How to Install a Turbo

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If you’re like most car owners, you probably enjoy tinkering with your vehicle. While there are tons of different upgrades that might seem too daunting, installing a turbo isn’t among them. In fact, all you’re going to need in order to get the job done is a turbo, some basic tools and a little bit of effort. And in order to make this easier for you, we’ve come up with a step-by-step guide that’s guaranteed to help.

Get everything you need
Of course, the first thing you’ll have to do when installing a turbo is prepare everything you need for the job. This obviously includes your non-turbo car and the turbo you want to install. Moreover, you’ll need a turbo manifold, intercooler, piping, water and oil lines, dump pipe, and an exhaust. It’s also important to know that turbos use exhaust gas to pressurize the intake which means you’ll have to remove everything in front of the intake manifold. When it comes to your exhaust manifold, you can choose to either buy a premade one or make one yourself. Just make sure you don’t go for the cheapest thing you can find since low-quality manifolds can crack and send dodgy welds down your new turbo.

Get ready to do some pipework
Once you have everything ready, you should rotate your turbo so that the inlet and outlet are oriented correctly for your engine. This is guaranteed to make all the pipework much easier. Since we’re talking about pipes, these are usually made of stainless steel bands and can easily be connected to your turbo. You’ll also need an intercooler that has hot air on one side and cold air on the other. Even though it may seem like doing the pipework is difficult, if you know your way around cars you should be able to deal with it yourself. Just don’t forget that you’ll need a dump pipe as well, since all the spent exhaust gases have to be dumped somewhere. And it’s the dump pipe that will allow you to dump all of these gases into the exhaust.

Build an oil line and install a water pump and stock injectors
Since turbos spin quite fast, they need oil in order to be able to lubricate the bearings in between the compressor and the exhaust housings. Luckily, you can easily install oil lines both going in and return lines to the oil pan. This should feed the top of your turbo core while the low-pressure oil gets drained into the sump. Also, it’s important to mention that since turbos spin at such high speeds, they create heat and they need water to cool them down. This means you’ll also have to install a water pump that’s going to supply your new turbo with all the water it needs. You’ll also need to install large stock injectors that will supply your turbo with fuel. This is also the point where you’d want to think about installing your boost gauge.

Dyno tune your car
Once everything is said and done you’ll have to look at tuning to get the most out of your new turbo! A dynamometer isn’t really the easiest machine to operate so we recommend visiting a garage where you can have professionals do this for you. Just make sure you turn to the right facility since dyno tuning a car isn’t something that should be rushed. Also, since your tires are going to spin on those rollers even up to 100 mph, you should make sure you don’t arrive at the garage with a nearly empty gas tank. Once in the garage, your car will be placed on the dyno with the engine on. Be prepared to witness pros stepping on the gas pedal often and spend much time looking at the screen.
Follow all of the steps we mentioned above and installing a turbo should be too difficult. More importantly, you’ll finally be able to enjoy some extra power while on the road. Installing a turbo can be a wonderful experience and you’ll be guaranteed to learn something new while doing so. Therefore, you should never be afraid to take on a project like this and get one step closer to driving your dream car.

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