Tuning your turbocharged vehicle can substantially increase its performance. Despite being inherently high-performance in stock form, turbo engines are among the easiest to modify for increased horsepower. A simple increase of the turbo's boost pressure along with tuning support can yield a gain of 50 or more horsepower on some engines, even with no other modifications.
Things You'll Need
- ECU reflash
- Manual boost controller
- Piggyback ECU tuner
- Data logger
Tune your turbo vehicle via an ECU reflash if your turbocharger's boost pressure is electronically controlled. As most modern turbo cars' boost levels can be electronically modified, a full retune of the ECU will both raise turbo PSI as well as refine all other necessary engine parameters, such as air/fuel mixture. Most aftermarket companies offer a reflash for stock vehicles, thus making it the only modification needed to tune your turbo.
Purchase a manual tuning kit if your vehicle doesn't allow for electronic turbo tuning. The first thing you need is a manual boost controller. This is a screw-type mechanism spliced into your engine's vacuum line. Once installed, you simply thread the controller's knob one way to increase boost pressure, or the opposite way to decrease boost.
Modify your engine's fuel tuning to compensate for the manual boost controller's increased airflow. This can be done with various piggyback ECU tuners. These devices plug into your vehicle's ECU and allow you to modify the fuel curves of the stock programming. Turbo tuning should be done by a professional using a dyno machine, as mistuning can lead to failure of vital engine parts.
Tips & Warnings
- Always consult information regarding the limits of your specific make and model, as over-increasing boost pressure can lead to poor performance as well as such problems as blown turbos/seals.
- Photo Credit turbo image by Elijahu from Fotolia.com
How to Add a Turbo Charger to a Carbureted Engine
Carburetors and turbochargers can get along under the right circumstances; it's all a matter of tuning and maintaining the engine's air-fuel ratio....
How to Install a Turbo in a Car
You have decided you want to add some horsepower to your car by installing a turbocharger. While, true a turbo kit can...
Turbo Compatible Carburetors
Turbo Compatible Carburetors. Although fuel injection ... How to Tune a Turbo Carb. Types of Carburetors. How to Adjust the Idle on...
How to Tune Up & Troubleshoot an SR20DET
The Nissan SR20DET engine is a high-performance, turbocharged 4-cylinder found in numerous Japanese and European market vehicles. Since the engine was never...
How to Increase Boost on Your Turbo Engine
How to Read a Turbo Boost Gauge; How to Tune a Turbo; The Best Way to Control Turbo Boost; Comments You May...
How to Rebuild a Turbo Charger
A turbocharger is a type of forced air induction device that utilizes exhaust driven impellers to compress an engine's air intake charge....