Got a question? Send it to us. We’d love to answer it! TimsTurbos@live.com
Q: Do you warranty your work?
A: Yes, we offer a 12-month warranty unless otherwise stated. Our warranty does not cover improper installation or high performance racing.
Q: How long does it take for a rebuild if I send my turbocharger in?
A: We keep most parts in stock so turn around time is usually a day or two. Should we need to custom order something it might take a little longer.
Q: Do I have to change the oil lines on my turbo?
A: Yes, the warranty will be voided if both the oil lines are not properly replaced. Turbos need oil so if the oil line get clogged or contaminated the turbo can prematurely fail.
Q: I just put a turbo on my car and it smokes when I start to make boost. I know the turbo is good. What else can cause this?
A: Usually it’s related to the intake side of the crankcase in the engine. Check valves are good candidates for causing smoke. If there is a bad check valve on the PCV line it can get flow from both directions. Once the turbo makes boost it will pressurize the crankcase. This will cause the oil not to flow out of the turbo pushing it past the seals causing the turbo to smoke.
Q: I want to put a turbo on my car. What turbo should I put on it?
A: There are thousands of different types of turbos. To select the best turbo for your car you should ask yourself: What type of engine do I have? What horsepower am I trying to achieve? What is the max RPM I plan on taking my engine to? What type of driving do I plan to do? Is my engine gas or diesel?
Q: My car has 157,000 miles on the engine and I want to put a turbo on it. What turbo will work well on my car?
A: It’s generally not a good idea to put a turbo on any gas engine with over 80,000 miles. While it can be done – the engines tolerances are usually not as tight at that point which means it will be easier for the engine to blow. Also, if the engine blows there is a good chance it can take the turbine wheel out with it. Additionally, turbocharging an engine can get costly depending on how it’s set up so you may not want to spend the money (or time) on a worn out engine. Diesel engines, however, are different. You can a lot of miles out of a diesel engine.
Q: What is a wastegate?
A wastegate is a valve connected to the exhaust going to the turbocharger. When opened it bypasses the exhaust around the turbine housing. This causes the turbocharger to maintain a desired and stable level of boost (RPM). When the turbo reaches is desired boost level the wastegate will open and stabilize the boost by expelling the extra exhaust gases. When it closes the turbo speeds back up.
Q: What is the difference between a wastegate and an actuator?
A: A wastegate is a valve. The valve is opened and closed by an actuator. The actuator is usually a sealed diaphragm connected to the engine intake manifold pressure. The boost pressure from the manifold will expand the diaphragm pushing a rod or stem.
Q: I turned up the boost on my turbocharger and now its unstable. The boost is going up and down.
A: That is called a “BOOST SPIKE”. This can be caused by bad wastegate design and/or location. Boost spike is more common on internal wastegate systems. The port on internal wastegate systems is usually too small for high boost. A wastegate port that is too small will not let the exhaust gasses escape fast enough to slow down the turbine wheel. This can cause the wastegate actuator to over compensate, opening the wastegate too far.
Q: Should I put a blow off valve on my turbo system?
A: Yes, a blow off valve (BOV) is a good idea, as it will keep the turbocharger alive much longer. When you drive your car, the throttle plates are constantly opening and closing. When the throttle plates slam shut, due to shifting, the turbocharger has nowhere to vent the excess pressure and without a blow off value this would cause an extreme axial load on the thrust bearing making the turbo prematurely fail. The BOV also keeps the turbo spinning while you shift from gear to gear keeping the spool-up time down between shifts.
Q: Where should I put a BOV on my engine?
A: The correct placement of a BOV should be as close to the compressor discharge as possible. The BOV should always be placed before the intercooler. The signal line going to the BOV should be after the throttle plate. When the throttle plates shut a surge of vacuum will open the BOV.
Q: What is an intercooler? Will it give me more power?
A: An intercooler is used to cool the compressed air that comes out of the turbocharger. When air is compressed it creates heat causing less density. Air has more molecules and density when it is cooler. With more molecules in the air it will produce more power when the spark plugs ignite the air/fuel charge. An intercooler is very similar to a radiator. Instead of cooling the water in the radiator it is cooling the air going to the engine. A properly designed intercooler will increase power and lower chance of denotation.
Q: My diesel engine does not have a BOV. Should I put one on?
A: No, a diesel engine does not have throttle plates. So there is no need for a BOV. This is also another reason that a diesel engine can run higher boost levels with out destroying the turbocharger.
Q: How much boost can my turbo make?
A: It depends on the turbo to engine match up but it can make enough to self-destruct! As a rule of thumb, most turbo standard bearing structures using a BOV was a GAS (not diesel) engine are designed for a max boost of 15lbs to 18lbs in short bursts. Note that this does not apply to ALL turbos. You should check the manufactures specs. Give us a call and we can give you the specs for the turbo you have questions about.
Q: Does a turbo have as much power as a supercharger?
A: A turbocharger can and will produce more power then a supercharger. The crankshaft, using a belt, drives a supercharger. It takes horsepower to run a supercharger – some more then others. It depends on the supercharger, but if for example your engine put out 500hp @6000RPM at the crank with a supercharger, it can take as much as 100hp just to turn the supercharger at that RPM. So realistically the engine is making 600hp but you have a direct draw for the supercharger of 100hp. That 100hp is going right onto the bearings too.
As for a turbocharger, there is no mechanical horsepower loss. The turbocharger is working on wasted energy from the exhaust and heat. So there is no mechanical link between the engine and the turbocharger. A turbocharged engine will usually get many more miles out of it then a supercharged engine.
Q: My turbo makes boost but when I let off on the gas it smokes really bad.
A: Chances are the oil seals in your turbocharger are bad and the turbo needs to be rebuilt. The reason the turbo smokes after boost is from lack of pressure against weak seals. Oil seals are designed to keep gasses out of the turbo, not to keep oil in the turbo.
When the turbo is under boost it has positive pressure against the external part of the seals, keeping the oil in the turbocharger. When you let off on the throttle there isn’t any pressure against the seal holding the oil in the turbocharger. While there are always exceptions, this is a common issue with worn out or damaged seals.
Q: My turbocharger smokes and leaks oil. Can I just replace the seal? How much does that cost?
A: We do not “just replace seals”. Only a full service rebuild would fix the turbocharger as seal rarely just fail. It’s usually a sign of secondary damage.
For more information please contact Tim at: 1-866-3TURBOS or TimsTurbos@live.com