Installing An Aurora Plus Compound Turbo System - Tow, Chase, Haul!Posted in How To on March 1, 2009
ATS recently released a new compound turbo setup that is capable of almost doubling the power output of your Cummins-powered truck. It is called the Aurora Plus and will fit on any 5.9 common rail engine sold in the '03-'07 heavy duty Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups. Not only can it support almost 600 hp in the right configuration but it also is the most economical compound setup they offer. Furthermore, it is a complete bolt-on kit and everything needed to make your truck run on two turbos is included and can be installed using conventional hand tools.
Intrigued (of course), we went to the ATS facility in Arvada, Colorado, to watch as this kit was installed on a customer's truck. While we were there, we took the chance to wander around ATS's manufacturing and service areas. We were impressed to see that the ATS crew designs, manufactures and can install all of their parts in this one building. Interestingly, many of the trucks in the service bays were average-looking work trucks. Obviously, people who depend on their trucks for everyday work and transportation trust the ATS reputation for a combination of reliability and performance. About the Aurora Plus SystemThe Aurora Plus System uses the stock Holset turbo in conjunction with an ATS Aurora 4000 or 5000 turbo. Reusing the stock turbo is key to keeping the price of the kit as low as possible. Turbos are expensive and you can save about $1,500 by reusing the factory turbo (compared to a compound kit that requires two new turbos).
The stock turbo is responsible for the initial boost and therefore the factory drivability is maintained. The problem with the stock turbo though is that it is only effective in the lower rpm ranges and cannot deal with the airflow developed on the top end. If you currently drive one of these trucks you know this from experience by the power band of the engine. Around 1,500 rpm you can feel the boost really kick in and then the power feels about the same until you reach redline. Imagine if that feeling of the turbo building boost was extended much further into the higher rpm ranges.
That is exactly what the second turbo in the Aurora Plus system is responsible for. After the original turbo builds the initial boost the ATS turbo kicks in and continues to add more boost. According to ATS, the Aurora Plus with the Aurora 4000 turbo will develop 38-44psi boost and with the Aurora 5000 turbo will develop 48-52psi boost. Compare these numbers to the stock turbo's capability of about 25-28psi and you can start to understand how much more power will be available. Couple this extra airflow with more fuel from a programmer and or larger fuel injectors and you will realize the 423-593 rear-wheel horsepower potential of your new setup.
Another benefit of the Aurora Plus system is its emissions-friendly characteristics. Because of the increased volume of air produced, the particulate content (black smoke) and NO2 in the exhaust is reduced compared to the stock turbo. How often do you hear of performance modifications that will improve your vehicle's emissions?