Engine Turbo... Yes or No?

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by Mr67Stang, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. I have a 1988 LX 2.3, 5 speed car. I have actually been trying to sell it but I am either asking too much or my local community is too cheep. I prefer te later. Anyway, I was cruising CraigsList today and found a guy selling the Turbo from a 2.3 TurboChicken for $200. Pic's attached. If I bolt this thing to my 2.3 will it do anything? Do I have to get the computer as well? Wiring and plumbing? Most important, what should I look at on the unit to ensure I am not buying scrap metal? I have zero experience with turbos.

    I apreciate any help and, now I am going to do some searching/reading in other threads.

    Attached Files:

  2. A turbo swap isn't extremely difficult, but most would recommend against putting a turbo on your N/A 2.3L. The main difference is the pistons, and unfortunately the N/A 2.3L cars have weak cast pistons that won't hold up under boost. The turbo engines have nice forged pistons that can take a lot of power.

    Although I don't think it is a huge problem by itself, the higher compression ratio on the N/A motor combined with the weak pistons is a recipe for catastrophic failure.

    If you decide to go the turbo route, you should either rebuild your engine with quality pistons and rods, or swap in a used turbo engine. Wiring and modifications are few and well documented on this site and many others with a little bit of searching.
  3. Yes, between the difference in the engine and the fact this guy is not offering the computer or the VAM with the package tells me, he replaced a worn out turbo and is now trying to sell scrap metal as opposed to a conversion kit.
  4. You basically need the whole turbo motor to get all the parts you need cost effectively. Ordering all the part individually is expensive.

    You need:
    the turbo pistons
    the turbo valves
    the turbo injectors
    a higher flow fuel pump
    a larger MAF
    a way to tune

    if you use the turbo computer and VAM you don't need the maf or a way to tune, but you do have to make a few minor mods to the harness.

    There are plenty of write ups on the process.