The “Turbosmart TS-0302-1002 E-boost Street” has been around for some time now, but we feel it is still one of the best values available in an electronic boost controller. The case color changes from silver to black and back, over time, but the functions remain the same. As explained in our “Basics” series, all electronic boost controllers use a solenoid, to control the boost.
However, when and how that solenoid is activated amounts to the “secret” in the sauce. For this test, we used Ted’s Mazdaspeed 3, which has had the E-boost in it for a couple of years. Unfortunately, Ted is in another state right now, so we weren’t able to get pictures of HIS installation for this article.
According to the Tedster, installation was pretty basic, with an 8 pin plug in connector for the electricals and a vacuum nipple for the boost source. Basic wiring is voltage (and ground), dimmer, and boost control solenoid. However, the E-boost Street has a couple of optional features that we really like. One is Switch Logic. This let’s you switch between the two programmable boost levels. You can do this with the control unit menu, but that takes time. Not something you want to do at the 60 ft mark. However the Switch Logic feature lets you wire in a separate switch. So, you can have a quick change switch. Ted’s wired his into a momentary contact on the shift knob. Like a nitrous switch in reverse, he gets a lower boost level while holding it and then it switches to the higher setting when he lets off. With low boost on launch, his tires don’t go up in smoke off the line and he can switch while his hands are busy with all of that torque steer (the little Mazda is over 300hp now). Another really cool feature is the ability to control an auxiliary device. So, if you are running nitrous with your turbo kit, you can switch it on based on boost AND RPM inputs. Ted’s using a homemade water injection system (coming soon in an E-book) that we designed, but in this case, it sprays his intercooler.
Actual control of the boost is faster than most electronic controllers, with minimal overboost or drop off. The E-boost Street contains a feature which is specifically designed to prevent boost drop off, so that’s good BUT, you’ll need a dyno or long stretch of hill to set it. It does work, though. However, all electronic controllers suffer from the problem of Hysteresis, which results in a less-than-optimal boost curve. In other words, there is overshoot (overboost) inherent in the system, which must be addressed by scaling back the aggression profile of the boost curve. So, you never really get the fastest possible boost climb. This is because there is always a delay in how fast the boost controller can respond, due to the feedback loop. The boost signal must make it through a vacuum line and back to the control unit, which is usually mounted in the vehicle.
The control unit processes the pressure signal and then activates the solenoid accordingly. In order to prevent overboost, the peak pressure is approached at a controlled (read slow) rate. It is for this reason that we prefer a Manual Boost Controller (our fav is linked, but, watch for an upcoming review) for ultimate performance. However, an Electronic Boost Controller offers the convenience of changing the settings from the cockpit. So, let’s say that they are nice for street cars, but less than perfect for the track. Ted’s actually wired in a manual boost controller and auxiliary solenoid, using the E-boost’s output, that he can switch on for full-boogie mode. He runs the electronic controller for the strip and lauch, but for boost control when already underway, he’s using a Dawes Device by 3 Bar Racing.
Summary: The Turbosmart TS-0302-1002 E-boost Street represents a lot of value for the money. It has features that are usually only found on more expensive controllers and works as advertised. However, it is still an electronic controller, with the limitations that go along with it. But, we put it up first, because we think it is one of the best values out there.
Since we are trying to keep these reviews to a reasonable length, we’ll list the other features in the “Pros” section below.
MSRP: $320 USD (but we found the best price HERE, on Amazon)
If you buy using our Amazon links, it won’t cost you any more, but we’ll get a few cents to help keep the site running. Thanks!
Economical (for an Electronic Boost Controller)
Overboost Shut Down
Built in Boost Gauge
Aux switch input for quick profile switching
Aux control of solenoid or relay
The display connects to your instrument panel and dims with the lights.
Circuitous Menus make it more difficult to program than some other options (including the other Turbosmart offerings)
Type: Electronically Controlled Solenoid Valve
Live mode does the following–
Displays the amount of vacuum/boost being read by the unit.
Displays the RPM X100 (010 = 1000 RPM) of the engine (if the RPM wire is connected to a Square wave signal from the ECU).
Displays the peak boost level the unit has measured.
Displays the peak RPM