Updated at: 17-07-2022 - By: Lucas

Adding a turbo to a naturally aspirated engine may be expensive, especially if you aren’t an expert in the subject. This is because several variables come into play, including your desired power output and your available financial resources.

Now that we’ve gotten to the meat of the matter, let’s have a look at the powertrain. Small and simple engines like the 1. 4 8v or 1. 6 16v, which are designed for the average driver and have no hidden performance potential and are installed in vehicles to transport the driver from point A to point B, and here I refer strictly to these simple engines, as well as other naturally aspirated engines like the VTEC from Honda or the RS from Renault or the M from BMW which have some potential from the factor

Due to their small torque and naturally aspirated natures, the smaller engines I’ve mentioned (1. 4, 1. 6, 1. 8) can only withstand a small amount of extra power over what the manufacturer claims because they don’t have high-quality connecting rods and the assembly that’s in motion in the engine has to work harder for nothing.

Because of this, these engines’ connecting rods are made of lightweight materials that are less resistant to high loads.

When it comes to turbocharging these engines, it’s usually limited to between 0. 4 and 1.25 bars of pressure. This means that the amount of power that can be generated is limited, as well.

For a turbo engine, you’ll need various parts, some of which you won’t need if you’re on a budget and don’t plan to change the engine.

It’s primarily necessary to swap out the connecting rods in order to make the naturally aspirated engine into a turbocharged one.

Engines’ connecting rods are the weakest link; while stock pistons can withstand more power than the connecting rods, a malfunction is the only scenario in which these components may break down.

When it comes to connecting rods, the MAXPEEDINGRODS rods with ARP2000 screws are a great improvement from the standard rods because they are affordable and offer good performance without sacrificing durability.

Starting at $ 240 250, these connecting rods can be yours.

FCP, Integrated Engineering, and other high-quality but more expensive connecting rods are available.

After that, we set a limited budget for conversion as our goal.

When considering the addition of a turbocharger to a stock engine, the most vulnerable portion is the connecting rods because of the increased mechanical stress.

Parts you need for adding a turbo to a stock engine

How Much Is A Turbo-2


Many people believe that once you buy a turbocharger, you just install it and are ready to go. We’re mainly referring to universal turbochargers because we’re referring to a naturally aspirated engine that didn’t have a turbo from the factory.

A turbocharger with an integrated or external wastegate is required for this application. Because it can handle the turbo’s gas requirements, tiny engines typically have an internal wastegate on their turbochargers. An external wastegate is standard on larger turbochargers.

Starting at $ 260, turbos with an internal wastegate are available.

At these low prices, you’ll find that many of the turbochargers on the market are clones of the Garret or other turbo models. A few go off without a hitch, while others have a difficult time. If you’re on a tighter budget, I’d recommend giving these a shot.

An external wastegate turbo costs between $ 350 and $ 450 dollars.

If you don’t have a factory turbo, the standard exhaust gallery won’t work with this conversion, necessitating the installation of a new exhaust gallery. Unfortunately, costs for new exhaust galleries start at $ 250 for medium-quality cast galleries, which is prohibitively expensive.

A custom exhaust gallery, rather than the one drained but one that is welded together with flanges and so on, would cost us around $ 550 to $ 600.

Exhaust route

Prices for the exhaust route start at around $ 360 to $400, and it’s clear that a factory exhaust can’t be used to increase horsepower.


The cost of a single intercooler ranges from $80 to $300. The turbocharger assembly is more difficult since an intercooler channel must be created if the engine is stock and does not have a turbo.

Intercooler route

You must create an intercooler route in order to get the benefits of the corresponding intercooler. These procedures begin at a price of $ 360 and can go up from there.

The intake route

Intake kits might cost as much as $400, depending on your choices.

Boost controller

The turbocharger can only be controlled by using this boost controller. The mechanical ones cost between $40 and $50, which is the lowest option.

People that perform this procedure on their engines prefer electronic controllers that show you what pressure you’re heading to and can manage multiple power maps, which can cost up to $300 or $400.

Unlike mechanical boost controllers, which have a fixed pressure and cannot be adjusted, these power settings allow you to run on low, medium, or high pressure.


The price is largely determined by the type of injectors you intend to use in your vehicle’s engine. Injectors for petrol cars are less expensive and start at $150-$250 for plug-and-play models; however, more efficient models can cost upwards of $1,000.

Injector ramp

If we’re talking about low-cost injectors, then upgrading the ramp and adapters isn’t essential; however, a gasoline ramp starts at $200, plus any further expenses of adapters.

Fuel pump

From $80 to $230, the price of several gasoline pumps for engine modifications may be found, with the most commonly utilized pump being the BOSCH 044.

Pressure regulator

Starting at just $ 10 clones, these items are reasonably affordable, but a high-quality piece can cost as much as $ 100 200.

The supply route

To avoid hose disintegration or loss of pressure, this route should be created with braided hose and AN fittings, which are more expensive.

Coils and spark plugs

A turbocharged engine requires a new set of coils and spark plugs, as the stock ones are unable to handle it.

Let’s not forget about the electronic side

How Much Is A Turbo-3

A computer (ECU) handles every aspect of an automobile’s operation under the hood, thus new parts mounted on top must also be controlled by this computer.

As with normally aspirated engines, most on-board computers (ECUs) are pre-programmed to operate on the vacuum side; as a result, there aren’t many options for writing software to operate the newly installed turbochargers and superchargers.

Although some ECUs on simple engines allow software for turbo engines, it is not a norm, and many require a PIGGYBACK ECU to manage everything and be connected to the stock computer of the car, which is not standard. The most basic PIGGYBACK ECU costs around $300, however it has limited capabilities.

The pricing of a STANDALONE ECU, which starts at $ 900 $ 1130, is also available.

The computer, piggyback or standalone, is not included in the above costs. In addition, they also require additional sensors that are not included in the pricing, such as oxygen sensors and other devices.

Additional ECU installation costs

If we’re talking about STANDALONE ECUs and a difficult installation, pricing can easily exceed $ 900 for PIGGYBACK models. There is a new software component not included in the ECU and installation fees that must be paid for separately.

With standard electronics or the two ECUs, the price of software can start for example at PIGGYBACK from $ 300, and at STANDALONE from $550.

Because the software tables for turbo conversions must be calculated from zero, they are expensive and complicated to develop. This is in contrast to a car that already has a factory turbo, where certain parameters can be increased and calculated.


If you wish to install a turbo on a standard engine, these are the lowest possible expenses. I apologize if I overlooked something; everything was based on a strict budget.

If you take a look at the processes required to complete this upgrade, there are two options.

an engine upgrade or a factory-built turbocharged automobile will suffice.