Boost Controller: A Shopper's Guide
When you're trying to improve the performance of the engine of a turbocharged vehicle, one effective and cheap method is by buying a boost controller. Basically, what a boost controller does is to control the air pressure that's created in the intake manifold and the wastegate actuator. By installing a boost controller in your vehicle, the role of the wastegate is reduced, and this causes the turbocharger to spool a lot faster-and this means more boost. If you're thinking of buying a boost controller for your vehicle, reading the rest of this article will help you make a smart decision.
Types of boost controllers
- Manual boost controller- This boost controller is the most basic and popular of all because it's cheap and easy to install. The manual boost controller has a dial that lets you control how much pressure the wastegate detects. Depending on how much you want the valve is open, the turbocharger will continue to spin and create boost until enough pressure is created to open the wastegate.
- Electric boost controller- Unlike the manual boost controller, the electronic boost controller controls the valves using a solenoid and a computer. An electronic boost controller can completely shut down the wastegate so it won't detect any pressure. As a result, the turbocharger will just continue to spool to create more boost. The electronic boost controller's computer will let you limit the amount of boost created and the boost levels at the same time. In some sophisticated electronic boost controllers, the boost created is automatically dropped when the engine's temperature becomes too hot. This way, damage to the vehicle's engine is immediately prevented.
A word of caution before buying a boost controller
Before purchasing a boost controller, make sure that you take note of the limits of various engine components such as engine block, fuel injectors, fuel pump, and the engine management system. For example, certain turbochargers don't allow extra boost levels because this can result to faster wear. Aside from that, the fuel pump and fuel injectors may not be able to deliver the proper amount of fuel that is demanded by higher boost levels. Finally, there are also cases wherein the engine management system fails to respond properly to fuel or ignition timing, and this can result to engine failure.
Boost controller price
If you've already considered all the factors that are mentioned above, you can now purchase a boost controller. For starters, BD Diesel offers an electronic boost controller that's somewhere between $80 and $100.
Manual Boost Controller Installation Instructions
If you've always wanted to increase the power of your Audi's turbocharged engine without spending a lot, then installing a manual boost controller is a good starting point. If you've already purchased a manual boost controller from a trusted automotive store, then simply follow the instructions below so you can install it in your Audi vehicle.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Socket wrench
- Metric sockets
- Metric open wrenches
- Wire strippers
- Electric tape
- Manual boost controller
- Velcro or double-sided tape
Step 1: Mount the manual boost controller near the vehicle's dashboard. You can use the dashboard mount that comes with the manual boost controller. If there's no dashboard mount, you can mount the manual boost controller using Velcro or double-sided tape.
Step 2: Remove the air box found at the driver's side corner engine by using Metric sockets and Metric open wrenches. Remove the tube that attaches the air box to the intake manifold.
Step 3: Set aside the air box and its tube.
Step 4: Disconnect all the wiring harnesses that are attached to the sensors of the intake tubing. This way, you'll have an easier time accessing the turbocharger.
Step 5: Access the top of the turbocharger, and remove the wastegate frequency valve and its hoses. Set aside the wastegate frequency valve and its hoses.
Step 6: Connect the boost controller's actuator and the wastegate frequency valve.
Step 7: Figure out where you'll put the manual boost controller's input hose. One option is for you to course the input hose into another hose that is connected to an inlet of the turbocharger.
Step 8: Route the wiring from the actuator through the firewall of your Audi. The firewall is the barrier that separates the interior and the engine.
Step 9: Once the wire has reached your Audi's interior, remove a small portion of the wire's insulation material and connect it to the manual boost controller. Use an electric tape to cover the connection between the wire and the manual boost controller.
Step 10: Reinstall the components that you've removed such as the wastegate actuator valve, air box, and intake manifold tube.
Step 11: Reconnect all the wires and wiring harnesses that you disconnected in step 4.
Close your Audi's hood, and follow the instructions in the boost controller's manual to calibrate it properly.