If you're looking for substantial gains in your car's performance, you might want to consider a turbo kit. A turbocharger (turbo) is essentially an exhaust driven air compressor. Because your engine is basically an air pump, the power output is directly related to the amount of air that can be introduced into the cylinders. A normal engine is fed by atmospheric pressure, which averages just under 15 pounds per square inch. A turbo kit can generate power by forcing air into the engine at a much higher pressure, increasing power potential.
The main component in a turbo kit is the turbocharger itself. A turbocharger consists of two separate assemblies mounted side by side: the turbine, and the compressor. The turbine consists of a circular housing, which is connected to the exhaust system and contains a fan-like blade system. The compressor also has a circular housing, connected to the intake system of your engine, again with blades. The two blade systems are joined on a common shaft. When the engine is running, exhaust gasses turn the blades on the turbine side, spinning the blades on the compressor side and forcing more air into the engine. A good illustration of this is available on the.
Most turbo kits will also include the following:
- An exhaust manifold or adapter, which allows you to mount the turbine side of the turbocharger to your car's exhaust system
- An intake manifold or intake tubing, which connects the compressor side of the turbocharger to your intake system
- A blow-off valve, which relieves excess pressure in the intake system between shifts
- A wastegate, which regulates the amount , or boost pressure allowed to flow into the turbine
- An intercooler. whose primary function is to cool the hot air before it is sucked into the engine
- Oil lines, rising-rate fuel pressure regulator, oil- and coolant hoses, mounting hardware, and other components necessary to complete the installation
In addition to the parts included in the kit, other modifications are usually required in order for your turbo kit to function properly. Because you are forcing extra air into your engine, additional fuel is needed. Turbochargers generate excess heat, so cooling system improvements may be necessary. Your engine should be in excellent condition before installing a turbo kit, and forged pistons and connecting rods along with iron sleeves may need to be installed depending upon the power levels you want to achieve. You can normally gain between 40-120 horsepower, and even more if you install the high-strength pistons and connecting rods.
While installing a turbo kit can be a complicated process, it is not outside the realm of a competent do-it-yourselfer. If you choose to perform the installation yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly. Should you choose to have the work done professionally; most turbo kit manufacturers can recommend a qualified installer in your area that specializes in these types of performance parts.