Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

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Christos Adam
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Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:25 pm

Would it be OK to drive my car w/o the intercooler pipes connected? }:)
I'll disconnect the wastegate to be always open as I try to minimize the stress on the compressor.
I'm also planning to avoid off road activities so that not too many particles would get in the turbo (I forgot to say no air filter either :gpower: ).

Any other recommendations?
Last edited by Christos Adam on Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Jeff Shyu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:39 pm

O_o

without the intercooler, pipe, you're going to end up with an open system on the compressor side of the turbo, which is going to result in all sorts of rich running condition on the motor (i guess it depends on where your air's metered).

question is.. why?.. that sounds like a terrible idea.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Marshall Grice » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:49 pm

i recommend against it. you'll likely overspeed the turbo running it with no restriction on the compressor outlet.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:03 pm

Could you please help me with suggestion on how to do it with the least chances of damaging something?
Should I duct tape the outlet to create some restriction? }:)
I have an appointment with my welder in Irwindale tomorrow before our practice to make my new IC pipe (turbo to IC). Irwindale is like 75 miles for me. I don't want to tow the car for that... I have AAA premium but the car can't get on the flatbed w/o removing the bumper and the splitter - this isn't as easy as it sounds... :barf:
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Sebastian Rios » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:07 pm

Tow it. 75 Miles is a long way.
Maybe having to take off the bumper/splitter will make you re-engineer it's attachment. At some point, that car is going to have to become a trailer queen, might as well start on the logistics now.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Jeff Shyu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:12 pm

what's wrong with the current IC piping?

you can drive with a leak. it won't be great, but it won't do any long term damage. running it completely open though, is highly suspect.

and no, you can't just tape it. it'd blow the tape off, if not instantly, very soon after you get going.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:16 pm

I changed my set up from a cast turbo manifold to a tubular manifold.
That puts the outlet in a different position so I'll need to re-fabricate one of the pipes :unimpressed:

So to go back to my original question....if you absolutely had to drive the drive the car what you would do to minimize the risk?
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:20 pm

Jeff Shyu wrote:what's wrong with the current IC piping?

you can drive with a leak. it won't be great, but it won't do any long term damage. running it completely open though, is highly suspect.

and no, you can't just tape it. it'd blow the tape off, if not instantly, very soon after you get going.
By the way what if I put many layers of tape with a small hole?
It shouldn't have too much pressure anyways since the wastegate will be constantly open. }:)
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Jeff Shyu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:27 pm

well, one thing at a time.

I assume the exhaust side is all bolted up and there's no problem there?

On the compressor side. is there any way you can rig up the air filter (pvc pipe or something?) even without going offroad, the risk of stray debris getting sucked in isn't something that I would personally bet again. I mean, chances are very low, but any chance is a bit high for me considering how pricey it could be to fix.

same on the turbo->intake. is it possible for you to rig up a pvc temp? I kinda wonder if a 2" radiator hose would work. air leak is ok, but wide open is not going to be good for your turbo.

since it's a 1 time deal, i would seriously consider AAA..

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:32 pm

Jeff Shyu wrote:well, one thing at a time.

I assume the exhaust side is all bolted up and there's no problem there?

On the compressor side. is there any way you can rig up the air filter (pvc pipe or something?) even without going offroad, the risk of stray debris getting sucked in isn't something that I would personally bet again. I mean, chances are very low, but any chance is a bit high for me considering how pricey it could be to fix.

same on the turbo->intake. is it possible for you to rig up a pvc temp? I kinda wonder if a 2" radiator hose would work. air leak is ok, but wide open is not going to be good for your turbo.

since it's a 1 time deal, i would seriously consider AAA..
Thanks Jeff!
What I don't fully understand though is why we are afraid of having the turbo overspinned if the waste gate is open. I'm sure there will be some air passing from the turbo but most air will flow from the open wastegate.
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Jeff Shyu » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:57 pm

having the waste gate fully open is like simulating a very large compression side leak.

it'd be very large, but still not as large as a fully open compressor, so, having the waste gate open really doesn't help you one bit.. :(

the part about overspinning the turbo. the best way to think about it would be like dry revving your engine. You wouldn't want to hold your engine near redline in neutral.. by spinning the turbo without load, you're basically doing the same thing.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:07 pm

Jeff Shyu wrote:having the waste gate fully open is like simulating a very large compression side leak.

it'd be very large, but still not as large as a fully open compressor, so, having the waste gate open really doesn't help you one bit.. :(

the part about overspinning the turbo. the best way to think about it would be like dry revving your engine. You wouldn't want to hold your engine near redline in neutral.. by spinning the turbo without load, you're basically doing the same thing.
Thank you :thumbup:
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Webster Jessup » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:49 pm

Jeff Shyu wrote:having the waste gate fully open is like simulating a very large compression side leak.

it'd be very large, but still not as large as a fully open compressor, so, having the waste gate open really doesn't help you one bit.. :(

the part about overspinning the turbo. the best way to think about it would be like dry revving your engine. You wouldn't want to hold your engine near redline in neutral.. by spinning the turbo without load, you're basically doing the same thing.
Jeff, you're not providing correct information here. Having the wastegate open in this case is what he needs to do so enough exhaust gas can be bypassed. He needs to bypass as much exhaust gas as possible to prevent over-spinning the turbo. Also, free revving the engine near redline will not provide enough exhuast flow to over-rev the turbo because there is not enough load on the engine to produce significant exhaust gas, BUT driving the car and putting even minor loads on the engine increases exhaust gas so many times, more than enough to over-rev the turbo and damage the bearings.


Christos, how are you planning on keeping the wastegate open? If external style like a Tial, the spring will keep the valve closed. If you have an internal style, you could disconnect the linkage, but the cross sectional area of most turbo's internal gate are not large enough to bypass enough exhaust gas to prevent over-revving the turbo.

There's no guarantee that you wont damage the turbo bearings from over-revving. Just have it towed or you could make temporary piping with PVC, couplers, whatever tubing you have around, etc. No need to route to the intercooler. Just go straight to the throttle body, and don't boost.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Jeff Shyu » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:46 am

Webster Jessup wrote:Jeff, you're not providing correct information here. Having the wastegate open in this case is what he needs to do so enough exhaust gas can be bypassed. He needs to bypass as much exhaust gas as possible to prevent over-spinning the turbo.
you're correct, I was thinking of the BOV, rather than the wastegate
Webster Jessup wrote:Also, free revving the engine near redline will not provide enough exhuast flow to over-rev the turbo because there is not enough load on the engine to produce significant exhaust gas, BUT driving the car and putting even minor loads on the engine increases exhaust gas so many times, more than enough to over-rev the turbo and damage the bearings.
I wasn't talking about redlining the motor in relationship to the spinning up the turbo, I was making an analogy to a NA motor, where spinning the motor (or turbo) without load is bad.

I think the discussion is moot now though, one way or another, the problem is now past.. :)

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:49 am

I just wanted to give an update.
What I ended up doing is putting a piece of thick cardboard between the turbo outlet and the first IC pipe (in my not-customized 2560 this is bolted on the turbo -see pic- so it was possible to put the cardboard in between the two pipes) and then I created a small hole in the cardboard. That way I totally minimized the turbo from overspinning.

Then I drove to these guys which are far away from me but they honestly are creating art out of aluminum in very affordable prices (so for me it's totally worth to drive there).

Here are some pictures of the new set up:

Image

Image

super limited space but they managed to fit the intake in there and to route it to the front next to the IC ducting (my plan is to create a small box there so that the air filter will only see fresh cold air.

They even managed to put a small pipe at the right angle so I can connect my BOV for street use:

Image
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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Webster Jessup » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:58 pm

Jeff Shyu wrote:I wasn't talking about redlining the motor in relationship to the spinning up the turbo, I was making an analogy to a NA motor, where spinning the motor (or turbo) without load is bad.
In what way do you think free revving a motor bad? Nothing bad at all. As long as there is either fuel or ignition or both cut at the maximum designed engine rpm, nothing is going to happen.


Christos, no guarantee you didn't over spin those bearings. Only time will tell.

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Re: Is it OK to drive a turbo car w/o IC pipes connected?

Post by Christos Adam » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:41 pm

Webster Jessup wrote:
Jeff Shyu wrote:Christos, no guarantee you didn't over spin those bearings. Only time will tell.
No guarantee in anything in life Webster 8-)
In the first run on Sunday I was going full throttle and the car didn't accelerate while I could hear the turbo spinning - in my car there is not too much insulation you can pretty much hear everything. Turns out the coupler had been disconnected and air was escaping. Did I overspin the turbo in the first lap? I really don't think so but maybe...

Did I overspin the turbo on the way to the welder? I seriously doubt... I was driving by barely touching the throttle (minimum load), the blocking plate at the outlet hold up :thumbup: , the wastegate was fully open all the time and I didn't hear the turbo revving - not even a single time.
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