Friday, March 19, 2010

Project Beater Update: Turbo Van

Procrastination be damned, I've mounted the powerplant into the turbo van. When I pulled the old carb'd motor out in November I envisioned the turbo mill taking its place about six weeks later. So much for meeting goals.

In my defense, I have gotten a lot done that I didn't initially realize was required. I naively thought all the brackets and accessories from the 2.2L could transfer directly to the 2.5L short block I bought. Oh how I was wrong. A half dozen trips to the junk yard later the motor has nearly all the little bits it needs to run. Then, I found a hybrid T4/T3 turbo on craigslist for the unbelievable sum of $50.

Six hours later it was mine. Of course $50 buys you a used Chinese copy of a hybrid turbo. I bought a different turbine housing to retain the stock exhaust manifold and get the turbo attached to the engine. This turbine housing is supposed to fit Garretts of this size and just barely doesn't fit the Chinese version. After I was talked out of modifying turbine wheels with a dremel I sent the housing off to Sheid Diesel for a minor modification. They sent the turbo back fitting properly and gave it a thumbs up from their visual inspection. When I mounted the turbo I realized the compressor outlet points directly at the cylinder head without much room to attach plumbing. To get the boost pointed towards the left I butchered an aluminum elbow, shortened the compressor outlet and Luke welded them together. Luke was the second owner of the van and his welding puts mine to shame. I know these turbos deserve their poor reputations but it was cheap and will hopefully make some power before it grenades.

Big projects can feel like emotional roller coasters and I'm feeling damn good the motor is mounted. Of course there's a ton of work to accomplish before my van produces any boost. The electrical and fuel systems need to be updated to accommodate fuel injection. The intercooler needs to be installed and plumbed and the radiator relocated to accommodate it. Plus I'll have to fix the brakes and whatever else this two hundred-thousand mile Plymouth needs. But all that will happen in the future and at present I'm patting myself on the back and enjoying a cold one.

Hat tip to Vaughan for loaning me the cherry picker and Dad for helping me guide the motor down without breaking anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment