Turbochargers & Supercharger Parts

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  • 2004-06 Dodge Freightliner Aluminum Turbo Resonator Eliminator

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  • Ford Turbo Crossover Pipe Kit

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  • 2011-16 Nissan Juke Intercooler

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  • 1999-04 VW Beetle Golf Jetta Turbocharger with Exhaust Manifold

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  • VW Audi Intercooler

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  • Chevy Buick Turbocharger with Exhaust Manifold with Gaskets with Hardware Dorman

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  • Ford Lincoln Turbocharger Bypass Valve Solenoid Ford OEM BL3Z 9K378 A

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  • Chevy GMC Waste Gate Solenoid Valve ACDelco 214-637

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  • Mazda 3 6 CX-7 Boost Control Valve Dorman 667-104

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  • VW Audi Boost Control Valve Dorman 667-101

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  • Ford Turbocharger Hardware & Gasket Kit Ford OEM 3C3Z-9T514-AG

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  • Ford International Turbocharger Hardware & Gasket Kit Dorman 904-270

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  • Chevy GMC Waste Gate Solenoid Valve Dorman 904-236

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Turbochargers & Supercharger Parts

What is the turbocharger and where is it located? 

A turbocharger, sometimes called a turbo for short, is an air compressor that increases your engine power.  It takes air from the intake hose, compresses it, and passes the denser air to the intake manifold.  Your engine needs to maintain a certain ratio of fuel to air for good combustion.  Denser air means more gas can be used, and more gas means a more powerful combustion. 

Technically, a turbocharger is a variation on a supercharger.  The device was originally known as a turbo-supercharger, because it is run by a turbine.  A supercharger is a compressor, which is ultimately powered by the engine’s crankshaft.  A turbocharger is powered by a turbine that gets spun by exhaust gasses in the exhaust manifold.  This turbine is connected by a shaft to a fan that compresses air in the intake stream.  Since the turbo is powered by gas already moving through the exhaust, it doesn’t draw power away from the engine.  That makes it more efficient than a supercharger.  Turbos are used not only to increase power, but also to increase fuel efficiency.  The air compression provided by turbochargers is especially beneficial to diesel engines which combust fuel using compression alone, without a spark.  In fact, turbochargers were originally intended for diesel engines, but many gas engine use them today.  

The air becomes hotter as it’s compressed.  The intake air can also be heated by proximity to the hot exhaust gas in the turbine side of the turbocharger.  This keeps it from becoming as dense as it could if it were cooler.  Hotter air can also lead to the fuel igniting before it should, which leads to engine knocking.  For this reason, turbochargers sometimes use a dedicated cooling system called an intercooler.  The intercooler is a lot like a small radiator.  In some cases, air from the turbocharger flows through the intercooler and is cooled by air flowing over it.  In other cases, air from the turbo flows over the intercooler, which has coolant pumped through it from a heat exchanger mounted by the radiator. 

The turbocharger also has to stay lubricated to keep the shaft and its bearings from deteriorating.  In some cases, engine oil is provided to the turbocharger and exits it through oil lines.  Some turbochargers use their own oil supply. Because the turbocharger is spun by exhaust gasses, it is possible for the turbocharger to spin too fast.  Too much compression can damage the engine.  Turbocharger systems often have a waste gate that responds to intake air pressure.  If the pressure climbs too high, it shuts off the turbo from the exhaust stream to keep it from spinning any faster. 

How do I know if my ­­­­turbocharger needs to be replaced?      

Either the exhaust turbine or the intake compressor fan can become damaged by debris in the air stream.  The turbocharger can also develop oil leaks that can speed up the wear process.  You might visually notice leaks or you might have to refill the oil frequently.  If the oil leaks into the compressor, it will pass into the engine and burn.  This will lead to thick, bluish smoke coming out of the exhaust. 

Problems with the turbocharger will cause it to compress air less effectively.  You may also hear groaning, whining, or chattering noises, from the turbo.  These indicate that the fans inside are worn down.  Many cars with turbochargers also have a boost gauge that displays how much air pressure the turbocharger is producing.  If this is reading lower than normal, then your turbocharger may be worn.  If it is reading higher than normal, your waste gate might be stuck open.  This is usually caused by problems with the waste gate actuator.  As mentioned above, too much pressure can damage seals and other engine parts. 

Can I replace the turbocharger myself?  

Replacing a turbocharger can be a lot of work.  Although an experienced do-it-yourselfer can change a turbocharger, it’s best to put aside a day for a project like this.  You’ll want to drain the oil and coolant from the turbocharger system before you begin.  Disconnect all the coolant and oil lines to the turbocharger.  Then you can unbolt the turbo from the exhaust and intake manifolds.  You can reverse the above steps to replace everything.  Although this may seem straightforward, it’s the sheer amount of time and muscle needed that can make turbocharger jobs difficult. 

Replacing an intercooler can also be tricky business, since it can involve removing a great number of parts to access the intercooler.  In the case of air to air intercoolers, you may have to remove the turbocharger and the intake manifold.  For air to water intercoolers, you may have to remove the bumper cover, air intake, heat exchanger or other parts.  You might want to leave intercooler replacement to a professional mechanic. 

A waste gate actuator is fairly easy to replace.  They mount to the exhaust manifold.  Disconnect the wiring or the vacuum lines from the actuator, and then unbolt it from the manifold.  Then you can bolt on the new one and reconnect it.  

What is the supercharger and where is it located? 

A supercharger, sometimes called a blower, is an air compressor that increases your engine power.  It takes air from the intake hose compresses it, and passes the denser air on to the intake manifold.  Your engine needs to maintain a certain ratio of fuel to air for good combustion.  Denser air means more gas can be used, and more gas means a more powerful combustion. 

There are a number of different designs for how different superchargers compress the air, but the idea remains basically the same.  Rotating screws, helixes, or a fan, push more air into a small space.  The compressor is spun by a gear system, that’s driven by a pulley.  The pulley, in turn is driven by a belt connected to the crankshaft.  The supercharger draws on engine power to run, but the power increase it provides more than makes up for the draw on the crankshaft. 

The air becomes hotter as it’s compressed.  This keeps it from becoming as dense as it could if it were cooler.  Hotter air can also lead to the fuel igniting before it should, which leads to engine knocking.  For this reason, superchargers sometimes use a dedicated cooling system called an intercooler.  The intercooler is a lot like a small radiator.  In some cases, air from the supercharger flows through the intercooler and is cooled by air flowing over it.  In other cases, air from the supercharger flows over the intercooler, which has coolant pumped through it from a heat exchanger mounted by the radiator. 

The supercharger also has to stay lubricated to keep its internal, moving parts from deteriorating.  In some cases, engine oil is provided to the supercharger, and exits it, by oil lines.  Some superchargers use their own oil supply. 

How do I know if my ­­­­supercharger needs to be replaced?      

Internal supercharger parts can be damaged a number of ways, all of which will cause the supercharger to compress air less effectively.  Your vehicle might accelerate more slowly than before.  You may also hear groaning, whining, or chattering noises, from the supercharger.  These indicate that the parts inside are worn down. 

The supercharger can develop oil leaks.  You might visually notice leaks or you might have to refill the oil frequently.  If the oil leaks into the compressor, it will pass into the engine and burn.  This will lead to thick, bluish smoke coming out of the exhaust.  Lack of oil, or debris in the oil can wear the supercharger gears.   Debris in the intake air can damage the compressor rotors.  Keeping your oil and your air filter clean will help protect your supercharger.  There is a coupler that connects the supercharger pulley to the gears.  This coupler can wear out over time.  If it does, it won’t engage the gears as well, leading to reduced power. 

Damage to the intercooler, or leaks will cause the air to heat up, reducing power.  It can also cause engine knocking. 

Can I replace the supercharger myself?  

Replacing a supercharger can be a lot of work.  Although an experienced do-it-yourselfer can change a supercharger, it’s best to put aside a day for a project like this.  You’ll want to drain the oil and coolant from the supercharger system before you begin.  Disconnect all the coolant and oil lines to the supercharger.  You will have to remove the belt that drives the supercharger and you might need to remove the air filter box.  Then you can unbolt the supercharger from the intake hose and the intake manifold.  Now you can pull the supercharger out.  At this point, if you believe that the supercharger coupling is the source of your problem, you can unbolt the front supercharger housing and pull it off.  This will allow you to pull off the supercharger coupling and slide on the new one.  You can reverse the above steps to replace everything.  Although this may seem straightforward, it’s the sheer amount of time and muscle needed that can make supercharger jobs difficult. 

Replacing an intercooler can also be tricky business, since it can involve removing a great number of parts to access the intercooler.  In the case of air to air intercoolers, you may have to remove the supercharger and the intake manifold.  For air to water intercoolers, you may have to remove the bumper cover, air intake, heat exchanger or other parts.  You might want to leave intercooler replacement to a professional mechanic.  

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