stock form, the 12 valve Cummins is still the go-to option for many drag racers.

How many miles will a 12 valve Cummins last?

The 12 valve Cummins is one of the most reliable engines you can get your hands on.

The 12 valves Cummins can quickly reach over 250,000 even on stock vehicles.

How much HP can a stock 12 valve Cummins handle?

First and foremost, a handful of different versions of the 12 valve are available.

But for the most part, the stock 5.9L 12V engine can handle 215HP. And you can increase all the way up to 1000HP.


If you’re looking forward to getting a 12 Valve Cummins turbo upgrade, then the product we just went through will surely meet your needs.

This turbo has been by far our favorite turbo upgrade for the 12-valve Cummins.

There are plenty of them, but few hold a candle to this product.

It’ll improve your vehicle’s overall speed as well as your driving experience.

That said, we also hope you enjoyed the turbo upgrade section. Installing the new turbo takes some time, but it’s a lot of fun over the weekend.

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