How to Install a Turbocharger System

Alma L. Figueroa

The automotive aftermarket industry reached a value of $560 billion in 2021. Some cars come with a turbocharger system as standard, and some don’t.

If your car doesn’t already have a turbo, you may want to add one. But how do turbochargers work? And how do you install one?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is a Turbocharger?

are devices that can be added to the engine of a vehicle to improve both performance and efficiency. They consist of two separate halves with a shaft joining them together.

One side of a turbo kit is the inlet where hot gasses spin the turbine. This causes the other side to spin which sucks in ambient air, compressing it into the engine. This brings more air into the combustion chamber which in turn makes the engine more efficient and powerful.

Installing a turbocharger takes some mechanical skill, but you may be able to do it yourself by following this guide.

1. Drain the Oil

Raise the front end of the car using a jack and rest it on jack stands. Drain the motor oil using a pan so that you can dispose of the oil properly.

2. Install the Intercooler and Remove the Exhaust Header

After all of the oil has drained out, place the oil drain plug back and remove the front bumper. Here is where you install the intercooler or charge air cooler. Remove the exhaust header as this will be replaced by the turbocharger manifold.

3. Attach the Turbocharger

Connect the turbo header to the turbocharger, then connect the header to the exhaust system. After this, you need to create a tap in the oil filter line. Attach the turbocharger’s oil feed line to this tap, then attach the oil return line to the engine oil pan.

Some cars don’t have an oil tap in the engine oil pan. If this is the case, then you may have to get one made.

4. Connect the Pipes and Hoses

Use the metal pipes and hoses to connect the intercooler to the compressed air outlet of the turbocharger. Any tubes and filters that are attached to the air intake of the engine need to be removed. If your car has a carburetor then you’ll also need a turbo hat.

5. Connect the Compressed Air Outlet

From the other side of the intercooler, the hoses and pipes will need to go to the engine’s air intake system. The intake system then needs to be connected to the compressed air outlet of the turbocharger.

Make sure all the oil taps and bolts are secure, add some new oil, and lower the car – now you’re good to go.

Installing a Turbocharger System Yourself

Doing your own turbocharger installation is usually not too difficult if you have some mechanical skill. If you’re not too confident, you should get a professional to help install your turbocharger system.

If you’re interested in more automotive articles, check out some of our other blog posts.

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