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Turbo Swap

The turbo on the Ford 2.3T is fairly easy to get on and off if done correctly. The first thing is it's a lot easier to get in and out of the car with the manifold than trying to get it off of the manifold while the manifold is bolted to the block.

Removal of the turbo consists of removing the intercooler and disconnecting the oil and coolant lines to/from the turbo, taking out the exhaust manifold bolts that hold it to the head, and then disconnecting the downpipe, egr pipe, and turbo support bracket that bolts to the block below the turbo. At this point the turbo and manifold can be lifted out of the engine bay. There are four nuts that hold the turbo onto the manifold, which may be difficult to get off. One reason is that exhaust components tend to rust, the other is that these particular nuts are crimped before installation so that they are hard to turn. This helps hold them securely onto the manifold studs and reduce the likelihood that you'll have to mess with them due to loosening. Even though they may be a pain to get off, getting new ones just like them is highly recommended so that you don't have to ever try to tighten them while the turbo is in the car. For at least one of them, there just isn't any room.

Once the turbo is off, you'll want to install new studs in the manifold. Before doing this, inspect the manifold for cracks, and also consider porting it, or buying a ported manifold. The latest manifold from Ford, the E6, flows better than the earlier ones, especially when ported or extrude honed. It is also much more resistant to cracking than the older style. Some people may want to install a header rather than a cast manifold, but the header doesn't seem to have enough advantages when used on currently available heads to justify the problems most users see with it such as leaks, cracks, and burnt spark plug wires. Currently available heads are restrictive enough that the higher flow capability of a header does not seem to be an advantage.

Whatever exhaust manifold or header you use, attach the turbo to it, and reinstall it into the engine bay. Bolt it to the head, and reattach the oil lines and coolant lines. Attach the egr pipe, downpipe, and support bracket and you're ready to go.


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Page last updated: Friday, 28-Oct-2005 11:26:30 EDT