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Most Reliable Manufacturer of Bolt On Turbo Kits?

8693 Views 39 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  lo bux racer
I'm thinking of installing a turbo on the TC as soon as the 30k warranty expires... may as well start thinking ahead (and saving the $$$)... I know there are no kits available yet, but in 6-12 months there should be a few options.

From personal experience, which company's products did you find the most reliable? I won't be looking for extreme horsepower gains, just some reasonable acceleration/muscle.

I've never installed one before, how difficult is it?
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Difficulty level depends on how much you already know about your car. The turbo that I would recommend when it comes out which could be a while is turbonetics T3/T4 with the MSD ignition retard. I would have to say I had this on my Honda Accord when I had it and it ran perfectly. I got it from

Ya know spearco intercooler and turbonetics accessories coupled with MSD igition and turbonetics fuel injectors. The kits that this website sells are awesome and they come with pretty good warranties, plus these are custom fabricated to ensure a perfect fit.

I guess the most important trait I'm looking for is everyday driveability and reliability. No glitches or constant maintenance or too big a hit in fuel mileage. Nice website: turbo-kits, any other you know of for info or buying kits?

Is there a difference / reason why you're considering "turbo" vs. "super charger"? Completely new to this so pardon the simple question. I am interested in improving the capacity of the car, not for extreme use everyday but to have in reserve. Just nice to know the capacity is there. Thus minor impact on the longevity is my interest. Along that line, what would you guys recommend?
i suggest a supercharger for daily driving over a turbo. before i launch into the why of it, read through the other supercharger threads in the tech forums.

now, i will wait for the first of 4million posts about why i am wrong. and another 4million saying that those people are wrong. ah, this never ends.
Damon, you're wrong. Everyone knows that superchargers are only for retards and turbos are the awesomest. TURBO TIL I DIE!
Marty, you idiot. Damon's right. Superchargers are superior.

i can always count on marty.
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Correct me if my numbers are off, but a TRD supercharger costs $3000 installed and I go from 160 to 200hp (not sure if this can be installed in your garage or if a pro has to do it).
A turbo kit I install will cost about $3500 and I can expect to go from 160 to 230-250hp.
Bang for the buck seems better with the turbo.
It doesnt matter which! Both supply more power, its a choice of preference in what you want and yes the trd supercharger seems to be inferior but with the rumors flying about right now about stage 2 and stage 3 it could be similar gains for the same amount of money
Anyone care to comment on the prime issues of reliability and everyday driveability in the supercharger vs turbo debate?

i tend to side with this article, and others of this nature. one of the other things in my head about a turbo is that it may be difficult to squeeze the power out of it at the top end, after all, we redline kinda low.
my project engine will be turbocharged, but it will redline at around 8500rpm, so the advantage there is a little clearer to me.
Man what a bunch of BS. They don't even know crap about terminology, much less the details of forced induction. While I agree a supercharger is a better method for a street vehicle, it isn't for any of the reasons those guys mentioned.

First off, surge is not overboost, it's when you try to operate the turbo to the left of the surge line. The compressor stalls and the resulting shockwaves can literally destroy the compressor wheel. Surge applies to ALL fan turbines including fan jet engines. They describe overboost or spiking in their explanation, not surge.

The BS about the hot side of the turbo heating the intake charge is beyond ignorant. Air heats under compression plain and simple. It doesn't matter how you raise pressure, when pressure increases so does temperature. See: for a great explanation. Claiming a supercharger doesn't benefit from an intercooler is just plain dumb. Toyco put an IC on the MR2 SC for just this reason (yeah, I used to have one, it was a great street car).

Their whole discussion of efficiency show complete ignorance of air compressor technology. Vortech superchargers are very high efficiency compressors and equal any good turbocharger because the compressors are identical. Roots type blowers are the least efficient, with the best barely breaking 60%. There are other types, like Lysholm Products.
These should look VERY familiar to TRD fans. Screw type compressors have efficiencies between Roots and Vortech, but fundamentally, efficiency is how much air compression you get for the amount of energy expended, not how you drive the turbine.

Backpressure on a turbo system all depends on the hot side selection and your tolerance for lag. Full race systems are typically positive pressure systems, meaning intake manifold pressure exceeds exhaust manifold pressure. Most OEM systems are negative pressure systems, but this is simply from manifold and turbo selection.

The reliability and tunability pieces are so wrong, I don't even want to comment on the mental midget who made those baseless allegations.

So, why do I like a supercharger over a turbocharger? I've owned and maintained both. I had an '89 MR2 SC, and I still have a '93 TT Supra. I modified both, and have driven both, including some extreme Supras with over 700 hp. A supercharger feels better on the street. Boost come up right away, and is a simple function of rpm. It's easy to get a good launch from a stop light, and it's easy to grab a gear and jump on the gas if someone wants to play.

Not so the turbo. You have your foot on the floor while you're waiting for boost to build, and the guy next to you in the Camaro with heads and cams is holding steady until the boost gauge jumps up over 1.0 kgf.
That wait seems like hours. OTOH, on the freeway in third at a moderately legal speed, standing on the gas makes the turbo car boost almost immediately and rocket you from 70 to 150 like a 0-60 run in most cars.

In either case, if you plan to get a significant amount of power from 2.4 liters, plan on spending a lot of money on fuel. I run 4 gallons of 100 octane to 14 gallons of 91 in my Supra just to keep detonation at bay, so a tank of gas is about $50, and that's only slightly more than 93 octane (the old premium here). 100 octane all by itself is $5.69 a gallon. You won't get big power from small displacements without big boost and good fuel for long. I can show you lots of pictures of blown Supra engines from bad fuel or too much boost with low quality fuel. 91 octane is bad, and horsepower comes from your gas tank.
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Originally posted by Halscion@Nov 11 2004, 05:47 PM
Correct me if my numbers are off, but a TRD supercharger costs $3000 installed and I go from 160 to 200hp (not sure if this can be installed in your garage or if a pro has to do it).
A turbo kit I install will cost about $3500 and I can expect to go from 160 to 230-250hp.
Bang for the buck seems better with the turbo.
The TRD blower isn't going to add just 40 horsepower. With the TRD supercharger.. i imagine a TC will make 200 to the wheels+
From my previous experience with TRD SCs they usually publish wheel HP. My TRD SC'd auto 1.8L Matrix went from around 95whp (130 crank) to 158whp.
My dyno:
And that's what TRD claimed for the SC:

With TRD for $3K (besides 60whp) you will get a warraned FI, and your car itself will still have warranty. What turbo kit shop will give you that, even for $5K?
I wonder if that's 60 horsepower on a bone stock engine. Adding Full exhaust and CAI only adds to that total

ZOl... Have any idea what the A/F ratio was on your dyno run? If you could lean that out.. You could pick up a good 10-20 horsepower.
Originally posted by Blk01GTP@Dec 1 2004, 05:56 PM
ZOl... Have any idea what the A/F ratio was on your dyno run? If you could lean that out.. You could pick up a good 10-20 horsepower.
Tried Unichip and SplitSecond's AIC-1 to battle this A/F ratio - no luck. Actually with AIC we got it very close to 12.5:1, but gained maybe 2-3whp. It was an awefully hot day when we were messing with it, so who knows. The car did not feel right, so I just went back to stock, and looks like it was a good idea. One more guy who left it oh had to replace the engine after couple of months.

That run is with stock airbox, somewhat custom header, midpipe, high flow cat and stock muffler (I'm not into noise). Adding the intake to the stock setup caused the stock cats to burn out within 2-3 months (CAI leaned out the A/F a bit and caused hotter exhaust, thus dead cats...).

Anyway, if I ever go for the tC SC (and I'll have to get really bored to do it) I will leave it alone - no smaller pulleys / fuel controllers / intakes / etc.
TRD Superchargers are just Roots with a TRD emblem and manifold to go along. I did see Toyota was looking into using centrifugal superchargers sometime later, but have yet to see them using in a kit. A lysholm-type supercharger is more efficient then any turbo or s/cer out these days. It actually conpresses the air, WITHOUT heating it up much at all. No intercooler is needed. These will usually cost $2500 brand new from Lysholm. Not a bad investment. I am looking into making the lysholm, or "Whipple" blows with a bolt-on kit for the tC.
Where did you get the info about the TRD's being Roots blowers?

Also, Lysholms are great, but they are not more efficient than a turbocharger, and no compressor is more than 82% efficient according to my sources. That's still a lot of wasted energy.

Last but not least, it is impossible to compress air without heating it, and it has nothing to do with the compression method. (P1*V1)/T1=(P2*V2)/T2, an inescapable fundamental physics law, sometimes expressed as PV=nrT. In any case, when you compress a gas the temperature increases, no matter what methods are employed to compress it.
Originally posted by TLS-Store@Dec 23 2004, 03:07 PM
A lysholm-type supercharger is more efficient then any turbo or s/cer out these days.
Read this thread.

centrifugal compressors (turbo, Vortech, ATIl style) are the most efficient. Lysholm (Whipple) are second, Roots are dead last.
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