Been doing research on what all is gonna be needed to turbo my car the past few months, its a 2003 L61 cavalier 5 speed and am at the point now where I can start ordering parts now to build my car. I have mostly everything figured out but I am looking for advice on what I have picked out and what I still need to pick out. Basically I am trying to make an all inclusive list here of EVERYTHING required to successfully turbo an ecotec cavalier on a budget. My car is my daily driver and my only vehicle at the moment so when I do tear into it I need to have all the parts there so I'm not stuck waiting on something. This thread should also prove to be very helpful to a newcomer who is trying to learn everything they can to boost their J body, as it will be a build log for my car when I start actually tearing into it.
Here is what I have picked out so far in parts and need some input on them, or what may be a better option and better value
Turbo - Right now planning on a eBay T3/T4 57 trim .63 AR turbo, I am well aware of their poor quality and have used them before with success and have also blown one apart before by over speeding it. I know it is not a great choice but for now I believe it will get me driving with some boost and will hold up at 10 lbs until I have the cash to buy a genuine Garret G30 or come across a deal on a used one. However very affordable at $180 and if it last a couple months will be worth it
Turbo Manifold - ZZP stainless t3 manifold with the 38mm external wastegate flange. Seems like a solid quality choice that will work great even as the build grows eventually. And a great value at $310
Intercooler and Piping - Going to go with the eBay 2.5" piping and intercooler kit. No moving parts to break lol and from what I have read the kit works fine.
Great bang for the buck at $180
Wastegate - Now a genuine Tial 38mm gate is around $250 which I cant afford, seen eBay gates for about $80 but don't know if they work well at all. Need your guys advice on a decent wastegate that won't break the bank. Plan to eventually get a Tial but if a eBay gate will work for a month then I'll do that
Blow Off Valve - Again a real Tial is like $250 and is out of my current price range, plan to use a eBay BOV until I can get a real Tial
Turbo Oil lines - I need your guys knowledge on the exact lines and fittings I'm going to need to get oil into the turbo and back into the oil pan. Cant be stuck waiting for fittings when everything else is in place. Also as far as I know going to have to pull the pan and have a bung welding in it for the oil drain, is that correct? Going to need to know what exact fitting to get for that, pulling the pan and having a bung welded in will not be an issue
Fuel injectors - I need your guys help her with what size and type injectors will be needed for this build, horsepower goal is 250 also. Plan to also run 10 lbs of boost on 93 octane.
Fuel pump - For the size turbo (t3/t4 57 trim) my boost and hp goal will I need to upgrade the stock pump and if so to what one?
Exhaust - Plan to run a 3" downpipe and 3" out the back if I can fit it with maybe a bullet muffler or resonator, and dump wastegate to ground
Air filter. Cone filter element to some 3" pipe down to turbo inlet
Ignition - Will it be neccessary to run a device to retard timing with boost with the tuning I'm planning on using, will explain that below
Tuning - From what I know I should be able to get this setup tuned well with HP tuners correct? Plan is to get kit all on there and take car to FJ Performance which is local to me in Butler pa and have is Dyno tuned with HP tuners. Now with that tuning is a FMU or stand alone timing control needed??? Or will the HP tuning take car of the fueling with just larger injectors and timing ok on its own? I'm new to this gas turbo tuning, built a few diesel trucks and they are way easier to tune with boost
Looked into stand alone tuning it with Mega Squirt 3 but at this point don't think its necessary just starting into getting the car going with some boost. From what I've read HP tuners should be able to get a good tune on it at 250 hp right? Now further down the road when I get crazy with it I think I may want to stand alone it, ya know bigger turbo, built internals, 2 step, all that fun stuff.
Clutch - How long will the factory clutch last you guys think, or will it slip soon as I get into the boost? And what is the best bang for the buck clutch for these cars?
Anything I missed?
Want this thread to be a nice compilation of everything to boosting a ecotec J body and will be a build log of my car when the building begins.
Gauges - Planning on a triple piller pod and Glowshift wideband O2, pyrometer, and boost gauge
Engine internals - Plan on leaving the engine internals all stock at this point. When I'm more serious into the build plans are pistons, H beam rods, cams, valve springs keepers, and whatever else is needed for the l61 to handle more boost and RPMS