What is a turbo

A turbo is a turbine driven by exhaust gasses that force fresh air into the engine at a faster rate and substantially increases the efficiency of the engine.

We will take an indepth look at turbos and see what the best way of tuning them is.

Think of a turbo as a spindle with propellers at both ends. At one end the exhaust gases turn the propeller, this rotates the spindle causing the propeller at the other end to rotate and suck air into the engine compressing it.

The rate at which the turbo boosts or compresses the intake is very carefully managed. Low down in the rev range very little gain is noticed and this is referred to as turbo lag.

Then as the exhaust gases flow more quickly the turbo spins more quickly and compresses more air.

A wastegate prevents too much exhaust flow from causing dangerous levels of compressed air. The wastegate channels the exhaust gases away from the turbos propeller and effectively slows things up a bit.

The intake pressure is also controlled by means of an blow off or diverter valve.

Some modern engines have variable geometry turbos where the speed of the turbo can be computer controlled by altering the airflow through the propellers by adjusting the angle of each propeller.

Oil supply is an essential aspect of a turbo due to the high temperatures and high speeds they operate at. Ball bearings tend to out perform thrust bearings and are the preffered choice of anyone uprating their turbo as per findings of Torque Cars.

For a more comprehensive look at car tuning see our sister site www.torquecars.com More cars have turbo's fitted as standard and we will look at the best ways of tuning them. There are phenomenal power gains available to turbo charged cars with engines of all sizes.

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