DIY Electric Turbo

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Electric turbochargers/superchargers like the notorious eRam get mixed reviews, depending on the application. Many argue that an electric blower will not put out enough pressure or airflow to make any significant difference in horsepower, but that largely depends on the engine. Either way, it is an interesting experiment, and may yield as much as 30 horsepower on a small-displacement engine.

The Parts

  • You will need two Turbo 4000 marine bilge pump blowers available online from many sources for as little as $35 apiece. You're going to need two, as they're only capable of flowing about 230 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air apiece, so one by itself wouldn't have a prayer of flowing enough air to feed anything bigger than a lawnmower.

    For the ducting, you'll need about 15 feet of 4-inch aluminum dryer duct, a 2-into-1 4-inch PVC split, at least six 4-inch hose clamps, and some sort of adapter to fit the drier ducting to your engine's throttle body or air-box intake.

    Wiring is simple and requires a 30-foot roll of both red and black 16-gauge wire, a switch and the appropriate connectors.

Pre-Assembly

  • Given the list of parts, assembly should be pretty obvious. Bolt the two bilge pumps together bottom-to-bottom by inserting four bolts through their mounts and connect an 8-inch section of dryer ducting to the output on both pumps. Connect these hoses to the PVC connector and find a good mounting point for your blower assembly. Attach a 3-to-5-foot length of dryer ducting to the PVC's outlet and run that either to the air-filter box or throttle body.

    You may need to seal the air box with some silicone sealant to avoid a boost leak. If your stock air-box proves too much of an ordeal to seal, consider using a pair of cone filters on the eTurbo's inlets and run your ducting directly to the throttle body or mass-air sensor.

Wiring

  • Splice the red wire leads from each pump together and do the same with the black leads. Extend the black leads with a single long wire and connect it your negative battery terminal.

    Mount your chosen switch inside the cab wherever it falls most easily to hand and run a red wire from the input side of your switch either to the positive battery terminal or to a switched (ignition-activated) power source under the dash. Connect the positive (red) wires leads from the eTurbos to the output side of your switch with a 10-foot length of red wire. Turn the switch on to check that your turbos are blowing air into the engine instead of out of it and start driving.

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