Car Modifications – Anti-Lag System

  • Dec 05, 2018

So you have gone for a big turbo in your quest for more speed and better acceleration but the turbo lag is getting on your nerves. You press the accelerator hard and it takes moment for the turbo to spool up to its optimum boost rpm and shoot you into the horizon, how do you get rid of that lag? You could replace it with a smaller one for a quicker response, but then you’d loose that long boost period. You could have a twin-turbo setup with a smaller turbo helping provide boost initially before the big brother steps in. Finally, you could install a fire-spitting anti-lag system.

Anti-lag turbo setups have been almost exclusively been used in racing, with some of the first systems used in Formula 1 cars back in the early 1980s. More refined systems can be found on modern day rally cars.

An anti-lag system induces combustion in the exhaust manifold, in between the engine and the turbocharger, keeping the air pressure high enough to keep the turbocharger working. Simpler systems keep the engine revs higher even when the clutch is engaged to keep the exhaust gasses flowing to the turbo, but the more serious systems have dedicated fuel-flow and air-bypass valves which force a fuel-rich mixture into the hot exhaust manifold. The latter is what makes rally cars pop, bang and spit flames as they approach a slower section.

Road cars are not racing machines, which means reliability is the priority than outright performance, keep this in mind if you do think of installing an anti-lag system. Anti-lag systems lead to a dramatic increase in engine and turbocharger temperatures, and will be harmful if not used carefully. Be ready to have your engine bay look like a mess of pipes and wires, a serious anti-lag system needs a lot of hardware. And finally, there is the cost - while Porsche and Volvo have developed their own anti-lag systems - anti-lag system are mostly after-market kits which are much rarer than other performance mods which naturally makes it very expensive. Finding experts who could help you add an anti-lag system to your car will also prove to be difficult.

But once you do get it done, yours will be one of the quickest cars out there!


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