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2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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14,181 Posts
She's all finished! Time to tune it and make some boost!

Coming along quite nicely. I am beginning to get a little anxious to see how she performs.
Keep an eye on the bulkhead connection in the future, as the paper tag you left on there may disintegrate. When do you plan to ship the T-shirts?
 

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Opel Insignia 1.8
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3 Posts
Hi mate, I am doing a similar build on an Insignia 1.8 (so same engine). I am good with all the mechanical bits, but I was hoping you can give me a bit more info in regards to the electronics. What did you use and what it took to make it right for the boost. Am I right to think , that with this HP tuners kit, all I need is to plug it in, calibrate the fuel maps and the ignition and it would be job done? If I can somewhat use the original ECU I would definitely prefer that. Also what car have you selected as I can't find 1.8 petrol Cruze or Insignia? Thank you in advance. I will post in F18D4T's thread as well - I hope I will gather info from both of you and see if there are any differences and what suits me best. I love what you guys are doing, thank you for the information, as what you 2 did is pretty much what inspired me to do this build.
 

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2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8 (soon to be 1.8t) LS... white
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789 Posts
Discussion Starter · #384 ·
Hi mate, I am doing a similar build on an Insignia 1.8 (so same engine). I am good with all the mechanical bits, but I was hoping you can give me a bit more info in regards to the electronics. What did you use and what it took to make it right for the boost. Am I right to think , that with this HP tuners kit, all I need is to plug it in, calibrate the fuel maps and the ignition and it would be job done? If I can somewhat use the original ECU I would definitely prefer that. Also what car have you selected as I can't find 1.8 petrol Cruze or Insignia? Thank you in advance. I will post in F18D4T's thread as well - I hope I will gather info from both of you and see if there are any differences and what suits me best. I love what you guys are doing, thank you for the information, as what you 2 did is pretty much what inspired me to do this build.
Hey! Sorry about the delayed reply. You're right about that. HP Tuners, you'll need Wideband such as the AEM unit that'll intercept the AFR's to dial in the fueling. Aside from that, log, and adjust fuel and spark as necessary. I've learned most of what I've been doing tuning wise from Goat Rope Garage on YouTube, HP Tuners channel, as well as HP Academy. Good luck with the build. I'm on YouTube answering questions more often than here as it's getting quite the following and has taken more time to answer questions there.
 

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2012 Chevy Cruze 1.8 (soon to be 1.8t) LS... white
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789 Posts
Discussion Starter · #385 ·
Hey Gang! Been a while, but definitely still at it. Have ran into my share of issues, but She's running, and we're in tuning stage. I've tuned it myself, but will be handing it over to someone more familiar with tuning than me. Just a few more small changes to the build, such as an AEM TruBoost controller, billet wheel turbo from my sponsor Maxpeedingrods, and a larger intake pipe to the front of the turbo. Aside from that we should see some dyno numbers soon and some ET's at the track.

 

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15 Posts
Hey Gang! Been a while, but definitely still at it. Have ran into my share of issues, but She's running, and we're in tuning stage. I've tuned it myself, but will be handing it over to someone more familiar with tuning than me. Just a few more small changes to the build, such as an AEM TruBoost controller, billet wheel turbo from my sponsor Maxpeedingrods, and a larger intake pipe to the front of the turbo. Aside from that we should see some dyno numbers soon and some ET's at the track.

I have a question regarding the SPEC Steel Billet flywheel you used for this build. Was it the flywheel that is listed for the 1.4L engine (SC17S)? If so, were you able to use the 1.4L flywheel with no problems/modifications? I have a 1.8L (no mods) and want to replace the DMF with a steel SMF to increase flywheel longevity (DMF is rattling). SPEC told me that the 1.4L and 1.8L flywheels/pressure plates are different but my research has shown that the OEM part numbers for 1.4L and 1.8L are the same.
 

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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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I’m in the process of turbocharging my 1.8 sonic I’ve read online that the f16d4 and f18d4 have the same exhaust manifold so the 1.6 opel turbo manifold that’s similar to the 1.4t in these cars will supposedly bolt onto the 1.8 I’ve ordered a gasket I’ll update if it fits if not then $17 wasted but taking a risk for research sakes
 
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