Turbochargers are an effective way to increase an engine’s performance. They’ve become incredibly popular in recent years, and over 34% of new cars feature a turbo of some kind.
A turbocharger system works by forcing cooled and compressed air through an engine. This helps the engine operate more efficiently and results in more power and improved fuel economy.
Some stock turbo setups leave you wanting more. If you want better performance from yours, VRSF parts can make a difference.
Aftermarket downpipes and charge pipes are some of the most common turbo upgrades. Read on to learn how choosing VRSF pipes can benefit you.
What is a Downpipe?
A downpipe connects to your turbocharger’s turbine housing. It’s responsible for directing air from the turbine into your exhaust system so it can leave the engine.
Most downpipes are connected to a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter helps produce cleaner exhaust that’s better for the environment. It reacts with the hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other harmful chemicals in exhaust and turns them into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
While catalytic converters serve an essential role, they also reduce a vehicle’s power. Aftermarket downpipes make use of a high-flow catalytic converter or delete them completely.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Downpipe
An aftermarket VRSF downpipe can add a considerable amount of power to your car. These downpipes are wider than the stock downpipe, so air flows out of the engine more efficiently.
This increase in efficiency is a major benefit for your turbocharger. The turbine will be able to spin faster, generating more spool and reducing turbo lag.
Upgrading your downpipe can also reduce the temperature within your engine and intake charge.
Swapping out your stock downpipe can help you produce up to 25 more horsepower. It can also open the door for installing an upgraded turbo or increasing the amount of boost your turbocharger produces.
Considerations Before Installing an Aftermarket Downpipe
A downpipe upgrade is a great way to get some extra power out of your car, but you might run into some issues along the way. The good news is that they’re fairly easy to deal with.
You’ll Need a Tune
You won’t get the most out of a downpipe swap without a new ECU tune. You need to tell your ECU to add more fuel into every air flow reading. Without it, you won’t see the benefits of a less restrictive downpipe.
Might Trip Check Engine Light
After you upgrade your downpipe, your car’s computer system still thinks that you’re using a stock catalytic converter. It might turn on the Check Engine Light because it thinks it senses an exhaust issue. An ECU tune can keep the light off.
Might Not Pass Emissions
If your new downpipe doesn’t have a catalytic converter, you’ll fail your emissions check in most states in the U.S. There’s no way around it. For that reason, “cat-less” downpipes aren’t recommended for street cars.
Even high-flow catalytic converters can sometimes fail emissions tests. Some areas require a stock catalytic converter. Make sure to check your local laws.
What is a Charge Pipe?
Turbocharged cars make use of an intercooler to chill air before routing it to the engine. The charge pipe connects to the intercooler and either the diverter valve or the blow-off valve of the engine.
Its job is to carry chilled air from the intercooler to the engine.
Factory-installed charge pipes are usually made of plastic. They’re very light, easy to install, and won’t corrode.
However, these stock charge pipes aren’t very reliable. They’re usually the weakest link in your intercooler system and will eventually fail.
Heat from the engine causes them to crack, which results in a loss of pressure.
When your charge pipe fails, you’ll have very limited engine power and your dash will display a myriad of warning lights. If you tune your engine to produce more turbo boost, your stock charge pipe will fail even faster.
Why You Should Upgrade Your Charge Pipe
Aftermarket charge pipes are made of higher quality materials like aluminum, rubber, or stainless steel. Most VRSF charge pipes are made of aluminum to reduce their weight.
These have a much lower chance of cracking. Metal can stand up to heat much better than plastic can.
VRSF charge pipes are also powder-coated. This protects them from corrosion.
High-quality charge pipes make use of a technology called mandrel bending. It’s a way of bending metal so that it doesn’t wrinkle. This allows air to flow with the least possible resistance.
What to Expect From a New Charge Pipe
When you upgrade your stock charge pipe to a VRSF charge pipe, you’ll be able to feel the difference when you press the gas pedal. You’ll enjoy better throttle response, which can make your car much more fun to drive.
You’ll also experience less turbo lag. This gives you access to turbo power earlier in your rev-band.
Aluminum charge pipes are much more reliable than their plastic counterparts. They can stand up to higher boost pressure, so they’re a must if you plan to run an aggressive tune.
While these features are great, you shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of quantifiable performance gains. A new charge pipe won’t give your car more horsepower like an upgraded downpipe can.
You’ll only notice a serious performance improvement if your stock charge pipe was cracked. A cracked pipe leaks boost, robbing your car of turbo power. You’ll certainly feel the difference after swapping it out.
Get Results With VRSF Pipes
Get the most out of your turbocharger with downpipes and charge pipes from VRSF.
With an upgraded downpipe, you’ll have a more efficient turbo setup. This results in a decently-sized horsepower increase and the ability to use high-performance parts and tuners.
Upgrade your charge pipe before it fails. After you do, you’ll have a much more responsive vehicle.
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