To turbo or not to turbo? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2004, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Age: 40
Posts: 1,121
To turbo or not to turbo?

Since I'm soon to be married and already live by a meager income, my dream of turbocharging my 5.0 Cougar has only the slightest chance of becoming reality. But nevertheless my fascination with forced induction using the inherent efficiency of an exhaust driven turbine has remained strong. Maybe it was all of the WWII combat aircraft I studied and daydreamed about, just the thought of a P-51 Mustang producing 1200+ supercharged HP from a Merlin V-12! Or it could have been the 2.3 turbo model kit I put together, a 1/4 scale representation of the popular Ford engine that motivated the SVO mustang's and Turbocoupe. Or possibly it was the T-bird SC I owned long enough to wet my appetite, just to think that little compressor spool on top and a mess of intercooler tubes could turn a mundane V-6 into a torque monster. More than likely, it is all of that history, plus my never ending thirst for perfection of efficiency, liberal application of useful technology and unfathomable power.

Now that I have the background out of the way, on to the questions I have for all of you experts…. Can a turbo be installed on a budget (ie: my just above poverty level income)? With all of the technical concerns, like matching the right turbo for the right application, engine size, etc, can the planning work be done by a rookie with no prior experience and no money for margin of error? And can a turbo be installed with a somewhat aesthetic appearance without the aid of expensive equipment or the experience of a gifted craftsman (neither of which I have access to)?

I do know all of the basic concerns and designs of a turbo installation, but do not have any experience or extra money. Would I be wasting precious money for something that will never fill my void for horsepower and use of technology? I have already taken my car from running 16.3's to one that can run 14.7's (with room to grow with a better matched converter and slicks) and I have mixed feelings of my results, I love the car…. But I could always have more! Is my turbo dream nothing but a mirage that will lead to an endless unfulfilled requirement for more?

(What is truly sad is, that those who have no money need to philosophy with each unnecessary purchase.)

90' Cougar Sport Edition 3.8 (RIP)
92' Cougar 25th Anniversary Edition 5.0
96' Contour Sport (RIP)
01' Jaguar XJR
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 01:50 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Vermont
Age: 35
Posts: 11,719
In short, no. A turbo system is quite complicated, with many parts that you can't really find very cheap. Your best option would probably be to find a used kit, or maybe a twin T3 setup if you can find a good pair that are the right size from a junkyard.

Here's what you need for a turbo kit (in general):

Headers or Manifolds
uptubes (manifolds to turbo)
downtube(s) (turbo to mufflers)
Custom crossover tube (hot side if single. cold side if twin)
intercooler tubing
turbo oiling lines
intake tube
Blow through MAF or relocate MAF
Cam (optional)

and I hear the stock 5L block (block itself) likes to crack...\

I doubt even with the utmost planning, you could build a turbo kit for under $3000.

Matt "Looks Like Egon" Davis
96 Alpine Green V8
98 Audi A8 4.2Q in Racing Green Totalled
02 Audi A8L 4.2Q in Black

I buy my OEM Ford parts at 10% over dealer cost from Steve in White Bear Lake, MN.
You drive "like a man possessed"... by a woman!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 08:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: St. Charles MO
Posts: 1,324

Take a look at the "Junkyard and DIY Turbo Tech" forum of the attach link for ideas and to see what other guys have done on a tight budget. It certianly helps if you have the tools and skills to fabricate your own parts.


1991 SC AOD 4.2..2.3 Whipple..........10.910 @ 125.61
2016 SRT Challenger Hellcat..................707HP/650TQ
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Age: 40
Posts: 1,121
Thanks guys, I'll probably have to forget turbocharging for now I guess my long term plans will have to include more money at some point, because Sherwin-Williams isn't doing it!

Maybe TCCOA will do a complete turbo system raffle... hey I can dream right !

90' Cougar Sport Edition 3.8 (RIP)
92' Cougar 25th Anniversary Edition 5.0
96' Contour Sport (RIP)
01' Jaguar XJR
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