Manual Boost Controller Install

This was written as a basic manual boost controller install guide.

A starter guide, if you will.  A more complete version with detailed illustrations, will be coming in our E-Book.  It will work with a Hallman boost controller, a Turbo XS boost controller, or our favorite, the Dawes Devices Hybrid G-Valve.  We’ll be showing you how to make a DIY Boost Controller (the right way) in the coming weeks.  Your Boost Controller likely came with its own instructions, but you can use this to see what you are in for, or as a supplement to the included instructions. It will work with a ball-spring type controller, or a bleed. You installation may vary, so email us if you have any questions!  Sign up for updates on the right and be notified of our every post.
1) Never increase boost without the available fuel supply to support it. Please read our upcoming FAQ for details on monitoring your progress.
2) A controller is usally shipped at a low boost adjustment, to protect your engine. Follow the instructions below to adjust it.
3) When adjusting your manual boost controller, you will find it necessary to uncoil the vacuum hose leading from the boost source to the controller. Do this by rotating the vacuum hose about the end of the controller. A drop of oil on every nipple that gets a hose, will help in rotating the hose, later. However, DO be sure to secure the lines with a ty-rap or hose clamp.

Getting Started: Installing a Boost Controller:

1) Locate the wastgate on your turbo system. Most will have an integral design like the one in the illustration. Attached to the wastegate will be a vacuum line or hose. Remove the hose from the wastegate and plug the hose. A large, short, sheet metal screw works well for this purpose and will not work loose. DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITH THE WASTEGATE DISCONNECTED. If you have an adjustable wastegate, set it to the lowest boost setting. Most factory wastegates are NOT adjustable. You’d know if you had one.
boost controller install 1
2) Attach a length of vacuum hose from the output end of the boost controller to the wastegate nipple. This is the nipple that you just removed the vacuum hose from. Ty wrap it in place, so it can’t fall off. Also tie wrap any intermediate fittings that you had to add. There are adapters available at your local hardware store, to match the inside diameter of the hose to the wastegate nipple, although vacuum hose will stretch considerably. However, be careful not to split it.

3) Locate a boost source using the diagrams as a guideline. You can use the intake manifold, or turbo, if it has a nipple. The shorter the hose runs, the better the resistance to spiking. The best place to use is a nipple on the turbocharger output, if you have one. Now run a piece vacuum hose between the boost source and the straight end of the controller. A drop of oil on the boost controller nipple will aid in adjusting the hose later. Do not use the original wastegate line as your boost source. If there is already a line attached, install a vacuum tee (as close to the nipple as possible). Alternate sources include the intake manifold, or the pipe between the turbo and throttle. Do not tie wrap this hose yet. You will need to rotate the hose about the nipples later.

boost controller installation 2
4) Check all connections to ensure that they will stay on during testing. Now start the vehicle and drive moderately for a few minutes. Notice the boost level while you drive. If you have followed the instructions, you will now have a peak boost that is the same or LOWER than the stock boost setting. If this is true, then proceed to step 5. If boost is higher, check your connections before adjusting the controller. If boost remains higher that stock BREIFLY accelerate in a higher gear (to avoid wheel spin) and note the boost. If boost exceeds your target limit, let off the accelerator immediately and adjust the controller to a lower setting.

5) If you are at this step, then the boost is currently at a stock or lower threshold. Adjust your boost controller upward, to a higher level, according to the instructions that came with it. Accelerate again in a higher gear and note the new boost setting. Repeat until you have reached your target boost level. Note: it may take a few turns of the adjustment knob, before you begin to see a change. Be patient, do it a turn at a time to avoid overboost. It only takes a half hour or so to complete the adjustments. After a turn or two, you might find that the line from the boost source to the controller becomes twisted. Turn it about the boost controller tip while holding the controller still. This will relieve the twisting.
6) When your adjustment is completed, tie wrap all connections, and tighten any lock nut.
7) Use caution when driving your newly adjusted vehicle. Control problems may appear during rapid acceleration that were not there at the lower, stock boost level. Yee Hah! Torque Steer!

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