Think of the great pairings in history: Chips and salsa. Pizza and beer. Corvettes and tire smoke. Jenna Jameson. Air Power Systems and DynoTech Engineering.
Air Power Systems and DynoTech Engineering? Absolutely! And when you see their kick-ass twin-turbo setup for the C6, you'll understand why.
While it may not yet be a household name stateside, Air Power Systems (APS) is an Australian firm with over twenty years of experience in designing and manufacturing turbocharger and intercooler systems. APS also has an extensive background in EFI engine-management systems for select performance vehicles. APS officials tell us the company's signature lies in the quality and durability of its components, the attention to detail put into every system, and unswerving dedication to the notion that performance must always be reliably achieved.
DynoTech Engineering (DTE) is perhaps best known in the Corvette world for its innovative drivetrain fortifications. You've no doubt seen DTE's bright-red differential struts on the most serious Corvettes around. Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, DTE also offers a broad array of powerful forced-induction performance packages for GM vehicles.
With the introduction of the APS twin-turbo system for the C6, a new performance era is upon us. Follow along as DTE guides us through the finer points of the install. As you'll soon see, the APS system is not only brutally powerful but also an aesthetically pleasing performance package.
Twin-turbo systems are nothing new to Corvettes, but the APS system bears the distinction of being the first one available for the C6. The turbos are obviously the star of the show, and the APS units come loaded for bear. The system's foundation is a pair of twin-ball-bearing, water-cooled Garrett turbochargers. Traditional turbochargers employ a bearing supported by a film of oil that forms a cushioning layer between it and the turbocharger shaft. The shaft relies on a constant supply of fresh, clean oil over a very wide contact area in order to maintain sufficient clearance from the bearing itself. A similar approach is used to isolate the main shaft from thrust loads. Though this design is simple and fairly reliable, high friction results in sluggish turbocharger response, or lag. Unlike standard turbos, ball bearings are utilized on both sides of the APS turbo's main shaft, doing away with the typical floating bearings. The design is robust and compact in size. The opposed, angular, contact-bearing cartridge eliminates the need for a thrust bearing, which is commonly a weak link in standard turbos.
Water-cooled center sections are not a new innovation, but they are gaining popularity due to their reliability. With traditional turbos, engine oil provides both lubrication and cooling. This is an effective compromise between cost and performance, but in high-performance applications, durability can suffer. By enclosing the turbo's bearings in water passages, engine coolant is used to reduce turbocharger-bearing temperatures. This practically eliminates oil coking and lacquering, which can foul the bearings in standard turbochargers. The water-cooled bearings of the APS turbos remain cooler than the oil's coking-threshold temperature at all times, virtually eliminating the problem.
Another advantage of the dual-ball-bearing design is that it requires less engine oil to provide proper lubrication for the turbo. This reduces the load on the engine's oil pump, allowing more oil volume to vital engine components for improved engine durability. The oil flow through the turbocharger is controlled by an oil-flow control module (shown) that also serves as a debris separator to keep foreign particles from entering the bearing assembly. Frictional losses with ball-bearing turbochargers are reduced by 40-50 percent as compared with a conventional turbo. The improvement in turbocharger response, particularly in the low- and mid-turbocharger-speed range, is quite evident from the driver's seat.