Monday Jun 27, 2022

How to install a manual boost controller without blowing up your engine

Before installing any manual boost controller, it is important to have added a high flow exhaust and aftermarket air intake/air filter. This will ensure the car can breathe and allow the turbo to spool up more easily.

It is imperative to have an aftermarket boost gauge installed. Most stock build indicators are not accurate, even at stock build levels, and lose more accuracy once stock build is increased. Without an aftermarket boost gauge, you risk damaging the engine from overboosting.

How does it work:

The dump valve actuator determines the stock build-up levels. The boost controller interrupts the pressure line running to the wastegate actuator, allowing you to increase boost over stock levels.

Step 1:

Find your wastegate actuator which is usually connected to the turbo unless you are using an external wastegate. The wastegate actuator will have a vacuum line port that goes to a boost source. The source of boost is usually the turbo compressor housing, intercooler piping, or intake manifold. This vacuum line is where the manual boost controller will be installed. If there is a tee connection in the vacuum line between the boost source and the waste gate actuator, you will have a separate vacuum line going to the boost control solenoid. If you have the tee fitting, remove the line going to the solenoid, but leave the solenoid plugged in.

The tab on the boost controller that connects to the wastegate actuator will have a small hole drilled in it. It is important to leave this hole open and never change the dump valve reed and booster reed.

Boost controllers usually come with about 3 feet of vacuum line that you can cut into 2 pieces of your desired lengths. The first piece will connect from the boost tab on the controller to your boost source. The second piece will connect from the wastegate tab on the controller to the wastegate vacuum port. Tip: If you have difficulty sliding the vacuum lines over the tines, use a little oil to lubricate the tines. Block off any open sources of reinforcement with vacuum caps and use cable ties to secure all vacuum line connections. We recommend using Premium Fuel with all turbo cars, especially once you’ve increased your stock boost.

Step 2:

Now that the boost controller is installed, it’s time to test drive the car. We recommend leaving the adjustment knob exactly where it was when you received and installed your MBC when you begin testing. Turning the adjustment knob clockwise increases boost, turning the adjustment knob counterclockwise decreases boost. This step is very important to keep an eye on your boost gauge to make sure you are not overloading and causing damage to your engine.

Drive your car in an isolated area where you can stop and go several times without interfering with traffic. Slowly press on the throttle and watch the boost gauge rise. If the boost gauge doesn’t reach its target, increase the boost. If the boost starts to exceed your target, decrease the boost. Repeat the steps as necessary. It usually takes 5-10 adjustments to get the boost exactly on target. We recommend starting by adjusting the boost knob in 1/2 turn increments and as you get closer to your goal you may need to make smaller adjustments. Never adjust more than 1/2 turn at a time.

Every car has a safe maximum boost level, depending on vehicle upgrades and fuel system characteristics, specifically how much fuel its pump and injectors can provide. It is important to do your research and know what the maximum boost level is that your specific car can safely run.

This guide serves as a basic starting point for the manual installation of the boost driver. If you have an external wastegate or twin-turbo vehicle, the installation technique may vary slightly.

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