Can You Turbocharger a Ford with a Leaf Blower?

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If you have a penchant for trying to make as much horsepower as cheaply as possible, you have likely wandered around eBay and looked at the various “power chips” and “turbine” intakes that promise huge power gains.

Well in another chase for cheap power, a group of guys have decided to see if they can use a large leaf blower as a turbocharger. The video just shows one quick dyno run and then claims they saw a 15 whp gain, or about a 10-percent boost in power. They couldn’t re-run truck to check those numbers sadly, as it wouldn’t start again.

Well let me be the first one to burst the bubble on this. Just like those cheap eBay power chips offering “+50 HP in Seconds!!!1!” the leaf blower does no good to increase power. The reason is boost and flow. A leaf blower creates a large flow of air, and it pushes that air at a high speed, but it creates no compression. No compression means no boost, and that means no extra power. You may see a random variation over a few dyno runs that see a small power boost, but that has more to do with getting more air into the engine and not about actually created boost pressure like a turbo.

Electric turbocharging exists, and companies like Audi are working making them commercially viable, but these are regular turbo units that just use electric motors to spin the turbines. Slapping a leaf blower to your motor is not the answer, guys. Sorry.

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Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist, among other auto sites.

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