How to Feed a Turbo with Oil

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Oil-cooled turbochargers are circulated with the engine's oil to keep the bearings lubricated. Since naturally aspirated engines lack a stock oil-lining system for the turbocharger, feeding your custom turbo with oil requires modification to the stock oil-pressure sensor, as well as a tap into the oil pan for the turbo's oil-return line. To avoid complicated modifications to the stock components, a vehicle-specific aftermarket oil-line kit can be used. This will hook up to your stock engine with minimal modification, allowing you to properly feed your turbo with oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Turbo oil-line kit
  • Engine oil
  • Thread-locking adhesive
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Raise the front of your vehicle with a floor jack and support the chassis on jack stands. Remove the drain plug located on the oil pan and allow the engine oil to fully drain.

  • Locate the stock component to be tapped for the turbo's oil-feed line. This will vary depending on the model of your engine. Most custom oil-line kits utilize the stock oil-pressure sensor, located on the side of the engine block. This allows for an easy tapping of the stock oil-circulation system.

  • Remove the stock oil-system component by unthreading it from the engine block. If utilizing a stock sensor location, the sensor must be replaced with the custom oil line. In this case, your aftermarket kit will come with a T-fitting connector to allow for reinstallation of the stock sensor. To avoid oil leaks, coat your custom oil line threads with thread-locking adhesive before installing it into the engine block.

  • Route the oil-feed line from the engine block to the turbocharger and thread it into its designated connection. Connect the kit's oil-return line to its designated fitting on the other side of the turbocharger. Route this line down to the oil pan. Replace the oil drain plug with the oil-return bolt, which incorporates a banjo connection to hook the oil-return line directly onto the drain bolt. Tighten down the bolt and secure the oil-return line on the banjo connection.

  • Refill the engine with oil. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle off the floor jack. Start the engine and closely examine all oil-line connections for signs of leaks. Secure any leaking connections immediately to avoid turbocharger oil starvation, which can lead to turbo failure.

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