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Home MR2 Turbo Procedures / Pics / Notes Autolab Level 2 Turbo Kit Install

AutoLab Level 2 Turbo Kit Installation

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This page contains notes and pictures for the installation of the Autolab Level 2 turbo kit.  This kit contains the following components:

  • T3/T4 50trim water cooled Garrett turbocharger

  • Tial wastegate

  • Necessary fittings/gaskets for wastegate

  • Manifold

  • Down-pipe and wastegate exhaust section with flex pipe

  • Hoses/fittings to install oil and water lines

  • Bolts for wastegate, down- pipe, and exhaust

  • 1 page installation instructions.

Here are a couple shots of the kits contents:

The turbocharger!

Comparing a modified CT-26 50 trim with the T3/T4 hybrid 50 trim:

The manifold.  Unfortunately the first and second manifolds that I received were warped.  Here is some pictures of the first manifold that I  received.  This manifold was tapped by Autolab to accept two 1/8" NPT EGT probes.

The down-pipe.  This down-pipe includes a flex section for the wastegate to vent back into the exhaust.

The installation

The first thing that I did was to do several test fits to make sure everything fit together, and to get the turbo 'clocked' correctly.  Both the inlet (compressor) and outlet (turbine) side of the turbocharger can (and need to be) be clocked.  You will want to have the oil outlet (larger oil line) facing the bottom of the car toward the oil pan.  Be sure that the fittings do not interfere with the bolts used to clock the turbo once you have the position you want.  You will want to mount the turbo to the manifold and test fit it in the car after test fitting outside the car.  This way you can also be sure that the intercooler pipes line up correctly and don't hit the exhaust manifold.

Here are some test fits outside the car.  This includes hand tightening the turbo, manifold, down-pipe and wastegate together.  You can also just check to see how the fittings will go into place.

Couple shots of clocking the turbo.  I found it best to clock the turbine side outside the car and aim the oil outlet toward the oil pan.  Then loosen all the bolts on the compressor side, and lightly tighten one.  Install the manifold/turbo assembly in the car, and move the compressor side to the desired position.  Then tighten at least one bolt and remove the assembly.  Check again to make sure that the water and oil fittings don't interfere with any bolts.

You can use the boost signal nipple from the stock turbocharger in the new turbo as shown.

I used Teflon tape on all the threaded fittings, and locktite on the turbo to down-pipe, and wastegate bolts.

You can install the 'blue' portion of the water fittings before installing the turbocharger.  The front water fitting (red) can also be installed now, but be sure to aim it in the correct direction before installing the turbocharger.  Install the oil line.  The kit comes with the union bolt already containing the line and fitting.  This makes it somewhat difficult to tighten when installing, but can be done OK.  I used the stock washers on the bolt.

You can now bolt the turbocharger and wastegate to the manifold.  Install the air nipples to the wastegate.  Do NOT install the oil return line at this time.  I did that in the following picture, but it is much easier to get the orientation of this fitting correct by installing it after the turbo has been installed on the engine.  You need to make sure that the hose going from the oil outlet back to the pan does not touch or get too close to the down-pipe.  Also, on any water lines, install the included hose onto the fittings before bolting them to the turbocharger.  These hoses are an incredibly tight fit on the barbed fittings, and requires serious muscling to get them into place.  You may also opt to install a hose clamp on them as well.

Water fitting before installing onto turbo.

Install the manifold/turbo/wastegate assembly, and hand tighten the exhaust manifold bolts.  Most of the exhaust manifold bolts cannot be gotten to with a torque wrench, and hence have to be tightened (later) with a standard wrench.  After the assembly is in place, you can install the water lines as shown:

The down-pipe can now be prepared to install.  I just used some gasket maker (copper) sealant on the matting surface between the turbo and down-pipe.

Install the four bolts and lock washers that are included with the kit.  I found one of the bolts very difficult to get to, but eventually managed to get it to turn using a universal joint and small socket wrench.  Some of the bolts are easier to install from below.

Socket wrench/joint.  Arrow marks bolt location.  

The oil dip stick must be bent to avoid contact with the wastegate.

Connect the down-pipe to the wastegate using the supplied two Allen bolts.  These two bolts can be difficult to get to given their location.

Next up is to install the oil return line.  I had to install the fitting and remove it a couple times until I got the orientation correct.  You will use the stock rubber hose along with the hose and adapter included with the kit.  Try to keep the hose away from the down-pipe.

Install the oil inlet steel braided line.

Install the stock O2 sensor.  Unfortunately it is very tight between the wastegate and the O2 sensor which makes installing it difficult since you cannot see the bolts you're trying to tighten.  In addition there is little clearance for the lower bolt and a wrench is needed.

The water hoses supplied with the kit, while being high quality, do not fit the stock metal lines very well.  The supplied hose is slightly too large.  I used some 1/4" fuel hose and copper tubing to make a 'bridge' pipe between the two.  I put the copper tubing inside the 1/4" fuel hose, and put that inside the stock rubber hose and hose supplied with the kit.  You can also use electric tape and wrap the metal stock fittings so that the hose fits better.  Be sure to check for leaks!

Install the intake pipe which fits nicely over the machined turbo inlet, and all the other hoses (PVC, blow off valve, etc.).  Happy boosting!