Apr 15, 2009




Give your car that tortoise-to-hare transformation!

1. More torque. Torque means instant twist power. The engine with Surbo on can accelerate briskly and sustain the acceleration to red line or beyond, all on half throttle or less. That means easier pickup, and fuel savings because you will press less on average.

2. Higher power peak. If your car starts slowing down the moment you hit 4000 rpm, you know it's time to restore the power. The Surbo takes your engine back to red line easily and puts back some 50% of existing acceleration power based on rpm, assuming a red line of 6000 rpm. It also means that instead of travelling 40 metres, you travel 60 metres in about the same time taken, given the quick flick of the tachometer when the Surbo is activated. That puts you a clear 20 metres ahead, and up the gears you will pull even further away from other cars as they start to slow down once they get to third gear. You could never be accused of holding up traffic!

3. Hill climbing. Do you have to tackle these often? Steep car parks? Well, the Surbo has a great affinity for hills. Just going up the incline, activate the Surbo to race up the hill. More..

4. Airconditioner on all the time? Saps a lot of power, doesn't it? Well, with the Surbo, the aircon load becomes less of a problem due to the power assistance.

5. Carrying a load meant for an MPV? Sending half a dozen people home? The Surbo diminishes the load and gives your car added muscle. It pulls and lugs, and of course you can have the aircon on as well.

6. Fast driving on long hauls. The cross-country, few-hour long trips on which the priority is getting to the destination ASAP, and the road seems too straight for you to keep to sane speeds anyway. You'll find that you may get to your rated top speed with less than full throttle. (That means an increase in BHP as BHP has a direct relation with top speed, while acceleration has a closer relation with torque). Or you'll be travelling constantly, say at 150kph with about half throttle. The increase in the top end will be especially noticeable if your car has accumulated a lot of mileage and needed a lot of coaxing to run so fast. If your foot is tired, you can ease off the accelerator a little, but your car will keep moving (more than with no Surbo) as this raises the back pressure at the Surbo and pushes the car .

7. Overtaking. Just prepare the Surbo for temporary steroids, muscling in clearly with a tingling throttle so you know when to stick your car out. Then it's a quick shove, relentless pulling to red line, repeating in the next gear if necessary, cutting in and driving normally till you need the boost again.

8. Fuel saving. Since cruising speed is a function of the top speed, and top speed has been raised with the Surbo, the engine needs to exert less effort on expressways. The result is fuel saved. Our customer feedback shows that the maximum-economy speed gets stretched from the usual 90 kph to 110 or 120 kph. e.g.. A Surbo Civic ESi will do 12 km/l in town but 17 km/l at 110 kph.

Is that like a normal day in your driving? Or how fast you'd like your car to be? If it is, you might like to check out the Surbo and see how marvelous and useful it is with its power on demand. Try it!


Here are some speed tests, done mostly by customers, and these show better all-out performance, though our main emphasis is on improving everyday driving.

The following cars have been recorded at speeds higher than their original top speeds:

Make Of Car Original Top Speed Highest Speed With Surbo Achieved In Gear Remarks
'01 Citroen Berlingo 1.9 Diesel 130 kph 140+ kph 4th or 5th With aircon on
'89 Honda Civic 1.3 GL 170 kph 185 kph 5
'97 Mitsubishi Lancer MR 1.6 210 kph 220 kph 180 kph in 3rd Richard Wong
'93 Opel Vectra 1.6 190 kph 205 kph

'98 Proton Wira 1.6A 160 kph 180 kph 4 K H Tan
Peugeot 106 115 mph 118+ mph 5 UK-Cruise
'89 Peugeot 405 1.6 180 kph 188 kph 5 3/4 throttle only
Proton Putra 1.8 208 kph 215 kph 5 limited by gearbox
'96 Rover 416 HHR 190 kph 220 kph 5
'95 Skoda Felicia 1.4 96 mph 100 mph 5 Peter Allen
Toyota Starlet 1.3 16v turbo 120 kph 150 kph 3 Chris of Kota Kinabalu
Toyota Starlet '89 1.0 150 kph 170 kph+ 5

The following cars have improved acceleration times:

Make Of Car 0-100 kph Before Surbo 0-100 kph With Surbo Achieved In Gear Remarks
Citroen Xantia VSX 16V 2.0 9.0 secs 6.57 secs 2nd 0-60 mph
Daihatsu Charade 1.0 6+ secs 1.2 secs cut 2nd 0-60 kph
Mazda '95 Astina 1.6 9.6 seconds 8.9 seconds
Richard Yim, 1 Surbo
Mazda '95 Astina 1.6 9.6 seconds 8.0 seconds
Richard Yim, Twin Surbo
Mitsubishi Lancer 1.3 carb 14.44 seconds 14.09 seconds
Mark of Singapore
Nissan 200SX 1.8 Turbo 8.0 7.5 2nd Full throttle-Chile team
Perodua Kancil 660 Carb 23 seconds 19 seconds 3rd Wheels oversized-Gordon Goh
Peugeot '92 405 1.6GLi 14.2 11.78 2nd 0-60 mph
Proton Putra 1.8 8.9-9.5 secs 7.5-8.0 secs 2nd Stock time 8.7 secs
Proton Satria 1.8 GTi 7.8 seconds 7.1 seconds 2nd Raja Irwan of Ampang
Proton '02 Wira 1.5 na 8 seconds 3rd Ah Tee of KL
Proton Satria 1.3 inj 11.69 seconds 10.43 seconds 3rd Edward Wong of Malacca
Suzuki '86 Fronte 800 Unknown 4 seconds cut 3rd Tested by NUS car club
VW Caddy 1.9 Turbo Diesel 14.0 13.0
Tested by BBQ

Kilowatt Per Tonne vs 0-100 kph Time. This graph is the best judge of performance, according to Autospeed.com. Thanks to David Barker (Citroen VSX) for his contribution. Calculations on this chart shows that his car's power-to-weight ratio has improved from 119 bhp/tonne (BBC Top Gear Jun 94) to around 185 bhp/tonne.



Eric Chng's Honda Civic VTi 1.6

Eric of Balestier Road Singapore just told me on the phone, that his 4-door VTi (DOHC VTEC) hit 100 kph in first gear! His computer is rpm delimited, and he achieved that speed activating Surbo and not even with full throttle. Wheel size was lower than usual for this model, at 195/50R15, some 3% shorter than the stock 195/55R15. He said if it was just floored and Surbo not used, the car could not go to that speed in first gear. He does not know how high it could go without the Surbo, as he did not try that before the Surbo. Now, he's just had the Twin Surbo put on and noticed a very strong second gear, especially upon gearchange. However, where all-out power was concerned, the single Surbo still breathed better at very high rpms. We are talking about around 12000 rpm. He could always take the extra Surbo out if he's going for a sprint, I said. Nevertheless, he likes the low end "big-car" power of the twin. I suppose many people would be interested in talking to him about his car, to buy his car, or to ask him about the first gear 0-100 experience. You can email him via the link below.

by Heng Yong Tuck
Surbo Engineering.
26 FEB 2002


The Surbo gives more energy, providing maximum acceleration power in low gears and most economy while cruising. The fuel savings can range from minimum zero (during hard sprinting) to over twenty percent depending on where and how you drive, and also how the Surbo improves your car's efficiency, for example, the power-to-load ratio. Most customers report an overall improvement of 10% in economy. The following cars have been made more frugal with Surbo:

Car Consumption Before Surbo Consumption With Surbo Improvement Remarks
Chevrolet Aveo 1.4 12 km/l l7 km/l
Twin Surbo+cone
Daewoo Espero 2.0
+3 km/l 25% Highway
Daihatsu '89 Charade 1.0

Daihatsu '94 Hijet 1.0 7 days 8 days
GN3168-$25 petrol lasts-
Ford '92 Laser 1.3 carb

Honda '89 Civic GL 1.3 $0.15/km $0.11/km 26% Mostly highway
Honda '89 Civic 1.5 GL

Honda '89 CRX

Honda '03 Jazz 10-12 km/l 13-15 km/l
In City
Honda '03 Jazz 10-12 km/l 15-19 km/l
Same car, highway
Hyundai Accent 1.3A 10 km/l 12 km/l

Hyundai '96 Accent 1.5

Hyundai '93 Sonata

Kia '01 Rio 1.3 14 km/l 16-17.3 km/l 14-23% Mostly highway
Kia '01 Rio 1.3 13 -14 km/l 14.1-14.2 km/l
Mr Teoh
Kia '01 Rio 1.3 13 -14 km/l 14.4 km/l
Mr Teoh, Twin Surbo
Mitsubishi '93 Colt 1.6 12 km/l 15 km/l
Thomas Yeo
Mitsubishi '98 1.6 MR

10% Mike of navy
Nissan 130Y
15.5 km/l
ES Fong, KL service centre
Nissan Presea 1.6 9 km/l 12 km/l
Twin Surbo+cone
Perodua Kancil 660cc 12.5 km/l 14.5 km/l
Gordon Goh
Peugeot 206 1.4 11.4 km/l 13.0 km/l
Kenneth Gn
Peugeot '89 405 1.6 carb 8 km/l 10.7 km/l
Surbo Development Car
Peugeot '95 405 1.6 MPI 11 km/l 12.14 km/l 10% 1 Surbo, Development Car
Peugeot '95 405 1.6 MPI 11 km/l 12.81 km/l 16% Twin Surbo, Development Car
Proton '97 Wira 1.3 carb 10 km/litre 12-13 km/litre
In city
Proton '97 Wira 1.3 carb* 12-13 km/litre 14-15 km/litre
On highway
Proton '98 Wira 1.6A 11 km/litre 13 km/litre
KH Tan
Seat '99 Salsa 1.0

Subaru '00 Impreza 1.6

10-15% SDG 516 Mr Edwin Wu, 1 Surbo
Subaru '00 Impreza 1.6

25-30% SDG 516 Mr Edwin Wu, 2 Surbos
Subaru '92 Justy 1.0

15% Cold tube added-Mr Teoh
Suzuki Baleno 1.3

10% or more Preacher Xiemushui
Suzuki Swift 1.0 380 km/ 38l 420 km/ 38l
Rai, airforce tech
Toyota '02 Corolla 1.5 VVTi

50 more km per tank Owner, vegetable grocer
Toyota '92 Starlet 1.0 13 km/l 15 km/l
Alan Tang, ER 9910 K
Toyota Tercel 1.5 twincam 17 km/l 19 km/l +12% 90-100 km/h, Chile team
Toyota Soluna 1.5 220 km 250-260 km 13-18% 1/4 tank, Rev Liao
*Note: this car belongs to the Kedah dealer Azman. Although it is manual, it's got cruise control too. Running without cruise control, the highway consumption was 14-15 km/litre, but when the cruise control was turned on, Azman could feel the accelerator being automatically depressed further from his foot, and the extra pedal travel brought the highway consumption back to the original 12-13 km/litre. This shows that with a Surbo, the driver will press less on the accelerator and this will contribute to a more relaxing drive, and of course more economy.

Economy Tips

Here's how Surbo users can get exemplary economy for their cars. Our general guideline is that maximum torque at the low and mid rpm range go hand in hand with fuel economy, because most of the driving time is spent in these ranges.

1. Keep to the factory spec for the overall wheel diameter. This is the size of the rim plus tyres, and if you make the rims bigger, then you can use a lower profile tyre to keep to the original size. You can usually find this size on a sticker on the front door. Likewise, you should use the recommended tyre pressure.

2. In between filter element changes, remove the element and shake the dust off to allow more air in.

3. Have the spark ignition timing tuned to factory spec where adjustable. Also important is the CO (carbon monoxide) emission level--tune by computer to as close to 0% as possible.

4. Top up the battery level, as a lack electrolyte means a smaller store of available electricity, so the alternator has to load the engine more and make it consume more fuel.

5. Straighten and shorten the air intake layout to minimize friction and bend losses. The Surbo should be fitted nearest to and most directly at the throttle (but before any minor air connection to prevent bypass), to get and deliver the maximum back pressure in the air intake. Note: for before-filter installations, although the filter is in the way, these have the advantage of free air before the Surbo, and a pressure-drop analysis will show both cases to be on the same footing.

6. Try to connect to cold air wherever possible, but avoid excessive length, bending or friction in the connecting hoses. These may get you cold air but due to air slowing through these additions, you might be better off not connecting them at all. Therefore when making changes, make sure you monitor the mileage, and do a thing at a time.

7. Adding a boost meter might help, as this helps you get the most engine torque per throttle travel. If you press less, less fuel will be used up.

8. Upgrade to Twin Surbos as these simply have better low end torque and have stretched the mileage on single-Surbo cars. The Twin has been shown by the dynamometer to deliver more torque between 2500-3000 rpm so if you spend more time in that region (eg. during cruising) it will give better economy than the single Surbo.

9. The rate of fuel injected at any moment is proportional to throttle travel x rpm x no. of cylinders. For a given car it must depend mainly on throttle travel (how much you press on the accelerator) and rpm (which you can control via gear selection). Since the Surbo enables rpm red line with half throttle, it means that only a fraction of the fuel normally required for red line is used, so it must be saving fuel during fast driving, compared to flooring the accelerator without the Surbo. The top speed is higher, meaning that cruising is possible with a smaller throttle opening, thus saving fuel. You can thus accelerate faster and get out of the acceleration phase so as to get to cruising speed sooner, thus saving fuel on average. The total consumption is the sum of throttle travel x rpm x time spent in each gear over the journey. Note that it does not pay to shift gears upwards at too low an rpm, as the starting rpm in the next gear may be too low for any power, and you will have to press more on the accelerator, and end up spending more time in the low, uneconomical gears.


The Surbo is a money saver in more ways than one.

1. It saves fuel, due to high torque. Customers on average say they save about 10% fuel. That is a result in real usage and not one from conducive testing conditions. What's more, Surbo drivers drive hard, because Surbo cars are just so accelerative. The longer you use it, the more you save. This is possible as the Surbo is meant for lifetime usage and is infinitely transferable between cars. There's no wiring and all you need is a screwdriver to remove it, and look for the dealer to transfer it to another vehicle. Or DIY. This means that even if you are quite close to changing your car, or if you do not own the car you are driving, you can still install the Surbo and enjoy it for as long as you keep the vehicle, and continue using it on the next.
eg. Say you spend $100/month on fuel. When you save 10%, your investment is returned in 10 months. If you use your car for


3 years, you will make $10*36 months-$100 for the Surbo, which is $260.

2. You can economize on the power and condition of your automotive choice. Let's make that a smaller engine (In countries where there are carbon taxes proportional to CO2 emitted, the smaller engine will be taxed less as it usually emits less CO2, have lower road taxes, and also be more economical), or an older car, or one with more mileage or simply older technology. All you need to do is to spend a hundred dollars or so on the Surbo to give you back the power forgone, and maybe you'll save thousands of dollars on the car instead. You'll also be able to do the unexpected--win great respect for your deliberately humble car. You'll also pay less for insurance!

3. Save even on accessories. The Surbo is probably the most powerful among budget aftermarket fittings as shown by the torque and power graphs in the dyno test. If you have been disappointed with other car accessories due to the marginal power available, the Surbo will amaze you. What's more, the Surbo amplifies what low-end power that your car had originally so it will be great for you to use the Surbo first and then get only the other right accessories that will further enhance the low-end power, its magnification and mileage.

4. Cheaper, lower octanes can be used. Higher octane fuels only help to prevent pinking, but the Surbo by itself already reduces this tendency as the amount of fuel used when on boost is less. A Kia Rio Surbo owner reported better mileage with 92 octane vs 98 octane (which retards ignition). You can try every kind of fuel to see which gives the most kilometre per dollar.

5. The Surbo saves time and time is money. Through faster starts and superb overtaking power. Hit the rpm red-line on half throttle. Tighten cornering if you activate the Surbo entering a turn and get boost mid-bend. Attain a higher top speed where legal. All this can be done without fuel penalty.

6. Reduced air filter changes. Occasionally you can just take your filter out, shake the dirt off and put it back on. The Surbo's deep air suction power overcomes filtration losses and is more tolerant of dirty or old filters.

7. The Surbo's packed air delivery knocks carbon off so you can avoid costly overhauls, such as having to remove the engine head and scrub the valves. Cam wear also occurs as the car ages, reducing the valve openings, leading to less air (or the air-fuel mixture, depending on engine type) entering the cylinder. The Surbo's added air pressure means that more air can squeeze through the smaller valve openings. This means that you could do without a costly and time-consuming valve clearance adjustment job.

All these mean that you save a lot of money. More than any car accessory can save you, more than on fuel alone.


1. The Surbo system is guaranteed for life per installation. This includes the Surbo (metal part), and the rubber adaptor or housing that the Surbo is put in, and that particular installation. For example, if the Surbo system remains untampered with and on the same car for ten years, then our warranty for that particular Surbo system will be for ten years.

2. The installation per car is guaranteed for as long as the Surbo remains on the same car without tampering or transfer. The Surbo installer is responsible for this guarantee. This ensures that the Surbo system always works. For DIY installers, they can contact Surbo Engineering for installation help.

Examples of Tampering:
1. Installation of other air intake devices joined to the manifold of the engine or any of its vacuum tubes, or the brake line, all of which can puncture the Surbo pressure system and cause it to fail.
2. Third party reinstallation of the Surbo into another type of air filter
3. Third party installation of any vacuum or boost meter connected to or tapped from any part of the engine manifold.
4. Modification of the throttle body or manifold that make pressure containment impossible.

Once the Surbo pressure system has been tampered with, it is likely to leak and fail, and your Surbo installation warranty will be void. To restore the Surbo's warranty and effectiveness, a reinstallation can be requested for and the charges will be as shown on the Aftersales page. This is in the case of rectifiable modifications. If you wish to have a suitable boost meter, please come to us directly for purchase and installation to ensure that there will be no leak.


1.The Surbo product is one-size. To fit all, the rubber adaptor or housing that the Surbo is put in will depend on the make and model of the car, or any changes to the air intake.

2. Upon transfer, a suitable adaptor will be used in place of the original one. The installation is guaranteed for as long as the Surbo remains on the same car without tampering. The Surbo installer is responsible for this guarantee. This ensures that the Surbo system always works. For DIY installers, they can contact Surbo Engineering for installation help.


Surbo Engineering will always be around to keep your Surbo in top working condition. We have the following services to help you get the most out of your Surbo:

1. Removal: when you change cars, you can remove your Surbo yourself with simple tools easily in minutes (with our advice via telephone if necessary), or you can come to us for removal. The charge is RM5 for every block of 15 minutes. Usually this is done within 15 mins.

2. Reinstallation: the Surbo will fit most cars so you can keep using it. The reinstallation fee is RM5 for every block of 15 minutes, and since the average time for fixing is one hour, expect to pay only about RM20 on average. It does not matter whether you have 1 Surbo or a Twin Surbo to reinstall, but how long it takes depending on the vehicle you have switched to, and the modifications in that vehicle.
Conditions: this offer is for continued usage by the same Surbo owner only. If you buy another Surbo to form a Twin, this reinstallation charge will be waived.

3. Free drive-in checkup if you feel the Surbo power missing. This may happen due to servicing by a third party. We'll check and rectify the leak.

4. Helping friends get a Surbo.

5. Setting up your own Surbo dealership/ export channel.




Governmental mechanical inspection: no car with a Surbo has been known to have failed the above inspection in Singapore. This is because the Surbo does not result in more noise or emissions (such as illegal exhaust systems), or compromise safety.

For cars under warranty, there is no worry as the Surbo does not cause damage to any part of the car. There will be no cutting and the car stays original, as the Surbo is inserted in or along the air intake. Even at regular factory servicings it goes unnoticed, and no one has lost a warranty due to the Surbo. In the unlikely event that the owner would claim against the car manufacturer for any other defect, we can remove the Surbo and reinstall it free of charge. This is so that the owner does not have to wait till the warranty is over.


Here's how to play with the accelerator to get the Surbo to work fully. (From standstill, select D for automatics or CVT'S, or engage 1st gear for manuals).

Please say this a few times till it sticks: "Accelerate, hold it, accelerate, pumppumppump"

1.accelerate (to approach 3000 rpm)
2. hold (the accelerator for 1 sec while rpm still rises, and car body pushes engine) and the Surbo pressurises the air coming out of it by jetting and spinning it.
3. accelerate (gradually to around half throttle) and the Surbo continues to spin the air.
4. pumppumppump (vibrate the accelerator very slightly {like a few mm and not more widely} around the half throttle point. That pumping repeats the first 3 steps to further increase the air spinning speed and raise the air pressure).

Whenever you pump, the air spins faster and the air pressure goes up, so the air tries to shut the throttle, and you will feel the spring tension and vibrations on the accelerator, telling you you got it right.

When the rpm is high enough, you can select gears and repeat the sequence.
If your car is CVT or fully automatic and D is selected, release pressure on the accelerator to change gear up (gear 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4). To change down, press the accelerator to mid way and pump and rpm will rise, indicating a lower gear. Even with only D selected, the Surbo's extra air will enable the CVT car to rev slightly higher than normal, and automatics to around 5000 rpm, both cases dependent on the gearbox program.

If you car is manual, you can choose to rev as high as the rev limit or change up before that, by doing steps 1 to 4 once per gear.

Revving slightly higher enables your car to leave the acceleration phase sooner and get to cruising gear in a shorter time, so saving fuel. Maximum revs are possible on a Surbo equipped car with just half throttle.


Here is one idea that will let you utilize the Surbo system to the maximum. Attaching a boost gauge, you will be able to get the most power per throttle travel (->press less, get more power). It's not for measuring a boost output, but as a means of consistently commanding the Surbo, especially under low-torque situations at very low rpm and/or in a very high gear. If you do not wish to install a gauge, just reading this page will help you understand the Surbo system better. Note: "gauge" and "meter" refer to the same thing.

Why A Boost Gauge?

When you have your gauge installed and you drive normally, you will realize that it is always pointing up and down. This means that supply of air (from the air intake) is not equal to demand for air (by the engine), especially during acceleration, or after gearchanges, or driving under different loads or terrain, or a combination of the above. When the demand of air is not met by the air intake (indicated by a falling needle on the meter), this can seriously reduce engine power. With the meter attached to and reading from the air manifold (the holding area between the throttle and engine), once you balance the needle at any point by moving your right foot, supply=demand and the power will be maximized. By moving your foot, the Surbo is activated automatically!


The boost gauge had found a new use as a Surbo trigger on our test car. While we wanted our customers to have the same fun, problems resulted as customers could not choose or find suitable gauges or supervise the job as stated; almost always, based on user feedback and our own checks, unknown installers did poor jobs that caused leaks to the vacuum and resulted in Surbo failure as well. So we have to write a clear guide to prevent failure during installation, for you to use in supervising the job. You can't just leave it to the installers as they won't care about giving you a perfect seal.

Note: 1. If after installing a Surbo and the customer has a boost (or vacuum) meter installed by a third party, there will be the risk of an air leak so the Surbo guarantees cannot be assured (till the fault is rectified by us).
2. If the customer already has a boost (or vacuum meter) before the Surbo installation, we will have to disconnect the air connection to the meter in order to rule out any leak from it, while the Surbo is installed. The meter air connection will be blown into, and if it is airtight it will be reconnected, but if it is not airtight the air connection will have to be redone separately.

Recommended model below by Autoguage: we use this. Avoid unsuitable, overpriced meters, unsafe (for reading while driving) mounting positions, poor workmanship and connections that leak (and which also defeat the Surbo system). Remember, there must be no leak on all connections and any leak will cause Surbo power to be lost.

You need: Boost Gauge and stand, full-length vacuum tube, pre-installation advice from us during Surbo installation (connecting from purge line using step-down connector to vacuum tube, plug at free end of vacuum tube)
If you DIY (do-it-yourself): run the free end of the vacuum tube past the firewall and into the cabin, and to the Boost Gauge in its stand (double-side-taped on the dashboard in front of steering wheel). Wiring for light at night for the gauge, no light required in the day (any vehicle electrician can help).

A Happy Boost Gauge User

When Will I Need A Boost Gauge?

1. If you want the Surbo to work the hardest, and your engine the least during quick acceleration. The Surbo system by design requires a fairly-closed throttle as described in How It Works, so that there is an adequate back pressure P3 between the throttle and the Surbo to cause the air to exit the Surbo's pins as jets, forming a vortex. If the throttle is very closed, this back pressure is max but delivery to the engine across the throttle is not max (light throttle, medium power situation). If you want more power, press a little more, and the boost meter needle will go up. The boost meter helps you get as close as possible to the throttle opening for peak Surbo power (which we have observed at -8 InHg) thus extracting the most power out of the Surbo system. Beyond -8 InHg, such as -6 InHg, the Surbo's power will drop (because the throttle is too open and the back pressure to the Surbo is lessened). Above the -8 InHg point, the engine will be working more than the Surbo is, such as in cases of flooring the accelerator (if the Surbo has already taken the engine to red line on the rpm meter by half throttle, and if there is no rpm limiter, the accelerator can be floored to get the max rpm by using the remainder of the engine's vacuum).

2. When you wish to accelerate smoothly. For example, at a steady -10 inch Hg reading, the relative air pressure in the manifold is constant. This means that supply of air through the throttle, from the filter, aided by the Surbo's variable suction (by moving the throttle slightly), equals demand for air (by the engine, which could even be changing revs rapidly during acceleration). Therefore the air filter is not holding back any air that is required by the engine (there will be no hesitation), with the help of the Surbo. This gives smooth acceleration.

Also, since the air pressure is constant, the fuel pressure is also constant. This prevents overfueling and wastages. This is because the signal to the fuel pressure regulator is exactly the same vacuum signal to the boost meter--both are connected to the same vacuum (see How It Works). This will mean a very constant air fuel ratio, and -8 inch Hg has been found to be a good spot during quick acceleration, in many different cars with Surbos, up to a powerful Suzuki Swift Gti.

3. When you wish to activate the Surbo from a low rpm, below the normal 3000 rpm max Surbo power recommendation, such as around 2000 rpm. With the boost gauge, you can just pump your accelerator slightly to -6 inch Hg, release a little to -8 inch Hg to back pressure the Surbo, and maintain the gauge at -8 inch Hg by pressing accordingly to get maximum torque from the system. This also means you do not have to rev too much.

4. When you wish to press the minimum and yet get adequate Surbo power. Such as when you are going uphill, overtaking, or carrying big loads. The boost gauge helps you extract the maximum torque per throttle travel for the situation.

5. When you wish to conserve fuel, by pressing just enough to work up the Surbo or keep the car going at a constant speed. You can ease off the throttle (letting the boost gauge reading drop step by step) thus lessening the fuel pressure, and that also raises the back pressure P3 making the Surbo spin air faster and suck air harder through the filter. This way, you will be running more on air instead of fuel. A Suzuki Swift owner got 10% fuel savings after he added the boost gauge.
5a. Latest result from a Kia Rio 1.3 (manual) owner: from 400 km per tank, he got 550km per tank with one Surbo. Then he added another Surbo and a Boost Gauge, and got 680km per tank. Normally the second Surbo does not add as much to the mileage as the first one, so the marginal improvement must have been due to the gauge.

6. When your engine is low on power and torque relative to load or weight, or when it is turning excessively large wheels.

One usage example: when cruising in 5th gear (at -18 inch Hg), just press a little and hold it there, watch the needle go up by itself (pressure buildup) to -8 inch Hg, and then activate with gentle pushes to maintain -8 inch Hg to surge. Alternatively, you can overtake this -8 mark, by pumping to -6 InHg, and then back off, letting the reading drop to -8, thus back-pressurizing the Surbo, and pump slightly to maintain it at -8 InHg for maximum Surbo power.

Note: the above tests have mainly been done on manual cars, and all the Surbos peaked at -8 Inch Hg. We observed on an automatic '05 1.6 Corolla Altis 2 distinct sweet spots:
1. -10 Inch Hg, which moved the car economically (lightest throttle feel) and yet there was a prolonged surge.
2. -5 Inch Hg, which gave the max Surbo sensitivity and even induced kickdown, indicating that this could be the most sporty point to use.

Testing on automatic cars to be continued.

If Choosing Your Own Meter And Installer

Please read this carefully and follow it 100%.

Mechanical meters: these run on an air vacuum tube only, from the manifold to the display in the cabin. Avoid mechanical vacuum gauges as they have loose springs and are not very controllable, but choose from only Boost Meters, which have tight springs (sellers are going to tell you your car is not turbocharged, and you won't need a boost meter, but you know better already).

Take meters with units Inch Hg (mercury), as we have found the optimum point (lightest throttle, maximum Surbo power) to be -8 inch Hg (black arrow on above image) at any rpm in any gear. Also, please mount the boost gauge directly in front of you on the dash as you will be using it all the time, as a side-pillar mount is unsafe since it is not in the line of sight while driving. You will require a few seconds to get the Surbo on so keep it straight ahead.

Choose a meter not only with units InHg, but with many markings like the Autogauge meter shown, so that you can choose easily between points. If in other units or without fine markings, the meter may not be easily controlled.

Note: If you have a properly-connected vacuum meter already, you can use -4 InHg (manual car, as observed on a Honda Jazz), or -2 InHg (auto car, as observed on a Mitsubishi Lancer). Apparently, due to the loose spring, there are no other sweet spots.

What If My Boost Gauge Has Different Units?

If you haven't bought your boost gauge, please choose one with Inch Hg as it is easy to follow the -8 mark, and there are more markings so you can find other sweet spots. If you have already installed one with different units, such as this, the following table might be useful. e.g. 8 inch Hg=0.27 kg/sq. cm (bar). (However, the nearest mark is -0.3 bar, so you'll need to estimate -0.27 bar. You might wish to make your own marking but be careful of parallax error). Otherwise, you can just try other points and see if you like the kind of power available at those points, e.g., -0.2 bar or -0.3 bar. The trick is to keep it constant so that the air-fuel pressure ratio is near to constant. Note that it is also possible to operate the Inch Hg meter at other points, say -12 In Hg, as long as the reading is constant, and you feel you like the experience. -12 In Hg has been found to be very light on the throttle and gives adequate picking up power, though it is nowhere near as quick as -8 In Hg.

Pressure Equivalents
First, type the number you wish converted here:
Then, click radio buttons for desired conversion:
Fm: megadynes/
sq cm
sq cm
sq in
To: megadynes/
sq cm
sq cm
sq in

*Standard columns of Mercury at 0o C, g = 980.665 cm/sec/sec
Standard columns of Water at 60o F, g = 32.1756 ft/sec/sec

Other Points To Note If You Have To DIY

The boost meter will be connected via an air tube to a tapping point on or near the manifold after the throttle (to avoid cutting any tube, you can join it to the manifold side of the purge line, which has been left plugged due to Surbo installation). As such, this air tube will be laid from the tapping point across the firewall (wall between the engine and the passenger compartment), and to the meter itself. If the air tube is a soft one, when it is connected to the tapping point and the male connector of the meter, there will be no leak (soft tube on hard connectors). Seal all joints anyway to be sure, even screw-threads. If, however, the air tube is hard to enable easy poking through the firewall, please introduce soft tubes to have a hard on soft on hard interface, which will not leak. Anything hard on hard (such as a hard tube inserted into a connecting hole (female type) in some types of meters) will cause a leak, and will ultimately affect the Surbo system and also the brake system as the brake pump needs a perfect vacuum. So choose a meter with a male connector (protruding one) for a good connection. Insist on silicone to seal ALL joints as no leak is allowed. Sometimes installers join several lengths of tube and all joints must be sealed (a hard air tube must be used as an interconnect between soft tubes; a soft tube tied over another soft tube will fail. Use glue if necessary). To avoid transmission of noise, after poking perpendicularly through a rubber seal in the firewall, use silicone to cover up any gap. Do not just lift the skirt of the seal and put the air tube through under it, as this will open up the way for noise.

If you have to use the T joint provided in the boost meter pack, join tightly and seal carefully WITH GLUE as this is the area most likely to fail. Avoid cutting original tubes or tee-ing if you can--try to join the meter directly to any vacuum tapping point, or to the manifold side of the disused purge line. For sealing, you can also use pipe glue (used for joining pvc pipes) as it is stronger than silicone for small gaps.

Latest: Electronic Meters

This kind of meter is the easiest to install. The parts are:
1. Transducer or sensor or sender (placed in the engine compartment), fitted with a short vacuum tube to the manifold of the engine (or to the manifold side of the deactivated purge line). All tube joints must be sealed with silicone or glue to prevent air leaks.
2. Meter (or display), which can be fitted on the top of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel.
3. Electrical wire, running from the Transducer, through the firewall, to the Meter. Any audio technician can run this wire so there is no risk of an air leak. This makes the extra cost of electronic meters worthwhile.

The electronic boost meter Autogauge 36000 SWL, though available only in bar, offers fine control with 20 markings, vs the 15 available on the pictured meter. If you can find it, go for the other boost meter model with InHg as units but it is rare.


The Surbo is environmentally friendly, helps to save our earth and by using it, you are contributing to this worthy cause by:

1. Cutting pollution. In normal cars without the Surbo, which have less power and need more throttle pressure to accelerate, more fuel is pumped into the engine (as fuel pressure is proportional to throttle travel). However, the air enters the engine later than the fuel due to air filter losses. The result is much unburnt fuel going out through the exhaust. If you are behind even modern cars with your windows down, you might sometimes smell the fuel when they suddenly accelerate.

A car fitted with a Surbo emits less unburnt fuel. A Surbo car can accelerate as quickly with less pressure on the throttle, meaning less fuel is put in for the same work. The Surbo enables air to come in more quickly by giving your car's air intake more air-suction power, overcoming the air filter's resistance. The result is more complete burning and lower emissions. On diesels, the Surbo cuts most of the black smoke.

Latest Emission Test Results:Test results are based on percentage of total air passed. Surbo reduces HC (unburnt hydrocarbons) from 55 ppm (parts per million) to 52 ppm {HC reduced absolutely by 3/55=5.45%}. CO (poisonous carbon monoxide) is cut from 1.7% to 0.8% (absolute reduction of CO by 0.9/1.7=52.9%), and CO2 (which is responsible for global warming) is cut from 5% to 3% (absolute reduction of CO2 by 2/5=40%). This test was conducted at Vicom Inspection Centre in Singapore on 10 FEB 2004 on our test car, the petrol Peugeot 405 1.6. Details

How can CO and CO2 be reduced so dramatically? It may be because the Surbo draws in more air, so there is more oxygen available for oxidizing the incompletely-combusted CO to stable CO2, and with less fuel put in, of course less CO2 can be formed from complete combustion, going by the equation. The world is very concerned about the global-warming effects of CO2 so help us fight this battle by spreading the word. Thank you.

Malaysian report--Surbo cuts 75% of CO2 emitted by race Proton Satria GTi 1.8 with catalytic converter (cat) removed--from 1000 g/km to 250 g/km. (new car: 227 g/km according to CAR Magazine of UK)
This means that-
i. The Surbo cleans the exhaust, almost like a cat.
ii. If the cat was back in place, the gases would be even cleaner.
iii. A less restrictive (less costly, more powerful) cat could be used with a Surbo, keeping to the original emission level.
iv. Longer cat life with less to do.

2. Helping to conserve dwindling supplies of fuel. In a car that is power-assisted by Surbo, the throttle travel required for acceleration or cruising is much smaller, so less fuel is used. As a result, responding customers average about 10% in fuel savings.

3. Keeping cars roadworthy for longer. Fewer resources need to be used for expensive overhauls, as the Surbo restores lost compression easily. No need to change an old car for a newer one just for more power. Or get a car with a bigger engine (that will usually use up more fuel, and indeed, produce more CO2). Neither will you have to go for extensive modifications.


One quick way of increasing power while keeping to the same capacity is to raise the engine compression. For example, a high compression ratio of 10:1 means that the air-fuel mixture taken into the cylinder is compressed to one tenth of its original volume (and of course ignited along the way by the spark). Higher compression could be achieved in a few ways where legal:

1. by changing the flat-top pistons to high compression ones that curve upward to result in a higher compression ratio. However, since the air and fuel are both more highly compressed, the fuel will start burning spontaneously (before the spark plug ignites) at some point and this causes knocking (by a spontaneous flame front coming down at the piston trying to go upwards), which will reduce engine power. It is for this reason that only higher octanes are usable in modern engines, because lower octanes like 92 are even more prone to knocking.

2. turbocharging. This gives maximum power when the turbocharger is spooled up beyond 3000 rpm, but below that engine speed the turbo will slow the engine down as it is exhaust driven. This is called turbo lag. Furthermore, to be prepared for the very high effective net engine compression that results when the turbo comes on fully (air is pre-compressed through the turbo and forced into the engine), the engine must have an inherently low compression ratio such as 8:1, which further takes away power before the turbo is up. This in all causes higher fuel consumption in turbocharged cars.

3. supercharging. This gives an increased charge proportional to rpm, but loads the engine straightaway like an aircon pulley, whenever. At low rpm the boost effect is also noticeably absent.

4. using a Surbo. The Surbo gives higher air pre-compression in the air intake, outside of the cylinder so it does not affect the fuel compression in the cylinder (like in 1.) and does not cause knocking. It achieves the desired higher compression and thus increased power safely. Among the four, the Surbo is also the least costly and most fuel-efficient.

The Surbo can also be used in
1. very high compression engines to lessen the fuel input and prevent knocking, or enable usage of lower octane fuel (this is because with a Surbo, less of the accelerator is used and fuel put in is less).
2. turbocharged engines, to cut the turbo lag. The surbo's precompression from low rpm before the turbo is up increases the engine's inherent compression, and the increased air flow moves faster through the exhaust, thus spooling the turbo sooner (at a lower rpm) so cutting the lag and consumption, and improving overall response. Surbo-fitted turbo vehicles include the Volvo T6 (250 bhp) and Daihatsu Charade, and turbodiesels like the VW Caddy and Opel Combo and Mercedes Vito 110 and automatic 112, amongst others.
3. supercharged engines (as in Mercedes Kompressor C180) to increase the low rpm power, especially if it is automatic and normally limited to the lower rpm range.


The Surbo development car, a Peugeot 405 1.6 with Twin Surbos, was tested on a slope 400 feet long (service road for Beauty World Centre and Plaza, located off Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore). At the bottom of the incline, first gear was engaged, and clutch released and accelerator never pressed. The car went up the slope steadily at 1000 rpm and never stalled. Neither the clutch or the accelerator was ever pressed during this time. At the top of the slope, it was 2 storeys above where it started.

Normally a manual car under this situation would stall and need restarting. How did this self-pushing of the engine occur? This was due to the Surbo system's action. As the Surbo is a back-pressure system (see How It Works), it works well (compresses the air leading to high compression and more power in the engine) when the throttle is fairly closed. With the right foot off the accelerator, the throttle was as closed as it could be. Thus, the throttle back pressure towards the Surbo was at a maximum, resulting in a vortex and air pressure to drive the engine. At the same time, the engine was drawing air of the highest density through the smallest throttle opening and maintaining its 1000 rpm engine speed.

This result simply means that the low rpm power of any Surbo powered vehicle is maximised, in a way that has never been heard of. Being a manual, this shows that 100% clutching as possible at even a low speed, needing no slip (by depressing the clutch). In an automatic car, there is also a torque converter that allows slip, preventing stalling at low speeds near or at idle, by lessening the direct contact between the engine and the gearbox with gear selected. As the driver accelerates, the slip is gradually lessened till the engine is at a higher rpm and has more torque to run or accelerate steadily. With a Surbo, since the torque is increased from low down and the engine steadier, this slip can be lessened and the automatic car can have faster breakaway acceleration. It eliminates the "waiting" time that usually occurs after the accelerator is pressed, which is the time required for the engine to accelerate with slip till it is torquey enough to be more clutched to the gearbox. Fitting a Surbo in an automatic car removes this pick-up retardation. It would become "punch and go".


Air is needed in the engine's cylinders to burn with fuel when the spark ignites. However, an air filter is necessary as we cannot have dirt in the engine as dirt would cause damage and clog up sensors. This filter cleans the air but results in a loss of air intake velocity, so much so that often air comes in later than the fuel feed that is increased by opening the throttle quickly (this results in momentary air pollution as much unburnt fuel exits the exhaust, and can be smelled even in modern cars on the move).

How does air get into the engine? The answer is that moving pistons fill and empty cylinders of air, and the flow causes a vacuum, and air must flow continually into that vacuum. By using a Surbo (air-Suction turbo) to aid the engine's vacuum externally and in series, this net vacuum can be deepened and torque spread and power increased.

Since the filter is connected to the air intake, and suction is required to overcome the filter loss (resistance of filter paper material and dirt trapped) to get air through, part of the engine's vacuum is used up is getting air through the filter. The rest of vacuum is needed to carry this cleaned air past the throttle into the cylinders. The Surbo can improve the air passage through the filter so a smaller throttle opening is reqd to get the air past the filter (therefore more of the engine's vacuum can be used to carry air past the throttle and into the cylinders).

Surbo between the filter and throttle: Surbo's inlet vacuum pulls air across the filter and its outlet pressure forces air through the throttle opening.

Surbo before filter: Surbo's inlet vacuum aids inflow of atmospheric air and its pressurized outlet forces air through the filter and the throttle.

Surbo's requirements: air-tight installation, resulting in max vacuum through the filter, and all air passes through and is processed by the Surbo.

When all the vacuum is used up: throttle opened all the way (accelerator floored); engine speed cannot increase any more, gear must be changed (up/down):
Up: for example, at the rev limit, during a change up, the throttle is closed relatively for a lower rpm and higher gear ratio. When the throttle is closed, the manifold vacuum is increased again so air can be drawn in increasingly, so raising rpm again and thus vehicle speed. The Surbo enables the engine to get to higher rpms with the same throttle travel (observed red line by half throttle), so for any given rpm, the throttle is more closed so there is more spare vacuum to cart the air promptly to the cylinders, or to accelerate some more. A more-closed throttle due to Surbo usage also means less excess fuel is induced so preventing flat spots due to overfuelling. These improve the engine's torque spread over the rpm range.

Down: At the other extreme, when the gear used is too high for the vehicle speed, so that rpm is very low, and in order to induce more air, the throttle has to be opened more (so all vacuum is used up) and speed cannot increase. A lower gear must be selected, so that rpm goes up as the moving car pushes against a lower gear (vacuum increased) and air intake velocity increases, and the vehicle picks up speed. The Surbo, which gives better low rpm torque, allows the car to get to a lower speed on a given gear, as the throttle is more relatively closed so that the manifold vacuum is still sufficient to draw in air. There is less of a need to change the gear, indicating increased engine flexibility.

In general, when the accelerator is nearly floored, and most of the vacuum used up, the engine will slow down because there will not be enough vacuum to draw the air through the filter, or to carry any more air into the cylinders. ie, max engine speed is reached. Also, at extreme throttle openings, the fuel induced is the maximum, but air that goes in is curtailed due to the above reasons, and the resultant overfueling can have an extinguishing effect on the combustion. The increased air flow from the Surbo at any rpm mops up any excess fuel and burns it more completely. Therefore the surbo gives more power throughout the entire rpm range.

Testimonials : Honda Stream


Testimonials :Nissan Sunny FLN6


Testimonials : Twin Surbo Nissan Sunny Auto with crackling performance


Testimonials : Twin Surbo saves 12% fuel for Subaru Impreza


Testimonials : Surbo In a modified Perodua Kancil