Our commando commuter is now...
Our commando commuter is now boosted. We're debating painting the entire intercooler and tubing black to conceal our intentions. What do you think?
It seems as though power-adder pricing has gone through the roof. Still, there is nothing like boost, so if you're into affordable horsepower, like we are, then you'll want to check out the $2,750 turbo kit that we installed on our budget notchback project. First, let's give you a little background on the manufacturer of this budget-minded product-B&G Custom Turbo.
B&G's Brian Horne has been fabricating turbo kits for several years now, and his exploits are easily found on Internet sites such as www.theturboforums.com and www.turbomustangs.com. He has a very good reputation for customer service and consistently delivers his turbo systems in a reasonable amount of time. Brian credits a great staff with chief fabricator Gabe Curran and office manager Teasha Horne ensuring a quality product that's delivered as promised. As the "custom" in the title implies, B&G can build any type of turbo kit you may need, but it primarily specializes in single and twin-turbo systems for late-model 5.0L Mustangs. The company recently started production on systems for the '96-'04 Mustangs. We came across B&G on the web and, intrigued by the proposition of a $2,750 single-turbo system, gave them a call.
The aftermarket exhaust header...
The aftermarket exhaust header we were using is very similar to the turbo header until you get down by the collector. Primary tubing diameter is 1 5/8 inches.
The Stage One 5.0L turbo system has been consistently refined over the years, and the kit B&G sent us seemed very well sorted out with regard to the turbo system layout and design. For under $3,000, you get a single-turbo system that uses a Master Power T-70 turbocharger, a VS Racing cross-flow air-to-air intercooler, a 38mm B&G wastegate, a 50mm B&G blow-off valve from Turbo Concepts, a K&N filter, and oil supply and drain lines.
The kit comes with all of the hot and cold-side tubing as well as the clamps and silicone couplers needed to put it together.
You will need to supply any fuel system mods, such as larger fuel injectors or fuel pumps, a blow-through mass air meter-if you're not using a stand-alone computer-and probably some custom computer tuning. B&G told us it has had customers run the system with the mass air meter in a draw-through configuration, but noted that custom tuning and the blow-through meter is the best way to accomplish metering of the incoming air charge.
Once you've ordered your B&G...
Once you've ordered your B&G turbo system, you'll get a big box full of well-packaged parts. Installation looks intimidating at this point, but it's not that bad once you get started.
The hot side, that is the headers and exhaust pipe leading to the turbocharger, is constructed from 16-gauge, mandrel-bent steel tubing, and the headers feature 1/2-inch thick flanges and 1 5/8-inch primaries, which B&G says is good up to about 1,000 hp. The downpipe is a fat 3 1/2 inches, and all of the hot side tubes feature a high-temperature coating to keep them looking nice. We opted for black, though silver and blue are available.
Cold-side tubing, which are the pipes coming off the turbocharger compressor and going to the intercooler and eventually the throttle body, is either 21/2 inches or 3 inches, depending on location, and all of the pipes are coated as well.
In researching this turbo system, we read quite a few comments on the Internet-however accurate that data may be-regarding the Master Power turbochargers failing after a while. B&G noted that there were some warranty issues in the past but that Master Power recently made some improvements and hasn't had any problems since the upgrades over a year ago.
Given the mileage that we'll rack up on our Recession Special project, we'll find out for sure. B&G does offer turbocharger upgrades at additional costs. The Stage One system with the MPT-70 turbocharger is rated at 650-700 rwhp, and while we don't have any plans to make that kind of power, the single kit made quite a bit of power over our normally aspirated combination with relative ease.
The air conditioning line...
The air conditioning line (rusty tube) on the passenger side should be secured to prevent it from contacting the header tubes and to keep it as far away from the heat source as possible. Before you install the header, you'll need to apply a thin coat of copper high-temperature silicone sealer on the header flange. No gasket is used here. We also opted to use a 3/8-inch header bolt with 5/16-inch heads to make installing the header easier.
On the driver side of the...
On the driver side of the engine compartment, we had to clearance the antiroll bar mounting bracket to make room for the header. A few minutes with a cut-off wheel and we were good. Don't forget to shoot it with some paint to keep it from rusting.
The crossover pipe is next....
The crossover pipe is next. B&G uses a stainless steel flex joint to prevent cracking from torsional vibrations. V-band clamps are included and provide a leak-free seal. B&G advises that you may need to swap out your rubber lower radiator hose for a universal-fit flexible metal one, as they have been known to dry and crack over time. We cut ours a little shorter and were able to move it a substantial distance away from the crossover. If this fails to solve the problem, we'll address it at a later date.