There are two main ways to get more power from a car’s engine . The first (and until recently the most popular) is to increase the capacity of the engine. The second is to increase the amount of fuel /air mixture going into the cylinder .
Generally, the more fuel/air mixture going into the cylinders, the more power the engine will produce.
So part of the solution is to tune the carburettor , cylinder head and manifolds to allow the engine to `breathe’ more freely.
But there are limits to how much power can be extracted from an engine by these means while at the same time maintaining the engine’s reliability and flexibility.
An alternative way of getting more fuel/air mixture into the cylinders is with a turbocharger .
What is a turbo?
A turbocharger is basically a pump driven by the exhaust gases passing out of the exhaust manifold . The unit consists of a wheel with vanes – the turbine – that fits inside a housing in the exhaust system . From this turbine a short central drive shaft runs to a similar vaned wheel called the compressor that feeds into the engine’s air intake.
When the exhaust gases flow
from the engine, they spin the turbine, which in turn spins the drive shaft to turn the compressor. So, when the engine is running, the exhaust gases drive the turbine which makes the compressor pump air into the engine.
A fixed amount of fuel is automatically sucked in with the air if the engine has a carburettor. If the engine has fuel injection , the computer control unit is programmed to suit the boost pressures.
The faster the engine is running, or the larger the throttle opening or both, the faster the turbocharger will spin. The faster the turbo spins, the more pressure, or boost it develops and the more air it forces into the engine to create more power.