Drivetrain DIYs Anything that involves the performance of the vehicle.

Turbo Kit Tutorial

Old 04-11-2007, 09:02 AM
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Default Turbo Kit Tutorial

What you need and/or should get when building a turbo kit.

This is intended to be a full in detail write up including not only the main items, but miscellaneous expenses that are bound to come up along the way, as well as items that may help ensure the longevity of your setup. A fairly common misconception is that you can get"a turbo, piping, intercooler, oil lines" and you're done. Thats not the case; there is so much more to it that people over look. Sure, you can get most of the stuff you need for 1000 bucks, but there WILL be other expenses, garaunteed. Hopefully this will help you prepare for those expenses..

Here is what you NEED...

1 -Turbo
2 - Manifold
3 - Intercooler
4 - Charge Piping
5 - Couplers and Clamps
6 - Air Filter
7 - Wastegate
8 - Blow Off Valve
9 - Oil Line Kit w/ Fittings
10 - Tapped Oil Pan
11 - Injectors ‚€“ Higher Flow
12 - Downpipe w/ Flexpipe and High Flow Cat
13 - O2 bung and plug
14 - Dumptube
15 - Vacuum Lines w/ Vacuum T Fittings
16 - Gauges
17 - Gauge Pod
18 - Chipped ECU w/ engine Management w/Tune
19 - Synthetic Oil, Higher Octane Fuel
20 - Spark plugs (one step colder)
21 - Miscellaneous Stuff

Here you'll find optional gear that can make things run more efficiently, as well as open the door to future upgrades.

22 - Wideband O2 Sensor w/Wideband A/F Gauge
23 - Vacuum Manifold
24 - Catch Can
25 - Boost Controller
26 - Aftermarket Radiator
27 - Turbo Timer
28 - Headstuds
29 - Oil Sandwich Adapter
30- Oil Restrictor
31 - Motor Build

1 - Turbo ‚€“ There are only about a million different options here. Figure out what your goals are for the car, and that will help decide which type and what size turbo you‚€™ll need. You can also mix and match exhaust and compressor housings, but that‚€™s a little too technical for this discussion.
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2 - Manifold ‚€“ Replaces your stock (or aftermarket) exhaust manifold. Again, tons of options, and it usually helps to know which turbo you‚€™re going to be running before choosing the manifold. Reason being that some manifolds will keep the turbo close to the block, which may not be an option if you‚€™re running a bigger turbo. Other things to take into account are whether or not you‚€™d like to retain you‚€™re A/C system (will limit your options), or if want the *bling* factor, if you‚€™re going to run an internal or external Wastegate, etc..
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3 - Intercooler ‚€“ Usually dependent on how much horsepower you intend to put down. Different sizes and styles are available (Front Mount, Side Mount, etc..). Don‚€™t just pick one because its big and blingy, but rather make sure it fits nicely with your setup.
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4 - Charge Piping ‚€“ This is pretty straightforward. It‚€™s the pipes through which air travels between the turbo‚€™s compressor housing, and you‚€™re intake manifold. Don‚€™t get your hopes up on finding a vehicle specific kit, you‚€™ll more than likely have to do a little bit of cutting, which is not a problem. Die grinder & cutting wheel will get the job done nicely. Some people have their pipes welded once they‚€™re cut to shape, this is a decision you will have to make. The alternative is Couplers and Clamps.

5 - Couplers and Clamps ‚€“ These are what hold the charge pipes together. You want to spend the extra couple of bucks, and pick up a nice 3-5 ply Silicone Coupler set, with "T-Bolt Clamps" to ensure a nice efficient seal. Cheap couplers and clamps will leak, cause you to blow pipe connections apart, etc‚€¶
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6 - Air Filter ‚€“ Pretty straightforward. May require some creativity with piping to make it fit.
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7 - Wastegate ‚€“ This is the unit that moderates how much boost the turbo is allowed to shoot through your Charge Piping. Some turbos (like the DSM t25) are internally gated with an OEM spring, which allows you to push a certain psi. If your turbo is not internally gated, you will need to pick up an external Wastegate. You‚€™ll need to decide what psi level you‚€™re looking to run, as there are different sized Wastegates, as well as different springs to put in them.
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8 - Blow Off Valve ‚€“ This is used to release excess air in the charge piping once the throttle body plate is closed. It helps reduce compressor surge in the turbo, which is a big plus. Again, lots of options. Figure out which one you want, get the proper flange for it, and have it welded to your charge piping
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9 - Oil Line Kit w/ Fittings ‚€“ Turbos need oil to function properly, both for cooling, and lubrication. You will need a feed line, and a return line, as well as the necessary fittings. Fittings are dependent on the turbo, and usually come with whatever oil line kit you decide to go with.
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10 - Tapped Oil Pan ‚€“ Your oil needs to be able to cycle back into the oil pan after running its course through the turbo. You will need to hook your return line to the drain flange on the turbo, and without creating too great of an angle, the other end will connect to a fitting on your oil pan. You can tap the pan itself, but ideally you will want to have the fitting welded to the pan for safety sakes. Make sure the hole is as high on the pan as possible to be sure no oil stays in the return line. Also, steel pans are much more reliable than the OEM cast aluminum pans commonly found on y8 motors (as well as others). You've got to be extremely cautious when having the fitting welded to an aluminum oil pan. It's very easy to compromise the structure of the pan if you (or your welder) aren't familiar with welding aluminum. See my thread "Game Over" for more details
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11 - Injectors and Fuel System Goodies ‚€“ Will the addition of a greater amount of air, comes the need to supply a sufficient amount of fuel. Which injectors you choose will depend on your setup and overall goals. Most commonly used injectors for mild boost applications (~7-~12psi) are the "DSM 450‚€™s", which can be had for quite cheap. If you go this route (or any otherlow impedance injector), you will need to wire in a resistor box.

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Another thing you'll want to do is swap the Fuel Filter. Chances are its never been changed, and is dirty as hell. They're cheap, and easy to replace, so no excuse not to do it. While you're swapping the filter, take the opportunity to slap on a decent (b&m is GREAT) Fuel Pressure Gauge. Your tuner will thank you

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12 - Downpipe – Connects the exhaust side of the turbo to your catalytic converter. Because your motor is going to move during hard acceleration, it’s a good idea to incorporate a "Flex Pipe" into the downpipe so that there is a limited amount of stress applied to the piping. Also, a high-flow catalytic converter is a good way to help ensure sufficient flow through the exhaust.

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13 - O2 Bung and Plug – You will need to have an o2 bung welded into your downpipe, so that your tuner is able to hook up his Wideband o2 sensor for tuning purposes. If you choose to not run your own Wideband, you’ll need the plug to seal the hole.

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14 - Dumptube – If you’re running an external wastegate, it will have an evacuation hole for the air that is not delivered to the motor. Those are very hot gasses, so it is ideal to run a pipe from the evacuation hole directly into your downpipe, so that the waste makes its way out.

If you are internally gated, don’t worry about the dumptube

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15 - Vacuum Lines w/ Vacuum T Fittings – Parts such as the wastegate, and blow off valve require a vacuum source to do their job properly. You will need some vacuum line, as well as a couple T fittings so that you can tap into current vacuum sources. Or you can take the "Vacuum Manifold" route, which I will explain later.

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Last edited by Forty04; 08-04-2008 at 05:15 AM.
Old 08-04-2008, 05:07 AM
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16 - Gauges – It’s a good idea to monitor what is going on with your setup. Oil pressure & Boost/Vacuum seem to be the most common. Most gauges come with the necessary electrical and/or vacuum lines.

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17 - Gauge Pod – You’ll need somewhere for the gauges to sit.

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18 - Chipped ECU w/ engine Management w/Tune – Proper fuel management and a good tune is crucial for your setup to work properly, and be reliable. No FMU’s, missing links, VAFC hacks or anything like that are going to measure up to a chipped ecu with a good dune, preferably on both the street, and on a dyno.

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If you are NOT obd1, you will need a conversion harness, as well as the proper ecu for your application.

19 - Synthetic Oil, Higher Octane Fuel – Absolutely necessary to help ensure longevity as well as efficiency.

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20 - Miscellaneous Stuff - Screw Clamps (Various Sizes), rubber grommets, Teflon tape, bolts, nuts, etc etc etc.. Until you actually buckle down and start putting parts on the motor, you won’t really know what misc. stuff you need. It’s a very good idea to set some money aside to cover these costs; I would say at least 100 bucks.

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Stuff you don’t NEED, but may come in handy.

21 - Wideband O2 Sensor w/Wideband A/F Gauge – If you ever want to be able to tune your own rig, this is where you start. Also, with a nice Wideband o2 sensor and gauge, you can keep a constant monitor on your Air/Fuel ratios to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.

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Note: The rest of what is needed to tune is more in depth than I want to get into for this write up. This you should research on your own.

22 - Vacuum Manifold – Helps insure a consistent vacuum source for all your vacuum regulated parts (Wastegate, BOV, Boost Gauge, etc..) Also helps keep the engine bay clean and tidy since you wont have a bunch of tapped hoses all over the place

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23 - Catch Can – Please research Proper Crank Case Ventilation

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24 - Boost Controller – Come in a couple different flavors, electronic and manual. Used to turn the boost up ONLY, and return it to it’s original setting. You cannot lower boost with a boost controller.

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25 - Aftermarket Radiators – Help keep the motor nice and cool, which is huge because too much heat is the enemy when running boost.

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26 - Turbo Timer – The biggest cause of cooked seals in a turbo is shutting down the car with the super hot oil still in the turbo itself. A turbo timer will allow the motor to run and circulate new, cooler oil into the turbo until it reaches a predetermined temperature, then shuts down the motor. (Trust me, it’s better than sitting in your car for 45+seconds every time you go somewhere).

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27 - Headstuds – A boosted motor is subject to headlift, which you do not want. Getting some aftermarket headstuds is always a good idea.

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28 - Oil Sandwich Adapter – Basically fits to where your stock oil filter attaches, then you attach the oil filter to the sandwich. They have ports for your Oil pressure gauge, as well as for your oil feed line. The oil feed line port is awesome because you don’t have to mess with the stock oil feed, which can be a pain in the butt. Most oil line kits come with an adapter for the stock feed port.

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29 - Oil Restrictor – It’s good to regulate just how much oil pressure the turbo is seeing, to help ensure that you do not blow the inner seals.

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30 - Motor Build – Not a bad idea especially if you’re daily driving the car, and want to ensure that it can handle what you throw at it. There are various levels of builds, which one you choose will be dependent on your over all goals.

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Last edited by Forty04; 08-04-2008 at 05:14 AM.
Old 08-04-2008, 05:07 AM
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Its great to have a beater car as well, as you never really know what will come up during an install. Having to work for parts sucks. Plus, taking your time and really making sure that EVERYTHING is in full working order before going in for your tune is never a bad idea.

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Hope this helped. If you can think of anything else, please PM me and I will update the thread. Thanks for looking

Last edited by Forty04; 08-04-2008 at 05:14 AM.
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