PRI 2018: Garrett Reveals SFI-Approved GT55 Turbine Housing

Garrett Motion delivered for its throngs of drag racing customers at the PRI Show with the reveal of its first in-house produced, SFI-approved turbine housing for its GTX line of turbochargers. The housing, which Garrett’s Tim Coltey says has been highly-anticipated by drag racers running the company’s turbos, is so fresh that it didn’t even arrive in Indianapolis for display until Friday after Garrett Motion engineers wrapped up its testing and manufacture.

“This is something we’ve been working hard on to produce the highest-performing, lightest weight turbine housing but still stand behind its safety,” Coltey says. “We’ll take three or four versions of this, trim them down, blow them up on our test stand, and see what happens — if it cracks or if it doesn’t pass our own tests internally, then we go to the next thicker wall until it contains everything. It’s gone through many iterations to ensure were doing it right. It might look easy to produce a cast turbine housing, but there’s a lot of work behind this product.”

The GT55 stainless steel housing features SFI-mandated cross-bolts, intended to keep the turbine wheel contained in the event of a mechanical failure at high-rpm. The housing checks off a 1.24 A/R, or Area Ratio, and sports threaded bosses for bracing due to its weight. The housing has been burst-tested — the turbine wheel must remain fully contained in the housing without breaking the housing itself or sending foreign parts out of the housing or exhaust — and passed all of the SFI approval testing with flying colors.

The GT55 housing was proudly engineered and manufactured by the team at Garrett.

“These are available in an SFI and non-SFI version; they both come with cross-bolts, which is there both for SFI approval and for safety in general,” Coltey says. “If a turbine wheel ever does come apart from the shaft and tries to escape from the downpipe and out, it will contain that. All of that energy will hit the bolts and remain inside, keeping spectators and racers and people in the grandstands safe. The SFI approval is something that NHRA mandates for Pro Modified, and then it’s up to radial classes and others that run the GTX turbos if they want to use the bolts or not, but we’ll provide them for all of the housings moving forward.”

The GT55 turbine housing is compatible with any of the GTX55 series Gen-1 and Gen-2 turbos, including the 85, 88, 91, 94, and 98mm snails, along with the GTX55-44 102 and 106mm units.

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About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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