What goes into Building a Motorsport Turbo?

Making an M-Spec Turbo




So what goes into making an M-Spec turbo, and more to the point, what is an M-Spec turbo? Put simply M-Spec is Owen Development's highest specification including all available upgrades for durability and performance.

These specially designed turbochargers are built using the highest quality component part materials, technology and wheel design aerodynamics and have acutely refined tolerances and balancing taking considerably more man hours to build than a 'standard' turbo. Here at Owen Developments many pure motorsport, race and track turbos are built and very highly modified to suit their particular application becoming extremely reliable under racing conditions.

While the M-Spec parts were originally developed for motorsport they are also recommended for fast road applications. On the road M-Spec components, while improving performance, also add greatly to the reliability of the unit and for this reason Owen Developments recommend upgrades such as metal bearing cages to all customers.

This page will show some of the work that goes into building an M-Spec turbo from a standard unit, have a look!

Starting Point

This is where we start; the two GT2871R turbos from the Team JapSpeed V8 S15 driven by Shane Lynch. These turbos have come to Owen Developments before for a service, but this time more power is the order of the day! Each turbo is rated to around 400hp and with this setup the car was making around 500hp; improvements will be easy to find without too much trouble. At this stage the units are stripped, checking for damage and to see which parts are reusable..

Stripping the Unit

One the units were stripped all these parts were put to one side; the heat shields, compressor wheels and compressor covers will be used as good used parts as there isn’t anything wrong with them. These parts will be replaced with M-Spec upgraded components either for longevity, performance or both.

Reusable Parts

Though they look worse for wear this bearing housing and turbine housing were found to be fine after inspection and will be reused.  Before that they need to be cleaned and machined* to fit the upgrade parts being used.

Shot Blasting

The parts were then cleaned with the shot blaster as part of a five stage cleaning process; they come out the other side looking good as new; no rust, no grime, just clean metal.

Assembling Components

All the new parts including HTA™ Billet Aluminium Compressor Wheels now come together with the reused parts. The parts can be test fitted and changed or machined as needed. The heatshield, adaptor plate, bearing cages, core clamps and conical nut were machined in house.

Machining the Turbine Housing

First on the lathe is the turbine housing. A small amount of material needs to be removed to fit the 360° core clamps as these TiAL housings are of an older design and won’t fit directly.

Machining the Bearing Housing

Next up is the bearing housing; again material needs to be removed to fit the heat shield upgrade.

Balancing the Turbine Shaft

As Owen Developments produce a relatively small volume of turbos more time is spent balancing each component when compared with a mass produced turbo. This is a critical stage; time spent here makes balancing the core much simpler later on.

Assembling the Core

With the bearing housing machined and the shaft balanced the core can come together.

Balancing the Core

Once the core is completed it’s balanced. As turbos are expected to spin well in excess of 100,000rpm it pays to make sure there will be no oscillation or vibration which could damage or even destroy the unit.

Laser Engraving

The laser engraver is used to personalise customer's turbochargers, in this case with a Japspeed logo.

Final Assembly

With the core balanced it can now have the covers fitted in the correct orientation for the customer's application.

Completed Units

Having started with completely standard GT2871Rs, now there is a pair of ODGT2871HTA-Ms. These are now 500hp turbos (each) and more reliable for motorsport as well.

*Normally used parts are not machined; using new replacements is normally less expensive than machining used parts.


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Owen Developments Ltd
28 Kingston Business Park
Kingston Bagpuize
OX13 5AS

t: 01865 821062
w: www.owendevelopments.co.uk
e: enquiries@owendevelopments.co.uk
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