Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Winter Park (Orlando), Florida, USA
More turbo info (long)...>>>
So, you "only" have $20K to spend, huh? That's gonna evaporate quicker than you think, especially if you have someone else do the labor.
I'd recommend that you stick with a 302-based engine. You will blow a ton of extra money just putting a 351W-based engine in your car. The extra deck height of a W block will further complicate turbo installation. Keep in mind that I'm saying all of this from the viewpoint of a car owner who also does all of his own labor (why make it hard on myself?).
Cartech: I haven't personally had any experience with them, other than a few helpful phone calls. However, a buddy of mine ordered an intercooler from them a while back. Let's just say that I could have guzzled several truckloads of beer, melted down the cans, an built my own intercooler from scratch in a fraction of the time that it took Cartech to build his. Good stuff, but have patience. Also keep in mind that Cartech's founder, Corky Bell, published an excellent book called "Maximum Boost." Spend the $35 and pick up a copy.
Turbo Technology: Even though I have one of their 60-1 hifi kits on my 1994 GT, I have never been able to get any useful information from them over the phone. Maybe it's because Tracy is the guy who answers the phones there, and he doesn't seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed (although he thinks he's being helpful -- he would prefer to attempt to answer your question with a vague answer than to give the call to someone who might have the correct answer). I have been able to get some useful information from them, but it sure wasn't from Tracy.
TDC: Their SN95-specific twin turbo kits appear to be new, I think. For quite a while, I thought they only offered them for the Fox cars (but I could be wrong). TDC told me about 2 years ago that you could put a Fox kit on an SN95 car "simply" by running Fox accessories (water pump, alternator, PS pump, AC compressor, and brackets). BTW, I dont know how an R12 Fox AC compressor would work with an R134a SN95 system. But like I told Turbo Dan, if you don't mind ditching your SN95 PS and AC, it would be easy to run Fox brackets and accessory eliminator pulleys. A big problem with the SN95 is the accessory locations. All accessories sit much closer to the block (further back) than Fox accessories do, which can make header and turbo intake fitment a real adventure.
Keep one thing in mind: for the most part, all that these "kit" companies actually manufacture is PIPE. That's about it. Maybe a custom FMU here and there (but with proper injectors and mass air meter, there is no need for an FMU). The intercoolers are pretty much comprised of generic Spearco cores with end tanks welded onto them (again, generic as well). The turbos are usually sourced from the main manufacturer (Turbonetics, Garrett, etc.), so the turbo quality has nothing to do with the kit manufacturer. In other words, most of the turbo kits contain equivalent hard parts...it's mostly the tubing and little stuff that varies.
I know that this reply will probably generate a lot of flame mail, but I'd say that I know what I'm talking about. While I'm not exactly an old-school veteran, I have been working with my own turbocharged setup for well over 3 years (and a supercharger for 3 years before that)...that's a lot longer than the average person who just jumped on the turbo bandwagon!
BTW...I'm in the process of building a "junkyard twin turbo" setup for my 1987 LX 5.0. My goal is for the car to run low 10s/high 9s (maybe) with a relatively stock bottom end, and keep it comfortable for street driving with good manners, quiet exhaust, and functional AC (hey, I live in Florida, it gets hot down here), although the PS may have to "take one for the team." For now, I'll be using stock Thunderbird Turbo Coupe Garrett T3s, but in the future I may upgrade to a pair of T3/T4 hybrids.