Boost Spiking Explained • Turbosmart • Engineered to Win!
November 26, 2020 News

Boost Spiking Explained

Electronic Boost Controllers

Boost Spiking Defined

Boost spiking is defined as a momentary overshoot in boost pressure over the desired boost level. Thus, a boost spike results from the boost controller holding the signal to the wastegate actuator / external wastegate for too long.

Therefore, clamping the signal to the wastegate can increase the response of the turbo system and reduce lag. This effectively keeps the wastegate shut and not allowing it to bypass any exhaust. Thus, not wasting any exhaust energy.

Boost Spiking in Pressure

A spike in pressure can be the desired effect as it gives the engine a significant increase in midrange torque without placing a lot of strain on the engine. Thus, higher boost pressure is only reached momentarily at mid-range RPM, rather than having that boost level through the rev range. On the other hand, some cars from the factory have boost pressure spikes to make the engine feel more responsive and powerful in the midrange.

A wastegate needs to be given time to “catch” the boost curve. To eliminate a boost spike, the wastegate must begin to open before the target boost by a certain amount of time, depending on the turbo system. To sum up, if the wastegate starts to open at target boost, a boost spike will occur as the wastegate will need some time to open to the correct valve height to divert enough exhaust gas to maintain the desired boost level.

Boost Spiking Explained Graph

Turbosmart e-Boost Range

The Turbosmart e-Boost controller range has a gate pressure function that allows the user to choose what pressure the controller will allow boost pressure to reach the actuator. Setting the gate pressure at the optimum level will result in the best boost response from the turbo system. Set the gate pressure too high and a boost spike will occur. Set it too low, and the boost response will be lower. 

Tuning the Gate Pressure

The gate pressure is tuned by first setting the gate pressure at 3 PSI lower than what the target boost pressure is.

  1. If the target boost pressure is 18 PSI, set the gate pressure to 15 PSI.
  2. If an undesirable spike occurs, reduce the gate pressure by 1 PSI and check whether a spike occurs again.
  3. Repeat the steps until the spike is gone.
Boost Pressure Graph

Turbosmart Manual Boost Controller Range

The Turbosmart manual boost controller range has an inbuilt gate system which is set at 3 PSI. Meaning that below 3 PSI, the controller will clamp the signal to the wastegate, keeping it closed. Furthermore, removing the gate system by removing the ball and spring can eliminate the spike if an undesirable boost spike occurs.

Gate System Removal – Manual (Gated Boost Controllers)
The gate system can be removed by the following steps below.

  1. Firstly, allow the engine to cool down before removing the Boost Tee from your vehicle.
  2. Next, identify the input nipple with the restrictor at the end. Loosen the input nipple and remove the ball and spring.
  3. Thirdly, check that the internal air passages are clear and free from debris.
  4. Re-install the boost controller by following the instructions for your setup
  5. Lastly, you will need to re-adjust your boost settings after the removal of the gate.
Manual Boost Controller Illustration

Tech Tip: Manual Boost Controller Troubleshooting

The following points should be checked:

  • Firstly, if you find that your engine is developing excessive boost.
  • Secondly, if the boost pressure is fluctuating or the desired boost level cannot be achieved.
  1. Check that the boost controller is installed so that the arrow points toward the wastegate actuator.
  2. Inspect the joining hoses for splits, cracks or loose connection and are the correct size for the application.
  3. Check to see if the boost controller is blocked or contaminated with dirt or debris.
  4. Ensure that there is nothing but the boost controller in the hose between the pressure source and the wastegate actuator, ie tee pieces for boost gauge or to factory boost solenoid.
  5. Lastly, pressure test the wastegate actuator for leakage.

Here is a handy self-help guide to helping you with your Turbosmart install and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get here. Turbosmart recommends that you get your products fitted and tuned by a qualified technician. If you choose to install the product yourself, ensure you have all the necessary tools and technical knowledge to perform this task.

Thank you for picking up the latest Turbosmart catalogue. As we look back on 25 fantastic years of innovation and growth, we continue to look towards the future as we release some revolutionary new products that will cement our reputation as innovators and market leaders.

Please contact us here and fill out a quick form so that our team can efficiently help you!

Nearly 30 years ago, I embarked on this incredible journey of founding Turbosmart, and as we step into 2024, I've never been more proud of the Turbosmart team. We are on the verge of our most exciting chapter yet, as we unveil a monumental achievement—our new line of cutting-edge Turbochargers. Turbosmart is more than just a business; it's a community of enthusiasts dedicated to constant innovation in our products, support, and service. Thank you for being so supportive, and here's to another year of innovation and achievement with Turbosmart! #Engineered to Win!

Turbosmart Boost Control Range

Engineered to Win!

Turbosmart prides itself in providing customers with the absolute pinnacle in boost control management. Whether it be for your street or race application, Turbosmart has a range of boost controllers to help you service your needs.

Turbosmart Manual Boost Control

About Turbosmart

From our humble beginnings to establishing ourselves as a global brand, Turbosmart is well on track to lead the future in turbo technology.

Our engineers build and track-test all products in-house. Therefore, we ensure we continuously produce the highest-quality, highest-performance Turbochargers, blow-off valves, wastegates, boost controllers, fuel pressure regulators, oil pressure regulators and more. Furthermore, our products are designed and built for track and street applications.

Turbosmart Boost Tee Installation Tutorial

Engineered to Win!

This installation tutorial is performed on a Mitsubishi Evolution 8 but will apply to most popular vehicle’s.

E-Boost 2 Basic Setup & tech Tips

Engineered to Win!

E-Boost2 is a fully featured programmable electronic device. 

eboost2 Setup

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