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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Safe EA81T Mods?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_OH Noah_*

Guest_OH Noah_*
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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:52 AM

I became the lucky owner of an EA81T engine last month, and I've got big plans for it. I've never had a turbo car before, so I was wondering what sorts of mods are recommended. I know these engines are a little fragile, so I'm looking for things I can do that will increase power without risking damage to the engine.

I'm probably going to install it in a somewhat stock form and add mods from there. I'll be using an EA82 Turbo, and I'd like to intercool it. I'll also be using CIS fuel injection.

Is it safe to increase the boost?? If so, how much?? What mods can be done to improve cooling??

What about internal mods?? Would a carb cam be an upgrade?? I've heard that turbo cars often have really bad stock cams so that they can meet emissions.

I'm just in the dreaming phase right now, so all ideas are welcome.

#2 Guest_jon61484_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:16 AM

a reground cam isn't a bad idea.

There's a place around here (Albany) that'll do it for $45, but then you need to find some place to heat treat it.

hmmm.... but that's pretty good right?

and what do you mean by a little fragile? I thought the EA81 was a 'work horse'? or is there something different about the heads for an EA81T that make it easier to break down?

#3 Guest_ShawnW_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:36 AM

Fragile? I hope not. Keep em from overheating and they should last the same as an ea81 carb engine, and I think with the EFI and such it would go longer as there would be a smoother running motor.

Good radiator, intercooler, make sure its been converted to the water cooled turbo which the ea82 one would get you, and go from there. Im sure some of the fun things Skip has done to his ea82 turbowagon would apply fairly easily.

#4 Guest_Stupidru_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:38 PM

On the contrary, ea81's are rugged little engines. Rings (if taken care of) rearly go bad. I drove rotted out 84 4wd sedan w/150000 for 40000 more miles without an oil change, until rings finally gave up.

#5 Guest_x silvershad0w x_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:44 PM

The turbo cams are somewhere along the lines of 1.4xxx at thier peaks, while the carb cams are around 1.2xxx... They are a high lift, shorter duration which makes them a little more snappy, but they sacrifice low end for better RPM running. I would stick with a turbo cam if you want a highway runner, or go with a brat cam if you want to get as much low end out of it as you can get. I will not use a regrind, but RAM performance sells new manufacture cams that are rated for 140+hp on a N/A engine, I plan on using that in my ea81t build... I think the set runs ~300 with lifters. Might be worth checking into. My engine will be a little wild for an EA81, and it's gonna cost some $$ to get it built, but all in the name of pushing it to the max :)

With your CIS, get a <strong>good</strong> means to monitor AFR, if you lean it out on boost, your asking for trouble.. I would suggest a more precise meter system with a wideband O2 sensor instead of your normal narrow band you find on most cars, they aren't cheap thou.

#6 Guest_carfreak85_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:11 PM

carb'd cams will not help you rturbo engine at all. they are designed with the flow and engine caracteristics of a carb'd normaly asperated engine and vise wersa with the turbo engine. a good intercooler, plugs wires cap rotor, etc, and maybe a manual boost controller with a rising rate fuel pressure regultor would get you some good gains. the water cooled turbo was standered on the 84 cars (still EA81s) and were easily retrofited. so it is not necessisary to get an EA81T turbo.

#7 Guest_Adam N.D.J._*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:14 PM

Upping the boost is a good way to add some power. I've been running 12lbs for about 6months now, and I jes had to pull one of the heads off (for other reasons) and the ring and pistons are still perfect. My engine has almost 130K on it, and there is still crosshatch on the cylinder walls, and I put my motor through some SERIOUS hell. As long as you have a good radiator, and keep that thing cool, it'll do everything that you want it too. I'd like to get my hands on an Air to water intercooler off a Kiwi legacy turbo, then bolt right in, and you don't have to cut any holes in your hood (good for me, cause I want to keep my car looking completely stock). But the A/w IC's are better than a standard A/a IC, specially if you pack your tank with ice. Anyways. Also go with a larger exhaust, the stock downpipe and cat are TINY!, and choke the crap outa the motor. The first thing I did was cut off my cat and bore out my flange to 2.5"s and ran 2.5 into a cherry bomb turbo muffler, and the power increase was that of extraordinary improvement. Power increased all the way from low end to top end. It throws you back in the seat on take off, and chirps the tires into second (3spd auto). Hope things go well for ya. It's good to see more of these motors on the road. Catch ya Laters.

#8 Guest_OH Noah_*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 08:17 AM

I said "a little" fragile. I didn't mean fragile like a EA82T with Gen 1 heads. I just always hear about people finding EA81T cars in junkyards with cracked heads. I guess I'm okay as long as I keep it cool then, eh?? The one I got appears to have had a head crack, as one head is VERY clean compared to the rest of the engine, and the radiator and water pump were also new.

I'm putting this into my '80 Hatchback, so I think I can legally get rid of the cat in the downpipe (The sticker under my hood says "non-catalyst"). I had a feeling that larger exhaust would be a pretty good idea.

I don't want to cut holes in my hood either, so I'll watch ebay for an a/w intercooler. I wonder if you could make one by enclosing an a/a intercooler? hmmm.

I don't think I'll actually be messing with cams anytime soon. I was just curious if the turbo cams were too wimpy.

I'm definitely going to be watching my a/f ratio. I'm in the process of building a meter right now. It's going to use 20 LED lights instead of the normal 10 so that it'll be twice as precise. I knew that I'd need boost enrichment. Many european turbo cars from the '80s came with CIS, so there are certainly ways of dealing with this. I'm using CIS because it worked well on my Wagon, and I don't have all the EFI parts needed to use the factory injection system.

Thanks for all the replies. I'm sure I'll have more questions when I actually get the engine installed.

#9 Guest_Adam N.D.J._*

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:54 PM

You can actually enclose an a/a IC to make it an A/w. You jes need to make sure you put in the inlet and outlet lines for the water, and that those lines are large enough to handle good flow, but not too big. You'll need to be able to weld in aluminum, as 99% of most IC's are aluminum. The whole system goes pretty well into the EA81T, as they came with A/c, so you can use the condenser to run your coolant through to cool it. Catch ya Laters.

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