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August 23, 2020 4 min read

5 reasons CO2 Boost Control is the best Boost Control Method

If you are running an external boost controller or electronic boost controller on your modified or race turbocharged vehicle, you may or may not have realized there are a TON of options surrounding Boost Control.  Everyone has their own preference on controller and setups, but one thing holds true. CO2 boost control will absolutely change the way your racecar reacts, spools, and runs! Oh yeah, by the way... This works on any boosted engine.  2 cyl, 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, V8, V10, even a rotary!

To see a full line of the kits and components we have to offer click below.

https://www.motionraceworks.com/collections/co2-components

1. It Spools Faster

This will change how you view turbo vehicles. Fast spooling, its a keyword, but not misused here.  Turbo lag? Never heard of her.  If you had the correct spec combo on manifold pressure it would still be lazy.  Add CO2 boost control and HELLO WASHINGTON!  The reason: In order to hold a wastegate closed to build boost, you must have pressure to put on top of the diaphram.  When running manifold pressure you are waiting for the engine to make positive intake air pressure so that you can add that to the top of the wastegate to in turn make more boost and the cycle repeats, its tedious.  CO2 puts the pressure on the wastegate to hold the valve closed as soon as or before it is actually needed.  It reduces SO MUCH time when trying to build boost or spool a turbo engine.  This saves not only time but puts less stress and reduces temperature to your torque converter and transmission!  

If you need a refresher on how a wastegate works to better understand this please see the pictures / diagrams below.

2. Hits its Target

Not only will your engine spool up faster, it will also hit its targets throughout the boost ramp.  Because the launch boost is only a portion of equation.  To tune a vehicle you need repeatability, you need it to do the same thing everytime to minimize variables.  

Because CO2 Can raise and lower basically on demand. When you plot a boost control graph with CO2 you can count on the targets being hit.  On manifold pressure, you can easily miss several targets and then when the engine comes alive quickly go past the next.  Or miss them all because there is always a boost delay.  

Whether you are running CO2 or manifold pressure, consider using a two solenoid setup such as this one.  This has a fill solenoid and an decrease solenoid.  This means it will constantly add and subtract pressure based off of what the pressure transducer sees in order to hit an exact target.

Link to the below solenoid / bracket combo

https://www.motionraceworks.com/products/mac-valve-holley-boost-control-solenoid-straight-solenoid-mounting-bracket

If you want to learn and see more about how these solenoids control boost as well as their plumbing, see the diagram below.

3. Able to Hit Presets where Manifold Pressure cannot

Because CO2 tanks are filled to 1100+ psi, and then regulated down to anywhere between 100 down to 40 psi (constant) you always have a perfect base pressure to work from.  

As mentioned above co2 isn't waiting on the engine to create manifold pressure.  In addition not pulling from a low pressure tank like onboard air, you are not seeing variable pressure.  So long as your tank is filled a decent amount above the regulator (we have ran Co2 tanks in a pinch below 300-500 psi often though we don't recommend it) it takes a lot longer to move below a regulatable pressure.  Manifold pressure is never properly regulated as it is not on demand, and onboard air tanks can drain so quickly that they cannot recover and may alter vastly.  

4. Inexpensive to Fill Bottles and They Last For a Long Time

CO2 systems originally and overtime got a bad rap because they were accompanied with off brand, and cheap fittings and line.  NOT ALL FITTINGS AND LINE WERE CREATED EQUAL.  Some are not rated to hold a temperature that is up to the task of the under hood heat of a boosted car.  Others leak before any environmental effects are pushed on to them.  

At Motion we have been through every brand of fitting and line.  So many leak, and that is the biggest reason bottles leak down.  That being said we have sourced fittings and lines that just simply do not leak.  I mean we leave bottles open for weeks at a time, no leaks.  Don't discredit the importance of good line and a good clean and smooth cut though.  Many lines will melt or crack with heat near them. Our is up to the challenge. These fittings and line can be found and purchased here!

https://www.motionraceworks.com/collections/co2-components

Pro Tip: To check if you have leaky fittings and line.  With your engine off, simply activate your boost controller to a steady state pressure.  If your fittings and line do not have leaks with the co2 on you will hear your solenoids/valves click a number of times to increase pressure and maintain it and then they will stop clicking or activating.  If they keep activating back and forth that means there is a leak somewhere and they are constantly adding and subtracting pressure to adapt to and accomodate the leak

5. Does not Wear On your Electrical System 

One alternative to CO2 that is not manifold pressure is known as compressed air.  It uses a 12v onboard air compressor to fill a small pig tank that typically runs at a preset 110psi or similar.  However, this not only takes up a lot of real estate but also the compressor will add more drain and demand to your vehicles electric and charging system.  Most EFI and late model cars have such a large demand already, its typically difficult to find a charging system up to the task.  Another pump can be an issue in many ways.  

Want to understand or learn how to tune your boost controller?


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