Proper Turbo Installation, Read This Before You Build Or Install A Kit!

#1, If you do not know what properly clocking a turbo is, do not even attempt to start installing a kit or building a kit with one of the On 3 Turbochargers.  This is the most overlooked step and literally will be catastrophic to your turbo if you do not follow the instructions.  Not only that, most will end up thinking its a defective product when it was improperly installed.  We want to help eliminate this because if we educate the user, they are not going to experience this.  Most just do not even know so they don’t know any better until its too late.  We put these instructions in bold with each turbo system but often times the directions are overlooked.  So please if you are installing a kit, do not overlook this step and if you don’t know what clocking means or  how its done, open the direction file before you even start.  Also although its not common but every now and then when letting out of a car you will get a puff of smoke.  In most cases this is nothing to worry about and somewhat common.  It can be fuel or tune related as well


Lets cover clocking a turbo briefly: 

Just to cover clocking in a quick fashion, all this requires is that you have the feed fitting perfectly vertical at the 12 o’clock position and the drain directly at the ground, 6 o’clock position.  The turbocharger can only drain from gravity, there is nothing else that will force the oil out of the turbo back to the pan.  So if you have the turbo +/- 10 degrees on average from vertical on the feed, it leaves the oil in the CHRA longer than it should be.  This is when the turbo can start backing up or leaving oil in the CHRA longer than its intended.  With the housing being so hot, it will start to boil the oil and fry your bearing.  Upon inspection of a turbo that was not properly clocked, you will clearly see the shaft will overheat and “blue”.  A properly lubricated shaft even after 20+ thousand miles will not show heat like this, its very easy to tell when its an oiling problem(not a manufacturing issue).  I will make a short video on how to properly clock your turbo and add that when time allows


In most cases if you clock the turbocharger properly and you are getting some smoke when in boost or when letting out, this 99% of the time is due to one of the following:

  •  Most common is crankcase pressure.  If you are getting any boosted source to the crankcase that will pressurize it and leave the air with nowhere to go but out the drain line.  This will immediately back the turbo up and make it look like your fogging for mosquitoes.
  • Do not block off or plug valve covers, this will also push oil directly through the turbo.  We actually get photos of then occasionally and didn’t think it would be an issue but make sure you are not one of them
  • LSX applications, you have a port from your valve cover to TB, if you do not have the TB blocked off and the valve cover vented, your going to smoke like your running on diesel!!!  I get this call weekly, please address this

  •  Possible that the turbocharger is getting too much oil pressure and leaking into the exhaust housing
  • YES, you might have a catch can but not all of them will flow enough air and some will be restrictive.  If they restrict in any way, you are going to end up with oil in the exhaust or compressor cover with smoke.  This is one again not an issue with the turbo, its an issue with the airflow out of the engine and has no where else to go but through the turbo oil drain line.  This will back it up and push oil
  •  You have a kink possibly in the drain line
  • Make sure when you route your lines it needs to have a continuous downward slope to the oil pan for draining.  If you have any points where the line routes in an upward manner, its not going to properly gravity drain.  This again will back the turbo up in certain applications and end up either smoking or oil will be pushed out of the CHRA


Are you getting oil in the compressor cover?

When you first fire up a car on a new build, there is assembly oil in the units and not uncommon to see a little oil spiraled lightly inside the cover when you can wipe away.  If there is getting to be excessive oil in the cover, this generally tends to be an oiling pressure issue.  Most common issue we see is the ceramic ball bearing line of turbos and customers not running a restrictor.  This is essential and must be used with this line of turbochargers.  Also even on the journal bearing turbochargers, if your running a high volume pump and seeing 60+psi, your going to want to also run a restrictor.  These can be found on our website


If you have any questions or think there is anything you have experienced that you feel we should add to this, please let me know.  I would like to keep this thread going so we can continue to help customers that are first timers and make it as smooth as possible

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