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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to know what lessons you learned doing your own install. Also lessons from your experience of years of use. This is my first turbo install and I have been reading, researching and planning. I have a Werks stage 1 turbo on the way. Hope to get the initial tune done at 6psi from the factory. I want to run E85 as it has a higher octane and I can get it locally.
Then turn the boost up from there and continue to tune the car looks like 10 lbs is not unreasonable.

My car is an automatic.

Anyone here use Trifecta to perform your tune?

Looks like a step colder plug is in order.

The injectors are 42# injectors, reading here looks like I may need larger injectors eventually or should I just put in the 60# injectors from the beginning especially running E85?

Replace the worm gear clamps with t-bolt clamps.

I already use Mobile I synthetic EP oil in the car so that should be fine. Heck I even run it in my lawn mower, snow blower, lawn edger and 4 stroke weed eater. Easier to keep track of one type of oil and have A spare quart on the shelf.

Any ideas you have to make the install and tuning easier let me know.
 

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I have a Werks Stage 1 turbo on my 2006 (Manual Trans). My biggest advice on doing your own install: Don't. Take it back to Perforamance Autowerks, and have them do it. They REALLY know what they are doing. I bought my car "aready built"... and I'm wishing the previous owner had let them do it. Luckily, he did have it Tuned by them... the Tune is great.

Then again, if you really want to learn your way around the car... go for it! (The skin "should" grown back on your knuckles, and the worst case scenario is you blow the whole thing sky high and start over with a new engine/Transmission/Turbo kit... It's only money right?)

I Highly recommend the wastegate option to have it re-routed into the exhaust. The previous owner/installer opted for the external dump. (Some people like the noise, or they just want to save a few $$$). The fumes will choke you if you sit still on a hot humd day, and the noise is enough to make you not welcome in the city. I took my car back to the Werks shop and had mine Re-routed back into the exhaust. That made the car SOOO much more enjoyable to drive. On VERY rare occasion the noise was fun, but I can truely enjoy the car now.

If you had the manual trans, I would give the standard warning that the stock clutch will definitely not hold (because it won't)... but you've got the automatic, so you should be good to go!

Last bit of advice: Plan how long you think it will take. Multiply by 4. Make sure you don't "need" this car any time soon.

Good Luck, and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
AutoWerks is a little to far for me, unless I wanted to pay to ship my car to them. The car is not my daily driver, it does give me a chance to really get to know the car. I also have the OEM service manual all three volumes. I used to work on cars for a living years ago. Now I work on medical equipment and still get scraped up knuckles just stay cleaner doing it.

Good to know about the waste gate. Do you have pictures of what AutoWerks did with your waste gate connection? I was thinking I would need to run the dump into a pipe into the exhaust pipe under the car somewhere. Do you have pictures of what AutoWerks did for your setup? Can you send me a few as I would like to see as many installed pictures as I can get.

Don't think I am going to blow the car up, the kit is pretty much a bolt on kit. Stage 1 is also a conservative boost at 6 psi. The tuning on the other hand should be done by a professional and I am definitely going to hire that work out to someone I trust.

Thank you for the feedback, I look forward to seeing some installed pictures.

Chris

I have a Werks Stage 1 turbo on my 2006 (Manual Trans). My biggest advice on doing your own install: Don't. Take it back to Performance Autowerks, and have them do it. They REALLY know what they are doing. I bought my car "already built"... and I'm wishing the previous owner had let them do it. Luckily, he did have it Tuned by them... the Tune is great.

Then again, if you really want to learn your way around the car... go for it! (The skin "should" grown back on your knuckles, and the worst case scenario is you blow the whole thing sky high and start over with a new engine/Transmission/Turbo kit... It's only money right?)

I Highly recommend the waste gate option to have it re-routed into the exhaust. The previous owner/installer opted for the external dump. (Some people like the noise, or they just want to save a few $$$). The fumes will choke you if you sit still on a hot humid day, and the noise is enough to make you not welcome in the city. I took my car back to the Werks shop and had mine Re-routed back into the exhaust. That made the car SOOO much more enjoyable to drive. On VERY rare occasion the noise was fun, but I can truely enjoy the car now.

If you had the manual trans, I would give the standard warning that the stock clutch will definitely not hold (because it won't)... but you've got the automatic, so you should be good to go!

Last bit of advice: Plan how long you think it will take. Multiply by 4. Make sure you don't "need" this car any time soon.

Good Luck, and have fun.
 

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Why not send your ECM back to Autowerks for the tune after all it's their system.Did you order this new from them or did you pick it up used?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I purchased it used, turbo has about 3000 miles on it. Contacted the seller and he stated the system is setup to be exhaust gas recirculating so that is good. No exhaust leak under the hood.

I have been in contact with Trifecta and Performance AutoWerks both can perform a canned tune for me. I have used Trifecta in the past with good results. I like that I can flash my unit at home and Vince can make changes without me sending the unit back to him. I have yet to find a chassis dyno in the Rochester MN area. With data logging Vince can at least do some tuning to get me close.

Once I get the basic tune and setup dialed in, and I know the system is working properly. I want to up the boost to 10 PSI. From my reading I will most likely need to install 60# injectors at that point. May or may not need a new fuel pump will see how that goes.

Why not send your ECM back to Autowerks for the tune after all it's their system.Did you order this new from them or did you pick it up used?
 

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Sorry I don't have any pictures to post... They pulled it down off the lift before I got a chance to get back under it and take any pictures. But if your "kit" was already set up for recirculating, you're good to go. There is a piece of flex pipe that was just dumping underneath the car on mine. They still use that pipe (needs to be flex due to the heat expansion) but routed it back to the ehaust just past the cat.

With these being as "fun" as they are to get up in the air to work on, I'm hoping not to be underneath mine again for a little while. Rather just drive it. (At least, when the weather cooperates).
 

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I'm getting ready to install a Werks Stage 1 kit on my 06 NA tomorrow. Did you get yours successfully installed? Any pointers?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got it installed, if you follow the instructions and take your time the job was not hard for me. If you do not have one get an aftermarket wide band O2 senor setup so you can read air fuel ratios. Get one that record so you can review data. The factory narrow band does no good to keep an eye on how the car is running, during tuning and afterwards. My biggest headache was and still is the tune for NA. Trifecta did a horrible job and I would not go back to them for a custom tune. They did good on my Chevrolet Cruze tune which is a canned tune. Without going into detail you can find my old posts about that. If you have questions along the way ask, I will help if I can.
 

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I have a Hahn Turbo and learned a lot installing it.
1/ Getting the lower header bolts off is a pain. A couple are very hard to loosen as they are to tighten when putting the new header on.
2/ If you are getting the oil feed from the allen key plug below the header make sure you hook the feed up before you put the header back on. I got carried away and had to take the header off after just getting it on.
3/ Make sure you use new nuts when putting the new header on. They are one use only nuts and some guys have had problems with reused nuts backing off. About $3 each.
4/ Replacing the fuel injectors is not difficult and there are some demonstrations on You tube. Make sure you relieve the fuel pressure first. Also remember to put a little oil on the O rings, the injectors will pop in real easy if you do.
5/ After taking the snout off to place the intercooler I had a habit of leaning on the plastic wheel wells and cracked both so take care with that. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for the in site.

I'm now (actually, at this moment) at my Dad's shop about 100 miles from home, and the car is in pieces. The only issue I'm having is figuring out how to remove the coolant pipe (or whatever it's called) that runs under the exhaust manifold.

Of course, I left the instructions at home, and Performance Autowerks is closed today.

But, how hard could it be? :)

If anyone knows how to remove/replace that pipe - aluminum, about 2" in diameter, appears to run from the back of the water pump to the rear of the engine on some assembly that also appears to support hoses for the heater core. I'm guessing at most of this as this is my first time working on one of these engines.

Stupid instructions. :(
 

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To remove the coolant pipe you need to have the whole turbo kit portion of the car disassembled and its something that you need to do before installing the new kit. If you put the new manifold on you will not get the pipe in at all.

There are 3 bolts and some hoses to disconnect from the side of the motor to the thermostat housing. undo those and it all pulls apart really easily. You do not need to remove the water pump. If you have issues contact me via pm and I will get to you asap.
 

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We managed to get the coolant pipe swapped - whoever replaced the water pump before I got the car decided that the O rings weren't adequate and added copious amounts of RTV just to be sure [thank you, steel wool, for your service and dedication], but overall that took about 10 minutes.

We got everything in without instructions (yay!) aside from vacuum (boost!!!) line routing for the waste gate and the oil return lines. Fortunately, I was able to find some pics online showing the oil galley plug location to get the turbo inlet line connected, and Dave @ Performance Autowerks chimed in this morning with PDFs of the instructions as well as some notes about the return lines and other notes that probably saved my engine in advance.

Also, Dave has been amazingly helpful and responsive, especially considering that I bought the kit second-hand. We've exchanged 15-20 emails over the past week, and he's always had a great attitude, despite the fact that he made exactly zero dollars from me. Good customer service is rare these days. Great service is almost unheard of. I'm now making it a point to order any parts that I need from Performance Autowerks whenever possible. Of course, there are some products that are only available from DDM (who also appear to be great) or other vendors, but I now have my preferred vendor. They've saved my bacon a few times already, and I've only had the car for about a month.


A few things I learned, since that's the topic of the thread:

- New favorite tool: Dewalt Cordless Electric Impact Wrench. This thing runs forever and is at least as effective as the air-powered impact that I've used in the past. And it has superbright LEDs built in so you can see what you're doing. Also works for removing and installing wheels. I'd guess this thing saved us two hours, easy.

- I *highly* recommend installing the turbo, cat, manifold and wastegate as a single, pre-assembled unit. It's a tight fit, so our approach was to remove the nuts from the motor mounts and jack the engine up a few inches. We also chose to cut off a small corner of a bracket near the power steering reservoir, which may not be necessary but made things a lot easier. We also removed the bolts and wire tie connectors holding the fuse box and wiring harness in place and "bent" it out of the way. The extra few inches really helps. I found this much easier than trying to attach the turbo to the exhaust manifold once it was in the car.

- Be patient. Take breaths. If you're constantly straining, you're going to get pissed off and break something (maybe you).

- Be prepared to walk away for a day if you're not sure how things work, or something isn't going well. If this is your daily driver, and you're not an experienced mechanic (or have one helping out (thanks Dad!)), I'd seriously consider having a shop perform the install.

- Don't guess at the torque for the exhaust manifold bolts. You don't want to accidentally yank the studs out of the block. It's aluminum. Which is soft.

- Take the passenger side wheel off. It'll help your knees.

- Take the hood off. It'll help your knees, back and sanity. Mark everything with a sharpy (circle the bolts on the frame before removing them), or, if you're really brave, just blast the bolts with a very small amount of white spray paint. If you can find it, that orange stuff they use for marking power line locations on your yard or the street would also work, and washes off.

- Put the MAP sensor in while you have the fuel rail off the first time. It's more fun than removing it a second time. Also, you don't really have to go through the chore of disconnecting the fuel pump fuse and running the engine until it dies to depressurize the fuel system. There's a small valve on the fuel rail with a black cap labeled "VFV" (I'm guessing "Vent Fuel Valve") that is very much like a tire valve. Push the pin in, a virtually insignificant amount of fuel will escape. I wouldn't stare directly at it while venting, but it really wasn't enough to complain about, and we didn't have any unexpected "holy crap it wasn't depressurized" moments while replacing the injectors.

That's about it.

We made it about 90% of the way through over about 12 hours (Saturday + Sunday), and decided to call it a day since there were some question marks about oil return routing and wastegate hose connections.

Overall impression so far:

The kit is awesome. The manifold and cat / downpipe are very, very well-designed. It's a tight fit, but nothing that couldn't be overcome.
 

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I have a Werks Stage 1 turbo on my 2006 (Manual Trans). My biggest advice on doing your own install: Don't. Take it back to Perforamance Autowerks, and have them do it. They REALLY know what they are doing. I bought my car "aready built"... and I'm wishing the previous owner had let them do it. Luckily, he did have it Tuned by them... the Tune is great.
What other problems have you run into from their build?


Thanks for the insight. We managed to get the coolant pipe swapped - whoever replaced the water pump before I got the car decided that the O rings weren't adequate and added copious amounts of RTV just to be sure [thank you, steel wool, for your service and dedication], but overall that took about 10 minutes.

We managed to get everything in without instructions (yay!) aside from vacuum line routing for the waste gate and the oil return lines. Fortunately, I was able to find some pics online showing the oil galley plug location to get the turbo inlet line connected, and Dave @ Performance Autowerks chimed in this morning with PDFs of the instructions as well as some notes about the return lines and other notes that probably saved my engine in advance.
Oooh, what tips did they have about the coolant lines? Mine are a hacked-together mess of home-depot brass fittings and worm gear clamps that I need to revisit.

Why did you have to remove the coolant pipe?

- I *highly* recommend installing the turbo, cat, manifold and wastegate as a single, pre-assembled unit. It's a tight fit, so our approach was to remove the nuts from the motor mounts and jack the engine up a few inches. We also chose to cut off a small corner of a bracket near the power steering reservoir, which may not be necessary but made things a lot easier. We also removed the bolts and wire tie connectors holding the fuse box and wiring harness in place and "bent" it out of the way. The extra few inches really helps. I found this much easier than trying to attach the turbo to the exhaust manifold once it was in the car.
This... a thousand times this. I've cut the top corner off that bracket AND part of its base support 'triangle' all to clear my wastegate and it has made a world of difference. Oh man the headaches of trying to remove the whole unit. Doing them separately just wasn't possible on my setup.

The motor mount method sounds like a good idea as well.

Nice write-up man :thumbs:
 

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Good times!

What other problems have you run into from their build?
No real problems, just things that weren't obvious. For instance, why did we have two oil return lines? I assumed one went to the oil pan - we're welding in a bung in a slightly more protected location - but there is also a plate that connects to the water pump with the same fitting. Dave @ Performance Autowerks let me know that the turbo really needed both lines.

Oooh, what tips did they have about the coolant lines?
The big one was wrapping the coolant lines in heat wrap to keep them from melting. Turbos get HOT. (On my old '91 300ZX TT, after a particularly hard run, I popped the hood and the turbos were actually *glowing*) (Which is why a turbo timer is a very good idea.)

Mine are a hacked-together mess of home-depot brass fittings and worm gear clamps that I need to revisit.

Why did you have to remove the coolant pipe?
The stock coolant pipe wouldn't fit under the new exhaust manifold. The kit came with a new pipe that bends down (towards the ground, assuming your car is sticky-side down), rather than back towards the block. The stock pipe also was a bit flat in the middle - apparently by design - and the new one is not.

The replacement pipe fits quite nicely under the manifold. In reality, it only took a few minutes to pull the old one, clean up the connections, and put the new one in.

Another note: we were lucky enough to have a tool to suck the coolant out of the system without making a huge mess. The same tool (powered by the air compressor) let us put new coolant back in and burp the system automatically.
Nice write-up man :thumbs:
Thanks! I'm planning to write something a little more detailed once everything is completed (hopefully this weekend). I'll post a link when it's done.

In the mean time, here are a few pics:

http://davidlively.com/2006-pontiac-solstice-2-4-werks-turbo-install/
 

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the pipe is off an lnf... its switched for clearance with the new style manifold we use.

a lot of guys use rtv with the O-rings because if you move the pipe just right you can actually get it to leak coolant. new O-rings should never need rtv but some do it when reusing.

if anyone needs help with anything feel free to message me and ill get back to you guys asap. I work at werks but I am not signed up as a vendor here.
 

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@omiotek

Thanks for the weekend reply and PM offer. The shop is about 10 miles away from the nearest cell tower (and a mile away from the nearest real road, *after* going through a private locked gate).

Internet access is via EDGE (apparently, THAT still works), and I couldn't get a message through.

Werks has done a phenomenal job. (Though, it would be awesome if the instructions were available on the website. Pretty please!)

(In a former pre-game-dev life, I was a web developer. I'd happily update your site to include a docs/research area in exchange for an LS1 upgrade kit.) (Which is a good deal. Have you priced web dev lately? And they're all morons.)
 

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5/ After taking the snout off to place the intercooler I had a habit of leaning on the plastic wheel wells and cracked both so take care with that. Good luck.
I didn't crack them, but the passenger side one is definitely bent. I'm thinking of attacking it with a heat gun to reshape it. Or we could just fabricate a new hood and remove the wheel well "covers," and go totally open-wheel.

Muahaha.

Yeah, maybe next year.
 

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Most entertaining Solstice idea of the day:

Remove the plastic wheel well insert, and fabricate an open-wheel hood ala the Prowler.

It would probably look like crap, but could be fun anyway.
 

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Short follow-up:

I had to yank the engine again (see my other threads somewhere around here), and I've decided that the first thing you should do when working on the engine, for any task that will take more than an hour, is to remove at least one of the wheel well liners. It takes about 10 minutes to do both sides, prevents cracking of said liners, and if you're shaped roughly like me (5'9, 170lbs), you can straddle the hub and stand right next to the engine.

I wish had done this the first time. After reassembling everything yesterday, I just left the damn things off. I'm thinking of cutting them so they protect the battery and computer, bracing the inboard section creatively, and just leaving the rest off of the car.

Plus, it's pretty neat to see the tops of the tires when the hood is popped. Reminds me of my C5.
 
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