The Ultimate Tow Rig: Part One-Pusher Intakes’ Compound Turbo System

Throughout the tail end of 2018, we here at Diesel Army have slowly started accumulating parts for our tow rig to build something that can get our drag truck across the country in the most efficient and clean way as possible. Between some ANZO USA exterior lighting, a B & W gooseneck hitch, Firestone Industrial Products rear helper bags, and custom EFILive tuning, this truck is surely heading in the right direction for the ultimate tow rig. After a year of traveling with the truck as is, something was missing. Pusher Intakes assured us that they have the fix that would complete this build entirely.

So what is it that could change our driving experience so much? The Pusher Intakes’ High Mount Compound Turbo System. We have been dealing with Jacob Allenbaugh of Pusher Intakes and after much discussion, there was no other choice. Pusher’s compound turbo kit was the only way to go. This compound turbo system was designed and tested for over two years with the vision of producing the best value system on the market-one that would exceed all expectations of how easily compounds could be added, as well as how impactful they could be for a truck’s performance over a wide range of applications.

“If you’re wanting truly usable power with real fuel mileage gains, our compound turbo system is the only way to go,” said Allenbaugh. “Our kits have been proven to withstand extreme 1,000-horsepower plus environments on and off-road, but are just as comfortable and relevant for stock-powered daily drivers.” Project TowBoat has had plenty of towing experience over the last couple of years, so why compound turbos? There are many benefits to having compound turbos and we’re here today to tell you what those are.

Compound turbos are the perfect add on that guarantees to wake up your Cummins, Duramax, and Power Stroke engines. With a tuner, intake, and maybe some additional fueling modifications, owners are looking for that air to neutral things out. Compound turbos, which are two different sized turbochargers in a sequence where the larger one feeds the smaller one, is just how you can do that. A set of compounded turbos will outperform and outlast a single turbo in most cases.

Everything needed to transform your truck from the normal pickup it is to the compound-turbocharged, towing machine is included.

Making power is one thing, but having usable power is key. With the original large single turbo, the truck could make decent power. As a matter of fact, in earlier testing the original 66-mm turbo made 525-horsepower, but how did it do with a trailer behind it? To be honest, it was laggy, the EGT’s were sky high, it surged at times, and it didn’t clean smoke up very well. We’re after a traveling vehicle that can do exactly opposite of that.

In hopes of turning this truck into the perfect towing machine, we replaced the 66-mm turbocharger with a BD Diesel Performance Screamer HE351VE as our factory charger was long gone. We knew that we would work with Pusher soon on this high mount kit so we went ahead and got a head start. Now, we’re here unboxing our kit to make sure everything is ready for installation. Pusher designed this system to be installed by the average truck owner in their driveway, thus everything that was included in our kit was all we needed to perform the install.

The first thing that should be noted here is that Pusher Intakes takes as much pride in their packaging as they do in their parts quality. We have never had any parts show up that was packaged this nice and to top it off, after all of the bubble wrap was removed, the parts were genuinely nice. The Pusher Green powder coating on the plumbing, the perfect welds on the high-pressure connections, and the bracketry to hold it all together was all incredibly done. Pusher Intakes takes quality seriously and it should be known.

With the provided fittings and hoses, you can take your measurement Pusher provides and make your cut to remove the standpipe kit. This will allow you to reroute the coolant in a safer, cleaner way back to the heater core.

To begin, we did the necessary things to begin and expose our working area including draining the coolant, removing the coolant standpipe kit, and removing the existing air intake on the factory location turbocharger. Pusher includes a neat coolant reroute system that cleans up the overall look of the passenger side of the engine considerably for aesthetics and to make room for the additional turbo. In order to install this setup, the coolant stand must be removed and cut at the specified location.  With the new adapter fitting installed into the remaining pipe, this plumbed coolant to the factory turbocharger still and also fed back to the heater core but still freeing up a ton of room.

With our cut just inches in front of the cross member complete, it was as simple as slipping our downpipe over the existing exhaust and clamping them together tightly.

Now that the coolant pipe was was complete, it was time for the main course. To make things simple, we went ahead to took our measurement and cut the exhaust down below just in front of the transmission cross member where specified. Once it was cut, we removed the downpipe from the factory location turbo.

After all, our new kit comes with a new downpipe. Next on the list was the Pusher-exclusive turbo mounting bracket. “Our Extreme HD turbo mount is very durable and will keep the turbocharger in place at all times,” said Allenbaugh. “Properly mounting the atmospheric charger is probably the most overlooked component in a compound system, yet the most important for a long lasting setup.”

This HD bracket makes this operation easy. The oil drain is easy to get to and offers a nipple to clamp to, the pedestal is very strong and holds the weight of the charger with ease, and directly mounts to the block with high-grade hardware.

By using the supplied hardware, we fastened the bracket to the engine blocks. Before setting the turbocharger on the actual mount, we needed to install the turbos oil drain. A lot of times, in other kits we’ve seen, the oil drain doesn’t fit as good as this. The HD bracket has an attached nipple for the supplied drain hose to fit over which makes it easy to attach and tighten. With the hose attached and clamped, we installed the drain fitting into the engine block. Be sure and lubricate the fitting before installing into the block. It is an o-ring fit and will require some strength.

This turbo that Pusher provided is an s475. This compounded with our upgraded HE351VE, we should be able to leave the cruise control on at 70-MPH and never climb over 1,200-degrees of exhaust temperature. Before, with the 66, the truck would climb and climb past 1,200-degrees and continue until we downshifted to some RPM or simply stopped accelerating. We are hoping for cooler temperatures, better mileage, and as a bonus, more sound.

Now, the moment we were all waiting for, we could finally set the atmospheric turbocharger onto the bracket to see what it would look like. Again, with the supplied hardware, we fastened it down loosely to ensure enough movement for our intermediate and exhaust connections. With the turbo set on the bracket, we went ahead and installed our turbo oil feed lines to the oil filter housing.

With both turbos in sight, we could start distributing some of these heavy-duty boots and clamps, We put the supplied silicone coupler onto the factory turbocharger and fastened a clamp to it to keep it in place. Again, always keep things just a hair loose to allow yourself enough room to adjust.

With the boot in place, we attached our full steel intermediate charge pipe to the top turbo via a v-band clamp and slid it into place inside the lower previously installed boot. This intermediate charge pipe utilizes a v-band connection at the compressor outlet, another nice feature that makes for easier install and a more secure leak-free connection.

Up next in our installation was the exhaust side of things. The new exhaust intermediate pipe has a four-bolt connection on one end and a v-band connection on the other. We loosely installed the intermediate pipe to the exhaust housing of the new turbocharger and the exhaust outlet of the smaller factory unit. Another interesting feature to note here is that the high-pressure exhaust is routed outboard towards the passenger side inner fender,” Allenbaugh said. “We did this for two reasons. One, it keeps the heat away from the oil and coolant supply lines on top of the factory charger, and two, consequently it allows the downpipe to stay close to the engine which is why our compound system does not require the customer to buy new air conditioning lines.”

In the very detailed instructions provided by our friends at Pusher, it says to utilize a heat gun on the inner fender well to form it out of the way of the previously added pipe. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t have a heat gun so we used a cut off wheel to trim the fender back to clear out room. We will revisit this later with a new inner fender that we’ll form to keep our engine compartment sealed up

With everything loosely installed, we’re nearing the end and the new four-inch downpipe is next. Reaching up from under the truck, we got the v-band connection started and then finished and tightened topside at the back of the new turbo. Before we fully tightened the exhaust down, we went back through and tightened all of the newly installed parts. Be sure to make sure all of your connections are straight and aren’t in a bind. This will ensure you don’t have part failures or even leaks during driving.

Now that we have it all snug, the last few items to install is the silicone coupler and the high-flow five-inch cold air intake. The Pusher Intakes’ cold airs are equipped with hidden sensor ports for a much cleaner look and their 50 CAL air filter that takes full advantage of the air coming into the trucks’ grille. Also included in this system is a replacement crankcase vent filter. The new and improved filter, as you can see, is a much better-looking design and will vent any pressure safely.

With everything installed and all of our connections tight, we got the radiator full of coolant and fired it up for the first time. Our initial thought after firing it up is that the engine sounds much quieter as the turbos are acting as mufflers, but slight revving makes for some nice whistling noises. Although the turbos seemed complete, we weren’t done there. Pusher also hooked us up with their 3.5-inch MEGA intake system and intercooler pipes and their billet aluminum grid heater delete intake plenum.

Installing the new 3.5-inch intercooler pipes was pretty self-explanatory. On the passenger side, the connect at the charge of the turbocharger and hooked to the intercooler and the driver side goes from the intercooler to the trucks monster new intake horn all via couplers and clamps. The reason behind replacing these parts with the larger diameter ones is simple. Better performance.

The Pusher intake manifold is built with two 3-inch mandrel bent tubes that configure into one 3.5-inch outlet. By using this twin tube design, it nearly doubled the outlet size of the factory unit and minimized the impact of the area of the number one injection line. This design features a 49.4-percent increase in flow over the factory manifold which guarantees an increase of the performance of your truck. These improvements include quicker spool up, lower EGT’s, and overall less strain on your engine.

In addition to the newly upgraded intake horn, Pusher hooked us up with their billet intake plenum to replace the old nasty one.

Intercooler Tube – the Pusher intercooler tube is built around 3.5″ mandrel bent .060″ thick tubing. This tube helps optimize your factory intake plumbing by replacing the stock 2.4″ ID plastic tube. This kit also includes heavy duty 4-ply silicone couplers and stainless T-bolt clamps to make installing this tube extremely easy. When using this kit, you do not have to try and cut the factory steel band off your tube in order to save the factory boots. Just loosen the factory clamps and install the supplied parts. For an additional charge, select powder coating colors are available on this manifold.

With our 2010-2012 6.7-liter Cummins Pusher High-Mount Compound Turbo System installed, it was time to plumb up our sensors to read EGT’s and boost via our Edge Products CTS2 monitor. With this monitor, we can monitor, log, and stream real-time data from our engine and dial this setup in perfectly.

  • Supports up to 750-horsepower with stock Holset charger and over 1000HP with upgraded chargers.
  • Compatible with most Borg Warner S400 frame turbochargers stock-based Holset chargers
  • CNC machined and laser cut flanges for flawless mounting to your Cummins engine
  • Fully TIG welded with precise settings to produce beautiful welds and optimal penetration without impacting air flow
  • The overall design and location of all components allows easy access and installation
  • Can be used with Pusher 3.5″ Mega Passenger-Side intercooler tube
  • Designed to work with stock and most “stock replacement” aftermarket exhaust manifolds
  • Full steel intermediate charge pipe with a port for a boost sensor
  • Front mount 5″ Cold Air Intake with hidden sensor ports and massive Pusher 50 CAL Air Filter
  • The Intermediate Exhaust Pipe is routed for optimum exhaust flow with minimal impact to surrounding engine bay components and is hydro-formed to smoothly transition and match the S400 turbine inlet
  • Two-piece downpipe with Patent Pending smooth flow flange allows for easy adjustment and fit up to the existing exhaust system
  • All fittings and oil/water lines are premium quality from well-known manufactures
  • Heavy duty 4-ply silicone couplers and full stainless t-bolt clamps at every boosted connection
  • Extreme duty turbo mount proven to hold the S400 in place in any conditions
  • S400 charger is placed in the optimal location for optimal routing of every component in the system
  • Color matching 24″x36″ high resolution “Anatomy of a Pusher Compound Turbo System” poster included with purchase
  • Does not require any welding, or major modification to the surrounding components in the engine bay. This is a true bolt-on system that can be installed in 4-8 hours depending on skill level and speed of work.
  • Included is every nut, bolt, hose, clamp, and even wire loom for a beautiful install
  • Various powder coat colors available – all colors that don’t show a lead time are usually in stock and ship same or next day
  • This system is not compatible with the factory emission system and requires custom tuning to reach it’s full potential

This kit can safely support 750HP to over 1000HP depending on turbo and fueling configuration.

  • Proven to increase fuel mileage 1-2 MPG during daily driving and 2-4 MPG during towing and highway use
  • Unsurpassed EGT control, reductions over 200F are common in mild applications
  • Installation of this kit is extremely easy, simply remove your existing cold air intake and downpipe then start bolting in parts.
  • Requires simple hand tools and basic mechanical knowledge for installation.
  • Included are extensive step by step instructions.
  • Average install time is 4-8 hours.

We are ecstatic at how well this truck is driving. Unfortunately for us, it’s winter time and the local tracks around here are closed, but as Spring approaches, we are ready to load this thing down and put it to work. We can’t thank Jacob and the crew at Pusher Intakes for getting involved in Project TowBoat. Stay tuned as we take this story into a multi-part series throughout the year. For more information about Pusher Intakes and all of their parts, be sure and check out their website. Stay tuned as we continue to push this truck all the way to perfection.


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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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