Cars, Computers, & Random Thoughts
The Laser Finally Gets a Turbo
The Laser Finally Gets a Turbo

The Laser Finally Gets a Turbo


Whoo! OEM water lines for the TD05. I finally got the turbo water lines on and the turbo installed, just in time for us to load the engine hoist up and give it back.


Oh well, we’ll figure something out. This week saw some good progress on the Laser and Sam got the Scavenger far enough along to be able to drive it to work. Here’s a short recap of the week!

It really is awesome to have water lines that fit and don’t require any questionable engineering.


This was the last big thing I had in the way of putting my engine back in the car. That I currently know of anyway. Naturally, once I got the lines on I went ahead and tried to install the turbo. Since I was using studs I threaded them into the turbo first, then tightened the nuts evenly to get the turbo tightened to the exhaust manifold.


Unfortunately, the studs had another idea. I’m not sure if they just didn’t have enough bite before it got too tight or what happened, but I ended up stripping two of the studs and messing up the nuts on three of them.


So I spent the rest of the night helping Sam clean out the area his leaky heater core had been in. He swapped it out for a new core but there was plenty of gunk built up from the leaky one.


We went to a Christmas market Friday and encountered this:


The following day we headed into Portage to pick up some stuff for the weekend and also to get some bolts rather than studs for the turbo. We ran into this along the way:


Luckily Weavers did have bolts in almost the same length with the same size and thread pitch (I think these are M8x1.25) so I grabbed four and headed back to the garage. Using bolts required a different approach, I had to remove the oil drain tube so I had more room to maneuver the turbo and line the bolts up.


Whether you use studs or bolts, you only have enough room (with this EBay manifold anyway) to use a wrench which makes for slow going. It also means I scratched the heck out of my pretty paint and will have to redo some of that.
Upon tightening the bolts I found that the front right bolt bottoms out, so you will need a stud here. Since all my other studs had been stripped or messed up when I pulled them, I just turned the bolt in question into a stud. Sawzall to the rescue!


My new stud worked pretty well. I used the only nut I hadn’t destroyed to get the stud started (A pain in itself as I had to loosen all the other bolts so I had enough room to wiggle the stud in and start it) and then re-tightened everything a few turns at a time to make sure the turbo stays level. I managed to cracked the weld on the front tab of the manifold when I accidentally smacked it with the 17mm wrench I was using, oops. I was a little worried that the rear right bolt would bottom out but it had just enough room to get tightened down without bottoming out.I’m sure these have a torque spec, but given I can only a fit a wrench I used my brothers “click, done” method.


With the turbo all bolted up and in place I needed to get the water return line banjo bolt in and tightened. I had left the line itself loose on the main water pipe side so that I could swing the line side to side. It’s much easier to get the turbo positioned that way, but you will have to fit a 17mm wrench behind the turbo to tighten that up when everything is finally in place. Next I lined up the oil feed from the head and put the banjo bolt in place there. Be careful with that one, it’s bolting into aluminum and would be difficult to repair.


I really can’t adequately convey how happy I am to have this turbo finally in place and buttoned up.


I didn’t have anything else major to do, so I did some of the few small bits I had left. I popped the oil dipstick back in place, put the 02 sensor in it’s place, and figured out where the knock sensor is supposed to go. I may still get a new knock sensor, mine isn’t looking too good. Once we’ve got something to lift the engine with I’ll need to install the oil drain pipe, I don’t want to forget that!


That’s about all for this week. Doesn’t seem like much when I sum it all up here, but the turbo was the last thing I was really having trouble with. I’ve got some transmission fluid on the way so I can do a drain and fill before putting the engine in (much easier to do it now) and then I should be ready to put the engine in. Deja Vu?
We’ll have to beg our neighbor for the engine hoist again (we won’t keep it for months this time!) or figure out another way to drop the engine in, and I’ve still got other parts I need for suspension and the like but my engine build is coming to a close.


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