Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

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Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby cahop » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:28 pm

Hi All,

Firstly........I have been around a few forums and have seen enough "Can I turbo my........." to know the first responses are in the order of
1. Sell yours and just got buy a turbo version of your car
2. Sell yours and just go buy a turbo version of your car
3.....Sell yours and just go buy a turbo version of your car......

So I appreciate your reading this post but if your response is above, please refrain :lol:

So I own a 2007 Liberty Premium wagon in obsidian black with 95,000km on it. Prior to the massive hail storm that hit Sydney early last year it was in immaculate condition and well loved, but the hail changed that! Hit by hail, written off, I bought it off the insurer for an absolute SONG and then got a further refund which means that the car has now owes me about $100........including the original purchase price!

So I have no plans on selling this car in the future because it is the cheapest motoring i think I will ever have and if i upgrade to another car I will get very little if anything for mine and will have to stump up the entire purchase price for whatever I buy..........financially this just doesn't make sense. So now the plan is when the liberty becomes to small for my wife and kids, I will sell my Colorado and get a family Car (thinking Everest) and the wife will get that for daily use and I will drive the liberty.

After all that, I have always wanted a performance turbo and if I spend say $5000 on a front cut or something, It would mean for $5000 I will have a two owner turbo station wagon with leather, sat Nav, reversing camera, lotsa airbags, etc.....absolutely financially a good decision to satisfy a normally financially terrible desire!!

So now the actual question.............Would a front cut supply enough? Has anyone on here done this before? Would an engine swap suffice with standard ancillaries? ECU swap? Custom ECU?

Keen to hear from experience what would be required.

I am relatively mechanically handy and have access to all required equipment to complete the works.

Anyone selling a 2.5T front cut or wreck?? :lol:

Thanks guys
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby alexeiwoody » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:17 am

You will need:

Brakes, ABS system, full fuel system (yours is most likely non-return style, you'll need to have a return line added);

ECU, both TCUs, speedo, keys etc from the same car. And you'll need to make sure your current 5EAT is going to work with the setup and those electronics, or you'll need to get the turbo box, or convert to manual (and that's a whole other kettle of fish on its own).

Just about everything in the engine bay. Don't even get me started on how many serviceable parts are in a turbo engine bay, that will ideally need replacing, even if you buy a whole car. Rubber + turbo heat + Australian climate + 10 years = something very much not like rubber.

Fuse boxes. Potentially the cross-member. Exhaust. Sensors.

Then mess around with all of the wiring. Then chase and diagnose issues. Then deal with an aged turbo engine, which is prone to doing HGs (at least the 2.5L are) and drink oil.

This is an extremely time consuming and tricky conversion - essentially you're stripping two whole cars and then reinstalling an entire car, and for what - an extra 30-40kw? What if after all is done - one small electronic part doesn't work and sets everything else off (this happens quite often with gen4 conversions - it's not the 1980s anymore)? What if the 10+ year old turbo engine goes soon after?

$5000 for parts and at least 100-200 hours of labour (just imagine how much reading and parts research you'll be doing in your spare time) - you'll need to consider what your time is worth. All that effort just to end up with a stock turbo model? Except now it's also worth a lot less than just a turbo model, because it's a conversion. And that's if all your airbags still work.

The way I see it, you're much better off spending that time getting better at your job/career/business, and just buying a GT wagon for $10k. It's not the advice you want to hear, but it's probably the advice that's best for you.

If you have no family, partner, kids, friends or fun hobbies in your life, and undoing and doing up bolts is the only thing that gets you through the day - then by all means, this is the project for you. If not - then move on. There's a reason that advice is given regularly - other people have lived it so you don't have to.

If you want to spend insane amounts of time and effort on something - buy an H6 and turbo it. At least it'll be something special. Or better yet, buy a Golf R for 20k, and sell it for 10k when you're done with it in 5 years.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby bigBADbenny » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Truth. All that, plus the CAN bus system/ BIU is tricky to do, if at all.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby jp928 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:29 pm

IMHO...as above. When cars were somewhat simpler, it would have been easy, especially if a few others had done the research involved in developing the parameters that would work for you - how much boost you could run on a std EJ25, and the other stuff like fuelling and ignition, for longevity. I have a Clubbie (Lotus 7 clone) with an MX5 1.8L unopened, 90k kms, with a turbo added - ~$4k for turbo parts, off the shelf, $1k piggy back ECU, $600 tuning, output lifted from 100kw at flywheel to 160kw at the wheels, on 8psi of boost. Reliable as anything, tuned once, no hassles, done some track sessions at Winton.
I am afraid your best bet is still one of the first 3 options you posted.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby Surge » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:08 pm

Since you are in the car for almost nothing, I would suggest the following simple project.

Buy the stock legacy exhaust headers, up pipe, turbo, and TBE.

Cut a notch in your cross-memeber for the up pipe.

Drill + tap the sump for the oil return for the turbo.
Oil feed can T off the oil pressure sensor .
Coolant for the turbo should be easy to tap into.

Get Kidotuning to remap the factory ecu to handle some boost.

New injectors and fuel pump to support e85.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby bigBADbenny » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:51 am

That’s a good plan, assuming the stock ecu is tunable...
If not, a megasquirt could be a possible budget option.

And provide scope for a built engine if eg 7psi on the vf46 wastegate pressure didn’t fulfill the stated desire for a performance turbo.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby Surge » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:32 pm

2007-2009 post facelift stock ECU is fine to tune via open source romraider /ecuflash.
Don't need an aftermarket ecu.

You will likely need an FPR to deal with fueling and boost.
There is a YouTube vid of something similar:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6acf6vawl6s

Probably more out there. Could look at photos of the AVO turbo kit for this car for ideas.

Just not sure how long headgaskets would hold with boost and the open deck design.

I know mine blew in my 2009 2.5i at around 100K.
That was without boost.

If you're doing it all for the fun of it, why not.
But if you have limited time for annoying problems I wouldn't bother getting into it.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby cahop » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:34 pm

Firstly thank you for all those who have posted, i really do appreciate all the comments.

I am a reasonably fisically responsible person and hence why I have never bought a turbo due to " to much for insurance, saving for a house.......etc etc etc" and hence am only looking for a fairly basic turbo set-up. If this is enough to scratch that turbo itch..GREAT......if not then maybe looking for a newer turbo car and wearing the 15-20K will be what it is. This is designed to set hearts a flutter at eastern creek Wednesday drags.....just give me a smile on the way to work.

In my head I was thinking along the same lines as Surge said and noting the ECU is tuneable is beneficial to ensure safety for the engines sake. My questions is, in your response Alexiwoody what is all the pother supporting mods you mentioned required for? Engineering?

Does anyone know if engineering is required? My understanding is because the liberty came in Turbo (being the 2.5T GT) no engineering will be required.

Once again thanks for all the help and advice, I appreciate input from the people saying no as much as the people saying yes!

***EDIT - just had a look at the AVO kit, That was what i pretty much had in mind. I was going to try and use as much second hand OEM stuff i.e. Up-pipe, Down pipe TD04m front mount etc
Last edited by cahop on Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby jp928 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:52 pm

I have looked into some aspects of engineering needed for mods, as I have built a clubbie with a turbo . My readings says if you increase power of the engine over stock by different %s (varies with capacity) then it will need engineering and will get M plates, - in Vic anyway. Also, the chassis may needs mods to cope with the extra power, as in brakes, suspension etc. Not sure if Libertys have different brakes etc between the NA engines and the turbo models.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby bigBADbenny » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:37 pm

I’d do it as a tailpipe turbo mod, coat the very long charge pipe in boron nitride for coreless air/air intercooling.
Would require a dedicated mini sump & electric oil pump and a dedicated header tank for the water loop...I’d imagine :P
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby cahop » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:33 am

I have absolutely no idea what your talking about?

Still trying to decide if "tailpipe turbo mod" is somehow taking the piss :oops:
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:00 am

Definitely a thing.
But plenty of (easily reversed) fabrication involved, as opposed to a front subframe cut or swap.
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=tail ... ent=safari
As with anything, n/a to turbo swaps included, there are advantages and disadvantages.
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby Surge » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:28 am

jp928 wrote: Not sure if Libertys have different brakes etc between the NA engines and the turbo models.
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The GT models do have bigger brakes, 316mm rotors up front which are nice.
I've seen sets of those for around $300 at times on eBay and Gumtree. Bolt right up.

Also the tailpipe turbo mod is interesting but also looks expensive (unless you already have an expensive welder and can weld).
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby bigBADbenny » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:21 pm

The learning and application of new skills would surely be this project’s raison d'être?
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Re: Conversion from NA to Turbo - Read before discounting!

Postby cahop » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:29 pm

BigBADbenny....nail meet hammer. I figure if i spend say best case $2000 on parts and learn a shitload more about turbos and end up with a car with slightly more whoosh then I currently have, reiterating that this car isn't going anywhere because I don't think it would sell for much on the market because its a stat hail right off...........never mind the many beers had with mates in the garage during the build....all sounds like a bit of fun.

Going to speak with RMS technical tomorrow regarding whether a engineering cert is required.

Anyone on this forums done a cross member swap? Would rather not notch it....
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