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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ive been thinking about the idea of going the turbo route for my motor.Since I was told a few times a 1600cc built to rev to 8k an make the triple digit hp and be a daily driver wouldnt be a good idea.So I started reading threads on other forums an someone recomended me to this site.So here goes.Being the 1600cc has a redline of like 5500rpms, is it possible to get a turbo that makes its full potential before the 5500redline?
I was thinking of a T25 out of a Eclipse.Then buying a turbo header to use that matches the turbo t25 flange but who makes one besides lowbugget? Read it takes a LONG time to get stuff from them.
Anyway this will be a daily driver an unlike the 1600T's I have read about I dont want to use stock heads,rockers,cams, or carb, I would like to get all I can in hp out of a turbocharged 1600cc.Reason Im not increasing the bore or stroke is due to the fact I love small 1.6L's making gross power. :what:
The tranny is stock for now though an will be, but I'm using small 195.60.14's in the rear so my gearing is messed up anyway, but I like the stance.

Premium Member
2,970 Posts
Here is one guys story.

My 1600 turbo experience so far…

Hi all.
I haven't been in this forum for a while, but since I was last here I have turbo'd my 74 standard baja beetle so I thought I'd post a few notes on my experience. I figure it's the least I can do since I used the search quite a bit when I was in the planning stage.
I started with what is supposed to be a bone stock 1600. I discovered at some point that I have a "110" cam in it, and I have not had the heads off to confirm displacement, but the last owner paid for a simple rebuild so I am assuming it's 1600 or 1641. They didn’t even add an oil filter to it. It ran good except it really didn't like temps below 20F (carb icing), and I never could get the timing such that it ran well in town and didn't ping on the hi-way over 70 mph or so. That's how all this started, I decided to go EFI to fix these issues, and I measured the 0 to 60 one time and got 19 long seconds with big baja type tires on it..
My whole approach is very low budget but carefully thought out. I have about $600 in the conversion to EFI and Turbo setup, including a wide band O2. Admittedly I had some stuff laying around, and I’m really good at finding stuff cheap.
My setup:
• Stock long block as noted above. I’ve never had it apart. Has about 30,000 miles since rebuild if the previous owner wasn’t lieing…
• Megasquirt 2 EFI $240 for the fanciest kit I could get.
• Wiring harness is made from a Jeep Cherokee harness that I ripped out at a Junk yard and connectors sourced in the same fashion. 1 wiring harness at the local U-pull-it is $15. Doing the wiring this way gave me a factory looking harness with a different color for each wire.
• LM-1 wideband O2 $200 (This is the best money you will spend on tuning, no matter how you do fuel control)
• injectors installed into each dual port end casting by simply drilling a hole and welding in a piece of aluminum pipe that the injector fits into. Injectors are freebies, 19#, from a TPI chevy engine.
• injector rail is a couple pieces cut from a GM V6 3.3L from the mid 80's, it also contains a FP regulator built into the rail. I welded pipe fittings into the ends after I cut the rail off short. The injector spacing happened to be just right.
• Fuel pump is the complete surge tank from an 85 golf, gravity fed from unmodified beetle tank. The golf surge tank is a plastic tank with a high pressure fuel pump (golf ran 90psi) built into it and connections for the return line and feed/return from the main fuel tank. The surge tank is about ¾ gallon. Free because the golf was going to the scrap. Also used the pressure accumulator from the golf.
• I used aluminum 3/8 fuel line from Summit. I ran a supply and return line from the golf surge tank. This means that the stock beetle tank is unmodified and simply gravity feeds the surge tank which is mounted under it. I mounted a fuel filter above the trans.
• Ford EDIS (electronic distributerless ignition) $7 for all the parts at U-pull-it. Had to bolt a tone ring to the crank pulley. Lucked out and the stock ford spark plug wires fit if you mount it right. (mount the ring carefully, one exploded)
• Throttle body from same mid 80s GM V6 adapted to stock beetle intake with a custom Bug carb flange to GM throttle body flange thing I made. Mounted where the stock carb was.
• Garret T3 turbo from a 4 cylinder Saab, Exhaust is .48, intake is .42. Acquired at U-pull-it for $30 with a cracked turbine housing and blown oil seals. Rebuilt with $30 ebay kit and welded up the turbine housing 'cause I'm cheap. I also got some charge piping and a bunch of clamps etc.. with it.
• I used a "quiet pack" baja header I had on the car, I cut the collector, welded on a couple inches of 2.5 inch exhaust pipe, then plasma'd out a turbo flange and welded it on top. This put the turbo right behind where the stock carb was. Oil drains into the mechanical fuel pump hole through a homemade adapter. The rest of the exhaust is just a short 2.5 inch diameter stainless turn down with an O2 bung welded in.
• The turbo feeds straight into the end tank of an old Peugot intercooler I have had on the shelf for years. I used plumbing store “ferncos” for my intake connections.
• The intercooler feeds a piece of stock saab charge piping with a saab Blow off valve in it. This put the intercooler above the turbo and in the airstream off the back window. The Saab blow off valve is a Bosch part like the DSM’s have stock.
• Air cleaner is stock beetle with K&N filter. I simply turned the air cleaner on it’s side and adapted it to the turbo intake. The K & N was a lucky JY find in an old golf which evidently uses the same filter as the beetle. I found a nice cylinder shaped K&N Air cleaner in the Saab, which I will eventually install just above the fan shroud.
• Homemade manual boost controller of the “spring and ball” type. Works great! $8

Everything else is pretty stock. AFR under boost is a pretty steady 13.0. Boost is currently about 6 psi, I have run as much as 12, but the stock clutch is dead so I lowered it until I get the new one installed.
0-60 at 6 psi with severe clutch slippage is around 7 seconds flat on the G-tech pro. It’ll spin my 235-75-15 snow tires if you abuse it a little. With stock beetle tires burnouts would be real easy. Highway performance is way better than the brakes are... and gives the impression that the car is much faster in 3rd and 4th gear than it is at lower speeds (boost creep?).
I am considering running the car on E85 which is higher octane and burns a bit cooler. There is no need for this really, but I'd like to experiment with it and it's cheaper than hi test.
At 12 psi it elicits involuntary expletives from even the most hardened car buddies in the passenger seat..
If anyone has questions or wants more detail let me know. I’ll try to get a picture posted, it ain’t pretty. My favorite comment is “I love the way you built it mad max style”

Premium Member
2,970 Posts
Or this one.

Hi folks,

I haven't been on the board for a LONG time but thought I'd drop in to update the progress of my 1600 single port turbo.
Remember, every iota of this project was done by me.

The engine:
Your basic budget rebuild 1600 single-stock crank, rods, 4 dowel stock weight flywheel, stock cam and lifters, aluminum pushrods, rebuilt stock heads with single hi-rev springs (MUST HAVE!) and bolt-together rocker shafts (for peace of mind).
T25 from a '95-99 Mitsubishi Eclipse from Ebay used. Rebuild kit from including Carbon Seal.
Boost control is by the stock internal wastegate controlled by a GRAINGER valve (that allows me super fast boost rise and spot-on 18 lbs. boost on a 10-12 lb. wastegate).
390 Holley used from Ebay (rare dual line model, easier to tune!).
Jetting: 52 primaries and 66 secondaries.
Lightest spring in the vac. canister
Boost reference 1.5 power valve (easy to do with JB Weld!).
50cc accelerator pump and huge squirter (drilled out by me).
Electric choke even works!!!
Fuel System:
Holley Red, no regulator.
009 set at 30 degrees total timing (NOT locked!).
MSD 6A box and BTM module set at 1.25 degrees of retard per lb. of boost resulting in approx. 10 degress at full boost.
Taylor wires, blue coil, stock plugs.
Engine monitoring:
Auto Meter boost and A/F gauge (used from Craigslist) using a Denso heated O2 sensor, Summit racing tach with shiftlight.
2.5" bends and flanges from local auto parts store. Dynomax stainless muffler used from Craigslist. Muffler unbolts in about 1 minute and wide open sounds amazing. Sounds like a BIG CC motor and boost response is better.

This combo may not be pretty but it's been running successfully since spring.
Only valve adjustments and oil changes since.
It averages 23-25 MPG with my HEAVY foot......take it from me, boosting is ADDICTIVE!
I couldn't be happier.
Just driving around town, the motor behaves just like a smooth stocker but boost is always a downshift away.

It will build boost starting about 2750 rpm AND, courtesy of the GRAINGER valve, it'll ramp up FAST to 15 lbs. BY 4500 and 18 if I stretch the motor to 5000.
Let's just say it'll bury the speedo at will!
93 octane pump gas, by the way.

It starts up perfect hot or cold (choke works GREAT!) and runs stupendous.

That's it in a nutshell.
Reliable, ignorant power from a beloved 1600 single.

I mortally wounded a stock swingaxle tranny in July (spun third and fourth hubs).
So a monster swing was built by Archway Imports in St. Louis.
Comparable to a "Super Pro Street", it has every conceivable mod including 3.88's.....I HIGHLY recommend 3.88's, they load the motor nicely for building boost, make first gear usable (!) and really make driving the car MUCH more of a pleasure.
Remember, you don't need deep gears for a need to spin the bejeezus out of a turbo motor.

An MSD two-step and line lock have been purchased so I can master my launches.

Here is a picture from back in March.
Nothing has changed but the air filter assembly (K&N style now) and a couple more braces for the carburetor:


23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So what exactly is easier to build an reliable? I was told the draw through setup is hard to get to run right, so would a blowthrough setup be better?And can I use a carberator?

23 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What size would you recomend for a 1600cc?I have easy access to a 500 holley 2 barrel carb but thats probably to much carb.

Premium Member
2,970 Posts
I would use a 350 but if you have a 500 it probably would work, one guy used a Holley 450 four barrel on a 1600 and he said his runs great.
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