So, you’ve ordered a nice new turbo upgrade for your motor, but what other mods will you need? We speak to TurboZentrum to find out about the best mods for turbo engines.
Fitting a bigger turbo is almost guaranteed to give your car a bhp boost, or certainly the potential to make more power through car tuning. But it’s not often a simple case of bolting on a new blower and forgetting about everything else. To optimize the performance potential of that new turbocharger, a few other upgrades are usually needed along the way too.
To help point us in the right direction, we spoke to TurboZentrum. The company’s roots may be in turbocharger upgrades, but with the UK’s biggest online shop for products and accessories in the performance sector, TurboZentrum’s experts are well-placed to talk us through what supporting mods we could need, and why.
Let’s look at the top 10 best mods for turbo engines…
10 Best Mods For Turbo Engines
You’ve got your shiny new turbo sat in the box waiting to go onto your car, but have you got all the right nuts and bolts, clamps, and manifold to install it? Thankfully TurboZentrum stocks a wide range of installation kits for the most popular turbo units as well as a selection of performance manifolds, or all the various collectors, flanges, and wastegate ports to build a custom one.
A bigger turbo usually means more air being forced into your engine, and that means higher charge temperatures. The standard intercooler may work fine on a stock tune but will often struggle to keep that boosted air cool or become a restriction to the airflow when we start to increase boost levels. A good performance intercooler will keep temps under control and be less restrictive for airflow, both of which means your turbo can safely deliver the increased amounts of air you want it to.
A turbocharger is effectively a big air pump, and like any pump, the amount of work it can do depends on how much air you can get in and out of it, and how quickly. Many stock downpipes are too small for tuned engines and will strangle the performance of your new turbocharger. A larger, free-flowing downpipe will allow the exhaust gases to escape nice and quickly and keep that turbo flowing as freely as it should.
Blow-off valve. Recirculation valve. Dump valve. Call it what you will; we’re talking about the valve that directs excess boost air back into the inlet system or – in the case of a blow-off or dump valve – vents it to the atmosphere. Many OEMs make their parts from cheap plastics and rubber, which can degrade over time (especially when near the excess heat of a turbo!) and the first time we increase the boost pressures these can split and fail. For high-boost applications, some are simply too small to get rid of the excess air fast enough. Performance upgrades from the likes of Turbosmart and GFB are made from durable materials, designed to work with a specific application, and offer a fit-and-forget solution.
If your new turbo doesn’t feature an internal wastegate, then you’re going to need to add an external one. This will require plumbing one into the exhaust manifold (aftermarket manifolds with wastegate take-offs offer a neater but more expensive solution) to allow you to control the turbo speed. As a bonus, an external wastegate does allow you to run a screamer pipe too.
Air Intake Kit
In the same way that a restrictive downpipe will strangle performance by not letting exhaust gases out fast enough, an intake kit that is too obstructive will stop air coming into the turbo fast enough and have a similar result. Usually, a decent air intake will already be in place by the time you look to upgrade the turbo, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you may need an even bigger, freer-flowing induction kit for that new turbo.
With a bigger, harder-working turbo comes increased levels of heat. And heat is the enemy when it comes to a performance engine. Not only can it rob power via heat soak, but it can play havoc with nearby delicate wiring and plumbing. TurboZentrum stocks a range of Boost Products heat management solutions, so investing in a turbo blanket, wrapping or sleeving delicate wiring or cables, or using reflective tape and heat shields to control under-bonnet heat are all things you may want to consider when fitting that bigger turbo.
You’re fitting a bigger turbo because you want more power, right? But can the rest of the engine cope? There’s no point in having a turbo capable of 500bhp if your rods and pistons will fall apart at 300bhp. Make sure the rest of your engine can handle the planned power before you fit that turbo upgrade, and if necessary, look to add forged rods and pistons, better sealing gaskets, and heavy-duty bearings to ensure you have the foundations already in place.
A bigger turbo supplies more air, but you’ll need more fuel to match. For the substantial power increases usually associated with turbo upgrades, you’ll likely find the standard injectors simply won’t flow enough fuel to keep up. That’s when you’ll need to add a larger set of injectors and have the ECU remapped accordingly too.
If you’re going to the levels of upgrading the turbocharger, the engine parameters will have changed so much you will almost certainly need revised software settings to make it all work. A performance remap will bring everything together and optimise the physical hardware upgrades – including a new turbo – to ensure your engine is delivering as much power as possible.
Who are TurboZentrum?
If you’ve found this rundown of the best mods for turbo engines useful, be sure to check out TurboZentrum when taking on your own project.
TurboZentrum started as a small online business in 2004 and has continued to grow into the UK’s biggest online shop for products and accessories in the performance sector. With shops in Manchester and Berlin, TurboZentrum offers a huge range of turbos and accessories at affordable prices.
Call them at: 0161 503 3833
Or, head over to: https://turbozentrum.co.uk