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Old 03-02-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,969,097 times
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The talk of TURBOS is my field. A factory assembly line Turbo is about the size of a mans fist in some small cars. I have a Turbo on my 66 VW bug that is the size of a Alternator.

There are different brands and models of Turbos on the mkt. Each is designed for a specific "cc" or Cubic inch engine. It is possible to have too large of a Turbo with negative results...or one that is too small in some instances.

Turbos are exhaust driven with either a Blow thru or Draw thru setup.

911 Porsches run two (one for each bank) instead of one large unit.

On my bug I have the Draw thru side draft Weber matched for the Turbo I'm using. The engine and Turbo setup is over 15 yrs old and has about 25,000 miles on it and still going strong. I'm retired and do not drive that much. One secret is to change oil often to keep the Turbo bearings clean.

As a VW mechanic I blue printed and balanced the engine for it's longevity. 200 HP is still pretty good for that small size engine.

Expensive proposition for sure...only worthwhile if a person intends on keeping the car.

A little out of the OP's intentions but felt a need to respond to a couple of posts re TURBOS and their usage and life of service etc.

The one advantage of a Turbo is that it is there when needed and only cuts in under BOOST conditions or for quick exceleration in traffic.

Steve
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:44 PM
 
Location: SWUS
5,414 posts, read 7,633,076 times
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Actually, Steve, the car I plan on modifying will indeed have a turbo installed at some point. I would love to know more about turbos and how they work- always been curious and heard some things, but not exactly sure.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: SWUS
5,414 posts, read 7,633,076 times
Reputation: 5781
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Yeah, my screen name is the same one I was using in forums like S14.net before I got on this forum. My weekend car is an 88 M3.

Sounds like you are a complete greenhorn, which is where we all start out. But at least you are an honest greenhorn, so should be easier to teach.

One recurring mistake young guys starting to get into cars make is to way underestimate the cost of whatever project they want to get involved with. If you are still in school, honestly get yourself a car with enough cool factor "out of the box" that you won't feel like you have to start modding away until you graduate. There is more satisfaction in a solid, decent bone stock Celica for example, than there is in a clapped-out Supra. Get something with a stickshift, it's more engaging to drive and less prone to come at you with an expensive repair from out of nowhere.

But even when you are experienced and relatively prosperous, as Clint says, "A man's gotta know his limitations" - so I have a decent but pretty much stock M3, and an MG-B that's rather dog-eared but drives well enough, rather than find a cheap Testarossa for example. Roughly 5 to 10K will get you a damn decent to excellent B, 15 to 20K will get you a damn decent M3. I'd be and was more particular about existing conditon on the M, because parts are more expensive. You might have a decent time fixing up a $1000 MG-B, provided you are not getting it that cheap because it's a hopeless rust bucket, but a 5 to 7K M3 generally provides an ownership experience that would make a saint cuss. Friend of mine has a good Testarossa, I'm here to tell you a good, sound driver, not a concours car, will set you back 50K one way or another. The TR you can buy for the cost of a good M3 is a train wreck headed for your garage.

Infrastructure. It's hard to keep a car up, much less improve it's condition, unless you have at least a rudimentary garage. Tools you can and should buy, if you get good stuff when you are young, it will still be good when you are older. Unless you are able to cut a huge check to a real restoration shop, you need to forget about paying repair shops to do anything serious to improve your car. I can think of a few outfits that you can farm out stuff like rebuilding a BMW tranny for example, without being rich, but for the most part you will have to be the overall project manager on your own car projects or they will eat you alive cost-wise.

Where are you at? If you are in rust country and a student, my first choice would be avoid owning a car at all till you can flee the salt belt, if you just *have* to have a car, a plain beater is what you want. Rust never sleeps.
I am in the southwest.

The reason I ask about your BMW M3 is because that is the car I would like to kit out- The plan is to buy a used M3 (or, if not, a 3-series) that I could have a little fun with. I've got a hard limit of the amount of cash I would like to drop into the car, because I know that BMW M3s generally come very nice out of the box.

Sounds like overkill, I know, but just minor things. I would like to boost horsepower a little, and make it a fun car to drive (I love driving, I have an 04 Nissan Xterra that I love the hell out of. Driving with the windows down and the music up on a beautiful day really lifts my spirits )


I'm not planning on doing this for another few years, no, I won't do it while I am a student, that would be stupid (unless I come into some serious coin and knowledge, somehow.)

When I get to doing this, three or four years from now, I would like to be able to do it at home- the garage on the family ranch has a very large workspace, some stuff would need to be sorted out, but I could probably work on things in there.


Please PM me all the details of your car, please, please please. I <3 M3s and they have pretty much been my favorite sport luxury car since I was old enough to know what it was (hope the grandmother doesn't see this, she drives a Porsche and I love that car too, but what work can be done on a car like THAT???!)


Jordan.


P.S.

More advice is always appreciated. I really do want to learn, guys.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,420 posts, read 42,768,615 times
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No particular need to DM info on my M - it's essentially a bone stock M3, 1988 year, US market model, Alpinwiess II color. Steering wheel and shift knob from Momo and a DTM type muffler are it for mods, unless you count the M-cloth inserts the PO put on all the seats.

Take a look at S14.net, there is more about the "real" M3 there than anywhere else that I know of.

Meantime, if you like German cars, seriously, how about either an aircooled bug or maybe a 1980's Golf? Being in the Southwest means no rust, if you grew up there you don't appreciate the advantage. But it's huge.

If you eventually want to turbo an engine, if you want to do one that didn't come out of the box with a turbo, the old 8-V VW engines in Golf/Scirocco cars is a good candidate. You do have to start with an engine in good shape and I would suggest at least in your first iteration stay with relatively mild boost. But the low compression, the air flow meter mechanical high pressure fuel injection, and considerable extra under-hood room make them a natural.

You could get a Golf and just go through it staying stock while in school, learn and do the turbo later.

If you really want to learn, see if you can't get a job at least part time at a car shop.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 20,306,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanJP View Post
Actually, Steve, the car I plan on modifying will indeed have a turbo installed at some point. I would love to know more about turbos and how they work- always been curious and heard some things, but not exactly sure.
Simply put, a turbo is an air pump that runs off of spent exhaust gasses. The idea of the turbo is to induce more air into an engine than the engine could intake in under naturally aspirated.

In short, the turbo merely "crams" air down the throat of the engine. Then when additional fuel is introduced, you now have more air and fuel in the engine than the engine could have in-took on it's own w/o the assistance of the two. The result is more power.

Turbos and superchargers are known as "forced induction" meaning they push air into the engine. Without either, the engine is known as a "naturally aspirated" engine, which relies on atmospheric pressure.

The difference between a turbo and a supercharger is a turbo, as mentioned, uses exhaust gasses off the engine to drive the turbine which in turn draws in fresh air, pressurizes it and then shoves it down the engine's throat. A supercharger on the other hand, is driven off of the engine's power (usually off of the crankshaft pulley or sometimes off of the accessory belt drive) and does the same thing as a turbo; it too pressurizes the incoming air then shoves it down the engine's throat.

Turbos and superchargers do have their pros and cons; with turbos there's a brief amount of lag until the turbo spools up, but it's relatively free hp. Superchargers on the other hand don't have any lag but they do eat a little bit of the engine's power to make power.

Both turbos and superchargers allow you to essentially make more power without the added cubic inches. HOWEVER it is VERY important to have the correct fuel and air ratio on a forced induction engine. Meaning you have to have adequate fuel pressure and volume and so forth. When you add a turbo or supercharger, you add more air and now you must add more fuel to make up for the added air or otherwise the engine will run lean and detonate. That in turn can lead to catastrophic engine failure.

As a newbie I don't recommend you start off with a turbo car for a first time performer. Wait til you get your feet wet. Hopefully this will help you some.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:49 PM
 
Location: SWUS
5,414 posts, read 7,633,076 times
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Oh, no. I would never try and do a turbo for a first time hobby car. I'd want some experience first.

How would one go about getting a gig at a car shop?

"Hi, my name is Jordan, I don't have any car-related experience but I am more than willing to learn" ???
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,420 posts, read 42,768,615 times
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Well, maybe enrolling in a community college auto tech course first?

If you have the right attitude - "I'm Jordan, I want to learn the car biz, no experience in the car biz but I do have experience in X, I have references Y, I learn fast, I'm willing to start at minimum wage." - something like that might work.

The kind of stuff you usually do as a newbie is not rocket science, do oil changes, wash cars, other simple stuff.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,642,251 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
In fact, a turbocharger on a gasoline engine shortens the engine's life by many years and miles.
Most car with factory turbo has reinforced engines due to that reason, which is why it's always important to make sure the engine you're going to turbocharge is strong enough to take it. Many people have gotten burnt putting a turbo on a N/A "L Impreza engine, thinking it's identical to the 2.0L Turbo in the WRX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanJP View Post
Porsche and I love that car too, but what work can be done on a car like THAT???!)
Oh a lot, but usually not in some DIY barn or garage.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Incognito
7,001 posts, read 18,176,073 times
Reputation: 5442
From my experience I would highly recommend you buying an already-souped-up-from-factory vehicle (i.e. Imprezza STI, Supra Turbo, 350Z). After that all you got to do is just upgrade a few things and not the complete car.
Also, do research and get to know every square inch of your car. Familiarize yourself with it, become one with the car.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:43 AM
 
Location: SWUS
5,414 posts, read 7,633,076 times
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But that defeats the purpose, any old person could go out and buy a factory-tuned vehicle (Toyota Supra Turbo, anyone?) but the point of me modifying a car is that it becomes unique, a car that is truly MINE and mine alone. Modifying it myself would make me familiar with it and make me one with the car.

I love the BMW M3/3-series, so if I can modify one of those, I would be extremely happy. I have a plan for it, down to the paintjob, rims, and tires... but, performance parts come first, aesthetics later.
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