Manual Turbo Boost Controller Buying Guide

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Manual Turbo Boost Controller Buying Guide

Manual turbo boost controllers help cars with turbochargers to gain horsepower. The device regulates the amount of air pressure applied to the intake manifold of an engine and the amount of pressure entering the combustion chamber. If unregulated, excess engine pressure can cause damage to a car's engine. Manual turbo boost controllers are not generally accessible from inside the car. This means that drivers must regulate the unit from the engine compartment.

When purchasing a manual turbo boost controller at auto stores or online retailers, such as eBay, buyers should consider the two available types, understand how they differ from electronic versions, learn how to install the unit, and familiarise themselves with the various factors that help them to choose the right product.

Types of Manual Turbo Boost Controllers

Manual turbo boost controllers are available in two common types: bleed, and ball and spring. Buyers should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type before making a purchase.

Bleed Boost Controllers

Bleed boost controllers are installed on the wastegate vacuum line; typically as close to the wastegate as possible. The wastegate prevents the turbos from spinning faster than desired, and allows the exhaust gases to bypass the turbine wheel under certain conditions; this allows a consistent turbine speed.

The controller works by bleeding off pressure out of the line. The amount of air bled off controls the boost. Bleed boost controllers are less susceptible to boost spiking than ball and spring versions, so they offer very solid boost control. However, while they may not impede boost response, they do not improve spool response in the same way as other types of controller.

Ball and Spring Boost Controllers

Ball and spring boost controllers use a ball and spring to control the amount of boost. The ball blocks the flow of air until the air pressure overcomes the spring, which is found behind the ball. This mechanism is typically installed in-line on the vacuum line leading to the wastegate. To control the amount of air pressure out of the turbo that is required to open the wastegate, buyers can adjust the controller by tightening the spring, which makes it more difficult to open. The tighter the spring, the more boost is needed to dislodge the ball and allow the boost pressure to reach the wastegate actuator.

Ball and spring boost controllers do not leak any boost before reaching the desired boost level, so they are often preferred for their ability to adjust boost pressures quickly and easily. In addition, they can keep the wastegate fully closed longer during spool up than bleed boost controllers. This allows the turbo to spool faster and be more responsive. However, due to the design of the boost controller, the unit is susceptible to over spiking.

Manual vs. Electronic Turbo Boost Controllers

Although electronic turbo boost controllers offer many advantages, manual turbo boost controllers are still preferred in certain situations. Both types of controllers perform the same function and achieve similar results. However, electronic versions are controlled by computers, which means that they can be manipulated by using a control box on the dash. This is often preferred, as the pressure level of manual boosters must be controlled manually and cannot be altered while the car is in motion.

To help manual turbo boost controllers monitor the pressure within a turbocharged engine, a small amount of pressure is often released at a constant rate. The controller may have a spring that is forced shut when the desired pressure is reached. This prevents the turbocharger from producing too much power.

Installing a Manual Turbo Boost Controller

Installing a manual turbo boost controller is a straightforward process. While some drivers may prefer to have the unit installed professionally, home installation requires only a few tools and a basic understanding of car terminology. Special precautions should be taken when installing a manual turbo boost controller. Never increase the boost without the available fuel supply to support it.

Install the Ball Bearing

Begin the process by widening the ends of the spring slightly so that they are large enough to cup the edges of the ball bearing. From this point, insert the ball bearing into the female fitting and the utility spring into the male fitting. The two fittings can then be screwed together so that the spring presses against the ball bearing. If the spring is too short, then stretch the mechanism.

Secure the Fittings

Next, blow air through the fittings via the female. The fittings should be tightened until air can no longer pass through both fittings. Then affix the free end of the male fitting to the manifold source line and the free end of the female fitting to the wastegate line using hose clamps to secure the components. Finally, tighten the hose clamps with a wrench and adjust the fittings to obtain a desired level of boost.

Factors to Consider when Buying a Manual Turbo Boost Controller

There are many factors that should be taken into account when buying a manual turbo boost controller, including the set boost level and optimal boost level. While these factors depend heavily on the driver's preferences, it is also important to consider the car's specification.

Set Boost Level

Before buying a manual turbo boost controller, buyers should consider what turbo boost level the unit is set at. The set level is determined by means of a boost gauge. Buyers should never depend on a factory boost gauge. Controllers are generally at a low boost setting to protect the car's engine. Car manufacturers tend to vary the method by which they measure boost and display it to the driver. This means that modifications to the car may cause the factory boost gauge to display inaccurate readings. Buying a high quality boost gauge can help prevent this problem.

Optimal Boost Level

The optimal boost level depends solely on the driver's preferences. Buyers are encouraged to research what level is best and safe for their vehicle and the level of modifications. To help maximise the resulting power gains of the vehicle and its safe operation, buyers may make additional vehicle modifications including, a higher flowing fuel pump, higher capacity fuel injectors, or a fuel management system. These modifications help free the flow of both the intake and exhaust systems and ensure that there is always a sufficient fuel supply to support the additional air.

How to Buy a Manual Turbo Boost Controller on eBay

Search the eBay site using keywords, such as "manual turbo boost controller", to find the right product. To find a bargain, check the eBay Deals section. Read item listings carefully before making a purchase. Check the price of the item, as well its delivery costs. If additional information is desired, contact the seller. Sellers are usually happy to provide additional information in order to promote a positive transaction.

Seller Feedback Ratings

Check a seller's feedback rating before purchasing a manual turbo boost controller. Ratings are determined by information provided from other buyers within the past year. This information, along with the number of transactions a seller has completed, can offer insight into the level of customer service a seller provides.


eBay sellers stock a wide selection of manual turbo boost controllers at competitive prices. When searching for these components, buyers should consider the two types: bleed, and ball and spring. The best type is ultimately a matter of the driver's personal preference, although ball and spring controllers are generally more popular because they do not bleed any boost. Buyers should also consider the advantages and disadvantages of manual turbo boost controllers when compared to electronic versions.

Finally, buyers should either learn how to install the controller properly or find a professional to do the work. There are many controllers to choose from, so it is important that the buyer determines the optimal boost level given a car's specifications and modifications.

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