Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Fayetteville NC
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Turbo XB (Automatic)
I see a lot of people saying you can't or maybe shouldn't put a turbo on a first Gen XB auto. I've turboed a car or two over the years to included a 700 rwhp 88 Mustang GT and knew this to be false. You can turbo anything, it's just a matter of how well it works for your intended purpose. I suspected their would be some drawbacks to such a set up but very doable. Additionally, your objective makes a difference on whether you should or shouldn't and how satisfied you'll be with the end results. My objective was to make the car "less slow" not fast. I picked up a new HKS kit on this site from a guy a few years ago. Got it for almost half price so it was worth experimenting with. Overall I am satisfied with the results, it is what I expected. The main drawback is the shift pattern for the auto. It want's to get to the highest possible gear as soon as possible for fuel economy. The turbo needs to be around 3K RPM to spool. That said, driving on normal auto mode you have to put your foot in it and get it to kick down a gear to build boost...not ideal because it can be a bit snappy on the transmission. This is easily mitigated by turning off overdrive. When you feel the need for speed simply turn off overdrive. The turbo stays spooled and there is not two gear step down like in overdrive mode to make you shift snappy.
I had the setup dynoed. If I remember correctly it was 89ish whp before the turbo and around 118 whp after. I think I have the sheet somewhere. This kit only puts out 3-5 PSI. Most of the time per my gauge it's spitting out around 4 lbs of boost. This accomplished my goal which was to make the car acceptable in traffic and on the highway. It made it so I can get in and out of traffic without worrying about getting run over or make a pass under normal condition.
Concerns and what not to do: I would not turn up the boost on stock components because from the feel and sound of things under boost, you'll probably break something. The shifts snap sometimes under full boost in overdrive. It feels like it could break the transmission if you are not careful. I also wonder how much extra power the axles can handle. I think it could probably handle 6-7 psi without breaking to much. More than that and I think you are rolling the dice. I also think it depends on how you drive it. I don't race and I'm not always pulling hard off the line for no good reason other than to say "yahoo!". I've had this setup for two years with no issues and it is doing exactly what I wanted it to do which is to give it "acceptable", power, i.e., make it less slow...give it acceptable HP for around town and highway driving. I have pictures of my setup but couldn't figure out how to get them loaded on here. Hope this is helpful for anyone considering a turbo on an auto.