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AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Old 03-25-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

It's a work in progress...

Empty car awaiting to be a somewhat civilized warm weather driver again. Rough placement ideas for the PT70GTQ turbo and PT1000 A/W intercooler. I think I will sink the cooler flush into the firewall. And the turbo.. I'm not sure if u want it mounted identical to a turbo buick setup or the opposite. Fresh air from the passenger side seems like a better idea than making an intake pipe stretch across the engine bay. Thoughts?







Last edited by AutoRoc; 03-25-2011 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Autoroc, I was considering something similar when laying out my turbo setup. I decided to go air-air as it's actually easier to package. I don't know if you have the headroom, but the best option would be to lay the IC right on the cam cover and hug the turbo tight to the head. That's one of the benefits of the I6, you don't need to mount your turbo out in Timbuktu. Just put it right next to the head like God intended and let that dictate your IC route.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

any updates?
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:00 AM   #4
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

I think the air to air intercooler is better as well. Even the big diesels that I work on have mostly switched from the warm water aftercooler to the air to air charge air cooler setup, in front of the radiator sandwiched in with the AC condenser.

I have seen the kits on eBay for the aluminum unit that mounts down in front, for single or twin turbo setups. Seems to be CLOSE to being bolt in.

As for the turbo, I think the closer to the heat you keep the hot side, the better and more consistent your boost will be. Maybe you'll have to make an adapter to rotate the turbo down lower than the top of the valve cover, but I would have it bolted straight to the exhaust manifold. Plumb your intake to the IROC fresh air box that lays under the hood.

Just my thoughts!
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Debating on modding the oilpan or building my k member and steering linkage AROUND the front sump oilpan. Probably going to cut up my pan. I have the intake and exhaust manifold off, valve cover off, oil pan off.. looks good inside for a 50k motor. These next few weeks will be progressive... hopefully. Not having a running convertible in the spring suuucks!!

You guys have no faith in the A/W intercooler with heat exchanger, etc? Seems great to me and you can always toss a frozen 1/2 gallon milk jug in the tank for track passes. I have a huge heat exchanger to try also.. front or rear mount heat exchanger, not sure what that plan is. Or 1-2 gallon ice tank or a 8-10 gallon..

Air to Air creates more tubing. My air to water will have maybe 18-24" from turbo to throttle body if I hug them both near the.firewall. LimeQ, did you say put an air to air on top of the cam cover?!?! Heat soaker! After a lot of E85 reading, I almost want to do e85 and meth injection. Turbo straight into the TB. Chemical cooler! I have the Snow Stage 2 kit sitting here. That would eliminate a lot of weight and fab work.

Loading pics is not working with my damn smart phone today what in the hell!
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AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap-imag0308.jpg   AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap-imag0309.jpg  

Last edited by AutoRoc; 06-20-2011 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

air to water is fine, especially at the track when you add ICE water to it. On the street after a long drive, depending on how much heat soak the cooler takes from the enginebay, it could get warm and not be as effective as an air-air setup. Hard to say tho, really depends on how big of a cooler you have and how big the air-air setup is you're comparing too.

Obviously if your beating on the car alot, the water temps will rise substantially and cooling that water may not be as easy as just an air-air cooler, but like said it will have to be a decent sized air-air unit to get best cooling.

If you somewhat remote mount the water air cooler, it wont get heat soaked by engine bay temps and likely be more effective. Water is much better cooling medium than air.

I was debating on going water/water myself, as I have ALOT of room up front inthe camaro nose to put in a big water cooler but that adds more weight. But the ice water thing is tempting. So far my air to air has been doing me well. Not sure what my intake temps are but the car is handling alot of boost on pump gas with conservative timing so far so I am happy.

This is a nice build, going to be cool to see a inline 6 in there.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:34 PM   #7
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Pics loaded finally..

Gotta love these engine bays! I think I'm finalizing my choice. Intercooler in the firewall. Turbo in front of firewall. Ice/water/pump/tank in the trunk, heat exchanger flat mounted under fuel tank w/ fan if it doesn't get enough air back there. All that weight will be best behind the axle.

Even warm water in the intercooler does good work compared to cool air, from what I read...

Thanks for the ideas fellas!
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Debating on modding the oilpan or building my k member and steering linkage AROUND the front sump oilpan. Probably going to cut up my pan. I have the intake and exhaust manifold off, valve cover off, oil pan off.. looks good inside for a 50k motor. These next few weeks will be progressive... hopefully. Not having a running convertible in the spring suuucks!!
I feel your pain. My Supra is a targa and I miss it dearly.
Have you seen EFI-DIY's rear sump pan? I would have gone this route if it was available when I was doing the swap.
http://www.emtechmotorsports.com/oilpan.html

Quote:
You guys have no faith in the A/W intercooler with heat exchanger, etc? Seems great to me and you can always toss a frozen 1/2 gallon milk jug in the tank for track passes. I have a huge heat exchanger to try also.. front or rear mount heat exchanger, not sure what that plan is. Or 1-2 gallon ice tank or a 8-10 gallon..

Air to Air creates more tubing. My air to water will have maybe 18-24" from turbo to throttle body if I hug them both near the.firewall. LimeQ, did you say put an air to air on top of the cam cover?!?! Heat soaker!
Oh, all things equal, I'd much prefer Air-to-Water. I was saying it would be great to put an A/W IC on the cam cover (and hang the exchanger out front). It would be feasible to do it with *zero* I/C piping. For me, the Supra hood is much too low. I suspect the Camaro is similar.

I still haven't fab'd mine, but I'm planning A/A. I wanted A/W, but the only space I have left is in front of the core support. If I need a sh*t-ton of I/C piping anyway, might as well use the simple A/A.

Sidebar: My DD has an A/A on top of the engine. Definitely heat soaks, but it's also a dead-simple package. I don't notice the heatsoak until I've been driving ~20 minutes in stop and go traffic.

Quote:
After a lot of E85 reading, I almost want to do e85 and meth injection. Turbo straight into the TB. Chemical cooler! I have the Snow Stage 2 kit sitting here. That would eliminate a lot of weight and fab work.
E85 is the sh*t! My DD runs E85 on 20 PSI, 30 deg timing at WOT redline on a 90 F day, and no knock. I love it!
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Pics loaded finally..

Gotta love these engine bays! I think I'm finalizing my choice. Intercooler in the firewall. Turbo in front of firewall. Ice/water/pump/tank in the trunk, heat exchanger flat mounted under fuel tank w/ fan if it doesn't get enough air back there. All that weight will be best behind the axle.

Even warm water in the intercooler does good work compared to cool air, from what I read...

Thanks for the ideas fellas!
Sounds like a sweet setup. Pics look good so far!
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Nice setup, it should work really well for you when you are done.

You are obviously going to do some PCM/ECM/TCM calibration, be sure your tuner eliminates the delay of the t-body to throttle pedal that is used on tyhe _6 engine in OEM calibrations.
Here is a short video of the ETC(Electronic Throttle Control) delay which is specific to teh Trailblazer I-6, but not the Trailblazer SS, Vette or GTO. This delay probably has soemthing to do with teh fact that the I-6 Trailblazers are equipped with a specific 8.0" ring gear rear differential that actually uses aluminum main bearing caps. This delay may help to soften the torque surge thus allowing the weaksauce rearend to survive abusive useage. The 5.3 equipped TB's use the fullsize truck 8.625" rear while the TBSS with the LS2 uses the 9.5" FF rear.

Even with the stock OEM calibration, my 07 TBLS works very well from 5000rpm to the stock fuel shutoff of 6300rpm.

Are youy plkanning on keeping the OEM Variable Valve Timing(VVT) which is only on the exhaust camshaft in these engines? I'm sure it might help the low rpm torque, as tehse engines are VERY short on off idle/low rpm torque. I can notice the torque loss in city driving when I have the air conditioner on.

Keep up the good work Autorock.

peace
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #11
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

It now runs...Sounds hilarious, like a ferrari V8 at full wail... no turbo yet, just getting some seat time again! I'll bolt the turbo crap on when I take some time off work, very soon. Here is a short slideshow of progress.. took a while. It's SOOO tall. Valcecover is cut down 3/4" Lot of oilpan mods but still the factory pan rail.

Oilpan is complete. 8qt rear sump. Very compact oil pickup. Slosh control. Turbo drain. Oldschool Volkswagon dipstick. Front section is 1.5" tall. As shallow as the main girdle allows.




















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Old 09-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Maiden voyage on Telegraph! Quiet as a hybrid at idle..500rpm.. and louder than my SBC was at part throttle.. 300hp Inline 6 cylinder. 4" race bullet dumped at passenger door.

Joe at Downriver motorsport wiring is a genius. Fans running off PCM, Cruise control works! Underhood pics to come! Thanks!

First gas station visit was funny. A fellow gearhead(mopar guy) asked if it was an LS1 or LT1.. Asked to see the engine bay after I explained it to him... He wanted to say.. "that's F'd up..." But he said "that's.. Different!"











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Old 09-29-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Awesome, two little T28's would make that thing awesome.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Awesome job, man. Can't wait to see the turbo in there, too.

Going to post video?
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

That is friggin fabulous. Outstanding job!

I'd really like to see some shots from underneath with it on a lift so that I can see the oil pan and k-member living together in harmony.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Are you planning on putting this up on a dyno? I'd be intrested in seeing the numbers on it. And im so glad that someone finnaly did this swap nice job.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #17
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Are you planning on putting this up on a dyno? I'd be intrested in seeing the numbers on it. And im so glad that someone finnaly did this swap nice job.

I have 3 free dyno pulls from Livernois Motorsports so I might try it N/A just for fun. They are a few miles from me too.. It shouldn't out down more than 230rwhp..
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:16 AM   #18
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

That horsepower's not too bad for a stock motor. But, it's an inline-six, so screw the horsepower. I want to see that torque.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:19 AM   #19
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Well the factory rating for the trailblazers is 291hp/277tq. Torque curve is nice because of the variable exhaust cam timing. Like VTEC, the exhaust cam can twist 25 degrees. Torque on the bottom and better HP up top. I figure my open K&N filter and lack of exhaust backpressure probably puts HP a little above the stock rating. It would be nice to hook up a wideband O2 also. It could be pig fat or lean at WOT.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:46 AM   #20
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

I wish I had half this much talent! Nice work.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #21
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

I like it!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #22
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

So, when are you going to let me see that thing? Awesome job getting it running. I need joe to get my cruise control working and maybe get me in the right direction for a/c too
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:22 PM   #23
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Intercooler is mounted, I'll finish a cover plate for the firewall tomorrow. I'm not sure how I'll plumb the MAF sensor. I can do it like Jeremy did but I need to make an aluminum piece to do it like he did. Or... I can chop down a spare MAF I have and use silicone couplers to put it between the intercooler and throttle body. Not,sure yet.

Power steering line just came in! I have to cut, reshape probably and reflare it it according to a fellow gearhead I know.

LS1 shift bracket came in too so I can get all gears properly... Park will be nice to have. I'll keep the brick in the backseat just in case for a few more days. Parking in low drainage areas, no more





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Old 10-25-2012, 12:00 AM   #24
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Was hoping to see this get a/c.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:01 AM   #25
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

It's a convertible and I live in Michigan..I'll live! . I have a Flexalite Mojave heater under the dash that cranks pretty good. I can probably do a Vintage Air setup in the future when we start melting from global warming. oh the stock A/C Compressor on this engine would probably hit the steering box from what I remember when I thought about it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:46 AM   #26
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Any video's or soundclips of this car running? I love the noises I6's make. Specially the TVR I6s, but we don't get those here in the US. .
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #27
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

It's up and running! No muffler yet and suprizingly quiet! Welding at the elbows in the near future. RPS boost controller was plumbed after these pics. 6psi spring in the wastegate. The MAF tube has that wierd/flange hole cut off and covered with "sheetmetal" and epoxied. Finished in a metallic black. I proved to myself that I can make almost anything work, as long as I have hoseclamps, gorilla tape, Hacksaw, and glue. :idea:

The firewall panel came out nice until riveting began. They started blowing the paint/clearcoat off when the rivets popped. T Bolt clamps are recessed behing the panel. The core is filled and short hoses ran but no pump action yet. I think I'll mount the pump out back and run loong hoses so the system has extra capacity without having a dedicated tank.





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Old 11-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #28
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Sweet. Video time. I love the way I-6's sound.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:04 PM   #29
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #30
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

That flexible rubber intake hose holds boost?
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #31
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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That flexible rubber intake hose holds boost?
It'll be fine for the boost levels he's running now. I think that it will get replaced with the boost gets bigger.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #32
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

That rubber held great, so did gorilla tape.... ANYWAYS!!!


7psi+ just stabbing it so far in 2nd gear, it pulls nice! BOV isn't working right. Feels like the spring is too strong in it. It came with a weaker spring but that is supposed to be for big cammed cars with little vacuum. The 4200 has 20" of vacuum. Shorten the MAF wires...extend the oil pressure sensor wires..







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Old 11-15-2012, 12:55 AM   #33
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Man, this is cool! Nice job! Any videos?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:08 AM   #34
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Thanks! It's great to make it a driver again. Power steering is AWESOME to have again, cruise control, overdrive, ecm controlled fans... I drove a good 5000 miles without those things and the carbed smallblock.

I have a few vids on my phone when it was NA, i'll try to get them up. The difference in sound will be cool to hear.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:42 AM   #35
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Would be a blast with a t56!
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #36
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

AFAIK, this represents 66% of the turbo 4200 cars on the planet.

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Old 11-16-2012, 09:35 PM   #37
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

I love this swap - the turbo just makes it that much better. Seat of the pants - how much HP do you think you are making with 7 lbs. of boost?
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:39 PM   #38
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

If the maths right I'd say he's in the 400hp region. 7lbs is usually enough to give about a 50% power increase.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #39
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Update.. After keeping my foot in it, it holds 10psi pretty steady. I would be happy with 6psi if the spring would do its job. we did some drive around data logging and it's maxing out the MAF at 5000rpm give or take. It then goes into self preservation mode and reduces power. I am moving the MAF sensor to a 4" pipe before the turbo, making it a draw through MAF. Fingers crossed it helps the situation.

BOV works now, RPS told me to cut coils off the spring. I cut 1.5 coils and it works prerty good.


It definately sounds good and pulls good. I would guess it's making at least 15hp per lb of boost but it might be closer to 20?? Limequat rode shotgun with his laptop, he may be a better judge. My butt dyno was used to 600hp and a powerglide so this combo is way different. It's been a great DD though!

Last edited by AutoRoc; 11-21-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:51 PM   #40
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Update.. After keeping my foot in it, it holds 10psi pretty steady. I would be happy with 6psi if the spring would do its job. we did some drive around data logging and it's maxing out the MAF at 5000rpm give or take. It then goes into self preservation mode and reduces power. I am moving the MAF sensor to a 4" pipe before the turbo, making it a draw through MAF. Fingers crossed it helps the situation.

BOV works now, RPS told me to cut coils off the spring. I cut 1.5 coils and it works prerty good.


It definately sounds good and pulls good. I would guess it's making at least 15hp per lb of boost but it might be closer to 20?? Limequat rode shotgun with his laptop, he may be a better judge. My butt dyno was used to 600hp and a powerglide so this combo is way different. It's been a great DD though!
Whatever the numbers the thing is a beast! Things started going wonky at about 4600 RPM, so we were no where near the power peak. Boost hits HARD I would guess Autoroc is already putting north of 400 lb-ft to the wheels with more to come.
Power estimates don't capture the car, though. Sitting in the passenger seat, my feet were inches from a turbo that always does it's best jet turbine impersonation whether it's making boost or just freewheeling. I feared it would suck my shoes right through the firewall.
The exhaust is a 4" dump behind the RF tire. We had to shut her down between reflashes so as to not smoke poor limequat right out of the car.
At full honk there is nothing but the even I6 tone which sounds as if it is firing directly in your ear canal. The sounds and thrust would seem akin to trying to ride a 747 bareback.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:52 AM   #41
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Sounds great guys, can't wait till you get it sorted and driving around. I think mine's gonna need a new maf soon, so that's more money in the pit
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:39 AM   #42
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Here's a short clip..


Steve, I've been driving it every day and will continue to until the salt flies(probably tuesday). Today Ill get on the new MAF tube. Vacay days rule.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #43
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Love it. Finally a OUTSIDE OF THE BOX swap that got done.
I have a ton of mixed / back and forth thoughts on my vert build.
I sold the Novi2000 and picked up a turbo setup and a tc78. etc..

Im at the point like you just did. Id much rather turn it back into a nice cruiser again.
Just dont really want to start from scratch again.... ugghhh.

anyways Killer build , Cant wait to see more video and pic's. Ive always liked your vert.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #44
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Congrats! That thing is awesome. I wonder if someday we'll need an I6 subforum in addition to the v6 subforum!
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #45
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

Probably not... Custom oilpan, custom engine mounts, hacked valvecover, windshield wiper motor delete... It will not be a very popular swap. The Vortec 3700 5 cylinder could fit better and it's oilpan would fit 5000x better.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #46
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Steve, I've been driving it every day and will continue to until the salt flies(probably tuesday). Today Ill get on the new MAF tube. Vacay days rule.
Ahh... good job then. All I had off was yesterday, and I gotta work tomorrow. This whole having a life thing really cuts down on the spontaneous trips to see cool builds.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #47
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

nice swap and a I6 is a perfect balance motor and capable of just as much if not more hp tq than a V8

I like it
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #48
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

now if that guy would get off his *** and finish the diesel swap we can have a ODD swap forum
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #49
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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Probably not... Custom oilpan, custom engine mounts, hacked valvecover, windshield wiper motor delete... It will not be a very popular swap. The Vortec 3700 5 cylinder could fit better and it's oilpan would fit 5000x better.

So who's going to be first with that swap? The 3.7 made 242 hp and 257 torque stock, could be fun with a turbo.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #50
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Re: AutoRoc's Turbo Vortec 4200 I-6 Swap

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So who's going to be first with that swap? The 3.7 made 242 hp and 257 torque stock, could be fun with a turbo.
Also has a near V10 like exhaust note which will confuse the hell out of people.
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