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Old 30th September 2010, 00:13   #1
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Default Turbocharged Suzuki Baleno (low boost). My daily driver

How it all started -

Went back in time often thinking about my cars while I lived in Michigan – A 1991 supercharged VW corrado 1.8L that I later converted to turbo when the supercharger went bad. Later picked up a Swift Gti and turbo’ed it with T25 (used) which made it a fun and reliable cheap car (corrado was a bit expensive to maintain).

Got back to India - Got a job – got married – bought a brand new zen. Never found the time nor money to do anything on it other than seat covers and a CD player !!! A decade passed by and when a good friend of mine asked me to help him with a carb turbo 800 build. Just could’nt say no. It was an awesome learning experience, had never done a turbo carb setup before. It was a fun, quick and scary 800 !!

Details of my daily drive Baleno turbo build –

Bought myself a single owner clean Baleno, a car that was leased to the GM of a company. Soon after, I got the RD ECU installed by Karthik. Karthik was very helpful and encouraged me to play around with the ECU to understand the RD ECU better. He often went out of his way to help me with some tweaks on my ECU hardware. Karthik made me a new add-on hardware that made low rpm stability much better, it made a lot of difference for in city driving. On request (friendly pestering), he made some changes to the hardware setup to enable mild changes in the ignition timing on the fly. That was extremely handy.

The idea was always to go forced induction. Picked up a ball-bearing TRD turbocharger & TRD manifold and some hardware including BOV, hoses etc while I went for a trip abroad (My good friend Ajith located all this for me as a return favor for helping him with his Landcruiser 6cyl turbo build). Still no time for the build though !!! Finally, decided to take a break from work for couple of weeks and started the Baleno turbo build. Decided to keep all the internals stock (for now) and accordingly do a low boost turbo build to have a reliable daily drive car.

Some things about the build:

•To do a low boost turbo build with all stock internals.

•To design/ fabricate intake and exhaust plumbing thats capable of handling over 250-300 bhp.

•This would help me to quickly upgrade to a larger turbo, bigger injectors, etc with stronger internals if ever I decide to go to the next stage without much other changes.

•Wanted the turbo set up to run acceptably (when not pushed hard) on factory ECU without depending on after market ECU - as a fall back option.

•Decided to fabricate an adapter plate that would sandwich between the Baleno and the TRD manifold – to make things easier and trouble free in future. Downside being, it doesn’t flow as well as custom turbo manifolds.

•One of my friends helped me machine out the adapter plate on his CNC set up. That was one big help. Dint want exhaust leaks due to the sandwich !!

•Got myself 3” thick gauge MS pipes (bends) for the dump pipe and 2.5” MS pipe for the exhaust.

•Got 4 sets of 2.5” and 2 sets of 3” flanges cut and surface finished.

•After the mock set up was done in the engine bay, the whole thing was TIG welded.

The build started sometime in 2008. After about 10-12 days of work the basic turbo setup was ready. I was very eager to get it on the road and my patience was running out. Slapped on few rubber hoses to do a shoddy intake plumbing without an intercooler !!! It cranked up and revved just fine. Soon enough I was with Karthik to get the Boost sensor installed in the RD ECU to enable boost compensation while tuning. Engine completely stock and ran non intecooled for about 6 months. The IAT would shoot up to around 80 degrees real quick and had to aggressively retard ignition with boost also being liberal on fuel.

Karthik was coming up with the new 901 ECU then and he gave me one of the first few as upgrades for the old RD ECU. I think its considerably better than the old ECU but Im yet to explore its full potential as yet. I would really like to get a wideband set up and get the 901 enabled to do a target AFR/ closed loop fueling – digging deep to find enough money to get myself a WB setup !!!


Finally got the intercooler plumbing done sometime back. Phew, all my IAT issues got sorted out. Turbo is internally waste gated for 8psi. Stock clutch was getting overwhelmed and so upgraded to a SuzukiRD clutch. The injectors were quite close full duty cycle at the higher RPM/boost - my regulator was delivering the stock fuel pressure. Surya was kind enough to give me a brand new fuel pressure regulator when I was looking for one. They are just fine on max duty cycle right now, its not running lean or anything. Im not really sure the stock fuel pump would be good for much more of fuel pressure. The turbo is almost getting maxxed out but anyway the engine may not be able to handle a whole lot more !!! You can hear it working a lot harder when pushed above 12 pounds.

In its present state, its fun car to drive with quick spool & ample torque though it runs out of steam in the higher revs. Definitely not a drag setup. But provides me with good gas mileage and has been reliable for well over a year now. Its very lively now (and even more on 12psi setting), very nice to drive without the traction issues and extra torque steer. So I have a lot of fun driving now, and over time I will think about what I want to get out of it or if I'm content. I may well decide to go for a phase 2 upgrade which would mean upgrading the G16 internals and the turbocharger simultanouesly. But the car right now is ultra-drivable as a super-fun daily driver, so I'm loving it.
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Old 30th September 2010, 06:56   #2
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cool setup. Welcome to the club of sleepers! why don't you do a dyno run at red roosters?
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Old 30th September 2010, 08:37   #3
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swiftboost brilliant man. Have always wondered if the G16B would ever have a reliable turbo build done at the hand of a pure enthusiast and your car is the testimony.
Have seen turbo builds done by famous tuners but none like yours.

BTW was the complete build done inhouse or you had to make use of services from a reputed garage/tuner ?

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But the car right now is ultra-drivable as a super-fun daily driver, so I'm loving it.
That's what matters the most. Period !! Drive safe .
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Old 30th September 2010, 08:48   #4
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Hi RJs, The car was done without the help of tuners/specialists. Though I had to depend on others for a few things - Fabrication guy and machinists for turbo manifold adapter flange, exhaust system flanges, TIG welder for welding.

Decided to do it on my own since this was a very basic build. Besides, I wanted things to be done my way where I get to decide everything !!! lol....
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Old 30th September 2010, 08:57   #5
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Default Baleno turbo - Engine bay layout

Engine bay layout - turbo install

I've tried to minimize the number and length of intake pipes running around in the engine bay area - to make install simpler/easier.
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Old 30th September 2010, 11:19   #6
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hey bro!
what blower are you using?
and dont know if it makes sense but could you post a step by step in detail report on how you went about doing it.would be a great help for most of us turbo aspirants..
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Old 30th September 2010, 11:51   #7
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Joe, a hearty congrats on a successful turbo setup from another Joe.

Anyways, wanted to know that when you say the stock injectors are maxing out, how much fuel pressure are you running from the FPR at what turbo boost pressure?
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Old 30th September 2010, 16:10   #8
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Hi Wildchild..., The turbocharger and manifold is offered on the Toyota Vitz TRD kit (JDM) - Joe

Hi NOS power,

The stock injectors were at around 85-90% duty cycle at 8-9 pounds of boost - stock/oem fuel pressure. With FPR setting at around 50 psi, its much better.

Last edited by Jaggu : 30th September 2010 at 16:22. Reason: Back to back posts, use Multi Quote (Quote +) instead. Thanks
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Old 1st October 2010, 10:29   #9
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thanks! thats a great DIY> hope i can get there soon!! Cheers!!
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Old 1st October 2010, 12:47   #10
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Good setup, I am hooked for further updates, including dyno runs & test runs.
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:10   #11
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Impressive work. I like how you have kept things simple. COngrats on your succesful turbo build
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Old 1st October 2010, 15:54   #12
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Thanks Amey & Turbohead. I dont think if I would be dyno'ing it. Test runs started about 2 weeks after the build. The 1st was a drive with my family to Kanyakumari. That was followed by many long drives. The last one being Pondicheri 2 weeks back.
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Old 1st January 2011, 01:55   #13
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Default Re: Turbocharged Suzuki Baleno (low boost). My daily driver

Hows the build doing now? Any updates/issues faced?
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Old 6th January 2011, 14:06   #14
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Default Re: Turbocharged Suzuki Baleno (low boost). My daily driver

The setup has been working reliably so far. Except - the turbo hose coming out loose on my last long trip (I have not used the right sized reducer hose between two sizes of pipes, dint get the right one during the install)
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Old 22nd January 2011, 16:37   #15
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Default Re: Turbocharged Suzuki Baleno (low boost). My daily driver

Update - Revised turbo intake plumbing + Turbo pressure hose reducer install

Todays bandh gave me enough time to do some long pending tweaks on my car.
1. Got around plumbing in a reducer hose between the turbo and intercooler. Had a wrong sized hose that blew off a few times when on boost.

2. My intake plumbing (rubber) from the air filter to the turbo is a tight squeeze and had a few connectors in between to get the desired shape. These connectors reduced the effective inner diameter and was also a bit kinked at places. Got myself a single piece of a larger diameter that has now eliminated 3 connectors. Result - pulls stronger when on high boost.

3. Will try and tweak my fuel & ignition maps to adapt to this change.
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