|04-07-2009, 06:49 PM||#1|
jordan's massive turbo writeup - 256k no
Ok, so I have "completed" my turbo project. Though I'm sure this all is common knowledge for most of you, I am writing this because a thread like this would have helped me back when I was a noob. Sometimes, after months or years of being involved in the turbo-e30 scene, I feel that those of us who are familiar take for granted just how daunting and mysterious a task turbocharging was back when we were inexperienced. I just want to outline every component single component of my personal setup and point out any problems that I faced so that others after me won't have to (hopefully). Take my advice, as with any advice you read on an internet forum, with a grain of salt. I am by no means an expert.
Here is an album of about 460 photos taken during the course of the build. Many of them appear in this writeup. It is in psuedo-chronological order.
The m20/m10/m42 are all great engines in their own right. However, due to the brilliance of the factory engineers, there really isn't much you can do, short of a full-on, big-budget race build, to get more power out of these engines. The "bolt-on" route (chip/intake/exhaust) is never going to get you much power.
In the quest to make an e30 seriously fast, there are two main avenues. One popular option is an engine swap. S50/m50/m30 engine swaps are the most common. These are all great options, but they do not match the hp/$ value that FI offers. However, they do generally offer greater reliability and generally less headaches. http://www.r3vlimited.com/ is the main website for e30 engine swap info.
The other option is "forced induction" (FI). FI systems force air into the engine cylinders at a higher-than-atmospheric rate. Supercharging and turbocharging offer great performance at a (comparatively) low price. You can design your system to give you 200whp or 450whp (or 1000hp), for top-end power or low-end boost. FI systems can be tailored to meet whatever specific power demand you have, and they offer you flexibility if you decide you want more HP down the road. Turbocharging is by far more popular and more supported than supercharging in the m20 world, but I am noticing an increase in the amount of S/C builds that have been evolving on this website, though these builds generally require more fabrication and inginuity than turbo builds.
Simply, turbocharging is the act of using the wasted energy from the exhaust to power a turbine that pressurizes the air going into the engine. And of course, air + fuel = power. The more air (and subsequently, more fuel) you can push into an engine cylinder, the more powerful the explosion, the more power an engine will make.
The e30 is such a solid little car, with such a bulletproof drivetrain, that you don't need to worry about any of the components that may fail when turbocharging lesser cars. The engine, differential and getrag 260 transmission are easily capable of power levels in excess of 400hp if in good condition. Headgaskets are the only true weak-point, but there are several options for solving that dilema as well.
Kits Available Today
Where I bought stuff:
I'm a very budget-conscious person, so I tried to choose my deals carefully. These were the websites I most often frequented:
http://summitracing.com/ - huge selection of performance stuff. Almost every small fitting or performance accessory was purchased at this website.
http://azautohaus.com/ - I purchase almost all of my OEM stuff from this website. The best prices and fast shipping.
http://fap99.com/ - Another cheap OEM parts supplier.
http://ebay.com/ - Lots of poor-quality crap sold on ebay, but there are plenty of decent quality and brand-name stuff sold for bargain prices. Do your research before you buy. Also good for flanges, silicone couplers, and other little things you won't find at Summit.
http://e30tech.com/ - Look in the classifieds section, plenty of turbo setups being parted out. Plenty of good deals. Support your local community.
I started out buying a 1988 BMW 325is for $1400 from a guy in a local car-club. 250k on the odometer, repainted at some point, leaky HG, worn interior. Sold the borbets type A's that came with it for a few hundred dollars. Ended up with a cheap DD that I could park on campus without worrying about it. I was tired of caring about my low-mileage 325iC.
Here it is in rally-x mode. Yes, I rally-x'd a lowered e30. Twice. Tore the hell out of my 666 fab skidplate, but the oil-pan amazingly survived.
I began collecting turbo parts way earlier than I should have. I bought Corky Bell's book, and read it, but it didn't really sink in until I was actually in the process of building the car. I urge you not to jump the gun, like I did. Do more research than you think is necessary. Until you can conceptually visualize how each component functions, what it's purpose is, and how your choice affects the entire system, you are not ready to start buying.
I was initially on the fence about selling my turbo stuff, keeping the car N/A, and just driving the hell out of it. However, I had seen too many of my other people start on projects but never finish, and I didn't want to be one of them. One day I was talking to a friend about my plans for turbocharging my car and when I told him I would be doing it all myself he said "What? No you can't. No way." Of course I wasn't going to have anyone tell me what I could or couldn't do So I decided then and there to go through with it.
It ended up being a much longer, more involved process thane I had anticipated. Started the tear-down two days before Christmas, 2007. Car started up for the first time March 1st, but with some problems. Got her driveable by April 2008, but then the clutch couldn't hold the power, so she went back under the knife for a new clutch, which took a month to procure and install. Within a month the new HG blew due to a bad tune. At that point I decided to do a quick stroker, which ended up taking up a few months and $1800 dollars. Finally, the car was driving again, but then a mysterious oil-leak in November 2008 made me believe I had to buy a new turbo. This put the car down for another two months, for a problem that ended up being a bad catch-can, as I discovered in January 2009.
Of course it was all worth it when said friend was terrified during a 2nd-3rd gear pull
Metric threading sizing goes like this: M'a'x'b', Where M stands for Metric, 'A' is the diameter of the thing and 'B' is the thread pitch (distance between the threads). For example: M8x1.25. Size 8, threading 1.25.
AN is a type of fitting sizing that was developed for the "Air force and Navy." It goes in incriments of 1/16". For example, if you're buying -4an tubing, it's the same as 4/16" tubing (1/4"). It always has the dash in front. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN_thread
NTP is larger than general SAE sizes. I've got a few useless threaded barbed fittings because of this.
Tubing is measured by the inner diameter, not the outer diameter. A 1/8" vacuum hose has 1/8" diameter of space for air to move through.
Always take into account the pipes/couplers when ordering T-bolt clamps for your IC piping. Ordering a clamp with a max spread of 2 1/16" for a 2" coupler connection is not going to work, you'd need at least a 2 1/3" coupler I'd imagine. I have a couple of useless clamps because I forgot this. Just be aware of this if you're ordering off non-automotive sites like mcmaster.com.
Although I haven't had any problems with this yet, I am told that aluminum fittings should not support any weight.
Having never driven any turbocharged cars with a boost gauge, I kind of assumed that they would always be boosting. This confused the hell out of me when I finished my setup and the boost gauge wasn't showing any boost at all when I was puttering around the neighboorhood. In reality, unless you're accelerating, you won't see any positive manifold pressure. I would say, with my large turbo, 97% of the time my car is running on the street it is seeing no boost at all.
No matter how small or quick the grinding/cutting/dremeling job you're doing, put on safety goggles. Trust me.
When people say "take your budget and double it", they're not kidding. Add everything up, then decide if you would be comfortable blowing double that amount to make a reliable e30. If you're not comfortable, you should reconsider.
Measure twice, cut/weld/drill/grind once.
--------Engine - o-ringed m20 block, S-ETA pistons/crank, m20b25 i head, stock HG, Metric Blue headbolts
My first engine was a stock m20b25, stock headgasket, metric blue headbolts. It lasted about a month with a shitty tune at ~10psi before it blew. I ended up taking the entire m20 out and doing an engine refresh and rebuild.
1988 m20b27 "S-ETA" block - $200
1988 m20b25 "i" block - taken from the car
I had the m20b25 with 250k on it sitting in the car. Since it was out, I decided to increase the displacement and lower the compression with SETA 2.7L crank and pistons. The 1988 m20b27 is known as the "super eta", and those pistons are better designed for the "i" head. I had intended for this to be a simple plug-and-play deal, but I ended up doing an engine rebuild and spending another grand or two. There isn't really a benefit. If you've got a stock 325i engine, just leave it as 2.5L unless your engine is dead.
There are a lot of numbers thrown around on this forum, but these are the most commonly quoted (stock numbers taken from strictlyeta.net). Assumes everything is completely stock (headgasket thickness, no head shaving, etc...).
stock m20b25 = 8.8:1 CR
stock (1988) SETA m20b27 = 8.5:1 CR
stock ETA m20b27 = 9.0:1 CR
ETA m20b27 bottom end + i head = 8.3:1 CR
SETA m20b27 bottom end + i head = 8.5:1 CR
Roughly, lower compression means better acceptance of boost and more leeway when tuning, but poor off-boost performance. The general opinion on this forum that any stock e30 compression ratio is acceptable for boost (8.5:1-9.0:1), and 7.9:1 is OK but no optimal for all-around drivability. If you add a thick MLS gasket or shave the head your compression will change. Search http://www.e30tech.com/forum/ for more info on figuring that out.
I went with o-ringing as opposed to an MLS headgasket because it was cheaper and it is held in higher regard on this forum. However, both my head and block shop said that MLS gaskets were a better alternative. I was very torn, but I did end up going with oringing. Had I planned a little better, I would have welded the water channels on the head as well.
I also painted the block. I chose red (yes, it's red damnit) in honor of the red-block engine in the $500 volvo beater-wagon I bought to get me around during this project and because it is easier to track down leaks on bright blocks. I used VHT high temp header paint that I got at autozone. I needed 2 cans ($16, $8x2).
These cost me $37 shipped:
Metric Blue - grade 12.9 http://www.mcmaster.com/ part# - 91303A306 (3 packs)
Since the ARP headstuds hit the scene, MB headbolts have been shunned.
Here is the torquing instructions modified from the old Turbo FAQ:
Since those ARP headstuds ($259 - vacmotorsports.com) have come out, everyone has decided that Metric Blues are shit. I'm not sure if this reputation is necessarily deserved (the only reason I bought them was because e30tech in 2006 told me they were a must-have). I feel that there is a certain amount of band-waggoning on this forum that happens by people who may not know exactly what they're talking about. I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about once the discussion turns technical, but I advise you to take anything somebody says with a grain of salt. Even among performance professionals there is much disagreement about certain subjects.
However, saving money on something like engine hardware probably isn't the best idea, but I had already bought them as per the turbo FAQ instructions, so I decided to use them. Raceware headstuds are another option (turbochargingdynamics.com). I would have gone with studs this build, but a snowboarding trip reservation sucked up all my extra leisure money. Ah well.
Here is a rough list of other parts I replaced during the engine build, (in addition to the above parts, but not including turbo-specific parts).
Timing belt tensioner
Power steering v-belt
Intake manifold gaskets
Thermostat (72 degree)
Thermostat o ring
Vent tube o-rings
Oil pan gasket
Valve cover rgasket
Oil-level sensor o ring
Throttle position sensor
Engine temperature sensor (blue one)
Exhaust gaskets (more info in the manifold portion below)
Now, onto some basic build pictures:
TDC (top dead center) on block and head:
**** THE HEAD SHOULD DO ANOTHER 180 SO THOSE TWO MARKS ARE LINED UP TO BE TRUE TDC. ****
Also, let me point out the proper way to install the bitch tube.
--------Sparkplugs - NGK BPR8ES
Note: For initial startup, and tuning, some people recommend using stock plugs (they are hotter and are less prone to getting fouled). I did this, and then added my cold plugs later.
From the "Turbo FAQ":
Be sure to remove the little nipple that comes on the top of the spark plugs (shown removed in the above picture) BEFORE you install the spark plugs into the head. I forgot once, and felt stupid. You remove the nipple with pliers and a spark-plug socket.
The stock wires plug onto the threaded portion underneathe the nipple.
All NGK BPR8ES plugs I've bought were already gapped .025 by the manufacturer, so I didn't need to gap them.
If you don't already have one, you need a deep 13/16" SAE socket to get spark plugs in/out.
Your super-hot exhaust downpipe and running so close to everything create a problem. You don't want your coil blowing from getting too hot, and you don't want your plug wires to melt while sitting against the turbo. Here's my solution:
Thread a nut halfway onto a valve cover stud, then thread a long bolt into that nut.
This simple method allows you to use the factory spark-plug cover and keep all the wires as far away from the exhaust as possible. Looks factory-ish too.
In my continuing quest to protect the plug wires from possible melting, I installed "Cool-it plug wire sleeves" ( Summitracing part #: THE-14262, $34.99 for 4).
They seem a little short for my liking. If I were to do it again I'd buy some 8" sleeves from DEI, which would be longer.
And, for my poorly-placed coil-pack I installed a heat shield on that wire as well. The product I purchased was "Thermo-Tec Thermo-Flex Aluminum Heat Shield Sleeves" (Summitracing part #: THE-17101, $20 for 3 feet). I found that this product sucks for high-heat environments. It looked like shit after the first drive. Do not recommend.
--------Injectors - 30 lb/hr Bosch
I got rebuilt, flow tested Bosch "red top" injectors (30lbs) for $118 shipped off of ebay.
They swap directly in.From what I understand, 30lb injectors just about the limit that stock motronic can handle. They are stock on several fords (some Thunderbirds and Cobras I think). These injectors should safely handle 300hp with no problems.
You should definitely swap these in while you have the head off for the headgasket job. Pay attention to how you disassemble the fuel rail, because it's not completely intuitive how it goes back together (wasn't for me anyway). Other options would be 24lb injectors, which would be easier to tune with the stock motronic but obviously max out at a lower HP. If you're going standalone, you can (and should) go with bigger.
--------Manifold - 666 fabrications adapter
This is a very nice piece. John Volk is a great guy who really helps the community with his products. His manifold adapters are avaliable with a variety of turbo flanges and are avaliable w/ or w/o a wastegate provision.
It bolts right on to the stock manifolds.
The fit is very tight. I had to switch from studs to bolts (bleh) to fit the manifold on. You remove the old studs by triple nutting the studs (screwing 3 nuts onto the stud, loosen the first one and the stud will come out with it).
The threading is M8x1.25. I used 10.9 grade 30mm bolts from autozone. You need 12.
Some people have had to actually beat in the frame a little bit to fit it, but I didn't have to. I had plenty of room.
The stock oil cooler lines hit the adapter.
You need to bend one of them slightly out of the way. I covered the line with a rag and hit it with a hammer.
Also, the front exhaust gasket that sticks out over the manifold will hit the turbo. You need to cut it:
There are metal threads in this gasket, so I used a dremel cutting wheel. Be sure to cut it BEFORE you install it. I didn't, and I got brown gasket dust over everything in the engine bay. OR you could do what I did with my second build, and order 6 individual exhaust gaskets. These were not the easiest things to find. I found them at bavauto.com (for $6 each!) or fap99.com for $2.50 a piece. The part number: 11621723877
Where the turbo mounts:
Where the wastegate mounts:
--------Wastegate - Tial 38mm (knockoff)
Here's an amusingly shitty diagram of how a diaphram wastegate works:
I bought this from a friend who told me it was an authentic Tial because it had been sold to him as an authentic Tial. I later found out it wasn't, and I couldn't identify the spring, so I just bought an authentic 8.7psi (small blue) spring and stuck it in. You can find tial spring info for the 38mm here
I was pinching pennies pretty hard where I could on this project, and the cheapest place I could find tial springs were Here. $37 shipped.
Here is how it's assembled (non-connected flange connects to the dump pipe).
Here it is installed.
You should have two banjo bolts + 1/4" barb fittings with your WG. The threaded hole on the side of the WG takes a 1/4" vacuum signal. This is what activates the wastegate, so this needs to be installed. The threaded hole on the top of the wastegate is optional, and can be used for a boost controller. I didn't use it so I just left it open. This is fine. Don't block it off.
For the dump pipe, I ordered a 1.5" "J bend from summit. The part is SUM-621001 , and it cost $12. I cut and welded this onto the flange that came with the WG.
It took a few tries of tack-welding, fitting, then grinding off the tack welds, then re-tacking to get it perfect, but it turned out well aside from my shitty welding (first timer with a cheap flux core).
The threading for the wastegate flange is M8x1.25 . I just used two random bolts I had from my box-o-bolts. These would need to be at least 25mm I'd estimate. If you don't have anything lying around the garage, you could get some from Autozone/orielly's/napa for a few bucks. Later I painted it with some black, high-temp exhaust paint.
The WG uses 1/4" vacuum line. I bought mine from autozone. You could also get it from SummitRacing.com for $3 (SUM-230163). There are various schools of thought as to where the WG should get its signal from. It's fairly common to get it from the intake manifold, which is what I did.
I used a 1/4" hose barb with a 1/8" NTP threaded fitting from Summit ($4 GAR-J9027). I threaded this into my vacuum-line hub I created on the intake manifold connection flange.
--------Turbo - Holset H1C 16cm^2
This is a pretty common turbo for the turbo e30 crowd. It's from a Dodge diesel truck. I got mine for around $375 brand new.
Exhaust housing: 16cm^2 - this is pretty big for measly 10psi. I would go a little smaller if you plan to be autocrossing.
Exhaust Inlet: t3 split flange
Exhaust Outlet: 2.5" 4 hole
Intake Inlet: 3"
Intake Outlet: 2"
Exhaust outlet threads: M8x1.25 (use 20mm bolts)
Oil Feed thread: M12x1.5
Oil Return bolt threads: M8x1.25 (will come w/ drain kit)
You loosen this to change the angle of the intake oulet:
You loosen these to change the angle of the turbo drain/feed (you want pretty close to vertical):
Here are the bolts I bought at Autozone to go into my turbo. The threaded holes in the turbo don't go too deep, so anything more than 20mm, maybe 25mm, wouldn't be able to hold the flange to the turbo. They were about $3.
Different turbos have different exhaust flanges/connections. V-band, 5-bolt, ect..., so you will need to figure out your own setup.
--------Air Intake - K&N Filter
Since you're going to be pulling in air a very large rate, you want to fit the biggest filter you can fit. K&N filters are highly regarded. And, like with an N/A setup, you want it exposed to the most cold air you can manage. Some people have the air filter mounted low, and run the piping through the hold in the chassis where the A/C condensor used to sit. However, I ran my IC piping there, so I just left my air filter in the engine bay, behind the headlights.
Some people don't run an air filter. For a street car, that seems like a bit of a gamble. A good air filter should produce almost no restriction and protect your turbo from rocks/bugs/birds.
I measured the amount of space I had, and browsed http://summitracing.com/ to find one that would fill out the space.
I used a 3" 45 degree bend I had left over from my exhaust piping to connect the filter to the turbo. I needed a 3" coupler to connect the piping to the turbo, so I bought a "Spectre" coupler from Autozone. Though these POS couplers work for un-pressurized piping, do not try to use them for joints that see stress and heat. A friend of mine used a few for his turbo 240 and they all failed in one way or another.
--------Turbo Feed - -4an
-4 an or -3 an is a good oil feed size.
A common place to install the oil feed is at the stock oil pressure switch location. This is a 22mm switch that has a thread hole of M12x1.5. You can split off for both the turbo feed and the oil pressure gauge sender. (The turbo FAQ is outdated in that it still lists that you can double tee off this line and still retain the stock oil pressure switch. Summit not longer carries the female M12x1.5 adapter, and I couldn't find one anywhere else. I just removed the stock oil pressure switch since the oil pressure gauge is much more informative. My light didn't come on the dash either.)
The Holset H1C oil feed hole was also a M12x1.5" threading, so I ordered two of that fitting. Other turbos will use different feed methods/fittings.
Here is how it ended up:
You will notice the oil pressure sender is covered with black electrical tape. This is because I over-tightened the wire-connection bolt and it broke off and ended up . So I covered it with electrical tape and called it good. Looks ghetto, but it works for now.
I am not running a restrictor on this setup, though some people do to prevent too much oil pressure pushing oil past the turbo seals. I get around 20psi at cold idle, 5psi at hot idle and I have had no oil seepage. It's up to you.
--------Turbo Drain - -10an
The rule of thumb with turbo drains is: bigger = better. You don't want any restriction, so -10 an is a good size, and should easily support the flow through your turbo. No reason to go smaller than that, IMO.
SUM-230003 Hose, Braided Stainless Steel, -10 AN, 3 ft. Length, $16.95
SUM-220087 Hose End, 90 Degree, -10 AN Hose to Female -10 AN, Aluminum, Red/Blue Anodized, $15.95
SUM-220082B Fitting, Fuel Cell, Male Bulkhead, -10 AN, Aluminum, Black Hard Anodized, $12.99
Ebay seller: wyntonm - "T3,T3/T4 Aluminum Turbo Oil Drain adapter" - 5/8", 50.8mm bolt spacing - $18 shipped
** NOTE ** The braided hose I used didn't really work with the slip-on fitting I had going off of the turbo. I had to use a dremel to cut away the outer layer of stainless braid because it was just not going to slip over the barbed fitting. This ultimately weakened the hose and it broke at that fitting when I was removing the turbo one time. I replaced it with some nice rubber line
SUM-220789 Summit® Twist-Tite Hose, Rubber, Blue, -10 AN, 10 ft, $30.95
This was more flexible and much easier to work with. Highly recommended. Although it is also available in black, I prefer to get oil-related fittings and hoses in bright colors so I can more easily track down leaks.
I originally had two -10 an swivel fittings, one on each side of the drain. The drain side was going to attach to the turbo with a -10an adapter (similar to the one I used, except threaded). This would be most secure. Unforunately, the holset compressor housing is so close to the oil drain that you can't physically fit the -10 an fitting. Grinding the fitting down would not have been an option. This "slip-on and clamp" drain is the only thing I could find that would fit. It works fine, 0 leaks. Most turbos you should be able to use two swivel fittings though.
Here's how I attached the hose to the swivel head:
1. Put a very little diswashing liquid on the hose tip.
2. Take the red head off of the swivel fitting.
3. Jam the slightly lubricated hose into the red fitting. It should be pretty difficult.
4. Tighten the blue and red parts of the fitting together tightly. Viola! Leak-free seal!
The most common place to run the drain is the oil pan. Most obvious.
I have read it is preferable to have it above the oil-line. Mine will spill a little oil, but I think it's fine. I originally used a buldhead fitting, but it leaked, so I bought a - 10 an weld-in fitting ($8 shipped from ebay seller wyntonm) and had a local shop weld it on for $40.
NOTE: Be careful where you put the drain. It is best to be above the oil level, and make sure it doesn't interfere with any oil pan bolts (my first fitting totally blocked one of my bolts because I didn't think about it. Doh!).
Here it is finished. I cut 16 inches of hose for the drain and it is plenty long.
ANOTHER NOTE: OIL PAN REMOVAL You should take the oil pan off when you add the oil drain fitting. This is not a hard job. Simply unbolt one side of each motor mounts, unhook the radiator fan shroud (and possibly the ratiator hoses from the radiator, they get pretty stretched), and then slowly jack the engine up from the transmission.
Once the mounts are raised a few inches, the un-bolted oil pan can simply slide out without unbolting the oil pump.
There are 25 10mm bolts holding the oil pan to the engine block. A few of these are covered by a cover extending off the transmissio. When you take this cover off, remember which screw goes where. They are different lengths and it's important you know which one goes where when you re-bolt it. There are a few "star" headed torx bolts that need unbolting from the tranny, so you need the right socket (e8, e10, e12 or e14, they came in a $8 set from Autozone, don't remember which one I used. e10?).
--------Intercooler - Modified Starion
16.5x8x2.75 Mitsubishi Starion modified with 2.5" inlet/outlet. I paid $100 or so from a friend, who bought it from another member on here. 3" is about as thick as you can go with the stock valence w/o cutting.
I think this is a good size. It had two tabs welded to it so you could mount it. I grabbed some bolts and brackets off a 1984 rear bumper and welded them in place to hold it.
I lined the bottom of my IC up with the bottom of the front radiator support. This gives it good ground clearance and fits it flush behind the stock lip. The downside with this location (or any low front mount location) is that it takes up the space the stock oil cooler usually occupies. Currently I have the stock oil cooler mounted underneath the IC, which is a bit too low for me. It's a temporary fix I haven't really messed with this too much because I plan to upgrade to a bigger oil cooler mounted behind the grilles.
--------Intercooler piping - 2.5" ebay piping
2.5" is the standard for these motors. Good response and plenty of flow. Any bigger is overkill unless you're pusing crazy power. The general consesus is that e-bay piping is a-ok. I got my universal 2.5" black piping kit for $105 shipped w/ black silicone couplers and t-bolt clamps from "justintercoolers" on ebay (came in a "cxracing" box).
My impression with this kit was good. The black finish was just paint, which you need to be careful not to chip off. I broke two T-bolt clamps from overtightening, so you need to be careful with that. The silicone couplers are decent quality good.
My turbo intake outlet was 2". I bought a 2 inch to 2.5" silicone reducer to do this.
Here is my original turbo-IC piping setup.
That is one J bend, one 90degree bend and one 45degree bend. The piping runs through the ac-condensor hole. I cut a piece of hose and lined the hole so that the chassis and the tubing wouldn't be rubbing directly against eachother.
NOTE: The 666 fab manifold adapter puts the turbo very close to the inner fender. With the above setup, you will notice that the IC piping is jammed up against the chassis. You could possibly beat it in, but I didn't want to do that. I bought a 2>2.5" 90 degree silicone reducer and used that instead, with a 45 degree bend to connect it to the rest of the setup. This gave me much more clearance.
From the IC to the intake, I used a J bend and a 90 degree bend, which connects to my BOV pipe.
I had to cut a few inches into the ABS tray to fit this. There is nothing there, so it was no problem.
Also, I put some more hose on the edges to keep the metal-on-metal rubbing to a minimum.
If you are like me and you're starting off with a non-standalone system, then you're going to need to connect this piping to the AFM. I had one of these CAI systems lying around from when I took it off the car long ago:
You can get them off ebay all day long for $20. You can use the 3" adapter to connect your IC piping (with a 2.5">3" silicone reducer) and you can use the air filter for your turbo intake (if it's big enough).
Now, you have a problem with the stock AFM boot. Word has it that it blows at around 7psi. I am running 10psi. I didn't really want to spend more money on a silicone coupler and have to re-route the brake booster and ICV vacuum lines, so I just "modified" the stock boot.
Yes, that is zip-ties and duct tape. It has held great, no problems. Ugly as hell, but functional.
Once the throttle-body is pressurized, you may have a problem with the ICV and brake-booster fittings popping out when boosting (or leaking and screwing up your readings). My solution was to cut up a broken T-bolt clamp and drill/bend it so that it bolted to the throttle-body mounting studs and wrapped tightly around the loose fittings, keeping them from ever popping out or leaking.
There is another identical bracket on the other side for the brake-booster fittings.
--------BOV - Turbo XS knockoff
My research indicated that of all the cheap BOVs, Turbo XS knocks were very well reverse-engineered and very simple. They are highly recommended. I bought a Turbo XS RFL knockoff w/ adapter pipe off of ebay for $56 shipped. Seller was "wyntonm" (bought quite a bunch of stuff from him, good seller). These pop up in batches sporatically. Sometimes there are many, sometimes there are none. I wanted a "bolt-in" adapter pipe because I don't have a TIG welder so I couldn't weld anything to the aluminum IC piping.
The pressure signal is 3/16". I used a 3/16" vacuum hose coming off of a 3/16" barb on the vacuum hub.
--------Fuel management - TCD chip and Begi RRFPR
There are several reason I went with a mechanical fuel management as opposed to a stand-alone ECU:
1) Easier to set up
2) I got my chip and begi RRFPR for around $200 shipped, so it was cheaper. Plus, at that price I can re-sell everything at a later date w/ no loss.
3) I did not want to do my first turbo setup, my first engine rebuild, and my first standalone, all at the same time. Trying to diagnose a problem would have been a disaster.
4) I hate electronics work. If I decide to go MS at a later date, I will definitely be purchasing an rs4pro3 plug-and-play ECU.
5) I have modest boost and power goals.
Megasquirt is definitely a great option, and if you do your research and decide to go that route there will be tons of support for you.
But anyway, onto my setup. I copied the setup TurboChargingDynamics uses for their turbo kits. Turbo chip to retard timing, begi rising rate fuel pressure regulator increases fuel with boost. Although not optimal for optimal power and control, it certainly can be a very reliable and safe alternative to full stand-alone.
TCD chip. I trust TCD products, and Todd is always happy to answer questions.
Install is as simple as any other chip. Unplug the ECU, pry back the metal tabs that hold the ECU cover on, remove the plastic cover, gently pull up the old chip, gently push the new chip in. Note that I am using a 173 ECU with TCD's 173 chip. The 524 ECU will also work with Todd's 173 turbo chip.
Begi and Cartech are essentially the same company. They had some kind of a nasty split at some point I guess, so they bad-mouth each other on their websites, but their RRFPRs are identical from what I understand.
You put the RRFPR in-line in the fuel return line from the stock FPR (note the arrow on the bottom of the RRFPR). You keep the stock FPR with this setup.
By my understanding, it takes a pressure/vacuum signal and restricts the fuel flowing back into the tank, therefore increasing the amount of pressure in the fuel rail, thereby increasing the amount of fuel the injectors shoot into the cylinders. A regular FPR increases the amount of fuel at a more linear rate. Since boost increases power exponentially, you need a RISING RATE fuel pressure regulator to take boost into account and increase fuel accordingly. If you're going to be simple and go with mechanical fuel management, do it right and don't buy a static FPR.
The mounting screws on the bottom are 1/4"-20 Got them from autozone for a few bucks.
Here is a diagram of all the points of interest on the RRFPR setup.
HERE is the instruction manual for the begi.
Here is the tuning process briefly.
This requires a wideband. I did my initial tuning with the stock (hotter) plugs in.
Step 1: Install begi in-line on the fuel return line (top line on the FPR). After the FPR, before the hard line that goes back to the tank. Hook up the pressure/vacuum signal line (I tee-d mine off of the stock FPR line) and install the check valve.
Step 2: Put an in-line fuel pressure tester on the fuel FEED line (bottom line on FPR).
I bought 3 fuel pressure testers before I found the right one. Harbor freight. $15.
Step 3: Disconnect the signal line to the begi. Turn the car on. Adjust the top on-set screw (allen socket) until you have 45psi (more pressure = clockwise). Reconnect the pressure signal line once you're done.
Step 4: Pry off the cover of the AFM with a screwdriver (it's a bitch). Wait a few minutes for the car to warm up. Adjust it until you idle at ~14.5 AFR. This will depend on the size of the injectors you've chosen. For me, it was 3 clicks clockwise.
You can see below the paint marks in this picture.
Step 5: Reconnect the signal line. Drive the car. Adjust the needle adjustment screw until you feel comfortable with your AFRs. Clockwise = richer, counterclockwise = leaner. ~12.5 at full boost is a good safe point to shoot for. Once you have it drivable, take it onto the highway and log a long 3rd gear pull to redline to make sure that you're not leaning out up top or anything like that.
That is a rushed explanation of how to tune a mechanical FMU. The actual process took me a long time to get perfect. It will require some tinkering.
The big problem with mechanical fuel management is the motronic ECU and AFM setup. The AFM is not designed to read pressure, only flow. So it can't tell the difference between 1psi and 40psi. You working around the motronic system.
The biggest problem, however, is the warm-up phase. When you first start the car when it's cold, it goes into a pre-programmed map, which ignores the AFM tinkering. This map was designed for 14lb injectors, so it runs stupidly rich with 30lb injectors installed. THIS is the reason that I believe that people say 30lb injectors are the limit. AFRs are in the 10s, and it is not enjoyable to drive for those first few minutes. With 24lb injectors it would run better, but ~8psi is the limit with those smaller injectors.
--------Downpipe - custom 2.5" to 3"
The exhaust outlet was a 2.5" outlet. I bought this downpipe off of another member for $50. It already had a 3" adapter at the end, with an o2 bung installed. If I did it again, I would make mine from scratch, and have the 3" transition right at the start of the DP, instead of at the end.
Clearly, the WG port that was welded on wouldn't work for the 666 adapter I was using. I needed to weld the correct flange (t3 2.5" 4 bolt), block off the old WG port, and weld on another o2 bung for the wideband o2 sensor (didn't want to mess with wiring, but you can actually get the stock narrowband signal from the Lc-1 unit, allowing you to just have 1 o2 sensor). The Innovate literature suggest that the o2 sensor should be at least ~18" from the exit of the turbo so you don't damage it from the heat, and the bung should be placed between 9 and 3 (top of the pipe).
I got the mild-steel turbo flange with a copper gasket for $20 shipped from "mc-motorsports" on ebay.
Note: When welding near any threads, be sure to cover them, especially if you're using a shitty flux-core welder like me. When I welded on my o2 bung, I got some slag on the threads. Luckily, I was able to use a spark-plug cleaner (M18x1.5) to clean the threads.
Here it is after I installed
For those of you welding up your own downpipes, I thought I'd give you an idea of what kind of room you'd be working with with the 666 fab adapter (12" ruler):
On the downturn, you need to travel about ~16" to reach past the control arm. One 90 bend and a 3' section of piping should be plenty to get the downpipe out of the engine. I'd also recommend doing what others did and make it like an "S" bend, and include another bend to get it facing the end of the car instead of just straight down. This makes it easier to take the rest of the exhaust on and off.
The next step for me was to wrap it. This is important to keep engine temperatures down. Also, it was my first welding job, and it looked very hacked together, so I wanted to cover it up.
Here is the
summit parts list
DEI-010108 DEI exhaust wrap, black - $41.88
DEI-010202 DEI locking ties - $7.95
DEI-010301 DEI silicone coating black - $6.95
I also saw these products at my local Advanced Autoparts.
I felt that the locking ties were a waste of money. A few 2.5" stainless worm clamps would have held much better, been resuable and been cheaper.
First, I painted the downpipe with some black header paint. You cut the exhaust wrap according to the back of the package, then you soak the exhaust wrap for a few minutes.
Then you wrap it tightly with 1/4" of overlap, starting by clamping one end and then moving down.
I found the packaging slightly underestimated the amount of wrapping you'd need. I'd cut another foot or so.
Then, you paint it with the DEI high-temp silicone coating. Use as directed on the package. Viola! Done!
NOTE: You are supposed to "cure" the silicone coating at 400deg., but I didn't have a spare oven, so I didn't. I reasoned that the exhaust will be very hot and it will cure itself.
The exhaust wrap will smell after being heated by the exhaust. This will last a few days and it's normal.
--------Exhaust - 3" w/ Borla
Choosing a turbo exhaust is different than choosing a naturally aspirated exhaust. When designing an N/A exhaust, you don't want to go too big because you can lose the low-end torque. With turbo cars, the turbocharger is the big restriction, so there is no reason to restrict the exhaust past that point. 3" is the most common diameter for turbo e30 exhausts. It's more than big enough for most power levels and still allows for acceptable (kinda) ground clearance. Of course, if you're going after huge power you can always go bigger, or if you're sure you have modest goals you can go with 2.5".
I started by searching for affordable bends. I did not have the capabilities to weld stainless, and I wanted to do my exhaust myself, so I chose aluminized steel.
The best price I found for bends was this little 45/180 combo for $45 shipped from ebay ( seller: performance-curve ).
You can chop it up into two 90 degree angles and a 45 degree angle. I ended up having the 45 degree left over.
For the rest of the piping I decided it would be cost prohibitive to ship a huge length of 3" piping, so I went local. I went to a shitty looking exhaust shop and bought 10' of piping for $30.
Next on the list was a muffler. My research showed that Borla was a very highly regarded muffler for turbo applications, both in sound and performance. It just so happened that a friend of mine had an new straight-through 3" borla that he had never used. He was very generous and sold it to me for just $40.
I belive it is a pro XS style and you can get it at summitracing ( BOR-40359 ) for $100 + shipping. I connected the borla to my exhaust with a pair of 3" C clamps from autozone (~$5 each).
A flex pipe is necessary to isolate any exhaust components from too much shock.
I chose an 3"x8" flex pipe with stainless mesh and aluminized ends (so I could weld it). $28 shipped from ebay's performance-curve.
*Note. A few nasty bottom-outs on the flexpipe have caused it to fray pretty badly. No leaks or anything yet, but perhaps a more expensive flexpipe would be less prone to fraying?
Lastly, I bought a 3" downturn tip (which I painted black) from autozone (~$6) and a few exhaust hangers (don't remember where I got them, ebay somewhere). I chose the hanging locations so that I could hang them to an existing threaded hole in the chassis in the back (near the CSB) and to the stock exhaust rubber exhaust hanger. The muffler actually fit nicely in the stock muffler hanging bracket. The more places you can have the exhaust hung on the chassis, the better supported it will be.
You can't completely tell, but the entire exhaust (minus muffler and flex pipe) is painted. I want to prevent the aluminized steel and my welds from rusting for as long as I can. I used silver and black header paint that I bought at autozone.
Here it is hung on the car (before the flex pipe and tip were added):
Since I've added the flexpipe it hangs much better (doesn't touch the subframe like it did before and that rubber exhaust hanger isn't stretched.
Here's a picture of the tip:
Can't see shit? That's because it's a sleeper tip
This is a very simple exhaust (very straightpipe-ish). I have never seen an e30 exhaust done like this. The only downside to running it like this is ground clearance (doesn't hug the chassis like better designs). However, I find that the only places I really scrape (if I'm careless) is the part just past the downpipe, where it wasn't possible for me to put it any closer to the chassis than I did.
This exhaust sounds fantastic. Paraphrasing a friend of mine. "We heard something coming up the street, and we thought it might be you. But then we decided 'Naaaah. It must a sports bike'". It really does scream in the higher RPMs. I personally don't think it's that loud in the cabin, but I have been told it is very loud outside of the car. I may add a glasspack muffler upstream of the borla to quiet it down a bit in the future.
--------Gauges and Wiring - VDO boost/oil pressure, LC-1 Wideband
Oil pressure is very important to an engine and the turbo. When you're adding another complex piece to the oil system, you need to have something more than the stock idiot light.
Boost is a given. You need to be able to monitor boost if you've just added a non-factory turbo system.
A wideband system is absolutely essential. A narrowband will not cut it. I can honestly say I would have been completely lost without my AFR gauge. I'd get a cockpit gauge if you're doing a motronic system, just because in my experience so far it's been good to keep an eye on AFR's so you know when the ECU exits the warm-up loop
If you're doing standalone or you have a lot of faith in your tuning you can just plug the wide-band into the laptop when you want to tune. I suggest you use a laptop to tune anyway, as you can log the AFRs instead of just watching them flash by.
Here is a parts list for my gauge setup:
An optimal setup would have had the oil pressure gauge (the most important gauge) in the OBC location so it was more visible, and the less important boost/AFR gauges in the ashtray location. Because mechanical boost gauges are fairly long, it was not possible to fit the VDO boost gauge in that location, so I had to compromise.
Since I've completed my setup, a great new product has been offered by our very own George Graves.
He does some great work, and these little bar gauges are perfect for things like boost or AFR.
If I were to do it again:
AFR, Boost and Voltage in the 3 little slots near the hazards, one in each color.
Oil pressure gauge in the OBC slot.
Oil temp and EGT in the ashtray slot.
You can never have too much information.
Where/How I ran my wires
I ran my wiring through the firewall near the fusebox. (This is a view from inside driver's side, near the steering wheel)
(Where the black vacuum hose and green wire are)
The easiest way to get these little flimsy wires to and through this tight space was to use a coathanger.
Stick the hanger through the grommet and into the engine bay, tie the wire/tube to the hanger, then pull it back through.
VDO vision series. 2 1/16". 0-15psi Mechanical.
If I were to do it again, I would definitely get the vacuum and boost gauge, instead of just the boost gauge. I bought the 0-15psi instead of the -30in-25psi boost gauge just because I thought it would be easier to see how much boost I was making if I was looking at a gauge with fewer numbers. In reality it's not practical to actually look at the gauge while boosting. That's what your passenger is for. Get the vacuum/boost gauge. Or better yet, get the little GeorgeG gauge.
Very easy to install. Like I said above, it wouldn't install in the ashtray position due to the long assembly behind the gauge face. See the difference compared to VDO oil pressure gauge HERE
I got my pressure/vacuum signal from the second fitting in the intake manifold vacuum hub
The pressure gauge installation kit comes with the line and the adapter that you need to install the vacuum line (CON-010).
Aside from the pressure signal from the manifold, you just need the power source and ground wire (for the light). Since I was removing the OBC, I chose the un-used OBC wiring harness for these. I chose the OBC backlight wire for my power source, so it would switch on with the headlights. IIRC, the gray wire was the power and a brown wire was the ground. Check these with a multimeter to be sure. It doesn't matter which terminal you connect the 12v and which terminal you connect the ground.
The VDO gauges come with two different bulb covers, leaving you to choose if you want red or green lighting. The red matches my interior lights very well (going for OEM look). Installation is simple:
Remove bulb housing from back of gauge using pliers (be firm but careful)
Slide bulb cover on like a condom
Oil Pressure Gauge
This gauge is also easy to install. I used an electrical gauge with a mechanical 0-100psi sensor. The rule of thumb for the m20 is 5-20psi at idle + 10psi for every 1000 rpm the engine is running at. 100psi should be plenty. No reason to go any less.
I installed my oil-pressure sensor in my oil feed line. The threading for this sensor is See the oil feed section for more info. I don't recommend my placement, I will end up redoing it soon once I have a little free time. My placement has been critiqued in that A) The sensor is weighing down on an aluminum T fitting that will likely break in the future B) The sensor is subject to engine vibrations that will likely break it after a period of time. So if I understand correctly, the sensor should be remote mounted on the chassis. My next oil-feed setup will reflect this.
Again, use a power and ground for the light. Don't remember which I used, but I again chose a power source that would only go live when the headlights went live (so the gauge would only light up with the rest of the console lights).
This gauge has 3 inputs for the sensor. These are marked power, ground and signal. The power needs to go live with the ignition (I spliced into a window switch) The ground signal should be clean. Signal is obviously the wire that you run from the sensor.
LC1 Wideband Controller and Gauge
This is the link for the innovate LC-1 wideband manual. It should be your main guide, with my writeup as a supplement.
It's long, but this is the most complicated part of a gauge setup. Important to get right.
Here's another writeup. It's for a Subaru, but the concepts are the same. I used it as a guide for my setup.
By the way, I have seen some confusion on what a Wideband controller is. In the simplest terms, it measures the amount ratio of air to fuel in the combustion mixture exiting the exhaust. It doesn't "control" anything, it merely gives you the information you can use to tune the engine. 14.7 ratio is stoichiometric, more than 14.7 is lean (less fuel than air), less than 14.7 is rich (more fuel than air). Like I mentioned in a previous section, with forced induction, rich is safe, lean is dangerous, stoich is only acceptable for idle and low-load situations.
A wideband o2 sensor differs from a narrowband o2 sensor in that it tells you an actual number. "Narrowband" o2 sensors (like the one that is in the exhaust stock) can only tell you "rich", "lean" or "stoich", but nothing more. This is not acceptable. While both 14.6 and 12.0 are "rich", one is very dangerous to the engine while under boost, one is perfectly safe. Narrowband simply can't give you enough information to safely tune an engine.
After a few months my wideband gauge freaked out and started giving bonkers readings (7.4 or 22.4). I did a full reset (as described in the above manual) and it was fixed. So try that before you buy a new sensor. Be sure to do periodic retunes as innovate recommends.
Alright, onto the setup.
For my permanent connections, I used butt connectors from autozone (all heat-wrapped). For connections that needed to be disconnected in the case of uninstall/modification, I used "weatherproof crimped .25" male/female connectors". This is also the size of the connections on the back of VDO gauages, so you can use them for that too. I bought these in 14-16 and 18-22 sizes (note, some of the LC-1 wires are even smaller than 22 gauge, I just wrapped this wire ontop of itself to increase the size, then crimped). I actually ended up spending like $40 just on misc wires/connectors for my setup.
It is important that the grounds for the LC-1 setup are done right. See the LC-1 manual for specific info about what's a "good" ground. If you're removing the stock o2 sensor, you can use that ground (it's a good one). Since I was still using the narrowband at the time of this setup, I grounded the LC-1 to the engine block. The ground wires for my LC-1 (6 wire, some are 7 wire) were blue and white. I ran these via 18 gauge wire to a mounting point on the oil pan. There are two bolt holes for grounding, one is used for the engine ground, one is unused. I got a perfect connector from autozone and ran the wires back into the cockpit.
Since I didn't have blue and white wires, I just used black wire and differentiated the two by using some heat wrap to put some white stripes on the "white" wire. I kept the two wires looking clean and together with liberal use of black heat wrap.
For the power, I used the little panel next to the fuse box. There is a constant and a switched power source in that box, so be sure to choose the switched one, otherwise your LC1 will be heated up all the time (bad) and draining your battery (bad). It was the green wire in my car. Butt connected/heat wrapped it, and ran it into the cockpit with the ground wires.
Images of the two grounds and power wiring going into the cockpit. Kind of redundant, so I'm making it clickable.
Power and grounds going through firewall (engine bay shot, near fuse box)
Power and grounds going through firewall (cockpit shot, above pedals)
Power and grounds w/ connections at the gauge location (ashtray)
Connected to the LC-1. Suffice to say: Red to power, white to ground, blue to ground.
Visual representation of what the LC-1 pdf tells you:
The black wire needs to go to the calibration button and calibration light. To be honest, I'm not sure if my setup is done correctly. Initially I thought my LED was just bad, so I got a new one, but now that one doesn't light up either (like it's supposed to), so I'm just not sure what's going on. I did it as I understood the innovate PDF file, which seems to be just like the Subaru writeup tells you to, but for some reason it just isn't working right. I'm not sure if it's just the light that is messed up, or if the button just doesn't calibrate anything. I'm a novice at electrical work, so it could be I misunderstood some basic concept that's screwing with my setup. If you have any suggestions at all, please let me know.
But anyway, here's my setup. Reader beware.
I mounted the holes in the trim piece next to the steering wheel. Somewhere out of the passenger's sight, but still easy to see. Really, you can put this wherever. You don't need to see it often.
From what I understood, the LED and the button should both share the same ground (spliced into the heater ground in the picture below) and both of them should get their other connection from the calibration wire.
And then everything connects up:
Shitty pictures I know. Pretty much, both the button and the LED get one connection from the ground and one from the calibration wire. Light doesn't work. Not sure what's wrong.
Visual representation of the ashtray gauges and cig lighter:
The purple wire from the wideband gauge needs to go to a power source that only turns on when the headlights are on. It's a dimming feature that makes it blend in better at night. Honestly, it doesn't really do much. It's optional. If you do decide to connect it, there is a headlight-switched bulb at the base of the stock cig lighter that will work just fine. I believe it is red and gray.
--------Oil Catch Can
What you need to do is block-off the throttle body at that point and then re-route your crank-case breather. You can get a "bypass cap assortment" for $3.48 at Advanced Autoparts, or anywhere else probably, and use one of those caps to block off the throttle body port. Here's a picture: (that's a view from right next to the ICV)
So you need some kind of a system to release this pressure.
Where do you re-route? There are several ideas.
Generally people use an "oil catch can". This normally just a simple canister with either 2 or 3 outlets and a drain plug. The input comes from the valve cover crank-case breather. You can run the catch can outlet...
1: to the exhaust (downside: you will not pass emissions with oil vapor burning in the exhaust)
2: to the intake (downside: introducing oily air into the intake piping)
3: to the atmosphere, which is what I did.
Initially, I had it routed to a cheap ebay catch can.
THIS WAS A MISTAKE
It worked fine for a few months. Then, when the catch-can was about half full, it stopped working completely. I spent several months and hundreds of dollars trying to figure out why my turbos kept leaking so badly, and it all ended up being the fucking crappy catch can. I removed it completely and routed it directly to atmosphere.
I am going to show you how I routed the crank case vent and mounted the catch can on my previous defunct setup, but again, I urge you not to use crappy ebay catch cans. Make your own or buy a real one from a legit company. And use a catch can with large, appropriately sized fittings (5/8" is the size from the crank-case vent).
The red arrows are on the line that ran from the intake manifold crank case vent to the catch can.
You see the line runs down, goes to the catch can (which is mounted on the bracket that holds the horn) and then goes out to a short line ending with a little filter (~$10 autozone).
Currently, my crank-case vent is just a 5/8" hose that goes from the valve cover vent down to near the front drivers' side wheel. It's like a little side bitty side exhaust puffing out vapors.
--------Clutch and Transmission - Spec Stage 3
The general consensus is that the stock clutch is only good for ~200whp. Almost any turbo setup you build is going to shatter that number, so you will need to replace your clutch. If you're doing any engine work, I'd recommend just pulling out the whole engine/transmission and get it all done at the same time.
Places to for m20 clutches off the top of my head
http://turbochargingdynamics.com/ - Clutch kits
http://specclutch.com/ - Clutch kits
http://dxdracingclutches.com/ - Clutch kits
http://kennedyeng.com/ - Very cheap clutch disc
http://bavauto.com/ - Vendor for the popular Sachs 618 pressure plate ( part number: 883082 618 )
http://clutchnet.com/ - Though not listed explicitly on their website, I believe they do sell m20 clutch kits
When I did the clutch, it made sense to go ahead and do a full refresh of the transmission. Luckily, Getrag 260 transmissions are very, very stout.
I went with a Spec Stage 3 clutch kit, mostly due to the fact that I got a great deal on one. This clutch is rated to 340ft/lbs of torque. I have heard a few negative reviews of this particular clutch, but as of now I have not had any problems with it (well, one, but that wasn't a fault of the clutch itself).
I will recommend that you replace all of the coolant lines that run near the transmission. I had a coolant line pop a small leak near the back of the block, and coolant started leaking into the transmission bellhousing. The coolant contaminated the clutch friction surface and the clutch began to slip very badly before I realized what was happening. Luckily, after fixing the leak, letting the car sit for two months (unrelated issue) and doing a few burnouts, the slipping was gone. Once or twice during WOT 4th gear pulls in the following weeks the clutch completely let go, but in the past 500 miles I have not experienced any slip.
Turbocharging adds a ton of heat to the engine-bay. After long periods of driving in hot weather followed by lots of idling, the car had a tendency to run hot. Up to 3/4 on the temp gauge. This was unsettling for me, and I decided to add an electric fan in addition to the stock clutch fan. (BMW has an electric fan connected to the A/C unit, but I had removed my A/C and that fan was too thick to fit).
I had a friend who generously offered to donate his pile of old volvo 240 parts. One of the things I received was a radiator with an electric fan bolted to it. By some stroke of luck, this fan happened to fit perfectly between my radiator and the I/C. 1/2" bigger in any dimension and it wouldn't have fit. Unfortunately I couldn't find any brand-name or part # anywhere on the fan, so I'm not exactly sure where it came from. I would have though it was OEM except for the way it was mounted.
The dimensions are (roughly) 16"x1.25", with the motor section being slightly thicker. You may be able to fit bigger in your setup, depending on your IC mounting. I could not have fit any bigger.
My fan mounted using two (I think there were supposed to be four, oh well) long little bolts. Once you have it placed where you want it, you take a screwdriver and pry a little hole in the fins to slide the bolt through. Do the other bolts and tighten the washer and nut on the back.
I was initially going to wire up a switch in the cockpit to control the fan, but I soon realized that BMW had already done all the work for me. Even though my A/C was gone, the A/C fan wiring was still around. This was perfect. The stock A/C fan is temperature activated, or it can be activated by pressing the AC button on the center console (this sometimes activates the fan, sometimes not, not 100% sure on this).
What the wiring connection for the A/C fan looks like:
My fan had two wires coming out of it, a blue and a black.
I simply cut the fan wiring (not too short), crimped on two female electrical connectors (from autozone) that fit with the fan's male connectors.
You can change the direction the fan spins by changing which A/C wire connects to which fan wire.
Red to black, brown to blue = clockwise (looking at the fan from the side the blades are shielded from.
Red to blue, brown to black = counter-clockwise.
The direction of blades dictated that I would want clockwise spinning so the air was pushing into the radiator.
The day after I installed this fan I went autocrossing. My car was being co-driven, and there were very few people out on that day which ended up being very hot. We were pretty much doing a hard lap, getting into the pits, idling for 4 minutes, doing another hard lap, etc... all day (19 runs total). Temps were still high, and did reach 3/4 a few times during the day, but most of the time it hovered at about 12:30 or 1:00, which was pretty good considering the harsh treatment. I'd still like it to be cooler though.
Final Thoughts on my project:
1. Don't do it.
2. Buy a TCD kit.
1. You need to decide if this is what you really want. My car, with maybe 250-280whp, is fast. So fast that it's almost impossible to enjoy it on the street. Boost comes on so hard and fast that if you actually boost through one or two gears you're going double the speed limit. With a loud exhaust and an open dump pipe, you are begging for police attention. My car is everything I wanted it to be, and it is very frustrating how little I am able to enjoy boost. Sometimes I wish I had something low-powered that I could flog to redline every once in a while without seeing the red-and-blue in my rearview. Consider this before you dump $5k into making your lovely little m20 useless. If I did it again, I'd go with a smaller turbo that would give me boost on the low end so I could enjoy it without being paranoid. I am looking for a V1 currently. You may as well add a good radar detector into your turbo budget estimate.
2. Seriously. In retrospect, I was completely unprepared for this project. It was a huge learning experience for me. Ultimately very expensive. Before I embarked on this project, I tallied up every single thing I would need, and came to just under $3k. In the end, I estimate I am somewhere around $6k including tools, things I forgot, the engine "while I'm in there" build and fuck-ups. Some of it was bad luck, some it was just rookie mistakes.
Off the top of my head, I have gone through two oil-pans (stripped the bung on one), three oil pan fittings (the bulkhead fitting I bought leaked, probably six different oil-return hoses, I am going to have to re-do my oil feed in the future, one headgasket (lean spike in the midrange), I've got one useless aftermarket oil-cooler in my bedroom, my turbo is too big, my cheap catch-can setup cost me $400 and wasted months of my time, I need to re-do my vacuum fittings (probably should be 90 degree instead of straight), I've got a small pile of useless fittings and clamps because I got the sizes wrong, I've had to re-do my downpipe because of my shitty welding. I hope this writeup will keep you from making the mistakes I made, but if this is your first time you will make frustrating mistakes and have to re-do things.
If I were to do it again, I'd buy a TCD stage 1 kit, add an FMIC, buy a TCD stage 2 clutch, TCD downpipe, have a local exhaust shop weld me a legal exhaust, add a rs4pro3 plug-and-play megasquirt system and do my optimal gauge setup. Would probably be around $6k, but it would be worry-free (aside from the MS tuning) and reliable. Everything tested and designed to fit, and if it doesn't you will have somebody to bitch at.
On the plus side, I can now weld, I know everything I didn't know about fitting sizes, and the next turbo setup I design will be much easier and less expensive. I know so much more about turbocharging and cars in general than I did two years ago when I started this project. Although it probably wasn't any cheaper to DIY, I don't know if I can put a price on all the things I've learned. You can online research all you want, you will never really know anything until you get in there and start tearing shit apart.
Wow, those last few paragraphs seem pretty negative. Actually, I love my damn car. On my all-season DD tires I lose traction going WOT in 3rd gear getting onto the highway. Huge grin, terrified passengers. Now that my car is daily-driveable and seems to be handling all the traffic/track/roadtrip driving I can throw at it without complaint, I am loving it more and more.
Update 4/8/09: Car weight is 2685lbs w/ full tank of gas and spare. The only weight reduction is A/C removal, Trunk tar removal and lighter exhaust.
Update 4/13/09 Auto-crossed the car. See video/photos below. Added writeup for electric fan addition. Ordered rs4pro3 megasquirt.
Update 5/14/09 Re-wired the LC-1. Started the writeup (to be completed soon).
Update 6/15/09 Finished the LC-1 writeup. Did an HPDE in my car. Megasquirt writeup to begin in next few weeks.
Update 4/17/10 Car runs again. Problem was finally traced to bad ECU. Thanks to yert315 for sending me a working ECU at no cost! Also thanks to funscrew and NakedBeast for pointing out typos. Megasquirt writeup will be starting soon.
If you think that I am in error somewhere feel free to PM me or post in this thread. This writeup is massive and has taken many months to compile, so it's quite likely there is outdated/wrong information somewhere. Or if you think I'm missing information that you or others might find helpful, let me know and I will add it to the best of my ability.
As with all project cars, I highly doubt I will ever be completely satisfied. As I undertake new projects (planned: megasquirt, boost-leak check, new gauges) I will update this thread with new writeups.
I will also be updating this thread with quarter-mile times, auto-x and track performance results, dyno results, exhaust sound clips, etc... as I get that information.
'88 325is turbo
President of UT of Austin Autoholics
Last edited by jordan325ic : 04-17-2010 at 09:53 AM.
|04-07-2009, 07:05 PM||#2|
E30: m-tech vert
Join Date: Feb 2006
Erik Johnson: Midwest AWD parts supply
M-TECHNIC fabric sold out
Shoes, mugs and mouse pads!
Untucked diving board crew member 666
"I am that ass-hole doing 95mph in a blizzard"
|04-07-2009, 07:16 PM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Besty write up that I have EVER seen on e30tech in a very long time.
|04-07-2009, 07:17 PM||#4|
oh wow. looks like i have some reading to do. nice job
|04-07-2009, 07:30 PM||#5|
Sultan of slide
E30: Her Royalblau Majesty
Location: Plano, TX
Join Date: Jun 2008
our setups are going to be like 90% identical, thanks for the bad ass write up... should definitely save me a few errors even though most of my setup is pre assembled from another user.
This is like there perfect motronic+boost write up. I demand sticky status, and owe you a beer if you're ever in dallas/ plano area.
|04-07-2009, 08:00 PM||#7|
E30: none atm
Join Date: May 2007
very impressive. i vote sticky.
as a side note, do NOT buy that same drain flange - i had one, and it broke in half. the quality was very poor, it leaked all over the place. maybe i just got a bad one, but i was definitely not impressed.
|04-07-2009, 08:01 PM||#8|
just finished reading your build. here's some comments:
regarding head bolts:
do not dip any head bolts in oil, just coat the threads with your finger or something. if you get too much inside the block, you will crack the block due to oil's inablility to compress. metric blues are great IMO
where did you get your turbo?
i'd like to propose an alternative to your oil feed. this adapter allows you to keep your stock oil pressure sensor and it's so cheap! both companies are great:
http://www.speedograph-richfield.com...ipe_lines.html item number TP6
|04-07-2009, 08:26 PM||#9|
You are correct. January 2009. Good catch.
I bought my turbo from somebody on this website. $750 shipped for painted exhaust manifolds, 666 fab manifold adapter and a brand-new H1C. Of course, 666 fab adapters were much cheaper back then.
Good alternative for the oil feed. It would be nice to keep the stock idiot light if you can help it.
Great. This is just the type of feedback I'd like to have in this thread.
I also like how somebody already left me negative rep for my 10,000 word writeup thread <3 the rep system.
'88 325is turbo
President of UT of Austin Autoholics
Last edited by jordan325ic : 04-07-2009 at 08:32 PM.
|04-07-2009, 09:42 PM||#10|
So let me get this straight....you spent over $4000 for a turbo build and the most important thing, you skimped on. I don't get why people spend so much on the motor, but then decide not to control it. Wouldn't you rather spend 1K build and get a 2K ECU so at least you can control it properly. Everything from performance to reliability to drivability comes in form of engine management. Not from billet pistons, Oring blocks, bling bling turbos, or mega bling manifolds.
Another thing, after all the rumors and stories about MB's being bad, you still had to gamble your 4K investment on 30bux studs when you clearly know new OE is better.
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