The Aerocharger is an advanced variable-vane turbo, and is superior to conventional turbocharger technology for many different applications. The Aerocharger is available in two sizes: the 53-Series and the 66-Series.
Aerochargers At A Glance
An Aerocharger uses 100% of exhaust gases, eliminating energy sapping wastegates and spark arrestors. The result is faster, more efficient boost. Similar technology is now used on luxury cars and modern diesel trucks.
D5S NiResist Alloy
The Aerocharger’s turbine housing is constructed from an exotic D5S NiResist alloy. This premium aircraft-grade metal contains up to 38% nickel, and has advanced corrosion-resisting properties superior to stainless steel.
Ceramic Ball Bearings
The most modern bearing technology available. The Aerocharger’s ball bearings exceeded a 30,000 hour full-boost test by the US Military.
The Aerocharger has industry-exclusive self-lubrication. This reduces weight and complexity while eliminating fail-prone parts from the turbo system. Read more about this uniquely specialized system.
Advanced Turbine Balancing
Aerocharger turbines are balanced to tolerances up to ten times more precise than standard turbos. This exactitude ensures performance that exceeds the competition.
Integrated Boost Controller
The integrated boost controller sets both the boost amount and boost response. The Aerocharger is the only turbocharger in the world that allows boost response to be mechanically adjusted.
UNDERSTANDING SURGE LINE
The Aerocharger has a very soft surge, which means that turbo flutter is mild and it is capable of quickly recovering. However it is still best to understand what surge is and how it affects power delivery.
Surge is most commonly experienced when one of two situations exist. The first and most damaging is surge underload. This can be an indication that your compressor is too large for your application. Surge is also commonly experienced when the throttle is quickly closed after boosting. This occurs because mass flow is drastically reduced as the throttle is closed, but the turbo is still spinning and generating boost. This immediately drives the operating point to the far left of the compressor map, right into the surge line. The surge line is left hand boundary of the compressor maps below. Operating to the left of this line represents a region of flow instability. On a conventional turbocharger this region is characterized by mild flutter to wildly fluctuating boost and “barking” from the compressor.
Surge will dissipate once the turbo speed finally slows enough to reduce the boost and move the operating point back into the stable region. Aerocharger surge is hardly noticeable, where as conventional turbo surge is hard. A hard surge is very noticeable along with a sudden flutter of power. This is less than desirable and potentially disastrous. One example would be on a motorcycle when trying to roll into the throttle for a fast exit out of a hard turn.
ADJUSTING THE VANES
Variable-vanes create optimum geometry for exhaust flows at any given RPM. This is done by changing the angle of the vanes within the turbine housing. The Aerocharger provides a unique adjustment which gives the user ability to adjust when the vanes move and how boost reacts to the engine. By closing the vanes boost is allowed to build quicker and maximum boost is made lower in the power band. Opening the vanes slows boost and raises the power band for more power up top
Aerocharger Mock-Up Turbos
We have mock-up turbochargers available for fabricating your custom turbo system and dialing in your Aerocharger’s orientation. This is a critical step in any custom Aerocharger turbo systems as a finished Aerocharger cannot be reoriented without the proper precision equipment. These mock-up turbos have no internal parts and can be adjusted in any way necessary, even the controller location. Once your turbo system is complete and you have your mock-up turbo finalized, you may return it to us and we will build your Aerocharger to those specifications. Use the provided charts and calculator to configure your Aerocharger and determine which is best for your application. To purchase a mock-up Aerocharger please call 913.829.3400
Turbochargers, by design, use the flow and expansion of exhaust gases to rotate a turbine wheel, which in turn spins a compressor wheel within the intake stream of the engine. This wheel creates boost by compressing the air and increasing the engine’s mass flow rate. This process however, is directly relative to how fast the turbine wheel is spun by the exhaust gasses passing by it. Boost can only be made once these wheels are spinning up to certain speeds and compression can occur. The delay before boost is built is simply known as turbo lag.
VARIABLE AREA TURBINE NOZZLE
In 1976 a group of turbomachinery engineers wanted to improve on the design of conventional turbochargers and eliminate turbo lag from the equation. The end result was the Aerocharger®, a turbo that which utilizes exhaust gases in the most efficient way possible to build boost instantly. This was achieved through a Variable Area Turbine Nozzle (VATN) design for the turbine section. VATN is a series of variable-vanes that optimize the flow area of the turbine by adapting to the exhaust gases. By doing this, the turbine wheel is able to operate at peak efficiency throughout a wide RPM range, something that has never been achieved before. This also eliminates the need for a wastegate, which conventional turbochargers rely upon to control boost. Instead, the vanes automatically adjust the flow area and backpressure to perfectly match the torque requirements of the compressor wheel to produce the desired boost. Eliminating the need for a wastgate means eliminating extra cost in your turbo system. A typical high-performance external wastegate is commonly priced anywhere from $250-$1000 depending on brand and size. Boost is controlled via various shims and spring designs within the vane controller. This also eliminates the need for a manual or electronic boost controller which can also get very costly. These are additional components that are not necessary with an Aerocharger as it relies on no external components to perform.
BEARING DESIGN & LUBRICATION
A unique self-contained oil system was also created for the Aerocharger® which lubricates the ball bearings in a fine mist of oil. Since the oiling system is separate from the engine, a proper lubricant can be used for the precision ball bearings instead of using oil formulated for engines. This differs from conventional turbochargers that use a flooded bearing system which rely upon the engine’s lubrication system. By avoiding the use of a flooded design a virtually frictionless, self-contained bearing lubrication system was achieved.
Conventional turbochargers use a flooded journal or ball type bearing centered between the turbine and compressor housings. This bearing assembly is plumbed into the engines lubrication system where hot motor oil is constantly pumped through it. In many cases, particularly production turbocharged engines, this bearing assembly has separate cavities for the engine’s coolant to flow through to aid in cooling the bearing as well. Motor oil is not particularly designed for high-speed, ball-bearing aftermarket turbochargers, thus falling short of providing the most ideal lubrication conditions. This type of lubrication system is also less than desirable when it comes to hot shutdowns. When a turbocharged engine has been run hard the oil and turbo reach extreme temperatures. Shutting the engine off during these conditions stops the flow of oil, which allows the oil to sit in the turbo and cook leading to bearing wear and premature turbo failure. A common remedy for this would be to allow the engine to idle for a period of time before shut down, or to apply a turbo timer, which does this automatically.
The proper solution for this issue is a turbocharger that does not fall victim to these circumstances. The bearing assembly within any Aerocharger® is specifically designed to cater to these needs. Viewing the diagrams on this page it is first easy to see the difference in location of the bearing assembly between an Aerocharger® and a conventional turbocharger. With the Aerocharger® the bearing assembly is located in the coolest location of the turbocharger: the compressor housing inlet. Fresh air is drawn in around the bearing, effectively drawing heat away from the bearing assembly at all times.
Lubrication of this bearing design is also far different from conventional turbochargers. A cavity is built into the front portion of the compressor housing. A specially formulated high-speed bearing oil resides within the cavity. This oil is transferred to the ceramic ball-bearings via a pair of wicks through which a mist of oil is drawn to lubricate the bearings. Due to the fact that only a light mist of oil is lubricating the bearings, as apposed to the bearings being flooded, the amount of drag on the bearings is significantly reduced (see charts for comparisons).
Low rolling resistance coupled with a low-mass rotating assembly and VATN technology is why turbo-lag is virtually non-existent with the Aerocharger®. This also eliminates the need for a turbo timer as the bearings are low drag and hot oil cannot cook the bearings like conventional turbos. Therefore hot shut-downs are not longer and issue and a turbo timer is another component you will not have a need to purchase. A further advantage of this self-contained lubrication system is the fact that the turbo is no longer reliant upon being lubricated by the engine itself. There are no high pressure or lines or seals to fail and reduced oil leakage into the engine for low particulate emissions. This also allows for more mounting options to be available for the turbo including both horizontal and vertical installations
This oil system has been proven not only over several decades of aftermarket installations, but also on military applications where units have logged over 35,000 hours at 83K RPM which is the equivalent of full boost for most applications. The combined results of both technologies allow for optimum reliability, vastly superior performance, and flexible installation. Most importantly boost is achieved virtually instantly.
Aerocharger Compressor Maps
Generally compressor maps are created in a lab under ideal conditions. Most installations will include an air cleaner, muffler, and adequate plumbing. Your actual results may differ slightly, but these maps serve as an excellent starting point.
Pump gas or Race gas
Failure to follow these instructions can cause turbocharger damage that will lead to premature failure not covered under warranty.
- Prior to installation, ensure that you have filled your turbocharger with the Aerocharger® oil, which has been supplied to you with the purchase of your unit. Apply Loctite 242 when reinstalling the oil fill plug.
- Be certain that no dirt or debris can enter the turbocharger at any time before or after the installation process. This includes slag left behind from welding.
- The boost reference signal to the turbo controller is what governs the boost limit of your turbocharger. This line must pull its signal from the charge side of the intake stream, as close to the turbo as possible. Incorrect boost reference signal to the turbo controller can result in over-spooling and turbo failure. Never reference boost signal from the intake manifold.
- Use only new gaskets in your exhaust system when installing an Aerocharger®. Old gaskets can deteriorate and create debris within your exhaust system, which can damage the turbocharger.
- Use high-temp anti-seize on all bolts.
- Do not over-boost.
- Do not use on a different application than what the turbo and system was originally designed for.
- Do not use in significantly different altitude than originally designed for.
- Do not allow any dirt or debris to enter the turbo at any time.
- DO NOT RUN WITHOUT OIL.
- Check turbocharger oil level once a year, or very 30,000 miles. Aerocharger units use a specifically formulated high-speed bearing lubricant; no other lubricant should be used. Only use Aerocharger® Oil.
- Do not attempt to disassemble your Aerocharger® – special tools are required for disassembly. Significant damage can be caused if repair is attempted by untrained personnel.
- Do not attempt reorientation of your Aerocharger®. The lubrication system of each unit is designed specifically for the original application it was built for. Rotating the housings can result in lack of proper lubrication and internal damage to the turbocharger. DO NOT loosen the V-band.
The initial vane position is controlled by the boost fitting location. Closing the vanes speeds up boost response. To close the vanes the boost fitting will need to be turned counter-clockwise, moving the fitting outward. Opening the vanes slows boost response and can be achieved by turning the boost fitting clockwise. Ensure that the jam nut is tightened after any adjustments are made. Note: the boost fitting must make contact with the piston inside the controller, backing the fitting off past the point of contact will result in improper controller function. The point of contact (no pre-load on piston) is equal to a vane position of ZERO. This position means the vanes are completely closed and will provide the fastest possible boost response.
Answers to commonly asked questions.
Are Aerochargers more difficult to tune than a conventional turbo?
Does the “self-lubrication” aspect of the Aerocharger mean that frequent maintenance is required?
How is boost controlled on the Aerocharger?
Does the Aerocharger need a wastegate?
Does the Aerocharger require a turbo timer?
What services are available for shipping?
Are Aerochargers more or less reliable than any other conventional turbocharger?
Information about the Aerocharger’s unique features and performance.
Aerocharger Operational Guidelines
Failure to follow these instructions can cause turbocharger damage that will lead to premature failure.
Aerocharger Boost Controllers Manual
Instructions for several different versions of the Aerocharger Boost Controller.