Diesel Tuner's Blog

LB7 Duramax Turbo Upgrade!

Posted by Paul Wilson on Sep 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM





  • What is your power goal?
  • How do you use the truck?
  • Is there a sled pull class you would like to compete in?
  • What are your future plans for the truck?
  • Are your mechanical skills up to par for installing it yourself or are you taking it to a shop for installation?
  • What is your budget?
With so many options on the market, it's very hard to determine which is the best choice for you.  Of course you can always call each manufacturer and discuss what options they have, however you will still need to ask the right questions. I hope to save you time, money, and the headache of weeding through all of the hype out there and point you in the right direction in how to select the right turbo for you!

What are your Power Goals?

Clearly defining your power goals will help you establish a game plan. No one wants to buy a turbo that will not work with their future goals for the truck. However there are some baselines that you need to set first; like are you going to build the motor?  On an LB7 we know the rods cannot handle more than 650HP.   So if you're not going to invest $15k-$25k on a motor build, there's no point in purchasing a turbo that is 800 HP capable.  On the flip side, if you are going to do a motor build in the future but want something more suited for the stock truck, consider a valley charger that will still work-in a twin kit.  This is a great way to maximize your dollar-per-horse-power. Below you will find a list of just a few chargers and their peak horse power. 


  • Stealth 64 - 600-620 RWHP
  • Stealth 67.7 - 750-800 RWHP
  • s366 - 650-700 RWHP
  • Cheetah 63mm - 600-625 RWHP
  • Supermax - 650-675 RWHP
  • s475/87 turbine - 750-800 RWHP




How do you use your truck?

Daily drivers and "grocery getters" have very different setups compared to a sled pull or drag truck.  With daily drivers or tow rigs you require something that spools quick.  Quick spool up is more important for these trucks because they do most of their work in low end throttle ranges.  However, drag racing and sled pull setups allow you to sit and spool the charger until you are ready to launch which means spool up time is not really a factor.  

Is there a sled pull class you would like to compete in?

Each sanctioning body for sled pulls has their own rules.  Pay close attention to the rules and ask the people competing in that specific class prior to purchasing a turbo.  In sled pulls, the turbo is arguably the most important component to the truck so you want to be sure.

What are your future plans for the truck?

As previously discussed, you must know the long term goals for your truck before buying a turbo.  Once you have a long term plan, we can suggest a kit and point you in the right direction.  Keeping your end goal in mind will certainly save you money in the long run.

Are your mechanical skills up to par for installing it yourself or are you taking it to a shop for installation?

This is a HUGE factor when pricing out a new turbo setup.  If you are not doing the work yourself it can be expensive to go with a cheap turbo that has a large install kit.  Call a few shops (or reach me at the office, 815-568-7920 ext 2122) to get a ball park on the cost to install whichever turbo you are considering.  This will make the final decision much smoother. 

What is your budget?

Once on the Diesel Performance Podcast, our guest Chris Ehmke said "Take whatever your budget is, double it, and throw it out!".   This is not the best advice but it brings up a great point; you don't know what is going to happen.  Sometimes big builds can run away with your bank account but there is no reason to go into debt over just a turbo upgrade.  Know what you can afford, and do your research first and you should be in good shape.  


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Topics: Stealth 64, LB7, Stealth