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Toyota Celica Turbo FAQ

After having research on bolt on turbo to a Celica for quite some times, finally able to came out some information to share with. So basically this post is to address most commonly asked questions when someone is trying to decide if they should go with a turbo charger for their car.

If there is any question that the post here does not address, please feel free to comment and let's discuss further and the information will add to this post.

Continue to read for more information.

What is a Turbocharger? How does it work?
Please refer HERE for more turbocharger information

What is the average Cost for custom kit purchase, installation, and tuning
A custom turbo kit from well known tuners will cost approximate about RM12k to RM16k, depends on what performance parts are included in the package. (for eg: engine oil cooler, turbine, engine manageent and etc)
A cheaper turbo kit is available at approximate about RM8k to RM10k, same goes to what kind of performance parts are included in the package.

What size Turbo should I choose for my power goal
Please refer to Turbo Sizing thread for more information.

What Boost do People Run on stock internals safely?
Daily / normal use: 6-8 PSI is most common, some run as much as 11 peak
High Boost (racing): 10-11 PSI is most common, some run less
No Boost related failures have been reported
Daily / normal use: 6-7 PSI is most common, some run as much as 8.5 peak
High Boost (racing): 7-8 most common, some as high as 12
Some boost aggrivated failures have been reported, none directly cause by increased power / boost however.

How much power do turboed Celicas make?
HP 192 - 240 WHP
TQ 160 - 202 Ft/lbs
HP - from 240 - 666 WHP
TQ - from 170 - 406 ft.lbs

What kind of gas Mileage do folks with Turbos get?
8.5 - 10.6 KM per liter on average is most common. Aggresive driving SERIOUSLY affects this number

How will this affect the reliability of my car?
Running moderate boost on a GOOD professional tune is fairly safe. Running double digit boost and/or no tune is cruising for trouble. Many of the kits and installs tend to be problematical in and of themselves

Do I have to get my car tuned if I install a turbo system?
YES!!!! You need to have an Engine Management System of some sort, and you need to get it tuned as soon as possible after installaiton. The stock ECU will NOT be able to handle fuel managemant with different injectors and will NOT be able to fuel to teh correct air fuel ratios for a forced induction car.

What can I do to start learning about Tuning the car and what systems are available?
The Best system is the Power FC
Second best at this time is probably E-Manage
S-AFC does NOT work
Split second systems work but not as well as the Power FC or E-Manage
There is an Autronic SMT4 system in development
AEM makes a great Standalone EMS (Engine Management System) that has to be custom installed and tuned for the 7th Gen - no-one has done it yet
There are rumors that Hydra is working on a standalone for the Celica

At what point do I need to upgrade my fuel system? What changes should I make?
This is a MUST for folks going forced induction. Leaving it stock just isn't safe. You will need to upgrade your injectors and fuel pump at a minimum. For high boost applications (over 10 PSI) a return system is also a great idea. Smaay sells return systems with 1:1 pressure regulators. MWR also offers a system now.

What are the best gauges to get?
This topic is VERY opinion based with regards to manufacturer so please just follow the thread below. For what its worth I feel that a wideband O2 with gauge and a boost gauge are the only essential ones.

What about Rear mounted turbo systems?
Rear mounted turbos do function but are not as efficient as front mounted - theres a ton of info in this thread:

What other changes should I make?
Colder plugs are a must. Denso and NGK are the 2 brands to go with.

Do I need to upgrade my clutch?
Yes you do.

What octane gas should I run?
You should run the highest octane pump gas available, RON97 or Shell V-Power Racing. RON95 will caused knock on 2ZZ Celica engine.

Is there anything else I can do to protect my motor when boosting?
Yes there is - Water injection is a very inexpensive form of insurance against detonation. Check out Aquamist or Snow Performance for some nice kits.

I heard there is a difference in some of the newer GTS (2ZZ) cars that makes it more difficult to turbo - is this true?
Yes. The 2003 and newer 2ZZ powered GTS uses a drive by wire throttle system that makes it impossible to use the Power FC without a conversion to a cable throttle from 2000-2002. Most 2003 owners use E-Manage or Split Second. Additionally in 2004 Toyota added an Air Iinjection System to the exhaust manifold / head areas that means a flange for a 2000-2003 Turbo kit will NOT work on a 2004. The 2003 and newer GTS also uses a different connector configuration and pinout - the wiring for the 2000-2002 does not apply.
Link to picture of 2003 ECU: 2003 ECU
Links to pics of the 2000-2002 ECU:

Is there an engine I can swap in thats better for boost than my engine?
If you have a 1ZZ yes, swap in a 2ZZ. Otherwise not really. Some people have done the 3S-GTE but its a royal pain, costs a fortune and doesn't net you much gain for the money.

How do I hook up the coolant lines to my water cooled turbo?
The water should feed in at the top and out at the bottom. The out line needs to get connected to the steel tube that wraps around the front and side of the motor and attaches at the back of the thermostat housing - that is the suction line. See link below for details.

What kind of intercooler should I use?
All kind of intercoolers are suitable. However please choose the size wisely to avoid turbo lag.

Do I need to remove the A/C to install the intercooler
No - you don't.

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