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Old 05-05-2004, 20:45   #1 (permalink)
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TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

I have done many searches on these kits here on FF and elsewhere, and have been very impressed with personal opinions and testimonials.

What I am after is constructive personal opinons based on facts and experience.

My situation will be like this:

Vehicle: AU2 forte, auto, low km engine in very good condition.
This car will be completely stock on the outside right down to the hubcaps. Yes, a sleeper as it were!

Modification: TSA stage 1 turbo kit to supplied and fitted at an SA dealership.
Possible upgrade of brakes assesed if needed.

Application: Essentially for daily usage on the street. Wanting mainly sleeper aspect kept. Needing more power over standard to be able to give a few people in SS's a scare. Needs to be reliable in all ambient temperatures. Wont be doing burnouts. Wont be used at any circuit type events.

Budget: Basically I will be purchasing an AU2 forte for around the 14k mark as they are a dime a dozen. TSA turbo kit will be 5k so Ive read. So I plan to get away with everything for about 20k initally, plus other miscellaneous extras. i.e. brake upgrade, window tint, alarm/immobiliser, trans cooler, possible mini spool.

Overview: Im starting to get out of the "Im quicker than you" stage in my life and I want reasonable comfort with 'enough' power to boot. The mrs will also drive the car so I dont want it to be a pig on the road. Its got to have road manners as if it was still standard. Its got to be inconspicuous from the cops, and other unwanted people, hence the 'sleeper' effect I want to attain. Now you might say, 'why not go for an XR6t or something that has heaps of power from standard'? Well I could, but that will defeat the purpose of a sleeper now wouldnt it? Everyone knows what an XR6t is capable of and the last thing I need is every ricer and commo wanting to drag me off the lights! This AU will be as stealthy as they come. "A wolf in sheeps clothing" so to speak. No one will be expecting it, and thats what Im after, only to give a few people a scare. But I want to do this on a budget.
The only reason I chose an AU is that they are a very cheap car to buy and reasonably new. I can get over the appearance of the shape. That doesnt bother me at all. Its mainly the engine reliability that Im after and from what I have heard, these motors are all that. They arent the be all of comfort and handling but its got to be better than my EBXR8 in some respects. Plus its a safe car. Most of the depreciation has drop considerably on these cars and thats fine with me.

Please be as honest as you want but constructive about my intentions and try and answer some of the questions i have below.

Questions to be answered:

* What are your personal opinions of these kits?
* Are they worth the hype?
* Are they worth the money?
* Are there any constructive hints to help
* Will it be quick enough to take the likes of VTSS's, etc?
* WIll there be anything I'd need to look out for running this type of kit?
* If traction were not an issue, would you be suprised to go up against a car of the above mentioned?
* Is there another turbo kit within my budget that I should consider?
* Am I getting a bit ambitious doing something like this?
* Will my driveline stand up ok with this kit, assuming Im not giving it hell?

Your help and knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Shav
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Old 05-05-2004, 23:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

I dont know much about turbos etc. But id personally love to see you do something like that blueoval ! Its an orginal idea and you sure as hell would shock alot of people! The looks of their faces would be priceless, getting beaten by the ugly AU.
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Old 05-05-2004, 23:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheahman
I dont know much about turbos etc. But id personally love to see you do something like that blueoval ! Its an orginal idea and you sure as hell would shock alot of people! The looks of their faces would be priceless, getting beaten by the ugly AU.
Thanks for the support cheahman. Yes I like things original and different, and I guess going this way may not be popular with most, I'll certainly be reaping my own personal benefits going this way. For one, Im not subjecting myself as a slave to the car or to what my eyes see all the time with trying to always make it look better. That is a dead end street for me and has been with the last 4 cars Ive owned. Its a money pit I cant afford dropping cash into all the time anymore. And being the way that I am, I never used to get enough of somethings, whether coming back after a car show or drags or something, its always gave me ideas to spend more money I never had. I could never stay focused on a direction or plan and stick with it, hence biting off more than I could chew. Well, Ive had enough, its time I made my mind up and start prioritising properly and STOP wasting cash on certain uneccessary items. This is what I want, and I know my limits now.

Sorry for the rant
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Old 05-06-2004, 00:02   #4 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

I know what you mean. Id personally love to do my car up! put a bodykit, exhaust system, chip, cam, turbo, 18"rims. But i cant afford it and even if i could i dont think id waste the money! Id rather put it towards my next car. The only thing i may do to my car though is exhaust system and chip and ill just leave it at that. At the end of the day it really is a waste of money, but you only live once so you may aswell enjoy yourself! and you have to spend your money on something, theres no point saving up all this money and then realizing your to old in life to do anything with it!
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Old 05-06-2004, 00:13   #5 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheahman
I know what you mean. Id personally love to do my car up! put a bodykit, exhaust system, chip, cam, turbo, 18"rims. But i cant afford it and even if i could i dont think id waste the money! Id rather put it towards my next car. The only thing i may do to my car though is exhaust system and chip and ill just leave it at that. At the end of the day it really is a waste of money, but you only live once so you may aswell enjoy yourself! and you have to spend your money on something, theres no point saving up all this money and then realizing your to old in life to do anything with it!
Yes, exactly! I know I can look back and tell my kids in future that I did that and I was happy then. But times change and so do desires. It all boils down to application and how much you intend to spend as doing up cars are essentially a 'hobby'. I have never been a hoarder of cash and I beleive you when you say enjoy your money while you have some coz you never know what tomorrow may bring.

I reckon this car will give me enough satisfaction with this mod and the good thing about it is I can remove the turbo when ever I want or if I sell the car and fit it to another AU of some kind when this one gets a few too many k's on it, not really losing too much cash if I take from one car to another. And still getting full use of the turbo.
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Old 05-06-2004, 00:57   #6 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

Just so you know, SII AU Fairmonts and Fairmont Ghias go for aroud 12k here at auction, look in good condition and average Ks. Dunno if they have VCT or it it would be a problem but.
From what ive read driveline should be fine. Brakes would handle it too, but if your likely to give it bit of a squirt everynow and then u may want a upgrade.

Another thing to check is permits, and what u have to do to get em. I dont think SA is as hard as Vic in that it costs 2-3k for a full cyle emissions test. But check it out al the same.. ive heard they come with engineers cert, but not sure if they actuall do


ps u can donate your xr8 to me :D
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:26   #7 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

If you can afford i would go for a Fairmont or Ghia and keep it stock looking and add the TSA kit, would still be a good sleeper and a bit nicer than a Forte but still fairly cheap to get hold of and if you get a ghia its got IRS so traction shouldnt be a problem. VCT i wouldnt think would cause any troubles at all with the turbo. Good Luck!!
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:18   #8 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

thanks fellas for your advice. I like the thought of a fairmont of ghia but I thought they would be outta my price range.
EFJase - Im a tempramental driver most days, it just depends how I feel at the time. But Im not suicidal on the road, so it will depend on cash vs necessity for a brake upgrade.

Perana - the IRS is an excellent feature on the ghias and xr's but once again cost will be the main factor and k's. I dont want a high miler.
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Old 05-06-2004, 18:48   #9 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

Hi Blueoval, I think you sent me a PM about this. I'll try to answer your questions one by one coz I'm at work right now and more time

Questions to be answered:

* What are your personal opinions of these kits?

1. GREAT VALUE
=======================================
For the price of the stage 1 kit, you get everything you need. Don't waste your money on exhausts and headers like what I did (spent over $3,000 on NA bits before putting on the stage 2 kit). NA bits (powerchip, cold air intake, BMC carbon dynamic airbox filter, HM headers, 3" exhaust with high flow cat) made 117rwkw. Stage 2 kit made 170rwkw at 7psi.

2. RELIABLE
=======================================
Had the stage 2 kit on the XR for over 8 months, no hassles at all. No overheating issues even throughout summer.

* Are they worth the hype?

NO, they are not HYPED UP KITS. Whoever tells you that they are ought to be dragged out and shot coz its damn bloody obvious they have not paid and tried one on their own.

* Are they worth the money?

Every single bit I must say. But again, I had it fitted by the boys at GasResearch in Frankston Dandenong and the work done was top notch. Not sure about fitters in other States (Can't vouch for them).

* Are there any constructive hints to help

PM me with more questions if you have any.

* Will it be quick enough to take the likes of VTSS's, etc?

I don't encourage street racing but if you really have to, YES. Not exactly sure about top end speed (never tried) but you'll be ahead before their supercharger in the Commodores start to whine.

* WIll there be anything I'd need to look out for running this type of kit?

Insurance, that'd be the only thing. I had the stage 2 intercooled kit in my XR for almost 8 months, stock block, stock tranny, stock brakes with DBZ rotors and performacne pads...no worries at all. 170rwkw and still the brakes provided sufficient stopping power.

* If traction were not an issue, would you be suprised to go up against a car of the above mentioned?

Don't really understand your question.

* Is there another turbo kit within my budget that I should consider?
I'm sure there are more kits out there, alot cheaper, promising more power but you've got to try it for yourself before you sign on the dotted line. TSA lent me their stage 1 Falcon Forte for a day and I was sold the moment it hit 2000revs. Not sure there are any companies out there who'd do the same or extend to their customers the equivalent amount of faith as TSA did with me.

* Am I getting a bit ambitious doing something like this?

Not at all. I wouldn't even consider myself as ambitious (with the current setup in my XR). Ambitious would be Laminge....errr....waitaminute....Laminge will have to be CRAZY!!!!!

* Will my driveline stand up ok with this kit, assuming Im not giving it hell?
Don't worry about the driveline. Strengthening your tranny (auto) may help it shift quicker and all but leaving it alone still will not be an issue even with the stage 2 kit. But bear in mind, I do not guarantee 12 sec passes with the stage 2 kit. But the white TSA Falcon Forte did a 14.2 second pass at Calder with shitty rubber, no intercooler, 6psi boost, stock tranny and block. To me, that's bloody fantastic.

Hope this helps. PM me if you have more questions.

Cheers
Mal
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Old 05-06-2004, 19:04   #10 (permalink)
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Re: TSA turbo kits - worth it? (LONG)

Mal, Ive been waiting for your reply, thanks heaps mate.

You know I spent 2.5 hours just about reading your entire 51 page thread the other night. Bloody good read and very informal. You have come a long way from your initial setup and its paid off! I thank you for you experienced comments.

As mentioned above, I only want a sleeper, not a racer. Im seriously looking into this and am impressed with the testimonial you gave TSA as a professional bunch of people. This has given me more confidence in this team to carry out a decent job when I decide to go to them.

As far as insurance is concerned, I have already got a over the phone quote, here what do you think of this?

* AU2 forte
* kept all orginal
* only mods allowed are turbo kit & exhaust

* insuring a 27yo driver with a 25yo wife
* no negative driving history of fines
* max excess of $300

* premium of $565 + $16 for windscreen protection + $20 for rental car hire in event of an accident.
* rating 1 driver for life
* Total yearly premium of $601 fully comprehensive.

I did my homework there as I didnt want to get all hopeful only to be let down by these stupid reasons.

Another thing I wanted to ask about engineers certificate. Do I need to get an independant engineer to certify the work given or does the kit come pre-certified?

How much was the Stage 1 kit supplied & fitted inc all dyno tunes?

Would I need a turbo timer & boost guage fitted?
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