How to Install a Bolt-On Turbo Kit in a Toyota 86 Without Engine Modifications?

If you’re a car enthusiast looking to give your Toyota 86 a bit of an edge, you might be considering installing a bolt-on turbo kit. This simple addition can significantly enhance your car’s performance, but might seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. Fear not, the process isn’t as complicated as it might appear.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps necessary to install a turbo kit in a Toyota 86. The goal is to ensure that you can safely and correctly boost your engine’s performance without the need for any engine modifications. This guide will be written for the everyday car enthusiast, so you won’t need a degree in automotive engineering to understand it.

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Choosing the Right Turbo Kit

Before diving into the installation, it’s crucial to select the right turbo kit for your Toyota 86. Consider your driving habits, your car’s current performance, and your ultimate goal for your vehicle.

Turbo kits come in all shapes and sizes, each offering a different level of performance boost. Some kits are designed to add a significant amount of power, while others offer a more moderate increase. The decision should be based on what you want from your car.

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For a Toyota 86, a full bolt-on turbo kit is an excellent choice. It doesn’t require any alterations to the stock engine, and can still provide a substantial performance improvement. This type of kit typically includes components like a turbocharger, an air intake system, a fuel management system, and an exhaust system.

When choosing a turbo kit, you should also consider the type of fuel you use. Turbochargers can operate on different fuels, but the most common types are gasoline and diesel. You should choose a turbo kit that matches your car’s fuel type to ensure compatibility.

Preparing for Installation

Proper preparation can significantly simplify the process of installing a turbo kit. This includes gathering all necessary tools, conducting a thorough inspection of your car, and ensuring that your engine is in good health.

Ensure that you have a well-ventilated workspace and all necessary tools. These may include a set of wrenches, pliers, a socket set, a screwdriver set, and a torque wrench.

Before beginning the installation process, make sure that your engine is in good condition. If your engine has any existing issues, adding a turbo kit could exacerbate them. Therefore, it’s crucial to address any engine problems before proceeding with the turbo kit installation.

Installing the Turbo Kit

Installing a bolt-on turbo kit can be broken down into several steps. This includes installing the turbocharger, the air intake system, the fuel management system, and the exhaust system.

Begin by installing the turbocharger. The turbocharger increases the amount of air that the engine can intake, which can improve its power output. This device compresses incoming air before it enters the engine, making it denser and allowing more fuel to be burned per engine cycle.

Next, add the air intake system. This system helps to improve the engine’s airflow, allowing it to take in more air and thus produce more power. When installing the intake system, ensure that it is properly sealed to prevent any air leaks.

After the air intake system is installed, move onto the fuel management system. This system ensures that the right amount of fuel is delivered to the engine at the right time. A good fuel management system can make your engine run more efficiently and provide a more consistent power delivery.

Lastly, install the exhaust system. This component helps to expel the exhaust gases from the engine, making room for fresh air and fuel. A good exhaust system can also improve the sound of your car, giving it a deeper, more aggressive tone.

Tuning Your Turbocharged Engine

Once the turbo kit is installed, the final step is tuning your engine. This involves adjusting the engine’s computer to accommodate the new turbocharger and other components.

The tuning process will vary depending on the specific turbo kit and your Toyota 86’s stock configuration. However, as a general rule, the tuning process involves adjusting the engine’s fuel and air ratios, ignition timing, and turbo boost pressure.

The goal of tuning is to allow your engine to operate efficiently with the added components, maximizing power while maintaining reliability. If you’re not comfortable tuning your engine, consider consulting with a professional tuner to ensure the best results.

Remember, the successful installation of a bolt-on turbo kit doesn’t just increase your Toyota 86’s horsepower and torque. It also provides an improved driving experience that you will enjoy every time you get behind the wheel. Be patient, meticulous, and take your time during the installation and tuning process to ensure your turbocharged Toyota 86 runs smoothly and reliably.

Considering a Full Kit and Other Performance Packages

Choosing a full kit or performance package, such as a Subaru BRZ Turbo kit, is an additional option to boost your Toyota 86’s performance. These packages include not only a turbocharger, but also other performance-enhancing components like a forged crankshaft, a piston kit, an exhaust manifold, and gasket thickness modifications.

A full kit often comes with everything you need to upgrade your car, including all necessary hardware and instructions. Full kits are designed to provide a comprehensive performance improvement without the need for separate purchases or additional modifications. These kits, including the popular BRZ turbo package, are designed especially for the Toyota 86 and its Subaru BRZ twin.

Keep in mind, however, that some types of kits may require slight modifications to your car. While a bolt-on turbo kit can be installed without engine modifications, some full kits or performance packages might require minor alterations such as replacing the head gasket.

Additionally, you might want to consider other performance packages that include forced induction systems. With forced induction, more air is pushed into the engine, which allows it to burn more fuel and create more power.

The type of kit or package you choose should align with your driving needs and desired performance levels. Whether it’s a bolt-on turbo kit, a Subaru BRZ turbo kit, or a full blown performance package, make sure it is compatible with your Toyota 86 and its engine configuration.

Choosing the Right Accessories and Wrapping up the Installation

When installing a turbo kit, don’t overlook the importance of additional components. Elements like the oil pan, floor mat, and grommet type can all play a part in the overall performance and safety of your turbocharged vehicle.

A proper oil pan is crucial, as it stores the oil that the turbocharger uses for lubrication and cooling. Make sure that the oil pan can accommodate the extra oil demand from the turbocharger.

A floor mat, while not directly related to the turbocharger, can help protect your car’s interior from dirt and grime brought in from the installation process. Plus, it adds to the overall aesthetics of your turbocharged vehicle.

Finally, the grommet type will ensure a proper seal between various components, preventing leaks and ensuring optimal performance of your turbo kit.

Once the kit is installed and all accessories are in place, double-check all connections, tighten any loose bolts, and ensure that all systems are functioning correctly. The last thing you want is a loose bolt or leak causing issues or even damage after all your hard work.


Installing a bolt-on turbo kit in your Toyota 86 is a rewarding project that can significantly increase your car’s performance without requiring any major engine modifications. This guide has walked you through the process, from choosing the right turbo kit, preparing for installation, getting the kit in place, considering full kits and performance packages, and wrapping up with final checks and accessory considerations.

Remember that patience and attention to detail are vital, especially for a complex task like this. Whether you’re installing a simple turbo kit or a full blown performance package, take your time to ensure everything is done correctly. The end result will be a faster, more powerful Toyota 86 that provides an exhilarating driving experience every time you hit the road. Feel the thrill of additional horsepower and enjoy the deeper, aggressive exhaust note of your turbocharged Toyota 86!

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