How-To: Install Turbosmart Internal Wastegate Actuator on 2013-2014 Ford Focus ST

Purchase this IWGA directly from us HERE

We recently installed the Turbosmart Internal Wastegate Actuator on our White Sheep Focus ST! We talked to Turbosmart a little bit while we were in California about the benefits of running this new wastegate actuator and they told us that the benefits are, faster spool time, more consistent boost delivery and more accurate boost control. So we thought it would be a great add-on for the ST! 

Here’s what Turbosmart has to say about it:

The ST Internal Wastegate Actuator (IWG) provides better turbo response and greater sensitivity when managing boost pressures. Designed as a direct bolt-on replacement for the factory part, the ST IWG is easy to install and requires no special tools or fabrication. It can’t get any easier!

Tuning may be required with this actuator.

So after receiving it, we decided it was time to get it installed and see what it was all about. We’re glad we did, it turns out that the first batch was mis-shipped and we received a batch that had the incorrect brackets. We had to slightly modify ours to get it to fit, we notified Turbosmart and they were on the ball and quickly shipped out the correct product for us! Thanks Turbosmart! The only difference between the one we installed and the new ones we received is the bracket holes were off by approximately 2mm. The new ones are fixed and ready to install.

So, this seems like it would be a tough install, something that would take a very long time to accomplish. When we approached the install we gave ourselves around 5 hours thinking that it might take that long. All in all, it was about 2 hours start to finish, and this includes drilling out our “incorrect” bracket which you won’t have to worry about. I would say the most difficult part was getting the bolts that hold the actuator to the turbo off and back on, only because we kept approaching them at the wrong angle and the socket wouldn’t go on straight.

So the tools we used on this install are:

1) Ratchets
2) Extensions, long and short
3) T30 torx bit (for under tray)
4) 10 mm, 8 mm sockets
5) 10 mm, 8 mm wrenches
6) Needle nose pliers, or standard pliers (to take the vacuum line off)
7) Flat tip screw driver

Ok, so now that we have gathered those up, let’s get started. We need to get the car in the air first, so we can access things. You can use a jack and jack stands, we used a lift.

Now that the car is in there air, we need to pull off the under tray. 11 t-30 torx bit screws takes care of that

Now that we have that out of the way, we need to pull the heat shield off the turbo so we can get to the wastegate actuator. Pretty simple, two bolts and its off!
This is the lower one

Then there is an upper one as well. You will want to use plenty of wd40 or pb blast to help get these out. They are a little tight caused by the many heat cycles of the turbo. This isn’t a very good image, but there is a bolt there.

Now that we have that out of the way, we have pretty good access to the wastegate actuator. There is little room between the firewall and the actuator, so some of these pics are bad, and I couldn’t get a very good picture of the nuts on the arm. Here’s the wastegate bolts from one angle.

Now that we have that out of the way, we have pretty good access to the wastegate actuator. There is little room between the firewall and the actuator, so some of these pics are bad, and I couldn’t get a very good picture of the nuts on the arm. Here’s the wastegate bolts from one angle.

We tried to get to the bolts from this angle and it wasn’t a very good approach, so we went up top, pulled the intake off and cover off the engine and gave us pretty decent access to it from up top. As you can see here

We pulled the retaining clip off of the actuator arm first, but we really couldn’t get a camera back there to get a decent picture of it, there is a little clip that retains the bolts from coming loose that comes off simply by prying it gently with a flat tip screw driver. Watch that you don’t fling it off and lose it because you will be using it on the new arm. Once you get that clip off, just loosen the outside nut and thread it off the arm completely so you can slide the arm out of the wastegate arm. Now we can take our socket and ratchet with a long extension to get back there and take the actuator off.

Now that you have it loose, you’ll want to pull the vacuum line off the barb on the top of the actuator. Take a pair of needle nose pliers, squeeze the clamp to open it and slide it back, and then gently pull the hose off. Now the actuator is free and should pull right out. Slide it straight back out of the wastegate arm and pull it out. Now that we have it out, I can clearly show you the nuts on the arm. Here is the stock actuator next to the Turbosmart unit. The quality of the Turbosmart unit is amazing!

Now that we have them side by side, let’s adjust the nut on the Turbosmart unit to match the factory one. Be careful here, when we first adjusted it, we had it a little too tight and when we took it for a test drive it was holding too much boost so we had to back the nut off slightly to get it within factory specs.

Now simply place the new Turbosmart actuator back in the factory location and bolt it down and replace the vacuum line. Don’t forget to put that retainer clip over the 2 nuts on the actuator arm.
Here’s a shot of it in it new home. Ready to hold some boost!

All that’s left is to put everything back together and you’re ready to go. Take your car for a test drive and make sure you’re within boost targets for your respective tune, and you’re ready to go. Now enjoy your new found boost stability and quicker spool time!

Thank You,

Corby

6 Comments

  1. Ravisays:

    Hey,
    Is an internal waste gate actuator the same as the sound symposer actuator? I took my st in to FORD service because it was not building proper boost. They said the sound symposer actuator was stuck in the open position. When I asked how that was possible the service tech told me something along the lines of what the waste gate actuator does. Could you please comment on this?
    Thanks

  2. The sound symposer and the wastegate actuator are two very distinctly different things. The wastegate actuator is what controls boost by opening a flap in your turbo to bypass exhaust flow away from the turbine side of your turbo, therefore slowing the amount of exhaust going through the exhaust wheel in the turbo and in turn, stopping the building of boost. The sound symposer is a plastic hose that is plumbed into the cabin space with a valve that opens at certaind RPMS to let you hear the intake side of the turbo. If you’re being told that the symposer is causing boost issues, you need to re-evaluate who is diagnosing your vehicle.

  3. slpbird76says:

    How hard is the adjustment once it’s mounted to the turbo did you have to remove the actuator again to do this.

  4. Marksays:

    So is this the same thing as a blow off valve? Or this the part that allows or determines when the BOV functions?

  5. You have to hold the flap/valve open when installing new actuator. And start from the top by removing the wipers and extention panel. Also, use a magnetic tool to keep a grip on that small clip on the actuator that needs to be slipped off, you will lose/drop it otherwise. And adjustment is tricky.

    Overall this was not a good write up on how-to.

  6. A tune is a good idea, as overboost go can happen with this upgrade. This will add some boost and keep/add boost in the mid range and uptop, which is nice considering the ST’s power falls off a lot, below 5500 rpm.

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