It’s our human nature to want what we don’t have. And when it comes to our 4WDs, there is always something bigger and better that we want to fit. Whether it’s a new exhaust, bigger tyres or new lights – the reality is, we can’t always afford the big flashy upgrades – at least not without saving up first. The good news is, you don’t need a heap of cash for these crackin’ engine upgrades. If you drive a turbo diesel, these three super quick, super cheap upgrades are jobs you can knock over in just a few hours THIS weekend and are guaranteed to give you a nice little boost of engine power and reliability. They could even save you thousands in the long run. So stay tuned and we’ll show exactly what you need to do… [blockquote cite=”” type=”center”]”How to boost engine performance and guarantee reliability in an afternoon”[/blockquote]


For starters, fitting a boost tap (also called a bleed off valve or boost controller) enables you to increase your turbo’s boost pressure. This is particularly handy when you’ve got your 4WD on a dyno for a tune, because it lets the tuner dial in a few extra pounds of boost which, when done it’s right, results in a healthy increase of power. It’s a good idea to install a boost gauge before going ahead with this install – otherwise – you won’t be able to monitor any changes you or your mechanic make. The install’s pretty simple. The ‘T’ for your boost tap has to be spliced into the small pressure line that goes from the turbo to the wastegate actuator. Start by marking a position on the hose in a location where the boost ‘T’ is easy to get to, but far enough away from anything hot like the turbo, manifold or pump pipe. Depending on the length of hose, you may need to add a length of hose so the tap can be secured a short distance away from anything hot. Then, simply cut the hose so there is enough length to go over the barbs, following the install instructions as you go. You’ll note that some boost taps are directional, so pay close attention to the arrows if there are any marked on the ‘T’ piece. Once the boost ‘T’ is plumbed in, mount the boost tap on the fire wall or inner guard and run the supplied length of hose to it. With it all connected, take your 4WD for a run and using your boost gauge, see how much boost you are running. With the boost tap now installed, adjustments up or down can be made by turning the screw on top of the tap. But please note – it takes years of specialised training to be able to safely tune an engine – and any incorrect adjustments to your engine’s boost pressure or fuel settings can lead to long term engine damage. So now that you’ve saved yourself a few hundred bucks by installing the boost tap yourself – treat yourself and book your 4WD in for a professional dyno tune.


Everyone has seen aftermarket temperature gauges, but the problem is, they only tell you something’s wrong once it’s too late. A low coolant alarm, on the other hand, tells you the second your engine’s in trouble. A low coolant alarm is installed exactly the same way as an inline temp gauge probe is, so start by draining your coolant (when the engine is cold, of course). Once that is done, you have to measure and mark your top hose to see where it is going to fit. Remove your hose and cut a section out for the coupling, ensuring that when the coupling is fitted, the original length of the hose is the same as when you started. Fit the coupling so the sensor is facing up, tighten the hose clamps and finally refit the hose. Now fit the alarm box under your dash and wire it to an ignition source (so it only has power while the key is on). Where you pick up power and an earth is different for each vehicle, so follow the unit’s instructions carefully. Next, partially refill your cooling system and then start and run your engine briefly to make sure it works. When the alarm sounds, turn off the engine and refill the coolant till it is full.


An oldie but a goodie – fitting an EGT probe and gauge in your old bus can save you thousands in repairs costs by catching over fuelling issues because they cause long-term damage. Quality aftermarket dump pipes (exhaust) usually come with an EGT port already welded into place, you can just unscrew the bung and screw in the collar for your EGT sensor. If you are running a factory dump, however, you will have to mark the dump pipe at the top about two inches from the turbo outlet and then remove it and drill a hole and weld a sensor port into place. You can buy these sensor ports from most exhaust shops – they’ll even weld it in for you (for a small fee) if you can’t do it yourself. Once that’s done, refit the pipe to the turbo and insert the probe into the coupling so it protrudes into the pipe by twenty millimetres and then secure it. Mount your gauge inside the cabin and connect the power lines to an ignition source (so the light in the gauge turns on with the key). Connect the thermocouple from the probe to the gauge and then start and run your truck to ensure everything’s working. The readout will vary between outside air temperature (the second you first turn the engine on) and up to 550°c on older mechanically injected diesels, or as high as 750-800°c on modern common rail diesels. But again, read the instructions carefully because each vehicle is different. [share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”true” email=”true”]