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Old 02-02-2018, 10:27 AM   #1
Eskie
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How to turbo a daily driven iX

Since I've successfully turbocharged my iX without any major issues, I figured I would share what I learned building my setup. I daily drive my iX to and from work (mostly highway) all year round. I live in Michigan so this means pretty harsh winters with a fair amount of snow and negative temps.

Feel free to ask questions--the hardest part about the build is that information was sometime hard to find and scattered over different forums. I'll be updating the thread as I find links to what I've purchased/threads with useful information.

1990 325iX coupe MT
M20B25-completely stock and un-opened
.
Holset HX35W @ 7.5-8PSI (Wastegate spring)
Megasquirt MS2 DIY PNP
DIYPSI turbo manifold
Tial Q blow off valve
Tial MVR 44mm wastegate
2.5" Intercooler piping
3" Exhaust
Mishimoto Radiator
Bosch 0280155831 30lb/315cc injectors (used from Volvo XC70)

STOCK CLUTCH
STOCK FUEL PUMP



Turbocharger:
Holset HX35W (had internal wastegate)
I bought this turbo used on eBay. I figured I would roll the dice, but to my surprise it arrived to my doorstep clean and without any shaft play. It was 135$-ironically one of the cheapest parts of the turbo setup. Being a internal wastegated turbo and planning on running an external wastegate, I needed to weld the wastegate flap shut. This can be done with MIG or TIG, make sure sure you preheat the housing first with a torch since it is cast. This was done with the exhaust housing completely removed from the center housing as to not damage the turbine during welding. I also welded a larger v-band to the outlet flange for my downpipe using the same procedure. Lastly, I ground down the ugly bracket on the exhaust housing using an angle grinder with a flapper disc. This is optional but ended up making the turbo a lot lighter and as a bonus, looks better.






Turbocharger oil lubrication and cooling:
This turbo is only fed by oil, no coolant necessary. I used AN fittings to get the job done. I clocked the turbo center housing straight up and down vertically and ran the lines. The feed is -4AN. It runs from a oil filter sandwich adapter which are readily available on eBay to a banjo fitting on top of the turbo.

The banjo bolt fitting for a HX35 is 12x1.5mm. I used one that has a 1.5mm restrictor which apparently the correct size for journal bearing turbo. Doesn't burn a drop of oil yet.

The drain is -10AN. I used a straight fitting out of the bottom of the turbo with an adapter flange. From there it runs down to a 45ish degree fitting that is threaded into the side of the block. I drilled and tapped a 1/2"NPT hole into the block and installed a 1/2"NPT to -10AN fitting. I chose to do it this way for a couple of reasons.
-you have to remove the entire subframe to get the oil pan out
-there is virtually no sump depth in the front of an iX oil pan
-I saw a thread where someone else did it and it worked out well


Drilling was difficult. I used a 11/16" drill bit and drilled through the passenger side wheel well. Did I mention I needed to lower the engine? I attached an engine crane to the engine and removed the subframe bolts. I carefully lowered the engine, making sure not to stress any hoses. I kept the drill bit well lubricated and cleaned off as much metal swarf as I could before the bit went through the pan. I realized that I would get some swarf into the pan so when I was done I opened the oil drain plug and flushed the sump with a couple gallons of used oil.










Turbo Manifold:

The manifold that I decided to go with is the DIYPSI manifold. Its pretty good. The wastegate runner is on the bottom, which puts my wastegate in the path of road debris and salt, but its a Tial so its really a moot point. The only issue I ran into was clearance for the nuts on the bottom front 4 holes. The runners in this area did not have enough clearance, so I used some M8 allen socket head bolts. I replaced all the studs with BMW#11627583110. They are for turbo MINI's, same size stud but they have a inverted hex on the end of them for easy installation. I feel good about reusing the stock M20 exhaust manifold nuts. For one, they do not have a flange and they were very corroded. I work at a BMW dealer so I took a look at what newer models use and I came up with #18307620549. N55/54's use these. They are nice because they have a flange on them and are cheaper than the stock M20 ones.
Note: if I decided to go with the stock ones they still wouldn't have fit the bottom front row.

Pictures and more later....

Last edited by Eskie; 02-03-2018 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:33 AM   #2
NEOe30
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Since boosting my 24v very I have considered a turbo m20 daily. With the winters in here in Cleveland a boosted IX would be sweet! Can't wait to see it


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Old 02-02-2018, 11:47 AM   #3
Eskie
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Originally Posted by NEOe30 View Post
Since boosting my 24v very I have considered a turbo m20 daily. With the winters in here in Cleveland a boosted IX would be sweet! Can't wait to see it


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it's a lot of fun, AWD e30 with snow tires and 8psi=look out subies
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:49 AM   #4
ak-
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Nice!
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:33 PM   #5
Eskie
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Exhaust and downpipe:

Nobody really makes an exhaust for turbo e30's so I had to fabricate one. Here's what I used:

2x stainless v-bands
1x Dynomax resonator 3" x 16" (24219)
1x Dynomax muffler 3" x 14" (17220)
1x 3" flex pipe
1x 3" x 10' straight pipe
1x U/J mandrel bend
harbor freight chop saw
Lincoln 110v mig
Universal hangers
Duplicolor low gloss black engine enamel
Oxygen sensor bung

I started fabbing up the exhaust after mounting up the turbo and manifold. This is important-make sure you the gaskets and tighten all the bolts/nuts before starting to fab your exhaust. I had to pull the downpipe apart and re-weld after the final install. I didn't have the gaskets on the first time, nor did I tighten the fasteners down all the way. Millimeters ended up making a big difference.

One of the biggest challenges was fabricating the downpipe around the windshield washer tray. I wanted to keep it for daily driving reasons. Instead of the downpipe exiting straight out of the turbo, I made a angle cut and continued on from there. I used most of the mandrel bends on the downpipe wanting to keep it smooth. The rest of the exhaust I utilized pie-cuts. I wanted to retain the OEM style tailpipe, so I looked for single inlet dual outlet mufflers but none of them met the measurements I needed, so fabbed up a Y-shaped outlet for the muffler.

I welded nuts into the body to mount the rear muffler hangers and used a pickup on the rear subframe for another. I re-used the bracket that mounts to the transfer case by cutting it off the old exhaust and welding it on to the new one.

As for the wastegate pipe, I opted to not incorporate it into the exhaust for now. I bought a universal "screamer pipe" and modified it to fit with my manifold. It points straight down, straddling the side of the block.

It pretty loud on the outside, but not bad on the inside. It drones a bit on the highway but isn't bad with a full interior with sound insulation. Sounds great at idle. I'll try to put together a sound clip.












Last edited by Eskie; 02-02-2018 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:54 PM   #6
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This is going to be a really fun set-up. You might have mentioned it and I just missed it, but where did you source the exhaust manifold from? And props for fabing your own exhaust. Do you think it saved you much $$ considering the effort and time?

I am currently putting together my build list to do a T3 on the 2.7i I just finished putting together, trying to determine the best way to do the exhaust myself. I haven't welded since high-school so I don't think I could do a complete fab the way you have. I was thinking of just fabing up a downpipe from the turbo and mating it to a ANSA intermediate pipe and muffler.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
Eskie
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Originally Posted by MrWolf View Post
This is going to be a really fun set-up. You might have mentioned it and I just missed it, but where did you source the exhaust manifold from? And props for fabing your own exhaust. Do you think it saved you much $$ considering the effort and time?

I am currently putting together my build list to do a T3 on the 2.7i I just finished putting together, trying to determine the best way to do the exhaust myself. I haven't welded since high-school so I don't think I could do a complete fab the way you have. I was thinking of just fabing up a downpipe from the turbo and mating it to a ANSA intermediate pipe and muffler.
Is the ANSA pipe a dual pipe setup? I don't see a problem making a connection between a downpipe and the intermediate pipe. You would just have to buy or fab some kind of y-pipe. Maybe you could weld some flanges on the y-pipe outlet and v-band the inlet, that way if you wanted to go bigger later you could remove it instead of cutting it and re-welding it.

The manifold is the DIYPSI manifold, you can buy it from DIYPSI.net or from Blunttech. Some other outlets may carry it as well.

The exhaust took me about a week to build, it cost about 400$. It was a lot of work sliding in and out from underneath the car, tacking and cutting pipe. I'm really happy with the result though. It wasn't necessarily about saving money, I couldn't find a pre-made one that was 3". I need 3" because I plan on increasing the power down the road.

Thanks for the props!

Last edited by Eskie; 02-02-2018 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:05 PM   #8
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Looks good, you are braver than me for the oil drain location.

Welcome to the club, post some videos.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:42 PM   #9
Eskie
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Looks good, you are braver than me for the oil drain location.

Welcome to the club, post some videos.
EDIT: I think the videos are only showing up on mobile, here are the links;

First Drive

Idling





I need a go pro..

Last edited by Eskie; 02-03-2018 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:16 AM   #10
Eskie
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Intercooler:

I wanted my intercooler to be behind the grilles so I bought a 28"x9"x2.75" universal unit. The end tanks rest right about the bumper frame horns. I welded a piece of 1/8" mild steel bar across the frame horns for the bottom mounts. I welded in a single piece of flat bar with a channel in it for a top mount. This is welded to the top radiator support/hood lock bridge area. I also had to make some relief cuts in the front bumper apron sheet metal. The cuts are hidden underneath the bumper bar.

crappy ms paint diagram, because I forgot to take a picture:


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Old 02-03-2018, 01:13 PM   #11
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Loving this!! Thanks for the inspiration. How is it in stop and go traffic?

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Old 02-03-2018, 03:06 PM   #12
e30davie
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Well done. Nice write up.

I've made 1 exhaust on my.old 4wd. The amount of in and out of the car it took and sliding under the car I told my self id never do it again. Far too much effort
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:10 PM   #13
Eskie
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Loving this!! Thanks for the inspiration. How is it in stop and go traffic?

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Thank you!

Better than stock. Throttle response is better probably because of the variable tps. I’m using a modified version of iXer’s map. I took a lot of advance out in the low load, low rpm sections used in creeping highway traffic. High advance in these bins make the car snappy, but also jerky when not accelerating through them. It doesn’t affect my WOT acceleration.


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Old 02-03-2018, 08:24 PM   #14
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nice build , need to do this to my wheezy IX here near Denver at 6200ft its way down on power
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:18 PM   #15
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Eskie, I just want you to know that these pictures are coming in MAD helpful. Putting a Holset HE341 into my 88 iX in the upcoming months, just piecing parts together right now.

What are you using for wideband O2? It looks like you're keeping AC?
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