what happens when you install turbocharger backwards
YouTube: Life OD

Installing a Turbo Backwards? These Guys Did It!


First things first, installing a turbocharger backward technically shouldn't be a concern for anyone. Cars aren't IKEA furniture, after all. You can't just flip a bracket and expect things to fit together until the end, just when you thought you were done, having spent hours trying to read the instructions in German because you lost the English ones which started an argument with your girlfriend, so you have to take the whole th--sorry. Flashback.

Anyway...installing a twin-turbo backward isn't a thing. But, a few guys from the Life OD YouTube channel, based out of a shop in Washington state, have made it a thing, for better or worse. Let's take a look at the backwards turbo experiment in the video above!

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What Do You Get With a Backwards Turbo Setup?

For their turbocharger installation project, the Life OD gearheads chop off the intake manifold and rig several pieces of metal and PVC pipe so that the turbo and exhaust can come out above the turbocharged engine, which functions as a proof-of-concept muffler.

The idea is that they'd like to see air coming out of the exhaust system rather than into the engine. Why anyone would want this is still a mystery, and we aren't entirely convinced that the exhaust gases are flowing in a way that would allow for greater fuel injection efficiency, but according to these guys the systems "works." Just don't expect to find this turbo kit on eBay.

According to the test driver, who says he's familiar with this model of Civic, he felt a bit of a top-end boost. The boost level was nothing compared to the turbocharger system's boost pressure if it was correctly installed, but hey, they did this wacky DIY experiment for science. Or something. So, we guess, according to these dudes, turbocharging with a backward exhaust flow can cause the turbine (which consists of a turbine wheel and turbine housing) to spool and generate a small boost to the drivetrain. The more you know, right?

This post was originally published on October 16, 2019.

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