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Modifications part 3

Turbo's and what upgrades to do.

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This is a subject I have been thinking about for quite a while this will be a basic guide remember I'm am not a turbo specialist or a mechanic but I have gathered some thoughts and opinion on this subject overt the past couple of years. I have no interest in selling you any thing so my opinions wont be biased.

Which turbo

Many people make the mistake of grabbing any turbo that is sold to them before they have even thought about how much power they want and what their budget or power goals are. So when you go to a shop selling a turbo resist the urge to by the biggest flashiest turbo you can see with out having a plan.

Your first question should be how much am I going to spend not only on the turbo but on other upgrades like ecu, injectors afm clutch etc. what am I going to do how fast do I want to go and What will the car be used for.

The next. turbo selection

Roller bearing or non roller bearing the pros and cons of each.

The first turbo's had bushes to turn the wheels the latest have roller bearing which make the turbo come on boost faster they are very good as they have been developed with the latest computers to provide great air flow from an overall smaller turbo because the blades have been designed more efficiently They are more expensive but have some problems the first one being the are extremely expensive to rebuild you require oil and water line to ensure that they are well cooled and lubricated.

The bush type turbo is very reliable it cheap to rebuild but its is based on older designs and was quite often not designed on computers they tend to be bigger and require more air to turn them hence boost comes on later.

Do I get a bigger factory turbo from a different model or do I by an After market turbo.

rb20 turbo rb25 turbo vg30 turbo


This is an interesting debate it comes back to power and what you want to achieve. personally I fitted a bigger factory turbo. Why did I? There are a number of reasons that I chose this route. the first being cost the second being my performance goals. The third being ease if fitment. I have fitted to turbo's at different times to my car which were larger than the factory stock turbo..These upgrades refer to the rb20 engine but can be applied to many other cars

Vg30det turbo upgrade for the rb20

The first being the turbo from the vg 30 det ( single turbo) the turbo is designed for a 3.0 liter engine and can support around 320-330 hp at the fly wheel or 190 rwkw it bolts up fairly easily but you do need to rotate the housings on the turbo and some of the oil and water lines might not match up. This can all be sorted fairly easily. I found this upgrade really good the car makes allot of power but there are trade offs the boost does not come on till later because the turbo is non ball bearing and when the boost come on it comes on hard my car was making 125 rwkw @ 5000 rpm then there were wheel spin issues on the dyno. This turbo also cause the demise of my engine because the standard fuel system was unable to cope with the power need of this turbo and my engine leaned out and I blew a valve and a piston ring. I have since upgraded my fuel system a bit by fitting a 400 hp fuel pump bosch 070 model. I did not want to go for bigger injectors. this turbo starts making boost at around 3000 rpm and makes full boost @ 4000 rpm so it is what you would call laggy and this was on an rb20 engine. If you wanted to drag race your car at the track on a budget this would be the turbo for you with the correct tuning suspension and tyres I believe that this turbo could help you to run mid to low 13's. a fuel pump upgrade is necessary and I would also consider fitting a stronger waste gate actuator because they are set very low from the factory 6-7 psi I would get one for 12 psi this is not essential. this turbo can be used up to 1.2 possibly 1.3 bar of boost because it comes from a lager capacity motor the exhaust wheel is ceramic as well.

The next turbo I fitted was the one fitted to my car now.Tthe turbo from the r33 rb25det this turbo although making less power is the best compromise for an all round turbo up grade. boost starts building by 2300 rpm full boost by 3000 rpm. These turbo's can be picked up from $4-600 Australian I fitted this with some friend but it is not a job to be tacked by some one who does not how to work on car. hence most of my friends did the work. the water lines needed to be extended and the hose that goes to the actuator doesn't cone off the compressor housing like the rb20 or vg 30 turbo's we needed to make a hole in the cooler pipe and solder the fitting in. it took us around 6-8 hours to fit cause we haven't done it b4 and had to run around getting bits and pieces. expect to pay 2-300 to get one fitted. this is the turbo I used to run the 14.04 second 1/4 mile and I think should be able to get the car run mid to high 13' second 1/4's it is great for drifting. on the this turbo you can run 1.2 for short periods. how can you do that most people say these turbo's are only good for 1 bar. well on an orb 25 that is correct but the rb20 is a smaller engine and has less exhaust flow not the exhaust wheel is ceramic.The turbo from the r34 rb25 has a plastic wheel and I would not recommend running more than 1 bar of boost with this turbo.

Do I need to upgrade my intercooler if I upgrade my turbo to one of these above.

The answer is not always hmm I hear you say in an ideal world yes you should and yes I have upgraded my intercooler but it is not necessary if you aren't' looking to run the turbo at full boost. If you are going to run any of these turbo's at a maximum of.8 bar or 12-13 psi the cooler upgrade is not necessary. the factory coolers although small aren't that bad. run any more than .8 bar and your inlet temperatures will get quite high and could cause detonation especially on a hot day.

Ok I want to upgrade my cooler cause I will be running more boost than .8 bar should I do it straight away y or are there other things more important.

First of all when you fit a bigger turbo to your car your cars engine management has a heart attack well not quite but it gets a shock why you ask well it was set up for a certain amounts of air flow and all of a sudden there is more coming in so it gets worried and starts adding more fuel to be safe an your car runs rich. and uses quite bit of fuel and might even loose power when running the same boost. How do I fix this well there are a few options you can get you ecu remapped or you can fit an s-afc which will reduce the amount of fuel your car gets so that it is more efficient. I have seen cars make 20-30 rwkw from have these things tuned . So even if you running lower boost than you wanted to you will probably be making more power than if you fitted the inter cooler for less boost. ( less boost means less engine wear).

N.B. allot of people when they get their cars tuned to run higher boost run that boost day in day out.This is silly cause if your driving to work you don't need that much power in peak hour for normal driving you are better to keep the boost wound down . The other reason is that you put less stress on your engine and it has a better chance for a longer life.


Ok I know you say i don't need an intercooler but i want one which intercooler should I get.

Well thsi is an interesting decision process

start look at your performance goals.

big is not always better

the front mount intercooler I fitted to my r32 was 280 X 500 X 76 (core size) this is good for aroudn 450 hp and I didnt need to cut my front bar the pipes return to an almost factory location. that way I didnt need to get to much additional piping and ht epiping I got was manrel bent meaning the interor diameter was the same even at the bent part. this intercooler gave no power gains but provided less chance of detonation.

If you are going to biiger hp then Isuggest a look at the apexi trust and other web sites to see the different size coolers they use and the hp ratingthey have.

a friend recently made in excessof 350 rwkw with a stock standard r33 gtr intercooler interesting eh.

More power than the stock injectors and afm can handel what do I do?

This is where things get interesting as alot of people have different opinions

Which turbo which injectors which afm which ecu


Work out how much power you want or what type of performance you want and what your budget is.

The old story applies you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

250 rwkw = goal

Turbo Ttrust tdo 6 20gc
HKS 2835
T04 E
To4 s
Apexi rx 6

injectors 550cc

afm z32

ECU Power FC
trust e-manage
daughter board

Clutch strong brass button or twin plate not stock

suspension revision a must

intercooler 600 x 300 X 76mm @ least

upgraded fuel pump

standard internals ok with good tuning


300 rwkw+ the big boys

coming soon







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