How to Clock Your Turbo

How to Clock Your Turbo


Clocking your turbo is a term associated with the rotation or adjustment of your compressor housing ( turbine ) of your turbocharger. The reasons can be varied for this modification, while most reasons are because the outlet or inlet may be facing the wrong direction, or could also be installing a new intercooler or new path for your charge piping.

Today we’ll be looking at a CT26 Turbocharger from an existing MKIII 7MGTE and inspecting / rotating the turbo as it’s current position will not allow us to bolt on a front mount intercooler after we have swapped it into our 240SX.

So grab your tools and notepad as we show you How to Clock Your Turbo.



Firstly you will need to remove the turbocharger and disconnect the 02 housing from the downpipe and midpipe. In order to clock or rotate your turbo you will need the following tools :

Tools needed:

  • 12mm open socket
  • 10mm open socket
  • 13mm open socket
  • needle nose pliers

With your turbocharger removed and clear from your downpipe, inspect the compressor blade by making sure there is minimal shaft play. While checking for shaft play, make sure that the compressor wheel can turn freely and doesn’t bind or scrape along any part of your compressor housing.



Disconnect the vacuum line that leads to your internal wastegate actuator and undo the 12mm bolts that secure the wastegate actuator to the compressor housing.


Next flip the turbocharger over and take a look at the exhaust side of the turbo itself, more importantly the 02 housing, which needs your 02 sensor removed from. After removing the two 12mm nuts that secure the 02 sensor in place, then proceed to undo the 12mm bolts and nuts that connect the 02 housing to the turbo.


Now is a good time to inspect your wastegate flapper hole for any signs of cracking or damage that could lead to overboost or low turbo response and pressure. As you can see, our CT turbocharger has heat stress cracks and is in need of service. Cracks and damage like this ensures that boost will taper off or “bleed” past the flapper of your internal wastegate.



Next undo the circlip that connects the flapper arm to your internal wastegate arm, and slide the wastegate arm off the flapper pivot. If you are intending to install an adjustable wastegate or a Forge type adjustable internal wastegate, now is the time.


Once you have this circlip out, you can slide and gently rotate the turbo as needed. Many times people ask us How to Clock Your Turbo and it’s really just as easy as this.

Using your needle nose pliers, gently and firmly open the large circlip that secures the compressor housing over your compressor wheel. You may need help in getting this clip up and out, as it can be difficult to remove or put back. If help is required, have your friend stand by with a flat head screwdriver to gently push or pry the circlip as needed.



Now that your main circlip has been removed from the compressor housing, grab the turbo by the center cartridge and rotate it gently until the compressor housing comes loose. Gently pull away and your compressor housing should now be removable, you can now re-install the compressor housing to line up with your needs or your charge pipe.

When re-installing your turbocharger and compressor housing, make sure to use care to not damage or nick the compressor seal. With the compressor housing installed but without the circlip, try place testing your turbocharger to ensure that the outlet is pointed in the correct direction.

You have now successfully clocked your turbocharger and completed our How to Clock Your Turbo guide.