Turbo Prototype Revealed
|We undertook the turbo project in a bid to test the limits of the standard SC V6 internals. Knowing we'd max out the blower at 300rwhp, we knew we'd have to look at other options as we'd heard rumours of the engines being good for around 400rwhp. We could either go 2 ways, bigger blower or big turbo. Both upgrades looked like they would cost about the same.
|We decided to go turbo mainly because we knew that serious power would only come from an intercooler set-up. The Eaton PD Blowers are inherently hard to intercool, but turbos are a synch. So we decided to go the turbo route, knowing also what the VL Turbo's we're capable of. We also researched and assessed the awesome results they are getting in the states from the Buick Turbo V6's. Why the hell Holden and Buick went away from turbo'ing them, we'll never know. Imagine the potential today if they kept on developing them !!
|Planning, Design and Construction
From the moment we planned to undertake the turbo project we knew we didn't want to do things by halves; as so many kits have been done before. We wanted to go all out, and the foundation for an awesome turbo set-up lies in the exhaust manifold designs.
We decided to go all out on the exhaust manifold fabrication. Big pipes, tig welds, laser cut flanges. Clearing all the obstacles in the engine bay required careful planning and precision modelling. Once we were satisfied which way we were going to go, the cutting and welding started. Pictured is the raw finished exhaust manifold pipes before they were sandblasted and coated in heat proof paint. For the production versions they could be opted with ceramic coating as a finish.
The intercooler and plumbing was next. First thing was to select a suitably designed core. Tube and fin was the obvious choice. The trick was to design the core and tanks the took advantage of the available air from the hole in the bumper. Once chosen we set out to fabricate piping out of aluminium to direct the charged air out of the engine bay, through the intercooler core and back round into the engine bay and link to the throttle body. Again this required careful planning and design as we wanted a flowing look to the pipes and a minimum of fuss in the engine bay.
Once the exhaust manifolds and intercooler piping were finished it was time to bolt on the turbo and auxiliary components. Because the turbo bearings are water cooled we had to fabrication "inlet" / "outlets" from the cooling system to flow coolant around the bearings. There were a couple of sundry components, general bracketing and so on which we needed to complete before start-up.
|Once we were satisfied everything was in order it was time to turn the key. It just started and purred. Too simple we thought, and so quiet and smooth. We were initially cautious with boost and only ran 6psi for a couple of weeks to see all was ok. Week by week we turned up the boost and played with the tuning to get the power happening. Within a couple of months all was ok. The test mule is a daily driver and behaves just like an everyday vehicle.
Turning up the wick
|Satisfied all was ok we started to up the anti. 14psi (1Bar) boost was where we ideally wanted to be, and it handled it with ease. Producing a healthy 351.8rwhp @ 4,200rpm and around 1,800ftlbs of torque @ 3,600rpm we started to smile. We now had achieved our "over 300rwhp" target. We drove the mule around for a couple of weeks and it felt strong. Preliminary G-Tech results produced 12.7 @ 112 mph, so we knew we were in the 12's, all we had to do was get it to the track.
Street Commodores Official
WA Dyno - 6th June 2004
months of being off the road having the turbo
manifolds copied for sale to the general public the
Turbo Test Mule has finally been reassembled to
again roam the streets.
First stop was
the Street Commodores official WA Dyno day held at
Chipmaster on the 6th June 2004. It was a great
turn-out with many powerful cars making their
presence felt. There has always been a great divide
between V8's and V6's, with the gap in power usually
being quite significant, but not today.
Turbo Test Mule was easily the most powerful V6 of
the day creating a massive 374.6rwhp (281.5rwkw) on
a conservative 18psi boost. This power could have
easily been improved upon but we're saving it for
the Street Commodores Nationals. So powerful was the
Turbo V6 that it even ripped most of the 24 tested
V8's to shred's and turned out to be the 4th most
powerful car of the day. All of the other V8's had
major work done, heads, cam, stroke, Blowers, you
name it, with some big bucks having been spent.
Look at the attached dyno sheet and you'll see how
incredible this spread of power and torque is, with
the bulk of the power being available right at the
start of the rev range and continuing all the way
through to red-line. Most powerful cars have nothing
down low, but make great peak power.
this may be impressive, peak power is not what wins
races, its torque and power spread. The earlier the
power gets produced the quicker the car gets moving,
and the longer this power can be held for the
improves the momentum and terminal speed. This is
why the Turbo Test Mule performs so well down the
track. With an array of low 12 sec passes on street
tyres in street trim with an open wheeler diff and a
stock 3.08 diff ratios. Easy 11's with slicks and
ratio swap are a certainty.
the test mule is still an internally dead stock
supercharged V6 engine, with only bolt on mods
crafted entirely from FIT's research and development
440.8rwhp @ 20psi Boost CCCWA Dyno Day
"Just where is the limit?? That's the question we
are asking ourselves!!”
As the title says, the FIT Turbo Test Mule has just
cracked 440.8rwhp @ 20psi Boost!!
This now officially Australia’s Most Powerful
Commodore V6 – Unbelievable!
We were as amazed as everyone else, the event was at
a CCCWA (Commodore Car Club of Western Australia) Dyno
day, of which we are a sponsor and member, held at
Mark's Workshop in York WA around 1 ½hours drive
out of Perth.
We were heading down to the Motorplex to get some
¼ mile numbers, but the weather turned nasty, so we
decided to scoot off to the dyno competition. There
were around 27 cars competing ranging from Stocky
V6's, Worked V6's, Straight VL 6's, VL V8's, VN
V8's, VT, VX Gen 3's, stockies and worked ... a
whole variation of entrants.
The turbo mule was one of the final vehicles to be
run up and there had already been some solid
numbers up on the board from 364 - 394rwhp by some
Head and Cam Gen 3's, which sounded tough. Anyway,
it was the Turbo Mule's turn. We initially thought
we should run the same 18psi boost as the recent SC's dyno day at Chipmaster, we knew that would give
us around 375rwhp.
We didn't necessarily go there with the intention to
win; we just thought it would be good to put some
numbers up on the board. The challenge got the
better of us and we decided to "up-the-anti" with
another 1psi of boost taking it to 19psi boost.
WOW!! 397.4rwhp and it loved it. No signs of strain,
however a sign of slight wheel spin on the dyno as it
was raining and everyone had been dragging in the
water on their tyres. Mark tried strapping it down a
bit harder, and we took the opportunity to add a
notch more boost into the equation. How's 20psi
Mark thought it would be better to progressively
feed the throttle on to alleviate the potential
wheel spin, and look what happened.
We were dumbfounded to say the least, as with
everyone else. We cleaned up the competition by a
full 46rwhp !! We are absolutely stoked to say the
least. We didn't want to push our luck, so we just
left it there for the time being. We'll have another
go in a couple of months at another Dyno day and see
if we can squeeze some more out of it, but we are
absolutely wrapped for now!!
Proving ground (Kwinana Motorplex)
Damn!! It was sooo close today for the FIT Turbo Test mule's return to the track. Weather was absolutely perfect, zero rain, zero breeze, moderate temps, 20°C, couldn't ask for better.
Interesting fact, we weighed the VT Turbo Test Mule with 3/4 tank of fuel, me driver (78kg), 2 tyres on rims and workshop jack ... 1794kg!! Damn, this thing needs to go on a diet. We raced it like this until DAZ XU6 came along for us to transfer the bits into, but that made for more wheel spin, so we had to put half back in!!
After just having upgraded the diff to LSD and 3.46 ratio, as well as freshened up the gearbox, there wasn't enough $$$ left over to get slicks, so we had to run with the road tyres for this round. We knew it was going to be hopeless, but we thought we'd give it a go anyway. We already had traction problems before, so with more power it was only going to get worse. We tried with 20psi at around 420+rwhp and it was still wheel spinning both tyres hard by 3/4 track. The run returned a 12.7 @ 118MPH. So we turned the boost down to 19psi for around 390+rwhp, and feathered the throttle for the initial 1/4 track then hit is full halfway through 2nd gear. The run netted a 12.01 sec ET at 120.58MPH with a still crap 2.133 60ft time. We were MPH'ing soo hard that we run out of revs in top (auto 3rd gear) and had to go into overdrive (auto 4th gear)!!
We had a fair few runs in between these where we netted 12.275 sec ET @ 119MPH, with a crap 2.22 60ft time. As well as a couple of other total stuff up run we have the time slips here to post up as well as some video footage of all the runs to post on the website.
It was so close to the magic 11 sec
that we could taste it, but the Motorplex had a problem it's timing computer so we didn't race anymore after. It was getting too difficult to get consistent take-off's and it's now very obvious we may fluke an 11sec pass, but to get consistent 11sec passes we need proper race slicks. Our 2.133 60ft time should get down to a 1.60 or 1.70 60ft time with slicks so this immediately means we're into the 11.6's or better, so we'll have to wait for that glorious day around 1 month from now.
17 seconds - 1.45MB
Well done to BlackJackNZ for his 14.11 sec ET @ 96MPH with boost, rockers, exhaust.
Well done to Regan for his 14.32 sec ET @ 95MPH with boost and exhaust.
Well done Justin for his 15.29 sec ET @ 91MPH with stocko S/C motor Transplanted into his VP
Thanks to all who came along, good to catch up with V6 enthusiasts on what was an excellent day's racing. At the end of the day, it would've been nice to sneak into the 11's on street tyres, but it just takes a fluke run to do it and it didn't happen. We were very happy with our efforts and know we've got the 11's in the bag, when we come back with slicks. It certainly has the power; all we need is the grip!!
Forced Induction Technologies' "Test Mule" official time slips
from 5 November 2003.
- First pass of the night produced 12.817 ET @ 116.73 mph
- Second Pass produced 12.417 @ 117.18mph
- Third pass produced 12.579 ET @ 115.83 mph
At the time it had not been tuned, we ran 16psi and were only doing granny starts in 1st gear, netting crappy 2.44 60' foot times. 1.65 60' foot times are achievable with more practice and tuning. Last measured 351.8rwhp at 14psi.
|Yes, we stumbled across some gob smacked Gen III owners saying, "What the..?". Is this the fastest Commodore V6 in the Land? Who knows, but we hope to improve upon this in the next couple of meets.
|For those of you thinking of going a bombed V8, or S/C V6 converted to turbo the outcome is now inscribed. We're aiming to keep as much of the original driveline stock until something snaps. We don't know what'll be first, the engine, gearbox, diff? That's what we're here to test and find out.
|We predict the gearbox will be the first to go, that's why we've been gentle on it for the first meet. We just wanted to lay some times to get some indication of potential and we didn't want to be carrying bits home in a body bag so early in the piece. The engine feels strong, and for the moment we won't be trying to extract anymore power, just trying to lay better times.
On road performance
of you that would like to know what it's like on the
road, driving it is sensational!! This turbo combo drives exactly as the S/C set-up did from the factory. Fuel economy is the same, if not better (except if you stand on it !). It's super quiet, we'll have to take some mufflers out to make some noise. Stand on it from rolling start and it lunges, then boost comes on fast and rapid, torque is astounding. Roll start, stand on it and the power and torque is there instantly. The speedo needle and tacho snap around like a modified Skyline GTR from Gran Turismo. When we first drove it on 14psi it felt like the axles just wanted to snap !! But we've gotten used to it now and are astounded by the strength of the factory stuff.