I've "e-stopped" a few of the work hacks (SR5 Hilux's, Tritons, Focus etc) - spool down time for the turbo's in these from max rev's is only about 10-15 or so seconds. So from idle would be less than 5.
The old SR5's and Safari's etc would take 30 or so seconds at idle because they were old tech.
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My (the correct) understanding:
A turbo is driven by the kinetic and thermal energy of an exhaust, driving the turbine to compress air, allowing more air and fuel into the cylinders. Compressed air becomes much warmer, so to maximise the effects of a turbo, an intercooler or water injection (or nos) is preferable.
Intercoolers dont cool the turbo itself. It relies on the oil that lubricates it to help cool it, and in some cases, water cooling as well.
Unless you turn off the engine when you are revving the engine, the turbo doesnt need time to "spin down".
The reason it needs time to idle, is because of the massive heat generated by the turbo. Engines tend to operate at 80-100 degrees. A turbo can reach 800-1000 degrees, so idling helps the turbo cool down. I have personally seen plenty of turbo vehicles with glowing hot turbos after a decent thrash. Especially motors like the 300zx, with two turbos crammed in a cramped engine bay and forced to share space with a large V6.
The second reason is that when the oil supply suddenly stops, oil stops circulating, and small amounts can coke/burn in the turbo. Combined with irregular oil changes (turbos need fresh oil), and you are asking for trouble.
Most turb cars and utes (surf etc) need rebuilding after 150k, but ive seen them blow in less than half of that. It all comes down to how well you look after them.
So turbo timers arent essential, but unless you are happy to sit in the car and idle it for a couple of minutes every time you fang it, theyre not a bad idea either.
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