Author Topic: The Building of a Turbo C14.  (Read 10601 times)

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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The Building of a Turbo C14.
« on: July 30, 2011, 12:46:02 pm »
There are two ways of going about any good modification:

1) Buying someone's finished product and bolting it on (or paying someone to bolt it on),
   or
2) Building it yourself and bolting it on (or paying someone to do that, hehe).

Both approaches work for turbocharging a Concours 1400, but I'm going to write about my 3/4 DIY turbo project. I'll write it in sections: Exhaust, Fuel, Plumbing, Wrenching, Tuning, and Finishing Touches. I won't finish all of the sections for a few weeks still, but might as well start now.  :D

First things first though: Why? The short answer is I wanted a 2-up touring sport bike that was reliable, comfortable, handled well, upgradeable, sharp looking, and would smoke a 1000cc sportbike in a straight line. 6 out of 7 were accomplished at a Kawasaki dealership. The last teenie-tiny problem required some forced induction... something I understand well enough to do on my own. When The Project started I couldn't even find rumor on the wide wide interwebs of anyone who had tried to turbocharge a C14, so that left out solution #1. I had seen ZX14 kits here and there, but almost all of them were dump pipe exhaust/filter through the fairing affairs, and I wanted stock exhaust location and an element of stealth. That, and I didn't really know if the ZX14 stuff would actually fit. Turns out that it 99% does, but that hardly would have been as much fun. Or educational. Or cheap. So, with that out of the way....
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 03:41:13 pm by SpazOnaConcours »

Offline Jeremy Mitchell

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 12:58:32 pm »
 :popcorn:  This is gonna be good, I can't wait to see another turbo build.
Keeping the economy going, one tank of fuel and two tires at a time.

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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Exhaust
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 01:18:30 pm »
I like sturdy exhaust manifolds for turbochargers. If you can't brace or support your turbo head unit outside of the exhaust tubing/piping itself, you need a stout manifold design. I chose stainless 1.25" 304 stainless pipe in schedule 10 (note "pipe" is measured by ID, "Tube" is measured by OD). The reasons being:

1) 1.25 sch 10 pipe has almost -exactly- the right actual OD for the exhaust ports.
2) It's much better than mild steel, but much more affordable than more exotic (though better suited) steels.
3) The actual ID is slightly larger than the stock exhaust manifold
4) It's readily available in straight AND cast elbows (weld-el's they are sometimes called)
5) It's strong as hell, maintains good strength at high temperatures, and very easy to weld

Their are some drawbacks to using the stuff, such as the higher cost and the way it likes to shrink & expand in reaction to temperature, but the former isn't so bad, and the later you compensate for when you build. Or clearance for after you make the mistake, heheh.

Along with the pipe and tube we used a section of 3/8" stainless plate to serve as a 'one piece' exhaust flange. This was done over individual stock-like primary clamps to save time and add a little more strength. Remember that a turbo gets pretty heavy hanging from just the exhaust, and metal gets a lot weaker when it gets really hot. It's a bit overkill, but it's easier to remove metal than to add it after the fact. To complete the manifold I picked up a cast-stainless 3/8" T25 exhaust flange & gasket off ebay somewhere.

Turbo choices for many people are a personal matter. Some go by hype, some go by whatever everyone else does, and some I swear close their eyes and pick the biggest/cheapest one they can find that might fit. I do math, and pick a compressor that works well with the aplication and that has room to grow in the power range should I feel the ned to do so, and then try everything I can to get the ideal unit to fit. You have lots of choices with good turbo's these days: wastegate type, wheel construction, bearing type, turbine A/R sizing, and more. I went with the Garrett GT28RS (aka the Disco Potato). This turbo is just right on the compressor flow, and is the benchmark for compact & quick spooling ball bearing turbos. I also opted for the larger A/R exhaust housing, as that optimizes your powerband for higher RPM peak power. There is a give and take with sizing A/R ratios this way, but you can go to Garrett's web site and read about it there if you're interested... it's too verbose to put in here. Simply put, I didn't -want- anymore low end power on the Concours than it already had: It just really fell on it's face after 6K rpm, and that disappointed me.

Anyway, constuction of the manifold was by far the hardest and most time consuming part. The condensed version runs about like this: Take everything apart (fairing and exhaust), and support the turbo where you want it to fit somehow. Then construct your flange and bolt it to the head. For my that meant cutting 4, 3" or so sections of the straight pipe and cutting holes in the flange plate for it to go through & holes for the studs to go through. Tack the pipes at the depth through the flange that lets you bolt it to the head, test the fit, then weld the pipes. Once the (mostly) finished flange is bolted up, then you cut up weld-els and pipe until you get them all to come into the collector flange where you need them. Bandsaws are fantastic for this, though plasma cutters and 'chop saws' work as well. This is probably the hardest part for most people, and why "kits" are usually sold more often than made. Once you get all your pieces lined up/tacked in place & it holds the turbo where you want, you break it all apart, clean up the pieces and weld it all together (see photo for pre-welded manifold).

Once everything is welded together and the turbo is hanging on its own, you construct the downpipe and connect it to the rest of your exhaust. Making pipe fit can be a headache, and it will almost never go exactly the way you wanted it to go, but you get it there none the less. Weld in an oxygen sensor bung where you can and clean up the mess. You're ready to start plumbing fuel, air, and oil. :)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 03:43:11 pm by SpazOnaConcours »

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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note
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 01:20:27 pm »
...just wanted to add now that I will be adding more pictures back in the posts as I take them... I just wanted to write some stuff now. I'll edit spelling and such as I re-read. I'll answer any questions or stuff I left out (or requests for pics/info) if anyone asks. :)

Cheers
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 04:27:25 pm by SpazOnaConcours »

Offline Fretka

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 12:03:21 pm »
Damn I wish you would change your board name!  :D  No-one who can build a turbo motor is a "Spaz"




Fretka
Wretched excess visited upon an innocent C-14

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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Fuel
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 09:47:26 pm »
Quite possibly the most simple part of the the build, and the least DIY involvement IMO: the fuel system is pretty much a buy-it-and-piece-it-together affair. There are a plethora of ways to fuel a turbo motor properly, and like so many things turbo-related, there are quite a few strong opinions on which ones are best. I'm not going to get into all that, but rather detail why I did mine the way I did. :)

I chose to do an "add-on" approach to the fuel system. This meant that stock fuel system would be left mostly intact, and that I would add hardware/software to "piggy-back" the stock hardware and ECU. A Power Commander or Bazzaz are examples of piggy-back ecu type hardware that adjust fueling. Being that this build was a little outside of the typical output range, some special modifications have to be considered. At the very least a high volume fuel pump should be installed to CYA, and a return style rising rate regulator were added as well.

The 'trick' to managing the fuel system on a turbo engine is to find some way to adjust the mixture with a direct reference to boost. Your typical PCV/Bazzaz set up only allows adjustment for fuel in reference to RPM and throttle position, and this just won't work for turbo motors. As boost is introduced to the motor, you need more fuel... or Bad Things happen. The problem is that the boost a turbo can make isn't consistent, ie: it can make anywhere from 1 to 8 psi at almost any rpm from 6K and up whenever you demand it to over a wide range of throttle positions. Your typical two dimensional RPM/TP map can't predict when you are going to open up the throttle (or how much) at any given RPM, so you have to have some way to add fuel directly in reference to a live pressure signal from the turbo. There are two real ways to do this: with a MAP sensor and a computer that can interpret that sensor signal and alter injector pulse width (which both the PCV and Bazzaz now can do), or by using a fuel pressure regulator that can raise fuel pressure as boost comes on.  In any turbo build you want to -at least- raise fuel pressure at a 1:1 rate of boost, but raising at a higher rate (say, 4psi of fuel pressure per 1 psi of boost ie: 4:1 rising rate) will allow the injectors to spray more fuel for the same pulse width... up to a point anyway, as there are diminishing returns with a system like this. This allows you to use the stock injectors (again, up to a certain HP point) as they will act "bigger" at higher fuel pressures, and also keep the stock-like drive ability of the factory set-up when you're off the boost.  Seeing as how I had to add a regulator/new pump anyway to get at least that 1:1 rate, I might as well do the whole set-up with the higher rising rate to cover the fuel. I could have set up a 1:1 rising rate AND run a boost reference feature from the PCV, but that just seems redundant to me.

The pump modification was done by David over at Cyclelogic: it is a 225 L/h walbro pump in the stock fuel pump housing... with the stock regulator removed entirely. I also purchased his adjustable rising rate regulator with a bracket to fit the ZX-14... which works just fine on the C14. The adjustable rising rate works from 1:1 to 8:1, and can be adjusted on the fly... very handy and easy to set up. Using an external regulator means the tank had to be drilled and a return port added, while the stock fuel line had to be cut and T'ed into to feed the regulator. This seems intensive, but all the fittings pretty much just screw in and clamp down. Your biggest worry is keeping drill chips out of the tank, and that's not so hard a job when you already have the fuel pump out  :) You clamp all the lines down and run a boost reference line to the regulator, and you're done. (The set-up performs just like stock off the boost... I rode it around for days like this before I even installed the turbo.) ;D

EDIT: After some pretty serious problems with poor quality fuel parts more than a year later, I'd like to revise the ideal set-up for the fuel system slightly. The basic blueprint is the same, but making absolutely sure that you have a HIGH quality pump and regulator is essential. Also, using a regulator with a low rising rate (1:1) is a better idea. At higher fuel pressures you start to run into reliability issues with fuel pumps (fuel pump flow GOES DOWN with higher pressures, and amperage draw goes waaaay up), and big sweeps in fuel pressure can make it tricky to get an accurate tune. If I could go back and do this part again, I would run an Aeromotive Stealth pump inside a ZX10R pump housing (they fit the Concours), a 1:1 Aeromotive or Turbosmart external fuel pressure regulator, and use a 3-bar MAP sensor to adjust fuel via the PCV (or whatever engine management you choose to use). I'd probably bump base fuel pressure up to about 50psi and use the 420cc stock Kawasaki injectors. -6 AN (3/8") fuel feed lines at a minimum, and -4 AN (1/4") lines minimum for the fuel return line. Not too much different from what I did originally, but very significant if you want it to live.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 01:56:53 pm by SpazOnaConcours »

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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Plumbing, Part 1
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2011, 08:14:39 am »
Plumbing is a pretty broad term, and it can range from easy and cost effective all the way to nightmare-ish and pretty expensive depending on how you want to go about it. It was pretty cheap for this build as I used brass fittings and home-made (machined) parts and spares I had laying around. High-quality and visually appealing AN fittings and hose used everywhere is very user friendly and gorgeous/professional looking, but can add hundreds of dollars to even a simple build project.... though I would give the edge in overall reliability/trouble free operation to proper AN plumbing.

First: The oil system for the turbo. There is a port on the lower-left front side of the engine just above the oil pan that has a plug in it (it's right next to the oil pressure sending unit). That is where I plumbed in the oil feed to the turbo. It took an assortment of adapters and fittings to get it out of there (one pipe reducer, and elbow,  one more straight adapter, and a -3 AN adapter on the turbo itself), and I connected it to some -3 braided steel line all the way to the turbo. There are TWO big things you have to do here folks, or you will hate life. First, there needs to be some sort of check valve in that line (one or two psi will do: sourced mine from Cycle Logic) do prevent it from slowly draining the oil in the system into the turbo when the bike is not running. It will collect and seep through the seals in the turbo housing, as the turbo is too low to drain it out automatically. This will cause a mess and quite a bit of smoke on start-up. The second is more turbo dependent, but necessary on most all modern ball-bearing turbos: you need an oil-feed restriction to the turbo itself. Newer turbos don't need a lot of oil or PSI, and too much will push oil past the seals and through the exhaust/intake scrolls. This is called 'oiling', and it can wreck the seals on a turbo... and it will make a huge mess. I ended up machining a ~.042" restrictior that fit into the AN fitting on top of the turbo, and that did the job (I found out later that you can buy AN adapters for the oil inlet of the center section with the restrictor already built in. They are inexpensive, and I recommend using one of those). Remember: almost ANY back pressure on the drain side of the turbo will cause it to oil.

Second part of that bit of fun is getting that oil out of the turbo and back into the oil pan. Because the turbo is too low to 'gravity drain' back into the oil pan, you have to run a scavenge pump to get the oil out safely. This has to be a good piece: 100% duty cycle, able to withstand high-temperature oil, 12V with a fairly low amperage draw, and small enough to mount somewhere on the front of the bike. The pump I got from Cycle Logic seemed to fit the bill at first, but turns out to be, uhm, less than ideal after use/research. The smallest/cheapest/sturdiest pump I've found after the first one blew up was sourced from http://www.enginegearonline.com/ . It's not as small as I'd like, but I got it to fit just above/in front of the coolant overflow bottle. This is not a place to use cheap parts folks: I made the mistake and and nearly wasted a 950$ turbo. [/soapbox] Wire the pump to a source that's only running when the engine is on (such as the fuel pump power wire) to prevent it from running overmuch and causing undue wear. NOTE: If you can build your manifold in such a way that the center section of the turbo is an inch or 2 higher than the oil level in the engine, you will not need any sort of pump. If you can accomplish this, DO IT. :) It's worth tweaking/moving the radiator a bit if you can get it done... it will save many $$ in pump,& fittings, and wiring, as well as removing another failure prone system.

Third part was actually getting the oil back into the pan. You could drill and tap the pan to receive a fitting, or you could hit Dave up at Cycle Logic again and get one of his neat little oil return fittings. It's basically an adapter that replaces the stock pan drain plug with a spacer and a banjo bolt that receives a hose barb fitting on the side. Works like a charm... much better than hacking up oil pans. You can also dump the oil back in through the clutch cover if you wanted to go that route. Make certain to use line that is rated for high temperature oil (don't be cheap here either... a burst/cracked line will ruin your happy riding day). Zip tie or clamp all lines at least every 12" or so to prevent them from rubbing holes through themselves or other hoses/wires. This is especially important with braided steel type hoses.... they can saw through surprising and inconvenient things if left to do it long enough.

Part 2 to follow: Plumbing the charge and intake air. :)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 02:35:08 pm by SpazOnaConcours »

Offline ZZG1400RIDER

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 11:29:26 am »
Have you dyno the finished product yet?

Offline Jeremy Mitchell

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 11:49:41 am »
Have you dyno the finished product yet?

He just pulled the turbo off due to holing a piston IIRC. 
Keeping the economy going, one tank of fuel and two tires at a time.

Offline SpazOnaConcours

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 02:21:49 pm »
...didn't quite hole one... just made an intake valve glow and melted the edge of one. :) The actual cause of failure was a fuel pump/regulator.... turns out I didn't have the parts that I though I had in there, and they were not up to the task for 9K plus miles. I did put my stock pistons back in to ride it around, and had to hold off for a bit after the recent birth of my first daughter. Still runs great, and all the engine internals are perfect on the inside. Except my clutch steels; they doth protest in shades of blue.

Once I've finished up the drive system on my supercharged bike and can ride it around full time (http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=9988.new#new), I'll put it all back together again. I've learned a few -very- important things about fuel systems since then, and I'll be changing that part of the write up.

As for dyno HP? that's a relative number. Dyno numbers are really meaningless as far as comparing them to other dyno numbers. For instance, my zx10 made 151 on one dyno, and 163 on another.... but with nothing different done between the runs. If you would believe that my 06 zx10r made 150whp (believable) and went 142.4mph in the 1/4 mile weighing 640lbs, then the 880lb Concours running 144+mph would be making in the 205-215whp range. Dynos can lie, but trap speed always tells the tale. :) But I promise: I will dyno it when it goes back together to make people happy. ;)

Offline gPink

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 02:34:30 pm »
Torque #s and curve would be of more interest I think.
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Offline SpazOnaConcours

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Re: The Building of a Turbo C14.
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 02:46:15 pm »
For torque, take HP at any given point, multiply by 5252, and divide it by rpm. :) that would put torque at 9.5K rpm right around 116 lb/ft.... probably 130-140ish at peak. After 5K rpm it would mimic the shape of the stock curve quite well... just scale it up about 60% :)