I shot an email over to my favorite Volvo speed genius Lucky, of Active Research & Development, formerly of iPD, MVS sponsor. He was happy to give his thoughts on the question Chip or Manual Boost Controller?
Now, I know what you’re thinking: he runs a chip tune company! Of course he’ll favor chips! Yes he runs a chip tune company, but he’s known throughout the Volvo world as a fair, honest tuner. I’m more than comfortable letting his words rest on his reputation. Disclosure: ARD is not a sponsor here, and I don’t own any ARD equipment. I do have a manual boost controller in my 850 T5.
The following are Lucky’s words with my headers to break up the text, and give the context of my questions.
Chip or MBC?
MBC’s are great devices and by and large can provide decent performance upgrades, however there are some issue to be aware of before simply installing one. Since the ECU is no longer in control of boost and the MBC will allow boost to develop as fast as the turbo can provide it (up to the adjusted target) you’re flowing quite a bit more air and consequently have more load against the engine than the ECU is tuned for. This means you may have too much timing and not enough fuel in the early part of the RPM band where you really need it. This is the primary source of how and why MBC’s can damage these engines, specifically with respect to bending rods or spinning rod bearings.