Compound Turbo 6.0L Powerstroke Engine - Engine Builder Magazine
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Diesel of the Week

Compound Turbo 6.0L Powerstroke Engine

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Last week we looked at a 12-valve 5.9L Cummins engine built by Wade Dillow. The engine belts out nearly 1,500 hp, thanks in part to a wicked turbo setup that was worked on by Travis Keyser, another big diesel enthusiast in northern Maryland.

Located in Thurmont, Keyser is currently working on his own performance diesel truck. He has experience in the diesel repair world, but left the industry to pursue another career while still having time to focus on his own build. Since 2015, he’s been tooling on a 2005 Ford F-350 with intentions of making one of the baddest 6.0L Powerstrokes in the area.

From the beginning, Keyser wanted an “all-arounder,” something he wouldn’t have to pull around on a trailer.

“It’s not just something I take out on the track,” Keyser says. “I can pull a trailer with another truck on it, unhook, go race, hook it back up, and go home. I even drive it back and forth to work. The fuel mileage isn’t great, but all-in-all I knew what I wanted from the beginning, and you can see that in the engine.”

Almost the entirety of the build – aside from the transmission – was done on the asphalt driveway in front of Keyser’s house. Machine work was handled by a local business called Gunther’s Machine Shop.

The engine features cylinder heads from Kill Devil Diesel that are o-ringed and have Stage 3 valve springs. Also from Kill Devil is a Stage 3 cam with solid lifers and chromoly pushrods. Warren Diesel pistons with a standard bore and a set of Wagler connecting rods are also present in the Powerstroke build. 

“The first thing I did was start building a bottom end to hold some power since I was going to throw a small setup on it and have some fun,” he says. “A year went by and I started looking at doing some new things with it that were unique. It’s normal to do now, but at the time, I realized not a lot of people were running compound turbos on a 6.0L, so that was something I was looking at early on.”

For the turbo setup, a BorgWarner S488 atmospheric turbo feeds a BorgWarner S472, which sits in the valley on a twist pedestal to face it forward. The two turbos paired with a set of 430/200 7mm injectors from Warren Diesel Injection work to feed the intake manifold, which was stripped from a 6.4L Powerstoke.

In fact, multiple components of the truck are ripped from other vehicles and engines. The truck’s interior also comes from a 6.4L, and Keyser added an alternator from a 2002 Ford Taurus.

“I wanted to make something interesting that you don’t see on a lot of other trucks, and the project kept progressing as I added more and more components,” he says. “Everything clicked and it all works great.”

The truck has a Mishimoto intercooler and radiator with a set of electric fans to maintain heat reduction with the turbos. The batteries are moved to the rear of the truck along with the transmission cooler.

The transmission is full billet from Warren Diesel with a DPC 2700 stall converter and billet flywheel. All tuning was done by Warren Diesel as well.

With all the additions, Keyser’s engine made 1,253 hp and 2,105 ft.-lbs. of torque, but that was on an older version of his build that lacked his current injectors. Next time he dynos the truck he expects even more power potential!

Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]

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