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Intro: The Turbo Charged Fuel Injection Mod

If you're like me, you want something simple, effective and relatively inexpensive. With these three factors in mind I set out to find the ultimate performance mod that would solve my carburetor  problems and supply a big HP increase in my little 1641cc Bug motor.

I didn't want to tear the motor down for a major upgrade so I needed something that I could bolt onto the motor.

One alternative was to go with dual Webers at a cost of $500 or more. Of course, then I would still have linkage problems, jets, and of course dirt or sand getting in there and changing everything. On top of that, how much HP could I reasonably expect from a $500 set of carbs? Not enough for me to justify the expense. In addition, a fancy set of carbs will only really start adding significant horsepower if you build the rest of the motor to flow the air they need.

The obvious choice was a turbo. Turbo chargers are arguably the most efficient way to add a lot of HP to a motor. They are basically an exhaust driven air pump that pumps pressurized air into the motor rather than the motor simply sucking air. But how to feed this motor with the required fuel? All the new cars use fuel injection and that seemed like the way to go. The aftermarket kits easily cost upwards of $1500 so that pretty much killed my third parameter of the mod being relatively inexpensive. So back to the drawing board.  I have a little (very little) electronic experience so I wondered if it would be possible to build a simple Fuel Injection setup. I searched the internet and came up with one group of smart guys who are  building FI computers.  Take a look at DIY-EFI. This digital controller has tremendous future potential for the DIY guys but it's not quite ready for my purposes and I'm a little worried about how it would handle the rigors of off roading.

Simple? Ok simple may be a stretch. I was mainly referring to the computer being simple in design. This is not an afternoon bolt-on job and can be complicated depending on how far you want to go with it. This mod will require some basic fabrication. You will need to add injectors to a manifold, or buy a Fuel Injection Manifold, or build your own manifold.  You will also need to modify your exhaust to bolt to the turbo, do some basic wiring, and install a couple fuel lines on your gas tank. If you have the capability to fabricate metal, follow directions, and use your mechanical skills, you should be able complete this project.

So I'm back to square 1 and back to researching what type of carburetors people are using on their turbos.  Then I get an email from Tim Van Setten. Tim has been building electronic fuel injection controllers for buggies for 10 years. The price was inline with what I wanted to spend and with the addition of an inexpensive junkyard turbo I could meet all three parameters: Simple, Effective, and Relatively Inexpensive.

I plan to present this document in 2 sections. The first section will be about the technical aspects of turbos and FI and will include information from Tim Van Setten of Tim Systems. It should be noted that volumes could be written on the science of Turbos and Fuel Injection and nobody knows it all. This is a complicated subject and advancements are being made every day. I have attempted to supply the necessary information to complete the mod while simultaneously keeping the information as simple as possible. If you require more information, by all means read the books, web sites, ask questions, and do your own research.

Home Dyno is a slick little software product that calculates Torque and Horse Power. It does this by processing the recorded output of one of the ignition wires. By timing how fast the engine is accelerating, it can calculate how much work the engine is doing and then convert this to a power curve.

The nice thing is that it measures the actual torque and horsepower is being transferred to the ground on your particular setup. (That's what really counts right?) The drawback is that traction and other outside forces becomes a factor. These external forces can be minimized with the proper testing procedure. As a side note it may also be useful to measure rear tire traction between various tread patterns but I'll leave that to your own experimentation.

The second section will detail the actual construction process of the Turbo-FI modification as I install it on my own motor. I will use the Home Dyno software before and after the mod to compare the Torque/HP curves and verify the results.

With that said, grab a cup of Coffee and let's get started!



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