External Wastegates are one of the most commonly misunderstood pieces of the turbocharging puzzle. Plus, these devices are responsible for regulating boost by allowing exhaust gasses to bypass the turbocharger’s turbine. Therefore, making sure the compressor does not spin too quickly and produce too much boost.
However, many myths and misconceptions are floating around, so we picked five of our favourites that we have heard and let our engineers bust the myths.
1. You don’t need an external wastegate.
Well, if you aim to destroy your turbo or blow up your engine, then yes, you don’t need a wastegate! While, in theory, you could run a turbo system without a wastegate by carefully choosing a turbo that will only reach its maximum turbine speed and desired boost pressure at the engine’s max RPM, it’s not practical in the real world.
2. The more powerful the engine, the bigger wastegate I need.
False! A wastegate is possibly the only component in your whole engine package that can be made smaller as you increase your boost/horsepower output – in certain circumstances. A wastegate drives exhaust gasses away from the turbocharger to regulate turbine speeds and boost pressure.
Selecting the correct wastegate size depends on the amount of exhaust to be bypassed, the desired boost pressure, and the amount of exhaust gas the turbo requires to reach that boost pressure. Also, an engine that produces a lot of exhaust gas but runs low boost levels will require lots of exhaust to be diverted away by the wastegate, requiring a bigger wastegate. Higher boost levels will need less exhaust to be diverted away from the turbine, so smaller wastegate.
3. External Wastegates don’t operate in high temperatures.
It’s common to find External wastegates mounted at the hottest part of the exhaust, and it’s where all the exhaust gases meet, creating extra heat.
Mounting a wastegate permanently, somewhere it can cool off, rather than being choked with hot air, surrounded by hot exhaust and an engine with no airflow. Access to fresh air helps keep the wastegate at a safe operating temperature, extending its life and reducing the risk of failure.
Turbosmart tests and designs external wastegates to cope with extreme heat. Carefully selected materials and tolerances ensure that they are up to the job and can handle the heat of the most severe applications.
4. External Wastegates are responsible for turbo flutter.
The sound of turbo flutter, or compressor surge, is sometimes referred to as ‘wastegate chatter’ – but this noise has nothing to do with the wastegate. As the name suggests, compressor surge occurs on the compressor side of the turbocharger – outside air is drawn in and compressed for the engine to consume and used on the turbine side, where exhaust gasses spin the turbine wheel to operate the compressor.
That fluttering sound, which typically occurs when the throttle is suddenly closed, is the sound of the turbo trying to push air into the engine but failing, so the compressor blades ‘chop’ through the air. You can read more about this phenomenon here.
5. Wastegate spring pressure is the highest boost level you can reach.
False! Wastegate spring pressure is the lowest boost level you can reach. Using a boost controller, you can quickly increase boost pressure over wastegate spring pressure. However, you can’t achieve a maximum boost level under the wastegate’s spring pressure.
If a wastegate is fitted with springs rated to 7PSI, it will open when it receives 7PSI of pressure to the actuator. Any pressure lower than that will not overcome the spring force, and it will remain closed.
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 required to perform this task.
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Turbosmart products are all manufactured in-house in our Sydney, Australia Head Office. We’ve been able to support our customers throughout these challenging times seamlessly. Despite the challenges of distance, we always continued to keep the demands and expectations of our customers our top priority, making sure our solutions are in stock & well supported where & when our customers need them!
Our engineers build and track test all products in-house. Therefore, we ensure we’re continuously producing the highest quality blow-off valves, wastegates, boost controllers, gauges, pressure regulators, and hoses. Furthermore, our products are designed and built for both track and street applications.
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BlackBox by Turbosmart is a dedicated Electronic Wastegate Controller which can be used in cooperation with a range of Factory, Aftermarket and Motorsport ECU’s.
Turbosmart Electronic Wastegate Range
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Surprisingly, there are no springs, no hoses, and no boost reference signal. Above all, there are no limitations associated with any of them.
Turbosmart External Wastegate Springs
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Are you looking for spare’s & accessories or available items for your Turbosmart product? Look no further! We carry everything to ensure that your Turbosmart External Wastegates are always running at peak performance.