How does a turbo work?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Schecter1277, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    When it comes to cars I can change oil and tires, otherwise I am completely dumb about almost everything that isn't basic knowledge. I went from a volvo i5 to a Volkswagen passat with an i4 and turbo.
    Questions:
    -what does a turbo do? I've looked up how it works, but not much on it's application. Is it more for going from 0-60 or from 40-60?(mph)
    -Does horsepower have anything to do with the "0 to 60" speed? The Volkswagen seems to have a little more push to it sometimes, and it's only ~200lbs lighter. The volvo was 190HP while the passat is 150. Does the turbo effect this? I'm lost how this works.
    -What is the difference in torque and horsepower?
    -Other than steering/controldoes it really make a difference whether a car is front or rear wheel drive? (as in any car, I heard something about a kid trying to say front wheel drive cars aren't as fast because pushing is easier than pulling and everyone laughing at him)
    -Is an i4 turbo a decent engine or is it more on the "that's just sad" part of the spectrum.

    I know I have said something stupid at least once or twice, but forgive me, it's a new car and I want to learn a little about it. Plus, I honestly don't know any better.
     
  2. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    btw, while I'm here, anyone hate the vdub keys? That flip open key gets on my nerves and feels awkward.
     
  3. dew

    dew Banned

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    vw keys ftw :o

    Google "how a turbo works" and all those other questions.. it will help you a lot.
     
  4. dew

    dew Banned

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    and 1.8T engines are awesome as long as you take care of them. Go to vwvortex.com you'll learn a lot there. everything about VWs and 1.8Ts
     
  5. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    What I really want to know is does the turbo do more in 0-60mph or 40-80mph?
     
  6. dew

    dew Banned

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    what do you mean do more? it starts doing something as soon as you turn it on.. it starts spoolin and making power at 3k usually
     
  7. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    What's a boost gauge? those easy to install? (i.e. doesn't require taking the entire car apart.)
     
  8. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    3k it starts to boost power to the engine? Like I said, I know very little about cars.
     
  9. dew

    dew Banned

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  10. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New Member

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    I'm sure someone will chine in with a bit more of an explanation, but turbo's can be basically chosen to start coming into their efficiency ranges at pretty much any rpm, ie a smaller turbo will boost low in the rpm range, and a larger turbo may not boost until fairly high in the rpm range. Therefore there is not a definate answer to where they will have the most effect, you can effectively tailor this to your application.

    As for FWD versus RWD, RWD takes advantage of the unloading of the front tires when accelerating.

    boost gauges are not difficult to install, they're just references off manifold pressure.
     
  11. Schecter1277

    Schecter1277 hi

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    .
     
  12. Hahawhat?

    Hahawhat? New Member

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    Not to be a dick but do you know much about cars? All a turbo does is take exhaust gases and use that to spin a compressor to help add air to a motor and in doing so making more power. So does making more power do more in 0-60 or 40-80? To answer the question it does both the same, all it does is help acceleration by adding more air to the engine. If you want to get really techinical though you could say because of turbo lag from a roll then 0-60
     
  13. Zot

    Zot OT Supporter

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    He's asking because he doesn't know the answer, is that a crime? Dick :fawk:
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Exhaust blows out through one turbine, spinning it ridiculously fast, which spins a connecting shaft, which spins another turbine that shoves more air into the engine. More air means you can burn more fuel; more fuel = a bigger explosion; a bigger explosion = more torque; more torque = you accelerate faster.

    Turbos are good for accelerating faster from about 2000rpm all the way to redline; if you shift right, that's good for going faster from 25mph up to when you get arrested.
     
  15. Hahawhat?

    Hahawhat? New Member

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    Thats why I asked if he really didn't know about cars or just turbos :ugh2:.
     
  16. just_another_on

    just_another_on New Member

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    Turbo engines work in many ways, and are just as important/useful as they are go-fast.

    A turbo works by 'inhaling' cold air, and forcefeeding it to the engine. The faster/colder the air is, and the faster it travels to the engine results in more power/torque the engine can provide.

    Turbo's usually 'spool' at around 2900-3500 RPMS on most base stock cars.

    Since you are talking about the 1.8T model B5 Passat, you are working with a base 150hp engine, 160ft/tq and a Ko3 turbo. The turbo in its self is pretty efficient for what it is/does.

    To answer you question about is it more 0-60 or top end, essentially its both. Although in first gear you rarely see boost, and when you do its pretty much at redline, everything after that is history. As you accelerate, up until about 2800-3000rpms your car is running 'all motor'. After that peak, you will notice a surge in power, which is the 'turbo boosting'.

    Once in boost you are consuming more fuel. If you're un-educated with how turbo's work, i'd strongly advise reading some forums (vwvortex.com) and understanding the cause/effect. You can majorily increase MPG (mile per gallon) by understanding the 'boost' levels of your turbo. A boost gauge will be the easiest way to monitor your turbo. Since your car is stock, it should be putting around ~6-9 psi under load/throttle. The ko3 turbo that is equipped in the car is much more capable of power, which you can look into ECU Reflash/Remaps by popular VW aftermarket companies such as, REVO, APR, GIAC+, etc. After having a ECU (electronic contrule unit- the cars computer) reflashed it will then allow your turbo to push boost levels of anywhere from 14-20psi. Anything more than 20psi on a stock turbo is in-efficient.

    As far as the FWD/RWD comment goes, it's really what you use the car for. Seeing as you live in Tampa, it really doesn't make a difference, other than preference. Rear wheel drive cars are essentially more fun to tuners, or go fast people as I call them. Drifters, drag racers, etc prefer rear wheel drive as opposed to front for 'off the line' reasons.
     
  17. bazil428

    bazil428 New Member

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    I have 1.8t Jetta Gli. I have basically the same motor as you. Your car has a KO3 Turbo made by Borg Warner. Stock boost in your car should be at around 5psi (pounds per square inch) You can get an ECU flash for your car and bring your boost level up to 18-22psi. Makes your car faster but drastically shortens the life of your turbo. Like others said get on vwvortex.com I have been on there for 7 years and have learned tons over the years. Dont be scared to starting tearing into your car. The best way to learn is by doing stuff.

    As for Boost Gauge is concerned. Very simple to install, i am sure you will have no problems. take a look at www.ecstuning.com good place for modding your car.

    Good luck! if you have any other question about your car or VW's in general dont be scared to shoot me a IM
     
  18. HHOTEK

    HHOTEK New Member

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    thats almost completely right BUT depending on what turbo you have will be the basis of what rpm range you will want to be in a to4e or something fairly small you will most likely boost thorugh the whole rpm range just as he said. But when you get to the kinda crazy builds like a t 107 on a 2 jz the car is a dog till 3500- to even 5000 depending on how large the turbo is.

    Ive never had any experience with any turbo Vws other than having a few show up for dyno days
     

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