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Turbo Upgrade - Part Two! March 2012

Before we get started, I did a little something different with this update, something I've been wanting to do for years- a video update! Here it is!

Hello friends, in this update we're getting down to business on the turbo install and making some sparks fly! So, speaking of turbos...

Look what the FedEx man brought! Hey, whatcha got there?

Ok, it's not a bowling ball...

It's my new Precision Turbo & Engine Billet 6266 CEA Turbocharger! Here's the specs:
  • Billet 62mm inducer compressor wheel
  • Ported S compressor cover with a 4 inch inlet and 2.5" outlet
  • .63 A/R T3 Turbine housing with a 3" V-Band discharge
  • 66mm, 76 trim turbine wheel
  • Sprinkled with unicorn tears for 31% more magic than previous versions!

  • Here's a shot of the turbine housing and lovely V-Band turbine discharge.

    A close-up of the new CEA turbine wheel that's both lighter and more efficient than the previous versions.

    My manifold studs and nuts were stock replacements from back in 2003 and were ready for retirement. This FP stud kit will do the job well.

    In Part One you probably noticed the "blank" wastegate mounting tube on the ERL turbo manifold. After looking at the various options, I chose to mount my Tial 40mm wastegate flange directly on the pipe. This was the only way that I could fit it in the space provided after lots of measuring and noodling on my part.

    After that decision was made, it was time to cut a few inches off of that nice, thick, shiny new cast stainless pipe. Nervously, I tightened the manifold in my vice, placed a new blade in my sawzall, put on my safety glasses and assumed the position. I felt sick, like I was about to saw my own arm off. After about 10 minutes and lots of penetrating oil to cool the blade, the cut was made.

    After cleaning it up a bit with my file it was time to weld the flange to the pipe. This is one of those times when it's important to know the limits of your talent. In this case, there was no way I could weld this up properly with my welding expertise and modest equipment. So I took the bits to a local fabricator who did the fabulous job you see here. Folks, this is why we have professionals in this world!

    Let me introduce you to my friend and helper, Torch! He's helped me before but never on the old Talon. Torch is my giant Lego minifigure flashlight that I purchased for my kids, but quickly claimed as mine after I found him one day, armless and alone under the couch. Thankfully, like his smaller brethren, arms pop back on without worry. Here he is bolting on the Tial wastegate to our newly mounted flange.

    Mmmm, yesssss.

    I love V-Bands so much. After using them on my Turbo Miata's turbine discharge, I was sold! In this case, the PTE turbos use a 3.1" setup with a unique beveled edge, so a generic 3" no name V-Band isn't gonna fit. I ordered this one from a PTE vendor and the fit was perfect. The weld flange was well designed too, fitting right into the 3" ID exhaust pipe I'd be using.

    Mmmm, yessss. Again.

    Allright, let's see what we need to do here. I need to make a piece of pipe to connect the turbo discharge to the existing downpipe, but it's a good bit easier than it sounds. This manifold does a great job of mounting the turbo in a downpipe-friendly way. Instead of 2.5"-3" as we had before, we'll now be full 3" from the turbo back.

    Here's a look at the existing downpipe. The first order of business in mocking up our new discharge pipe is getting rid of the 2.5" flange and pipe to leave only the 3" section after the transition.

    Here are the parts we need to do the job- a 3" u-bend, our newly chopped downpipe and the V-Band weld flange that Mr. Torch is playing with.

    Time to cut some steel! Yeah!

    To make the tightest bend possible, but still retain the 3" I.D. throughout, I chose to use a series of pie cuts. I had practiced this technique before, but realized I was kinda rusty once I got into it. After a couple test cuts on scrap pipe, I started cutting up my good stuff. Here's what I had about midway through the process. The blue tape did a suprisingly great job at helping mock this up.

    Once I was happy with my design, it was time to tack it up for a final test fit.

    Here it is all tacked up, but before tapping on some of the pieces for better fit. I likely could've got away with one less pie piece, but it turned out ok.

    Here it is still red hot from all the welds. I realize I laid them on pretty thick, I figured it was cheap insurance given the extreme heat this piece will see. My next goal is to upgrade my equipment and learn to TIG weld. After it's all finished, I'll run a wire wheel and grinder over the welds to smooth them out.

    The next step was to mount up the turbo discharge pipe and see how close we were to joining it to the downpipe. We were close at this angle, but by shortening the downpipe by 1.5 inches we would gain a ton of room at the front of the engine. This will be critical speace needed for radiator fans, intercooler piping and the discharge pipe for the wastegate.

    The next task was to determine where to mount my stock and wideband 02 sensors. The shallow weld bung is for the stock 02 sensor and the deeper one is designed for the wideband.

    Allright! Here is the downpipe after taking out 1.5 inches before the flex section, re-attaching and rotating the bend, attaching my new discharge pipe and finally adding the two 02 sensor bungs.

    After cleaning up the welds on the downpipe and spraying it with some Dupli-Color low gloss black, I covered it from the turbo outlet down to the flex section with black exhaust wrap. The downpipe is now done!

    Up next were the radiator fans. Here you can see the setup I was running (top) compared to the new, thinner replacements. The new ones are about 2-3/4" thick, while the others were 3-1/2" and 4-3/4" thick. I really didn't need to go this thin with both fans, but the extra space is nice to have for the new, larger lower intercooler pipe and wastegate dump tube.

    Here they are mounted and spliced into the factory wiring for easy installation and removal.

    My old lower intercooler pipe was simply a 90 degree 2.5" bend that then connected to a 2.5"-2" steel reducer coupler and then a 2" 90 degre elbow that connected to the turbo outlet. To fix the unnatural bend that was being forced at the intercooler inlet and to make the pipe hug the front crossmember, I reworked it a bit by adding the 45 degree piece at one end and a straight extension at the other. Now the pipe is simple and is 2.5" from the turbo to the intercooler.

    The next task was modifying the turbo oil drain fitting. As you can see here the small, round drain hole doesn't come close to matching the large, square oil drain outlet of the Precision Turbo.

    Here's the same fitting after gasket matching it with a drill and carbide burr bit. I'm not sure how much of a difference this makes, but you have to imagine this helps the high volume of oil get in and out as quickly and easily as possible. After this picture was taken I smoothed the slightly rought areas with some emery cloth.

    I had a little conflict between the oil drain and compressor housing bolt. Rather than tilt the center section (which I wasn't too crazy about) I decided to grind down the bolt a bit to allow for the oil drain assembly to fit. Problem solved!

    The next hurdle in the way of finishing the oil drain was the stock front motor mount bracket. There was a little lip that interfered- a little work with the grinder would take care of it.

    Here's the modified motor mount with a little low gloss black to finish it off.

    After taking care of the oil drain, it was time to bolt up the turbo for good!

    Here's the new lower intercooler pipe assembly in place.

    Ok, with everything mounted up it was time for the next big job...finding a home for the wastegate dump tube. Eeek, it's tight in there!

    After a couple failed attempts, here's my finished product, brought to you by the always pervy lego man.

    Here it is installed!

    As always thanks for reading! Next time will finish up the remaining things on the to do list and hopefully fire it up!