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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I’m writing to the BB in the hopes of seeing if anyone is interested in my plans on turbo-charging my Spider. I have a 1984 Spider that I acquired last summer and had the pleasure of driving all summer and into the fall. Unfortunately, I have never had the sense to leave well enough alone and I noticed a couple of “flaws” with the car as I drove it. Primarily the car is tired. It has 116,000 miles on it and it is probably original. So I got used to the rear end dancing around in the corners and the fact that it really needs more oomph. Needless to say, I’m sure the stock engine is just as tired as the suspension and a simple rebuild would probably be sufficient to restore some of the lost power. Unfortunately, that would be too easy. So instead I have decided to make some minor changes and see if I can make my ideas work.

First off let me say that it is my intention to drive the car this summer again so I have acquired most of the necessary components to refresh the suspension from Centerline and will do that regardless of the progress on the turbo-charging effort. I also acquired a spare motor and transmission out of a defunct 86 that had 64,000 miles on it. My plan is to make the parts I need for the conversion while the 86 motor is on the engine stand and wait as long as possible before pulling any parts off of the 84 before test fitting and plumbing. If I can’t finish the turbo adaptation by late spring, I’ll transplant the 86 engine and transmission and run it that way for the summer before going at it again. Once the car is running on an essentially stock engine I will then have a winter’s worth of fun rebuilding the other engine and doing some of the trick things that are out there to do.

In other words I’m not planning on doing any immediate modifications to the internals of the engine just yet. I realize that the 9.5:1 (9.1:1?) (can’t remember right now) compression ratio is not ideal but I am more interested in seeing if I can manufacture the necessary components to create a functional system rather than immediately assembling the perfect or ideal system. I am also intending to use some interesting part combinations just because that is the way it appealed to me. So… for those of you that are still reading, what is the lunacy I am attempting?

To me, the most significant steps were: 1) finding a way to reliably regulate air and fuel flow to the car; 2) design and manufacture an exhaust manifold; and find a way to incorporate an intake manifold. This is what I have decided to do.

(Although, had I not already started to collect many of the necessary components I would now do it differently thanks to a posting on the BB that allowed me to discover the existence of the MegaSquirt system. This site has been a wonderful resource since I got my car, and yes this Bastiche did contribute and will do so again. Truth be told I will probably do it again differently in the future, build another system not contribute differently, unless this works so well that I really see no need to.) Sorry got off track.

Anyhow… My first decision was whether or not to use the L-Jet fuel injection system. My conclusion, erroneous as it may have been, was no. I did not want to try to adapt a system that was not intended to produce the fuel and air flow that would be required for the turbo, neither was I interested in having to “chip” the CPU with out a proper frame of reference as that was too out of my control and level of experience. (Now with the Megasquirt that would be different.) So what I chose to do was to substitute the entire L-Jet system with a Bosch K-Jet system out of an already turbo-charged 2.1 liter engine. To that effect I cannibalized my Volvo GLT for a whole lot of interesting pieces-parts that will eventually wind up on the Spider. (The GLT served me well and will hopefully live on in spirit melded to the Alfa. Hey Bosch is Bosch.)

Enough for today. If anyone out there is interested I’ll continue my story as time permits. I will mention though that I am well under way with a considerable amount of design work completed and have started the fabrication and modification of the exhaust manifold and the intake set up. (45mm Spica ITB’s?) I have some pictures I can post of the progress thus far, once I learn how to post pictures, if there is interest. What is fundamental here is that most of the things I am attempting are designed to expand my abilities as a hobbyist machinist and general tinkerer. Not to mention build a fun seat of the pants Spider using the original engine with a little kick in the boot. Needless to say, I expect some failures and do-overs. None-the-less any suggestions, rants and raves or simple words of encouragement along the way will be highly appreciated and perhaps even enjoyed (Especially the ranting and raving.) Till next time..... David
 

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To speed things along or mabe get some insight on potential issues, you might be interested in conversing with forum members Greg Gordon who has done a bit of tinkering in the past and is currently monkeying around with this and Jim Steck who has a site here and is responsible for things like this

 

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David,

Yours is certainly a very cool project, and I am sure there will be many of us who will be following it with much interest.

I'm not sure if you are aware that turbo kits were created for our Spiders many years ago, both for SPICA injected cars, as well as for Bosch examples. Unfortunately, these kits have not been produced since the 1980s, but there are still plenty of Spiders running around with them. Still, there are people who know a thing or two about a turbo set-up for a Spider. As Tifosi suggested, Greg is a member of this Board, and you may want to look at his web site: Hi Performance Store. Jim does not post on this BB, and if you are going to contact him, just be aware that he has a full time job, and spends a lot of his free time working on the land-speed-record Spider... Also, you may want to list your location, as there are other people who also have gone through what you are trying to figure out.

Best regards,
 

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Yep. I would be very interested in seeing this develop and have been debating doing something similar myself. I would also fab up most of my components to save money and buy cheap used stuff or adapt stuff from other cars whenever possible. I figure if it's cheap, then it won't cost as much when it breaks.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tifosi, I have looked at Jim Steck's site quite a bit and although I'm not interested at this time in building a tubular steel header, as the one in the picture, I believe that it was a picture of his weld-l log manifold that helped me narrow down some design characteristics. Since the car was not apart for test fitting and I was wanting to get a head start I had started to work on a heavy pipe 4 into 1 collector that after seeing the picture of J. Steck's manifold I quickly realized was way to bulky. As time goes on I may approach Greg Gordon for some advice, thanks for the tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
David,

Yours is certainly a very cool project, and I am sure there will be many of us who will be following it with much interest.

Also, you may want to list your location, as there are other people who also have gone through what you are trying to figure out.

Best regards,
Thanks, I hope it works out to be a cool project, hopefully a functional project. I have seen pictures of some of the old kits, maybe even in threads on the BB. As to where I'm located.... Central Oregon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A couple of pictures (assuming I can make this work)

I hinted in my first post of attempting some 45mm Spica ITBs. Having torn down a set I have started the process of making them a mite larger. If you have worked with these it is a reality that the portion of the throttle body that allows the attachment of the plenum or filter box is smaller than 45mm. Thus in order to open them up to that size i had to contemplate two things how big can I actually get and how to hook up the plenum/air box after eliminating the connection spout (or whatever it is actually called) that the rubber hose attaches to.

I decided that in this incarnation I will manufacture a flange that will be aluminum brazed (a new skill to learn) to what remains of the throttle bodies after machining them out to 45 mm The following 3 pictures are of: 1. Cutting off the "spout;" 2. One bore cut to approx 45 mm; and 3. the layout and drawing on the computer of the flange that will ultimately be brazed on to the throttle bodies.

I cut 2 more tonight and got the last one centered in the mill before my "princess" (6 yrs-old) came into the garage crying daddy I need you... So what could I do ehh. :)

The darker gray circle in the drawing on the computer should eventually wind up being the grove (gland?) for an o-ring to seal the flanges together.

Sorry about the extra image, I'm still trying to figure this out.:eek:

David

 

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I was looking at turbo set-ups for my Vette and came accross this one. Squires Turbo Systems - Turbocharged Innovation!. They have universal set-ups and they mount in the rear of the Cat, then piped up to the intake. Not sure if a system like this would work on an Alfa but placing the turbo at the rear of the ehaust should save a lot of space in the engine compartment. Just a thought.
 

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I was looking at turbo set-ups for my Vette and came accross this one. Squires Turbo Systems - Turbocharged Innovation!. They have universal set-ups and they mount in the rear of the Cat, then piped up to the intake. Not sure if a system like this would work on an Alfa but placing the turbo at the rear of the ehaust should save a lot of space in the engine compartment. Just a thought.
Very interesting... Thanks for sharing.

Best regards,
 

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Hello, I’m writing to the BB in the hopes of seeing if anyone is interested in my plans on turbo-charging my Spider.
Hi David,

I'm sure interested in your project, just for some good reading if for nothiong else.:D I sure enjoyed the thread on my project that I did last year. I think you would enjoy doing a thread on yours too.
 

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Awesome man, I too am going to be doing a turbo spider.
I have much knowledge of turbo vehicles, having done custom setups on S13s, as well as playing with some bimmers. Its always good to start with some knowledge, which it appears you have. :D
I am going to run a megasquirt or some type of stand alone to either run speed density, or completly eliminate the MAS.
What size turbo you planning on running? I think I will run a simple T25 setup on the factory motor, until I rebuild it for college, and go to a GT30 or GT35R with a real setup. I have goals of 300+++ once the motor is built, and I havent seen that from a spider yet. I think it would be awesome if you turboed a spider, and then I can steal your ideas when I get stuck....:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hate it when life interferes with play.

Thank you all for the posts a few weeks back. I have followed up on the sites that were suggested, some of them were new to me and some I had seen before.

As the "title" says... I hate it when life interferes with play.

Anyhow, although I have been changing my business from one town to another, with all of the inherent logistical and economic problems of closing down one office and opening another, I have managed to make a little progress and some mistakes as well.

Progress so far: the throttle bodies are all enlarged to 46mm. (not by choice) It was my intent to go to about 44.5 mm but when I brazed the flanges onto the throttle bodies everything warped and I had to recut to size. Also, due to poor technique in brazing, the mounting plates wound up at an angle. To cure those errors required milling both mounting surfaces flat again and opening up the bores to make them round again. :confused: Unfortunately,the bores wound up too big and the plates got a bit thin on one side.

So now that I'm at 46 mm. I can already see that it is going to be difficult to open the Spica manifold to 46mm on the throttle body mounting plane. None-the-less, I still think that I can make it come together as is. If not, then I have learned what not to do next time. :rolleyes:

I did learn two significant lessons here: 1. things warped more than I expected so next time wait until after the pieces are brazed on to cut the bores to size; and 2. don't tin the pieces that are going to be brazed under these circumstances becasue it is almost imposible to get all of the brazing material to melt at the same time, thus things go on crooked :mad: :(. The plates fit beautifully when dry installed. Next time I would join and clamp them and then try to sweat the braze in thus assuring that the cuts were firmly and squarely seated. Oh Well.

I have also milled flat spots and started the process of enlarging the injector openings on the manifold to accept the K-jet injectors. I have also accomplished a few other intermediate steps along the way to prepare for other more significant steps.

Well, I will keep all posted when I have made more progress of interest. Like working butterflies and installed injectors on the manifold. Thanks for the interest and any feedback or suggestions you might have.

As for the turbo, for now I am going to use a t3/t4 that I have. My goal just to make this work and if I like it as is I may run one motor while I do a nice rebuild on the other one I have. What I want out of this is the experience (frustrating as it sometimes is), I have already learned lots, and a somewhat quicker Spider. I'm not after maximum horsepower on this project just a fun, streetable, and occasional autocross platform to drive in nice weather that will outrun say... my significant other's CR-V. :D

David
 

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So inspired

I too eagerly await any developments. I have been planning on putting a super charger (using the location of the smog pump) or a turbo on my car. I have been inspired by the autocomponenti website.

But as I live in California and my 77 Spica pumped Spider still needs to be smogged its very confusing when it comes to whats best. I will probably have to dump the Spica and go for EFI.

Good luck and once you figure it all out, blue print it and I will buy it.:D
 

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In the early 1980s I turboed my 2 L Alfetta Sports Sedan. Started with 7.8 pistons built for a turbo, and blowing through two twin-choke Dellortos, as one the Lotus Turbo. Also had a front-mounted intercooler.

Doing it today, I would use 8.5 cr pistons designed for a turbo- engine, and controlled by a Simple Digital Systems (SDS) computer. Twelve pounds boost will provide a very good ride.
 

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I too eagerly await any developments. I have been planning on putting a super charger (using the location of the smog pump) or a turbo on my car. I have been inspired by the autocomponenti website.

But as I live in California and my 77 Spica pumped Spider still needs to be smogged its very confusing when it comes to whats best. I will probably have to dump the Spica and go for EFI.

Good luck and once you figure it all out, blue print it and I will buy it.:D
Here is a Garret GT28RS system from a elise that you guys could play with.;)
Cheers
 

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I too eagerly await any developments. I have been planning on putting a super charger (using the location of the smog pump) or a turbo on my car. I have been inspired by the autocomponenti website.

But as I live in California and my 77 Spica pumped Spider still needs to be smogged its very confusing when it comes to whats best. I will probably have to dump the Spica and go for EFI.

Good luck and once you figure it all out, blue print it and I will buy it.:D
In many cases, turbochargered cars put out less emissions than NA cars actualy.
 

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Emmision tests can be met with a turbo engine by adding an extra cat, and re-programming the computer.

Then back to the performance set up.:)

This is fresh in my mind because I have to get the Turbo Wagon through its two-year test, by the end of the month:(
 

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I too eagerly await any developments. I have been planning on putting a super charger (using the location of the smog pump) or a turbo on my car. I have been inspired by the autocomponenti website.

But as I live in California and my 77 Spica pumped Spider still needs to be smogged its very confusing when it comes to whats best. I will probably have to dump the Spica and go for EFI.

Good luck and once you figure it all out, blue print it and I will buy it.:D
The problem with your car being in California is it will not pass visual inspection. No matter what the car ultimately blows the turbo or super charger will be a dead give away. They will ask for an EO (executive order #) that states the power adder complies with California emmisions.
 
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