Building a turbocharger system can be as complex or as simple as you want, but building a successful combination that suits your needs and works without issue certainly takes a fair amount of work. In this chapter of our Turbocharging 101 series, we are going to focus on the theory and fabrication of a turbocharger hot side, which basically means any part of the system that deals with moving exhaust gas, including the exhaust manifolds, the manifold to turbocharger piping, the turbine housing, the wastegate, and the downpipe. If it gets hot, and we’re talking melt things in the vicinity and shooting fire hot, it belongs to the turbocharger’s “hot side” and needs to be carefully constructed to work properly.
Choosing Your Components:
Before beginning any turbocharger build, it is critical to clearly define your goals and then select components based on your specific requirements. This means what works for one person may not work for another and you can’t expect to build a hodge-podge system with mismatched components and be happy with the results. As exciting as it is to jump in and order parts, the first couple of days (or weeks or months) of your build should focus on research and some simple mathematics to help get you in the ballpark.
If you haven’t caught on by now, we are planning to build a serious turbo car, from the ground up, to show you how this process comes together. After months of planning and dreaming, we have laid out plans to build a 200-plus mile per hour, standing mile racer out of a 2000 Trans Am WS6. Over the course of the next year, we will delve into the engine build, wiring, drivetrain and tuning, but we are beginning everything with the turbo system. To reach 200 mph and really push the limits of our fabrication and turbo knowledge, we have chosen the following goals for our build.
&bull 1,000 hp at 6,500 rpm
&bull 370-cid engine
&bull Single turbocharger
&bull Air-to-water intercooler
&bull E-85 (112 octane) fuel