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2002/Black/SS 08-30-2006 01:32 AM

The Real Price of Forced Induction
Big thanks to Josh from LASHWAY MOTORSPORTS for all of his help

Many people ask "I have this much money, can i turbo/SC my car?". And there really isnt any place that they can turn for the help they need. So i have put this together to help others out.
Let me first start by saying i originally figured my build would cost around 7,000-7,500 dollars. Well, in the end it came out to 10,500-11,000 dollars. It suprised me but iam not new to turbocharging and i expected this, so i had the additional funds. Well, I have just finished buying everything that i needed:


THE TURBO KIT (or supercharger): The average Kits range from $4500-$6500 and most include the needed things like a BOV, wastegate, Intercooler, turbo, SC head unit and piping. Only Vortech and ATI include fueling parts, but when going 500HP+ i would upgrade these parts anyway. REQUIRED

FUEL PUMP: I went with the Racetronix P&P fuel system, it is easy to install and gives the required amount of fuel. They retail for $265. Another addition to this if you are going for alot of power is a BAP that increases the voltage to the pump and they cost around $250. EDIT* My racetronix pump was no were near enough fuel for the 9psi i currently run, so i upgraded to a twin in-tank walbro system put together by my shop/tuner: Masport Speed Shop REQUIRED

INJECTORS: When it came to injectors i figured i might as well get a big size now instead of upgrading later, which always happens anyway. So i went with 60LB motorons injectors which seem to be very popular and cost $425. REQUIRED

6.0L HEADS: The idea of puting these on your ls1 is that they lower your compression normaly about a full point which allows you to safely boost more. They also flow alittle better, like the LS6 heads. I bought them used and assembled for $300, although i didn't use the valvesprings from them. RECOMMENDED

CAMSHAFT: My original plan was to go with a new or low mileage used Z06/LS6 cam. But i then looked around and found other ones that i liked more and i setteled with the Lingenfelter GT-7. although a cam isnt really needed for 450HP, over 500HP it will definetly help. The cam will range between $150 (used) to $380 (brand new GT-7). RECOMMENDED

VALVE SPRINGS: Because your engine will see serious pressure under boost your stock valvesprings will not have enough pressure to seal against the head, and therefore need to be upgraded to 918s at the minimum. I went with the Patriot Dual Valvespring kit, which are a great deal at $245. REQUIRED

TIMING CHAIN: The stock LS1 chain is pretty weak and with those new valve springs it will se alot more pressure and needs to be upgraded. You can buy a hardened single timing chain (like LS2) or a dual. i bought the rollmaster dual timing chain for $110 REQUIRED

PUSHRODS: Because of the new cam/valve springs the pushrods are another weak link that needs to be upgraded. i went with 7.400" manleys for $130 REQUIRED

OIL PUMP: The stock ls1 pumps were never all that great and even though my stock one made almost 60 psi at idle, u can never have to much oil, so i ordered a ported and blueprinted one from Byunspeed for $160 OPTIONAL

HEAD BOLTS: The heads will see alot of pressure from the turbo and should be upgraded to ARP bolts or studs. They should also be upgraded because you are changing your heads. i got the ARP head bolts for $130 REQUIRED

CLUTCH: The stock clutch has pretty much no chance of holding anything near 500RWHP and should be changed. You can go with weaker clutchs and change them every 5,000 miles or you can go with a very good one (for a price) that can last a very very long time. i went with the Textralia for $975. REQUIRED

GAUGE POD: To keep track of everything going on in your new turbo/SC system you are going to need some gauges and a gauge pod to hold them. you can choose between many ways of mounting the gauges. I got the triple pillar pod from autometer for $55 OPTIONAL

BOOST GAUGE: You will need this to see how much your turbo/SC is boosting while you are driving/racing. Also you can use it to see boost spikes and to tell if there is boost leak etc. You can choose between an electric one or a mechanical one. i got the Autometer mechanical 20psi Cobalt boost gauge for $70, the electrical version is 30psi and $180. HIGHLY RECOMMEDED

FUEL GAUGE: You will need this to make sure you have the right amount of fuel pressure for your engine etc. i got the autometer electric 0-100psi Cobalt gauge for $190 HIGHLY RECOMMEDED

WIDEBAND O2 SENSOR: This in my opinion is very important for many reasons. it will let you constintly moniter your engine A/F even at idle, which can alert you to problems very early on. It is also a great tuning device. they range from 250-500. i got the dynotune one for $265 REQUIRED

BOOST CONTROLLER: A boost controller uses the pressure that is made from your turbo system to control the opening of the wastegate. In turn, this causes the wastgate to stay closed more, thus creating more pressure in your exhaust that then spins the turbo faster and creates more psi (boost pressure). They range from mechanical ones for $70 all the way up to electric ones that can actually control boost spikes, they run up to $500. This is the only thing on the list that i didn't buy.... but i will after i get beat for the first time. OPTIONAL

METHANOL INJECTION: i have just recently done research pertaining to meth injection and the more i hear and read about it, the more i like it. when a meth kit is installed it lowers your IAT up to 40 degrees and makes your gas the equivelent of some say 110+ octane. this allows you to run more boost and be alot safer. here is the basic idea of a meth kit, they are standalone pumps with a bottle/container with the meth/water, when they sense boost they spray the meth relative to boost when its needed. there are also safety systems that can be purchased to insure that if the meth dosent flow (i.e it runs out) the car wont boost and cause damage to the engine. Companys like Snow Performance and Alkycontrol sell these kits, they run from $300-$550. a good safety system is around $100. OPTIONAL

GOOD TUNE: This is important on any car, and the same goes for a FI car. they range from doing it yourself (which isnt to easy) to getting it professionly done for around $450. If you are interested in doing it yourself you have a couple choices, here are a few, HP TUNERS, EFIlive, MAFT PRO and LS1edit REQUIRED

RANDOM PARTS & GASKETS: There are always a bunch of these things you need to buy. Here are a couple, new crank bolt (ARP $30), front crank seal ($23), 6.0L head gaskets ($60), valve spring tool (crane $115), Coolant to refill radiator, oil to do oil change, RVT gasket maker, loctite and a couple specialty tools, like torque wench. pulley puller, long and short sockets, ramps, good floor jack, etc. REQUIRED

And you supercharger people, dont forget about headers and exhaust!

In addition to all this, remember all the installation work was done by me, so that didnt cost anything, if you plan on paying someone just imagine the amount of work, so be prepared to pay. Also none of this includes suspension componets or a rear end, which will most likely not last long with 500RWHP+.
Well i hope this helps some people out, and if its good enough it would be cool if it was a sticky!


May Spin 08-30-2006 02:30 AM

Wow... Great Summary. Your write up is nice and simple. Thanks for taking the time Josh.


67Firebird455 08-30-2006 02:46 AM

I agree man, sticky would be great. Most people get in WAY over their head. I'm one of them, engine wasn't built for what I wanted and grenaded in the long run. LS1's aren't cheap, and neither are turbos.

Rickys S/C Z28 08-30-2006 10:43 AM

Thanks so much for this right up it is very helpful to newbe like me sticky this

JMBLOWNWS6 08-30-2006 10:47 AM

Im around 15k lol. Thats about sums it up for me.

Zombie 08-30-2006 10:53 AM

Good write up, another vote for stickying it.

only thing I'd chagne is the fuel pressure gage and wideband status.

Fuel pressure gage is recomended but not needed, a wideband is REQUIRED. Think about it this way, who cares if the fuel pressure drops to 40psi as long as the a/f is still correct? How about if the fuel pressure is 60psi all the way through the rpm range but your MAF got some oil on it and now reads 75% of what it use to causing u to lean out (happens to me and requires periodic cleaning).

I'm into my car for about 10,000-12,000 not including the car(most spend this much on just their motor), but that includes stuff like 9", forged motor, rossler th400, etc. I'm a super cheap bastard :)

I have a friend with all the same stuff as me except he's still on a stock motor and he's into his car for about 12k... including the car LOL. Another friend with a stock motor and th400 is into his for about 7k including the car, but he did all his own work incuding fabbing the turbo kit. It can be done cheap, but it takes some experience, my friend Jon (1320 on the board)happens to have that and did most of the major work on my car. If you don't have the experience it costs a lot more since you need to pay someone who has the experience.

Silver 00 SS 08-30-2006 10:58 AM

Nice write up! STICKY THIS

bowtieman81 08-30-2006 11:00 AM

Very nice writeup. You and I have very similar supporting items.

I will slightly disagree with you on 2 points though. I think the timing chain and 6.0 heads should be recommended items. In the case of the timing chain I think an ls2 chain would do fine, which is what I have. Even though you are changing springs the force required by the cam to open valves wont change much because you also have valves closing at the same time.

I also think 6.0 heads are not necessary. They are a very good idea, but not absolutely required in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.

Zombie 08-30-2006 11:04 AM

Originally Posted by bowtieman81
I will slightly disagree with you on 2 points though. I think the timing chain and 6.0 heads should be recommended items. In the case of the timing chain I think an ls2 chain would do fine, which is what I have. Even though you are changing springs the force required by the cam to open valves wont change much because you also have valves closing at the same time.

I also think 6.0 heads are not necessary. They are a very good idea, but not absolutely required in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.

With a few small changes this would be an even better write up :) Should help a lot of people who keep asking the same questions over and over.

I never thought of the timing chain and stress that way but it makes sense, 6.0 heads are not necessary but are highly reccomended. I was pushing 625+ on my stock 75k mile bottom end and the heads had never been off.

WS6HUMMER 08-30-2006 11:05 AM

Very good read, especially for me (one of those guys in over his head) lol!

BlackCamaroSS02 08-30-2006 11:06 AM

I think i am around 17-18k just in parts still need a few more little BS items also.

WS6HUMMER 08-30-2006 11:12 AM

Originally Posted by BlackCamaroSS02
I think i am around 17-18k just in parts still need a few more little BS items also.

Your making me doubt if I want to go turbo'd. I really want to do it but I really had no idea it was this expensive. :eek2:

bowtieman81 08-30-2006 11:44 AM

I tried to get into turbo for a reasonable cost (via a used kit) and most in this section know what it got me.

If I could start over I would go new kit from the beginning with a truck manifold setup.

Bottom line it is not cheap when you add up all the supporting items.

ifryrice 08-30-2006 11:51 AM

STICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great write up for us FI newbs.

BlackCamaroSS02 08-30-2006 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by WS6HUMMER
Your making me doubt if I want to go turbo'd. I really want to do it but I really had no idea it was this expensive. :eek2:

I am doing a full build so mine is a little different...Full chassis/suspension, Entire fuel system including a nasty performance tank, Magna Fuel 2000hp pump, 83lb injectors, carb style manifold, forged 408 iron block built by Eric at HPE, PT88 Turbo w/ a polished housing, Custom exhaust that dumps before the axle, FFF Single Turbo kit (but i bought it awhile ago so i didnt include it in the price lol), Mcleod Twin Disk, Still need my built tranny and i know i am forgetting some shit, then little shit like fans etc.. SOOO its a lot for me lol but it should be fun to drive atleast hahaha

ddnspider 08-30-2006 11:59 AM

id add a boost controller unless people are just going to run off the wastegate spring for turbo guys....Wideband is a must like stated.Id change 6.0ltr heads to recommended because theres plenty who dont have then that are boosted.Id recommend adding a breakdown for some people who cant decide on what turbo would work with what motor...alot have had trouble with that lately,like "would such and such turbo be too small for XXX ci and would it make XXX power"

bowtieman81 08-30-2006 12:07 PM

I agree with you ddnspider, but the guys that would taking this route are probably budget guys (like me) and wont want a boost controller at first.

I also think turbo sizing should be a different sticky by itselft (come to think of it I believe that is in the FAQ sticky).

ddnspider 08-30-2006 12:13 PM

Heres a small list just off the top of my head of what sounds close for a street car.More power on pumpgas will be made with more CI so long as the turbo isnt choking the motor.The first turbo listed for each CI is the minimum turbo size recommended.
Front mount turbo:
stock displacement----anywhere from a T67 to a T76GTS/GT42-76...more power will be made with a larger turbo but sacrifice spooling time.T67 for ~450-500rwhp up to T76GTS for up to ~750rwhp
370ci---T70 up to T88 /S88/thumper can make anywhere from 500-1000rwhp on racegas aka "Nasty TA" with this motor combo.
383ci---T76/T88/GT42-76/thumper can make 500rwhp in its sleep on low boost on pump gas aka "engineer mike"....more boost large turbo can make 8-900rwhp without too much work
408ci---T88/GT55 can make 700-800rwhp on pump gas aka "Trans Zam" more hp can be made with meth racegas
Rear Mount:
stock displacement---T60 to T67...anywhere from 450 to 600rwhp aka "longrange4u"
6.0 ltr motor/370---T67 to T76 faster spool bigger hp depending on setup
other combo's can be made for rearmounts such as longeranges setup coming shooting for 900rwhp.Also efficiencies and larger turbos/shorter spool times can be had with exhaust wrap/coating/insulations.
These are just guidelines and not necessarily needed or stating that other combos wont work.

frcefed98 08-30-2006 12:22 PM

Just a lil correction, Kyles GT42-76 didn't work to well on his 370 combo and ran out of steam. He went with a S88 from forced inductions.

Josh and I discussed sticking this post up, and quite a few people are in support of this. If the other forced induction section moderators agree to sticky it then why not:D

I like the post and i'm sure it'll help a lot of people who are trying to get into the FI scene and don't realize just how much money you can burn through until its too late..

Great post Josh.

ddnspider 08-30-2006 12:27 PM

Jer i was talking about a streetcar...i thought kyles was running out of steam because hes totally maxed out the setup with big stall/big cam/big heads/carb style intake/etc...wouldnt it work well for just a basic boosted street car?Nick

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