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Old 10-24-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Turbo LQ4 build. New Track Times & Video Added!!

So decided to get an early start on my winter project. Originally i was planning to build a shortblock this winter but if i did that then i wouldn't have the money for the turbo build until the summer. And who wants to drive around on a low compression built motor with no power adder???


I spent most of Saturday building a set of log manifolds. I decided to build the log manifolds mostly because i didn't like the way any of the stock manifolds fit. I enjoy the fabrication and this way they will fit exactly the way i want them to. I hope you guys like pictures!

So for those of you who dont know, my current setup that im am working off of is an LQ4 with L92 heads, backed by a 4L80E. Here is a pic.
Click the image to open in full size.

I should start by saying the primaries are 1 7/8in and the log portion is 2 1/4in. After pulling both headers off the car i got started by necking down the passenger side log and welding to the rear primary. Also the tubing i am using has a fairly thick wall, i did this because this car gets a lot of miles put on it and i wanted to avoid any chance of cracking.
Click the image to open in full size.

I then tacked that up to the flange in the desired position.
Click the image to open in full size.

Next i very painstakingly cut out the next primary with my sawzall and grinder. Since it took about 45 min to get it just right, i knew i needed a better way to make the primaries. Thats when i had a stroke of genius.... Duct Tape!!
Click the image to open in full size.

The duct tape mold along with a friends plasma cutter were then used to very easily make exact duplicates for the other 2 primaries on this side.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Bolted it up to a mock up head and finished up the welding.
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Last edited by Thridgen60; 06-17-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:49 PM   #2
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

I used the same principles to make the drivers side manifold.
Click the image to open in full size.

I made each of the duct tape molds by lubricating the tubing i was using, wrapping with duct tape, sticky side out, then wrap again the normal direction, and slide it off
Click the image to open in full size.

Slid it in and marked where it needed to be cut
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After trimming
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Some shots with both all welded up and on the car. Both manifold will be cut shorter and have v-bands welded on also. Im also undecided if i want to grind all the welds down or just leave them.
Click the image to open in full size.

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Just to get an idea of the turbo location.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:13 AM   #4
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Nice manifold gasket choice, lol.

But seriously, awesome build so far and good start!
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Haha thanks
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #6
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Thats looking really good man!!! Fantastic idea/imagination with the duct tape templates. Thats thinking on your feet!

As for cleaning up the welds. Driver's side looks really clean and smooth. Pass side looks a teeny bit rough. I would, at the least, clean up the spatter, and any really unflattering weld areas. But for the most part, they look nice enough to either wrap or coat as is. Depends how youre going to finish them I guess.

Looking forward to seeing how you continue!

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Old 10-26-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Yeah the passenger side manifold is the reason i was considering grinding all my welds down, but man that is a lot of grinding. They would definitely look bad *** if they looked like one flowing piece. I will probably just end up doing it because i am going to have them ceramic coated and i know i will regret it if i dont. Maybe ill just grind the top side

Im planning to get started on the crossover this weekend and possibly the intercooler and cold side tubing if it shows up.

Last edited by Thridgen60; 10-26-2011 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #8
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Looks good, love the ductape. When I did my passenger side manifold i ground down the welds just so it all flowed and looked seemless. you going to have enough clearance on driver side for your PS hose's??
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Everyone's got a 4L80E in here

Looking good. Plug access looks a bit tight though, but building your own logs is a feat in itself. Going to be a monster

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Old 10-26-2011, 09:09 PM   #10
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Quote:
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Everyone's got a 4L80E in here
Yea... Mines sitting on the floor in my shop still

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Old 10-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

As for the PS hose, i think i am just going to run a braided line. That line has been bothering me for a while now anyways because it is an ls1 f-body line it looks pretty ghetto the way it fits.

As for grinding the manifolds down, im not so sure i will be able to get to all the welds with a grind, especially right between the primaries. You guys got any suggestions for the tricky spots?

The plug access will be tight but if worse comes to worse i should be able to get them easily from the bottom. I'm hoping that i wont have to pull plugs all to often, but i have never had a turbo car so i may be in for a rude awakening.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #12
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

looks great still debating if this is a way mine may end up someday.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:12 AM   #13
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Modular turbo just released a braided PS hose designed to clear the hotside piping. Since 3rd and 4th gens use the same hose/ends, it should bolt right up
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:38 AM   #14
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

some really good work so far! looking forward to seeing things progress. slightly starting to regret grabbing an LQ9 instead of a LQ4, really would have liked to play with some kinda boost
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

LQ9 is essentially an iron LS2, which see boost quite frequently
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Quote:
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LQ9 is essentially an iron LS2, which see boost quite frequently
silly me, it been a while since i was actually looking at the engine specs; haven't been in the part collecting mood. you're completely right. AND i've running the L92 heads w/ an LS3 intake, so compression should actually a little lower.

why must you make me spend more money?!? cars are not a hobby, their like a bad addiction.....


sorry for invading OP, keep up the good work!
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:28 PM   #17
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

I definitely need a rehab program after looking at the greenbirds progression over the last few years. Sheesh
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:52 PM   #18
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Small update from this weekend.

I cut a large section of the inner bumper out in order to fit the intercooler. Then welded up brackets to mounts it as well as some round bar bracing in order to give it some strength back. (the foam is just for a back drop because my cell camera wasnt liking the lighting)
Click the image to open in full size.

With the intercooler mounted up and the in/out just below the inner bumper
Click the image to open in full size.

The back side, looks kinda cool with the round bar bracing. Also, lots of extra space and i didnt have cut any of the headlight fiberglass, only had to cut the inner bumper itself.
Click the image to open in full size.

Also cut some out of the front bumper for more air flow, which ends up being covered by the grill anyways.
Click the image to open in full size.

Nobody will be the wiser
Click the image to open in full size.

I think i may just leave the bumper mounts resting on the bottom of the intercooler rather than cut them off, just in case i ever need them in the future. ( the picture makes them look like they hang below the bumper but they dont)
Click the image to open in full size.

Thats it for this week. I just got my intake piping today so that will be next weekends project. Hope you guys enjoyed.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:54 PM   #19
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

looks great! keep up the good work.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:59 PM   #20
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Small update:

I got a few 2.5in bends and started messing around with the crossover and turbo placement. After one failed attempt and some work with a BFH I think iv got something i can live with. The bend is tighter than i would have liked but its the best i could come up with in the space, and i have definitely seen worse. I should have the tubing to finish up the passenger side crossover by next weekend.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Plenty of space now.
Click the image to open in full size.

Since i didnt have the passenger side tubing i figured i would get started on the down tube. The down tube needed to go from the 3" v-band to a 4" pipe, and to make things more complicated, it needed to go around the shock tower at the same time. So this is what i came up with.

Click the image to open in full size.

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The welds need to be cleaned up a little more and it needs to be cut off at the black line, but I ran out of time. So it will wait till next weekend.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #21
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Iv been working the past couple weekends on the rest of the hotside and iv got it all tacked together besides the wastegate, which i ran out of time for. So here are some pics.

Click the image to open in full size.

I may end up cutting out the part of the fender that i beat in with a hammer and replacing it with the nice piece of sheet metal, but it works for now.
Click the image to open in full size.

I decided to run the 4" out the fender with my cut out in line. I am going to branch off the bottom side of the downpipe before the cutout and run 3" to my existing exhaust under the car.
Click the image to open in full size.

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And this is where i quit with the wastegate mounting.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:00 PM   #22
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Update:

Got to work pulling the cam out because i sold it. An ls6 cam will be here next weekend so the car gets to sit in pieces for the week.
Click the image to open in full size.

Once i got that done, there wasn't much else to do so i spent a good amount of time grinding, filing, and sanding on the valve covers. I was considering buying some aftermarket valve covers but i don't really like any of them that much so i figured i would just save the money for something else.
Click the image to open in full size.

I shot them with some primer to check how smooth they are and they turned out pretty good. I still need to fill whats left of the coil holes and weld some -8 fitting into them for catch can lines. I havent decided what color im going to go with yet but i did like the burnt orange that they were before so i may do that again.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:05 AM   #23
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

coming along nicely looking good!
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #24
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

great job so far!
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:09 AM   #25
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Got the LS6 cam in on monday so i went ahead and threw it in today. Originally i was going to leave the oil pump on because i would have to drop the oil pan to get enough clearance to get the oil pump pick-up tube bolt out. But i realized that my last cam was advanced 2 degrees and to put it back to zero the crank gear had to be on a different keyway. So i had to drop the oil pan anyways but it gave me a good excuse to port the oil pump while it was out.

This is all the farther the oil pan will drop while in the car. I guess it would be no fun if it was easy.
Click the image to open in full size.

my phone camera sucks a close-ups, but here is my so called port job.
Click the image to open in full size.

Everything back together
Click the image to open in full size.

I got this front cover that was tapped for an oil drain but i realized that the location it is tapped is on a boss that was meant to give clearance for the oil pump bolts. The oil would be trying to drain from the turbo directly into the head of a bolt. It would probably still work but i dont really want to chance having to pull the front cover later so ill just tap my original cover in a better location
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Also i just got in my 60lb injectors and my $92 ebay fuel rails!!
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #26
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

i looked at those very $92 ebay rails.....decided to stick with the stocker for now.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #27
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

commin along nicely. i wanna build my own turbo headers too. also wanna do my exhaust pretty much like you have it but need some sort of muffler. was thinkin about doin a cut out so it went through the whole exhaust and then open the cut out and itll go through the fender.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #28
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Quote:
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commin along nicely. i wanna build my own turbo headers too. also wanna do my exhaust pretty much like you have it but need some sort of muffler. was thinkin about doin a cut out so it went through the whole exhaust and then open the cut out and itll go through the fender.
Haha go back and look at the exhaust pics a bit closer.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #29
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

what am i lookin for?
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #30
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

I have a cutout in the 4" (post #21) and there will be a 3" pipe that goes to the muffler in the rear
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:54 PM   #31
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Just a heads up on welding V-Bands (I'm learning) Check for warp. I welded mine up. warped to $hit. Sprayed with black paint and hit with 200 grit and a straight flat piece of metal (4"x4") blocked it, sparyed it blocked it ect. Straight now.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:47 PM   #32
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Ok thanks. I was actually thinking about that as I was welding them but never did check afterwards. I'll definitely be checking that before I get the hot side coated.

Did anybody else clean the insides their hot side before running it? If so what's the best way to go about that
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:05 AM   #33
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

ah ok kool. **** i could probably do something like that then. also have you put your balancer into your front cover to check clearance with your drain? i did mine almost the same way and its pretty damn close. i need to see if a 90 degree fitting will fit without hitting the pulley.

heres how mine is:
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:18 PM   #34
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

where in moline are you? I live in colona.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:18 PM   #35
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

I actually live in Orion, about two blocks from the high school. I just put Moline because generally people don't know where Orion is.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #36
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

I see, nice project by the way. I have an 88 ta thats in the bobywork and paint stage right now. I just started collecting parts for the ls swap, i hope to be painted and up n running sometime this summer. Do you attend any shows like the southpark cruise in or the one at governers?
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #37
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Thanks, i usually try to go to both at least once each year.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:15 PM   #38
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Been pretty busy lately but i have made a little progress.

I welded up the drain fitting in my front cover. No close-up pics because it was my first time welding aluminum .
Click the image to open in full size.

Got started on some of the fuel lines
Click the image to open in full size.

Also been working on some odds and ends like a new throttle bracket, brackets for the fuel rails, coil relocation's, and wiring. Should have some pics of some of this soon.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #39
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

VERY nice build! Love the manifold templates and the frame you made for the IC. Ill be watching this one!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:59 AM   #40
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Iv finished up the coil relocations, got the valve covers tapped for catch can line and painted. Also got the injector plugs soldered on and the rest of the wiring straightened out and reloomed. Ended up going with a very dark charcoal on the valve covers.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is a pic of the mayhem of rear suspension, exhaust and fuel parts strewn across my garage right now, all for the damn fuel tank lol. I pulled the fuel tank in order to swap in a sumped tank. There will be more to come as the fuel system starts to come together.
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Thanks for looking
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:19 PM   #41
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Lookin so puuuurrrrty
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:18 AM   #42
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Iv got the fuel system finished up after what seems like forever!! Most of these pics aren't the best because its under the car but here they are.

The sumped factory tank installed after i welded on a -10 outlet on the sump and undercoated the tank.
Click the image to open in full size.

Fuel pump, filters, and lines.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I had to do some beating on the exhaust heat shield to clear the sump. Ill also have to lower the muffler from its original location to clear the sump but that will be done later.
Click the image to open in full size.

All the lines up top finished up.
Click the image to open in full size.

I also picked up a 2 gauge dash pod meant for the top of a dash and mounted on the under side of the center vents. The boost gauge is in it now and i'm waiting on the a/f gauge. I went this route because im not a big fan of the pillar mounts, everyone in the world doesnt need to see my a/f.
Click the image to open in full size.

I got the fender hole cut with the help of a cardboard cutout. No second chances on that one.

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:41 AM   #43
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

lookin good. cant wait to see it done. been workin on mine and gettin closer to finishing it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:43 AM   #44
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Thanks, I go back to school in the middle of January and my goal is to have it started and maybe driven around the block before then.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #45
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

WOW man thats an amazing build. Its something I want to do to mine down the road when I get bored of the setup I have now. Looking forward to seeing it done
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #46
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

A little more progress. Iv got the wastegate outlet and the 3" to go out the back of the car tied into the downpipe. Busted out the duct tape again since the 3" portion was a bit tricky.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also got the catch can mounted, the breather lines run to the valve covers, and a coat of 2000 degree black sprayed on for now.
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Thanks for looking
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:34 PM   #47
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

GREAT WORK! that looks excellent
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #48
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Finally had a chance to get some work done on the car this weekend. I finished up the install on the boost and a/f gauges.
Click the image to open in full size.

My original plan was to have the exhaust ceramic coated but after thinking about it, i decided to wait on that in case of any cracks or changes i feel like making, since the whole setup will more than likely be pulled back out next winter anyways. So i spent some time wrapping all the exhaust parts. I first sprayed all the exhaust with 2000 degree paint to hopefully stop them from rusting under the wrap. Also once wrapped, i sprayed them with some black silicone spray that came in the wrap kit, it is supposed to help seal the wrap and keep it looking nice.

Everything freshly wrapped
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Sprayed with the silicone spray.
Click the image to open in full size.

And back on the car
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Normally i'm not a huge fan of the way exhaust wrap looks so i was a bit skeptical of using it. But i think this turned out pretty good and i would definitely recommend using that silicone spray if you guys wrap anything of your own, it definitely evened up the color and just gave everything a better look, assuming it holds up well.

I also got a few odds and ends done like swapping out pushrods for some stock lengths, running wiring for the e-cutout, threw in a set of TR6 plugs, etc. I should also be getting my ecu back this week, since speed inc forgot to ship it back to me all last week until i emailed them about it....DOH! So with some luck i might be able to get this thing fired up soon.

Thanks for looking,
Tyler
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:43 PM   #49
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

Def can't wait to hear about the results.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #50
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Re: Turbo LQ4 build

wow...fantastic job on the exhaust fab!
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