Why Turbocharging? Simple advice for beginners

Why Turbocharging? Simple advice for beginners

By Doug Erber: In the United States, OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are turning to turbocharging as a method of downsizing engine displacement and increasing fuel economy. At the other end of the spectrum, those in charge of developing high-performance and racing engines, are targeting it for substantial power gains. The OEM’s regard GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) as a key enabler for utilizing turbochargers to downsize the engine displacement. With modern direct injection coupled to variable cam timing, added power output generated by turbo boost is now exploited more fully than before without risk of detonation yet with significant benefits in fuel economy when running under light load. As a result, OEMs are shrinking the displacement of the engine, leading to weight and fuel economy savings. However, when power is required, the turbo kicks in to provide the boost, adopting the feel of a larger displacement engine. Turbos for OEM applications are sized to provide the best combination of low-end torque and peak power. In the Aftermarket, turbocharging is a relatively easy way to significantly increase the power density of an engine. In simplest terms, adding more air and more fuel to an engine will create more power.  Of course one must take care to assure engine and vehicle systems are adequately prepared to handle this additional power. Most systems will add an intercooler to reduce intake manifold temperatures and aftermarket ECU to control fueling and ignition. Depending on boost level, consideration for upgrades include, but not limited to, cylinder head gasket, head bolts clutch, pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft, transmission and differential. All components will be exposed to the rigors of additional power.  ...
Basic installation rules from TorqStorm

Basic installation rules from TorqStorm

By Alfie Bilk: Basic forced-induction guidelines (6-10psi boost range) for carbureted systems Forged pistons preferred for all boosted applications Cast or Hypereutectic pistons may be used below 500hp and low-boost applications Compression ratios of 9:1 to 9:5.1 ideal for boost levels of 6-8 psi on 91-93 octane pump gas Lobe separation of 112 to 116 degrees, split pattern works best Fuel pump requirements for carbureted systems must be capable of supplying proper amount of fuel at maximum operating pressure. To obtain maximum fuel pressure required under boost, add idle fuel pressure to maximum boost pressure. (If your idle setting is 8psi and your maximum boost is 8psi your maximum fuel pressure required is 16psi) Use a blow-through carburetor. TorqStorm offers Holley Mighty Demon carburetors specifically prepared by the factory for blow-through purposes. Available in the following cfm ratings: 650 CFM Part number 5282020BT 750 CFM Part number 5402020BT 850 CFM Part number 5563020BT Must use carbureted boost-reference fuel pressure regulator with a 1:1 rise ratio Headers recommended for maximum performance Will work with single or dual-plane intake manifolds, (more torque generated by dual-plane designs) Ignition control recommended with adjustable boost-timing retard to prevent detonation. (MSD BTM part number 6462)   Information furnished by Torqstorm® Billet Superchargers 3001 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548 (616) 246-8088...
Combine an electrified turbocharger with a battery pack, you’ll scarcely believe the effect!

Combine an electrified turbocharger with a battery pack, you’ll scarcely believe the effect!

By Freddie Heaney: If you reduce engine displacement by 50 percent, add an electrified turbocharger and connect it to an on-board battery pack what do you get? Amazingly…the same fast lap times while using 35 percent less fuel—and the elimination of turbo lag! We live in fascinating times. For the 2014 racing season Formula One teams encountered their biggest challenge in decades. Generating toward 800hp, the former naturally aspirated 2.4 liter V8 racing engines, which had been revving to over 20,000rpm and more recently limited to 18,000rpm, were replaced by smaller, turbocharged 1.6 liter 90-degree V6 units accompanied by an on-board battery pack. The battery pack generates a further 160hp and uses an energy recovery system (ERS) to keep the battery charged. Assuredly, the changes have brought an abundance of new technologies in its wake. What was the purpose? These efforts have been devised as an environmental gain by the sport’s ruling body, the FIA, to reduce fuel consumption to 100 kilograms (220lbs) per race. Races are limited to a maximum of 2 hours in duration. Under the new regulations refueling stops are no longer permitted. Miraculously, the new power units can complete a full race distance within seconds of last year’s times while using 35 percent less fuel thanks largely to the ERS. The ERS recharges the battery pack by motor-generators connected to the electrified turbo and to the braking system. The function of the motor-generators is determined by the direction in which the electricity is flowing. If the electricity turns the shaft it functions as a motor. But if the engine spins the shaft it functions as...
Competition cylinder heads: How would you know if air-fuel movement is good or bad?

Competition cylinder heads: How would you know if air-fuel movement is good or bad?

By Ben Mozart: The race engine requires a precise mixture of air and fuel, approximately 13.0:1 by weight ratio.   But the power it makes depends upon how well the mixture is emulsified and atomized. How well it is delivered through the intake manifold runners and cylinder head ports. And it’s ability to negotiate the intake valves and to swirl in the combustion chambers, which are an extension of the ports, and to occupy the cylinders.   For most of us, arranging and controlling the movements of the gases in the cylinder head ports are beyond our imaginings. Is the air-fuel mixture moving efficiently in the intake tracts or clinging, vexingly, to its sides? If so, how could it be reintroduced into the air stream? And further downstream, how is it negotiating the short turn, the five valve-angles in the throat, and does it demonstrate swirl as it moves into the combustion chamber? Read...
Induction: How Keith Wilson made bad air flow good

Induction: How Keith Wilson made bad air flow good

By Ben Mozart. Pictures by Moore Good Ink: It’s not inconceivable that the induction system of a four-cycle engine just might be its most complicated component. Keith Wilson made a career of manipulating air flow in racing engines. At 17-years old he was employed at a Florida company called Air Speed Engineering. There he spent ten years porting cylinder heads and intake manifolds. Then in 1985 he branched out on his own and formed Wilson Manifolds. Quickly he seized the opportunity to not only rework cast aluminum intake manifolds but also to explore his theories on cylinder filling in conjunction with induction designs constructed of aluminum sheet metal. As you might expect, these are the fundamentals around which Wilson Manifolds has evolved. Recently we sat down with Keith Wilson to hear his thoughts. He began by explaining the most basic: the carburetor spacer. Wilson maintains, “Good spacers are the least expensive form of tuning hardware known to the racer.” A spacer attaches to the intake manifold between the carburetor and the mounting pad, or more precisely the top of the manifold plenum. The charge (the fuel and air mixed together) exits the throttle body or the carburetor and flows through the spacer into the manifold plenum. From there it’s distributed to the individual runners and onward to the ports of the cylinder head. For the best engine performance, the charge distribution in the manifold needs to be even so that each cylinder not only receives the same mixture strength but also uniform volumetric efficiency. If the distribution is uniform but the emulsification of the fuel (the mixing with air) is uneven, performance...