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Use Electric Wastegate Actuator on Aftermarket Turbo?

Off Topic Discussion

If it's not really about tuning or wiring. Then it belongs in here.

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Lots (most?, all?) OEM turbos come with electric wastegate controllers; virtually all (all?) aftermarket turbos come with pneumatic actuators controlled by either a spring alone or a 3-port or 4-port boost solenoid. Most aftermarket turbos seem to sidestep the issue altogether using an external waste gate.

Has someone worked out the issues in adapting an electric wastegate actuator to aftermarket turbos with an IWG such as the BW EFR?



You need an h bridge to control them. The motors are similar to electronic throttle control.

Interested, too.

Has anybody had any success using one of the Mahle EWG ones? I have one at home but not tried finding out how to control them yet.

The manufacturer of my ECU is willing to add this functionality to the software if I can tell him how to control it i.e. provide a specification.

I contacted Mahle but never gotten any feedback.


Who is the manufacturer of your ecu?

Maxxecu in Sweden

You've got two options: try to partner with a supplier of electric wastegate actuators to see if they will give you some technical specifications, or try to reverse engineer it. I think partnering is going to be difficult... aftermarket volume is so low, and they might want a lot of money for their help.

There is Master's thesis by R Holmbom done under the supervision of Volvo engineers that you can download online.

Most of it is a lot of very detailed modeling that isn't really important for the simplified controls needed on an aftermarket ECU. But check out sections 3.4 and 4.5 . Basically you need to:

reverse engineer the position sensor (shouldn't be that hard) so you understand signal vs position curve

reverse engineer what PWM signal you need to send to move the motor in either direction.

Have a position-based control algorithm, similar to an electronic throttle, where the ECU targets a valve position and uses a closed loop control system to get the right duty cycle to maintain the position.

Have some kind of end stop learning (max open and max closed position)

Have a boost control algorithm that associates wastegate position with boost. Target boost table, then target valve position vs target boost table, and then valve position feedback to achieve the boost.

It's an extra layer on top of conventional pneumatics wastegates.

Yes, basically they operate in much the same way as a DBW throttle plate.

Anyone got pinouts for the Mahle actuator? Current draw?

Check the electrical section of the service manual for the vehicle it came on.