How to Make Turbochargers for Nitro Powered RC Cars

While nitro powered radio-controlled (RC) cars already boast an impressive acceleration capacity, it is possible to outfit them with turbochargers to enhance their acceleration capabilities as well as their top speed. Though some RC car manufacturers offer turbochargers and other speed enhancers as accessories for certain car models, it is considerably less expensive to make your own.

Do your homework before you begin. It is a complex and involved process to make turbochargers for nitro powered RC cars, and is not recommended for novice RC car users. RC Universe (see Resources below) is a good place to connect with other expert enthusiasts and ask for help with any design and implementation problems you may encounter.

Select a turbocharger unit that offers a degree of power suitable for the weight and design of your nitro powered RC car. Because of the relatively light weight of RC cars, even a slight miscalculation of the power influx from turbocharger unit can make a big difference, resulting in considerable steering and control difficulties.

Affix the nitrous injection mechanism to the supercharger according to the instruction manual that should come with it. Bear in mind that some of the assembly components are very small and will require either an extremely skilled hand or mechanical assistance to successfully assemble.

Attach the fuel line and/or fuel cell unit to the turbocharger as specified by the manual included with the components. Different models may come with varying instructions. Use the threadlocks (small stabilizing ties) to secure their attachment.

Select a mounting position for the turbocharger. The exact position will vary according to the design of your specific nitro powered RC car, but it will always be attached to the exhaust header (the component that collects exhaust waste) and intake manifold (the mechanism that supplies the fuel/air to the engine cylinders or equivalent).

Mount the turbocharger. There are as many different ways to do this as there are nitro powered RC cars. There are also many little tricks of the trade that expert users can employ at this stage to provide an extra power boost to the RC car. The chat forum at RC Universe can help direct you if you have queries.

Attach flywheels to the body of your RC car. Flywheels are rotating, disk-like structures that store extra energy and mediate energy output to the RC car's wheels. Though this is not necessary, it is highly recommended in order to achieve maximum performance benefits.

Ask for help! Benefit from the expertise of other RC car users known personally to you, or use the online discussion forum at RC Universe, where other experts can guide you and offer tips and advice.


Consider implementing other accessories to stabilize your RC car, such as a steering module or wheel adapter kit. Turbochargers dramatically increase your RC car's acceleration capability, to the point where fine control of the car may become difficult to maintain without added stability.


Some components of turbochargers for nitro powered RC cars are very small and cannot be machined conventionally. Consider using pressure die casting as an alternative to attempting to machine-fit the small components. This also helps cut down on potential injury.

Things You'll Need

  • RC supercharger
  • Nitrous injection mechanism
  • Charger heads
  • Flywheels of the appropriate size
  • Zip ties
  • RC fuel line
  • RC fuel cell
  • Threadlocks
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