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Thread: 78/75 turbo build

  1. #1
    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    Default 78/75 turbo build

    Starting a thread to document the build and help anyone else who goes down this route.

    Short history about the car, I bought it almost a year ago with bolt ons, and put a cam in it a couple months later. 400whp got old quick so I bit the bullet and started a turbo build.

    I was torn between this and an LSA, but this build is a fraction of the price and I hate cookie cutter builds. Everyone bolts an LSA on and goes 10's. That said, it is MUCH easier to go the LSA route. Turbo's are uncommon and I really see why, everything is custom and there is NO room in these engine bays for a single turbo.

    5th gen camaros are similar, but have enough room past the AC compressor to squeeze a 3" downpipe through and run the crossover under the motor. SS's have electric power steering and much more room near the airbox area. The G8 requires some creativity.


    Quick overview:
    -600whp goal. Should do 700+ with a better fuel system.
    -VSRacing 78/75 (unbranned on3)
    -Decapped stock injectors (details below)
    -walbro 450 in the stock bucket
    -E54 fuel
    -Stock manifolds with Vbands, drivers side flipped up/forward.
    -2.25" hot side, 3.5" downpipe with a Y pipe to 3" duals
    -3" cold side, bumped up to 3.5" at the fuse box to the throttle body.

    The driveline is being pushed to the limits, I know. This is purely a street build for now, to burn some 11s and make choo choo noises. Ill throw a DS, diff, and axles at it if I ever track the thing. I have a track car build in mind so this may stay a 100% street car, time will tell. If I get crazy, it will probably end up with rods/pistons and a 4l80 to push 800-900whp, but that is way down the line.

    Cam and DOD delete from last year


    Bought a bunch of ebay shit. The parts that matter are US sourced (fuel pump, etc)



    Mounted the intercooler and started some plumbing


    Decapped the injectors and had them flowed. Really happy with the numbers. This was purely a gamble honestly, for $60 I gave it a shot though. If they were way off I had some 80+ lb injectors ready to order.



    Put the walbro 450 in the stock bucket. I accidentally tossed the regulator cap (dumbass) and had to 3d print a new one. Im not confident in the PLA holding up to E54 so I also machined one from steel to replace it. I don't want a cheap part like this leaving me stranded.



    3d modeled the drivers hot side bend. Too tight for a mandrel bend, so I printed some templates and fabbed a lobster.



    Most of the cold side piping is done, threw some header wrap for shiggles to see what it will look like.


    Wired up the flex fuel sensor, reading 9% with 1/2 a tank of arizona's finest 91 octane.


    Mounted the relocated coolant res. Just a simple bracket out of some 14 gauge steel.



    Welded the LS7 MAF bung and cleaned/shortened up the wiring to the passenger side. No it doesn't leak, I know it looks like it in the corner.


    Managed to squeeze a 3.5" DP past the steering shaft


    BARELY got a 4"-3.5" 90 degree coupler on the turbo to a big spectre filter in front of the tire.


    It's an understatement when I say there is no room in these engine bays. Literally everything has been a compromise or simply putting shit where it fits. If I built a custom drivers manifold it would've helped with the turbo location, but Im happy with it so far.

    The DS manifold is right in the way of the coil packs so they are getting relocated. Hopefully Ill have the hot side done this weekend, and next week and I can get the downpipe connected to the existing 3" duals. After that it's just a lot of little things and tying up all the loose ends. Fingers crossed Ill have it running in a couple weeks, I want this thing running/driving/tuned by mid-May at the latest. No rush?

  2. #2
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    This is exactly what I'm planning on doing!!!!! How did you route the passenger side exhaust?

  3. #3
    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    I'm not done with the crossover yet but its going under the subframe unfortunately. I'm not thrilled about it.. Long term, I will relocate the AC compressor up top and put the crossoverwhere the compressor was.

    Didn't get much done this weekend, I needed a 2.25" vband that didn't shop up until today so the hotside work got delayed.

    Coils are relocated and I started heat wrapping anything near the hot side

    Last edited by gatorayde; 04-17-2017 at 07:41 PM.

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    I'm looking to run a c6 manifold on the drive side for clearance. Looks great for your first try. I will post up my build once I get all the hot side ports.

  5. #5
    Member Cole Trickle's Avatar
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    Nice....super aggressive project

    I went the chicken shit lsa route and it's still a pita finishing up the last 15% in a manor that I'll. R satisfied with.

    The only thing that really jamming me up is I can't find a heat exchanger resivor that will hold a decent amount of fluid and mount cleanly.

    I really don't want to go the cobalt ss route but things are definitely tight with the addition of the bigger crank pulley and all the idlers.

    The magnuson one I bought won't work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole Trickle View Post
    Nice....super aggressive project

    I went the chicken shit lsa route and it's still a pita finishing up the last 15% in a manor that I'll. R satisfied with.

    The only thing that really jamming me up is I can't find a heat exchanger resivor that will hold a decent amount of fluid and mount cleanly.

    I really don't want to go the cobalt ss route but things are definitely tight with the addition of the bigger crank pulley and all the idlers.

    The magnuson one I bought won't work.
    Grab one off a Mustang and mount off the top of the radiator.
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  7. #7
    Member Cole Trickle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcmGT View Post
    Grab one off a Mustang and mount off the top of the radiator.
    I have looked at a couple of those...any pics of a fabricated one? The way it mounts?

    I'm not half assing anything I want everything to look like it belongs.

  8. #8
    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headed-ws6 View Post
    I'm looking to run a c6 manifold on the drive side for clearance. Looks great for your first try. I will post up my build once I get all the hot side ports.
    Thanks. First turbo build, but far from my first rodeo doing fab work or tuning lol.

    If you have the tools/time I would just build a custom manifold, the C6 outlet looks like it dumps straight into the AC lines. Worth a shot mocking them up if you already have em though. Having the outlet between cyl 1 and 3 would be ideal, gives you room to build the drivers side exhaust and still have room to work with for the down pipe (as long as it hugs the block like the G8 mani's)

    There's probably a perfect way to fit a T4 single in these, but it'l take some creativity.

  9. #9
    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    Got the oil drain fitting figured out, really tried to stay away from using a 90 but the frame and AC lines run right underneath the turbo



    Crossover and wastegate are buggered



    1/4" of room between the compressor outlet and the tire at full lock. Did I mention these engine bays are unforgiving for turbo locations?

  10. #10
    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    Worked pretty much all day to get this thing done. I would've fired it but I need a 90 degree fitting at the turbo, for the feed line. All that's left is to connect the downpipe to the existing 3" duals, paint any bare metal (brackets and intake, etc), and tie up all the little loose ends while it gets reassembled. All goes as planned I should be tuning it next weekend.

    Spark plug wires are crimped, shrouded, and routed. Oil drain/feed is 99% done, cold side plumbing is 100% done.


    Finished the turbo snuggie


    I ran out of heat wrap and safety wire with literally 2-3" left to go on the down pipe, the last piece I needed to wrap.. Are you kidding me?

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