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Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

 
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Old 19 Jan 2012, 06:05 pm
BobHeine's Avatar
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Default Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Time to bump up the performance in my 2004 Touring Turbo. I've been running the Stage 1 for about five years. After replacing the worn-out Crane plug wires with Granatellis I installed the Predator 93 Tune. The car runs pretty good but after searching and reading posts on this site, I am ready to make some additional modifications. At this point the intake and exhaust have been upgraded, along with a blue blow-off valve.

I already have a Cold Air Intake setup that seals to the hood insulation and pulls air from both the stock airbox below and from the side -- I removed a section of the hood sealing gasket at the top of the fender so some cool air gets to the holes in the side of the upper chamber.


I couldn't find a reasonably priced ready-made hard pipe setup to go from the air filter to the turbo intake so I ordered some pieces to make my own. Spectre makes these pieces and the total price with tax and shipping from Race-Mart.com was $102.

Part #9449 - Polished 3" aluminum 45-degree bend.

Part #94990 - Polished 3" aluminum 90-degree bend with 6" leg.

Part #8771 - Black 3" silicone couplers (x2).

Part #8751 - Black 3" to 2.5" silicone coupler:


To complete the intake pipe side, I ordered a ready-made upper intercooler pipe. Comes with worm-drive clamps so I probably need to get some of the better T-clamps.

Final Piece of the intake side is the manifold. I bought the plastic manifold along with the hardware and was looking it over. There seems to be a fair number of places where the plastic runners have flashing protruding from the joints. Question: Is everyone retrofitting these manifolds just leaving the flashing there or should I take the time to remove the flashing. Here are the spots I can get to easily:
Throttle Body end:

Upper Manifold outlet:

Lower Manifold Outlet (injector area):


I also plan to replace the downpipe. I found a 3" stainless downpipe on Ebay for $180. It has a flex section and two sensor bungs so I can hook up the A/F meter to its wideband O2 sensor and still hook up the stock O2 sensor. Unfortunately for that price it doesn't have a catalytic converter.


I don't want any hassles selling this car in the future so I bought a short (11") 3" catalytic converter with stainless housing and another sensor bung for another $51 (delivered). I don't have a MIG welder so I'll have to have it welded into the downpipe after I cut it to fit. It was a little messy looking so I cleaned up the case on the converter.


I ordered a pillar pod for the two gauges I bought (Boost/Vacuum and A/F Ratio). PT Warehouse doesn't have them in stock and it's back ordered at the supplier. I guess I waited too long....

Last edited by BobHeine; 19 Jan 2012 at 06:07 pm.
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Old 19 Jan 2012, 06:26 pm
03GTCruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Nice! Interested in how much of a difference you feel. Have all the same being done on mine.

Still have stock exhaust with a 3" o2 housing and 3" downpipe with cutout, soon to install, amx hard pipes (upper, lower, and already installed TTAB) and debating plastic intake manifold.
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Sold 2003 Pt Cruiser GT Autostick. Sold
Now a slow 2009 Pontiac vibe 2.4l 5-speed.
http://www.ptcruiserlinks.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=9656&dateline=1247691  818

227 HP and 281 TQ

new best of 14.56 1/4 mile on 7/25/12 still using the canned tune from my diablosport predator.

*Stage 1, DSP w/93 canned tune, 3" o2 housing, 3" FWDPerformance downpipe with cutout. Bwoody solid mounts. AMX1397 TTAB with K&n drop in filter and airbox mod. AMX1397 lower pipe and AMX1397 uppipe with HKS BOV
* stock nsrt rims powdercoated black, chrome pillars.
* 3 gauge pod w/ aem wideband, Autometer ultralite oil pressure and 30/30 boost, Mopar 8" sub.*

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Old 20 Jan 2012, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03GTCruiser View Post
Nice! Interested in how much of a difference you feel. Have all the same being done on mine.
O3GTCruiser,

Sounds like you have found someone you trust to work on your car. I've had bad experiences trusting people to work on mine. Guy acted like he was a friend and did several A/C jobs on my cars. I installed the parts and he checked my work and re-charged the systems. Paid him for his time and materials and tipped him $100 because he was opening his own place. I dropped off a pair of half-shafts for my big block Corvette at his new shop one afternoon. Not a big job -- he was going to press the universals out for me. Told me they'd be ready next morning but when I went to pick them up at 9:00, he had emptied his shop and left town. I mean, even the two two-post lifts were gone. I was out a couple of hundred bucks and a chunk of my faith in people. I now have my own 12-ton press.

I'll be making the changes one at a time so I don't expect huge improvements with each one. My goal is to prepare the car for a trip to RageTek for a tune.
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Old 20 Jan 2012, 05:45 am
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Sorry, should have clarified.

Only thing that was done by a shop was the downpipe, which I got ripped of on (guy was a friend of my mom, took car to cape corral for him to instal and it took him,3 days and he screwed up most of the job and kept my sending unit for my oil pressure gauge) so now I try to do what I can by myself or with the help of people from the local forum.

Has worked out so far.
__________________
Sold 2003 Pt Cruiser GT Autostick. Sold
Now a slow 2009 Pontiac vibe 2.4l 5-speed.
http://www.ptcruiserlinks.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=9656&dateline=1247691  818

227 HP and 281 TQ

new best of 14.56 1/4 mile on 7/25/12 still using the canned tune from my diablosport predator.

*Stage 1, DSP w/93 canned tune, 3" o2 housing, 3" FWDPerformance downpipe with cutout. Bwoody solid mounts. AMX1397 TTAB with K&n drop in filter and airbox mod. AMX1397 lower pipe and AMX1397 uppipe with HKS BOV
* stock nsrt rims powdercoated black, chrome pillars.
* 3 gauge pod w/ aem wideband, Autometer ultralite oil pressure and 30/30 boost, Mopar 8" sub.*

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Old 20 Jan 2012, 04:25 pm
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Beware when things seem to be going well. Took my wife shopping today and it was in the mid-70s. Warmed up close to 80 so I switched from vent to A/C. Mostly warm air came out. I had to add some refrigerant three weeks ago and figured it would last a little longer. No such luck so I took it to an Auto Air shop I've used since my 'friend' left town. Had them check the system and then pump it out. Looks like it's time for a new compressor and suction side hose assembly. I'll be replacing the condenser at the same time. I figure it's better to replace it while the system is open than to put it back together and discover that there is a problem (the condenser isn't really flushable).

I'd be ticked off but it's actually a timely failure. Compressor is easier to get to if there is no intake manifold in the way. While it's up on jackstands, I can do the intake and exhaust modifications. A rental car might be spending a week with us. It's a lot cheaper than paying the shop to do the work (parts are cheaper too).
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Old 16 Feb 2012, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

I managed to upgrade my ’04 manifold and intake plumbing. The new plumbing from the air box to the turbo inlet is 3” aluminum tubing with silicone couplings from Spectre Performance (Spectre Performance - Official Site). The new plumbing from the intercooler to the throttle body is also 2.5” aluminum tubing with silicone couplngs but thicker wall with swaged ends cast into the tubing. Found the kit on Ebay but not sure who makes it.

Here’s the before:


And the after:


The intake swap would have taken a couple of hours and the two pipes would have taken another couple of hours. I’m one of those people who can turn a couple of hours’ project into a couple of weeks’ project. If anyone is interested, I can explain and show the difference.
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Old 16 Feb 2012, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03GTCruiser View Post
Nice! Interested in how much of a difference you feel.
I can't give you numbers but the seat of the pants feel is a big change. Mine is an automatic and while cruising at about 35 mph, I floored it and the tires broke loose when it downshifted to second. I don't recall that happening before.

I haven't installed the downpipe yet. I need to cut the pipe and shorten the catalytic converter inlet and outlet pipe by a couple of inches. Then it goes to a local welder with a good reputation so I end up with a leak-free exhaust.
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Old 16 Feb 2012, 08:40 pm
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

[QUOTE=BobHeine;410262]I can't give you numbers but the seat of the pants feel is a big change. Mine is an automatic and while cruising at about 35 mph, I floored it and the tires broke loose when it downshifted to second. I don't recall that happening before.

Hello my friend! The project is looking great! Now I see your car is automatic and you also have the DP predator 93 on it besides the Stage 1! I was thinking about doing the same on my Limited but I didnt know how the automatic tran was going to react with the DP! I already have the Stage 1 and Im in the process of doing the intake like you and the pipes but could you tell me more about your DP and how is the performance in the car by being auto? Have you Dyno the car? Thanks my friend
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Old 16 Feb 2012, 11:00 pm
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Talking Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

How much did the piping cost overall? Also, where did you get you're intake? I've been searching and I have been very very unsuccessful!
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Old 17 Feb 2012, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: Plastic Manifold, Hard Pipes and Downpipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCKETMAN8060 View Post
Hello my friend! The project is looking great! Now I see your car is automatic and you also have the DP predator 93 on it besides the Stage 1! I was thinking about doing the same on my Limited but I didnt know how the automatic tran was going to react with the DP! I already have the Stage 1 and Im in the process of doing the intake like you and the pipes but could you tell me more about your DP and how is the performance in the car by being auto? Have you Dyno the car? Thanks my friend
Hello Rocketman,
The automatic has been working great. I try not to abuse it too much. I rarely floor it from a standing start -- smoke and screeching tires is no longer appropriate for me. I prefer to goose it when the car has quietly moved off from a stoplight -- the front end lifts and the car is just plain gone!

I'm 67 and living in South Florida. The "kids" in the stock Mustangs and lifted pickups get a real surprise when I leave them in the dust -- the car is very stock looking.

I'm not finished with the upgrades (downpipe needs quite a bit of work) so the car won't see a dyno until that is done.

I would say the car got a big bump in performance with the cold air intake/Stage 1/Borla exhaust/blue blowoff valve. The Diablo Predator 93-octane tune gave it another bump and the latest upgrades have given it an additional bump but not as big as the first two.

The composite manifold/intercooler outlet pipe/air cleaner to turbo intake pipe is hard to quantify because the noise level has gone up. The big 3" inlet pipe is pretty thin so you can hear the turbo whine more than before. The intercooler pipe has no restrictions so there seems to be less turbo lag. The turbo also seems to kick in pretty strong even at part throttle -- a light foot still results in the turbo taking over. That just started happening with the third set of mods.
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