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How to Twin Turbo a V6 Camaro

by Richard Rowe

Although the small block V8 made Camaro famous, the fact is that most lost a few cylinders between the dream and the sales floor. Although V6 models are far from the quickest out there, you don't need to swap in a fuel-hungry V8 to make Mustang owners sweat. Modern rear mounted turbo systems can produce huge power, fit in almost any chassis regardless of engine bay clearance and are a lot more linear and easier to drive than common sense might suggest. Be aware that exact installation times, procedures and mounting locations will vary greatly by kit and model-year.

Remove your car's stock catalytic converter back (cat-back) exhaust system and install the dual exhaust system either included with your kit or recommended by the manufacturer. Install the turbo mounting up-pipes in place of the stock mufflers.

Bolt the turbos to the up-pipes with the supplied hardware. Install the electric oil pump in the trunk. Plumb and wire the pump to your car's electrical system and plumb the oil feed line to the turbo oil inlets. You can choose to include an oil cooler inline between the pump and turbos if desired.

Install the oil sump as low as possible, making sure that it's at least 4 to 6 inches lower than the turbos to prevent oil drain back. If you lack the space to install the sump lower than the turbos, you'll need to use a dry sump-style scavenging pump instead of a standard oil pump to drain the turbos.

Connect the turbos to the Camaro's throttle body inlet with the supplied tubing, brackets, silicone connectors and hose clamps. If you're using a universal rear mounted turbo kit that doesn't include these items, you can have a custom system bent up for you at your local exhaust shop. Use a pair of small diameter pipes instead of a single large pipe to reduce turbo lag and increase throttle response.

Install the fuel injectors, fuel pump or supplemental fuel system, either included with your kit or recommended by your kit's manufacturer. Most manufacturers will recommend a turbo-specific, aftermarket computer chip or reprogrammable fuel management unit for engines using more than seven to eight psi of boost. However, you may wish to keep boost levels under that. One pound of boost is worth about an 8 percent improvement in power on most engines, so seven psi of boost should be worth about 100 horsepower on a 180-horsepower engine without requiring a new computer.

Tip

  • Your V6 can certainly handle a few psi of boost, and the 300-horsepower V6 used in 2010 and newer Camaros can safely put about 425 horsepower on the wheels with a good twin turbo setup. However, older models may need a bit of internal work to withstand huge hits of boost. Here's a short list of the parts that Force Fed Fabrication used to fortify its 10-second V6 for turbo use: Diamond-forged piston (8.5:1 c/r) with rings and wrist pins, forged L32 connecting rods, ARP studs, ZZ Performance four-layer MLS .065 head gaskets, Manley custom valves, Comp Cams custom grind (224*/215*, .336/.334 116LSA), Comp Cams hydraulic roller lifters, Manley 150 lbs. valve springs, Comp Cams titanium retainers, Comp Cams push rods, Comp Cams 1.7 Pro-Magnum full roller rockers, a double roller timing chain, Federal Mogul main, rod and cam bearings and an 80 PSI oil pump.

Items you will need

About the Author

Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.

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Photo Credits

  • abstract chevrolet camaro concept car image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com