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Turbo Your Car – Choosing a Turbo





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Today we finally get to throw a turbo in the Money Pit Miata! But how exactly do you pick a turbo, how does it work, what do you need to look out for when buying your own turbo?! Well, we are here to help. Let’s turbo this thing … finally!

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35 Comments

  1. DAMN "ZACK"… You know… You're actually DISGUSTINGLY GOOD in these Vid's.. And FAR FAR Enjoying to watch.. (You just doing it to good man..)
    So, stop doing this/that.. I can't get any work done..
    (Tommy from Norway..)

  2. I love your guys different shows I watch them all and I’m a long time subscriber stay golden

  3. Dude what mechanic knows THIS much about the intricate details and science of EVERYTHING. Zach is amazing

  4. I wonder how many kids under 15 watched this and actually thought they’re gonna turbo their car

  5. A turbin goes on your head! A turbine belongs in a turbocharger. I'm not sure why you americans pronounce it so weirdly!

  6. I bought a hoodie and my girlfriend keeps stealing it. I might be back for one more for her

  7. It's worth noting that more boost isn't necessarily a good thing. It's very easy to up the boost if the engine can't ingest air very well. Hence, boost isn't really an indicator of power, but more an indicator of how much air ISN'T getting into the engine. You do some head porting, some cams, etc and your boost will drop while your power increases. Likewise, a bigger turbo running lower boost can often make more power than a smaller turbo running higher boost. Even at the same RPM!

    For instance, a Mitsubishi small 16g will start making positive boost faster than an 18g, but that 18g at 0 psi might actually be making more power than the 16g at 4 psi at the same RPM and load. That's because the 18g is going to flow significantly more air at the same or lower boost levels as the 16g. Again, the boost is more of an indication of the air that ISN'T getting into the engine. The small 16g is smaller and spools up faster, but it's also heating the air up more than the larger turbo and is less efficient.

  8. Turbo sizing is really the key reason why you don't just buy an eBay turbo. You need to look at the compressor map and match the flow with the boost levels you're looking at and the volume of air your engine needs. You CANNOT reliably know what a random eBay turbo flows at any given air pressure, because often they are assembled with random leftover parts.

    The compressor map is step one. The turbine wheel and housing is step 2. If you put a nice big compressor on a little tiny exhaust housing, you're going to choke the turbo. It'll probably work okay and spool good, but you may end up finding that you can't hold full boost to redline, or whatever your shift point is. That means your exhaust housing is too restrictive. The big problem with this is it means that pressure builds up in the turbine inlet and will easily exceed that of the pressure on the engine intake side. That means that intake boost pressure ends up fighting (and losing to) exhaust outlet pressure, and this will kill performance.

    This is why turbine housing porting used to be such a popular cheap mod. By porting the housing with a die grinder, you can easily increase exhaust flow through an OEM turbo which allows you to run higher boost at greater power without a huge loss of turbo spool. I did this back in the day with a Mitsubishi 14b turbo and I'm a HUGE fan of the mod because that turbo absolutely RIPPED! Modern turbos have split turbine inlets and variable scroll whatnot, and may not necessarily benefit from porting, I don't know. But if it's got a single exhaust inlet, consider porting that bad boy if you need more flow.

    But strictly speaking, if you're sizing the turbo correctly, you shouldn't need to port the turbine housing. You should size that sucker for what you want it to do. You can always swap out the exhaust housing while maintaining the same turbine wheel with a little effort. Going with a larger housing will generally increase top-end power while slightly impacting spool, depending on how big you jump. What size you need is really a matter of the engine size and how you plan to run the turbo. Do a little bit of research and it should be obvious what you're looking for. Better yet, consult an expert, like the guys at Forced Performance. I'm not associated with them, but they make some amazing turbos and are worth checking out. Just sayin'.

  9. Jobe, I love you, you know your stuff. And I'm chalking this one up to a slip of the tongue. But my god, neither one of those things should be called "fan blades." A turbine is not a fan! A compressor is not a fan! Neither operates even remotely similar to how a fan works!

  10. The skinny tent grossly hunt because plow conceptually retire over a weary swiss. complex, abhorrent driving

  11. Watches most recent episode of Money Pit… boost creep… thinks, maybe a new thumbnail or wrong turbo chosen from the get go?

  12. I feel like they named it “Money pit” for the sole purpose of rhyming it with “turbo kit”

  13. Great stuff, for me it is 15-17 years ago I installed the last turbo of 200. So to see young people still installing turbos in now more and more EV days makes me smile.

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