Home: Mustang Tech: Forced induction: Turbo How to Series Part 1
Turbo How to Series Part 1


This is part one of a series of pages on how you can install a Turbo system on your loved stang.

We feel there's a need for such a write-up since most people lack the sums of money needed to buy one of the available kits in the aftermarket. Such systems are priced above the $3.5k figures, a bit too much for most people.

We hope that with this material you will be able to make your own Turbo setup, either a single or twin turbo. Most of the stuff that you will need can be found NEW from several sources or USED from you local car-junker.

In part 1 we will try to explain in simple terms what a Turbo setup is all about. We won't go into complex details and formulas, for that we recommend the following books:

The following parts in the series will try to cover specific details of what and where to purchase, 5.0 engine especific installation diagrams, actual junkyard twin turbo installation and a final chapter on tuning your setup.

So please start reading and don't hesitate to send us feedback or corrections


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Part 1



  • The exhaust gases exit through the exhaust manifolds or headers and into the Turbo.
  • Exhaust gases then move the Turbine wheel and exit the housing through the exhaust pipes and to the atmosphere.
  • The Turbine and Compressor Wheels are joined by a shaft which is lubricated by engine oil.
  • The compressor wheel pulls the filtered ambient air and compresses it.
  • The compressed air then moves into an intercooler to cool the air charge.
  • After the intercooler, the air charge moves into the Throttle body and intake.
  • The Compressed air charge enters the cylinders in a "compressed state" and so it enables the engine to draw more air into the chambers, this "synthetic" increase in compression is called "dynamic compression" or in other terms "forced induction".
  • This increased compression enables the engine to behave like a larger displacement engine.

Typical Turbo System Parts

  1. Turbo: Complete housing with Wastegate, Turbine and Compressor

  2. Intercooler: cools Compressed air charge

  3. Wastegate: Valve that controls the boost amount by releasing exhaust gases to the exhaust before they reach the turbine.


FUEL: One of the priciples of internal combustion engines is that for any amount of fuel there's a need for a given air charge.

In the case of Turbos AND supercharger systems, the Increased air charge needs a proportional increase in fuel delivery. The consequence of a LEAN air fuel mixture (or lack of fuel) is called Detonation.

Detonation is the main concern on forced induction engines since it can cause severe damage to the engine.

On a stock 5.0 liter the fuel injectors are small, and at medium boost levels, the 19lph (pounds per hour) stock fuel injectors might not be enough to compensate for the increase in air charge.

COOLING: Another point of high importance is to make sure your cooling system is operating properly, the increased compression at the cylinder heads will cause an increase in engine temperature.

EXHAUST: The increase in exhaust flow and turbo backpressure makes very important to have a good exhaust system, what goes in must go out.

IGNITION: With the increase in cylinder pressure, a better spark will be needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture. This can be achieved by reducing plug gap and/or installing an aftermarket ignition system or a better coil. At low boost levels reducing plug gap could be the only needed ignition modification.

Twin Turbo and Single Turbo selection

Before you start the search for a TURBO, there are some considerations you might need to address first:

  • Will it be a single or twin setup?

  • How big a Turbo do i need?

  • For any given Turbo model are there any variations?

  • What about intercoolers?

To answer some of these questions lets just say that you have to choose your turbo(s) depending on their capabilities, a small Turbo such as the ones you find in small displacement engines like a Nissan 1.3L will be too small for a V8 5.0 or 4.6. Others such as DIESEL engine Turbos might be too big.

In order to help you decide what brand-type of turbo you need, the next application can help you a lot.


  • Engine type: select gasoline (or diesel if you have a 5 ton truck)

  • Number of Turbos: its your choice, we will later explain some pros-cons of both setups.

  • Intercooler: YES, this is the most efficient setup, you won't regret it.

  • Engine Capacity in CC's: for both 5.0 and 4.6 select 5,000

  • Maximum RPM: again your choice...will depend a lot on your actual modifications.
    For a Stock 5.0 or 4.6 select 6,000 +/-

  • BOOST: how much you want/need? a safe limit for a STOCK 5.0 or 4.6 will be 8psi.

Now that you selected your dream setup you might have the following results:

  • For Single Turbo: Garret T04 probably V1 trim

  • For Twin Turbo: Garret T3 trim 45

Note that for every type of Turbo there are different "trim" versions, each trim has different turbine and compressor designs that promote a given characteristic such as volumetric efficiency, speed, etc.

Both setups have almost the same BHP capabilities, but there are some pro's and con's to each setup.

A Twin turbo setup will probably be more efficient than a single one at low RPMs but it is certainly more difficult to install.

The single turbo setup could have lower boost at low RPMs but a bit more on top and is easier to maintain and install.

This considerations could be affected by several variables, compressor and turbine design, piping, intercooler efficiency, etc. But consider the above assumptions as "valid" for most "stock" turbos you will find in a junkyard.

Intercooler choice:

There are some guidelines you might want to follow, choose and intercooler that was designed for an engine as big as yours (5.0L, 4.6L, etc), or BUY 2 with half the displacement of your engine. You could place each intercooler in sequence one after the other or have someone weld them together.

Don't restrict your search to Gasoline engine coolers, probably a Turbo diesel engine intercooler is what you need.

Final comments:

This ends part 1 of our Turbo How to series, we hope the provided info will prove itself useful. We would like to hear your comments and suggestions on the subject.

We want to keep this pages updated as much as possible, so if you find any inconsistencies, errors or want to suggest something, don't hesitate to do so.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Article by:GTRaptor Profile | E-Mail


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