Well, after finishing off the interior of the car, including carpeting and a new sound system, it was finally time to move on to the fun part: The turbocharger kit.
I did an unboxing video for the very incomplete kit a few weeks ago, you can find that video here.
Now has come time to actually install it. Step one was get the car up in the air and taking the nose off and removing the tires. Step two was to remove the lower exhaust cross-under pipe, and step three was to mock the new up-pipe in. In what would become a sign for the rest of this build, none of it fit.
Here’s the reality of Ebay Turbo Kits: They’re a giant pain in the ass. They look shiny on the screen and they’re cheap, but they’re missing GOBS of important parts, and come with no instructions. Everything you save over going with a reputable all-in bolt on kit is lost in time and fabrication materials. Sadly, a “good” kit doesn’t exist for the Probe, so I really had no choice but to go the Ebay route. But I knew what I was getting into.
So, first in, the transmission cross-member that runs front-to-back and holds the front motor mount has to go. That leaves the engine hanging by three mounts, which won’t be enough. I’ll have to fabricate a new cross-member and motor mount.
The cross-under tube, as bent and welded in the kit, pretty much requires the oil pan to not be there. I had to make spacers from 1/4″ steel plate to lower the tube so it cleared the pan. Almost nothing lines up perfectly, so everything has be loosely bolted together until you get all the nuts started, then you can start cinching stuff down and it pulls together. The entire weight of the assembly hangs off the headers.
Doing a cold air intake is going to require removing the radiator overflow bottle. I’m probably not going to do that.
My Ebay oil cooler sandwich adapter came with the wrong thread mounting nut, so I had to order another one. Adapter that is. I can’t find anybody that sells the nuts individually. Grrr.
There’s no replacement radiator that fits in the hole (you cannot add 100+ horsepower to a car without upgrading the cooling system, no matter what some chump on the Internet says), so I had to cut out the lower portion of the core support and will have to fabricate a new lower core support to hold a 1.5″ taller radiator.
I did get the drain fitting welded into the oil pan. A bulkhead fitting couldn’t work as the pan doesn’t have any flat spots on it.
Oh, and they welded the tail end of the down-pipe on 180 degrees out:
So, I’m going to have to cut that off, rotate it 180 degrees, and weld it back on. I’ll also have to extend the mid-pipe.
So, one weekend in, and here’s were it stands:
I am now waiting on parts: radiator, intercooler, and cold side pipe kit. I’ll be hitting up Metal Supermarket tomorrow for some 18ga steel sheet and tube so I can rebuild the lower radiator support and make a new motor mount, along with bracketry for the oil cooler. Exhaust wrap is also on the way, so I’ll be taking all of this back off to wrap it once I’m done mocking everything in place. After that, I’ll have to pull the intake manifold off so I can replace the fuel injectors, and figure out a way to get a filter on the front of the turbo. Beyond that still is a blow off valve, the wastegate solenoid and wiring, and fortifying all the stuff near the host side against heat. And then I get to cut a hole in the hood, repair the nose, get it all back together, THEN get it tuned. All in time for my first events in March.
Ebay turbo kits are a LOT of work. Eyes wide open, folks.