How A Diesel Turbo Doubles The Power Of A Junky Mustang V8

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By now everyone in the car world has at least a vague understanding that a turbocharger can efficiently boost power, using otherwise-wasted exhaust gas to force more air into an engine. But it’s still nice to get all of the technical piping and boost management devices mapped out, and it’s cool to see exactly how much power a junkyard turbo setup can make. That is, a lot.

The calm and collected folks of Engine Masters and Roadkill took a junky Ford V8 pulled from a 5.0 Mustang, hopped up with a Ford Powerstroke diesel turbo. The engine makes a bit over 300 lb-ft of torque naturally aspirated.


On boost, it makes 617 lb-ft of torque.

That’s like adding a second engine onto the car.

And that sort of makes sense, as the guys from Engine Masters explain. The turbo is effectively adding a second atmosphere’s worth of pressure into the engine, so doubling the output is a reasonable bump. Horsepower, if you’re curious, climbs from 277 naturally aspirated to 550 with the turbo.

But really, watch the video to see how the whole thing is plumbed, as it’s a useful reminder in not just how turbos work, but how they’re managed. Without the complicated hoses and lines, the whole mess would explode.