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Project 1.8 Turbo (Turdbo)

60197 Views 390 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  PeanutthaKid
Project 1.8 Turbo (Turdbo)

I'm back, after a long time not owning a Cruze. Bought a 2012 1.8 LS with manual trans in 2016. Got an itch for a turbo 4 cylinder project. Thought about going the Honda route, but 'Merica, uniqueness, and with these times, I thought "why not turbo what I have, my daily driver, and make it more fun? This will definitely be a BUDGET minded build. These **** kids are costing me about $1M a piece x 3.

I know what you're thinking... there's very few that have turbo'd a 1.8... which has been a big reason why I haven't moved forward sooner and the lack of aftermarket support. With a little research, and the help of some good friends, this is the plan I have laid out. Check it... and feel free to chime in if you could be of help to make this project come to life.


Stage 1? - Underlined Parts Purchased Aside from UniChip..
Ebay T04E v-band turbo - $117
Ebay oil feed and return lines - $32
Ebay K&N style air filter - $10
Ebay 3" MAF mount before the turbo - $26

Tial knock off BOV 35 psi.
Custom SS exhaust manifold to be fabricated
3/8 SS head flange - $24
1/4 T3/T4 flange - $25
Custom charge pipes / eBay intercooler / eBay fittings.
Aftermarket OBDII catalytic converter (car still needs to pass inspection)
The exhaust I may leave stock, or get something very mellow. I'm not sure I want to listen to a performance exhaust every drive. Maybe an exhaust valve to give me the open turbo exhaust sound when I feel like it?
Larger cc injectors, or an additional injector(s) before the throttle body mounted with an injector(s) bung.
UniChip 4 - $379 and Unichip 2.5 Bar MAP sensor - $65.
Upgrade fuel pump?
Tune.


I know the debate will be, the stock internals are weak. Yup... although I've seen the mass of the crank. I'm thinking it'll hold up to my goals. The stock pistons and rods should be fine to about 250hp... and if not, who cares? I can grab a 1.8l junkyard Ecotec engine for $300 and they're plentiful because they're not desirable. The block is cast iron, so I'm not worried there. Win!!!?

The drivetrain... I think the stock transmission will hold up fine the way I drive. Smooth shifts without dumping the clutch. If the axles break, I'll grade some up from your favorite neighborhood autocrats store with a lifetime warranty and be covered there... aside from time spent replacing axles.

My initial plan is / was to install the turbo, run the car on 5-8 pounds of boost, 93 octane, stock quiet exhaust with around 150whp. Pretty achievable and the car will be going Choo Choo... until I talked to a bored friend of mine with nothing to do this quarantine. That's when things got that much more interesting... He (Wayne) has access to a full automotive machine shop and dyno (a close friend of his). He races pro stock dragsters. We talked and his friend can get unmachined forged castings, and we're kicking around the idea of making A LOT of custom parts. This is the plan we came up with.


Stage 2 - No Parts Purchase Here...
Buy an additional 1.8, valve cover to pan, from the boneyard for $299.
Machine custom forged pistons for the stock 80.5mm bore. CR TBD based on hp goals.
Machine block for ARP studs.
Forged MaXpeeding connecting rods - $209 (more about this below)
Clevite bearings.
Create custom aluminum intake.
Throttle body... TBD
Create custom fuel rail.
Port & polish head.
Valve job.
Springs and Camshaft TBD. (more below)?
2200cc Bosch injectors - $81
Stage 3 Clutch
Walbro 450?


Research, oh the research...
Thus far what I've found out about the Chevy Cruze 1.8 is it's an Opel 2HO. The engine was developed by Opel (a subsidiary of General Motors). The Opel A18XER (manufactured since 2008) is the same 1.8l found in a Cruze, as well as the Opel Z18XER (manufactured since 2005). Well, as far as the internals go. I'm sure there are some slight emissions differences.

After Cruzin' (pun intended) around some of the Opel/Vauxhall forums, and the interwebs, I've found turbo kits across the pond for the Z18XE made by DBilas range from 190hp to 250hp with similar mods above.

Camshaft and springs. I'd have to cross reference whether the Z18XER stuff is a direct drop in for our Opel 2HO. Don't see why they wouldn't be, but again. Keeping things budget minded.

Connecting rods... the 1.6 version of the 1.8 made by Opel has the same size rods, from what research I've done. Luckily, good ol MaXpeeding rods makes a set of H-beam con rods with ARP 2000 bolts, rated 800-1000 hp. Not sure the quality of them, but from comparison videos I've seen side by side next to a set of $1k rods, they're just as good. Not too sure about that brass bushing? Any feed back on their rods is more than welcome. When what I read on the forums is correct about sizing, who knows. Maybe we can machine them to work...

Tuning. I hear good things about UniChip. Finding a tuner around my parts, not easy to come by. Buying their software to tune it myself is around $650. At that point, Haltech might be a better option? Again, trying to keep this budget minded, but I'm sure the biggest expense maybe the management.

That's all I got for now... I may have missed something, but I need to get out from behind the computer. Thoughts welcome.

-Matt
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What do you guys think of the intake design? Looking for feedback

I would consider cutting the outside return of the bell mouth or at least lowering the profile of it by pulling it toward the outside when you finally make the thing. And just looking at the crush on the cardboard, Could you not just add another facet at that corner where it crushed? It looked like it was going to fit, but I could not tell obviously. If you would have removed the bell mouth and let the hood close all the ay it would have been more telling.

It felt like I was chewing my feet saying that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #364 ·
Good point! I'll have to do that when I get back around to taking it on as a project. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #365 ·
The engine is finally back from the machine shop!!! After 14 months of waiting, it's finally time to start putting this thing together.

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Looking good
 
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Discussion Starter · #368 ·
Short block ready. I got the wrong ARP studs. They were about an inch too short, so I'm having ARP send me the correct ones. Then the top end will come together.

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Discussion Starter · #371 ·
Update. At the moment, I have clearances for piston to head checked. They're right in the ballpark, but I'll have to "make" a custom head gasket. I've reached out to a few companies, and surprise, surprise, unless it's a LS... they don't have the tooling to make a one off gasket. I've reached out to Cometic, as well as SCE.

I have a custom shim on the way I had cut at sendcutsend.com to give me the clearance I need. Compressed stock gasket is .025". It's a MLS. The middle shim is a .006" flat steel shim that's coated. The plan is to cut out the rivets, remove the middle shim, place the .030 shim I had cut from CRS, coat it with copper spray sealer, and bolt her down with ARP head studs. That's my best fighting chance.

The piston sticks out the hole .038". There is .032" clearance / quench pad in the combustion chamber. With the added shim, that'll give me a squish of .043" clearance which is ideal. Piston to valve clearance will check out at; Intake = .0297”, Exhaust = .0263”.

Did a timing check, and everything lines up just fine after a few turns of the crankshaft, so we should be good there. VVT angles to be adjusted on the dyno to see what it likes.

All part of the little details that go into engine building, boosted or not.

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Discussion Starter · #374 ·
Last set of checks before this thing goes together and is ready for the first start!
 

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Discussion Starter · #376 ·
Getting this thing sorted out! The break in fluids look great. Now time to get after finishing up the intake, charge piping, exhaust, and intake!
 
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