A generation or so ago, few vehicles were fitted with a turbocharger as the standard, as this was felt to be the domain of the performance enthusiast. Today, however, many 'ordinary' vehicles feature this type of component, as it is often matched with a smaller capacity engine to give efficiency at a lower price. You may have one of these vehicles but would nevertheless like to elicit some more performance without breaking the bank, and the good news is that you can upgrade the turbo by fitting a performance intercooler and other elements. What do you need to consider?
Step By Step
When it comes to outright performance, you can let your imagination run wild, and this is all well and good if you have the budget to match. Consequently, you need to come up with a reasonable plan so that you make modifications that are within your parameters and still achieve what you're looking for.
You could, for example, upgrade the size of your exhaust pipes to let the turbocharger 'breathe' more efficiently. Pipes that have a larger diameter will help to reduce pressure, and this will automatically add some power to the back wheels.
One of the best ways to achieve performance at a reasonable cost is to fit a performance intercooler. Some standard turbochargers do not have an intercooler attachment at all, but this device will help to reduce the build-up of heat and enable the turbo to perform more efficiently in any case.
Rather than fitting an internal intercooler, consider an upgraded version that is placed on the front of the vehicle, next to the radiator. This will provide even more relief to the turbo, and as the temperature goes down, more oxygen is created and delivered to the engine to generate more compression.
You can also tweak your performance by adjusting the boost pressure at the turbocharger wastegate. To do this, you can fit an electronic switch but will need to map this to the engine control unit carefully to make full use of the upgrade. Check with your component supplier to see whether you need to get a different ECU now that you have made these crucial adjustments.
Getting the Parts
With surprisingly few modifications, you may be able to significantly improve the performance of your current ride. Ask the experts when you source these components to ensure that you will be able to achieve your ultimate goal.