When it comes to turbocharger plumbing, can you have the best of both worlds: a tight, leak-free seal connection and freedom of movement? The folks at Race Part Solutions say absolutely.
Of course when it comes to turbocharging, a solid clamping mechanism, from the outlet of the turbocharger itself through the piping snaked through the engine bay (and perhaps to the intercooler) to the throttle body is paramount — after all, all of that pressure (boost) is trying to find an escape route in the system, and the result is boost leaks and reduced horsepower. But in truth, turbos are by no means lightweight, and blow-off valves and wastegates can carry some heft too, so a little ‘play’ in the system is a welcome bonus.
Race Part Solutions, one of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of components for boosted applications, produces a dual-seal clamp and flange in a range of sizes that contains a rubber O-ring seal on each flanges, creating that perfect seal while allowing what Race Part Solutions’ Wade McGowan estimates is around 10-degree of movement to cope with flex and twist in the plumbing and the operation of the vehicle.
The clamps are manufactured from a billet aluminum, machined in-house, with each weld-on flange containing an O-ring. The clamps range from 2.5-inch up to 5-inch, making them a perfect solution for everything from the throttle body to the BOV’s and wastegates.
“We have a lot of guys that use them on the throttle bodies, and we’ve seen them even use them direct to the turbos, put them in-line on charger pipes, weld them on intercoolers … and they’re used on everything from Pro Mods to Radial vs The World cars … most of the Street Outlaws guys run our clamps, and it goes right on down to the average high-horsepower street car guys,” McGowan explains.
McGowan shares that while the dual-seal design doesn’t necessarily create a better seal than a clamp system without O-rings, what it does do is create what is essentially a flexible V-band — “you get the sealing like you would out of a traditional V-Band, but it offers some flex, so as charge pipes move or a chassis twists, especially on these big heavy turbos that get hot and cold and things contract different, you have that flex to work with.”
“We’ve always been told not to solid-mount both ends of a charge pipe or something, so that’s what this clamp does,” McGowan explains. “There’s about 10-degrees there, plus or minus a little.” McGowan says this flex comes down to both the design of the clamp and existence of the double O-rings, but does so, “in a way that permits some twisting and moving without pulling apart and causing boost leaks. It’s not a ton of flex, but compared to what you get in a solid V-band, it’s nice to have for when the engine twists or something,” he adds.
It goes without saying that, with the presence of rubber O-rings, Race Part Solutions’ clamps are intended only for the cold side of a turbocharger system. These clamps are manufactured in 2.5-, 3-, 3.5-, 4-, and 5-inch diameters.