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How to Turbo/Supercharge Your Car In 3 Easy Steps! 
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This guide assumes you have a healthy happy running car. If that's not true, fix it and make it nice first.

  1. Swap to standalone management and fully tune engine
  2. Upgrade fuel system and confirm tune still valid/fuel system working OK
  3. Install turbo or supercharger, and adjust tune to suit

OK, so I lied. Sorry. None of those steps are easy. All of them are very doable when done in isolation, though. To successfully do all at the same time takes good management, experience and luck. If you attempt that, you're bound to fail, or take MUCH longer than necessary.

What this comes down to is basic scientific process: Change one thing at a time. Everything else is eliminated from being a problem when you do this. If you change everything and have some issue, you could have screwed up anywhere, and it's much trickier to prove what's causing your woes.

Obviously each step is made up of multiple sub steps, but that's not really the subject of this thread. There are plenty of resources out there to guide you on those. Here are a selection of possible faults for each step, though, just for amusement:


Swap to standalone management and fully tune engine

There are endless electrical, electronic and software issues that can bite you here, such as:

  • Dry solder joints
  • Bad/dirty/loose connections
  • Solder bridges
  • Shorted pins
  • Wrong connections
  • Wrong circuitry for hardware
  • Wrong wire gauge or type
  • Wrong configuration/setup
  • Inability to connect
  • Inability to run software
  • Incompatible versions
  • Wrong sensor calibrations
  • Wrong sensor type/location
  • Bad/wrong wire routing/connection
  • Electrical noise of various types

One of the biggest issues in working with embedded dev IMO is telling if your issue is software or hardware. It's often difficult to distinguish and you've got enough on your plate without introducing mechanical stuff into the mix too.


Upgrade fuel system and confirm tune still valid/fuel system working OK

Not quite so bad, but more insidious in some cases, some possibilities here:

  • Bad/insufficient gauge wiring to pump
  • Dirty fuel stirred up by install
  • Wrongly placed/no filtration
  • Excess restriction in feed
  • Excess restriction in return
  • Failure to use a check valve
  • Leaking regulator
  • Leaking hoses/pipes/connectors
  • Excess flow for regulator to manage
  • Excess fuel heating
  • Accidental use of rising rate regulator
  • Unstable pressure from removing damper
  • Non-linear pressure from return size or reg
  • Failure to account for OEM current limit switch setup

All avoidable, but some take experimentation to determine suitability of.


Install turbo or supercharger, and adjust tune to suit

And the well known mechanical issues with boost:

  • Insufficient oil flow to journal turbo
  • Excess oil flow to ball bearing turbo
  • Insufficient oil drain flow from turbo
  • VGT control strategies
  • Sticky wastegate
  • Loose/leaky/broken wastegate hose/fitting
  • Weak clamps on intercooler plumbing
  • Leaky exhaust manifold before turbo
  • Leaky exhaust downpipe after turbo before wideband
  • Inappropriate use/non-use of supercharger clutch
  • Insufficient octane for compression+boost+timing+AFR combo
  • Boost leaks
  • Throttle blowing open

etc etc etc.


Comments and confirmations/support welcome. As are suggestions for the failure mode lists :-)

Fred.

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:15 pm
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