It is a common misconception that retrofitting a turbocharger is as easy as bolting one on! In 99% of the cases, whether it is petrol or diesel, the engine was simply never designed to cope with that sort of increase in power and torque. So, before you can even start thinking about matching and fitting a turbocharger you must first consider the engine.

This page is for INFORMATION ONLY - We do not undertake this sort of work at Turbo Dynamics but do offer consultancy services and the supply of product (see below).

The fundamental differences between a naturally aspirated and a turbocharged engine are the compression ratio, camshaft profiles, fueling, ignition timing, type of pistons and the strength of some of the rotating parts. 

A turbocharger as an engine component can increase the power output by 30% quite easily and up to 100% in some cases, therefore the first thing to look at is the engine itself.

Is the engine capable of withstanding that type of increase in its present state? Was it capable when it was new? Likewise, are the clutch, transmission and brakes up to the job?

To carry out a conversion on a naturally aspirated engine, the following modifications to the engine would need to be undertaken to effectively complete the retrofit:



The choice of turbocharger is dependent on customer preferred manufacturer, packaging constraints, flow rate/power required, flange styles, exhaust gas temperatures likely, end housing to C.H.R.A. orientation and many other parameters to consider.

Turbo Dynamics have years of experience in this area, having worked as consultants to race car manufacturers and privateers alike. One manufacturer, Garrett, offer their 'Club Line' turbochargers with a multi-position wastegate actuator design, making them idea for different orientations and worth a look if you have a small capacity engine and are looking for no more than 350 BHP.


Browse our range of Club Line turbochargers here.



Fabrication of both inlet and exhaust manifolds to fit the specific application. Engine compression ratio to be checked and lowered where necessary, ideally, this would be between 7.5:1 and 8.5:1 (typically) to allow any significant boost pressure to be used.

This can be achieved in one of three ways: preferably fitting of forged low compression pistons, machining the top of the standard pistons or the fitting of a thicker head gasket or spacer plate.



The camshaft specification should also be checked to ensure that the duration and valve overlap is not too great for the application, ideally, this would be a camshaft of mild duration and overlap.



i.e. injectors, fuel pump, pressure and mapping of the ignition system would also need to be modified for the increased requirements of the turbocharger. The ignition timing needs to be retarded as the boost pressure rises.

To specify the correct turbocharger for the application we would require the following basic information:

a) Engine capacity
b) Maximum rpm
c) Application or usage i.e. streetcar/drag/race etc.
d) Projected horsepower and torque requirements
e) Boost pressure requirements
f ) If the engine is to be intercooled or charge cooled

If you are determined to still go ahead with turbocharging your vehicle, you must first locate a conversion specialist and seek advice from them.

Turbo Dynamics do not carry out this type of work, but simply provide advice, turbocharger matching and supply and some ancillary products (such as turbine inlet and outlet flanges, oil pipes, fittings and flanges, high-pressure silicon hose lengths and elbows, dump valves etc.)

We can provide drawings of flanges giving dimensions for fabrication of the manifold. Conversions can be very costly (typically between £2500 to £5000), so get a quote from your conversion specialist before considering the project further.


Any Questions? Call us on 01202 487497 or simply click on one of the buttons below

Find Your New Turbo


Shop Now

Turbo Repairs



Hybrid Turbos





Contact Us