How to Boost a Jetta TDI Turbo

Written by jeff slater
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How to Boost a Jetta TDI Turbo
Add extra performance to your VW Jetta TDI with a boost upgrade. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI is powered by a direct injection turbo diesel motor that makes it economical to run and also endows it with spirited off-the-line performance. The 2.0L 4-cylinder engine develops a healthy 236 pound-feet of torque from 1750rpm to 2000rpm in factory stock trim. However, many enthusiasts have taken advantage of a simple upgrade to unleash even more performance from the TDI.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Manual boost controller kit

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  1. 1

    Slide one end of the manual boost controller onto the vacuum line coming off the Jetta's wastegate actuator inlet, found on the turbine or "hot" side of the turbo. To prevent possible slippage, secure the connection with a twist tie from the kit.

  2. 2

    Connect the other end of the controller to the boost source outlet coming from the j-pipe near the turbo compressor housing. Secure the vacuum hose to the boost controller unit with a twist tie.

  3. 3

    Attach the controller unit to the radiator support with a zip tie. Make sure it is clear of both the radiator and air-conditioning fans.

  4. 4

    Rotate the centre knob clockwise (a fraction of a turn is recommended to start) to increase boost and monitor the result on your boost gauge.

Tips and warnings

  • Use an aftermarket boost gauge for improved accuracy.
  • Bring your Jetta to a dyno shop to read O2 sensor voltages and ensure the stock fuel system is within limits.
  • Increasing turbo psi past factory set levels can damage your engine, proceed with caution.

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