Exploring New Turbos

23 Nov Exploring New Turbos

The Rolling Stones sang, “Time is on my side.” Sometimes, though, it’s not on everybody’s side.

Such is the case with the Explorer. As the VNT (variable-vane) turbos were being tuned on the Explorer, there became a bit of a time crunch with the owner in regards to the remaining work on the build. We had told him that tuning the VNTs would be a long process, perhaps taking longer than both parties would hope, but the option always existed to swap the VNT turbos out for more traditional snails. Since tuning the traditional turbos would be a much faster process, the owner opted for that route. So that’s the route we undertook this weekend. First, we had to rip a few things out of the engine bay; namely, the turbos, downpipes, and anything else that relied on the positioning of the VNT turbine and compressor housings.


With the VNTs out of the way, we opted for a set of small snails to produce the boost we needed. Since boost levels were never to get into the teens, we opted for some standard T3s:


We then went about milling new flanges out of stainless steel, along with cutting out the old flanges and shaving down the edges of the downpipes to accept the new flanges. Only a short bit of the Swain Tech coating had to be removed, so the heat soak should still remain a non-issue.


After some quick test fitment…


…We tacked on the new flanges…


…And after some more time, the final welds were applied.


With the welds in place, we reattached all the piping into the engine bay, followed by the turbos. The fitment, as you could guess, is spot on.


And the elbow grease has already paid off! The Explorer is back on the dyno and tuning is moving along swimmingly. We should have videos for you soon! In the meantime, have a very Happy Thanksgiving (if you’re in a place that celebrates it) and a safe Black Friday. Try not to get trampled while you pick up your $50 300-inch 1080P television. We’ll be back in action on Friday!


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