Christmas time is always a wonderful time of year. You can practically feel the spirit of the season in the air as you wander around town. If you have children, you know that Christmas takes on a different tone. You want to make sure they have everything they asked for while keeping the expenses somewhat in check. I believe my wife and I got everything that was on the list this year, and my children were as excited as I have ever seen them. Finally Christmas morning came, and as I sat and watched them open up their gifts, I couldn’t help but think about how awesome it’d be to have more horsepower.
Yep… while most people dream about the Sugar Plum Fairy (what the HELL is that? Is that like Krampus?), I think of all wheel drive fun directed at lowering my bank account as much as possible. I’m sure my grandfather who lived through the Great Depression would totally give me a high five for my financial responsibility.
It really was down to the Cobb 20g and the Blouch Dom 1.5.
The Dom 1.5 was my original upgrade plan, but I don’t think the stock block would have lasted long. From what I read, and depending on the dyno and fuel, you are talking about anywhere from 350-450whp. I wanted the car to still be reliable, so I decided on the Cobb 20g. I saw a lot of good things about 20g turbos, and I honestly love Cobb’s products. I figured it’d be a straight up bolt on with zero fabrication required. I’m playing with fire on the stock block, but by running the Cobb 20g, it’s like I have a fire retardant layer on in contrast to the dom 1.5 where it would have been like dousing myself in kerosene and juggling candles. Wait… that sounds kind of cool…
Now keep in mind, I didn’t just upgrade my turbo and call it a day. The plan to eventually get a new turbo has been in the works since I purchased this fine, plasticy Japanese beauty. Since it was in the plan all along, everything I have done was done so I could run the upgraded turbo effectively and efficiently. I just cut the part about waiting five years out of the plan because it took up too much space.
Mods done in preparation for the turbo:
Fuel upgrades (injectors, pump, FPR, going to include Flex Fuel here as well)
Volk wheels (because you can’t run an upgraded turbo on stock wheels bro)
I also picked up a radiator just in case the car was running hotter than I wanted due to the increased temps from the turbo upgrade.
It really wasn’t that bad.
If I were to rate it on a scale of 1-10, 1 being
and 10 being
it was a 5.5.
To install, you have to take stuff off of the car. If you are against that, you’re probably doing it wrong.
1. Remove the Top Mount Intercooler
2. Remove the heatshield
3. Break the downpipe bolts and remove downpipe/midpipe. Exhaust can hang out. Haha. ’cause it’s hanging on hangers. I get it.
You should have a good little pile going now:
4. break the turbo mount bolts connecting it to the up pipe
5. disconnect the lines running to the turbo: oil feed line, coolant line, coolant return etc. I found that capping the rubber hose ends with Double A batteries worked pretty well and then I put some tape over them. If you are quick enough, you won’t loose much coolant and won’t have to replace as much at the end.
6. Remove that wimpy turbo from the up pipe
At this point we have a car without any magical power to propel itself (at least not safely).
7. Transfer the bolts from the old turbo to the new one (if applicable)
8. I am running an external wastegate, so I needed to close the internal wastegate. I used the Grimmspeed ewg bracket and it has worked so far.
9. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ASS PART OF THE ENTIRE INSTALL. I WILL NOT SELL IT SHORT!
You have to put the turbo back on the mount, while lining up the return line on the bottom, clamp it, and also somehow magically get the inlet pipe to go around the turbo inlet. It sucked. BADLY. I used a boat load of lube spray to get that thing on, and it was a PITA!
10. Sober up a little after drinking yourself into a good buzz trying to get all of those things to line up right and not break your new turbo
11. Bolt everything up to spec
12. Connect your lines back
13. Connect the downpipe and mid pipe back to the exhaust
14. Replace the heatshield
15. Replace the TMIC
16. Prime the turbo- What I did was remove the fuel pump fuse in the engine bay and I tried to start the car by turning the key for 10 seconds, waited 10 seconds and repeated 7ish times. The idea is to get oiling that new turbo so it doesn’t start up at a bajillion rpms dry and ruin it.
17. Replace the fuel pump fuse and fire her up.
18. If you got some coolant on the engine bay you’ll see some smoke (whitish vapor) and smell an almost sweet smell). This is normal.
19. Check for leaks.
20. Get it tuned.
I’ll get some videos of quick pulls to show off. It’s been a blast so far and nothing has blown up yet so that’s good.