Top 9 Basic Tech Question On... Turbo Kits
1) Is this a Turn-Key kit that includes everything needed to provide boost?
Some kits offer the basics; some have it all. The price of the kit is usually a good indicator.
2) Is any welding required?
Ask about the downpipe-to-exhaust connection. The answer here may affect the DIYer's ability to install the kit.
3) How is tuning addressed?
This is a key question. Beyond proper installation, the tuning strategy of the kit will dramatically impact the bottom-line power output and overall durability of the turbo system. Is tuning addressed via an adjustable fuel pressure regulator and stock injectors? Does the kit include upgraded injectors? Will the stock fuel pump be retained? Are tuning electronics part of the plan?
4) Is any cutting required?
This is usually in reference to piping and intercooler installations on kits that include a FMIC. GReddy offers two FMIC options for 1992 to 1995 Civics; one fits with factory bumper support, the other requires trimming. Rev Hard also offers two differently sized FMICs.
5) How much, if any, will I have to retard ignition timing when I install the kit?
Depending on engine variables, stock timing control should be sufficient up to the 6-7 psi range. Much more boost than this would require timing adjustment. An often-overlooked factor in this equation is the spark plugs. A much colder plug will be needed and extra attention will need to be focused on plug gap.
6) Will the compression ratio need to be altered and does the kit account for this?
Most kits are set up for stock compression. The higher the boost, the more critical static compression becomes. Compression can be lowered with low-compression pistons or the use of a thicker head gasket.
7) How detailed are the instructions provided with the kit?
If you're going to install it, information is power. It's also wise to inquire about the quality of the company's tech line.
8) How will installation of the kit affect the cooling capability of the engine?
Forget about the effects of an intercooler blocking air to the radiator, an engine that makes more power, burns more fuel and creates more heat. The amount of additional power, the capabilities of the stock cooling system and the overall health of the coiling system should be considered. Of course, using an FMIC compounds these problems.
9) Is the kit upgradeable?
When you have a plan, knowing if the basic kit can be enhanced by the addition of an FMIC (more boost), fuel system improvements, use of a bigger turbo, additional tuning strategies etc, will save time and money down the road.