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Thread: How to turbocharge your 90-94 DSM (2.0l non-turbo specified)

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  1. #1
    IAF Team Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Cedar Rapids

    How to turbocharge your 90-94 DSM (2.0l non-turbo specified)

    Ok this is going to be a quick list over of what you will need and a little more info on how to do it. I will provide links to sources and things like that. excuse me if i spell anything wrong....

    First is first. Check your engine for normal wear. Do a compression test, check the plugs, wires, replace gaskets that you think would be bad. Do a leak down test. Hell the best is to rebuild the engine. If your motor has 150k on it and it kinda burns a little bit of oil or doesnt run perfect then do NOT attempt to do this and not have to tear it down for a rebuild shortly after. Make sure your engine is running top notch and everything is going to be ok in terms of handling boost. There is a few different options with things so i will try to get them out. There is the basic bolt on factory parts and make it turbo while retaining stock non-turbo 9.0:1 weak pistons, swap pistons/rods then bolt on turbo parts and basically have a stock turbo DSM, and last but not least swap the motor.

    Now is the time to gather your parts. Here is a basic list:
    1) Turbo along with oil feed/drain, water feed/drain and wastegate actuator
    2) Turbo manifold and Turbo 02 housing
    3) FWD Turbo downpipe
    4) 90-94 turbo ecu (preferably your year of vehicle but any will work)
    5) 90-94 Knock sensor
    6) Turbo Maf (can use 90-99 just has to be wired accordingly)
    7) Manual Turbo injectors atleast (450cc)
    8) Injector resistor pack, (turbo injectors are low impendence compared to NT's high impendence injectors) it looks like a little silver box on the firewall
    9) FWD turbo oil pan for oil return line (or customize yours)
    10) Stronger clutch (if retaining stock manual transmission)
    11) Stock Turbo side mount intercooler (or larger)
    12) Stock Turbo intercooler piping with 1g BOV (blow off valve)
    13) Stock Turbo fuel pressure regulator with fuel control silenoid (optional)
    14) Stock Turbo intake pipe with boost control silenoid (optional)
    15) Stock Turbo camshafts (only intake needed if manual transmission)
    16) Stock Turbo fuel pump atleast (Walbro 190lph or 255lph are some other options)
    17) All gaskets and hardware
    18) Fuel controller is highly recommended but optional (S-AFC I or II works well)
    19) A datalogger is very highly recommended and will be your best investment yet. It is extremely important to monitor knock
    20) An oil cooler is highly advised because that turbo will be heatin up that oil very nicely and your motor will be running harder
    21) finally a BOOST gauge and any other gauge you feel necessary
    --excuse me if i forgot anything i will continue to look it over--

    Now these are basic parts to turn your currently non-turbo DSM into a boosted machine. If you retain the stock pistons some say that they cannot handle boost above around 10psi because they have smaller ring lands compared to turbo pistons and they will crack. Now with the raised compression and running about 8psi you will be pushing or a little more power then a factory turbocharged DSM.

    Now that that is said you can make your car even better if you take the conversion in a bit deeper.
    -If you decide to rebuild the engine then here is the time to make it shine. Swap those non-turbo pistons for something stronger. Forged pistons will do very well but if your on a budget you can get stock 1g turbo pistons (7.8:1 compression) or go ahead and get stock 2g pistons (8.5:1 compression). Depending on the year the rods will have to be adapted to fit each piston. 90-92.5 motors with the 6 bolt cranks will need to have their rods machined to take the 2g pistons and if you have a 7bolt then...just go with the 2g pistons because they fit right on and will handle some power. If you swap pistons then you practically have a factory turbo motor because the rods are the same as well as crank.
    -If you swap out pistons then you can practically just start modifying your car as if it was a factory turbocharged DSM. One thing that is sceptical is that non-turbo motors do not have oil squirters. Well there is a theory that the 2g design of the oil suirters may cause crankwalk (destroying the motor) because theystarve the crank bearings of oil. If you are worried about them then the engine swap is for you.
    - If you want to swap motors then you will obviously need the turbo motor to swap in along with the parts listed above if they are not included with the motor. You can again retain your tranny as long as you are swapping in the same year of motor as yours was. I would advise just getting a turbo tranny because clutches are easier to get and will hold more power.

    - Now the big issue that people come accross is if the N/T tranny can hold the power. Well if your tranny is going to crap and grinds in gears and is very notchy then dont expect it to last...turbo or non-turbo. If you beat the crap out of your car and dont know how to drive correctly then dont expect it to last. There has been only one person i know of that has broken his tranny and he still doesnt know if it was just from boost, but he was running 23 psi on an EVO 3 16g with all supporting mods at the top of 3rd gear when it let go. Another issue is about the pistons. Like i said before they are weaker then turbo pistons and will fail if you turn up the boost and dont tune out the knock. Now some people have run 17psi on stock N/T pistons and had no problems...but who knows if that engine is still alive and well. Keep the boost below 10 and dont beat the living daylights out of it and you will be fine.

    Here are some links that will help you along in the process or with any questions:
    - (take a look around you will find loads of helpfull information)
    - (for the hard to find or just plain cheap parts)
    - (they have rebuilt kits along with factor parts at good prices)

    That is about all there is to it on a very shortened level. If you have any questions or concerns just post them or PM me and i will be more then happy to help you out.

  2. #2
    IAF Team Member Ricky's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    I miss the old school days of forums. Facebook has killed the forums.
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    1995 Mazda Miata - Autocross Warrior
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  3. #3
    Moderator slow ride's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    New Hartford, IA
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