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2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 Jan 2015, 12:06 am
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Default 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

So, I met with someone earlier today that has a 2003 PT GT engine in excellent condition and with low miles, for a good price. Before, I had been really against something as drastic as an engine swap, but, after consideration and the realization that there was not much to do to the N/A engine performance-wise, I'm starting to consider an engine swap as my best option at this point. Besides the engine, what components would I need, if he doesn't have any of the components besides the engine itself? And what would be the cost for a GT computer, and labor, etc.?
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 12:36 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

NA pistons .

You may want to do some reading comparing the compression ratio between Turbo Engines and NA.

If you are referring to the complete Turbo OE conversion I wish you good luck.

Lots to get and do!
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Last edited by NitroPT; 17 Jan 2015 at 12:38 am.
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 10:04 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

If you are really dead set on keeping your exact car and the converting to a GT turbo engine, the best advice would be to buy a complete wrecked car and then do the swap.

There will be lots of stuff not the least of which will be the complete wiring harness, computer, intercooler, and a ton of other little stuff. Even if you live next door to a pick+pull junkyard with cheap prices, you will spend a lot of time going back and forth and a lot of money. The complete donor car will be cheaper and easier, by a mile.

It has been said before to just "sell your car and buy a GT". Probably not bad advice too. Here, one can buy a used 03 GT in good condition for ~$3000. If you car is running and driving well it has to be worth probably a minimum of $1500.

How much would it cost to build up or to install a turbo you NA car? More than $1500? Probably!
How much if you bought the guys 03 GT engine and then had to get all of the other stuff for the conversion? More than $1500? Probably?
How much if you bought a complete donor car? Maybe $500?? Now the cost will be a LOT of time and cursing.

Just food for thought. Good luck!

Last edited by myckee; 17 Jan 2015 at 10:12 am.
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 10:35 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

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Originally Posted by nick83 View Post
And what would be the cost for a GT computer, and labor, etc.?
This isn't a job your average parts-hanger is going to do, even know to do or agree to do.
You can easily and inexpensively get the components to 'turbo' your current vehicle, and probably even bolt them on- this is the easy part.

The moment a boosted engine runs lean it will crack pistons, regardless of the type of pistons.

myckee has the important part; turbocharged engines need different tuning while in boost- more gas to match the 'more air' of the turbocharger. Nobody, and i mean nobody is going to know how to do this.

You can do yourself dirt cheap, but you are going to need to learn lots and lots, far more than people who you would take it to to bolt on parts.

Then there's the myriad other parts that are different on the turbo model.
Auto or 5 speed?
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 10:46 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Funny I do ECU calibration all the time for boosted engines and Never had one meltdown? Thats why you do gradual changes and evaluate lots of data logged from the vehicle you are calibrating
Must be an MS thing?

Whatever not going to get into this

IMO I think the actual point was made in a few responses about an OEM Turbo transplant running gear into a NA PT?
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 10:53 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Agree with others - the economics are against you - economically better to sell yours and buy a turbo...

Even if you take the entire wiring harness, engine, intercooler, radiator,...
Some other factors to consider...
Turbos have equal-length half-shafts
Turbos have fatter brake disks
You won't have auto-stick, unless you move that over as well....

Carefully consider the amount of work needed - you can't stop half-way.
If you have LOTS of patience, LOTS of skill, LOTS of time, and a complete, working GT, then go for it, but buying a GT with a trashed engine and swapping the engine in that would be easier.
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 11:00 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Wow!

And OP has actually gotten very good on-point advice so far.

I want to add one more thing to this that some will not like but that I have the right to say because I did it. With the price of GT's right now, it will be more cost effective to simply sell your PT and buy a GT model. You get more potential to make horsepower this way too.

The going prices of 1st Generation NA PT's and GT's is not that different right now. I sold my tastefully modified 2001 Limited for just a little less than the price I paid for my very nice and clean 2005 GT. I loved my little red 2001 Limited. But I realized that the easiest path forward for performance upgrades would be start with a GT. So that's what I did.

That said, if you want to go ahead with adding a turbo to your NA PT, an aftermarket system is likely the best way to go. To add a turbo from an existing turbo PT, you will pretty well need the entire turbo PT as a donor parts car. And even then, there will be several very tedious modifications that will be required. Just changing out the entire wiring harness and vacuum system will be daunting tasks.

And if you go with an aftermarket system, you will likely need an expert to help you. Getting a system like that to function correctly is not something many folks have the skills to do.

In summary, the most cost effective way to achieve what the OP wants is to simply sell the NA PT and buy a GT due the similar market value of the PT models right now. Adding an original turbo system from a donor turbo PT might be done if you have the entire turbo PT from donor parts. But it will still be difficult and challenging. Adding an aftermarket turbo system is more feasible, but help from an expert will be required in order to do it.
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 11:06 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Wow!

And OP has actually gotten very good on-point advice so far.

I want to add one more thing to this that some will not like but that I have the right to say because I did it. With the price of GT's right now, it will be more cost effective to simply sell your PT and buy a GT model.

The going prices of 1st Generation NA PT's and GT's is not that different right now. I sold my tastefully modified 2001 Limited for just a little less than the price I paid for my very nice and clean 2005 GT. I loved my little red 2001 Limited. But I realized that the easiest path forward for performance upgrades would be start with a GT. So that's what I did.

That said, if you want to go ahead with adding a turbo to your NA PT, an aftermarket system is likely the only way to go. To add a turbo from an existing turbo PT, you will pretty well need the entire turbo PT as a donor parts car. And even then, there will be several very tedious modifications that will be required. Just changing out the entire wiring harness and vacuum system will be daunting tasks.

And if you go with an aftermarket system, you will likely need an expert to help you. Getting a system like that to function correctly is not something many folks have the skills to do.

In summary, the most cost effective way to achieve what the OP wants is to simply sell the NA PT and buy a GT due the similar market value of the PT models right now. Adding an original turbo system from a donor turbo PT might be done if you have the entire turbo PT from donor parts. But it will still be difficult and challenging. Adding an aftermarket turbo system is more feasible, but help from an expert will be required in order to do it.
Unless I'm mistaken, an aftermarket turbo system like Hahn would have to be used, since they aren't made any longer.
Also, while a Hahn does boost an N/A, it will underperform a stock GT.
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nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 11:50 am
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Okay, so after all that, maybe a swap wouldn't be the most cost-efficient route to achieve glorious power and torque numbers. But, with a camshaft tune, new spark plugs and wires, throttle spacer, less restrictive intake, free flow exhaust, tuning software, etc., would I make more power? Or would it be a total loss of money for 5-10 more horses?
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Old 17 Jan 2015, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: 2003 Touring N/A to Turbo Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick83 View Post
Okay, so after all that, maybe a swap wouldn't be the most cost-efficient route to achieve glorious power and torque numbers. But, with a camshaft tune, new spark plugs and wires, throttle spacer, less restrictive intake, free flow exhaust, tuning software, etc., would I make more power? Or would it be a total loss of money for 5-10 more horses?
Throttle spacers only work on carberated engines. Not port injection. But the nscams will give you that hp range you seek. No software tune avalable that I'm aware of.
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