Changing to a bigger turbocharger
The T3/T4 hybrid turbocharger.
Overview: So you want to add a bigger turbo?
As most 22R-TE owners know, or at least instinctively realize,
the CT20 turbo that comes stock on the 22R-TE is pretty limited:
it has a lot of lag and it doesn't make a lot of power. It's also
EXTREMELY expensive to replace (around US$2500 for a new unit;
~US$1000 for a rebuilt unit). Since there are many better turbochargers
out there, this is one of those upgrades that seems to make a
whole lot of sense for both cost and performance.
Getting the turbo
Luckily, there are plenty of better turbos out there. The one
I went with is a Garrett T3/T4 hybrid, which is a perfect size for a 22R-TE that's not
in a dedicated race vehicle.
If you want the increase jn power but don't feel like putting all of the pieces together yourself, there is another option. The Turbo Engineering Corporation makes a Garrett turbo conversion kit for the 22RTE. The kit includes a bigger turbo, downpipe, and other necessary hoses and pipes. David Rees, from the Old Celica Club mailing list, has been kind enough to post a scanned copy of a Turbo magazine article describing the upgrade, with pictures and performance results. If you're into older Celicas, you might want to check out his Celica page.
You can request more information from TEC's Michael Franke at email@example.com, but I haven't found the email response to be all that speedy. A better bet would be to call them at 1-800-950-8872. Ask for Jason, who owns a modified 22RTE truck and seems pretty happy to describe the benefits of their upgrade.
If I had found these guys before I started my own project, I might have used their kit instead.
*News Flash (10/15/99)* L.C. Engineering is finally distributing the turbo header they've been developing since early 1999. I recently purchased one, and will post some more info on it as soon as I get it installed. Initial impressions: good design, so-so execution (some very sloppy welding), steep price ($895, plus cost of external wastegate).More details to follow...
In order to mount a different turbo to the stock manifold, you are going to need an adapter plate. I didn't make the adapter plate I'm using; it was made by the guy I bought my turbo from. However, before I installed the turbo I took some measurements, listed below, so you could have one made by a fabricator or a machine shop (or make it yourself, if you have access to the appropriate tools).
A word of warning about these measurements: I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but this is the sort of piece that requires that you have the manifold AND the turbo at hand. I think my measurements are a good place to start, but you should double-check them against the actual parts. Also, pay attention to the thickness of the adapter plate, as there may not be a lot of room between the wastage's vacuum actuator diaphragm and the rod that connects the steering wheel to the steering gear box.
TIP: Ford makes a very good Garret T-3 turbo-to-exhaust manifold
gasket, p/n E3ZZ-9450-A, intended for 1986 Ford Mustang SVOs (and
maybe other years). Cost: a whopping $6.74 from the local Ford
As you probably know, wastegates come in two flavors: internal/integral
and external. I don't have any experience with external wastegates,
although I hear they are generally more accurate and more capable.
The bearing water jacket lines
These are pretty straightforward. I used some 3/8 inch hose barbs
on 3/8 inch tapered threads, and a couple of standard brass 90
and 45 degree fittings to bring things out to the angles that
I wanted. No surprises here, but be sure to use either Teflon
tape or pipe dope on the threads.
The oil feed line
This is pretty straightforward, too, with one caveat: the stock turbo uses a banjo bolt with a thread pitch of 12MM X 1.25MM. This is NOT a common size, but Earl's makes exactly one fitting that's a match: a carb fitting that has this 12MM X 1.25 MM pipe thread on one side and a standard -6 A/N fitting on the other, with a crush washer (!) in between. (UPDATE, 5/24/2010: Apparently, I've had this size wrong for years -- I had it as 10mm X 1.25, but it's not, it's 12MM X 1.25. Also this page on the Pegasus Racing web site has a ton of 12mm adapters, which should make things easier.) The oil feed fitting on most of the Garrett turbos is a female 1/8 tapered pipe thread hole; on mine, there was a 90 degree 1/8 to -4 A/N fitting installed, so I just needed a reducer to go from the -6 at the fitting on the block to the -4 at the turbo. It's important not to oversize these fittings, as you don't want to flood the turbo bearing (more on this below).
Also, remember that if you plumb this using braided steel line
(which you should) this line will eat through anything it rubs against. Consequently, this line should be the correct
length and shouldn't rest against anything, including the turbo
The oil return line
Every project has its crux: the difficult spot that must be overcome
for the project to succeed. If you can't solve the crux, you must
turn back. For me, the oil return line was just such an obstacle.
The down pipe and O2 sensor
I had my truck towed to a local muffler shop to have the down
pipe bent up. I'm not thrilled with the job the guy did, but it's
serviceable for now. I may have this piece redone by the guy who
did the rest of my exhaust; he does outstanding work, but towing
to his shop would have been prohibitively expensive.
Other odds and ends before initial startup
Remember to fill the turbo with a little bit of oil (inserted
manually via the oil feed line) before you tighten the lines
fittings. 10cc - 20cc is about right. This coats the bearing at
The T3/T4 moves a lot more air than the CT20, and it spools up
much more quickly, too. As I said above, it's noisier and a little
hotter, so it's important to make sure your cooling system is
up to snuff - I'm still keeping an eye on mine, and despite some
initial fears it seems to be doing a good job.
Added note: it is now November, and I've had the truck on the road with the new setup since early August. The T3/T4 kicks ass! I still don't have the fuel table problem sorted out to my satisfaction, but I'm not lacking for power. My engine makes 175 - 185 hp, by my estimate -- numbers I hope to back up with dyno time in the future -- and I'm really happy with the way it runs.
My above fears about added heat and noise seem a little overstated. I'm still running the stock fan/fan clutch, and the engine isn't running any hotter than it was before. Some of my initial impressions were made before I had reinstalled the stock heat shields, and I was surprised to discover what a difference they made when I put them back on. As for the noise, well, it's more like the sound of performance -- a feature, not a bug.