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El Andrew

BA Turbo - build thread (sort of)

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I’m about to get moving on a few things with my car and so thought it would be worth starting a thread.  Calling this a build thread is probably a bit ambitious – more just my own history of what maintenance and upgrades I’ve performed and why.

 

It is good to document this for myself, and hopefully it is of interest or use to someone along the way.  Must be a few people who want better than stock, but not looking for a 600kW monster.  My job is mainly human resources, so anything I tackle is a bit limited.  

 

The car is a BA XR6 Turbo in Lightning Strike (or ‘primer’ for short’).  I bought the car in 2015 from a bloke in Sydney (I’m in Canberra) after a bit of searching – I was basically looking for something stock that had hopefully had a relatively easy life.  The car had been a country car for most of its life and had about 125,000km.  I really knew nothing about turbo cars at that point. 

 

So far in terms of basic repairs and maintenance I’ve done myself:

-New NGK coils and plugs (this brand have been fine on stock boost, but will probably go genuine next time)

-New high pressure power steering line – twice.  First one was a Repco one that only lasted two years.  Second one is a redesigned one from Ultimate Power Steering that allows the o-ring to be changed without replacing the whole line.

-Full set of radiator and heater hoses

-Front pads and rotors

-Sway bar bushes, various front end bushes

-Spigot gear in the rear driver’s side door lock actuator

-All the usual stuff – coolant changes, brake fluid flushes, engine oil and filter every 5k.  Trying to look after it and make it last.

-Probably a few other things that caused plenty of swearing at the time but I can no longer remember

 

Had a few other fixes that I've had done professionally:

-New turbo!!  Blocked oil feed killed the first one.  Good news – housings were OK.  Bad news – I’d bought an Earl’s filter and braided oil feed line a week earlier and hadn’t fitted it yet.  Got a genuine Garett CHRA.  A couple of mechanics have since said to me that it has some sort of upgraded core (ceramic bearings??) that have been available the last couple of years.  Haven’t yet grabbed any part numbers and checked it out further.

-A few bushes here and there (centre diff bush, outer upper rear control arm bushes)

-Tailshaft centre bearing

 

The stuff I have improved/added/upgraded so far:

-Twin gauge pod with oil pressure and boost/vacuum

-AEM wideband controller/gauge with sensor in the dump

-King springs and KYB shocks all round (this combo feels much better than the, admittedly old, stock gear).

-Braided water line for turbo

-Tyres – Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional.  Great set of rubber.  Replaced the Dunlop Sport SP3000s that wre on it – out and out the worst type I have every driven on, except for maybe the Sumitomos I had on a rental i30 once!

-Cut a hole in lower half of the airbox – not sure it does anything, but it sounds slightly better and it was free

-Chrome Fairmont interior door handles – they make a nice difference to the interior of a BA

-3 inch 100 cell cat into twin 2.5 inch X-Force system.  Sounds decent, definitely comes on boost better, but has a habit of wanting to knock on the diff cradle once everything gets warm

-Towbar – bought a secondhand factory unit.  Kept the wiring plug in the boot for a cleaner look.

-A couple of power ports for a Bluetooth handsfree kit and dash cam

 

Car is now at 165k.  The overall plan is to keep the car looking stock-ish and only mildly modified.

 

I’ve been doing a heap of reading with a plan to either getting the car tuned (and at least understanding a bit more about what has been done and what I should expect) or learning to tune it myself.  Going to go down the latter path and just picked up the PCMTec software.  Should be a good learning experience an I’ll definitely know my car better.  I feel like I am picking up the concepts of what I am reading OK so will give it a go.

 

Ready to go in when I next get a few hours free:

-PWR trans cooler – got the kit that has the right fittings but no brackets, plus bought some bar and extra hose so I can work out how I mount it all once the bumper is off.  Plus a decent flush of the BTR and new filter.

-Walbro 255 pump 

-Bigger intercooler

 

I'll then tune to around 8 PSI, but will leave timing along or only play with it gently.  Baby steps here - I want to try some things based on what I'm trying to learn, and see the result but without being stupid and having an additional inspection hole.  Learning to tune seems like a good way to work on your car during a Canberra winter!

 

Once I'm feeling like I'm on the right track, I look to upgrade the injectors and turn it up a bit more.  I'll go gentle with the timing, and maybe even take a couple of tunes to a dyno with some knock detection gear and see where I'm at.  I'm a long way off that though.

 

Brakes will need some work later in the year, so am accumulating bits to go to a 322/328mm setup, with braided lines and reasonable pads and rotors.  Should be better than what I've got and sufficient for where I am aiming with the car.

 

Anyway, as I’ve said it will still be a pretty modest thing compared to some of the stuff on this forum.  But should be a strong daily, good for the Snowys cruise and best of all will be largely my own work.  I may well end up getting it tuned by someone if I struggle to achieve what I want to, but I want to give it a good go myself first.

 

A couple of pics from the day I got it and shortly afterwards:

20150412_114922.jpg

20150516_135828.jpg

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Something like that! They were a bit smoky. Rears are gone anyway and front on their way.

Might go the PMUs, or even the SP500s Matt and Jet were recommending.

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haha yeah, they're a necessary upgrade if you like to drive "spiritedly" on twisty roads. Good pads with some DBA4000's and better (Dot 5 or Dot 5+) and flushed brake fluid is enough, as you saw with my car :)

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Good stuff. Dot 5 is probably too much hassle, but 5.1 might be a goer. I've got the 322mm brackets for the front, plus a full set of braided lines to go in. Territory rear calipers will be cheap and then I'll probably have a chat to RBS about the rest.

I reckon improving my braking style would help too - I was on them a bit early and longer.

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Walbro 255 in and running good. Bloody hell that submersible hose was impossible to find in Canberra - took about 10 phone calls.

Did a big loop on each side to avoid kinking but still allow movement. Was a pain to get it back in the tank with those elephant ears. I might order some corrugated stuff in case I have issues with this set up.d499a6c83e7853b8a7088a67655f2cad.jpg

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LOLWUT is that monstrosity, are you sure those connectors are gasoline proof ?

 

where did you buy that pump from ? 

That does NOT look like a genuine walbro from the top there 

 

a Intank should look like this 

 

WdZ1ac.jpg

Edited by JETURBO

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LOLWUT yourself - looks identical to this:

http://walbrofuelpumps.com/255lph-walbro-gss341-intank-fuel-pump.html

Was from TI Performance so definitely genuine.

I agree the setup should look like your pic, but that's assuming you have access to the corrugated hose, which today I didn't. So instead I did nice big easy bends to minimise the risk of kinking. As I said I might yet order some of the corrugated lines.

Clamps are EFI clamps and I was promised they were good to go in fuel.

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In a sedan when installed the top and bottom are close when compressed.. May still kink.. Or not even seat.

 

The new song, kinked on a sunday afternoon

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQrNFXxIFjBwcHmRHV1q1t

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Yeah I fully compressed it to test before fitting and it was all good. Problem is of course you can't actually confirm that once it's in the tank.

Ultimately I'd prefer a more conventional setup, but waiting for some corrugated hose to come in the post isn't going to get me to work on Monday. Swapping the hose out sometime would be a comparatively quick job.

I don't really like the approach of cutting the hose to length as a straight piece. Seems to me it would be a very fine margin between the pump sitting too high (hose too short) to or the hose kinking (hose too long).

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Straight drop-in, I reckon steer clear of the big high pods,. No spastic hoses. Modified return.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FORD-FALCON-BA-BF-XR6-TURBO-GT-P-XR8-FPV-WALBRO-GSS341-PERFORMANCE-FUEL-PUMP/282622931073?hash=item41cda3b081:g:5~wAAOSwOTVZmpOI

 

5 hours ago, El Andrew said:

d499a6c83e7853b8a7088a67655f2cad.jpg

Spot the difference.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTv8gGeA40A9OxlZlIneW-

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You can measure how long the hose has to be by inserting the pot into the tank and using a ruler to check the gap when it's not depressed. I did that and it worked fine. It has to be accurate though otherwise it will kink or pull the hose. It might take a few attempts.

 

There is no point buying a "high flow pot" assembly as you can mod a stock pot well enough and just keep the fuel level high enough. 

 

If you're going to spend money make sure to spend lots just once on something worthwhile. 

 

I have a 460 in a modded stock pot which is all you need until you do a "proper" external system. It supported over 20psi on e85.

 

I just looked at that link above and that would be fine if you didn't already have a pump. Super easy with no stuffing around.

 

That's my thoughts and as always there's more than one way to skin a cat.

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I bought that one in the link with my red car (with a 255 pump in it)... super fail because the system apparently caused a fair pressure increase that the tuner had to fix with "trade secrets" at 45min or so of work to fix it... haha

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You can measure how long the hose has to be by inserting the pot into the tank and using a ruler to check the gap when it's not depressed. I did that and it worked fine. It has to be accurate though otherwise it will kink or pull the hose. It might take a few attempts.


Thanks guys. Maybe I'll give this a try rather than buying different hose.

Having said that, there's probably no real reason why my approach won't work fine now that it's in. It's not like you can see it! I'm sure I read in another thread about someone looping the hose to avoid kinks. I'll be watching my AFRs closely of course.

The kits that are drop in have a Walbro pump, but look like just a cheapo cradle. I feel like I'd rather have some control over the quality of hose, etc. and so like the idea of using the stock cradle rather than paying more for something that might be a backward step in the long run.

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I too have 460 in modded factory pod. Not a fan of the big pod, too high for the fuel to fill over the top when the tank gets low. I also have a surge with single pierberg , but soon to be twin as 1 isn't enough on E85.

 

Single 460 will make high 400 on 98.

 

6 minutes ago, k31th said:

I bought that one in the link with my red car (with a 255 pump in it)... super fail because the system apparently caused a fair pressure increase that the tuner had to fix with "trade secrets" at 45min or so of work to fix it... haha

Trade secret = enlarges the fuel return orifice,in the pod.

Edited by arronm

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Cradles are identical to stock cradles.

Mine is exactly what is in double r's post and it has been flawless. Been running strong for over two years.

I would definitely prefer something that is the same as what you remove instead of something that ya hoping won't be a problem.

DIY is definitely alot cheaper though.

That said the drop in pots are even more DIY.

They are a real easy install once ya have the fuel line removal tools.

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13 minutes ago, arronm said:

Single 460 will make high 400 on 98.

 

It'll go a sh*tload more than that. I didn't run out of fuel on e85, 22psi, gen2 gtx3582r, 6500rpm, zorst, intake etc etc.

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You are probably right, but I wouldnt run that power and boost without a surge.

 

1 hour ago, Puffwagon said:

I have a 460 in a modded stock pot which is all you need until you do a "proper" external system. It supported over 20psi on e85.

I have the same set up in the BF Nizpro car (on 98 ), Once we change to E85 I will get Simon to throw in the ID injectors and see how much power till it runs lean. I reckon at not much over 450 it will be done, but I may be surprised.

 

Then we will throw in twin pierberg and crank the boost right up. see how much over 500 we can get the factory turbo. Then larger turbo and hello 600rwkw.

Edited by arronm

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Yeah I had to have over half a tank if I wanted to floor it when it was hooked up.

 

Not ideal by any means but it works.

 

I never checked the return flow so for all I know it could have been close to being pegged.

 

I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a wb installed and know your car.

 

Can you do it? Yes. 

Should you do it? Probably not. 

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Hmm well there you go. I've only road tuned and can only compare my parts with other setups to estimate power and reflect what the pump/pot has done.

 

Onto pumps and pots, it's like anything when modding. Buy parts to build a foundation so you don't spend twice.

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