Manifold & Down-pipe Bracing Explained

Enhance the lifespan of your turbo setup

What is Turbo Bracing?

Turbo bracing is support for your turbo/manifold or down-pipe to prevent parts cracking, bracing also helps prevent bolts nuts & studs loosening from excess weight. A well designed brace also helps take the weight off the inlet and outlet vband clamps on turbine housings that are used to tighten the vband flanges in place.

Turbo support is a big part of the reliability of any turbo setup, the combination of immense heat and vibrations from high revving engines is enough to test even the toughest components.

The main thing to consider when designing bracing is "thermal expansion", whenever things get hot they expand and this needs to be thought about before bracing your turbo setup. Making everything to solid can sometimes cause more harm than good. 

A prime example...... welding solid braces from your exhaust manifold flange to your turbo flange. If the brace is short or to thick it can't flex and there is no allowance for anything to move when it heats up, so generally the brace will always crack over time - the longer the distance the more the rods or brace can flex.

A rose joint type brace like in the photo are a excellent way to gain a lot of movement from a brace, they still take the weight while still pivoting easily when the manifold moves from thermal expansion.

Low Mount vs Top Mount

Low Mount

The weight of the turbo and exhaust on a low mount turbo setup can sometimes cause issues with studs and nuts working themselves loose, the vibration and heat expansion cause this aswell. An extra turbo support is recommended to prevent this. 

Top Mount

With a top mount turbo setup the manifold acts as a brace of sorts and can take the weight of the turbo so this can aid in the battle of parts working themselves loose. We still always recommend a good thick brace back to the gearbox or engine block (depending on FWD or RWD) from the down-pipe. We recommend at least 30x5 flat bar.

A Few Tips For Bracing Your Down-pipe

In this picture below is a simple but effective type of brace. It has a few key factors that not only support the down-pipe but also make the brace user friendly.

One key part of this brace is that it can be re-moved, bit more work than if you just weld the brace straight off the down-pipe but picture this...... you need to replace your clutch and this can be done easily by re-moving the gearbox on old mates hoist, you can pull the gearbox without taking off the turbo setup or down-pipe, go to pull the gearbox..... but wait there's a brace that is welded on!! Fail, have to cut it off.  If you have a section that can be re-moved by bolts it makes it a simple thing to take that section out and bolt it back up again when finished.

Another simple but effective part of this brace is the bolt in the middle can be accessed by spanners easily, doesn't sound like much but its the small things like this that make it so much easier for the next guy to work.

Wastegate Pipe Bracing

The external waste-gate pipe often isn't considered on the list of components to brace, but this also needs the weight taken off. When you have a long waste-gate pipe that is venting to atmosphere (if the waste-gate pipe is welded back into the exhaust this acts like the brace so no flat bar is required) the weight from the pipe and the vibration that the pipe will create can cause issues with manifold waste-gate take off ports cracking.  As you can see in the photo below a simple section of flat bar is all it takes to support the weight. We also use a removable type setup for ease of fitment so the parts can all be taken out separate from each other.

Other Examples Of Bracing

 

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