Turbosmart: The clever problem solver

Turbosmart and their new patent pending OPR T40…

Turbosmart has a new patent pending OPR T40 is an oil pressure regulation system for your ball bearing turbocharger. It helps prevent compressor or turbine stage oil leaking or smoking, and takes the guesswork out of oil restrictor sizing. Providing an aftermarket turbocharger with the ideal oil pressure has always been a challenge. Traditionally, the turbocharger’s oil feed has relied on a restrictor system, which are difficult to set up correctly.

When incorrectly sized or set up, they can be the cause of turbo seal leakage and blow-by. Turbosmart’s Turbo Oil Regulator ensures the oil pressure going to the turbocharger never exceeds the maximum pressure. The result is an oil delivery system that is more reliable and easier to setup than a standard restrictor system.

Turbochargers require a good source of oil…

Turbochargers require a good source of oil and they’re built around a preference for a oil pressure and flow. The turbocharger assembly itself has oil, hot exhaust gas and compressed air all within the tight confines of its core. This is where some compromises need to be addressed. The relationship between the three needs to be relative because seals are in place to stop one mixing with the other.

A common misconception is that there is a ‘seal’ that stops oil getting into the inlet air and exhaust gas. The seal is, in fact, a gas ring and resembles a common piston ring than any kind of rubber seal. Its function is to hold the exhaust gas or compressed air out of the oil system, not the other way around. As is often assumed — and it is here that modern turbochargers have created a little issue of their own.

There was a corresponding change in gas ring profile so that the balance of pressures fighting each other —exhaust gas, compressed air and oil — was maintained. This overall creates a beneficial system where less energy is consumed by seals and the bearing assembly. Resulting in a more responsive turbocharger. However, engine oil pressure requirements within a modern engine are often higher than that of the turbocharger assembly. Most of the engine requires a good steady feed of oil flow at high pressure for good efficiency and reliability. The turbocharger’s needs have reduced. The common solution, even at an OEM level, has been to fit a restrictor in the oil feed line.

The problem…

The problem with this method, though, is that there is a major difference between controlling flow and controlling pressure. The restrictor method that is most often used is actually an oil flow reduction method. What occurs is a compromise: reducing flow with a view to achieving a more suitable pressure, rather than directly reducing pressure itself. This method’s impact on oil pressure is also subject to oil grade, viscosity and supply pressure.

A change in any of these variables has a huge impact on the resulting pressure and this is why this method can be tricky and cumbersome. This is where Turbosmart’s OPR40 shines. It is designed to regulate oil pressure without any impact on flow — simple as that.

It’s able to achieve the desired oil pressure in the face of high supply pressure, at any temperature and resulting viscosity and does so without impacting flow. It is a true regulator and takes the guesswork out of orifice sizing for oil supply and removes the need of the black art in the tuning of, and carefully balancing oil supply line size versus oil drain sizing for custom turbocharger fitment. “It’s one of those solutions we’re truly proud to stand behind,” says Chris Milne, Turbosmart UK’s general manager. “Our guys came up with an innovative solution to a problem people have been frustrated by and barely coping with for years!”

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