Turbo Kit Test TJ

Jezza

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Hello all,

I have been kicking around the idea for a while of building an affordable bolt on turbo kit for our TJ community. I'm aware that there are some options in the market currently, however I don't believe there is a reasonably priced kit that uses quality components and is complete with all the parts needed to finish the project. I have been looking for the last few months for a decent TJ to use as the platform for the first one. I wanted to find a reasonably stock example that had A/C, stock exhaust, as well as all the emission components. The other factor is it had to be reasonably priced. I'm trying to keep the investment here reasonable so the kits can be as well.

I finally came across this 2000 Sport yesterday. It is a 4.0 with the 5 speed and has all the options, accessories and emissions I wanted to base the kit around. Most importantly the drivetrain is virtually stock. The exterior and suspension has been modified, but nothing that should matter to the fitment of a turbo. The only thing I will need or want to change is the body lift. Someone has installed a 1" body lift with a 1" engine lift. I will remove those before mock up to ensure the kit fits without having to lift the body or engine. It has a few rough spots but the engine and transmission seem strong. I am going to have to rebuild the rear end. The stock Dana 35 has broken gears and doesn't move without being in 4wd.

The goal here is to have a bolt on kit that produces around 200-250 horsepower at the wheels using quality components and doesn't interfere with common mods or existing accessories. I would also like to incorporate the factory airbox and exhaust. I will also use HP Tuners to have a tune that will keep the check engine light off and pass basic plug in emissions.

I am going to keep this thread updated with the progress as I put this together. Any feedback is appreciated as I want this to be the best kit possible.

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Jezza

Jezza

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The turbo, wastegate and injectors are ordered. I decided to go with a Precision 5431E turbo. Precision has a good reputation in the aftermarket and has decent after-sale support. Meaning if there are issues out of the box or it requires rebuilding down the line they are willing to assist in the repair or replacement. I think the 5431 is a good size for the stock 4.0 and is capable of 500hp if turned up. It uses a 54mm compressor and a 65mm turbine. It should have decent spool-up without running out of air on the top end.
 

DWR

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Subbing this one for sure… If you find a way to make a reasonably priced but quality kit available then I think you’d have a bunch of orders on hand.
 
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SkylinesSuck

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Couple thoughts I have in no particular order.....

Tuning? --just reread and saw you mentioned HP tuners.

Different years mount the a/c compressor/alternator in different spots. Might matter depending on where you have the tubby mounted.

Two different style intake/exhaust manifolds depending on year. Might again matter depending on where you mount it.
 
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srimes

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Watching. "Affordable+quality+turbo kit" sounds too good to be true, but I really hope you prove me wrong!

Also I'd be just fine with needing a 1" BL and MM lift if it makes a difference. Already got that as do many on here.
 

SkylinesSuck

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I think maybe different injector styles for different years if you were planning on including those.

Just a general observation, while the TJ crowd is fairly DIY, I think there is in large part a lack a familiarity with making significant power in general and turbo builds specifically. I have no issues having to do stuff like figure out my own tuning, upgrading drive train/supporting components (clutch, fuel pump(s), etc), or adding "needed" accessories like a boost controller, wide band, or assundries. People here by and large would be looking for a completely bolt on solution I think. Just thoughts.

Many of these issues are solved by keeping the power level low. That being said, I'm very interested in hp levels slightly higher than 250hp 😆
 
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Jezza

Jezza

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Watching. "Affordable+quality+turbo kit" sounds too good to be true, but I really hope you prove me wrong!

Also I'd be just fine with needing a 1" BL and MM lift if it makes a difference. Already got that as do many on here.
I guess it depends on your definition of affordable. It will be quality, but those parts do come at a cost. It will however be considerably cheaper than a stroker or engine swap.

I'm going to mock it up without the body lift first. Then I will probably install the extra body lift and engine lift I have here, and check fitment. Theoretically if it fits without the lift it should fit with the body and engine lift as everything moves up and away from the frame together.
 

Wildman

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I guess it depends on your definition of affordable. It will be quality, but those parts do come at a cost. It will however be considerably cheaper than a stroker or engine swap.

I'm going to mock it up without the body lift first. Then I will probably install the extra body lift and engine lift I have here, and check fitment. Theoretically if it fits without the lift it should fit with the body and engine lift as everything moves up and away from the frame together.

I would imagine this is where you will run into some pushback form some people. Those that do really don't understand the cost of quality parts won't get it. But then there is always the $3-4K Ebay turbo kits for them.

What kind of boost are you aiming for? 10 or below? 15 & below?
 
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Jezza

Jezza

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Couple thoughts I have in no particular order.....

Tuning? --just reread and saw you mentioned HP tuners.

Different years mount the a/c compressor/alternator in different spots. Might matter depending on where you have the tubby mounted.

Two different style intake/exhaust manifolds depending on year. Might again matter depending on where you mount it.
HP is the best option available for this type of kit IMO. It can be made to run very well with a few tweaks.

I'm mocking it up on the 2000 model year. I believe that the accessories on the passenger side of the engine remained the same from 2000-2006. The 1997-1999 guys may have to move some things around to make it work. The plan is to mount the turbo low behind the alternator. I think that will work best for most folks. Top mounts like my other jeep require bending AC lines and relocating the battery wiring. I'm going to try and keep it as tight to the block and as far back as possible. I don't have access to an earlier model right now. Perhaps after I get this one done I can look into changes for the earlier models if this one doesn't fit.

Intake manifold shouldn't change much as the throttle body is in basically the same position. Exhaust is going to be set up to connect to the Y pipe as it crosses under the pan.
 
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Jezza

Jezza

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I think maybe different injector styles for different years if you were planning on including those.

Just a general observation, while the TJ crowd is fairly DIY, I think there is in large part a lack a familiarity with making significant power in general and turbo builds specifically. I have no issues having to do stuff like figure out my own tuning, upgrading drive train/supporting components (clutch, fuel pump(s), etc), or adding "needed" accessories like a boost controller, wide band, or assundries. People here by and large would be looking for a completely bolt on solution I think. Just thoughts.

Many of these issues are solved by keeping the power level low. That being said, I'm very interested in hp levels slightly higher than 250hp 😆
The injectors I am using are available in the EV1 and USCAR connectors and are 60mm full length.