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I've looked high and low for a good reason why I can't turbo my 2L spider. I've also looked for an example but have not been able to find one. I have found that the twin spark conversion is what everyone says is the best way to get more power. Problem is I've got lots of turbo parts laying around the garage, probably enough to make a complete system for my 2L. I know its tight under the hood, but is this the only reason why I can't find an example of this. The only part that I can see that would require fabrication would be an exhaust manifold. The stock compresion ratio is a shade high but I think it should be able to handle a mild boost. I haven't gotten in to cam specs but, grinding a cam would not be to big of a challenge. I live in Memphis and several cam manufacturers are located here including Comp Cams. I was thinking the fuel injection sys may be the kink but a megasquirt sys could probably handle this. Am I missing something?:confused:
 

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How fast do you want to go & how much money do you have to spend? (The two questions are related...) You could spend a lot of money (& development time) and still not have 'Rice-beater'.

The L-jet FI system (the picture next to your name looks like an 82-89 Spider) will be one limiting factor. I've read that it is just able to supply enough fuel for a stock Spider at full throttle/high rpm's.

Be sure to keep us posted (with pictures - we likes pictures) if you proceed.
 

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I just posted up a thread about this a week or so ago and didn't get any good answers either. IMO if you are familiar with turbos and fuel injection programing, it seems pretty straightforward to me. The import racers, and ebay have made the parts readily availible and cheap, and regardless of what anybody on here says, there is acres of space in the spider compared to say a CRX, and several people have managed to turbo those to giant levels of boost. I know it looks like I have enough room behind the bumper of my quad to hide a pretty large intercooler without even removing the A/C. If you haven't read it, I would reccomend The Book "Maximum Boost" by Corky Bell. Lot's of great turbo info in there.

Everybody says it will cost a fortune, etc, but coming from a hot rodding background, it actually seems to me that it would be one of the cheapest ways to make more power, especially if you know how to fabricate parts. The aftermarket speed parts for the alfa are so expensive anyway, it almost seems crazy not to try it. I think afermarket F/I, or adapting a more tuneable stock system of another brand of car is going to be the only way to go, but even that is pretty cheap compared to the cost of replacement parts for the original L-Jet.

I would say the pistons are probably the weakest link in the stock motor but any one of the custom piston MFR's could make you a set of nice of forged pistons in any compression ratio you want for about what stock replacements are selling for at IAP anyway. Hell, I had a set custom made for an AMC V8 a while back for $500 so I wouldn't think 4 pistons would cost any more. From everything I've read, I would guess the stock CR pistons would handle 6-7lbs easy with the right tune anyway.

Anyway, I am debating building a turbo system for my car over the winter, so I would love to see somebody else pursuing this.:D

Oh yeah, check out the Bonneville spider, If I remember correctly it was making somewhere in the neighborhood of 400+HP. All I want is maybe 225-250.
 

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IMO the most important thing you need is a good aftermarket programmable ECU to control it all and an experienced tuner to dial it in.

As a note:
JohM talked with Jim Steck on turbo charging a Spider at the Detroit Covention when Bonnie was being displayed.

I believe the converssation went like this, JohnM tells Jim that he has 8 pistons and some turbo hardware and was plaining on doing a turbo to his S-4 Spider this winter, to which Jim said.......you'll need all 8 of those pistons. :D
 

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Spiders have been fitted with turbos before... Shankle Engineering developed a kit in the early '80s and this was marketed for a while, but it was discontinued years ago. Once in a blue moon, one will come up for sale on ebay. (Shankle Engineering was acquired by AR Ricambi.) Another gentleman in Colorado also used to fit Spiders with turbos, but all jobs were custom and the $$ cost was very high. Jim Steck is the engine builder for "Bonnie", and he has been trying to develop a turbo kit to offer for a reasonable cost, so that an average enthusiast can fit one to his Spider, but with a full time business, etc. this kit is not a reality at this point. (Jim doesn't post on this BB, and please keep in mind that if wanted to get a bunch of calls from members of this BB, he would be advertising here, which he is not.)

So, it's not a problem to fit a turbo to Spider; it's just that this requires knowledge to do it yourself or finding someone to do it for you and paying by the hour for a custom job...

Best regards,
 

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I have a friend in England who recently retired after working for Garrett AR for about 30 years. He is a former national champion motorcycle sidecar pilot and he prepared the engine for a national champion 250cc gokart racer (Bobardier, I think). He rides a turbocharged 950 Triumph. He used an aftermarket engine management system and set it up without a dyno and didn't get any speeding tickets - too fast for the cops. The most significant engine mods were forged pistons and Carrillo rods. I sometimes think about offering him a paid vacation in the States in exchange for setting up a turbo Spider (or Milano).
Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
2 x 88 Verde's
 

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There is no reason you can't turbocharge a Spider. The engine management is the least of your worries. Even the old L-Jetronic system can be made to work with it up to about 10psi. Of course something more modern would be a lot better. There are many good aftermarket engine management solutions.
 

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You should talk to Eric Storhok. He can fill you in on the 2004 GRM turbo spider that he put together for under 2004 dollars.

Forged pistons would be nice, but I believe Eric just shaved the stock ones down. The rods are overly strong and unless you are making a rocket ship, probably money better spent on an ECU. The turbo.....I like the garret gt28rs. But right now have a super 60 for the task. Got a jafco manifold. Got autronic. Got some shankle kit venolia pistons. Then there is fuel pump, injectors, intercooler, plumbing, oil lines, etc, left to attack on my end.

I think if you keep your goals modest....lets say 250-225 or below crank hp...it can be done and be reliable especially with lowering the stock compression. According to Steck, the rear diff is the weak link when going beyond the 250 range.

Jim Steck and I did briefly talk at the convention. We were talking about the venolia pistons and piston pins and clips. After talking about that...I said as we stood next to Bonnie, "So Jim, does this thing run?":D His response was to crank her over and let her howl.....which drew everyone in the parking lot to his side.:D:D:D

Best Regards,
John M
 

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If one of you can get a spider to Sandy Hook Ky. There might be someone who can make an amazing set of turbo manifolds. PM me for contact info. Someone I kbow got his manifolds made there. Prices are fair. At least compared to Cali rates.
 

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If one of you can get a spider to Sandy Hook Ky. There might be someone who can make an amazing set of turbo manifolds. PM me for contact info. Someone I kbow got his manifolds made there. Prices are fair. At least compared to Cali rates.
What do I need a "set" for? It's only got 4 exhaust holes and they all come out the same side.:D
Actually the manifold is one of the parts I know I can fabricate myself, lot's of pre cut stainless tubing availible these days for the do it yourself, welder owning, cheap bastard like me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I may give it a shot, a programable ecu would probably cure any fuel mang problems you could come across. A longer injector pulse should do the trick (at least in my head). My goal would be a mild build to preserve the durability. I'm thinking somewhere around 200 bhp. I've got acad 2005, if anyone has any .dwt or .dwg files for anything under the hood it would be greatly appreciated. If I'm not mistaken, arent the stock pistons domed? Lowering the CR shouldnt be to difficult if this is the case. 8.2:1 to 8.5:1 w/ 6-7 pounds of boost would be totally manageable. It'll be a good waste of time and money, neither of which I ever seem to have enough of, anyway. Time to start measuring!!!!
 

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Well, might as well start fabricating. It's not all that hard, IMHO, but it's far from easy.

The first problem, you've already addressed- how to package the turbo. We had a fabricated manifold that was ok, but I would do something a lot better if we did it again. You have to keep the turbo away from the body- not for heat, but so that it doesn't ground out, and tear your manifold apart. We had that problem for a while, but then fabricated a engine support rod, and stopped that.

For pistons, yes, we just cut the stock pistons from a '77 to 8:1- worked fine. With less boost (we ran 14psi) you could easily do 9:1. But the better way to do it is to start with 10:1 forged pistons, and just shave the top part of the piston down- makes a nice compact combustion chamber.

Next up- intercooling? When you look at the space in front of the radiator, there's little room to do anything. So what we did was us a water-air intercooler, which led to a very small front heat exchanger. This also lets you use a water tank, and perhaps ice.... ;)

Our intercooler was from a Toyota Celica All Track. Looked like it was meant to go there.

One funny problem we had was that the pressure blew apart all of the intake system- so make sure you have something solid holding it all together. I even had to drill holes into the manifold to make some supports....

When it was all done, it was darned quick- the fastest 1/4 we had was a 14.12, but I'm pretty sure it was capable of sub 14 runs.

If you do a search on GRM Spider, you might be able to find some more pictures/details. And I published a bunch of articles in the Owner, too.

(and that's also how I made the name I have here....).

Eric
 

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We know the Stecks, and have visited over the years. During Jim's early development of "4SFED", his turbocharged GTV, I saw a shelf with a long row of melted pistons to illustrate what can occur if fuel control is not correct.

BTW, much of Jim's early turbo work was done with a SPICA pump modified by Wes Ingram. I subsequently used that pump on my '76 Spider for many years. I now have a fresh Ingram HP SPICA, and sold the original Steck pump to Eric Storhok for use on some mysterious project.

...As a note:
JohM talked with Jim Steck on turbo charging a Spider at the Detroit Covention when Bonnie was being displayed.

I believe the converssation went like this, JohnM tells Jim that he has 8 pistons and some turbo hardware and was plaining on doing a turbo to his S-4 Spider this winter, to which Jim said.......you'll need all 8 of those pistons. :D
 

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that is what I was thinking the was a 1.8L turbo nord for the 75 in the rest of the world. the setup should just bolt on a 2L I would say go aftermarkit ECU
but geting some parts shiped over would make for a quick job. just keep the boost low and the temp low and it should be good.
 

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Unless you change the entire braking system, I don't think it will fit- the turbo will interfere with the brake master.

Worth a try, I suppose.

Eric
 

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Well, if my 1 liter blower fits without interfering with the brakes I see no reason why a turbo couldn't be made to fit. Sure, it's going to take some work but the engine bay is not that tight compared with a lot of other cars. Ever work on a Mitsubishi 3000GT?

Greg Gordon,
www.hiperformancestore.com
 

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Well, if my 1 liter blower fits without interfering with the brakes I see no reason why a turbo couldn't be made to fit. Sure, it's going to take some work but the engine bay is not that tight compared with a lot of other cars. Ever work on a Mitsubishi 3000GT?

Greg Gordon,
www.hiperformancestore.com
Greg
Of course a turbo WILL fit, the question was whether the 1.8l engine from the 75 will fit, and I don't think it will- the turbo is set too far back- which will probably interfere with the brake booster.

You can place it forward or down, or both if you get a smaller alternator (which I would recommend, too).

Remember, Greg- I've made one before.... :D (for less than $2004!!!)

Eric
 

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Sorry Eric, I got lost is the posts and didn't realize it was you, or that it was a 1.8 turbo issue. I know about your GRM monster, it was super cool.

Greg
 
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