Toyota’s CT26 Turbocharger

Posted on 01 September 2010 by admin

CT26-TURBOCHARGERI have to say that the CT26 is one of the most misunderstood turbochargers in the history of turbos, it is brain teaser to figure out but is not as complicated as a rubix cube.

Most people steer clear of them because they run out of puff and just become a hair dryer after 15 psi and pump out nothing but hot air, But for Toyota’s complete in house design it’s not such a bad Turbocharger seeming how it will shit 300hp up the wall easy, even compared to the Disco Potato. As far as reliability goes it will out last and engine it looked after and common failure is popping a oil seal which is a quick fix anyway.   There are three different types of the CT26, there is CT26 from the Toyota Supra, Cressida and Soarer which has a steel wheel, is single entry, has different mounts for the wastegate, Then there is the CT26-a from the MR2 and Celica GT4 3SGTE engines know as the twin entry. First of all twin entry does not mean that the Compressor wheel has two sets of blades because thats normal, it mean the tubing inlet flange is split down the middle, why? so the gas flows across the rear of the Turbine wheel evenly.

While not being the most effective means of spooling, it does however keep the wheel temp a bit lower, which will help if you own a Import 2nd GEN 3SGTE as some had ceramic wheels. Factory wastegate for 89-93 is 8.5psi to 10psi, these are water and oil cooled and the shaft float in a coat of oil in the sleeve bearings.

Spooling is slightly better on the Supra’s CT26 as the single entry housing has a better design, but if you own the CT26a with a ceramic wheel spooling is also good with a decrease of lag, only issue how ever is how do you feel about a shattering wheel at 140,000rpm, not friendly, all variations of the CT26 have and internal wastegate , dump pipes are also different patterns and watch out for the ct26′s being sold cheap on E-bay as they list MR2 and Celica but turns out the only fit supra’s and land cruiser.


As far as upgrade goes for more top end boost clip the exhaust wheel but you will sacrifice a bit down low, and if you wish for that extra puff above 15psi a common mod is to fit Garrett T04e compressor wheel and re-bore the comp cover to end that struggle after 6000rpm (who seriously goes that hard all day long anyway), it’s not as good as a T4 but you will see a nice gain up to 16-18psi max, some people go a higher trim but this has had bad experience with shaft snapping and is also dyno proven to be more lag yetmore efficant by 3% for the 60trim. For anyone who thinks the ct26 isn’t that great, think of any other 2.0 twin cam engine like the 3SGTE that was produced in early 1990s erra that runs just as good, only other car being a SR20 which was garrets turbo anyway, So at the end of the day if you want to run up to 15psi keep your CT26, if you want 15-18psi High flow it with a Garrett T4 wheel, or for up to 15psi with a quicker spool get a CT20B, And when you are ready to upgrade to a larger turbo you would want to get some internal work done and a programmable ECU, cus there’s been plenty of engine’s blow to a CT26 and high boost.

CT26a RRP: $350 – $800

Tech Specs

Compressor Side


Wheel Diameter





Wheel Diam










12 Comments For This Post

  1. eric reinhard Says:

    can a ct26 turbo be bolted on a toyota 22re motor?

  2. admin Says:

    Hi Eric,
    A CT26 would be suitable on a 22RE as they are large displacement 4 cylinder engine, thus spool won’t be a issue although you would need low comp pistons, and custom made oil & coolant lines, manifold and dump pipe

  3. Mat T Says:

    Really good explanation of the ct20b and the ct26 i learn some good thing there thanks a lot

  4. Brenden Says:

    Hey I got a deseil 97 ln106 Hilux (2.8) any chance a ct26 would go alright and safe On it without needing a full rebuilt motor?

  5. admin Says:

    The Hilux runs a CT20, it has a different turbine outlet (dump pipe flange) and also a single entry turbine housing as opposed to the CT26 that runs a Twin entry, not really worth the upgrade to be honest you would be better going for something larger again.

  6. Terry Says:

    what is the torque for the compressor wheel on a t26 Toyota stock turbo?
    87 supra? my sons came loose and we need lock tight and re-torque it, no damage just whining a little, and what dam socket do I need? seems like a 3/8 twelve point and do you think out of all my 24 + years of wrenching (diesel,gas and a fuel shop rebuilding turbos for diesels) you would think I would have one, but I cant find it! lol but I am sure it is something different that a twelve point and I really need one, where does a guy get the tools, sockets etc… to tear-down and work on these dam things? over the years I have been faced with using cave man type tools to assemble and reassemble, like vise grips and a guy with a rag holding the exhaust wheel in the vise while I torque the fresh air wheel (not good)
    thanks for any info, cant seem to find any REAL specs for this turbo.

  7. admin Says:

    Hi Terry, the torque specification for the compressor nut is 8-10 ft-lb, however we never use a torque wrench when tightening such small nuts and bolts as they can still easily thread or strip, these torque specifications really only apply to brand new parts, tighten the nut by hand until it is just firm and also use a dab of lock tight and it shouldn’t come undone .

  8. Terry Says:

    Hey thanks admin! Unfortunately went to take the nut off and the shaft stop turning, so tightened it back up, still would not turn, tore turbo off car (#$%#$%^&**!!) and tore it down, (short of the center section) and it’s junk! the Watergate sealing surface has two big cracks in it just like you have mentioned and the bushing was seized to the shaft and spinning inside the housing, (starved for oil I guess) he did get it hot because It was low on coolant but only went a couple block’s, ohh well! it was a used car and that’s what ya get if you dont check it out first!
    look’s like turbo time! my son has two new turbo’s, so he will adapt his new one to it! Maybe come back for parts etc.. guessing the motor is dusted as well fro inside the rubber intake inter cooler tube just ahead of the turbo is full of oil and dirt! and 4 holes are just above 100 psi and should be up around 140-145, will attempt a valve adjust but guessing it wont help!
    another yard dart! that makes 4 rigs now! atta boy!

  9. Terry Says:

    So bearing pre-load, torque specs and end play mean nothing to you? remind me not to buy a turbo from you.

  10. admin Says:

    Terry I am not sure what your problem is, clearly you are not experienced within the area of turbocharger rebuilds and generally it is not a DIY job.

    You asked a question and I answered, this is the internet, not a paid service, if you are not happy with the answer I have given you then I suggest you take your blown ct26 to a shop and pay a professional to explain everything to you or carry out the work.

    All the best.

  11. Muda Says:

    How much Boost can I safely run on a very well maintained engine with all stock parts in good condition, I have heard horror stories of cars running a little more boost and blowing engines up since MR2 stock inter-cooler is not very efficient.

    Thanks for this article, great info.

  12. admin Says:

    Hi Muda, if the motor was completely stock I would not run any more than 10-13 psi. If you upgraded the intercooler to keep the boost cool, exhaust and dump pipe to get the hot air out the turbine you might get away with 15-17psi but it will be the fuel & ignition control that could cause damage, adding more boost is always better with an aftermarket ecu.

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