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So, I have to replace my head gasket, as well as my turbo. I am going to go for a slightly bigger turbo (probably a Borg Warner 369SXE or so), as well as put ARP studs on (more than likely going with the 2000s as opposed to the 625s) My question is this. While I am getting the head decked and checked for cracks, should I have the machine shop mill it for o rings or for rings or neither? I am hard on my rig, pull heavy, and have a major lead foot.

Also, what head gasket brands should I be looking at? Are Mahle any good? I can get a Mahle head gasket with my head studs for an additional $60.
 

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A quality head gasket and head studs are likely all you need. What a quality head gasket is varies with opinion, but I think most folks can agree that a genuine Cummins head gasket is always a good choice. If you do decide to have machine work done, I would have rings machined into the head only. Again, I don't think this is necessary for what you're describing. FWIW- O-rings are much better suited for a DD than fire rings.

Edit: If you want an expert opinion, I suggest you call Scheid Diesel or Haisley Machine and ask for their input.
 

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On a 5.9 you don't need rings at all. Plenty over 1k hp without rings just studs. Also regular arp will work fine especially with just a single turbo. If using compounds then maybe 625s but I personally still am not sold on 625s. Now on a 6.7 sure 625s but not on a 5.9. Keep it simple where you can.
 
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