TurboForce Revival Project


Why Turbocharge?, page 26 text


Turbocharging an engine is the most cost-effective method of achieving a major performance gain. This gain is achieved without sacrificing economy, drivability or engine reliability. [1979 and earlier] Pontiac engines with low compression ratio are good engines to turbocharge for super performance. The H-O TurboFORCE package makes turbocharging a ["Gen 2"] Firebird a snap!

Turbocharging is one of the best ways to achieve at least a 50% torque and horsepower gain on a street driven engine. At a boost level of 8psi, the engine torque is increased 1.5 time over normally aspirated. To achieve a 50% power gain by normal hot rodding techniques, the engine rpm must increased by [up to] 1.5 times and many special parts are required. Turbocharging is preferred by Indy, Formula One and other racing engine builders and mechanics. Turbocharging street cars have been around for many years with a [late 1970s] resurgence by Porsche, Saab, Buick and Ford.

The advantages of turbocharging are many. Because the turbocharger "free wheels" when not near full
throttle, the basic low- and mid-range efficiency of the engine is unaffected, resulting in no change in gas mileage under normal driving conditions. Of course, using a heavy foot to feel the turbocharger's performance will reduce mileage. The drivability is likewise unaffected from stock. You will not know a turbocharger is installed u ntil you put your foot down. There is little sacrifice in engine reliability because the power gain is achieved at the stock rpm level, not at an elevated rpm. Another important advantage is that a turbocharger is very quiet at normal speeds and will not detract from the luxury aspects of the car.

TurboFORCE is specifically engineered to fit ["Gen 2"] Firebirds and is 100% bolt-on. Aftermarket turbocharger installation kits, although initially less expensive, require special fabrication, scoops or bubbles on the hood and much trial and error during assembly. The ultimate cost can be far more than with TurboFORCE. There is also the possibility with an aftermarket kit that the components are not properly matched for best performance on your Pontiac engine.

Because a turbo system pumps more air and fuel into an engine, more horsepower is generated at normal rpms. Stock exhaust systems will limit boost to less than 7 psi because of the high back-pressure on the turbine. With low restriction exhaust systems boost pressures will run higher and come up faster, but boost must be limited to about 7 or 8 psi to prevent excessive detonation and possible engine damage. A waste gate will bypass some of the exhaust around the turbine in response to boost level, and will thus hold the boost to the recommended 7 psi. Horsepower increases are directly related to boost levels and at 7 psi boost power increase would be 7psi/14.7psi (normal atmospheric pressure) or 48% increase in horsepower.